HANFORD, Calif. — This Friday the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars conclude their second and final California swing of the year with a trip to Hanford, Calif.‘s, Keller Auto Speedway for the third annual Tom Tarlton Classic.
The weekend originally planned to include a pair of races with a Placerville Speedway visit set for Saturday, but a northern California wildfire led to the track‘s home, the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, being the base for the firefighting efforts and trimming Saturday from the schedule.
With that cancellation, Friday‘s Tom Tarlton Classic takes center stage as the bell rings on the final round of Outlaws vs. Californians in 2022.
Macedo‘s Tarlton Classic Perfect Record
It‘s very fitting that through two editions of the Tom Tarlton Classic native of nearby Lemoore, Calif., Carson Macedo has visited victory lane on both occasions.
The Tarlton family played an instrumental role in helping Macedo develop his talents on the west coast long before he began touring with the nation‘s best. This year‘s winningest driver with the WoO scored the first Outlaw victory of his career back in 2014 aboard the Tarlton‘s famed all-black No. 21 at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Now, Macedo looks to go three-for-three in the Tarlton Classic after topping Kyle Larson in 2020‘s inaugural edition, and besting Brad Sweet last year.
The Jason Johnson Racing driver‘s recent record at Keller Auto Speedway is nearly impeccable with four wins and two runner-ups in his last six overall sprint car starts, including a win back in February during a local race on a weekend the Outlaws were rained out.
Sweet Leads The Series
As “The Greatest Show on Dirt” hits their home stretch, Brad Sweet is on a roll in pursuit of a fourth consecutive title.
In his last eight starts, “The Big Cat” owns top-fives in all of them and boasts a 3.25 average finish.
Sweet is eying an elusive victory in the Tom Tarlton Classic as he completed the podium in 2020, then moved into the second spot last year, leaving the top step of the top-three all that remains as he chases his fifth win of the season.
Can Gravel Gain Ground?
A little ways behind Sweet is 2021 series runner-up, David Gravel.
Gravel continues to pursue his first Outlaw title and hopes to cut a chunk from Sweet‘s lead with the one opportunity he‘ll have this weekend.
Fortunately for Gravel, California has always been kind to him and Keller Auto Speedway is no exception. He won the 2019 WoO Hanford visit and has top-10s in four of six starts.
Schuchart Strong In Hanford
This past weekend Logan Schuchart narrowly missed claiming his second consecutive Gold Cup, finishing second to Shark Racing teammate Jacob Allen, and now he heads to another California oval where he‘s performed well.
The Hanover, Pa., driver has made five starts at Keller Auto Speedway with top-10 showings in all five, including a 2017 victory in which he started all the way back in 19th. Schuchart‘s average finish at the three-eighths mile is a stout 6.80.
Schuchart looks to become the seventh driver with multiple WoO victories in Hanford.
Cali Clique Hopes To Rebound
The California contingent struggled in the Gold Cup finale with Outlaws claiming eight of the top-10 spots and an Oklahoman in Ryan Timms earning one of the two remaining positions.
– Shane Golobic led the locals with a 10th-place effort at the Gold Cup, and the numbers suggest he has an opportunity for another strong showing on Friday.
The Fremont, Calif., native has won in three of his last five races in Hanford including a $10,000 triumph with the California-based NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Cars last October.
Last year‘s WoO appearance at the Central Valley facility saw Golobic collect his ninth career series top-five by finishing fourth.
– Rising star Corey Day continues to chase his first Outlaw victory after an up and down Gold Cup.
The 16-year-old is heading to the site of his first checkered flag in a 410ci sprint car as he came out on top of a NARC race at Keller Auto Speedway last September.
– The driver with the honor of driving the Tarlton Motorsports machine is none other than Hanford‘s own Mitchell Faccinto.
Winning at Keller Auto Speedway has become a Faccinto family tradition as his father, Monte, was one of the track‘s most prolific drivers, and Mitchell owns multiple victories including a pair in the prestigious Cotton Classic.
Faccinto is looking to better his best career finish with the Outlaws of eighth.
– Dominic Scelzi is another potent California in search of an inaugural WoO win.
Scelzi is heading to a track where he‘s found plenty of success as he‘s won half of his last six NARC starts in Hanford and owns four wins with the series there overall.
The Fresno, Calif., gasser finished sixth with the Outlaws at Keller Auto Speedway last year.