SINCE the days of Jac Haudenschild and Danny Smith, Americans have longed to pluck the South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic from Australian hands.
Nine Americans have tasted the ultimate success in the prestigious race, but Australians have claimed the last four.
Can the US-based chargers take honours back over the Pacific? Or will another Aussie etch their name in history?
Originally 10 Americans were locked in, but with Gio Scelzi's withdrawal, nine of the best are ready to go.
Indianapolis native Shane Stewart said the strong contingent proved how seriously Americans were taking the race.
"It kinda goes to show how important this week of racing is," he said.
"As an American being a sprintcar driver, you want to come out here and win the classic.
"It's an important race to have on your resume and you have guys like Kyle Larson, (Carson) Macedo and Cory Eliason who has been racing here all summer."
The Standard has analysed the best chances in Premier Speedway's showcase event. Who will claim the prestigious title?
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Highest finish: 18th
Verdict: NASCAR superstar who holds the highest profile of any driver in the 107-strong field. Star of motorsport coming off a Chili Bowl triumph, proving he can do it on dirt and asphalt. One of the biggest stars to ever race the classic and genuine contender for the crown.
Hometown: Penngrove, California
Highest finish: C-main, eighth
Verdict: Genuine hot shot who finished seventh in the Chili Bowl before jetting out to Australia. Still under 20. Kofoid could be the surprise packet and boasts loads of natural ability and pace. The classic is a key date in a worldwide tour for Kofoid which has included a stop in New Zealand.
Haase is the first-ever female feature winner at Iowa's famous Knoxville Speedway. Has been racing in Sydney as a tune-up for the classic.
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Highest finish: Debut
Verdict: Largely an unknown competitor but arrives with strong credentials. Haase is the first-ever female feature winner at Iowa's famous Knoxville Speedway. Has been racing in Sydney as a tune-up for the classic. Could be a smokey.
Hometown: Visalia, California
Highest finish: Ninth
Verdict: Eliason, who arrived early in the Australian summer for World Series Sprintcars, will be well-accustomed to Australian tracks. The 2020 edition will be the Californian's third classic so he won't be lacking familiarity with Premier Speedway. Finished 23rd in last year's A-main and will be looking to make amends with a higher rank.
Hometown: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Highest finish: Sixth
Verdict: The 'Steel City Outlaw' is a former Knoxville Nationals champion and has flown under the radar with other big-name Americans set to race. Shaffer, 52, recorded two World Of Outlaws A-main triumphs in the US in 2019 to prove he can still match it with the best.
Hometown: Sacremento, California
Highest finish: Debut
Verdict: Another Californian ace who will line up for 1997 champion Trevor Green. He's just 20 years old, but has been in ultra-high demand. Henry has driven for six car owners in the United States, finding victory lane for three.
Henry arrives in hot form. He collected 10 quicktime awards, 19 top-five places and 31 top-10 results in his American campaign.
An unknown quantity on Australian tracks but one to keep an eye on.
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Highest finish: Winner (2010)
Verdict: It has been a decade since Shane Stewart last claimed classic honours, but he's just as hungry. Without a ride for the American season, Stewart will be eager to show the world he can still get the job done on Australian speedway's grandest stage.
Hometown: San Diego, California
Highest finish: Winner (2014)
Verdict: Kaeding's iconic celebration after winning the 2014 edition is etched in the memory of Aussie sprintcar fans. The Californian will be hoping to turn it on again. Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Knoxville Nationals and will be a genuine contender. Capable of anything and won't be afraid to pass his rivals.
Hometown: Lemoore, California
Highest finish: Second
Verdict: Won a preliminary night in 2019 and finished second behind Corey McCullagh in 2018. Macedo 'gets' Aussie tracks and appears to be on the brink of a breakthrough result. Macedo's appearance on Saturday will mark his fifth-successive South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic. Genuine contender.
- Follow The Standard's rolling coverage of the 2020 South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic across all three nights at standard.net.au.
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