Past winners begin pursuit of inflated purse for 57th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions CHICO, CA (8-27-10) -- If one takes a glimpse of the back of the annual Gold Cup souvenir shirt it's not hard to see some very familiar names that have...
Past winners begin pursuit of inflated purse for 57th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions
CHICO, CA (8-27-10) -- If one takes a glimpse of the back of the annual Gold Cup souvenir shirt it's not hard to see some very familiar names that have hoisted the prestigious trophy above their heads in one or more of the past fifty seven events known as the "Gold Cup Race of Champions." Since the World of Outlaws began sanctioning the Gold Cup back in 1978, 17 different drivers have been added to that long list of champions.
This year more than $200,000 will be awarded during the Gold Cup Race of Champions. The impressive payout includes a $16,000 increase in monies from previous years and new format that will surely thrill every open wheel race fan. For the first time, all competitors will compete on all three nights unlike previous years when the field was split between Thursday and Friday night.
As in the past, accumulative points will be awarded during both preliminary races to determine the line up for Saturday's Gold Cup Feature event that pays $50,000 to win. The only difference this year, drivers have to race hard on both preliminary nights to earn the maximum number of points. The change to Gold Cup format was designed to satisfy one aspect of this fall classic...speed thrills for the race fans.
At this current time, only five drivers who are active with the World of Outlaws tour have won this high dollar event in their decorated careers. Two such competitors have won the event more than once in their career and only one driver has captured an outstanding 12 victories which illustrates why he is truly "The King" of the Outlaws.
Joey Saldana of Pittsboro, Indiana is the defending Gold Cup champion. Last year, Saldana made a daring pass on the outside of the fourth turn on the very first lap to steal the gold. The race was Jason Sides' to lose and Saldana's to steal and a move that best describes what the Gold Cup is all about. The race puts $50,000 on the line and when it comes down to the wire, its all or nothing to the checkered flag.
This year, Saldana returns to Silver Dollar Speedway in hopes of being just the fourth different driver in the history of the race to win back to back titles. If he achieves that goal, he not only will continue adding to his child's college fund he will join the likes of Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, and Andy Hillenburg.
When it comes to former Gold Cup winners, the driver that will by far be one of Saldana's toughest challenges in his quest to repeat is Kinser. With 12 Gold Cup championships to his name, the 20-time World of Outlaws' Champion is the overall leader when it comes to success in the famed California race. Kinser has won the Gold Cup in back to back fashion on two occasions and claimed three consecutive wins from 1986 until 1988.
The last time the King of the Outlaws won California gold was in 2005. This year he returns with his great record combined with the competitive resources of his new team, Tony Stewart Motorsports in which he is teamed with four time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota. Don't count the veteran driver out this year as 13 may very well become the lucky number for Kinser in the 2010 Gold Cup.
Back in 2004 Schatz mastered the Chico clay to take home the Gold Cup victory. That same year Schatz took home a preliminary night victory which marked his first ever win at Silver Dollar Speedway. This year, Schatz comes into the Gold Cup with a top five stance in the series point standings and three feature wins to his name prior to the Gold Rush Tour.
When it comes to the high banks of Silver Dollar Speedway, Jac Haudenschild of Wooster, OH is always a favored driver to chase the gold. The "Wild Child" has captured three career Gold Cup victories. In 2009 he was inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of fame. Haudenschild won his first Gold Cup in 1998 and followed up with the second the following year. His last Gold Cup win came in 2008 when he claimed his first ever Gold Cup win that paid $50,000 to win
Back in 2000, Danny Lasoski of Dover, MO won his first Gold Cup Race of Champions. Lasoski is no stranger to strong runs at Silver Dollar Speedway with almost 30-top ten finishes in various venues through the years. The "Dude" enters the 57th annual Gold Cup as a top ten point runner looking for his first WoO victory of the year.
While the former champions of this race that are among the active top running World of Outlaws' campaign are sure to be seeking additional gold in Chico, there are plenty of drivers that will be gunning to add their name to the list of winners for the first time as well.
One such driver will be Jason Myers of Clovis. Over the last decade Myers has captured many prestigious wins at the track where he launched his racing career. Myers has won during the annual Mini Gold Cup in Chico, he has captured preliminary night wins but he has yet to capture the $50,000 win on Saturday night. Watch for more insight on Myers and the many other locals that will be seeking California gold in this upcoming fall classic.
Three day and single day tickets for the Gold Cup Race of Champions are on sale at the track from 9 am to 4 p.m. Tickets are $130 per person for all three nights. Fans may purchase single day tickets as well. Tickets for tonight and Friday night are $40 each, tickets for Saturday are $50 and can be obtained by calling (916) 969-7484. For further information visit www.handyracingpromotions.com or www.silverdollarspeedway.com.