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Infineon and Mazda raceways open season schedules this week

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POSTED May 7, 2009 1:10 a.m.
Northern California’s two international race tracks are both set to kick start their 2009 season schedules May 15–17, as the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown, presented by Supercuts, returns to Infineon Raceway near Sonoma.

Meanwhile, Grand-Am Rolex Series heads to Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, near Monterey, for the Verizon Festival of Speed, presented by SPEEDCOM.

Headlining the AMA race at Infineon will be the 1,000cc American Superbike class, which will be racing in twin 20-lap features on both Saturday and Sunday. Joining the Superbikes will be the Daytona SportBike and Supersport divisions. Infineon Raceway will also host Round 2 of the prestigious AMA Supermoto XTRM Championships.

Six-time AMA Pro American Superbike Champion and all-time class win and pole leader Mat Mladin, riding the Rockstar/Makita/American Suzuki bike, has dominated the early season Superbike championship by posting seven consecutive wins. Mladin leads teammate Tommy Hayden by 77 points, 220-143, after seven of 20 rounds in the 2009 championship.

Other events on the busy 2009 Infineon calendar include the Wine Country Classic Historic Races on May 30-31, Toyota/Save Mart 350- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on June 19-21, FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals on July 23-26, NHRA Division 7 Drags, presented by Korbel on July 31-Aug. 2 and the Indy Car Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 21-23.

For more information on Infineon Raceway go to www.infineonraceway.com or call 1-800-870-RACE.

Laguna Seca will begin its 53rd season of competition when the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series makes its only stop on the West Coast in 2009 May 15-17. The supporting divisions include the Koni Sports Car Challenge, Mazda MX-5 Cup and Mustang Challenge.

A special buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer for all residents of the Golden State is available by calling the Mazda Raceway ticket office at (800) 327-7322, or by simply providing a valid California Drivers License at the gate. The offer is not valid online.

Other major events on the 2009 schedule world at the renowned 2.238-mile road course include the MotoGP World Championship Red Bull US Grand Prix on July 3-5, the 36th Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Races, with Porsche as the featured marque on August 14-16, and the Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series race on October 9-11.

For more Laguna Seca Raceway information visit www.mazdaraceway.com.

Scott Speed update
Manteca’s Scott Speed resumes his busy month of May schedule this weekend at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway where he will be running in both Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Diamond Hill Plywood 200 and Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500.

This weekend marks the second of four straight events in which Speed will be driving Michael Waltrip’s #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota in addition to his regular duties in the Sprint Cup series in his #82 Red Bull Toyota.

Speed is looking forward to turning his first laps at the track known as “The Lady in Black” for the numerous tire marks cars leave on the wall and each other.

“I’ve gotten lots of advice from all kinds of guys about Darlington,” Speed said, “but the biggest thing is being able to run the Nationwide car. Having that racing experience really helps a lot for the Cup races the next day, knowing where the groove is going to go, knowing where you can run and how a race is going to play out.”

Friday’s Nationwide race will be shown on ESPN2 beginning at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s Southern 500 will be televised on FOX also beginning at 4 p.m.

At the speedways
It will be Mom’s Night at Stockton 99 Speedway this Saturday. The Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds and a special Powder Puff race, in honor of Sunday’s Mothers Day, will be the featured attractions.

The 32nd Annual Vukovich Classic returns to Madera Speedway on Saturday night featuring the powerful 410/360 Supermodifieds and USAC/BCRA Midgets. The Vukovich Classic is run annually at Madera in honor of the legendary Bill Vukovich of Fresno, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1953 and 1954 only to be killed there in a tragic accident while leading the race in 1955.

Chowchilla will be dark this weekend, but the Merced Speedway will be hosting its annual McGruff Crime Dog Night on Saturday night with a big six-division program.

To contact Dale Bosowski, e-mail dalebosowski@yahoo.com.
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