CALISTOGA, Calif. — official series release — NASCAR photo —
The world’s most beautiful dirt track is set to come alive for the first time in 2016 when the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series make its only appearance of the season at Calistoga Speedway’s famed half-mile this weekend.
Over the last couple years the Calistoga Speedway has seen a total transformation, thanks to the hard work of some dedicated individuals. In addition to the various facility upgrades that include a booming new sound system, and fencing & scoreboards, lots of work went into the racing surface, which is now wider with smoother transitions into the corners.
The Wine Country Outlaw Showdown is also the final Northern stop during the early California swing for the World of Outlaws and marks their first time back on a half-mile since Las Vegas in early March. The historic track is always a must visit for long-time Northern California fans and this weekend will be another must see showcase, with the “Greatest Show on Dirt” and two special entrants set to tackle the Napa County Fairgrounds venue.
Along with points leader Brad Sweet, seven-time and reigning Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and the other stars of the tour, former King of the West Series champion and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Kyle Larson, as well as his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series protege Rico Abreu, are expected to be on hand during the two-night spectacular.
Abreu will suit up and tackle both nights of competition, while Larson plans to arrive in the Golden State after racing in the Sprint Cup Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, racing solely during the Sunday portion of the weekend.
Larson, a native of Elk Grove, California, is coming off a solid third place finish in Cup action at Martinsville and will compete in Texas on Saturday night prior to coming back to his home state for Sunday’s action. Larson has two career Calistoga Speedway wins, but is still looking for his first winged Sprint Car victory at the track.
Sunday will mark the 23-year-old Larson’s first Sprint Car start in California since winning the Trophy Cup in 2013.
After competing with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last week in Martinsville, Rutherford, California favorite Abreu returns to Calistoga hoping to build on his already-impressive resume at the track.
The 24-year-old ended the Calistoga season last September by winning the Louie Vermeil Classic for the second consecutive year, and overall, Abreu has captured nine career wins at the track across midgets, winged and non-winged sprint cars.
The one thing he is still looking for, however, is a World of Outlaws Craftsmen Sprint Car Series triumph at his home track.
“It would really mean a lot to win a World of Outlaws race at Calistoga Speedway,” Abreu said. “The track has become such a fun place to race at with all the work that has gone on. The racing the last few seasons has been outstanding and I know that everyone is excited about this weekend. We’ve been fortunate enough to win the Louie Vermeil Classic the past two years, but winning an Outlaw feature there has certainly been something that’s on my bucket list. I always have a lot of friends & family there as well, so I hope to put on a good show for them.”
Also sharing the spotlight during the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown will be the new All Star Dirt Modified Tour on Saturday and the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos on Sunday.
CREDIT: World of Outlaws