Altamont Raceway Park pre-race notes

Top field of drivers preparing for Saturday's Altamont Fall Classic "Golden State Steel & Stair 200" to feature one of the strongest fields in 2008 Steven Blakesley / Altamont Raceway Park Tracy, Calif. -- The entry list for Saturday's NASCAR...

Top field of drivers preparing for Saturday's Altamont Fall Classic
"Golden State Steel & Stair 200" to feature one of the strongest fields in 2008

Steven Blakesley / Altamont Raceway Park

Tracy, Calif. -- The entry list for Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Series West event at Altamont Raceway Park was officially announced Tuesday. 33 drivers will attempt to qualify for 28 starting positions in the prestigious "Golden State Steel & Stair 200," as part of the Altamont Fall Classic.

The Altamont Fall Classic is this Saturday, September 13th, with the first ever pairing of the NASCAR Camping World Series West and USAC Western Sprint Cars.

Nearly 300 laps of racing action will be contested on the fastest half-mile in the west, with over $140,000 in total prize monies.

24 of the 33 entries are from California, including over a dozen northern California racers.

NASCAR Nationwide Series star Auggie Vidovich of Lakeside, Calif. leads off the star-studded field of entries.

Escalon, Calif. driver Eric Holmes leads the points over Ontario's Jason Bowles. 2007 champion Mike David of Modesto is fourth in the standings, with fellow northern California racer Jim Inglebright of Fairfield in fifth.

"I love running at Altamont," David said. "It's pretty racy and our goal is to win the final two races of the season."

David will be joined by several drivers familiar to Altamont fans, including Stockton's Ross Strmiska. Strmiska, a third-generation racer, brings a stout background of Late Model racing to the NASCAR Camping World Series West.

"Mike Naake and the whole Motorway Auto Group gave me an opportunity to get in a car," Strmiska said. "I'm hoping to get a top-five and keep the fenders on it."

Other entries with Altamont roots include 2007 Altamont Raceway Park track champion Ryan Philpott of Tracy, in the newly named Philpott Race Cars & Parts team.

Wilton's Jason Fensler, a former Stockcar Racing League champion who won the season opening Late Model event at Altamont, will drive for Speed Wong Racing.

Fensler has served as the team's manager throughout the season for driver Jason Patison, but will get his chance to drive this weekend.

Martin McKeefery, the 21 year-old driver from Milpitas, began his career at Altamont in half-scale mini cup cars. McKeefery went on to become a road racing world champion and 2007 Western States Super Modified champion.

Josh Bews of Sacramento will pilot the "Golden State Steel & Stair" Ford after a successful summer driving Late Models.

Paul Pedroncelli and Rod Kneeland, both former Altamont regulars from Sonoma, will run a two-car outfit.

Pat O'Keefe of Pleasant Hill was a former Modified standout at Altamont.

Other northern California entries include teenager Johnathan Hale of Rio Linda, Sacramento's Jack Sellers, Oakdale's Wes Banks, and 2008 NASCAR race winner Todd Souza of Aromas.

All the local drivers will be gunning for the win in one of the most competitive fields in the west coast stock car racing.

"Now that they've widened the track, we can run a lot of two-wide racing," David said. "With all the hometown fans, it ought to be exciting."

The Altamont Fall Classic will mark the first ever event combining USAC and NASCAR Camping World Series West racing into one program.

More information on this history making night of racing is available at www.altamontracing.com/fallclassic

The official site for the Altamont Fall Classic features more information on both the NASCAR Camping World Series West and USAC Sprints & Midgets as well as event schedules and ticket information.

Gates open at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, with qualifying beginning at 2:30. The first USAC heat will begin at 4 p.m. with the "Golden State Steel & Stair 200" under the lights at 7 p.m.

Altamont Raceway Park is located just west of Tracy at the merger of Highways 205 and 580. An extensive remodeling project during the winter of 2005/06 has made the facility one of the most up-to-date on the West Coast.

For more information on this NASCAR- and USAC-sanctioned, multi-use facility, visit www.altamontracing.com

-credit: arp

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About this article
Series NASCAR , USAC
Drivers Jim Inglebright , Jack Sellers , Mike David , Eric Holmes , Wes Banks , Auggie Vidovich , Todd Souza , Jason Bowles , Jason Patison