Stockton 99 Speedway
2002 AWARDS  

11-1-02 A large turnout of drivers, crewmen, and sponsors turned out at the Stockton Inn, Friday, November 1st, for the 56th annual awards banquet honoring the precipitants for the 2002-racing season at Stockton 99 Speedway. Over 65 awards were presented by track announcer Wayne Pierce to the drivers competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by DODGE and sponsored by C.L. Bryant Union 76 Gasoline.

The three major racing divisions involved for 2002 consisted of the newly formed HOTWOOD Western Late Models, The Grand American Modifieds, and the Pure Stocks.

Harry Belletto of Modesto took center stage by winning the Late Model feature division championship to add to titles earned in 1995 & 1997 by the 33-year career driver. Danny Contessotto of Stockton received the trophy for his first career Grand American title, with Danny Guibor of Manteca doing likewise for his second straight Pure Stock championship.

John Moore of Granite Bay took home the Grand American Rookie of the Year award with the Pure Stock Rookie award falling to Dave Ball of Stockton. Most Improved driver awards went to Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs for Late Model competition, Mike Regelman of Ripon for Grand American, and Michael Wendt of Lodi for Pure Stock action.

Single lap track speed record plaques for the season went to Harry Belletto (Late Model) (14.114), Greg Williams of Ceres (Grand American) (13.842), and Michael Wendt (Pure Stock) (16.863) Wendt set a single season division record with 10-fast times in the ‘fender-bender’ Pure Stock division.

Subway Sandwich Most Popular Driver awards went to Joe Hylton of Manteca for Late Model, Sam Solari of Salida for Grand American, and Chad Holman of Stockton for Pure Stock. The awards were the result of weekly ballots cast by the fans throughout the season.

Late Model driver Chris Monez of Lodi received the third annual Fred Tice "Fighting Spirit Award" after a hard season of mechanical problems and torn up race cars.

The large contingent on hand stood and cheered in unison as the highest award of the evening was presented to Modesto car builder Dave Davis in the form of the "Sportsman of the Year" award. Davis has built many of the current cars in competition at Stockton, including the Grand American that took Contessotto to his first title.

Track Manager Ken Gross, unable to attend due to the flu, sent a special message thanking all the members of his staff, his officials, the volunteers, and workers, and the drivers and crews for yet another excellent season of racing performance and dedication during the 2002 season.






After winning this award last season in Pro Stock action, Mike made it a solid repeat at the next level of competition by beating out a competitive list of others in contention for the coveted award.

At age 55, Mike, his wife Beverly, and children Tim and Cynde, all make their home in Stockton where Mike is in partnership with the #75 Western Late Model driver, Pete Ramirez of Manteca in STS (Short Track Suspension), a race car building and fabrication shop and parts mail order business started in 1996.

Mike first got involved in building and maintaining stock cars in 1991 & 92 with Jason Knight as a driver. He produced the ride for Steve Belletto in 94 & 95, and the car for Jeff Belletto in 96 & 97, before moving to the current #75 with Ramirez at the wheel.

Mike actually got started in the Drag Racing end of the sport before moving to circle track performance in 91, and while Mike himself may be hard to find in the pits as he hustles through the night, his wife, family, and crew can be seen with a quick glance in the infield as the ones that jump the highest, and cheer the most for their driver of the night.

Congratulations Mike, for a job well done.






Most Stockton fans recognize Jim as the father of Grand American driver Jason Philpot, but fail to realize that his experience in auto racing dates way back to 1975 when he helped build a car and took on Crew Chief duties for his brother Bob in open-competition Late Model action.

The potent team took championship honors at Roseville Speedway in 1978 & 79, and also won the Altamont Raceway title in 1982 when the track was controlled by Duke Southard and his wife Windy.

The team disbanded in 1988 and Jim sat out of the sport until putting together a Grand American ride that wound up in the hands of his son Jason. During the five full seasons raced by Jason at Stockton, cars build or maintained by Jim have finished no less than 10th in season points, including the 4th place 2002 finish by Jason.

At age 52, Jim and his wife Maggie make they’re home in Sacramento where Jim continues a 30-year plus career as a Service Manager for Great Valley Auto center. Yet another award richly deserved and proudly given to a gentleman of the sport.



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