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OCTOBER 16, 2001

NASCAR Highlights 2002 Schedule at the "New" Sears Point Raceway 

NHRA Drag Racing Also on Schedule for Big O Tires Racing Season 

SONOMA, Calif. (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) - The 14th annual visit by the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will highlight a watershed 2002 season as Sears Point Raceway takes the wraps off its newly upgraded facilities.

The 2002 Big O Tires Racing Season at Sears Point will cross the spectrum of professional motorsports, from NASCAR stock cars, AMA Superbikes and sleek Le Mans prototypes on the raceway's road course, to the unmatched power and speed of NHRA drag racing on the newly reconstructed drag strip.

Action begins in April as Sears Point unveils the sweeping $50 million modernization project that will make the facility one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the country.

"The Sears Point event experience will change this year in a very positive and fundamental way. The seating, the access and the sweeping views will be unlike anything in motorsports," said Steve Page, Sears Point president and general manager. 

The Big O Tires Racing Season at Sears Point Raceway will once again be spearheaded by the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup, June 20-23. Tony Stewart returns as the defending champion but he will be challenged by the likes of three-time champion and Vallejo native Jeff Gordon, as well as road-race aces Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd.

The power and speed of the NHRA also returns with the 15th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals, Aug. 2-4, featuring defending champions Kenny Bernstein (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Tom Martino (Pro Stock). 

The quarter-mile excitement of the Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing Association kicks off Sears Point Raceway's 2002 season, April 20-21, with a weekend of nostalgia racing at the 14th annual Nitro Nationals. Ten classes will be featured at the Nitro Nationals, highlighted by front-engine Nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters. The event will mark the unveiling of the repaved drag strip, complete with a 660-foot concrete launch pad that should make Sears Point one of the fastest quarter-miles in the country.

Action switches to two wheels April 26-May 5 with Sonomafest 2002. Festivities begin the first weekend, April 26-28, with the 6th annual AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days West, which features the country's finest vintage road bikes on Sears Point's 12-turn 2.52-mile road course. Vintage motocross, a huge fan favorite, will also return with a much bigger spotlight. Center stage will be occupied the following weekend, May 3-5, by the stars of the AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Series. 

The high-speed excitement of the American Le Mans Series is next on the schedule, May 17-19. Audi has claimed the title the last two years and owns the record for the fastest lap ever recorded at Sears Point Raceway at 112.440 mph. Other top sports car manufacturers include BMW, Porsche and Panoz.

Vintage automobile races return to Sears Point Raceway with the 16th annual Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Wine Country Classic Vintage Car Races, May 29-June 2. This year's event offers five days of activities for automobile enthusiasts, including Hot Rod Drags, a Classic Car Rally through Sonoma Valley on Thursday and three days of vintage car racing over the weekend. 

The Bank of the West NHRA Federal-Mogul Division 7 Drag Races visit Sears Point, June 28-30, with over 450 cars ready to rocket down the refurbished quarter-mile drag strip. Brandon Bernstein is the defending Federal-Mogul Dragster champion. 

A new event has been added to the 2002 season as Sears Point Raceway will host the NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series for the first time, Sept. 7-8. This series features vehicles ranging from Toyota Tacoma trucks to Acura Integras and speeds of 150 mph. 

2002 MAJOR-EVENT SCHEDULE:

14th annual Goodguys Nitro Nationals: April 20-21
Sonomafest 2002: April 26-May 5
AMA Vintage Motorcycles Days West: April 26-28
AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Challenge: May 3-5
Grand Prix of Sonoma American Le Mans Series: May 17-19
Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Wine Country Classic Vintage Car Races: May 29-June 2
Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup: June 20-23
Bank of the West NHRA Federal-Mogul Division 7 Drag Races: June 28-30
NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals: August 2-4
NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series: September 7-8

For ticket information, please call 800-870-RACE (7223), visit www.searspoint.com or www.tickets.com.