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The field for the 2019 Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway prepares to go racing. (Tom Parker Photo)

Revamped Gold Cup Draws Big Field

CHICO, Calif. — When Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet, and Colby Copeland announced their newly formed promotional group, SLC Promotions, would take over the reins of the historic Silver Dollar Speedway, they immediately announced their intentions to revive the Gold Cup Race of Champions.

Prior to the racing even beginning this week at the 68th running of Gold Cup, the California-born trio has already taken plenty of steps in doing just that.

At one point, the Gold Cup was one of the most coveted crowns in sprint car racing and with a handful of moves SLC has already restored some of that former glory and attracted a large roster of World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars that will invade the Chico quarter-mile this week.

The Format

A decision made by Sweet, Larson and Copeland that has the local community buzzing with excitement is upping Gold Cup back to a three-day event and electing to utilize a split-field format for the preliminary features on Sept. 8-9.

The roster will be split with half competing on night one and the remainder on night two. On each prelim, every team will be vying for two automatic tickets into the dash for Saturday‘s finale. The path to those lock-ins is where things get interesting.

The spots will be earned through points accumulated during qualifying, heat races and the prelim feature. Qualifying awards 100 points for quick time with a one-point drop per position. The heat races promise to provide some thrilling bouts as the top-six cars in each based on qualifying will be inverted.

Heat race winners receive 100 points with a two-point drop per position.

The top-five finishers in each heat transfer to the feature with the night‘s B main deciding the remaining feature starters. Topping the prelim feature is worth 100 points with a three-point drop per position.

The two drivers atop the points board after each prelim night will secure a guaranteed top-four starting spot in Saturday‘s dash.

On Saturday, the next 40 in points behind the four dash lock-ins will line up in four heat races with those 45th-plus in points heading to the non-qualifier race(s) that will help set the lineup for the tail of the heats and the D main.

Saturday‘s heat race winners will join the top-two from each prelim in the dash, but the heat winners will start in spots five through eight in the dash.

Those who finish second through fourth in the heats will earn a spot in the feature with the remaining heat race finishers heading to the D main, C main and B main. The final four spots in Saturday‘s main event will be given to the top-four finishers in the B main.

The Purse

As with any crown jewel of sprint car racing, part of the prestige the Gold Cup once held came via offering a lucrative purse for competitors to chase.

The two prelims will award $10,000 to the winner each night and simply making a prelim feature is worth $1,000.

Saturday‘s purse boasts a stout $25,000 to win and $2,000 to start.

A few bonuses are up for grabs for those who choose to compete with a 360 ci engine. The highest finishing among them on Saturday will take home an extra $2,000 with the second highest earning $1,000 and the third taking $500.

Collectively, the three-day Gold Cup purse surpasses $200,000.

The Field

SLC‘s efforts to revitalize the Gold Cup have resulted in a healthy field of entries with the current tally at 63. For some context on the growth of the car count, the past two Gold Cups combined amounted to 62 entrants.

ways, the Outlaws will bring their full roster of the most talented drivers in the country, headlined by the defending series champ and new Silver Dollar Speedway co-promoter, Brad Sweet. The Grass Valley, Calif., native has never won Gold Cup, but with two career prelim victories and podiums in the two most recent finales.

Sweet will be joined by his fellow full-time Outlaws including the likes of two-time Gold Cup champ, Donny Schatz, two-time Outlaw feature winner in Chico and the series winningest driver so far in 2022, Carson Macedo, last year‘s Gold Cup titlist, Logan Schuchart, and the prelim winner from a year ago, David Gravel.

Plenty more of the sport‘s biggest names will be in action, including Kyle Larson for at least Thursday‘s prelim. The first two Outlaw wins of Larson‘s career came at Gold Cup in back-to-back years.

It‘s a home game for Roth Motorsports, which will bring a two-car stable, one piloted by Kerry Madsen. The “Mad Man” owns his fair share of laps around the quarter-mile, including a drive for Roth in the 2016 Gold Cup. Madsen‘s best Gold Cup result is a third in 2015. Last year‘s Gold Cup runner-up and current WoO full-timer, James McFadden, will be Madsen‘s teammate.

A good chunk of the field will be filled by California‘s strong local contingent led by the state‘s most dominant trio over the past couple years — Dominic Scelzi, Justin Sanders and Shane Golobic.

The three have combined for a whopping 78 sprint car victories since just the beginning of last year. Each driver has also podiumed with the Outlaws at Silver Dollar in the past, the highlight being Sanders‘ 2017 Gold Cup in which he led 11 circuits before finishing runner-up.

Another trio of drivers expected to compete is Silver Dollar Speedway titans Tim Kaeding, Sean Becker and Andy Forsberg. All three have cemented their status as legends in California in large part due to their success at the bullring.

is second on the track‘s all time win list with 66, Kaeding sits fourth at 61, and Forsberg is sixth with 57. Add them all up and that‘s 184 trips to victory lane.

The sport‘s best battle of youth will be competing as Corey Day and Ryan Timms will each tackle their first Gold Cup. Timms recently broke Day‘s record of the youngest driver to podium with WoO, and they both continue to chase their inaugural series wins.

Day will have home field advantage as the Clovis, Calif., native has won in Chico before, topping a NARC 410 Sprint Car show earlier this year.

Many more of the Golden State‘s top drivers who‘ve won in local competition in Chico are entered including Mitchell Faccinto, Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft, Tanner Carrick, Colby Copeland and Kalib Henry.

Some Pacific Northwest natives will be making the trip south to the Golden State with Tanner Holmes, Tyler Thompson, Brian Boswell and Colby Thornhill entered.

The full field of more than 60 entries can be found below separated by their currently scheduled prelim night.

Gold Cup Entry List

Thursday, Sept. 8

1S — ​Logan Schuchart

2K​ — Kaleb Montgomery

2X — Justin Sanders

3Z​ — Brock Zearfoss

5T ​Ryan Timms

5V​ Landon Brooks

6​ Bill Rose

9​ Tyler Brown

11​ Dylan Bloomfield

12J ​John Clark

14​ Corey Day

17​ Sheldon Haudenschild

17M ​Kalib Henry

18T Tanner Holmes

19​ Colby Thornhill

20​ Noah Gass

21​ Mitchell Faccinto

21​ Shane Hopkins

29​ Willie Croft

33T ​Jimmy Trulli

49​ Brad Sweet

54S ​Drake Standley

56 ​Dawson Hammes

57​ Kyle Larson

75​ Brian Boswell

77​ Ryan Lippincott

83​ James McFadden

83JR Kerry Madsen

83T Tanner Carrick

83V Sean Becker

98​ Michael Pombo

Friday, Sept. 9

01 ​Andy Gregg​

1A Jacob Allen

2​ David Gravel

2S Jayce Steinburg

2XM ​Max Mittry

3F ​William Fielding

5​ Spencer Bayston

5B Colby Copeland

7​ Tyler Thompson

7S Robbie Price

7X Eddy Lewis

8JR Brian McGahan Jr.

11K Kraig Kinser

15​ Donny Schatz

15X Nick Parker

21M Michael Ing

22​ Ryan Bernal

24​ Chase Johnson

25S Seth Standley

38B Blake Carrick

41​ Carson Macedo

41sS Dominic Scelzi

42X Tim Kaeding

45 ​Jake Morgan

46JR Joel Myers Jr.

53​ Jesse Attard

57W Shane Golobic

69 ​Bud Kaeding

88 ​Austin McCarl

88N DJ Netto

92​ Andy Forsberg

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