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Sunbelt Champ Oates Opens Season

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Release: March 31, 2005

Contact: T. Q. Jones, (512) 261-5236


2004 NASCAR Sunbelt Champ Justin Oates Opens 2005 Season in American Classified Sportsman Race Saturday at San Antonio Speedway


San Antonio – Justin Oates doesn’t graduate from La Vernia High School until May, but he’ll start his third season of racing at San Antonio Speedway (SAS) Saturday night, April 2, with two championships and a “rookie of the year” title already on his resume¢. The 18-year-old raced only half the season in 2003, but won three times (including a victory at the annual post-season “OktoberFast” race at SAS) and was named rookie of the year in the Sportsman Class.


In 2004, he came back to win nine times in 16 races and take the Sportsman Class title while totaling up enough points against drivers from all over the country to win the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series Division II “ShorTrack” Championship in his Affordable Trailers Chevrolet Camaro.


This season he’ll spend most of his time in the new Late Model Chevrolet Monte Carlo he drove to an eighth-place finish in the 2004 “OktoberFast” race, but he’ll be back in his familiar Camaro to give the rest of the Sportsman Class fits in races at SAS that don’t conflict with the Late Model dates, including the season opening non-points American Classified Sportsman race Saturday night.


“We haven’t even practiced in the Camaro,” Oates said this week. “We were focusing on getting the Monte Carlo set up during last week’s practice.” That practice had to be run between the raindrops, as the wet weather that has covered Central Texas for most of the first three months of the year was back again on Saturday.


With weather this weekend expected to be not only clear but cool, Oates is looking to finish the first race of the season where he ended the last one: doing donuts in victory lane.


The grandstand gates at San Antonio Speedway on Hwy 16 open at 4:00 pm with races starting at 6:50 pm. The 25-lap American Classified Sportsman race will be followed by the 50-lap ROMCO Equipment USRA AllStar Truck race and the featured 125-lap Ameri-Tech USRA Super Late Model race.

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