From Gary Thomas
Calistoga, CA – August 30, 2018…When it comes to history, prestige and beauty few tracks on the West Coast offer more than Calistoga Speedway. With that in mind on Friday and Saturday September 14th and 15th the famed venue will play host to the “Greatest Show on Dirt” the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series for the only time this year.
“We’re really excited for the upcoming Wine Country Outlaw Showdown weekend,” said Chris Morgan of Motorsports Ventures. “The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has a long history at the Calistoga Speedway and with the September date once again that should make for a can’t miss event. The top Winged Sprint Car drivers in the country competing at the world’s most beautiful dirt track will certainly make for a great weekend. It’s your only chance to catch the Greatest Show on Dirt at Calistoga this year so be sure and make plans to join us.”
Nine-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz leads the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series into the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown. Schatz, who has captured the Calistoga finale during the last two series visits, is coming off a runner up finish in the sports’ crown jewel event, the 58th 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals in mid-August.
The Fargo, North Dakota veteran racer currently sits atop the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings on the strength of 17 wins and 39 top-five finishes aboard the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 machine. If he can bring home the title at season’s end he would join Steve Kinser as the second driver to amass double digit championships with the series.
California’s own Brad Sweet sits second in the points as of press time and has claimed opening night of the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown during each of the last three Calistoga appearances. The Grass Valley native is fresh off the biggest victory of his career when he edged out Schatz to claim the $150,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals. Sweet has captured five wins overall this season and has been one of the strongest competitors over the last two months at the helm of his Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 Sprint Car.
Watertown, Connecticut’s David Gravel; Owasso, Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman and Bixby, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart round out the top-five in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series heading into the west coast swing.
Gravel has driven the CJB Motorsports No. 5 to five total victories so far this season, while Pittman has come on as of late and is up to six victories on the year. The driver of the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 machine captured the 2014 Wine Country Showdown. Pittman also picked up the 2002 Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway, which paid $20,000-to-win at the time.
Completing the top-10 in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings as of press are Logan Schuchart, Sheldon Haudenschild, Ian Madsen, Brent Marks and Jacob Allen. Allen has been one of more impressive drivers as of late and is closing in on his first career series win.
Over the last six-years Calistoga Speedway has seen a total transformation, with immense work going on at one of California’s most famous dirt ovals. In addition to the various facility upgrades that include a new catch fence all the way around the track, a booming new sound system and new scoreboards, a massive amount of work has gone into the racing surface, which is now wider and features a better degree of banking, with smoother transitions into the corners.
Also competing during the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown weekend will be the IMCA All-Star Modified Tour each night, with the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster also on the card for Saturday’s finale. The Civil War appearance at Calistoga Speedway in June was captured by Roseville’s Colby Copeland, who made a late pass of Willie Croft to score his first career win at the half-mile. Lemoore’s Cole Macedo currently leads the series standings by 90-markers going into their next upcoming event in Chico during the Gold Cup.
The town of Calistoga offers more than simply just racing with world class dining and tourist shops just a short walk downtown. Camping is also available during the weekend and can be reserved at (707) 942-5221.
The main gate for spectators will open at 4pm each day, with will Call, the ticket window and pit gate opening at 2pm both days. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7pm each night. Two-night weekend tickets and single night tickets are available by visiting https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=270
The Calistoga Speedway is located on the scenic Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, California at 1435 North Oak Street and has been in existence since 1937. For more information on the half-mile log onto http://www.calistogaspeedway.org/