Column By: BRIAN WALKER / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – GRAND FORKS, ND – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will make its final Upper Midwest venture at the end of August to duel at two iconic North Dakota tracks.
The Greatest Show on Dirt returns to River Cities Speedway – a track Hall of Fame announcer Johnny Gibson considers one of his favorites – on Friday, Aug. 26, before making the short trip south to Red River Valley Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Both venues have produced wheel-to-wheel, edge-of-your-seat, racing in the Series’ last few visits and with being a part of the road to the World of Outlaws World Finals championship finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Nov. 2-5, championship contenders will be dueling for every point they can gather.
2ND LEG OF THE NORTHERN TOUR – Friday, Aug. 26
Track: River Cities Speedway
Location: Grand Forks, ND
To Win: $10,000
Track Record: 9.269 sec. set by Jason Meyers on August 21, 2009
Latest Winner: Carson Macedo
Notables: The last time the World of Outlaws visited the 1/4-mile track, Carson Macedo bested three-time and defending Series champion Brad Sweet to claim his first River Cities victory.
Sweet had claimed his first River Cities win the year prior, stealing the win on the last lap from Sheldon Haudenschild.
The track hosted one of the most memorable moments in Series history in 2020 when Kyle Larson and Logan Schuchart waged war for the win. Their battle led to Larson getting turned into the Turn 4 grass, coming back out on the track, and using every inch of the bullring to hunt down Schuchart and pass him for the win.
Whether in a Sprint Car or a Late Model, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz has been the most dominate driver at River Cities Speedway. He has 23 victories overall in sanctioned events at the speedway, including three Series wins in a row between 2017 and 2018. His last World of Outlaws win at the track came in 2019.
DUEL IN THE DAKOTAS – Saturday, Aug. 27
Track: Red River Valley Speedway
Location: West Fargo, ND
To Win: $10,000
Track Record: 11.460 sec. set by Kasey Kahne on August 21, 2021
Latest Winner: Donny Schatz
Notables: Located in his hometown of Fargo, ND, Red River Valley Speedway is another Donny Schatz dominated track. He has nine sanctioned victories at the 3/8-mile track, including six with the World of Outlaws. His most recent win was last season, beating championship contender David Gravel.
Other than Schatz no other current Series regular has won at Red River Valley. Sheldon Haudenschild may be a prime contender set to end that streak. He’s yet to finished outside the top 10 in his five starts at the track and he’s finished in the top five his last two stops there. He’s also having a career year, putting himself in contention for the championship and by claiming eight wins before the halfway point of the season.
The North Dakota tracks will also bring out several local stars, who regularly compete in the Norther Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA), such as Mark Dobmeier, Jade Hastings, Brendan Mullen, Wade Nygaard and more.