World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series 2022 schedule includes record points’ payout

Outlaws Sprint 2022 schedule
Trent Gower / World of Outlaws
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With two races remaining in 2021, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series announced their 2022 schedule that includes more than 80 races in 22 states.

The 2022 season will also feature a record 1-million-dollar points’ payout with $200,000 going to the champion and $100,00 to second. The purse will be boosted by $350,000 with the top 20 positions all boasting increases.

“The strength of World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and our devotion to the series was showcased in 2020 by overcoming the pandemic,” said Brian Carter, CEO of the World of Outlaws in a release. “Then, we took off running in 2021 with the return of big events and the increase in purses throughout the year. Now, in 2022, we’re eager to build off that momentum and continue to show why the World of Outlaws is ‘The Greatest Show on Dirt.’ There are a lot of new and exciting things in store for drivers and fans alike in 2022 that we’ve been looking forward to for a while.”

The 2022 schedule will begin and end in familiar places while four venues scheduled to debut or return to the calendar.

Beginning in February at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. with the DIRTcar Nationals and ending with World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in early November, the series crisscrosses the country twice.

Highlighted on the schedule are four venues either new to the circuit or that will see their first event after a hiatus.

Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway, a .333-mile track located two hours north of Los Angeles, will be the first track to rejoin the 2022 schedule for the first time since 2018. Sheldon Haudenschild won the most recent of 10 races there.

Four days later, the Outlaw sprints will make another attempt to christen Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park. This track was scheduled to host its first race in 2020 and then again in 2021 before the events were canceled because of complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. This new state-of-the-art facility is located midway between Las Cruces, N.M. and El Paso, Texas.

Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill. pops back up on the schedule for the first time since 2008. Located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, the track hosted 56 races from 1979 through 2008 with Donny Schatz as the most recent and only active winner.

MORE: Kasey Kahne nears end of surprisingly busy 2021 season

Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio, rejoins the schedule for their eighth visit. Between 2003 and 2009, Schatz won four of the previous seven races.

Some other highlights from the schedule include a second night of racing at Port Royal (Penn.) Speedway with the Outlaws’ first visiting there in July and returning in October for a two-night show.

Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. adds a marquee event to the calendar with the $100,000-to-win Huset’s High Bank Nationals, three-day show.

The Bristol Bash returns in 2022 for the second year when Bristol Motor Speedway covers the track with clay for another NASCAR dirt track race. The Outlaw sprints will take their turn in late April for a three-day show.

The Kings Royal returns to the schedule for its 39th Running and will be expand to four nights of racing that includes a return of the Historical Big One with another $100,000 payday. The weekend concludes with Kings Royal will paying out $175,000-to-win on Saturday, July 16.

Kyle Larson won his first Knoxville Nationals in 2021. With the three-day show in Knoxville, Iowa, culminating on Saturday night before NASCAR visits Richmond Raceway in Virginia on Sunday, he should get a chance to defend his title.

The Outlaws will once again make two West Coast swings. The first of these will run from March 11 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. through Perris (Calif.) Speedway’s event on March 26. The second swing begins in Washington at Skagit Speedway on September 1 and ends at Placerville (Calif.) Speedway on September 17.

2022 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 10-12 – Volusia Speedway Park
Friday, Feb. 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway
Saturday, Feb. 26 – The Rev

Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 – Cotton Bowl Speedway
Friday-Saturday, March 11-12 – Thunderbowl Raceway
Friday, March 18 – Merced Speedway
Saturday, March 19 – Ocean Speedway
Friday, March 25 – Bakersfield Speedway
Saturday, March 26 – Perris Auto Speedway
Tuesday, March 29 – Vado Speedway Park

Friday, April 1 – Lawton Speedway
Saturday, April 2 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway
Friday, April 8 – US 36 Raceway
Saturday, April 9 – Lake Ozark Speedway (Jason Johnson Classic)
Friday-Saturday, April 15-16 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55
Friday, April 22 – Tri-City Speedway (IL)
Saturday, April 23 – Tri-State Speedway (IN)
Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30 – Bristol Motor Speedway

Friday-Saturday, May 6-7 – Eldora Speedway
Tuesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway
Friday-Saturday, May 13-14 – Williams Grove Speedway
Tuesday, May 17 – Bridgeport Speedway
Friday, May 20 – Attica Raceway Park
Saturday, May 21 – Sharon Speedway
Saturday, May 28 – Atomic Speedway
Monday, May 30 – Lawrenceburg Speedway

Friday, June 3 – River Cities Speedway
Sunday, June 5 – Huset’s Speedway
Friday-Saturday, June 10-11 – Knoxville Raceway
Friday-Saturday, June 17-18 – Beaver Dam Raceway
Thursday-Saturday, June 23-25 – Huset’s Speedway

Friday-Saturday, July 1-2 – Cedar Lake Speedway
Friday, July 8 – 34 Raceway
Saturday, July 9 – Wilmot Raceway
Tuesday, July 12 ­– Attica Raceway Park
Wednesday-Saturday, July 13-16 – Eldora Speedway
Wednesday, July 20 – Port Royal Speedway
Friday-Saturday, July 22-23 – Williams Grove Speedway
Friday, July 29 – TBA
Saturday, July 30 – Weedsport Speedway

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 5-6 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 10-13 – Knoxville Raceway
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 18-20 – Jackson Motorplex
Friday, Aug. 26 – River Cities Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 27 – Red River Valley Speedway

Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 1-3 – Skagit Speedway
Monday, Sept. 5 – Grays Harbor Raceway
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 9-10 – Silver Dollar Speedway
Friday, Sept. 16 – Keller Auto Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 17 – Placerville Speedway
Friday, Sept. 23 – Eldora Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 24 – Sharon Speedway
Friday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 1 – Williams Grove Speedway

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 7-8 – Port Royal Speedway
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 14-15 – TBA
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 21-22 – TBA
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 28-29 – TBA

Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 3-5 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.