Originally Published Sunday, August 12, 2001
By Jim Matthews
Record Staff Writer
Jeff Belletto showed some racing moxie Saturday night at Stockton's 99 Speedway.
The youngest of the the three Belletto brothers, took the lead from Dave Byrd on lap 10, and then held off older brother Steve for the final 21 laps to win the first of two 38-lap main events.
Jeff -- who came into the race third in points in the Late Model Sportsman division -- held off one furious charge after another by Steve to earn his second win of the season.
Unofficially, Steve boosted his points lead over Byrd, who finished eighth. Byrd came into the race second in points 793-764.
"I knew he (Steve) was coming," said Jeff, who came in four points behind Byrd with 760. "They (the crew) kept telling me -- he's coming, he's coming.
"It's kind of nice to be in front of (Steve), than behind him."
For his part, Steve was more than impressed with Jeff's performance.
"Little brother ran a real good race," said Steve, who came into the race with six first-place finishes. "In hot laps this afternoon (Saturday), both of us put on new tires and went out in hot laps and got after it.
"(Jeff) got out there a little bit when me and Dave were running side-by-side."
Jeff's previous win came on May 12th.
The oldest brother Rick is the crew chief for father Harry's team.
Even though he started on the pole, Byrd wasn't able to build on it. Jeff Belletto took advantage of his starting position -- second -- by keeping the heat on. He never allowed the San Jose driver to dictate how the race would be run.
Despite finishing second in the 25-lap Pro Stock main event, Stockton's Cary Treadway still came out a winner.
The defending champion, and current points leader, finished the night with a hat trick. After being the fast qualifer, he finished first in a heat race and the trophy dash.
In the 25-lap Pure Stock main event, Tom Bolin of Morgan Hill held off Stockton's Chad Holman for the win. In the 18-lap Pure Stock B-main, Eric Graef of Galt outdistanced Michael Wendt of Lodi.
Others fast qualifiers included Zampa (LMS) 14.164 and Jeff Ahl (Pure Stock) 17.040.
It was Treadway's seventh fast qualifying win, and Zampa's first.
The trophy dash winners included Byrd (Late Model Sportsman) and John Medina (Pure Stock).
* To reach reporter Jim Matthews phone 546-8285 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.