By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express
---- — Knoxville Raceway General Manager Brian Stickel reports that the Marion County Fair Board approved a new, granite monument to be erected, which will bear the names of those drivers who were killed during races at the facility.
The monument will be four feet wide and two feet tall. It will be placed outside of turn four and it should be placed this Spring.
The board also discussed new pit policies. Children must be at least 12 years old to be in the pits. For those children who accompany drivers, they must stay with their respective rigs. Stickel said this became an issue during the Late Model Nationals last year.
Ticket sales for the track are on pace with 2012, according to Stickel. He expects sales to boost after racing begins.
This season, Brook Tatnell is going to race in Knoxville for points. Other top drivers have announced their intention to come to more Knoxville weekly races.
“Our 410 class is looking very strong for 2013,” Stickel said.
No title sponsor has been secured for the 410 Nationals this year, but Stickel hopes to have an announcement soon. He is also working on a television deal for the Nationals, and encourages fans to buy tickets in case the event is not televised.
Promotions are being worked out for 2013 as well. The track is hoping that opening night is a big success. Planned sponsorships for race nights include the Komen Foundation for May 11, Pella Corporation/Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on June 1 and HCI Care Services on July 6. More are expected to be announced in the future.
Social media presence for Knoxville Raceway is also going well. The track has over 42,000 fans on Facebook, thousands of Twitter followers and thousands of others have downloaded the track’s smartphone application. Upgrades to the application are also being worked out.
Other fair board notes:
• The board is accepting reservations for RAGBRAI, set to overnight in Knoxville July 24. There is room for hundreds of riders and supporters to camp on the fairgrounds and the Raceway Campground.
• Work is being done to establish a VIP area for the rodeo and Hairball concert at the Marion County Fair.