2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
Styles differ in double feature
Record Staff Writer
April 05, 2009 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - Ross Strmiska, #90, and Vito Ranuio, #27, proved there's more than one way to win at Stockton 99 Speedway.
After setting a quick time with his qualifying lap of 14.187 seconds, Strmiska was forced to the back of the first of two 50-lap main events because his car stalled. But the Manteca driver came through the 17-car field to claim the victory on Saturday night. Ranuio, who had a shot to win the first race, controlled most of the second and took the checkered flag.
"This can be a tough track, and I just wanted to be patient," Strmiska said. "We took our time."
The first Western Late Model main event was halted by a scary incident when official Adam Douglas was hit by a race car during a caution period. Douglas, the son-in-law of track promoters Carol and Tony Noceti, was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center by ambulance, and track officials reported he had not suffered any serious injuries.
Douglas was on the track and accidentally got bumped by the car of Jeff Ford after a yellow flag came out on lap 21. He fell hard on the asphalt.
"I was worried because he hit his head, but he was talking and was aware of his surroundings," Tony Noceti said. "He seems OK."
Strmiska would have started 10th because of the inversion, but the car just wouldn't start. He took the lead on lap 34 when leader Rodney Funston was hit by Ranuio and spun. Justin Philpott of Tracy also got caught up in the altercation.
Ranuio said he made a mistake in the first event, but was strong in the final WLM feature and took the lead on lap 4 from #92, Scott Masellis.
"The car is great," #27, Ranuio said. "We were struggling, pulled the car apart and put it back together before qualifying. It was great."
Pete Anderson Sr., #85, of Stockton won the Street Stock main event, ending a two-race winning streak by Chad Holman.
"It was nice to get the win," Anderson said.
Wes Miller #57, of Turlock won the Grand American Modified race, and Ben Lewis won the Bomber feature.
Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Stockton 99 Speedway is expecting an increased car count in two divisions when the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series resumes tonight.
Twin 50-lap main events are scheduled in the Western Late Model division, and with it, twin names: Strmiska and Philpott. Ross Strmiska, #90, of Stockton and a Scott Masellis #92, are slated to be behind the wheel of two cars fielded by the legendary Strmiska family of Manteca.
The equally legendary Philpott family of Tracy also is scheduled to have two cars on the quarter-mile paved oval, according to promoter Tony Noceti. Justin Philpott won the main event last Saturday night.
Modesto drivers Kyle Gottula and Todd Corral, #16, also are scheduled to race.
"The car count is going up," Noceti said. "We're looking at the largest field this year, due to the level of competition."
Meanwhile, the Street Stock division is looking at its largest field of the season, now that it has been combined with the American Limited Stock Car class. The differences in the classes are parts, body panels and weight distribution. Now they're one.
Stockton 99 officials made one other change this week, moving back the first green flag to 6 p.m. Gates open at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for ages 16-59. Tickets cost $10 for seniors 60 and up, juniors 11-15 and military personnel showing an ID. Family admission (two general, two juniors) is $40, and kids 10 and under get in for free.