Kenny Gritz started his racing career in late 1964 driving a friendís car a few times at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln. By 1967, Gritz had won his first feature at that same track and also finished second in the Nebraska Modified Racing Association points standings that same year. In 1969, Gritz won the biggest supermodified race in America when he upset the favorites to win the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals. Unfortunately, Gritz was able to enjoy his biggest win for a very short time. Just 16 days after winning the Knoxville Nationals, Gritz was killed in a sprint car crash at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Lincoln on September 1, 1969. He was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.