Sprint Car Fans Welcome in Chico

Sep 5, 2013 8:12 PM

The Gold Cup has returned to Chico's Silver Dollar Speedway, along with thousands of fans who pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.

"We've got our pool, we just hang around here and camp, barbecue. We drink our beer and our tequila," said Gary Allen.

Gary Allen rallied his family from near and far for four days of sprint car racing at the Silver Dollar Speedway.

"Roseville, Auburn, Grass Valley, Fairfield, my brother from Michigan," said Allen. "You can't see a better show in the world than the boys here."

Gary is just one of more than 20,000 race fans who will invade the Silver Dollar Speedway, and the crowds and intensity will grow as the weekend goes on.

"We just have a ball together," said Allen.

That's because the event features the "World of Outlaws," teams owned by Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.

"They're the best drivers in the world. They travel all over the country, they come to California twice a year. I try to follow them," said John Moore.

Also participating is 21-year-old Elk Grove native Kyle Larson. The 2-time defending Gold Cup champion has shown up the World of Outlaws both times. This season, Larson raced in the Nascar Nationwide Series, and next year, he'll be making the jump to the Nascar Sprint Cup Series. Race officials say this might be the last chance to see Larson in Chico for many years to come.

"Now that he's signed to be a full time cup driver with nascar next year, i don't think we're going to see him on a dirt track anytime soon," said Troy Hennig.

With Larson's appearance, along with the World of Outlaws, ticket sales are skyrocketing.

"Camping sales are up, ticket sales are up, I think people are excited about this event," said Hennig.

Money isn't just coming into the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. The Gold Cup drives serious cash into the local economy.

"The biggest winner is the city of Chico. We bring in all these campers, we bring in all the people that race, they've got to get hotels, they've got to get supplies, eat at local restaurants, get gas," said Hennig.

"This is a financial boon for the community, it infuses about $5,000,000 into the Chico area," said Dennis Gage.


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