Chico Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions preview

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: 55th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Chico, CA-- September 3, 2008-- The 55th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway is just around the corner for...

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: 55th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions

Chico, CA-- September 3, 2008-- The 55th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway is just around the corner for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, September 4-6. The winner of the storied event will again receive $50,000 this season.

Steve Kinser leads all drivers with 12 wins in the Gold Cup, with the most recent of those triumphs coming in 2005. He picked up his first victory in the event in 1978. The 20-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion has a total of 22 wins during his career at Silver Dollar Speedway and has racked up nearly 50 Top-10 finishes in his career at the high-banked ¼-mile. He has won six times this season to bring his career total to 549 A-Feature triumphs.

Jac Haudenschild is a two-time Gold Cup winner, having taken the checkered flag in 1998 and 1999. The native of Wooster, Ohio has also won the Mini Gold Cup at the track three times in his career and has a total of six wins at the ¼-mile. He finished second last season in the Gold Cup, after turning in a fourth-place performance on his qualifying night. In his career at Silver Dollar Speedway, Haudenschild has 33 Top-Five finishes. He has one victory this season in World of Outlaws competition.

Joey Saldana, the reigning Gold Cup winner led all 40 laps to win the $50,000 top prize last season, after also claiming a victory on the second preliminary night of the event. He has three career wins at the track, and turned some extra laps there earlier this season competing in the Mini Gold Cup. He recently won $25,000 at Skagit Speedway in Washington.

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion won the Gold Cup in 2004, also claiming a preliminary feature win that season. He finished fifth last season in the event and has 15 career Top-10 finishes at Silver Dollar Speedway. He leads the World of Outlaws with 13 A-Feature wins this season, as he chases his third consecutive title, and has finished in the Top-10 in all but one event this season.

Daryn Pittman won the Gold Cup in 2006, and made history, becoming the first driver to earn $50,000 for winning the event. He also was victorious on a preliminary night at the event in 2000. He has four career Top-10 finishes in the Gold Cup and 12 Top-10 finishes at Silver Dollar Speedway in his career. He has won four times this season, including the $50,000 Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.

Paul McMahan, who hails from Elk Grove, California and now calls the Nashville, Tennessee area home, has 15 career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, including a preliminary feature win in the Gold Cup in 2003. He also won on the preliminary night of the Mini Gold Cup this season.

Jason Meyers, who hails from Clovis, California, has won the Mini Gold Cup twice in his career, including this season. He has four total wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, to go along with nearly 40 Top-10 finishes. He is currently second in points as he chases his first Gold Cup win and first World of Outlaws title.

Craig Dollansky won a preliminary feature during the 2005 Gold Cup, and has three third-place finishes in his career at the event. At Silver Dollar Speedway, the native of Elk River, Minnesota has 10 Top-10 finishes, with eight of those being Top-Five performances. He has won seven times this season and is third in points.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, made his debut at the Gold Cup last season. The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia has had a very strong sophomore season with the World of Outlaws, picking up 31 Top-10 finishes as he chases his first win of the season.

Chad Kemenah finished 10th in his debut at the Gold Cup in 2006, after a Top-10 run on his preliminary night. He has run very strong on short track races this season, earning Top-10 finishes in every event the World of Outlaws have contested on tracks that are ¼-mile and smaller.

Terry McCarl finished eighth in the Gold Cup last season. The native of Altoona, Iowa has six Top-10 finishes in his career at Silver Dollar Speedway. He has racked up 20 Top-10 finishes this season as he closes in on his first win of the 2008 campaign.

Shane Stewart was victorious at Silver Dollar Speedway earlier this season on the preliminary night for the Silver Cup. He also won last season at the track on the opening night of the Gold Cup in the Pacific Fall Nationals. The 2005 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year competed earlier this season at Silver Dollar Speedway in the Mini Gold Cup.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. made his debut at the Gold Cup last season during his rookie year with the World of Outlaws. He finished a very strong sixth on his qualifying night and was 13th in the finale. He has 13 Top-10 finishes this season as he looks for his first career World of Outlaws win.

Kraig Kinser, the son of 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser made his debut at the Gold Cup during his rookie season of 2004 and lasted competed in the event in 2005. He is in the midst of his first season driving for Tony Stewart Racing as a teammate to Donny Schatz and recently picked up his first win of the season at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington.

Jason Sides has five career Top-10 finishes at Silver Dollar Speedway, including a fifth-place performance in the 2003 Gold Cup and a seventh-place run in 2004. He has 13 Top-10 finishes this season as he chases his first win of the year.

Tony Bruce Jr. made his first trip to the Gold Cup in 2006. The sophomore driver won his first World of Outlaws race earlier this season at 34 Raceway in Iowa.

Chad Hillier made his debut at the Gold Cup in 1999. The second-year driver from Burlington, Washington has five Top-10 finishes this season.

Lucas Wolfe, who is in his first season on the road full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2008, will be making his debut in the Gold Cup. He missed a couple months of action earlier this season after sustaining a back injury.

2007 Race Recap: Joey Saldana won his first career Gold Cup Race of Champions, leading all 40 laps, holding off two-time race winner Jac Haudenschild for the $50,000 win on the ¼-mile.

Saldana jumped to an early lead with outside front row starter Jonathan Allard in-tow. Just six laps into the race, Saldana was already in lapped traffic as he had nearly a straightaway advantage. He continued to pull away in traffic when the yellow flag flew on the 12th lap.

On the ensuing restart, Allard, Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell were three-wide on the back straightaway battling for the third spot. Allard held onto the position, and continued to battle with the two former World of Outlaws champions.

Jac Haudenschild thrilled the crowd on lap 15, as he went from fifth to third in just two corners. He first got around Kinser exiting the second turn, as he rode the high side of the track and then dove to the bottom to pass Swindell on the back straightaway. The next lap he slipped high coming off the second turn, allowing Kinser to move underneath and take third. Haudenschild moved back onto the racing surface and again began to chase Kinser.

Saldana continued to lead, though he got bottled up in traffic at the halfway point of the race, allowing Allard to close in. On lap 21, Allard dove low in the second turn to take the lead, much to the delight of his hometown crowd, though the pass was negated when the red flag flew, before the lap had been completed. By World of Outlaws rules, the line-up reverts to the last completed lap, and Saldana retained the lead.

After the open red flag, Kinser had a mechanical failure prior to the restart, ending his night and his bid for a 13th Gold Cup win.

Saldana used a strong restart on the high side of the track to again open a very healthy lead. As the laps wound down, he had trouble getting around a car he was trying to lap and fell back, giving Allard and Haudenschild a chance to close in. Allard looked low a couple of times in traffic but could not quite make the pass.

With three laps to go, Haudenschild got around Allard and tried everything he could to reel in Saldana. Allard had some trouble on the last lap and fell back to tenth. At the line, Saldana won by just 0.4 of a second over Haudenschild.

Brad Sweet was third, with Sammy Swindell fourth and Donny Schatz fifth.

What to look for at the Gold Cup Race of Champions:

* Steve Kinser has won the Gold Cup a record 12 times, dating back to 1978. He has a total of 22 wins during his career at Silver Dollar Speedway and has racked up nearly 50 Top-10 finishes in his career at the high-banked ¼-mile.

* Jac Haudenschild is a two-time winner of the Gold Cup, with those triumphs coming in 1998 and 1999. He also has won the Mini Gold Cup three times in his career.

* Joey Saldana is the reigning champion of the event, leading all 40 laps last season and also picking up a preliminary win at the track. He has three career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway.

* Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion won the Gold Cup in 2004. He leads the series with 13 A-Feature wins this season, as he chases his third consecutive title.

* Daryn Pittman won the Gold Cup in 2006, the first season that the event paid $50,000 to win. He won $50,000 earlier this season at the Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway.

* Paul McMahan has won 15 times in his career at Silver Dollar Speedway, including earlier this season. He is a former preliminary night winner at the Gold Cup.

* Jason Meyers, who hails from Clovis, California won the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway earlier this season and has four career wins at the track.

* Craig Dollansky won a preliminary feature during the 2005 Gold Cup, and has three third-place finishes in his career at the event. At Silver Dollar Speedway, the native of Elk River, Minnesota has 10 Top-10 finishes, with eight of those being Top-Five performances.

By the Numbers- Gold Cup Race of Champions:

0.25- Miles around Silver Dollar Speedway

2- Wins in the Gold Cup Race of Champions for Jac Haudenschild; Wins for drivers from California in the event since 1978; Drivers from Oklahoma to win the Gold Cup, including Daryn Pittman in 2006

4- World of Outlaws champions that are entered in the event; Drivers that have won multiple A-Feature events with the series at the track dating back to 1979; Wins for drivers from Indiana in the event dating back to 1978

5- Current World of Outlaws drivers that have won the Gold Cup; Current World of Outlaws drivers that finished in the Top-10 of the Gold Cup last season

10- Different states that winners of the Gold Cup have hailed from since 1978

11.203- Track record at Silver Dollar Speedway established by Sean Becker on August 16, 2008

12- Wins in the Gold Cup Race of Champions for 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser

16- Current World of Outlaws drivers that competed in the event last season

21- Drivers that have won an A-Feature with the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway, dating back to 1979

30- Consecutive seasons that the World of Outlaws have competed at Silver Dollar Speedway including this season

40- Laps led by Joey Saldana last season to win the Gold Cup Race of Champions

55- Consecutive season the Gold Cup Race of Champions has been contested, including this season

103- Drivers that competed in the Gold Cup in 2007

369- Miles from Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon, where the World of Outlaws competed on September 2 to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California

1,000- Dollars in the total purse for the first Gold Cup in 1951

1951- Year the Gold Cup was first contested at Hughes Stadium

1971- Year the 14th Gold Cup was contested skipping the 13th edition to avoid superstition

1979- Year that the World of Outlaws first competed at Silver Dollar Speedway

1980- Year that the Gold Cup Race of Champions was first help at Silver Dollar Speedway

50,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, September 6

Tickets: On Thursday, September 4 at Silver Dollar Speedway, all tickets will be reserved and will be $37. Three day tickets are also available for $121. For ticket information call 916-969-7484.

On Friday, September 5 at Silver Dollar Speedway, all tickets will be reserved and will be $37. Three day tickets are also available for $121. For ticket information call 916-969-7484.

On Saturday, September 6 at Silver Dollar Speedway, all tickets will be reserved and will be $47. Three day tickets are also available for $121. For ticket information call 916-969-7484.

Next Up: A return to the Midwest for an event at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa on Wednesday, September 10.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Lucas Wolf , Brad Sweet , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.