By Justin Melillo
The iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series is down to three races remaining in the 2023-24 season. Next up on Monday night is the series’ inaugural trip to Port Royal Speedway, better known as “The Speed Palace” in Pennsylvania for the eighth race on the schedule. After claiming his first win in the series’ last outing at Fairbury, sophomore Aiden Forster has cut Ryan Avila’s points lead down to three to set up a battle to the finish.
The racing from Port Royal begins on January 15 at 9PM ET, and it will be live on both DIRTVision and iRacing’s social media channels.
Last Race: Hayden Cardwell was in prime position to score his first win of the 2023-24 season last Monday, dominant from the get-go during all the festivities at Fairbury. Cardwell set the quick time in qualifying, won his heat, and led the opening 33 laps of the 35-lap feature. Coming to the white flag, Cardwell got too close to the wall, allowing Forster to swoop in and steal the victory on the final lap. Forster, who started fifth, worked around heat winners like Avila and Clayton Davies to be in that spot, and took full advantage of the situation.
Last Season: Port Royal Speedway makes its debut on the 2023-24 schedule after releasing on the service in the 2022 Season 3 update. Port Royal was included in 2023’s Late Model ranks, where Evan Seay took the win en route towards the overall championship.
At this point in the previous Sprint Car season, the stage seemed to be set for a drag race to the finish between Alex Bergeron and Timothy Smith. Eventually, it would be the third place driver at the time, Tyler Schell, who took the title. While Avila and Forster have pulled away from the field, don’t count out Logan Rumsey in third, defending champion Schell in fourth, or three-time champion Bergeron in fifth.
Track Info: Another Pennsylvania circuit on the calendar, Port Royal Speedway, also known as “The Speed Palace,” first opened in 1938. It has hosted World of Outlaws competition since the series’ second season in 1979, becoming an annual visit in 2014. Lynn Paxton took the first WoO Sprint Car win in track history, and names like Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, and Kyle Larson have also earned victories in series events at Port Royal.
Race Format: These races feature qualifying and heat racing to determine the 20 drivers that will compete in the main race. There will be four heat races of 10 laps each, where the top four will advance forward through to the main event. There will also be two 12-lap consolation races where the top two finishers in each will move on. In the 35-lap feature races, caution laps do not count. This is the first Sprint Car season since iRacing’s Dirt Refresh was launched in June.
Next Up: The penultimate battle of the 2023-24 season will take place at Eldora Speedway on January 22. “The World’s Greatest Dirt Track” was a place for redemption for Hayden Cardwell last season, after a similarly brutal loss at the track in 2021 as he had last weekend at Fairbury. Cardwell will be looking for a second win in a row on the half-mile high banks as the championship battle enters its final stages.
For more information on the series, visit www.iracing.com/woosc. For more information on the World of Outlaws, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.