Column By: DERICK KRINER / RPW – GRANTVILLE, PA – What appeared to be a volatile year for the sprint car racing community turned into a year of little change.
The World of Outlaws and High Limit Sprint Car Series were set to face off and teams were questioning a return to the Greatest Show on Dirt.
When the dust settled at DIRTCar Nationals in February, not much change occurred.
The season preview of the Outlaws had many questions about what teams would drop off the tour and what things would remain the same for World Racing Group.
Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson’s newly minted series completed it’s first season, but saw Sweet competing full time on the Outlaw tour and enjoying more of a director role with the High Limit Series. The drive for the fifth championship for the KKR 49 appears to be in reach and in a year where it seemed questionable that he would even compete, Brad showed that he can manage the series in some capacity and race full time.
The other big question that was discussed about Sweet, was how he would be challenged throughout the season. Wins coming at the right time and consistent performances at trouble spots, kept Sweet above challengers like David Gravel and Carson Macedo throughout most of the season.
While it isn’t out of the question that troubles could befall the California driver throughout the remaining races, it just hasn’t occurred like it has for others in the championship fight. A fifth title would all but seem like a lock for Brad and team.
A second point that I think we will see have more traction in 2024, rests on the fate of the All Star Circuit of Champions. With potential merger rumors flying, both in the direction of High Limit and World Racing Group, seeing the “True Outlaw” schedule become more appealing is a real possibility.
What this year lacked was one particular driver taking a lot of big money.
Rico Abreu was the closest thing to what Brent Marks accomplished in 2022 by running the “True Outlaw” schedule. If the Outlaws were to acquire a more regional series, what would that look like and would teams try to run 50-60 shows, or go full time and run 70-80?
If High Limit acquires the series, how do the purses pay out comparatively to that of the Outlaws, and does the schedule make more sense for some teams?
What happens if it doesn’t get sold? How does High Limit become a competitor, and does it pose more of a threat than the Outlaws?
Streaming could take a turn depending on who the buyer is. A strong hold on both premier series of 410 sprint cars, or the continued split between Flo and DIRTVision?
New beginnings in 2024 could happen for several teams. With the anticipation of teams that competed with the All Stars, eventually being World of Outlaws team and other Outlaw teams potentially shifting or dissolving, what does the Class of 2024 look like for the Outlaws?
Is there really change on the horizon, or do things remain the same?