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Tony Stewart returns to Calistoga Speedway tonight, June 24

Former NASCAR champion to race in Sprint Car Challenge Tour event
By: Gary Thomas
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There are a number of things that make the Calistoga Speedway Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga Dirt Classic on June 24 one of the marquee racing events in Northern California, but possibly none bigger than the return of Indiana native Tony Stewart to the half-mile. 

The three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion captured a thrilling USAC Western Midget Series victory in 1994 at Calistoga Speedway, but the June 24 event will be his first ever Winged Sprint Car start at the facility. He also set the midget track record that same weekend and held it until the division made its return to Calistoga in 2008. 

“I’m really looking forward to running the Calistoga Speedway since I haven’t raced there since 1994,” Stewart said. “I’m also excited to see all the improvements that have taken place at the track since the last time I’ve been there. Calistoga is definitely a beautiful setting for a dirt track and one of those destination venues.” 

The upcoming June 24 event features two of the premier Winged Sprint Car touring series on the West Coast, as both the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards (Winged 360’s) and the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series (Winged 410’s) will be in competition. A number of drivers are expected to pull double duty during the night, with $10,000 up for grabs to the SCCT winner and $3,000 going to the KWS-NARC victor. 

Olive Branch, Mississippi’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will also be making his first career Calistoga Speedway start on June 24. The 29-year-old sprint car and midget graduate claimed his initial Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory for Roush Fenway Racing last month at the Talladega Superspeedway. Stenhouse is scheduled to compete in the King of the West-NARC portion of the night, while Stewart will be in action during the Sprint Car Challenge Tour portion.

“Having two drivers of this magnitude in competition is a great thing for Calistoga Speedway and Northern California in general,” commented event promoter Rico Abreu, who will also be competing in both classes June 24. “It’s pretty special to have Tony Stewart return to this place after 20-years away. Everyone always talks about the midget race he won at Calistoga back in 1994 and now seeing him in a Winged Sprint Car here will be a real treat. The event is coming up fast and will definitely be here before we know it.”

Tickets continue to be on sale for the Saturday June 24 Calistoga Speedway Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga Dirt Classic, with reserved seats $35 and general admission tickets $30. Juniors ages 6-12 will be $10 in general admission seating, while kids five and under are free. To order your seats contact (530) 663-3413. Ticket sale hours are 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. 

Pit passes will be available the day of the race and cost $40. The front gate and pit gate will both open at noon, with cars expected to hit the track around 4pm for wheel packing. Stay tuned for further updates and announcements regarding festivities during the event.

To learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga visit http://www.bgcshc.org/

The Calistoga Speedway is located on the scenic Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, California at 1435 North Oak Street and has been in existence since 1937.