Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bakersfield return highlights of the World of Outlaws 2016 schedule

The 2016 schedule for  World of Outlaws (WoO) 410 winged sprint car series known as “the Greatest Show on Dirt”  was released at the 2015 PRI (Performance Racing Industry) show in Indianapolis, Indiana, and one of the highlights  is the series’ return to Bakersfield (California) Speedway after a ten-year hiatus. Promoter Scott Schweitzer is excited to have the cars and stars of the World of Outlaws series return on Friday April 15 2016 to Bakersfield Speedway for the ‘Budweiser Bash.’

The Bakersfield Speedway will celebrate its 71st year of operation during 2016, as the track first opened its gates in 1946 as a quarter mile dirt track, and has operated as a 1/3-mile banked clay oval since 1992. The track located at 5001 North Chester Avenue Extension (technically located in the Bakersfield suburb of Oildale) has operated under several names throughout its existence beginning with its original name, the Bakersfield Speedbowl, later known as the Oildale Speedway, Oil Bowl Speedway, Bakersfield Thunderbowl, and the Bakersfield Stadium. The early years were quite hectic with the quarter mile dirt oval paved with asphalt for the 1947 season, returned to a dirt oval for 1948, paved again for the 1949 season, and finally returned to a dirt oval again in 1950.

The World of Outlaws series’ last visit to Bakersfield Speedway came on February 26 2005, and when the checkered flag fell on the 35-lap feature Elk River, Minnesota driver Craig Dollansky scored the first of five WoO feature wins that season in his Karavan Trailers-sponsored Maxim.  Joey Saldana who led the first 23 laps of the race in his “Volcano Joe’s Coffee” Maxim finished second, and “King” Steve Kinser finished in the third position in the iconic Quaker State #11 enroute to his 20th and final WoO season championship.   

The current track record for a 410-cubic inch winged sprint car around the Bakersfield banked 1/3-
mile dirt oval is 10.342 seconds, set by WoO regular Jason Sides during a National Sprint Tour (NST) visit in March 2006. Racing historians will recall that the NST emerged as a strong rival to the World of Outlaws tour, but the series folded after just one 45-race season following the death of series founder Fred Brownfield in June 2006 in a racing accident.

Besides Bakersfield, the WoO series ‘Western Swing’ during the months of March and April 2016 includes California stops at the Tulare Thunderbowl, the Stockton Dirt Track, Placerville Speedway, Ocean Speedway, Silver Dollar Speedway, Calistoga Speedway, and Perris Auto Speedway.  The WoO series regulars will return to California later in 2016 at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico for the ‘Gold Cup Race of Champions’ on September 9 and 10 2016 

To purchase tickets to the April 15 2016 World of Outlaws  ‘Budweiser Bash’ sprint car race at Bakersfield Speedway, visit

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