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Stockton track honors Patterson
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The 2013 local racing season will come to a close on Saturday with the 30th Annual “Tribute to Gary Patterson” event at the Stockton Dirt Track, located at the San Joaquin county fairgrounds. The program will feature championship night for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, a special open 360 Winged Sprint Car event and a large fireworks show.

Gary Patterson moved to Stockton in 1957 and actually began his career at the Stockton 99 Speedway. Patterson was one of the most colorful characters of his time, racing under a variety of nicknames such as the “Dancing Phantom from Stockton,” the “Preacher,” the “Hostile Hippie” or just simply “GP,”

He captured a number of 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. Unfortunately he lost his life in a Sprint Car crash at Calistoga Speedway on Memorial Day weekend 1983 and an event has been held in his memory every year since.

A number of drivers are expected to pull double duty including defending “Tribute to Gary Patterson” champion Rico Abreu of St. Helena. The high-flying 21-year-old has scored two King of the West 410 victories so far this year and has had a solid season racing throughout the country in both Sprints & Midgets. 

Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst will be gunning to wrap up the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series title at Stockton and join his father Rick as a Northern California Sprint Car 410 champion. Hirst has claimed three KWS wins this year, as has his teammate Tim Kaeding of San Jose, who is another one looking to pull double duty on November 2. Kaeding has also notched nine World of Outlaws victories in 2013 and is coming off a thrilling win at the “Cotton Classic” this past weekend.

Three-time Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series champion Sean “the Shark” Becker of Roseville will be looking to add to his 2013 resume that already includes wins in the “Gold Fever Open” at Marysville Raceway Park and  opening round of the “Fall Nationals” in September at Silver Dollar Speedway. Princeton’s Mason Moore, who captured the “Fall Nationals” finale this year is another that will be gunning to take home the 360 portion of the “Tribute to GP” as is multi-time Civil War Series champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn and more.

In addition to the racing there will also be a car show and live band during the day from noon to 4 p.m. behind the grandstands. The front gate will open at 3:30 with the ticket booth opening at 2.

Premium reserved grandstand seats cost $30, with general admission bleachers being $20. Kids 6-12 in the bleachers cost $10 with children five and under free. To purchase tickets contact (916) 370-9417.

To contact Dale Bosowski, e-mail