In the middle of California, you can find the World of Outlaws (WOO) Sprint Car Races at the end of March. It’s always beautiful in Hanford, where the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings County Fairgrounds is located, so it’s the perfect place for a race. Sprint car racing has been going on here since 1985, and with the semi-banked 3/8-mile oval track, this speedway puts racing at it's best.
WOO was founded in 1978, and they feature some of the most powerful cars on dirt. Known all over the globe, WOO Sprint is a popular winged sprint car event drawing the most talented dirt race-track drivers. The excitement begins the night before with a celebration featuring food, drinks, and music.
For those who are camping at the fairgrounds, many say the night before the race is the best part. Getting together with a group of race fans and meeting the drivers, seeing the cars, and enjoying the California weather. The campgrounds are nice, have plenty of amenities, and are close to the track. Many campers opt to stay the whole weekend. For those who aren’t staying overnight, don’t worry, there are seven parking lots on the grounds, so you’ll have no trouble finding a spot to park.
Ticket prices vary depending on the race, duration of your stay, and whether or not you are camping. In addition, you can choose an adult or child pit combo, which includes a reserved seat and a pit pass. In the past, these have been about $40 to $50. You can buy your tickets for WOO Sprint Keller online or by phone, or you can wait and buy them when you get there. However, if camping in an RV, you’ll want to reserve your spot well in advance.
Just a half an hour from Fresno to the north and one and a half hours from Bakersfield to the south, Keller Auto Speedway, also called Kings Speedway, is right in the middle of California. Coming from anywhere in California, you’ll do best to take I-5 to arrive near CA-198. But if you’re coming from anywhere else, you’ll have to take a series of smaller highways to get to the speedway.
The speedway has more than enough parking for visitors and drivers alike with seven spacious parking lots, which are usually free of charge. If you’re camping, parking won’t be an issue, but if you’re driving your RV in just for the day, there is a special RV parking lot between the Milk Barn & Dairy Concession and the Grape Room to the west of the track.
Kings County is home to the Kings Area Rural Transit, or KART, which provides affordable bus transportation to the public Monday through Saturday in Hanford as well as the surrounding cities. In fact, some routes may take you right to the track. In the past, there has been a transit stop right in front of the Kings Speedway. You could also call a taxi or use a rideshare app.
Kings County Fairgrounds has its own campground near the speedway, which is on 10th Avenue. They provide primitive sites as well as those with water and 30- or 50-amp electric. Most of these are pull-through sites that can accommodate any size rig. Kids and pets are welcome. You can make reservations by phone or in person, but if you wait until the day of the race, you may not get a spot.
The KOA Campground Visalia is just 15 miles to the east of the fairgrounds, where you can find several dozen RV sites with full hookups that can accommodate up to 70-foot rigs. They also have a pool, dog park, snack bar, cable TV, Wi-Fi, volleyball, recreation rooms, a game room, playground, and much more. You’ll find several other campgrounds in the area, some primitive and others with full hookups and amenities.
If you are coming from any of the parking lots, the speedway is less than a five-minute walk. Because the area is so compact, guests usually do not have problems getting around on foot. However, you will want to wear comfortable shoes to help keep your feet happy. Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome but scooters, bikes, and other wheeled devices are not allowed.
Although the weather is typically warm and sunny in Central California in late March, it can get chilly at night when the sun goes down. Temperatures have been known to drop down into the 40s at times. It’s best to pack light clothes you can layer when needed. T-shirts, jeans, and tank tops with comfortable tennis shoes are the norm.
Pack your gear in a backpack or fanny pack to keep your hands free for cheering on your favorite driver and holding your favorite beverage. You can pack a camera or use your phone to get photos or video to share on your social media sites. Rules say no outside food or drinks, but an empty water bottle to refill is allowed.
The sun likes to shine on Hanford in the springtime, so make sure you bring sunblock to protect you from the sun. You may also want to bring some lip balm and sunglasses to protect your face. Bug spray is also a definite must at the campground as well as at the speedway. The mosquitos get hungry after the sun goes down in the area.
RV campers staying at the fairgrounds will have electric and water hookups, so cooking in the rig will be a breeze. However, you may want to bring a camp stove anyway, just in case their hookups are not available. If you need to grab some last-minute items such as paper plates or BBQ sauce, there are a few grocery stores and convenience stores nearby in Hanford.
You’re just five minutes from over a dozen restaurants, such as steakhouses, Asian cuisine, and several pizza places. For the adventurous race fan, there is a Salvadorian Restaurant, Sushi shop, and more than one Thai food place. If you would rather hit the drive-thru, you’ll find quite a few of those in Hanford, too.
In the past, the food vendors at the racetrack have consisted of burgers, hotdogs, corndogs, nachos, and drinks such as soft drinks, beer, and water. While featured sponsors may change each year, popular ones in the past have included NOS Energy Drink, Budweiser, Hoosier Racing Tire, NGK Spark Plugs, VP Racing Fuels, DirTVision.com, and dozens more.
Security at the WOO Sprint Keller at Kings Fair Speedway is there to keep the peace and protect everyone while still allowing everyone to have fun. There is a zero-tolerance for drugs and weapons, which is strictly enforced. If you need help or have any questions, contact the security office near the main entrance.
Central California weather is beautiful all the time. Just ask the locals. Typically, at the end of March, you are going to find temps in the mid to upper 70s for the highs and lows in the upper 40s and low 50s. Temperatures have been known to be as high as the 80s and lows in the 30s. You aren’t likely to see any rain at this time of year, and you are even less likely to see any snow.
WOO Sprint Keller has medical staff on site who can manage things such as heat exhaustion and minor injuries. But for more serious injuries or illnesses, call 911 or head to the nearest hospital, which is about four miles away within Hanford. At the campground, you can contact the camp host if they are available if you need help while at your campsite.