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Racing season just around the corner

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POSTED March 7, 2014 12:36 a.m.

The 2014 local racing season is just around the corner and Stockton 99 Speedway has released its 2014 schedule. A total of 15 Saturday night events are slated for the historic quarter-mile paved oval that opened in 1947.

There will be 12 events featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, which kicks off the new season in April.  Reigning champions at the Stockton 99 Speedway include Grand American Modified titlist Jason Philpot of Sacramento, Western Late Model champion Matt Scott of Pine Grove, Atwater’s Jason Aguirre in the Super Stocks,  Stockton’s Ben Lewis II in Pure Stocks and Manteca’s Brad Mast in the 4-Cylinders.

Other important dates for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series include the annual “Johnny Brazil Night” Aug. 16 and “Kids Night” June 14 The prestigous Tri-Holiday Series returns on Memorial Day, July 5 and Labor Day Aug. 30.

One of the 2014 season highlights will be the return of the touring NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Series on May 3. The event at 99 Speedway will be the third round of competition for the K&N Series, which opened last weekend at Phoenix International Speedway and heads next Irwindale Raceway on March 22. Overall, the series will compete in 14 events this coming season on 12 tracks covering seven different states.

 “The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West features the stars of tomorrow competing against the top stock-car drivers in the west,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series.

The Spears Manufacturing SRL Late Model Series will be making its only appearance of the season in Stockton on July 26. Last season, fan favorite Jim Pettit II, of Prunedale, won the SRL championship, while Manteca drivers Jacob Gomes and Ross Strmiska finished third and seventh, respectively.

The season ending sixth annual “Fall Classic” which will also include the Watermelon Bash Enduro, will take place on October 4th.

The Rusty Wallace Driving Experience will be back throughout the season for those fans with a desire to do more than just watch the action.

If you can’t wait for the opener, on March 28, the Stockton 99 Speedway will hold an open practice from 1 p.m. until dark.

The Stockton Dirt Track will also be busy in 2014 with seven events currently on the 2014 schedule and more planned.

Northern California’s newest dirt track facility is set to open its second season of competition in a big way on March 21, with Winged 360 Sprint Cars & BCRA Midgets in the first half of a huge double-header weekend that finds the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at the 3/8 mile oval on March 22.

“This will be the first two-night open wheel show we’ve done at the Stockton Dirt Track since we opened last year and we’re really excited about it,” said track promoter Tony Noceti. “Creating special events is something we’re really focusing on at the Dirt Track and we would love this March weekend to become a happening like you see at the Gold Cup in Chico and how the Trophy Cup in Tulare has been.”

A car show and live band will also be featured on Saturday afternoon at the track. Tickets for both nights can be acquired by logging onto  www.dirtcar.ticketforce.com/ordertickets or by calling (877) 395-8606.

Fans who pre-buy their March 21-22 weekend tickets will also be in a drawing for a special chance to have dinner with 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, driver of a race car owned by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. The names of five lucky  couples will be randomly drawn out of the pre-ticket sales to have “Dinner with the King” at the El Rancho Inn – Steak & Lobster House on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m.

Other events on the clay oval include the Winged 360 Sprints on Saturday, May 17 and Friday, June 20, Tractor Pulls on Saturday, June 14, the West Coast Late Model Shootout on Saturday, July 12, and the King of the West Sprint Car Series on Saturdays Aug. 2 and Nov. 1.

“We’re happy with how the 99 schedule came out this year and want to continue focusing on making it to where everyone can support the track as much as possible,” said Noceti. “Having a weekend or two off per month is huge to keep everyone fresh, but with events going on at the Stockton Dirt Track & Little 99, there is plenty to keep those diehards going all season long.”

The racing season will kick off with the 7th Annual Hot Rod, Race Car & Antique Collectibles Swap Meet also featuring a race car and hot rod car show on Sunday, March 9 at the Stockton 99 Speedway. The event opens to the public at 7 a.m.

The Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way while the Stockton Dirt Track is located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. For more Stockton racing information visit www.stockton99.com and www.stocktondirttrack.com.

To contact Dale Bosowski email dalebosowki@yahoo.com

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