Kyle Larson will be the Californian most people will be cheering on when the World of Outlaws return to Antioch Speedway Friday night, April 5. The 20-year-old from Elk Grove has quickly gained national attention for his ability to drive any type of racecar on any racetrack and win.
“I enjoy every bit of racing,” Larson said. “I love racing at Antioch Speedway and being in front of my hometown crowd. It makes a difference when you have so many fans cheering you on.”
Larson is part of a handful of Californians who dominate World of Outlaws events when the traveling chow comes to their home state. Included are San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, Sacramento native Paul McMahon, Fresno’s Jason Meyers, and Chico’s Jonathan Allard. All of them will see action at Antioch Speedway.
Allard almost won last September’s World of Outlaws sprint car race at Antioch Speedway, but a last lap mishap snatched victory away from him. He gets another chance Friday night at the Bay Area clay oval.
Familiarity is on Allard’s side when it comes to Antioch Speedway. He’s raced and won in all types of sprint cars here over the years.
“It’s too bad I didn’t seal the deal last time,” he said. “I haven’t got my first World of Outlaws win yet – it would be great to have it be at Antioch.”
Allard ran up front for most of the distance in the autumn event. On a late-race restart, he spun his tires which allowed Donny Schatz and Tim Kaeding to pass him.
Kaeding went on to win, bringing the fans to their feet as he executed a “slide job” on Schatz on the last lap. Allard was third in one of the wildest World of Outlaws races of all time.
To add to the agony of losing his lead, Allard flipped his sprint car after the checkered flew.
“At Antioch it is an accomplishment to run up front,” Allard said. “You’re running with the best of the best on one of the best sprint car tracks in the state.”
Will Allard change anything this week?
“We’ve got the equipment, and a great crew,” he explained. “I have to stay on my game. I have to start fast, stay fast, and run up front.”
Paul McMahon, originally from Sacramento, now lives in Nashville, Tenn. Californians still see him as a hometown boy.
“Antioch Speedway – I just love the place,” he said. “Turns one and two are just different enough than three and four to make it a fun place to race.”
McMahon runs the World of Outlaws full-time and he scored his 15th career win last week at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico.
A full field of the nation’s top sprint car drivers will roll into the Antioch pit area on Friday. Included will be the “big names in the sport” such as Indiana’s Steve Kinser, who won at Antioch two years ago; Tennessee’s Sammy Swindell; and North Dakota’s Schatz.
A full IMCA modified stock car event, with heat races and a feature event, is also on the World of Outlaws card for Friday night. The best in the track’s “modified” division, including three-time track champ Troy Foulger, will take on the region’s best drivers, including Bobby Hogge IV, and Randy and Ryan McDaniel.
Tickets will be available at the Antioch Speedway ticket booth at 1 p.m. on Friday. General Admission is $35 for adults and $15 for children. Pit gates open at 1 p.m. Pit passes are $50.