The historic Stockton 99 Speedway will kick off its 72nd season of racing this Saturday, March 13 with the $5,000-to-win SPEARS Pro Late Model Series sanctioned “Asparagus Cup 125” along with the Legends of the Pacific.
The 2021 schedule at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval will present 15 dates in all, four featuring the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series, including two dates – May 1 and Aug. 14 – with the SPEARS Southwest Tour as the headliner.
The remaining 11 events on the schedule will feature the Stockton Late Models where Manteca’s Eric Nascimento will be looking to defend his 2020 track championship. The Bombers, B4 Cylinders and Mini Cups will again all be in the mix throughout the season.
In addition, a new series called the Junior B4’s has been created to develop young drivers ages 10-15 in an economical manner. A mandatory Junior B4 orientation will occur at the track on April 11.
Some of the dates to circle on your racing calendar include the “Ron Strmiska Firecracker 125” on July 4, the annual “Night of Champions” honoring past 99 champions on Aug. 7, the “Fall Classic” on Oct. 2 and “Championship Night” on Oct, 23.
The track will also play host to the 13th Annual Spring Swap Meet on Sunday, March 21 and the annual “Rods, Ribs & Brew Car Show” during Labor Day weekend on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Promoter Tony Noceti has developed an equally ambitious schedule for the four-tenths mile, clay oval Stockton Dirt Track, located at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.
Several special events including three visits by the King of the West-NARC 410 Sprint Car Series, two appearances by the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, the West Coast Summer Nationals Tractor Pulls in June and a weekend of Monster Truck Madness in October highlight the schedule.
In addition, this year the Stockton Dirt Track will also have a regular points paying series of nine races featuring the Dirt Modifieds along with the Sports Mods, Bombers, B4 Cylinders, and a special Fan Race. The track will also will also host several Drifting events throughout the year.
The Madera and Merced Speedways are also preparing to rev up their 2021 racing seasons.
The 23 race dates on Madera’s busy schedule will include 10 MAVTV televised Nut Up Pro Late Model Series events, nine non-televised multi-division programs featuring the Madera Late Models, plus several dates featuring the Madera trademark open-wheel shows and other special events such as the 14th Annual Pumpkin Smash Halloween Bash and Blow Up 400-lap Enduro that will conclude the season on Oct. 30.
The Merced Speedway, located at the Merced Fairgrounds, is looking to return to action on Saturday, March 21. The one-third mile dirt oval plans to host a multi division program virtually every Saturday through the end of October before closing out its season with the USAC National Midgets and 360 Winged Sprints on Nov. 23 and 24.
After having the 2020 campaign washed out by COVID-19 pandemic, Northern California’s two major racing facilities are looking to relaunch in 2021, although attendance restrictions for major events remains up in the air at this time.
Sonoma Speedway’s significant events include the NASCAR Cup Series/Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 5-6; the NHRA Division 7 Drags on July 14-18; and the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on July 23-25.
The Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca schedule will include the GEICO MotoAmerica Superbikes Speedfest on July 9-11; Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Aug. 12-15; the IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship on Sept. 10-12; and the NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sept. 17-19.
COVID-19 concerns have already forced changes to several one off major events including the Lucas Oil Motocross Hangtown Classic in Rancho Cordova which has been moved to Sept. 11; the Progressive American Flat Track race at Cal Expo in Sacramento which is now tentatively scheduled for a doubleheader event on Sept. 15-16; and the 46th Annual Acura GP of Long Beach for the NTT IndyCar Series which has been rescheduled for Sept. 24-26, 2021.
Unfortunately, the NASCAR Cup Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana has been cancelled for this season, but will return in 2022 for perhaps the final time on the current two-mile superspeedway configuration. Plans are under way to reconfigure the facility into a half-mile paperclip shaped, high-banked oval by 2023.