CHECKERED PAST: Seven Nights in June

June 3, 1986 Weedsport, NY (0.337d) Race 30 of 82: It was rebranded as Cayuga County Speedway because “weedsport” sounded like boondocks. After wealthy Al Heinke sank several million dollars into the formerly fenceless oval one Thruway exit west of Syracuse, it bore scant resemblance to the Sunday Night anchor of Glenn Donnelly’s DIRT of … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Crockett and The Dude

The World of Outlaws was only four months old when it first visited the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. On that summer evening in 1978 “The Buckeye Traveler” Rick Ferkel toted Two Grand back to Bowling Green, Ohio. During its second season, the World of Outlaws did not race in Missouri at all. It was … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Support System

No one wanted to watch a television show of fewer than 20 sprint cars. This was the executive wisdom behind the World of Outlaws Gumout Support Series. To launch a club for the expressed purpose of bolstering a bigger club was odd and only lasted three years or until the TV contract expired. In historical … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: World of Outlaws 1980

The year was 1980. Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was President. The Wall by Pink Floyd ruled the radio. The Empire Strikes Back was box office gold. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were champions of football and baseball while Philly basketball and hockey topped all but Los Angeles and Long Island. U.S hostages heard the Super Bowl … Read more

Checkered Past: Racing Is Resilient

The World of Outlaws has paused many times. It has been rained out from Florida to Seattle and hammered by hurricanes in Houston and Santa Cruz. It was too windy in Oklahoma City, too rough to race in Nevada and New Mexico, and Michigan was too full of stones. Outlaw competition director for 12 years, … Read more

Checkered Past: Lone Star Lullaby

There are 47 of these United States in our Lower 48. Then there’s Texas. It has its own language, attitude and longest stretch: 825 miles from the Rio Grande to Sabine Rivers. In between is everything from desert reeking of petroleum to pristine beach at South Padre Island. No state has more cattle, horses, sheep, … Read more

Checkered Past: Outlaws Hunt Turkey

Outlaws can be grumpy bears. Three months between World Finals and Florida Speedweeks make them miserable. Some bears refuse to hibernate. They board flights to Australia or New Zealand to race all 12 months like Jason Johnson or Danny Smith did. Others try the Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix, a Southern California tradition for 79 … Read more

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