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Checkered Past: Pastures of Plenty

“Welcome to the Hotel California,” crooned Don Henley in 1976. “Such a lovely place. Such a lovely face. Plenty of room at the Hotel California. Any time of year, you can find it here.” Plenty of room indeed. I-5 stretches 796 miles from Oregon to Mexico. Don was drummer and legendary lyricist of The Eagles … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Splitting Hares

Knoxville Nationals is centerpiece of every season. For nearly six decades, the best in the world have converged on Marion County Fairground for one, two, three, four and in cases of rain or fog, five days and raucous nights. Yet in four decades of the World of Outlaws, only the final night of each Nationals … Read more

Checkered Past: PA Posse

Don Kreitz Jr. and Sammy Swindell

The World of Outlaws just entertained enough Eldora spectators to start a small country. They have spun turnstiles of 230 speedways in 39 U.S. states, plus Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. No matter the amount of international currency required, fans pay to see “The Greatest Show On Dirt.” Pennsylvania, however, is where people religiously … Read more

Checkered Past: An Introduction

I knew this World of Outlaws thing would stick. Sure, anyone can say that now, 41 years after “The Greatest Show On Dirt” lifted its curtain. But the sprint car climate of 1978 was very ready for a roving salesman from Wichita Falls, Texas named Ted Johnson. Critics later argued that his World of Outlaws … Read more