Though the 50th annual Sprint Car Nationals officially get their start Wednesday night in Knoxville, the racing atmosphere is already well underway in the Marion county seat, and the same is true across the Des Moines River in Pella. Pella Mayor Darrell Dobernecker says the Nationals is a great event for both communities, as well as the surrounding area, in terms of race fans boosting the local economies.
“We talk to the merchants, and they all appreciate all of the people that come in and visit with them – our restaurants are busy,” says Dobernecker, “it’s just a tremendous thing for not only Knoxville, but Pella, [and] all of Marion County, if you will.”
Dobernecker and Knoxville mayor Don Zoutte have a long-running relationship, and he says that relationship has helped to further tie the two communities together.
“Don [Zoutte] and I go back a long ways, [and] we’ve had a lot of fun together over the years,” adds Dobernecker. “I think we’ve developed some real good relationships between Pella and Knoxville, and quite frankly, we know what’s good for Knoxville is good for Pella and vice versa, and we hope that relationship just continues to get better.”
The first official racing action of the 50th Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals presented by Lucas Oil gets started tonight, but Pella has seen a steady presence from sprint car fans since the 360 Nationals began last week.