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Anticipated re-opening of Stockton 99 this weekend

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POSTED March 18, 2009 4:42 a.m.
The new Stockton 99 Speedway, fresh off its dress rehearsal following two years of quiet time, fires up once again with a car show and grand opening this weekend.
 
The festivities begin Saturday with a car show from 9 a.m.-noon and testing from 1-6 p.m. Race, drifting and classic cars and motorcycles are welcome for the car show. Grandstand admission is free.

Sunday brings the grand opening with racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, featuring the Western Late Model, Grand American Modified, Street Stock and Bomber divisions.

Pit gates open at 8 a.m., followed by volunteer and VIP grandstand admission at 9 and general admission at 10. Practice is scheduled for 10 a.m.-noon with qualifying from noon-1:30 p.m. The opening ceremony is at 1:30 and the first green flag at 2:15.

Drifting and motorcycle exhibitions and fireworks also are on the agenda.

Ticket prices for Sunday are $20 for general admission (ages 16 and over), $15 for seniors 60 and over, juniors 11-15 and military personnel with an ID, $55 for a family (two general, two juniors) and free for kids 10 and under.

The new Stockton 99 opened last weekend with an enduro and demolition derby. A crowd of 3,026 also saw racing in the American Limited Stock Car, NorCal Vintage Hardtop and Basically 4-cylinder classes.

“We’re making noise,” promoter Tony Noceti said. “The place is alive. The heart’s pumping.”
 
Joey Stearns noticed. The Stockton driver finished second in the ALSC dash and led the final 14 laps of the 25-lap main event to take the checkered flag.

“It’s awesome driving 15 minutes to the track,” said Stearns, who raced at Stockton 99 before it closed in 2006. “That’s kinda the reason I wanted to come back out here.”

 The enthusiastic gathering cheered local favorite Ryan Strmiska to a victory over the pursuing David Papst. Jr. in the 199-lap enduro, raced over the soapy, watery quarter-mile paved oval; and roared its approval as Tom Chivers of San Jose, driving a Ford-powered Chevy Impala, outlasted seven other victims in the demolition derby.

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