By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Larson wins main at 99, Stewart finishes ninth

STOCKTON — Tony Stewart was billed as the main attraction at Friday’s grand opening races at the 99 Dirt Track.

His image graced T-shirts and the Stockton 99 Speedway’s website.

But another NASCAR star stole the show – after hitching a ride from Stewart.

California kid Kyle Larson won the 30-lap A-Main event, highlighting a historic night for Central Valley race fans.

Larson edged Tim Kaeding in a green-and-white checkered flag finish for his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win of the season.

Kaeding settled for a second after leading most of the race. Defending Outlaws champion Donny Schatz was third.

Stewart finished ninth.

“I’ve got to start off by thanking Tony for letting me fly on his jet here to the races,” Larson told “Without him, I wouldn’t be here.”

The Stockton 99 Speedway debut its 3/8-mile dirt oval at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds to a sold out crowd. The track was built on the infield of the horse racing track, and owner/promoter Tony Noceti promised speeds of up to 115 mph.

It certainly caught the attention of racing’s best.

Larson, a 20-year-old Elk Grove-native, jumped onto Stewart’s plane and returned to Northern California for the Outlaws’ first appearance at the 99 Speedway.

The NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup races were in Fontana this past weekend.

On a smaller stage in Stockton, nothing would be handed to the stars of the senior circuit.

Larson started the evening in Row 2 and shot into the lead on the third lap. Kaeding moved out front on a restart during Lap 10. Larson regained the lead on Lap 28, when Kaeding was slowed by a lapped car.

His victory netted him $10,000, while Stewart earned $2,050.