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Carson Macedo is among the favorites to win Friday’s preliminary feature during the68th Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway. (Paul Trevino photo)

Gold Cup Preview: A Look At Friday’s Field

CHICO, Calif. — After last night’s prelim action at the 68th Gold Cup Race of Champions, only two tickets remain for the right to start in the top-four of tomorrow’s dash that will set the front four rows of the $25,000 to win finale.

Roughly 30 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars will compete tonight at Silver Dollar Speedway for those two spots, and just like yesterday the field is full of talent.

Friday Favorites

• Headlining the Friday group is the Outlaws winningest driver this season, Carson Macedo.

The Jason Johnson Racing No. 41 pilot enters with tons of momentum having just picked up his series-leading 11th victory Monday at Grays Harbor Raceway. Macedo is on a streak of eight straight top-seven finishes with a 2.75 average finish during that span.

Making it even tougher on his competition is the fact that the Lemoore, Calif., native is heading to familiar territory. The 26-year-old’s first ever WoO victory came in 2014 at the Gold Cup opener in just his sixth career feature start.

Macedo picked up another Chico victory in 2019 and looks to lock up his first Gold Cup title this year.

• David Gravel is also among those likely to be in contention this evening and in Saturday’s finale.

Historically, Gravel has struggled at Silver Dollar Speedway with just three top-five finishes in 18 starts, but two of those top fives have come in his last three starts including his first win at the facility in last year’s Gold Cup prelim.

• Looking to become a three-time Gold Cup winner is 10-time Outlaw champion Donny Schatz.

Just last month Schatz demonstrated he can still win when the lights are at their brightest as he picked up his 11th Knoxville Nationals.

The WoO’s third winningest driver of all-time has three top-five finishes in his last five starts in Chico and is chasing his first Silver Dollar victory since 2016.

• The two-car Roth Motorsports stable will bring one of the competitors most hungry for a win in Kerry Madsen.

The 28-time WoO feature winner has been close to victory lane on a handful of occasions this season but been unable to seal the deal.

While 2022 is Madsen’s first full season aboard the iconic No. 83jr, he and Roth partnered back in 2016 for a Gold Cup run resulting in a pair of eighth-place finishes. Madsen’s best Silver Dollar Speedway effort is third on two occasions, including in the 2015 Gold Cup finale.

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Dominic Scelzi (41) battles Shane Golobic at Ocean Speedway. (Joe Shivak photo)

Cali Clique

• Two drivers highlight the California local contingent as legitimate threats to win tonight and contend tomorrow — Dominic Scelzi and Shane Golobic.

Scelzi has arguably been the state’s most dominant driver since the beginning of last year and the results indicate he’s certainly been at the top in 410 action.

In the last year and a half, the Fresno, Calif., gasser has a series leading 10 victories with the California-based NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Cars including one last September in Chico.

Last year’s NARC champion also owns three top-five finishes with the Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway and looks to earn his first series win this weekend.

Golobic already has two series victories to his credit but is looking for his first in Chico. Like Scelzi, Golobic has run in the top five with the Outlaws at Silver Dollar with a pair of podiums in 2011 and ’19 being his best showings.

Golobic has taken nine trips to Chico victory lane in local sprint car action including Wednesday’s Pacific Sprint Cup Invitational with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour.

• One of the greatest wheelmen to hail from the west coast, Tim Kaeding, will hit the track tonight as he continues to chase his first Gold Cup title.

“TK” is a two-time Gold Cup runner-up (2002 and ’18).

The San Jose, Calif., native has put together quite the résumé at Silver Dollar Speedway with his 54 victories ranking fourth all-time. Of his 72 career NARC wins, 18 of them have come at the Butte County bullring.

• The “C” in SLC Promotions, Colby Copeland, will compete on Friday night.

Last year Copeland led 13 laps of the Friday feature of Gold Cup before finishing a WoO-career best of second.

• A pair of former NARC champions in D.J. Netto and Bud Kaeding continue the hunt for their first Outlaw wins tonight.

Back in 2016 Netto led 34 laps of a WoO race in Chico before an empty fuel tank delivered a heartbreaking blow as he surrendered the lead late. The Hanford, Calif., native is a two-time top-five finisher with the series with a third at Silver Dollar Speedway in 2015 being his best showing.

Like Netto, Kaeding’s best WoO run is a third at the Gold Cup’s hosting facility.

The three-time USAC Silver Crown champion is a seven-time feature winner at Silver Dollar Speedway, most recently claiming a 2016 local event.

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Jacob Allen (Paul Arch photo)

Dark Horses

• This season has seen Jacob Allen shake off the underdog narrative with three victories already, but the Shark Racing driver has struggled at Silver Dollar Speedway in the past.

Through 12 feature starts, Allen has managed to only tally one top-10, but as he’s proven this year he cannot be counted out anywhere.

Allen looks to make it back-to-back Gold Cups for Shark Racing after teammate Logan Schuchart was victorious last year.

• Making his series debut with an opportunity to make some noise will be Max Mittry.

The 16-year-old has impressed all along the West Coast this year, competing primarily with NARC.

In April, Mittry finished seventh in his first 410 start at Silver Dollar Speedway and backed it up with his first career quick time with NARC the next night in only his second series appearance.

On Wednesday the Redding, Calif., native finished on the podium with SCCT behind only Shane Golobic and Kyle Larson.

• This past weekend in Washington Joel Myers Jr. made his presence felt nationally as he became the latest young gun to perform well with the Outlaws.

Making just his second appearance, Myers Jr. brought his family-owned No. 46jr home fourth at Washington’s Skagit Speedway.

Now, the Sebastopol, Calif., gasser heads to home turf with thoughts of climbing onto the podium this weekend.