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Roseville speedway is kicking some new tires for 2013

Slicks (and Goodyear) are out; Hoosier tread is in as season opener nears
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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ROSEVILLE — As much as professional sports can be counted on to trot out the same product with as little change as possible year after year — not that that’s a bad thing — short-track auto racing can be counted on to make changes in most years. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.

All American Speedway has a handful of alterations in place for the start of its 59th season Saturday, notably with the tires it will run and with the neighborhood around the Placer Country Fairgrounds in mind.

What won’t change are the four main divisions that will run the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series: Modified remains the premier class and is joined by Late Model, Street Stock and Bomber. Visiting divisions include BCRA Midgets and NCMA Sprint Cars, Pro 4 Modified and F4, plus the Enduro series.

What will change are the tires drivers run around the one-third-mile paved oval. Speedway manager Ken Brooks received a call from a Goodyear distributor in November informing him the eight-inch slick for Late Model cars wouldn’t be available this year. As it is, Goodyear is getting out of the short-track racing game altogether after 2013.

So after consulting with several tracks around the United States, All American switched to a treaded Hoosier tire for the regular divisions. Brooks said teams appeared to be adapting to the change during recent test-and-tune sessions at the speedway.

“A number of tracks around the U.S. are running this tire, so we knew it was a proven tire,” Brooks said. “We’ll do some testing during the season. We’ve gotten some good feedback from the teams that have tested on them.”

The other big change is with the schedule. The speedway will be dark on the last Saturday of April, May, June, July and August. Brooks noted several reasons, the biggest being Placer County officials asked speedway management to shorten its number of events per year. The move leaves the speedway with 19 events compared to 22 in 2012.

Also, one fewer event each month will mean a quieter Saturday night every four weeks in the spring and summer.

“We’re trying to be supportive of our neighborhood around us,” Brooks said, adding that one dark day a month also gives racers and speedway staff weekend time to “do family things.”

Additionally, Brooks said he’s “pleased” with the number of car numbers issued, including 23 in the Late Model class.

“Modified should be one of the best car counts we’ve seen in a long time,” he said.

Among other changes, there will be a new Late Model champion this season, with three-time champ Matt Scott not returning. He’ll run full time at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Will the new champ be David Thompson? He’s moving into a new Late Model ride, meaning there will be a new Bomber champ this year, too.

Returning to defend their titles are two-time reigning Street Stock champ Mickey Owens and Modified leadfoot Scott Winters.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.

 

ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY

 

When/Where: The season opener is Saturday at the Placer County Fairgrounds, 800 All America City Boulevard, in Roseville. Gates open at 4 p.m.

Saturday’s program: Modified, Late Model, Street Stock, Bomber, F4.

Ticket prices: $13 for adults ages 16-59, $7 for seniors 60 and older and juniors 6-15, free for kids 5 and under, $35 for a family pass (two adults and three juniors).

Information: Visit www.allamericanspeedway.com or call (916) 786-2023.