GRANVILLE, NSW, AU (December 23) -- Defending O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser is ready to lead a contingent of American sprint car racers to Australia's Parramatta City Raceway for the series' 2004 season opener. Fourteen...
GRANVILLE, NSW, AU (December 23) -- Defending O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser is ready to lead a contingent of American sprint car racers to Australia's Parramatta City Raceway for the series' 2004 season opener.
Fourteen drivers from sprint car racing's premier racing series will travel "Down Under" to run the first event of its 27th season for $148,000 January 8-10.
"We are excited that the Outlaws organization has taken note of our significance on the world sprint car racing landscape firstly," Promoter Brian Healy said. "Secondly, we see this announcement as further vindication of the large sums of money spent by Bob Spence and myself in improving our facility. This is a red-letter day in Australian speedway history."
Parramatta City Raceway is the center of sprint car racing in the Southern Hemisphere. The $148,000 (American) event will be the richest ever staged in Australia. International television coverage is also planned for this landmark event.
"We are thrilled to bring the World of Outlaws series to Australia and Parramatta City Raceway," O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series President Ted Johnson said. "This definitely progresses our series into a truly international championship. Australians drivers have raced with the World of Outlaws for many years and this is a logical and exciting progression for our organization."
Kinser, who won his 18th O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series championship last season, can't wait to race in Australia again.
"It is well known that I have had a long and close relationship with Parramatta City Raceway and the people involved with it," Kinser said. "I am excited we are heading 'Down Under' to race in 2004."
Brooke Tatnell, the only Australian driver to win an "A" Feature in O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series history, is looking forward to racing against sprint car racing's best on his turf.
"I learned to drive a sprint car at Parramatta City Raceway and to have the World of Outlaws race there will be a very special moment for Australian sprint car racing," Tatnell said. "I can't wait to see it here. The World of Outlaws is the best sprint car racing there is. When you race well against them, it is a significant accomplishment."
Defending World Series Sprint Cars champion Daryn Pittman and 2003 Parramatta City Raceway Parts Plus winner Joey Saldana will join Kinser, Tatnell and two-time Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic and Summer Slam winner Donny Schatz in the milestone event. The other American drivers racing in the World of Outlaws 'Down Under' event are Craig Dollansky, Brian Paulus, Jason Meyers, Jason Sides, Kraig Kinser, Brandon Wimmer, Paul McMahan, Sammy Swindell, Tim Kaeding and Dennis Moore, Jr.
The contract between the sprint car racing's premier series and Australia's showcase facility says the World of Outlaws will race at Parramatta City Raceway in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
"This is a three-year deal and frankly, we see this as the start of a long-term relationship which will see Parramatta City Raceway as Australia's home of the World of Outlaws," PCR Managing Director Steven Green said. "We also hope that by bringing the Outlaws here to Australia, that we can help make the day of an Australian winning the World of Outlaws championship a reality."
The World of Outlaws has raced internationally before, but only in countries bordering the United States. Sammy Swindell won the four races "the greatest show on dirt" ran at Winnipeg Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA, in 1981 and 1982 and Kinser won at Autopista Juarez in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in 1992.