The World of Outlaws finishes its California tour this weekend with races Friday night in Hanford and Saturday night in Southern California.
Donny Schatz, the national sprint car series’ six-time defending champion, leads the field into Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. Schatz won Sunday night at Calistoga Speedway, his series-leading fifth win of the season to push his early 2015 points lead.
Sunday’s 24-car main event featured seven drivers with central San Joaquin Valley ties: Fresno-based Roth Motorsports drivers David Gravel and Kevin Swindell; two-time Outlaws champion Jason Meyers of Clovis and Gary Scelzi Motorsports teammate Dominic Scelzi of Fresno; Carson Macedo of Lemoore in a Tarlton & Son car out of Easton; Bud Kaeding in the Oakhurst-based Williams Motorsports car; and Hanford’s DJ Netto.
Gravel is the only one of those seven drivers who’s a regular on the Outlaws series, a 90-race season that wraps up its California swing Saturday night in Perris. Gravel is seventh in the points standings. Macedo, a freshman at West Hills College Lemoore, is 19th. Macedo, Netto and Scelzi are among the young emerging stars from the Valley on the California sprint car scene.
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Scelzi is enjoying some early season success highlighted by double duty Saturday night at Calistoga, where he raced to a fifth-place finish in the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series that supported the Outlaws feature.
Milestone for Tarlton
Tommy Tarlton also drives a family-owned sprint car, and Friday night in Watsonville he recorded his 50th career win with crew chief Paul Baines.
Tarlton is a two-time champion at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, and scored his second straight win this season at the quarter-mile track.
Vander Weerd wins
Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia scored his first U.S. Auto Club West Coast Sprint series win of the season Saturday night, leading the last 12 laps of the 30-lap feature at Santa Maria Speedway.
Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton finished third to take the series points lead heading into the next race May 16 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.