From Positivity August 2003 ...As if emotions were not high enough at Knoxville Raceway for the Nationals, the entire Knoxville family suffered an emotional loss in the death of Keith Hutton, who was killed at Oskaloosa. National Sprint Car Hall of Fame guru Tom Schmeh notes that Hutton was a Queensland, Australia, native and midget racer who moved to Knoxville, Iowa, with his wife Jenny to follow their dreams in open-wheel racing. The always-smiling Hutton finished third in this year's Hoosier Tire Midwest Masters Classic 360-cubic-inch sprint car race at Knoxville, behind winner Jimmy Sills and runner-up Roger Rager. Our friend, Johnny Gibson had the unenviable task of announcing the event, and going on with the show after the loss of a friend. As announcers do, Gibson works closely with the head scorer. At Knoxville Raceway, that person is Jenny Hutton, the wife of Keith. Through that connection Gibson became friends with the Hutton's. Gibson tells us Keith was a great guy that touched many lives. Of course no one feels more pain than the Hutton family but I really feel for the staffers at Knoxville who are welcoming the world to their playground under very unfortunate circumstances. Likewise for our friend, Terry McCarl, who was the promoter at Osky. Now, McCarl who entered the week as one of the top rated drivers in the Nationals must block out the the pain, and race the race. The Hutton accident happened right in front of a spectating Paul McMahan. The WoO veteran immediately left the track and returned to Knoxville. He qualifies tonight.
Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser had a classic duel at Husets Speedway. (Photo by Doug Johnson)
Roger Rager awaits push-off in the #51 at the MOPAR Million. Rager pushed the limits of the machine all weekend! He is a certified HammerDown! Hero. Just off the left front tire stands Earl Baltes, the promoter of the huge event. (Photo by Bob Ream Jr.)
Just to give you a sample of how deep the money was paid in the 2003 MOPAR Million Sprint at Eldora, Bill Woodside who does PR for Maxim Chassis listed this detailed information...
"Jac Haudenschild's $200,000 victory in the Woodward MAXIM and Stevie Smith's runner-up finish ($125,000) aboard the family MAXIM in his first-ever non winged start led the way among money winners at the once in a lifetime event. Dean Jacobs ($23,000); Danny Smith ($15,500); Todd Kane ($14,000); and Bud Kaeding ($10,250) raised the A Main money earned by Team MAXIM to $387,750. Other bread winners at the Million included Team MAXIM's Brent Kaeding ($4,000); Matt Westfall ($3,350); Nick Naber ($2,900); Boston Reid ($2,060); John Scott ($2,040); Rick Ziehl ($2,030) for a B Main total of $16,380. Roger Rager took C Main money totaling $1,030. D Main dividends worth $2,000 were paid to Team MAXIM's Brandon Ferguson ($675); Marvin Pifer ($665) Jimmy Laser ($660); E Main excellence went to Travis Welpott ($625); Kent Wolters ($595); while the F Main paid Steve Buckwalter $485."
By comparison, a standard one-day World of Outlaws payoff is $10,000 to win, and that is the best deal going. A standard All-Star feature pays $5,000 for first place. The Million really was a special treat for sprint car racers. There is no question that Dean Jacobs, Danny Smith, and Todd Kane made more money at the Million than they did at any other race. I'll go out on a limb and say Nick Naber's $2,900 was his best too. Stevie Smith's $125,000 for second is equal to the winner's share at the Knoxville Nationals.
Steve Kinser "Hulks" after winning the Eagle Nationals (Doug Johnson)
Kasey Kahne won the Dirt Cup for the second year in a row. It paid $20,000 to win! (John's Racing Photos)
Tony Stewart gets an assist from Kyle Petty before donating ONE MILLION dollars to charity.
Payoff from 10th Annual Trophy Cup
1. Kent $9400 2. Tim Kaeding $5950 3. Ronnie Day $5300 4. Ricci Faria $4950 5. Dennis Moore, Jr. $3950 6. Murphy $3515 7. Roger Crockett $3250 8. Andy Forsberg $2630 9. Blake Robertson $2430 10. Craig Stidham $2415 11. Bud Kaeding $2390 12. Tim Shaffer $2180 13. Brent Kaeding $ 2065 14. Tommy Tarlton $1985 15. Rick Williams $1710 16. Tim Worth $1570 17. Shawna Wilskey $1500 18. Jimmy Trulli $1295 19. Brian Coelho $1280 20. Terry McCarl $1255 21. Sparky Howard $1245 22. Sweet $1235 23. Hannagan $1100 24. Brad Furr $765.
Seeing Double!! Donny Schatz in the #15 and Danny Wood in the #115 battle for position at the Eagle Raceway on Sat. night. Doug Johnson Photos
Greg Hodnett is one of 2003's biggest success stories. HammerDownUSA.com feels truly honored to have a Mike Arthur photo gracing our page! Greg Hodnett was snapped by the living legend photographer known for his crisp photos and unique sense for capturing speed and personalities. Mike Arthur photos were always the highlight of ASCOT Park's event programs, and his brilliance continues today with work on the Perris Oval Nationals program. Thank you Mike for your great work! People like us who get off on sprint car history owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.