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WoO Sprints back in Merced; 99 opener delayed

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POSTED March 29, 2012 10:14 p.m.

The World of Outlaw (WoO) Sprints will be returning to the Merced Speedway at The Merced Fairgrounds this Friday night. The national Sprint Car series made its inaugural visit last April in front of a packed house.

Versatility is a necessity if a team is to be successful racing with the WoO Series. One of the great challenges with dirt-track racing is that no two nights are the same. The Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teams will look to score high marks in the latest challenge Friday and Saturday when TSR’s Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz tackle one of the smallest tracks on the tour.

Last April, Schatz started eighth and finished fifth on the tight, quarter-mile dirt oval at Merced while Kinser raced from 14th to finish 10th behind event winner Sammy Swindell.

The track has been reshaped and resized since then, and now measures closer to a one-third-mile track so the competitors will be starting from scratch. At least 80 truckloads of clay were added to the track.

“We moved the back straightaway back and increased the radius of the turns. The racers asked for a wider, faster track and I think we have achieved what they wanted,” said promoter John Soares.

For Friday’s event at Merced Speedway, the pit gates will open at 1 p.m. PDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For more details, contact the speedway office at (209) 383-7799, or visit the track’s official Web site at www.racemerced.com.

New 99 Speedway

After deliberation between officials of the 99 Speedway and SRL, it was decided that the 99 Speedway Opening Day event this Saturday — featuring the SPEARS Manufacturing 125 — will be rescheduled to the following Saturday, April 7 due to the threat of rain.

The original schedule of events will remain intact for the new date.

 

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