By Gary Thomas
Stockton, CA – October 23, 2018…The Northern California Sprint Car season will be capped in a big way next week when the Stockton Dirt Track plays host to the 35th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson weekend on Friday and Saturday November 2nd and 3rd.
The highlight of the double header is the 35th running of the Tribute to GP on Saturday, which features championship night for the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series and the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and 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.
Paradise, California’s Kyle Hirst has put together another fabulous season in 2018 and will be looking to lock up both series championships on November 3rd. The driver of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprinter holds a 16-point advantage over Shane Golobic in the KWS-NARC standings, while he maintains a healthy 98-digit advantage over Sean Becker in the SCCT points. Hirst has won the King of the West-NARC title three times prior and claimed the inaugural Sprint Car Challenge Tour championship last season.
The overall weekend opens on Friday November 2nd with championship night for the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour, along with Dwarf Cars and for the first time ever Winged 360 Sprint Cars. The non-sanctioned show will pay a standard Sprint Car Challenge Tour purse of $2,500-to-win/ $400-to-start the A-main. It will be a perfect tune-up before Saturday’s $5,500-to-win SCCT finale. The Winged 360’s will be following Sprint Car Challenge tech rules. There is no muffler rule either night.
Plenty of camping will be available on the fairgrounds for the weekend with a cost of $33 per night. There is a two-night minimum to camp. To pay by credit card please contact 916-370-9417. Remember to bring extension cords, water hoses, water hose Y’s and in-ground water spigots. During the day on Saturday from noon to 4pm live music will entertain the crowd. From 4pm-6pm inside the grandstands a legends of sprint car racing autograph session will be held.
“We are looking forward to the Tribute to Gary Patterson weekend on November 2nd and 3rd,” commented Stockton Dirt Track Promoter Tony Noceti. “This has become a fun way for everyone to finish off the Northern California season. This year we have added Winged 360 Sprint Cars to opening night for a way to spice up the event a little more. Then on Saturday it’s become a great tradition to crown the KWS-NARC and SCCT champion on the very same night. We are also excited about our legends autograph session before the races.”
All seating on Friday November 2nd is general admission, while Saturday November 3rd features reserved seating in the upper deck. The front gate and ticket booth opens at 4pm on Friday, with racing at 6pm. On Saturday will call and ticket booth opens at 2pm, with the front gate opening at 3pm. Cars will hit the speedway at 4:30pm for wheel packing with hot laps, qualifying and racing to follow. Tickets can be pre-purchased at https://noceti-group.ticketleap.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, California in 1957 and began his career at the Stockton 99 Speedway. This year marks the sixth season in a row that we’ve paid honor to Patterson in Stockton.
The Stockton Dirt Track is located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California at 1658 S Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206. More info can be found at http://www.stocktondirttrack.com/