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Electric Vehicle Class Debuts at Penwell Knights Raceway

Tuesday, 04 April 2023

ODESSA, Texas — Penwell Knights Raceway has begun competition with a new Electric Vehicle bracket class for the 2023 season.

Saturday will be the second of seven races scheduled this season for the EVs. The car raced must be a true Electric Vehicle with no hybrids allowed.

“People seem excited about this announcement,” Penwell Knights track operator Gary Gardenhire said. “We’ve been including the Electric Vehicles in index racing and we’re hoping to get those guys on board with the bracket program.”

The popularity of Electric Vehicles in West Texas has grown substantially. Gardenhire is seeing more and more of the vehicles around town. The class is part of the track’s bracket program with races for the Box, No Box, Sportsman, Motorcycle, Teen and Jr. Dragster classes also on tap for Saturday. Friday night action includes a test-and-tune and a gamblers’ race.

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Winners from Penwell Knights first bracket race were: Tom Hollifield (Box), William Simpkins (No Box), Austin Beal (Sportsman), Jerry Stevenson (Motorcycle), Mallorie Stevens (Teen Challenge), Rayce Wright (Jr. Dragster) and JJ Gossett (Electric Vehicle). 

Gardenhire was pleased to see good competition throughout the day.

“Our first race, it was the best race we’ve had for the bracket program in the last four years,” Gardenhire said. “Since COVID, our program had struggled some. We stepped up some advertising and it was definitely the best program we’ve had since COVID.” 

With the warmer weather in Texas, testing started at the track in February. But, it’s now when the action is really heating up with bracket racing and index racing. One of their biggest events of the year, Funny Car Chaos, is coming up in a month May 5-6 on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Click here to check out the Penwell Knights Raceway Facebook page for the most up to date information.