STOCKTON — The Northern California Sprint Car season will be capped in a big way next week when the centrally located Stockton Dirt Track plays host to the two-night Tribute to Gary Patterson.
Originally scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, the event has been postponed to Nov. 10 and 11 due to impending wet weather forecasted for this weekend.
The highlight of the double header is the 34th annual Tribute to GP on Saturday, Nov. 11, which features championship night for the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series and the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards. Each series champion will be crowned in the unique Stockton Dirt Track winner’s circle, where fans are invited to gather around and enjoy the ceremonies.
The King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series showcases a tremendous championship battle going into Stockton, with Campbell’s Bud Kaeding leading Fresno’s Gio Scelzi by just three points. The decorated veteran Kaeding is looking to bring home his first career KWS-NARC title after finishing runner up each of the last three seasons. If he can do so the 37-year-old would join his father Brent and brother Tim as a series champion.
Scelzi, the young 15-year-old phenom, is searching to become the youngest titlist in series history after also becoming the youngest driver to ever win a KWS-NARC main event earlier this year. Hanford’s DJ Netto, Kingsburg’s Cory Eliason and Paradise’s Kyle Hirst complete the top-five in the standings.
On the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards side of things, Kyle Hirst has a firm grip on bringing home the inaugural season championship.
The 29-year-old leads his brother-in-law Willie Croft of Roseville by 74-markers at the top of the standings. Hirst is still looking for his first tour win of the year, but has been a mark of consistency, having claimed nine podium finishes in the 12 races held. Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal and Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid round out the top-five in points.
With unclaimed season-long Kyle Larson Racing Bonus Money the Sprint Car Challenge Tour Winged 360 A-main will also award $5,000-to-win. Faccinto and recent Trophy Cup champion Shane Golobic of Fremont have picked off previous SCCT visits to the Stockton Dirt Track this season and will be favorites on Nov. 11.
Thanks to the gracious support from Chase Chevrolet and Kleen Blast, the Dashes for both King of the West-NARC and the Sprint Car Challenge Tour will each pay a stout $1,000 to win at the Tribute to Gary Patterson.
The overall weekend opens on Friday, Nov. 10 with championship night for the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour, along with Dwarf Cars, Bombers, B4 and Vintage. Camping will be available on the fairgrounds.
During the day, on Saturday from noon to 4pm a car show, driver autograph session and live band will entertain the crowd behind the grandstands. KAT Country 103.3 will also be performing a live remote from the track. Come early and make a day of it to help us finish off the season in style.
Be sure to also get your buddies together and drive your hot rod, classic car, truck, custom car, motorcycle or race car to the show, which includes two free general admission tickets to Saturday’s races. Car show will feature top pick awards and a commemorative Gary Patterson dash plaque. All vehicles must be parked prior to noon, no exceptions. Registration takes place morning of event.
All seating on Nov. 10 is general admission, while Saturday Nov. 11 features reserved seating in the upper deck. The front gate opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, with racing at 6 p.m. On Saturday, will call and ticket booth opens at 2 p.m., with the front gate opening at 3 p.m. Cars will hit the speedway at 4:30pm for wheel packing, with hot laps, qualifying and racing to follow.
Tickets can be pre-purchased and more information can be found at www.stocktondirttrack.com
Known as the “Dancing Phantom from Stockton,” the “Preacher,” the “Hostile Hippie” or just simply “GP,” Gary Patterson was one of the most colorful characters of his time and captured several major wins in his career, including the Gold Cup Race of Champions, the Super Dirt Cup in Washington and the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot Park among others.
Patterson lost his life in a Sprint Car crash at Calistoga Speedway on Memorial Day weekend 1983, and an event in his memory has been held every year since. “GP” moved to Stockton in 1957 and began his career at the Stockton 99 Speedway. This year marks the fifth season in a row the track has honored the memory of Patterson in Stockton.