For the first time in the history of the Antioch Speedway, East County racing fans will get to see the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, which features some of the best sprint car drivers in the nation.
Mike Adaskaveg, public relations director for the Antioch and Merced raceways, expects Bay Area racing fans to come to Antioch on Sept. 12 in big numbers.
“This should be a tremendous success,” Adaskaveg said. “These cars will be going at an average speed of 110 miles per hour, which includes braking. Their backstretch speed could be higher. Getting to see cars going that fast on dirt will be quite a thrill.”
Many local fans made the trip to Merced to see the World of Outlaws in early April. According to Adaskaveg, Merced city officials said the event pumped an extra $100,000 into the city’s economy.
Like NASCAR, the World of Outlaws compete throughout the United States and Canada between the spring and fall, usually hitting California at the beginning and end of the tour.
“These are very exotic cars with very powerful engines,” Adaskaveg said. “It’s hard to explain the difference between dirt and pavement. They’re going to be sliding through turns. It’s basically an engine on rails.”
One of the main attractions in the field is Outlaws racer Steve Kinser, who brings to Antioch 561 career World of Outlaw wins and 20 series championships. In 2008, ESPN complied a list of the greatest racers in history. Kinser came in at No. 25.
Sept. 12 will mark the first time the Antioch track has ever hosted an event on a Monday night, and Adaskaveg expects the Speedway to sell out – possibly through online sales alone. With a month to go, tickets are already halfway sold (the Speedway’s tickets are normally sold at the gate the day of the event).
The World of Outlaws event is funded by John Soares, whose family has a 60-year history of promoting races. “There’s nothing like big events to close out a great season,” Soares wrote in a press release. “We’re offering the fans of Northern and Central California the shows they have asked for.”