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Stockton tracks rev up for season openers

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POSTED March 16, 2017 12:14 a.m.

The iconic Stockton 99 Speedway will celebrate its 70th season of racing action with a 2017 schedule featuring a dozen event dates. 

The new schedule, which will once again primarily revolve around the popular Late Model division for 11 of the 12 dates, will have a continued emphasis on local drivers and teams.

The high-banked, ¼-mile paved oval, located at North Wilson Way just west of Highway 99, will again be under the promotional control of the Noceti Group, headed by Tony & Carol Noceti, which has operated the historic facility since it reopened in 2009. 

“The local stars are coming are coming back and the car counts are getting stronger,” Tony Noceti said. “It was great to see veteran names like the Strmiskas, Philpotts and Andersons back out here as well as young local talent such as Jacob Gomes. We are hoping to work a deal that will allow Jared Irvan, the son of former NASCAR Cup star and Stockton legend Ernie Irvan, to do some racing here later in the season.”

While the popular Stockton Late Models will headline the regular season programs, the Grand American Modifieds, Bombers, Basically-4s, Mini-Cups will all be racing on a rotating basis in support. Every card will have a minimum of four divisions of racing.

Last season, the schedule did not begin until May, but in 2017 the new season kicks off this Saturday.

“I think that was a bit of a mistake last season. Once they run the Daytona 500 everybody is chomping at the bit to get started including us so we decided to move it up this year,” Noceti said. “The weather looks like it is going to be perfect so it is time to go racing. I can’t wait.”

The Pacific Challenge Series Super Late Models will be back to headline the traditional three race Tri-Holiday Series with 100-lap features on May 20, July 1 (for the Ron Strmiska Firecracker 100) and Sept. 2. Over the last couple of seasons the Pacific Challenge Series produced solid 20-car fields while providing solid green flag to checkers action in the Tri-Holiday races.

There will be one open-wheel event at the 99 Speedway this year when the King of the Wing Orchex National Series, featuring the King of the Wing Sprint Cars, returns to close out the 2017 season on Saturday, October 14th.   This special program will also include the Legends of Kearney Bowl, NCMA Sprints and BCRA Midgets.  

In addition to their 99 Speedway duties, the Noceti Group will also once again be promoting a full schedule at the 3/8 mile Stockton Dirt Track, which is located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, for the fifth straight season.

The schedule at the Stockton Dirt Track includes seven weekends of diverse racing ranging from Tractor Pulls to Monster Trucks to both Winged and Wingless Sprint Cars.

The dirt season begins with a bang as the “Greatest Show on Dirt” the FVP Western Shootout featuring the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars returns on March 24-25.

Defending WoO champion Danny Schatz will be looking for his ninth career series title and fourth straight victory at Stockton after the Fargo, North Dakota veteran pulled off a two-night sweep last season. 

The event will also be the first World of Outlaws test of the track since modifications to bring the front stretch closer to the grandstands at the end of last season. 

“We’re really excited to open the year at the Stockton Dirt Track with the FVP Western Spring Shootout,” Noceti said. “We did a lot of work at the end of 2016 and will continue to try and perfect that going into 2017. If you have a motor home or trailer we have plenty of room for you, so we definitely encourage everyone to bring the family and all their friends.”

Two-night adult General Admission tickets for the FVP Western Spring Shootout weekend are available for a great value at just $59 and two-night Reserved Grandstand tickets cost only $69. Single-night tickets & box seats are also available. Children 10 & under are free in G.A. only. To reserve your seats simply visit https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=232 or call 844.347.8849.

Delta Speedway, also located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, will be running a special micro race on Thursday, March 23, making it a three-night happening on the grounds. The Delta Speedway is just a short walk across the parking lot from the camping area behind the grandstands at the Dirt Track. 

The Noceti Group will also be promoting the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival for the third year at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds on April 21-23. Besides plenty of great food and entertainment, there will be race car displays and a variety of events tying into the racing season.

“We are learning more and more every year about putting this event together and making it better. If the weather cooperates we are hoping to draw 100,000 over the three-day run,” explained Noceti. “We have fantastic shows, fun entertainment and great deep-fry. You can’t beat that!”

Running two tracks and a huge festival involves a lot of work, but Noceti is excited to start the 2017 season.

“We have got a big job here no doubt, but racing started here in Stockton way back in 1947 and it is an honor to keep it going.”

For more information on all events, visit www.stockton99.com, www.stocktondirttrack.com or www.sanjoaquinasparagusfestival.net. 


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