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Expected rain cancels event at 99 Speedway

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POSTED June 3, 2011 12:02 a.m.

After going dark for the Memorial Day weekend, the New Stockton 99 Speedway was supposed to return to action this Saturday night with one of its biggest events of the year: The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series “Mid Valley Iron and Metals 150”.

With rain forecasted for the weekend, the event has been postponed for June 18.

One driver especially looking forward to the race is Jacob Gomes, who led a strong 22-car field to the checkered flag in the StreamPayPerView.TV “Blackjack 121” at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on May 14 to capture his first career SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series event victory. 

It was just the 17th career SRL start for the 18-year-old Manteca native.

Gomes earned his first SRL victory in style. He chased early leader Derek Thorn, of LakePort, to take the lead, then held off a late race charge by 2008 SRL series champion Jim Pettit II, of Prunedale, and 2009 series champion M.K. Kanke, of Frazier Park, to win by 2.43 seconds. 

“We’ve had a great car all year and we finally got our first win,” said Gomes afterward. “We’ve been trying so hard, this series is so tough and it feels really good to get our first SRL win.” The win vaulted Gomes into championship contention. With three of ten races in the books, he sits in second place just 4 points back of the championship leading Kanke and 6 points ahead of Pettit.“We were so close last year to getting that first win, but we broke while leading the race at Orange Show, we’ve waited a long time for this,” said Gomes, driver of the Thunder Valley Resort Casino/Dell’Osso Family Farms Chevrolet. “I have always liked the Bullring, now I can’t wait for Stockton.”

Joining Gomes on the treacherous quarter-mile Stockton bullring will be Escalon’s Eric Holmes.

The reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion from Bill McAnally Racing is making progress towards a fourth West Series championship after finishing 14th out of 58 entries in the 175-lap, Pork ‘Be Inspired’ 175 presented by Tompkins Industries combined NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West Series event at the 7/8-mile track in Newton, Iowa two weeks ago.With the points tallied separately for the East and the West, point leader Greg Purlsey was credited with the win and Holmes was scored as finishing in sixth. “We didn’t get the results we wanted but looking at the big picture, we’re heading in the right direction,” said Holmes.

Mike David, the 2007 NASCAR K&N Pro Series champion of Salida, will be making his 2011 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series debut this Saturday night, driving a car for long time Stockton regular Bob Strandwold.

“Stockton is of course one of my favorite tracks, and there’s nothing better than driving a ‘Tour Car’ at Stockton 99,” stated David who finished fourth at Stockton in his only SRL appearance of 2010.

Other notable drivers expected to be racing include third generation driver Ross Strmiska and Mike Sandoval, both of Manteca.

The June 18 card also includes the Legends, Super Stocks Twin 40’s, and Bombers.

The other Central Valley tracks will be busy this weekend.

Chowchilla Speedway will be hosting the UMP Modified Series, Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, Super Stocks, 4-Bangers and Valley Sportsman while Madera will have the LunkerDaddy Late Models, Hobby Stocks, MST, Toyota Sedans, 4 –Bangers and NCMA Modifieds on Saturday night.

On Sunday the 360 Winged Modifieds, Winged Sprints,  UMP Dirt Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Vintage Hard Tops will all go at it on the dirt in Merced.

McLaren will take center stage as the featured marquee, alongside machines from Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Corvette and many more, in a full weekend of vintage racing, at the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival this Saturday and Sunday at Infineon Raceway near Sonoma.

For more information visit www.infineonraceway.com or call 800-870-RACE.

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