Sammy Swindell of Germantown, Tenn., won Friday night’s World of Outlaws feature race, edging out Daryn Pittman of Owasso, Okla., in front of 3,100 fans at Merced Speedway.
It was Swindell’s third consecutive win in Merced and his 290th on the premiere national touring series for winged sprint cars. This is the third year the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car series has visited Merced’s gently banked, quarter-mile dirt oval.
Swindell, who started second, was strongest in the middle of the track. He won $10,000 for 20 minutes of work against 31 competitors from across the United States.
Kyle Larson, 20, of Elk Grove, a phenomenon of NASCAR’s Nationwide series in his rookie year, started from the pole but finished 14th after losing a tire on the 13th lap while leading. Larson was testing a stock car in Las Vegas earlier in the day.
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The speedway’s IMCA Modifieds also competed Friday night. Their regular season starts April 6.
All 850 horsepower of the 1,400-pound race car is constantly wound out as they drift sideways through the canted corners, part of the charm of the World of Outlaws series called the “Greatest Show on Dirt.”
The World of Outlaws next runs are Friday night at Antioch and April 6 at Calistoga.
Larson won the trophy dash over Swindell earlier in the evening.
Austin Burke of Salinas won the 18-car, 20-lap Modified main event and took home the $1,000 top prize.