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Penwell Knights, IHRA Team Up for Multi-Year Extension

Thursday, 26 October 2023

ODESSA, Texas — Penwell Knights Raceway at Caprock Motorplex, called the Permian Basin’s premier drag racing facility, has teamed up with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), the premier promoter of grassroots, Sportsman drag racing, for a multi-year extension of their sanctioning agreement.

The West Texas track, established in 1966 and located 15 miles from downtown Odessa, has long been an IHRA-member track. Track operator Gary Gardenhire and his staff work a busy schedule of events, which started in February with a test-and-tune. 

Their first major race was the Bounty Hunters No Prep in early March with the IHRA Summit SuperSeries bracket racing at the end of that month. They also host such events as Funny Car Chaos and the Skinny Kid Heads Up Series. The schedule even reaches into December with a No Prep Shootout and a toy drive the following week.


Penwell Knights Raceway has seen the benefits of participating in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program, the most prestigious championship in bracket racing which featured over $275,000 in payouts and prizes in 2023.

Representatives from Penwell Knights who qualified for the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals were: Mikel McQueen (Top), Sambo Tyra (Modified), Austin Beal (Sportsman), Jeramy Tally (Motorcycle) and Cayden Keyes (Junior Dragster). Keyes made it all the way to the championship round at the 2022 World Finals and Tally reached the quarterfinals at this season’s World Finals.

Weeks earlier, the staff at Penwell Knights made their track champions feel extra special by presenting each with an IHRA Ironman trophy, an IHRA Gold Card and an Acme Racing Championship Belt.

Sambo Tyra

Track champions in two other classes — Mallorie Stevens in Teen Challenge and JJ Gossett Scherr who went undefeated in Electric Vehicle — also won IHRA Gold Cards and Acme Racing Championship Belts.

It’s all part of going the extra mile which they done consistently under the leadership of Gardenhire. They’ve done multiple upgrades to maintain a state-of-the-art facility and have even overcome two major fires to the tower since 2016. Gardenhire emphasizes keeping a good staff of experienced employees on hand for everything to run as smooth as possible.

This weekend is another major race with the OctoberFAST bracket race which features a Gamblers race on Friday night and $2,500-to-win races for the Box and No Box classes on Saturday. Click here to check out the Facebook page for Penwell Knights Raceway for information on this and other events.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 October 2023

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