Column By: BRIAN WALKER / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CHICO, CA – When the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to California in September, it’ll be greeted by two weeks of big events.
The Greatest Show on Dirt kicks off the week with the 68th Running of the Gold Cup Race of Champions pres. by RIEBES NAPA, which is now a three-day (Sept. 8-10) event, for the Series, paying $25,000 to win on its final night. Then, the next week will kick off with the Tom Tarlton Classic at Keller Auto Speedway (Sept. 16) before the Series returns to Placerville Speedway for the Bonney Plumbing 49er Gold Rush Classic (Sept. 17).
It’ll be a key stretch for all drivers, launching them into the final 11 races of the year, including the championship-determining World of Outlaws World Finals, Nov. 2-5.
GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS – Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 8-10
Track: Silver Dollar Speedway
Location: Chico, CA
2021 Winner: Logan Schuchart
With SLC Promotions – a team consisting of defending World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet, NASCAR champion Kyle Larson and regional-racer Colby Copeland – taking over the promotions at Silver Dollar Speedway, Gold Cup has been returned to its roots as a crown jewel event by expanding to four days – three days with the World of Outlaws – and paying $25,000 on the final night.
There have been five different winners in the last five Series races at Silver Dollar Speedway and four different Gold Cup winners in the last four events. Pennsylvania’s Logan Schuchart is the most recent winner, holding off the Kasey Kahne Racing duo at the time of James McFadden and Sweet.
Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA, has yet to win the Gold Cup but will be more poised than ever this year to change that. Along with promoting the event, he’s already conquered two wins that have alluded him this year – a win at Williams Grove Speedway and an Ironman 55 victory.
TOM TARLTON CLASSIC – Friday, Sept. 16
Track: Keller Auto Speedway
Location: Hanford, CA
2021 Winner: Carson Macedo
The Tom Tarlton Classic became a World of Outlaws race for the first-time last year, paying $21,000 to the winner, and gave fans an epic show at Keller Auto Speedway. Carson Macedo, of Lemoore, CA – who has a long history with the Tarlton family – won the event, besting fellow California-native Brad Sweet.
Macedo also became the 12th different winner in the last 12 Series races at Keller Auto Speedway. The others include David Gravel (’19), Logan Schuchart (’17), Shane Stewart (’15), Cody Darrah (’14), Donny Schatz (’13), Tim Kaeding (’03), Danny Lasoski (’02), Andy Hillenburg (’01), Stevie Smith (’01), Johnny Herrera (’00) and Joey Saldana (’00).
49ER GOLD RUSH CLASSIC – Saturday, Sept. 17
Track: Placerville Speedway
Location: Placerville, CA
Latest Winner: Shane Golobic (2019)
The World of Outlaws will make its grand return to Placerville Speedway, for the first time since 2019, on Saturday, Sept. 17. The iconic quarter-mile track last saw local hero Shane Golobic, of Fremont, CA, besting Carson Macedo in the closing laps for an upset victory.
Seven California drivers made up the top 10 in that race, including Golobic, Macedo, Justin Sanders, Tim Kaeding, Brad Sweet, Kyle Larson and Rico Abreu.
Since the World of Outlaws returned to Placerville in 2015, there has yet to be a repeat winner. The list includes Golobic (’19), Sweet (’18), David Gravel (’17), Jason Johnson (’16) and Donny Schatz (’15).