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Outlaws break loose tonight

More than 5,000 fans expected at speedway

WHITE CITY-- A near sellout crowd is expected for tonight's World of Outlaws sprint car race at the Southern Oregon Speedway.

More than 3,000 advance tickets had been sold as of noon Tuesday. Walk-up sales are expected to push attendance over the 4,000 mark and possibly challenge the sellout figure of 5,500, promoter John Skinner said.

The main grandstands can accommodate 2,700, the grassy knoll holds 2,200 and auxiliary grandstands in the pit area and the east end of the track can seat another 600.

Ticket prices range from $19 to $39 per person, although the most expensive seats are sold out.

Spectator gates open at 4 p.m. with racing set to begin about 6:30.

The popularity of these races just keeps getting greater, Skinner said. It's like having a Busch Grand National race.

The high-tech, open-wheeled sprint cars feature more 700 horsepower, weigh just 1,200 pounds and can reach speeds of 100 mph on the straightaways.

The World of Outlaws tour, now in its 22nd season, features 73 events at 46 tracks in 25 states.

The tour is currently on a West Coast swing. The last race, held Monday night in Cottage Grove, was won by Danny Lasoski of Dover, Mo. Australian Brooke Tatnell won his heat race and the trophy dash and led for much of the way in the main event before being passed by Lasoski.

The current points leader is Mark Kinser of Oolitic, Ind., who has 18 victories in 54 starts and earned $429,0000. Kinser has finished in the top five in all but 12 races.

Kinser's cousin, Steve, stands in third place and has won 15 points titles.

Two local drivers -- Bill Nutter of Central Point and Dan Menne of Fort Jones, Calif. -- are expected to join the field.