By Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA – AUGUST 24, 2011…The 58th running of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico starts on September 7th and runs through September 10th. In years past the Gold Cup event has been billed as the fastest four days on dirt. However, now we can add into the Gold Cup appeal as the four most diverse consecutive nights of open-wheel dirt track racing in all of America. For the first time in Gold Cup history the format will consist of 360 winged sprint cars along with wingless spec sprints, USAC non-wing sprint cars and midgets, Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets and concluding with the World of Outlaw 410 winged sprint cars. It will be an action packed four nights of assorted open-wheel racing.
The week long festivities will kick off September 7th with the Civil War Invitational and Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Spec Sprint Series. The top 32 in Civil War 360 sprint car points will get their chance to showcase their driving talents in front of an eager crowd ready for opening night fireworks. Joining these drivers the last few years has been the popular non-wing spec sprints.
The oldest motor sports organization, United States Auto Club (USAC), will headline the Thursday nights portion of the Gold Cup. The brightest stars in non-wing sprint car racing converge at Silver Dollar Speedway along with the biggest names in open-wheel midget racing. The USAC Western Classic Sprints pay tribute to the Tiner family and will feature local drivers like Andy Forsberg, Geoff Ensign, Steven Tiner, Kyle Hirst and Kyle Larson shedding their wings and racing against many of the Southern California stars like Mike Spencer, Matt Mitchell and Corey Kruseman. National USAC star and Midget Chili Bowl Champion Damion Gardner is scheduled to report. B.C.R.A. midgets will combine with the USAC Western States Midgets to guarantee a large car count full of all-star racers.
On Friday night, September 9 and 10th, the Greatest Show on Dirt returns to the hallowed grounds of the quarter-mile clay oval in Chico. The World of Outlaw (WOO) Sprint Cars invade Silver Dollar Speedway and their drivers look to take the lion’s share of money on the line for the two nights of racing. Defending Gold Cup Champion Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA, went on to win the WOO title for 2011. Meyers became the first native Californian in the history of the WOO to win the title. Four-time WOO champion Donny Schatz from Fargo, ND just won the Knoxville Nationals and seems to be coming into Chico on a roll. Schatz was the 2004 Gold Cup Champions. The winningest driver in the history of the WOO is also picking up momentum coming into the Gold Cup. Bloomington, IN driver Steve Kinser just swept a weekend of WOO racing in North and South Dakota. Kinser has won 12 Gold Cup Championships which is number one on the all-time list. Top local competitors trying to take the Gold away from the WOO include San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Oroville’s Sean Becker.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be bought by calling the track office at (530) 350-7275. For more information please visit www.goldcup.silverdollarspeedway.com/
Camping spots are also available by contacting the track office.
Non-racing Gold Cup activities include the Clyde Lamar Sprint Car Hall of Fame Golf Tourney on Friday, September 9. Thursday night madness will feature a post race party inside the pavilion at the fairgrounds. There will be music, movies, a car show to go along with discounted drinks and food. On Friday afternoon, Vintage Hot Rod Design and Fabrication will play host to a free barbeque for our race fans from 10am until 3pm. Friday night, the annual Joe Hunt Chili Feed and Miss Gold Cup Bikini Contest will take place inside the pavilion. The Danielsen Company, INC and JP’s Paint and Body Works will host the Gold Cup Fan Appreciation Barbeque on Saturday afternoon by the pit entrance on the fairgrounds.