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Kendall seeking fan help for road to Knoxville | Spotlight

All proceeds benefit the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

Nearly a month away from one of the biggest paying sprint car races in the country. But, before the cars hit the dirt at the 60th Annual Knoxville Nationals drivers look for the community's support to race at the sprint car capital of the world.

Last year was the first time Central Pennsylvania driver Robbie Kendall kicked up the dirt in Knoxville, Iowa. It wasn’t the out come he hoped for and not the same experience, not having a single fan in the stands with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the "Candy Man" has Knoxville as his sweet tooth.

“When I was there last year, it was dead quiet,' said Kendall. 'So, I didn’t get to witness the whole atmosphere they’ve had there before. We wanted to go race at Knoxville and the small budget team that we have. It’s a family operated team, just lugging a way to go out and compete against the best and that’s the only place to go do it.”

As Kendall mentioned, being a lower budget team, they’re trying to win a sponsorship to take the 15-hour trip west to the sprint car capital so they can have a chance to race for a top purse of $150,000. They are raising money for the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Every membership or donation mentioning Kendall goes towards his fund total.

 A fall of famer himself, Lance Dewease won the inaugural Priority Aviation Knoxville Nationals sponsorship in 2019, which the program helped raise over $60,000 for the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, onsite, at the Knoxville Raceway.

“They wanted to raise more money and give back and whatever driver can raise the most, they give them $20,000 to come race or a sponsorship to help them come race. Even second pays $10,000 and third pays $5,000. Even if we could get $5,000 to come out, that’s a huge help for us to come out and race.”

To keep having a place to story history and continue to have classes inducted, like the 2020 Hall of Fame class that was just recently inducted, including three from Pennsylvania: Greg Hodnett, Walt Dyer and Tim Shaffer, something Kendall hopes to also check out when he's in Knoxville.

Kendall currently leads in the standing with Dewease in fourth. The race to the sponsorship is until July 31st at 6 p.m.

“I feel like I have the car and the motors that can go out and compete with them guys if we get our car right.”

Not only helping a local driver but helping to preserve sprint car history.

Learn more about the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame here.

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