SOMERTON, Ariz. — official release — Frank Smith photo — Craig Dollansky, Brian Brown and Rico Abreu have joined the list of drivers committed to competing at the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown.
The trio of drivers will race at Cocopah Speedway during the Jan. 2-3, Jan. 6 and Jan. 9-10 events for winged 410 sprint cars.
“I think it’s great,” Dollansky said. “It’s in a warm part of the country. They are some good paying shows. There will be a lot of good race teams there. Hopefully it has a lot of support from the fans.”
Dollansky has never raced at the three-eighths-mile track, but Brown and Abreu have raced there in 360 sprint cars.
“They have great crowds and not a lot of rain,” Brown said. “The weather stays pretty good year round. It should be a win-win for not only the fans, but the drivers. If you want to race in December and January, the choice is to go overseas and be away from your family. This is a good alternative.”
The payout — $12,000 to win and $1,000 to start each weekend main event and $5,000 to win the midweek race — is also helpful for teams looking to make money during the offseason, Brown added.
“This is something we can continue to build on,” he said. “There’s no travel other than to get there and you’re running for purses equal or better to the World of Outlaws purses. Plus, you can go for a couple of weeks and not be gone for a couple of months.”
Abreu, who swept the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour doubleheader at Cocopah earlier this season, is one of the drivers who will race overseas and during the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown.
“I think it’s one of the smartest ideas a track promoter has done,” he said. “I’m excited to get there. I’m going to run the last three. I’m going to be in New Zealand the two before. (Cocopah Speedway) is such a cool place. It’s wide enough to have good racing. There’s a couple of feet (of grip) on the bottom and you get to pound the top at the fence.”
Tickets are available for sale online by visiting www.CocopahSpeedway.com.