DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2002) - The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has announced the 2003 NASCAR Winston West Series schedule, including 13 events at 11 different tracks across Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The schedule includes a second visit to California Speedway and a second race at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as a return to several popular tracks visited by the circuit in previous years. The SPEED Channel cable network will continue to televise select NASCAR Winston West Series events to a national audience.

"The interest level in the NASCAR Winston West Series is stronger than ever, and this 2003 schedule is proof of that," said Chris Boals, NASCAR's director of regional touring. "When two superspeedways add dates and several of our top short tracks return to the schedule, these are great indications that 2003 is shaping up to be a very successful season."

The West's oldest stock car racing circuit will kick off its 50th season with the fourth annual NASCAR Winter Heat event at Phoenix on Feb. 2. A second visit to the one-mile D-shaped oval is slated for Oct. 5. Two events are also on tap for California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., with the two-mile superspeedway hosting the series on April 26 as a companion event with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division. The NASCAR Winston West Series will wrap up its regular schedule with a second race at California Speedway Nov. 1.

Also added to the schedule are three short tracks that previously hosted NASCAR Winston West Series events. The series will visit Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., on Oct. 18; Madera (Calif.) Speedway on May 31; and Tri-City Raceway in West Richland, Wash., on June 21. The series competed on the high-banked, half-mile Bakersfield track 40 times between 1977 and 2001. Madera Speedway hosted five series races between 1973 and 1996, while the circuit visited Tri-City Raceway five times between 1972 and 1994.

Other exciting short track action for 2003 will include The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 12; Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., on Sept. 20; Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on June 28; Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on July 26; Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City on Aug. 30; and Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway on Aug. 16.

-nascar-