The National Sprint Car Museum’s “Sprint Car 101” Third Thursday Series will continue on Thursday, April 21, with a “Salute to Gil Sonner”. The free and open-to-the-public program will be held from 7 until 9 p.m. on the museum’s second floor and it will honor the 1986 Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame inductee and veteran Strange Performance/Casey’s General Stores sprint car #47 owner/mechanic from Des Moines.
According to museum curator Tom Schmeh, “This promises to be one of the more entertaining and educational Sprint Car 101 programs that we’ve offered as the entire Sonner family has had such a presence here for so long. From Gilbert’s brother Burt Sonner, who tragically lost his life at Knoxville Raceway in 1974, to his son Donnie Sonner, who joined his father and his uncle in the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame last year, they have all made their mark on the local, regional and national racing scene. And Gil’s daughter Cindy Sonner Saucier, wife of Daryl Saucier, can’t be forgotten either. It is just a shame that Gillie’s wife Yvonne, who lost her battle with cancer in July of 2007, can’t be a part of this special night, too.”
Those seeking more information on the “Sprint Car 101” Third Thursday Series programs can visit www.sprintcarhof.com. The Thursday, April 21, “Salute to Gil Sonner” will be a prelude to Knoxville Raceway’s annual free Practice Night on Friday, April 22, and the non-profit museum’s International Reel Wheel Film Festival, which celebrates the automobile and auto racing in film, on Saturday, April 23.