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Stockton 99 takes on the dirt in 2013

POSTED March 15, 2013 8:48 p.m.

With the rebirth of the New Stockton 99 Speedway now successfully entering its fifth year, promoters Tony and Carol Noceti are also taking it to the dirt in 2013 with  a new three-eighths dirt oval, located inside of the horse racing track, at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. 

To christen the new facility with a bang, the track will be hosting the STP World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series as its inaugural event on March 22.

The greatest Sprint Car drivers on the planet, including 20-time champion and winner of 574 WoO races Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., 2012 champion Donny Schatz from Fargo, ND., the legendary Sammy Swindell and local driver Tim Kaeding of Campbell, Calif., will be among the many stars churning up the dust on Friday.

In addition, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has been booked to take on the WoO regulars in the event. He will be flying up on Friday from Southern California as soon as he has completed qualifying for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

“Undoubtedly, it’ll be a busy Friday in California.  We’ll be qualifying our Cup car before heading up to Stockton to mix it up with the Outlaws,” said Stewart.”I’m passionate about grassroots racing.  It’s in my blood.  I grew up racing midgets and sprint cars in the USAC Series.  There’s no place I’d rather be than at a race track on a Friday night.”

Stewart knows he will be in for some very tough completion in Stockton.

“When you race with the Outlaws, you know you have to be on top of your game as the Outlaws have some of the best 410 sprint drivers in the world.  If you can stay ahead of Kinser, Swindell, Schatz, those guys, you know you’ve had an impressive night.”

There are 12 other events currently listed on the 2013 schedule at the fairgrounds encompassing virtually anything and everything that can race on dirt. Future shows will include Super AM Drift, the Delta Series Modifieds, AMA Grand National Motorcycles, Tractor Pulls, USAC Sprints and Midget Cars and the King of the West Sprint Car Series.

The season opener on the Stockton 99 paved ¼ mile oval will be on April 6 as the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Late Models roll into town to kick off the action with the Strandwold Brothers “125”.

The regular season NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, featuring the Western Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Pure Stocks, returns April 13, and the season concludes with the Fall Classic 150 on Oct. 5. 

For more information on tickets, schedules and times please contact the Speedway Office at 466-9999 or visit their website at www.stockton99.com

The Spears SRL Southwest Tour will also start the 2013 season at the LoanMart Madera Speedway today with the Melo’s Gas & Gear 151, presented by 51 FIFTY Energy Drink! The LunkerDaddy Late Models, Legends of the Pacific, Toyota Sedans, SRL S2 Series, and the fan favorite 18-Second Bracket races are also be on the opening night card.

The 2013 regular season schedule at Madera runs through the end of September and will once again include six big Open Wheel programs featuring the Super Modifieds vs. the Winged Sprints, BCRA/USAC Midgets, NCMA Sprint Cars, and Vintage Super Modifieds.

 

After a promising start to the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Manteca native Scott Speed has been plagued by mechanical woes in the recent west coast swing.

Speed, piloting the Leavine Family Racing Ford #95 for the second year, raced his way into the Daytona 500 with a 15th-place place finish in the Budweiser Duels to start 31st in the 43-car main event. He finished on the lead lap, in the 23rd spot, in the 500 and even led the race in the late going for two laps.

“There are a lot of teams that would be pleased with a 23rd-place finish in the Daytona 500, especially if they’re a small team that runs a limited schedule,” Speed said. “I’m proud to say we came to race. We got up front; we ran with the leaders. I just wish we could have got the kind of finish we deserved.”

Speed qualified 28th for the following week’s Subway fresh Fit 500 race at Phoenix, but a brake issue eventually relegated him to a 41st-place finish and last week he was forced to retire 95 laps into the 267-lap Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Speedway with a transmission failure.

Speed and the team remain optimistic and they will be looking for a change in fortune heading into this weekend’s Food City 500 on the high banks of the ½ mile Bristol Motor Speedway. They had hoped to race the full schedule this year, but the lack of a full time sponsor will force them to miss the next couple of events including the Auto Club 400 in Fontana on March 24.

In fact, to highlight their plight, the team has painted the new Generation-6 race car all-black complete with a white skull and crossbones and the message printed on the back “Surrender the Sponsor.”

“It is exciting just to see the hype about the No. 95,” Speed said. “We are not trying to make this a money stunt; we're just trying to draw attention to our car. Hopefully, a potential sponsor will see this and want to be teamed up with us.”

Sunday’s Food City 500 will be shown live on FOX beginning at 9 a.m.

Instead of running local tracks under the NASCAR banner, Manteca's Deuces Wild Racing owner/driver David Crouch has opted to make a full time run for the Lucas Oil Modified championship in 2013.

Crouch raced in the Lucas Oil event at Madera Speedway last July and liked what he saw.

“We were so impressed by how well the show was ran that it stuck with us through the winter and decided it would be a good fit,” explained Crouch. “I have fewer conflicts with my work schedule by racing once a month and the change of scenery every race will be fun and challenging in a new way.” 

 In the 1-800 Loan Mart Arizona 100 presented by Optima Batteries season opener for the Lucas Oil Modifieds at Lake Havasu Speedway on March 2, Crouch qualified 12th in the 34-car field and drove to a respectable ninth place finish. 

“To come to a new, unfamiliar track, to race on a tire we are still learning about and to come home ninth against this field of drivers and without a scratch on the car, we are thrilled with results” said Crouch after the race.

Next up for Crouch is a 75-lapper at I-10 Speedway in Blythe on April 6.

 

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