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What Are The Biggest Sprint Car Races?

What Are The Biggest Sprint Car Races?

A list of the biggest Sprint Car races held at dirt tracks throughout the world.

Aug 18, 2023 by Brandon Paul
Epic Highlight: Eldora Million

Sprint Car racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the world.  Whether it’s in areas of the United States like Pennsylvania and California or the land down under in Australia, race fans love their Sprint Car racing.

The biggest Sprint Car races in the world feature 410 and 360 Winged and Non-Winged Sprints, from Iowa, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to Australia.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest Sprint Car races on the planet.

What Are The Best Sprint Car Series?

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Knoxville Nationals – Knoxville Raceway

The Knoxville Nationals is widely regarded as the biggest Sprint Car race on the planet and 'The Granddaddy Of 'Em All,' with over 100 cars making the trip to Knoxville, IA each year chasing after the $185,000 top prize.  The event started in 1961 as a Supermodified race, with Roy Robbins taking the win.

Steve Kinser is the winningest driver in Knoxville Nationals history, with 12 wins.  Kyle Larson is the defending race winner (2023).

VIDEO: Knoxville Nationals: The Grandaddy Of 'Em All

Kings Royal – Eldora Speedway

The Kings Royal is Eldora Speedway’s Sprint Car crown jewel, bringing Sprint Car racing’s best to the Ohio half-mile for three days of racing sanctioned by the World of Outlaws with a six-figure payday on the line.  The event was first contested in 1984, with Steve Kinser taking the win.

With his seven wins, Kinser is also the winningest driver in Kings Royal history.  Ten-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz is the defending race winner (2023).

2023 Kings Royal Results From Eldora Speedway

Tuscarora 50 – Port Royal Speedway

The PA Posse and Port Royal Speedway lays claim to the Tuscarora 50, a race sanctioned by Tony Stewart's Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions.  The event goes all the way back to 1968, when Mitch Smith won the first three editions of the race.  The race is historically scheduled for the weekend after Labor Day to coincide with the Juniata County Fair.

National Sprint Car Hall of Famer and the Posse’s own Lance Dewease has the most wins with seven.  Anthony Macri is the most recent winner (2022).


VIDEO: Why Is The Tuscarora 50 A Crown Jewel Of Sprint Car Racing?

Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown – Kokomo Speedway

One of the newest of the marquee Sprint Car races, the Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown started in 2012 for the USAC National Sprints and has quickly become a highlight for Non-Winged Sprint Cars.  The event, which features a $30,000 top prize in 2023, has remained a three-day format with a 40-lap finale on Saturday night. The race is typically held the last full weekend of August.  Bryan Clauson was the inaugural Saturday night winner in 2012.

Dave Darland and Tyler Courtney both have three Saturday night wins each, most out of anybody.  Kyle Cummins is the most recent winner (2022).

Highlights: 2022 USAC Sprint Car Smackdown Finale At Kokomo Speedway

Knoxville 360 Nationals – Knoxville Raceway

With the success of the Knoxville 410 Nationals, Knoxville started the 360 Nationals in 1991, and the American Sprint Car Series joined in on the sanctioning soon after.  David Hesmer picked up the inaugural win over Gary Lee Maier, who would win the next two races.

Shane Stewart and Terry McCarl share the title of winningest driver, with five each.  Brian Brown is the most recent winner (2023).

4-Crown Nationals – Eldora Speedway

The 4-Crown Nationals is not a single race, but rather a huge night of racing with all three of USAC’s national divisions and a fourth division, which is now held by the All Star Circuit of Champions but has also featured Stock Cars, Late Models, Modifieds.  The 4-Crown was started in 1981, with Steve Kinser (Non-Winged Sprints and Silver Crown), Ken Schrader (Midgets), Ken Schrader (Midgets) and Joe Wallace (Stock Cars) picking up wins.

Two drivers have swept the 4-Crown Nationals during the same year.  Jack Hewitt won all three USAC races and the Modified feature in 1998, while Kyle Larson swept the USAC races in 2011.  Chris Windom (Midgets), Logan Seavey (Silver Crown), Justin Grant (Sprints), and Tyler Courtney (ASCoC) were 4-Crown winners in 2022.

VIDEO: Snow White. Cinderella. Jack Hewitt: The Fairytale 1998 Eldora 4-Crown

National Open – Williams Grove Speedway

The National Open is the ultimate battle between the PA Posse and the World of Outlaws for $75,000.  The History of the National Open goes back to 1963, when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Gordon Johncock took the win.  The race has been sanctioned by the World of Outlaws every year since 1989 except for two, when it was unsanctioned in 1998 and again in 2008 due to rain pushing the race back.

Donny Schatz has six wins in the National Open, more than anyone else.  Lance Dewease is the most recent winner (2022).

Dirt Cup - Skagit Speedway

Held at Skagit Speedway in the state of Washington, the Dirt Cup is the crown jewel 410 Sprint Car race held each year on the west coast. The 51st running of the event held in 2023 paid $62,000 plus $20,000 in lap money to race winner Justin Sanders. 

RELATED: Justin Sanders Scores Maximum Dirt Cup Payday at Skagit Speedway

Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway (Australia)

Australia is home to a bustling Sprint Car scene, and the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic is the biggest race of them all down under.  The race started in 1973 with Zeke Agars taking the win and has seen Aussie and American drivers trade wins over the years.  However, the Australian contingent has dominated in recent years, having won the event every year since 2016.

The title of winningest driver is shared by Australia’s Garry Rush and Ohio’s Danny Smith, with five each.  Brock Hallett is the most recent winner, passing Sheldon Haudenschild in the final corner to win in 2023.

Huset’s High Bank Nationals – Huset’s Speedway

The Huset’s High Bank Nationals is another new event to the Sprint Car world, but the payout is rivaled by only the crown jewels.  The 2023 edition of the race featured a $750,000 purse and $250,000 going to the winner, the highest-paying Sprint Car race in history at the time.  The event started in 2022 with Sheldon Haudenschild taking the win after passing James McFadden on the final lap.

David Gravel won the 2023 Huset’s High Bank Nationals over Rico Abreu and Kyle Larson.

Eldora Million – Eldora Speedway

The Eldora Million returned in 2022 as a Dirt Late Model race and was contested as a Sprint Car event in 2023, becoming the first-ever $1,000,000 to win Sprint Car race.  Eldora put on the first $100,000 to win Sprint Car race with the Historical Big One in 1993; and the first Sprint Car race with a $1 million total purse with the Mopar Million in 2003 for Non-Winged Sprint Cars, so it was only fitting for Eldora to put on the first $1 million to win Sprint Car race 20 years later.

Logan Schuchart beat Carson Macedo and Brad Sweet to win the Eldora Million in June 2023.

RELATED: Why Tony Stewart Promoted The Eldora Million