By Gary Thomas
Calistoga, CA - February 25th - When it comes to history & prestige, few tracks on the West Coast offer more than Calistoga Speedway and on April 9 & 10 the famed venue will kick-off another season of action with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series taking to the half-mile.
“We’re really excited for the upcoming Wine Country Outlaw Showdown,” said Chris Morgan of Motorsports Ventures. “The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has had a long history at the Calistoga Speedway and this coming April will be another great installment. The best 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.”
The 2016 season marks the third consecutive year that the Calistoga Speedway plays host to a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series double header. Last season saw Grass Valley, CA’s Brad Sweet & Fargo, ND’s Donny Schatz score victories during the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown.
For Sweet it was the second consecutive year that he tasted glory at the historic track on opening night.
Schatz ended up having the most successful season of his career in the Golden State last year, also winning at Stockton & Placerville, along with sweeping the Mini Gold Cup & Gold Cup Race of Champions in Chico. He eventually went on to claim his seventh World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series title, scoring a career high 31 overall wins.
After winning the Chili Bowl for the second straight year & announcing his plans to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Rutherford favorite Rico Abreu returns to Calistoga Speedway on April 9 & 10 looking to add a World of Outlaws win at his home track. The now 24-year-old ended the Calistoga season last September by winning the Louie Vermeil Classic for the second consecutive year. Abreu has captured nine career wins at the track across
Winged & Wingless Sprints, along with Midgets.
“It would really mean a lot to win a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series race at my home track,” Abreu said. “Calistoga Speedway has become such a fun place to race at with all the work that has gone on. The racing the last few years has been outstanding and we can’t wait to get there in April. We’ve been fortunate enough to win the Louie Vermeil Classic the past two years and winning an Outlaw feature there has certainly been something that’s been 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 Modified Tour on April 9 & the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos on April 10. The All Star tour will bring the top Dirt Modified drivers in the state to the half-mile for the first time since 2012. The Hunt Series made an exciting Calistoga Speedway debut last season with Colton Slack & Terry Shank Jr. tallying victories in the two appearances. The outing alongside the World of Outlaws last year saw Slack claim a thriller after battling with local favorite’s Joe Stornetta & Shank.
Over the last couple 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 & new scoreboards, lots of work went into the racing surface, which is now wider and features a better degree of banking, with smoother transitions into the corners.
“The amount of work that has gone into Calistoga Speedway has been simply amazing,” commented Morgan. “All the support that the track has received is pretty special and with the effort they’ve put into this place it has launched it right back up there with the best dirt track facilities we have on the west coast.
If you haven’t had the chance to visit Calistoga since all the work, we truly encourage you to come and check it out. Last year’s World of Outlaws weekend was great, so you definitely don’t want to miss it this season.”
Please note that racing during the Sunday night program is scheduled to begin an hour earlier than Saturday. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at
7pm on Saturday, while Sunday will see opening ceremonies at 6pm to help get everyone on the road at a decent hour.