Story By: ROBERT SYMONDS/RPW – KNOXVILLE, IA – Ever since the ‘Return To Racing’ agenda had been announced by the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar, a certain buzz or excitement had been flowing through the dirt racing community. Fans from across the nation were prepared to see the racing action live on DirtVision even though they could not see it in person.
First on the schedule was the initial fanless event at the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa; the Return To Racing Invitational. With 48 race teams scheduled for the event and under 700 people allowed on the premises, there was still strict guidelines to be followed including social distancing, wearing masks and using disinfectants when necessary.
As the night went on, the donations started pouring in, then it became just overwhelming. Johnny Gibson, the World of Outlaws Official Announcer, had to reassure fans that they were getting to messages and donations as quickly as they could. During the feature, exactly during the only red flag, Gibson announced that a friend to the World of Outlaws, who wished to remain anonymous, donated $5000 to the winner’s share. This donation made the payday for the winner to be $15,000.
David Gravel would take advantage of Ian Madsen’s mistakes on the cushion to win the Invitational and claim the $15,000 check. In victory lane, he thanked the community on DirtVision. After all post race interviews were completed, Johnny Gibson announced that donations by fans totaled $13,700 in their current count but they were still counting the donations as DirtVision went off-air.
These donations by race fans just shows how big the dirt racing community is even during the pandemic, shows how much the community wants to continue to see racing, and the love they have for the sport. Race fans the community is strong and nothing (even a pandemic) can shake that!