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99 Speedway all set to start season

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POSTED April 3, 2014 12:34 a.m.

The historic Stockton 99 Speedway will kick-off its 2014 season this Saturday, April 5 with a big five-division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.

“We’re excited to get things underway this year at the Stockton 99 Speedway and it all begins this weekend,” said track director Tony Noceti. “We had a lot of fun at the World of Outlaw event over at the Dirt Track and are looking forward to the upcoming season at the 99 starting this Saturday night.”

Saturday’s program, which will feature the Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, Legends of the Pacific and Mini Cup, will be the first of 12 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series dates this season.

Reigning track champions 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, Manteca’s Brad Mast in the 4-Cylinders and Gabriel Herzog in the Mini Cups are all expected back to defend their titles at the tricky high banked ¼-mile oval.

Adult general admission tickets on Saturday for ages 16 and older will be $15, juniors 11-15 will be $10, with kids 10 and under free. Seniors 60 and older and military with ID will be just $10. A family pack featuring two adult general admission tickets and two junior tickets will be available for $40.

Front gate opens for spectators at 5 p.m., with racing scheduled for 6.  For more info visit www.stockton99.com

GP of Long Beach

Preparations are well underway for the 40th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 11-13.

In addition to the 80-lap Verizon IndyCar feature, six other series will be racing on the twisting 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary downtown street circuit throughout the busy weekend.

The 2014 IndyCar team/driver lineup remains relatively the same as last season except for the return of 2000 Indy 500 champion Juan Montoya from NASCAR Sprint Cup and the premature retirement of Dario Franchitti. A three-time Indy 500 winner, the popular Scotsman was forced to retire due to the injuries he sustained in a horrific accident during the closing laps of last year’s Houston Grand Prix.

The legendary Mario Andretti will serve as Grand Marshal at Long Beach this year. Considered by many to be the greatest race driver in the history of the sport, Andretti’s list of accomplishments include wins in the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. He won the IndyCar National Championship four times and was a four-time winner on the street of Long Beach – three times in IndyCar and once in Formula One.

TV coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will commence with a standing start this year, can be seen live on NBCSN on April 13 beginning at 1 PM. The sometimes controversial and always interesting Paul Tracy will join the team covering the race.

For more information on America’s premier street race call the toll-free ticket hotline at (888) 82-SPEED or visit www.gplb.com.

Madera Speedway

This Saturday the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will be visiting the D-shaped oval of Kern County Raceway Park. After his win in the season opener at Madera Speedway on March 15th, seventeen year old Brandon White, of Eureka, will carry the championship points lead (180 points) into the race just ahead of Manteca’s Ross Strmiska (170) and Jacob Gomes (165).

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