Chico Mini Gold Cup preview

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway Chico, CA-- March 10, 2009--For the first time since 1992, the World of Outlaws will sanction the Mini Gold Cup at the always racy ¼-mile Silver Dollar ...

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway

Chico, CA-- March 10, 2009--For the first time since 1992, the World of Outlaws will sanction the Mini Gold Cup at the always racy ¼-mile Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14. After starting the 2009 season with four consecutive events on half-mile tracks, it will mark the first short track race of the season for the series. The event will consist of two full nights of racing with a $10,000 top prize on the line each night.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, was victorious the last time that the series sanctioned the Mini Gold Cup. Jac Haudenschild is a two-time winner of the event with the series, while Jason Meyers has also won it twice, including last year and Tim Kaeding is also has visited the winner's circle in the event twice.

The World of Outlaws began competing at Silver Dollar Speedway in 1979 and over the last 30 years, 21 drivers have won an A-Feature event with the series at the ¼-mile which produces some of the most thrilling racing all season long. Last season three drivers were victorious with the series at the track, with Craig Dollansky and Jason Meyers picking up preliminary feature wins during the Gold Cup Race of Champions and Jac Haudenschild taking home the $50,000 top prize in the finale.

The Mini Gold Cup will mark the first of two visits for the World of Outlaws to Silver Dollar Speedway in 2009 as they will return September 10-12 for the 56th Gold Cup Race of Champions.

Slidejobs- Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway

Like no other: Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has had unmatched success at Silver Dollar Speedway with the series, having scored 22 wins dating back to 1979. He has nearly 50 Top-10 finishes over the last 30 years at the ¼-mile. Last season at the track, he passed more cars than any other driver in feature events, coming from 18th to finish fourth on the opening night of the Gold Cup and then charging from the 18th starting spot to finish seventh in the finale. He is one of just two drivers that have finished in the Top-10 in each of the first four races of 2009.

Up front on the high banks: Jac Haudenschild is the defending winner of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway, which earned him $50,000. The native of Wooster, Ohio has won that event three times in his storied career and also is a two-time winner of the Mini Gold Cup in 1987 and 1989. He has a total of seven wins at the ¼-mile and nearly 50 Top-10 finishes dating back to 1980. He has finished fourth or better in each of his last six starts at the track and has nine consecutive Top-10 finishes.

"We've always run good at Chico and I'm really looking forward to the race there," said Haudenschild. "We've only raced about seven times this year, so we are still getting back in the groove. Hopefully we can get the R19 car back up front there."

Looking to stay on top: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, heads to the Mini Gold Cup riding a wave of three wins in the first four events of the season, and currently has a 37 point lead in the championship standings. He has two career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, with those coming in 2004, when he won the opener of the Gold Cup and led all 40 laps in the finale to pocket $25,000. He has 15 career Top-10 finishes at the ¼-mile.

Hard Charger: Jason Sides, who is currently second in the World of Outlaws championship standings, finished eighth in the opener of the Gold Cup Race of Champions last season after lining up 24th. He has six Top-10 finishes in his career at the ¼-mile including two Top-Fives in his first trip to Silver Dollar Speedway in 2003. In his first five starts at the track over a three-year period he finished seventh or better in all five races. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has three Top-Five finishes in the first four events of the 2009 campaign.

"If we can keep this streak going, it will be really good for us," said Sides recently. "We'll pull down another car to use at Chico. It's a car that we know pretty well and ran good last year for us."

A home track, sort of: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, is behind the wheel for Tom Rolfe Racing this season, which is based out of Chico, California, the home of Silver Dollar Speedway and the Mini Gold Cup. In his career at the bullring, Swindell has five wins and nearly 40 Top-10 finishes. He finished fifth in the opener and finale of the Gold Cup last year and won the Gold Cup in 1981. He is currently fourth in the World of Outlaws standings, just 11 markers behind his longtime rival Kinser.

"Everything is coming around," said Swindell after a runner-up finish in Las Vegas on February 26. "We're still trying to build this team. It's been a lot of work, but I think when we run we'll be competitive. We just have to get the breaks and when we get those, we should get the wins."

California dreaming: Jason Meyers, who hails from Clovis, California, has five career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, including on the second night of the Gold Cup last year, after turning the quickest lap in qualifying. He was leading the finale when he was taken out by a lapped car with just 15 laps remaining. He won his first race at Silver Dollar Speedway in 1999 in the Mini Gold Cup, which also marked his first career sprint car win of any sort. He is the defending winner of the Mini Gold Cup.

"I always enjoy going to Chico," shared Meyers. "That is where I won my first sprint car race and it was the Mini Gold Cup. It's always a racy track and they always put on a good show there. Being from California I really look forward to it as well. It's a neat deal that the Outlaws and the Padjen's were able to put together this program and let us become a part of the Mini Gold Cup once again."

Learning the ropes: Kraig Kinser made just his third and fourth career starts at Silver Dollar Speedway last season, finishing a very solid fourth in a preliminary feature and ninth in the finale with well over 100 cars in attendance for the annual Gold Cup Race of Champions. The third generation driver is currently sixth in the championship standings on the strength of three Top-10 finishes in four races as he continues his second season behind the wheel for Tony Stewart Racing.

A golden feeling: Joey Saldana won the Gold Cup Race of Champions in 2007 to earn $50,000 after winning the second preliminary feature that year as well. He has three career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway to go along with 13 Top-10 finishes. He was victorious earlier this season at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida on the second night of the season. He competed in the Mini Gold Cup for the first time in his career last season.

Building momentum: Craig Dollansky continues to get acclimated behind the wheel of the No.19 in his first season with Kasey Kahne Racing. The native of Elk River, Minnesota has three career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, including in the opener of the Gold Cup Race of Champions last year. He followed that up with a runner-up finish in the finale. He has 12 career Top-10 finishes at the track in 15 starts. He heads to the ¼-mile fresh off a third-place finish at Las Vegas a couple weeks ago.

Running up front: Chad Kemenah, the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, has four career Top-10 finishes at Silver Dollar Speedway. He was third in the opener of the Gold Cup last year and 10th in the finale. He is just outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings heading into the Mini Gold Cup and finished third in the finale in Florida last month.

A new year, a new look: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, is continuing to get up to speed with the Parsons Motorsports team whom he joined forces for the 2009 season. He scored his first Top-Five with the team at Las Vegas a couple of weeks back and is just outside of the Top-10 in the standings. He has two career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway, including the 2000 Gold Cup Race of Champions. In his career at the track he has 26 Top-10 finishes.

Always exciting at Chico: Tim Kaeding, the two-time Silver Dollar Speedway track champion, always puts on a show for the fans at the high-banked bullring. He has nearly 50 career wins at the track, where he is second all-time to his father Brent and well over 100 Top-10 finishes. The younger Kaeding was victorious six times last year at Silver Dollar Speedway and is a two-time winner of the Mini Gold Cup.

Years in the making: Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, this season has heard a lot about Silver Dollar Speedway over the years and will finally have the chance to see the track for himself and compete on it in the Mini Gold Cup.

"I can't wait to get to some of these tracks that I have never been to like Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway)," said Ellenberger before the season. "I have read a lot about those tracks and seen pictures and can't wait to race at them."

Tune in: The Mini Gold Cup will be Cybercast on DIRTVision.com with live streaming video and audio for both nights of the event. To purchase the Mini Gold Cup Cybercast for only $14.99 and see some of the most exciting bullring racing anywhere on the planet visit with award winning World of Outlaws announcer Johnny Gibson calling all of the action visit www.DIRTVision.com.

By the Numbers: Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway

0.25- Miles around Silver Dollar Speedway

2- Drivers that have finished in the Top-10 in all four World of Outlaws races this season, Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser

5- Drivers that won races with the World of Outlaws on ¼-mile tracks in 2008

6- Drivers that have led laps in feature racing competition this season with the series

7- Nights of racing scheduled for the World of Outlaws in California this season

8- Events for the World of Outlaws last season on ¼-mile tracks

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

15- Laps led by Jac Haudenschild to win the $50,000 Gold Cup Race of Champions last season

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

30- Laps led by Craig Dollansky at the track last season; Consecutive seasons that the World of Outlaws have competed at the track

37- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Jason Sides atop the World of Outlaws championship standings

40- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway dating back to 1979

55- Laps led by Jason Meyers during the Gold Cup last season

65- Laps led by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series

106- Drivers that competed in the Gold Cup Race of Champions with the World of Outlaws last season

670- Miles from The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where the World of Outlaws competed on February 26 to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California

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

1992- Year that the Mini Gold Cup was last sanctioned by the World of Outlaws

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, March 13; Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, March 14

93,000-Dollars in the total purse for the Mini Gold Cup

-credit: WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding