PWC set to crown its champions at Mazda Raceway

Photo: Pirelli World Challenge

MONTEREY, Calif. – A frequently interesting, occasionally controversial but usually entertaining on-track 2015 season for the Pirelli World Challenge comes to a close this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, along with the Mazda Road to Indy.

Both are usually on the undercard at Verizon IndyCar Series weekends, but with IndyCar having wrapped its season at Sonoma Raceway two weeks ago, both championships get the chance to shine on their own this weekend.

In World Challenge’s case, it’s via the usual onslaught of incredible GT3 cars, set for a 50-minute single round finale on Sunday that will see two sports car legends duke it out for the crown.

Johnny O’Connell leads Olivier Beretta by 26 points going into the weekend and will win his fourth straight GT class championship provided he either shades Beretta or doesn’t finish much worse than second or third on the weekend, if Beretta wins.

Beretta can overtake him most easily if he wins the race, as 30 points separate first from second in the World Challenge points system. The task becomes harder if the Monegasque driver finishes second or worse.

The subplot between the two comes as they’re former Corvette Racing teammates, but never drove the same car. They have had wild swings in the points this year and also had a controversial coming together at Long Beach, a race Beretta won. O’Connell has four wins to Beretta’s three this year going into the weekend.

Beretta, if he was to win and somehow tie on points with O’Connell, holds two tiebreakers by way of more second place (1-0) and third place (3-1) results entering Sunday’s race. A tie could occur if Beretta wins and O’Connell finishes second, but earns all in-race bonus points (three for most laps led, one for one lap led, and one for fastest lap).

James Davison and Ryan Dalziel also have remote mathematical chances, but either driver would need to score maximum points and have O’Connell and Beretta both score none.

Frankie Montecalvo and Colin Thompson have won the GTA and GT Cup presented by MOMO classes, respectively, and look to end their title-winning seasons with their eighth and 13th race wins of the year.

GTS is also a two-horse race, with Michael Cooper leading Andrew Aquilante by 107 points going into the race. Aquilante can only overtake Cooper with a win; if he finishes second, provided Cooper finishes the race and scores any points, he’ll take the crown.

Cooper, a GTS rookie, has also won a Touring Car class title in the series. If he wins, he’ll deliver Blackdog Speed Shop its third straight title, after Lawson Aschenbach won the last two.

While the GT and GTS ranks only have a single race on Sunday, the Touring Car classes (TC, TCA and TCB) have three, the first of which is already in the books.

Corey Fergus, Ernie Francis Jr. and Adam Poland will likely decide the TC title between themselves; meanwhile the driver on a roll in class is Vesko Kozarov, who has a class-high seven wins this season including the last five in a row between Mid-Ohio and Miller Motorsports Park going into Mazda Raceway.

Ex-open wheel shoe Jason Wolfe, who ran the last USF2000 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2013, looks for his second straight TCA class title. He leads Patrick Seguin in that category.

Johan Schwartz and Glenn Nixon will vie for the TCB title; Schwartz has a class-high nine wins, while Nixon has five himself and podiums in all 15 races.

Live Internet Telecast (on

Friday, Sept. 11:
2:25 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. Race # 1 TC/TCA/TCB

Saturday, Sept. 12:
1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Race # 2 TC/TCA/TCB

Sunday, Sept. 13:
8:45 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Race # 3 TC/TCA/TCB
10:35 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. GTS Race
1:35 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. GT/GTA/GT Cup Race

All times listed above Pacific

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)