GRANITE CITY – For the first time since 2008, the World of Outlaws returns to Tri-City Speedway on Friday night.

Absent from the schedule for 14 years, the Granite City oval is still the 13th most-visited track in World of Outlaws series history with 55 appearances dating back to the first in 1979. When the series ran for the last time at the 3/8-mile in 2008, it was 10-time champion Donny Schatz, taking fifth of 221 victories driving the #15 Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing. The native of Fargo, D.D. Nord returns to Tri-City as one of the most experienced runners on the track with 16 starts between 1997 and 2008. He will look to use that to his advantage with his second win of 2022 on the line this Friday night.

Along with Schatz, only Kraig Kinser and Jason Sides have ever raced in Tri-City with the World of Outlaws. Both drivers finished in the top five in 2005, and both enter the race this weekend for their first top 10 finishes of the new season.

Although the World of Outlaws has not visited Tri-City since 2008, the Midwest Open Wheel Association has raced the 3/8 mile oval regularly during that time. Ayrton Gennetten of Versailles, Missouri is undefeated in his Tri-City career, winning each of the past two MOWA races. He’s looking to break his World of Outlaws career-high fourth, which was achieved at the Devil’s Bowl when he led more than 20 laps last fall.

Rico Abreu of St. Helena, Calif., is also a former MOWA winner at Tri-City, and he owns a USAC National Midget win at the venue, as does Tanner Thorson of Minden, NV. Both will be in action this weekend after a pair of solid finishes on I-55 last weekend.

After the trip to Tri-City, the Outlaws will move to Haubstadt, Indiana’s Tri-State track on Saturday night.

Carson Macedo of Lemoore, Calif., has dominated the past two races, joining Doug Wolfgang, Andy Hillenburg and Paul McMahan as the only consecutive winners at Tri-State. The #41 Jason Johnson Racing driver is the newest series winner at I-55 and already leads the league with three wins with the potential to add a fourth this week. Along with Macedo, David Gravel is the only other full-time driver to have won at Haubstadt, also taking two victories.

The Indiana track has seen five early winners with Lee James and Larry Gates in 1979, Texan Gary Wright in 1991, and recent events with Parker Price-Miller in 2017 and Carson Short in 2020.

David Gravel of Watertown, Connecticut will achieve the first of several milestones to come this weekend with his 700th World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series entry on Saturday night.

The Big Game Motorsports No. 2 is just four wins shy of a 75th career win, six finishes shy of a 300th career top-5 and four points shy of a 500th career top-10.

Big Game Motorsports #2 picked up a pair of wins, six podiums and 11 top 10s as Gravel continues to fight for his first World of Outlaws Championship.

A pair of Indiana natives in Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Indiana) and Kraig Kinser (Bloomington, Indiana) will race in their home state for the first time in 2022 this weekend as the series travels to the Tri- Haubstadt State Speedway. Neither driver has yet won in the 1/4 mile with Kinser’s best run in fourth and Bayston’s best finish in 11th.

The Shark Racing team may have been just one lap away from scoring back-to-back World of Outlaws wins with Jacob Allen and Logan Schuchart. After a rocky start to the season, the No. 1As and No. 1S bounced back with some impressive runs, including Jacob’s victory at the Jason Johnson Classic and Logan’s near-victory on the I-55.

The duo will be looking to build on their momentum this weekend and next in Bristol as the series heads east to familiar territory in Ohio and their native Pennsylvania in May.