By Brian Walker
CHICO, CA – September 1, 2022 – The 68th Gold Cup Race of Champions presented by Riebes Napa Auto Parts is only one week away from returning to the famed split-field tradition, and with that comes a new format at Silver Dollar Speedway.
With almost 60 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars expected to compete for glory at the Chico, CA bullring, the field will be split in two with half racing on Thursday, September 8 and half racing on Friday, September 9 before everyone battles each other for the $25,000 top prize on Saturday, September 10.
Notable names on Thursday include NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, World of Outlaws championship contenders Brad Sweet, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Logan Schuchart, teenage sensations Corey Day and Ryan Timms, and local stars Justin Sanders, Mitchell Faccinto, Tanner Carrick, among others.
On Friday, the field includes World of Outlaws stars Donny Schatz, David Gravel, Carson Macedo, and Spencer Bayston, facing off against the likes of California natives Colby Copeland, Ryan Bernal, Dominic Scelzi, Shane Golobic, and many more.
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As far as the format, Points is the name of the game with Qualifying, Heat Races, and Features on your preliminary night setting the stage for Saturday’s slate. As the night goes on, the points progressively grow more important with Qualifying starting at a one-point drop (100, 99, 98, etc.), then Heat Races including a two-point drop (100, 98, 96, etc.), and finally Features offering a three-point drop (200, 197, 194, etc.).
It gets interesting in the preliminary Heat Races with a six-car inversion flipping the field and creating some of the most exciting racing of the week. Only the top-five finishers from Heats will transfer to the preliminary Feature with those missing the cut forced to the Last Chance Showdown. From there, the fastest eight transfers will be inverted again for the Feature lineup with transfers starting heads up by points behind them.
The top-two point getters from Thursday, along with the top-two point getters from Friday, will lock-in for Saturday’s DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and bypass Heat Races, where the next 40 in points will have to duel for a coveted transfer position.
Another four spots in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash are available for Heat Race winners with finishers 2nd-4th earning a Feature spot, and those finishing 5th-12th dividing into the LCS, C-Main, and D-Main.
Remember, all three nights of the 68th Gold Cup Race of Champions presented by Riebes Napa Auto Parts award appearance points only for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
A detailed breakdown of next week’s format and preliminary rosters can be found below:
SPLIT PRELIM FORMAT (Thursday-Friday)
All cars qualify for one flight together (1 car at a time, 2 laps each)
QUALIFYING POINTS (1 point drop) – 100, 99, 98, 97, 96, etc.
4 Heat Races are lined up with a six-car inversion (QT starts 6th in Heat 1, etc.)
Top 5 finishers from each Heat Race transfer straight to Feature
HEAT RACE POINTS (2 point drop) – 100, 98, 96, 94, 92, etc.
Last Chance Showdown is lined up by points with front row reserved for fastest 2 non-transfers
Top 4 finishers transfer from LCS into the Feature
Feature lineup includes fastest 8 Heat transfers inverted in front four rows (fastest starts 8th, etc.)
Then 9th-20th are lined straight up by points for Heat transfers with 21st-24th for LCS transfers
FEATURE POINTS (3 point drop) – 200, 197, 194, 191, 188, etc.
LCS NON-TRANSFERS (3 point drop) – 128, 125, 122, 119, 116, etc.
FINALE FORMAT (Saturday)
Top 2 point-getters from EACH preliminary night lock-in for Saturday’s DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash
Next 40 in points are lined straight up into 4 Heat Races by preliminary points
45th+ in points line up in Non-Qualifier(s) races with top 8 (if one) and top 4 (if two) tagging Heats
Top 4 in Heat Races transfer to Feature with the winner advancing to DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash
5th-6th-7th to LCS, 8th-9th-10th to C-Main, 11th-12th-Non-Qualifiers to D-Main
Top 2 transfer from D-Main and tag tail of the C-Main
Top 4 transfer from C-Main and tag tail of the Last Chance Showdown
The top 2 highest point totals that failed to transfer from Heats start front row of the LCS
Top 4 transfer from LCS and tag tail of the $2,000/Start Feature
Dash is lined up with lock-in drivers drawing for spots 1-4, and heat winners drawing for spots 5-8.
Finish of 8-lap Dash determines lineup for front four rows of $25,000/Win Feature
Behind Dash cars, Heat transfers 2nd-3rd-4th line up in positions 9th-20th ahead of LCS transfers.
* Preliminary night ties will be broken by Qualifying times. Any ties heading into Saturday’s finale will be broken by preliminary Feature finish.
Thursday, September 8 – Preliminary Roster
1S – Logan Schuchart
2K – Kaleb Montgomery
2X – Justin Sanders
3Z – Brock Zearfoss
5T Ryan Timms
5V Landon Brooks
6 Bill Rose
9 Tyler Brown
11 Dylan Bloomfield
12J John Clark
14 Corey Day
17 Sheldon Haudenschild
17M Kalib Henry
18T Tanner Holmes
19 Colby Thornhill
20 Noah Gass
21 Mitchell Faccinto
21 Shane Hopkins
29 Willie Croft
33T Jimmy Trulli
49 Brad Sweet
54S Drake Standley
56 Dawson Hammes
57 Kyle Larson
75 Brian Boswell
77 Ryan Lippincott
83 James McFadden
83JR Kerry Madsen
83T Tanner Carrick
83V Sean Becker
98 Michael Pombo
Friday, September 9 – Preliminary Roster
01 Andy Gregg
1A Jacob Allen
2 David Gravel
2S Jayce Steinburg
2XM Max Mittry
3F William Fielding
5 Spencer Bayston
5B Colby Copeland
7 Tyler Thompson
7S Robbie Price
7X Eddy Lewis
8JR Brian McGahan Jr.
11K Kraig Kiner
15 Donny Schatz
15X Nick Parker
21M Michael Ing
22 Ryan Bernal
24 Chase Johnson
25S Seth Standley
38B Blake Carrick
41 Carson Macedo
41sS Dominic Scelzi
42X Tim Kaeding
45 Jake Morgan
46JR Joel Myers Jr.
53 Jesse Attard
57W Shane Golobic
69 Bud Kaeding
88 Austin McCarl
88N DJ Netto
92 Andy Forsberg