Well, we have quite a situation. Multiple drivers with good resumes (4 UMP Summernationals Championships, 3 UMP National Championships, 3 Northern Allstars Late Model Series Championships, and 2 East Bay Winternationals Points Championships just to name a few ). being denied admittance to this event because of a preexisting cap on entries. However, earlier this year at IMIS, it was told that there was NO CAP. It is understandable why these drivers might not send in blanks then figuring there isn't one. There are also drivers pre-entered that will not show. One driver even tried to give his spot to one of the drivers being left out, but was told they can't do that. The explanation I received from Knoxville Raceway was this:
" Hi Patrick, There has been a 66 car cap on this event since it started in 2002. This number allows all the drivers to compete every night in a full show and for a chance to win more money. If we allowed more entries in, then we would have to split up the qualifying into two nights with each driver only competing one of those nights. Ultimately this is better for the drivers who get their entries in on time. I hope this helps answer your question."
I do understand their explanation, but I also feel with this set of circumstances, it is time to evaluate where the event stands now, and look at growing the event and possibly going to more nights like the Sprint Car Nationals does. For those who have been turned away, LET THEM RACE. It's pretty shitty that when a driver who can't come offers his spot to someone who can and they won't let that happen. That just makes absolutely no sense to me. It doesn't make sense from a PR and economic point of view. There have been other issues, like sight lines for fans and officials. This is where a promoter has to stand tall and be firm, and put the haulers OUTSIDE the infield and put all the necessary parts and so forth, in the infield. This was attempted but the drivers drug their feet on it. With a new person taking the reigns next year, they can possibly do this and kind of start anew in some senses. It is a shame that a controversy like this has came about at an event that has quickly become one of the most prestigious in all of Dirt Late Model Racing. I truly hope this is a one time event and that Knoxville Raceway can remedy this issue in the future and the event becomes even bigger in the years to come.