2003 Infineon Raceway schedule

NASCAR, NHRA Highlight 2003 Schedule at Infineon Raceway SONOMA, Calif. - The NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will highlight a comprehensive and diverse 2003 season schedule at Infineon Raceway. The Big O Tires Racing...

NASCAR, NHRA Highlight
2003 Schedule at Infineon Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. - The NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will highlight a comprehensive and diverse 2003 season schedule at Infineon Raceway.

The Big O Tires Racing Season will feature just about every form of motor racing on both the raceway's road course and quarter-mile drag strip in 2003, including motorcycles, stock cars, sports cars, dragsters and vintage racecars.

"We're excited to offer such a broad array of motor racing in the coming year and to host those events in this compelling new environment that is Infineon Raceway," said Steve Page, Infineon Raceway president and general manager.

The season will be highlighted by the 15th annual visit by the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for the Dodge/Save Mart 350, June 19-22. Ricky Rudd returns as the defending champion. The weekend will also feature the Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour.

The NHRA will make its 16th annual visit to Infineon Raceway for the FRAM Autolite Nationals, Aug. 1-3. Three track records were smashed during last season's event on the raceway's refurbished quarter-mile drag strip, and drivers say national records could be broken in 2003.

"All they ever needed at Sonoma was a new track surface. Now the track is as good as it gets," said John Force, 11-time NHRA Funny Car champion. "Bottom line, you give that track a full year of racing and putting rubber down and if we get the weather, I think you could see national records."

Defending champions include Doug Herbert (Top Fuel), Force (Funny Car), Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle). The weekend will also feature a fireworks show after Friday night qualifying (sponsored by Korbel Champagne).

The 2003 season begins with the 7th annual Cycle Gear Sonomafest, a 10-day motorcycle celebration from April 25-May 4. The first weekend will showcase the American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM), plus a special tribute to Harley-Davidson, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2003. The following weekend (May 2-4) will boast the two-wheel excitement of the AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Series, featuring the Supercuts Superbike Challenge, presented by Honda of Milpitas, on the 12-turn, 2.32-mile road course. For the second consecutive year, there will be Superbike main events on both Saturday and Sunday.

The action switches to the drag strip May 17-18 for the quarter-mile excitement of the Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing Association. The 14th annual Nitro Nationals will feature a full weekend of nostalgia drag racing in 10 classes.

Vintage automobile races return to Infineon Raceway for the 17th annual Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep Wine Country Classic Vintage Car Races, May 30-June 1. This season's event will feature the American muscle of DaimlerChrysler with Superbirds, Dodge Challengers, Plymouth Furies and Hudsons, plus all the other classics, including Porsche, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Cobra. The event will also feature a Vintage Car Rally around the scenic Sonoma Valley.

Following NASCAR, the action again switches to the drag strip for the Bank of the West NHRA Division 7 Summernationals, July 4-6. Ashley Force, the 19-year-old daughter of legendary John Force, is expected to compete in her Super Comp dragster. More than 450 entries are expected for the Independence Day Weekend event. The elder Force may also be on hand to watch his daughter.

The high-speed excitement of the American Le Mans Series is next on the schedule, July 25-27, with the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, presented by Napa Valley Marriott. Panoz ended Audi's two-year domination of the event with a victory under rainy conditions in 2002. Other top sports car manufacturers include Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche, Saleen and Ferrari.

The NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series debuted at Infineon Raceway in 2002 and will return next season Sept. 6-7. The series showcases the best in import drag racing, including Toyota, Nissan, Acura and Mazda, as well as familiar American manufacturers like Ford and Chevrolet. Cars reach top speeds in excess of 190 mph.

2003 MAJOR-EVENT SCHEDULE:

*Cycle Gear Sonomafest 2003: April 25-May 4.
*American Federation of Motorcyclists: April 26-27
*AMA Supercuts Superbike Challenge, presented by Honda of Milpitas: May 2-4.
·Goodguys Nitro Nationals Vintage Drag Racing: May 17-18.
·Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep Wine Country Classic Vintage Car Races: May 30-June 1.
·Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup: June 19-22.
·Bank of the West NHRA Division 7 Summernationals: July 4-6.
·Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, presented by Napa Valley Marriott: July 25-27.
·NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals: August 1-3.
·NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series: Sept. 6-7

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