Kahne, Larson to race in Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown

Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson will race in the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway. 

Sean Gardner

There might not be any NASCAR action for another month or so, but that will not stop two NASCAR stars from putting on the firesuit and climbing behind the wheel this week.

Open-wheel aficionados Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson are headed to the 3/8-mile Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz., for the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown on Jan. 2-3, Jan. 6 and Jan. 9-10.

The event will include over 50 sprint car drivers and the four weekend races pay $12,000 to win and at least $1,000 to start.

"It means a lot to sprint car racing to have a guy like Kasey Kahne involved," Cocopah Speedway Director of Operations Greg Burgess said in a release. "To have him backing the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown is a big deal and we can’t wait to see him back in a sprint car for five nights."

2015 @GreatClips car ready for AZ #kkwinterheat

A photo posted by Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) on

For Larson, it will be his first time in a winged sprint car since 2013. The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year will only compete Friday, Saturday and Tuesday due to testing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

The Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown will also feature top sprint car drivers Steve Kinser, Joey Saldana, Danny Lasoski, and Craig Sollanksy.