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

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.