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World of Outlaws will return to racing before limited crowds in May

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The World of Outlaws released 2020 schedule updates for the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and Morton Buildings Late Model Series that will include races with limited crowds.

The Outlaws sprint cars will return Friday at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa for a race that will feature NASCAR veterans Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne in the field but no fans in attendance.

The series’ next four races in late May at I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri, and Lake Ozark Speedway in Ozark, Missouri, will have “limited, socially distanced” crowds.

The Late Model series will return May 15-16 at I-55 Speedway with limited, socially distanced crowds.

The World of Outlaws will be among the first major national series to attempt to race with fans in the grandstands. NASCAR has announced its return May 17 at Darlington Raceway with four races that will be held without a crowd.

NHRA leadership has indicated it will race with fans, but the drag-racing sanctioning body announced Monday that its season won’t begin until August.

Here’s the release with the schedules from the World of Outlaws:

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, together with their partner tracks, have updated schedules into mid-June in an effort to safely “Return to Racing” in a manner that allows tracks, teams, partners and fans to begin looking ahead.

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is set to race Friday night, May 8, at Knoxville (IA) Raceway in a $10,000-to-win, “behind-closed-doors” Invitational by McKay Insurance with Nationwide.  While spectators will not be able to attend in person, fans across the world can watch live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.

“The Greatest Show on Dirt” will next race May 22-23 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO, in front of a limited, socially distanced crowd in events paying $6,000-to-win on the Friday night and $10,000-to-win on Saturday night.

On May 29-30, the world’s premier Sprint Car series will shift to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO, for another $6,000/$10,000, Friday/Saturday event in front of a limited, socially distanced crowd. The previously scheduled Jason Johnson Classic will be held at a later date.

In June, the World of Outlaws will return to Knoxville Raceway, June 12-13, as originally scheduled for the Brownells Big Guns Bash, currently with no crowd, but with the hope that some fans may be permitted by that date.

Events originally scheduled for May 23 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, May 25 at Lawrenceburg Speedway, May 29 at Lake Ozark Speedway, May 30 at I-70 Motorsports Park and June 3 at I-80 Speedway have been postponed. Fans with tickets to those events will be able to use them when rescheduled dates are announced.

The always popular June 5 event at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND, and June 6 at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, MN, remain on the schedule, with a final determination being made closer to the event dates based on local guidelines.

As Friday night’s event at Knoxville Raceway will be run without fans in attendance, DIRTVision is offering a special 20%-off promotion using code RETURNKNOXVILLE, which is good through 11:59 pm ET Wednesday, May 6th. For details, visit DIRTVision.com.

The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series is also adjusting its schedule, with action resuming May 15-16 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 rather than the previously announced Boone Speedway. The fast-changing landscape has provided the opportunity to shift the Series re-opener to Pevely, MO, in front of fans on a limited basis. Federated I-55’s location also makes it convenient and cost-effective for late model teams who may compete earlier in the week at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. The Series thanks the tireless efforts of Robert Lawton, Coty Mallicoat and Cody Sommer for their work to bring a “Return to Racing” to Boone, and is looking forward to the Series debut at Boone for the previously postponed Hawkeye 100 mega-event at the historic Iowa venue at a time when the race can be run in front of a live audience. We also wish our friends at Boone the best of luck as they prepare to get back to the track in their own unique fashion in the very near future.

The return at Pevely will feature a $6,000-to-win on Friday and $10,000-to-win on Saturday, with the Series then heading to U.S. 36 Raceway in Cameron, MO, on Monday, May 18, for $6,000-to-win event in front of a limited crowd.

Next up the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model stars will head to the magnificent Jackson (MN) Motorplex for the series debut on May 22-23 for $6,000/$10,000 events on Friday and Saturday provided Minnesota opens on schedule on May 18. Following the traditionally DIRTcar-sanctioned Dream weekend at Eldora Speedway on June 4-6, broadcast on FloSports, the Series will resume action June 12-13 in a $6,000/$10,000 Friday and Saturday event at Cochran (GA) Motor Speedway in front of a limited crowd.

The originally scheduled races May 29 at Jacksonville (IL) Speedway and May 30 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, IN, have been postponed.

Tickets to all limited crowd events will go on sale in the very near future and be available through WorldofOutlaws.com. Participant and Spectator Guidelines will be enforced consistent with State, County, City and World of Outlaws procedures. Expectations for all attendees will be communicated in advance. The events at Knoxville and I-55 will run with the previously announced 48-car maximum field size. The events to follow will require advance registration, but field sizes will be limited only by track-specific pit area size, parking teams in every other pit stall.

All World of Outlaws events will be broadcast live on DIRTVision and all events will be included in the all-access DIRTVision FAST PASS for just $39/month.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Schedule

Date Day Venue Crowd To Win Status
May 8 Friday Knoxville Raceway None $10,000 Confirmed
May 22 Friday Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Limited $6,000 Confirmed
May 23 Saturday Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Limited $10,000 Confirmed
May 29 Friday Lake Ozark Speedway Limited $6,000 Confirmed
May 30 Saturday Lake Ozark Speedway Limited $10,000 Confirmed
June 5 Friday River Cities Speedway TBD $10,000 Pending Approval
June 6 Saturday Granite City Speedway TBD $10,000 Pending Approval
June 12 Friday Knoxville Raceway TBD $6,000 Confirmed
June 13 Saturday Knoxville Raceway TBD $10,000 Confirmed


World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Schedule

Date Day Venue Crowd To Win Status
May 15 Friday Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Limited $6,000 Confirmed
May 16 Saturday Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Limited $10,000 Confirmed
May 18 Monday U.S. 36 Raceway Limited $6,000 Confirmed
May 22 Friday Jackson Motorplex None $6,000 Pending Approval
May 23 Saturday Jackson Motorplex None $10,000 Pending Approval
June 12 Friday Cochran Motor Speedway Limited $6,000 Confirmed
June 13 Saturday Cochran Motor Speedway Limited $10,000 Confirmed

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.