2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
The Best Thing for a Firework
Hangover is Some
Hair of the Dog That Bit You and Stockton 99
Speedway Offered Just That On Saturday Night
The New Stockton 99 Speedway Media Release – 7-11-2009
Media Relations – David Holman
Although the NASCAR Whelen All-American Western Late Models would have a well-deserved night off, that didn’t necessarily mean the fireworks stopped on the Fourth of July. This July 11th event brought with it some fireworks of its own, but this time around, they were held strictly to the racing surface as the NCMA Sprint Cars and the Legends of the Pacific, with their short fuses, returned for their second explosive weekend in a row. Also on the billing, ALSC/Street Stocks, Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks, Basically-4-Cylinders and for the first time this year a Figure-8 Race was held.
As day closed its weary eye and drifted slowly into night, the NCMA Sprints came a-rumblin’ onto the asphalt like a thunder storm, complete with lightning, as these cars, on this track, combined for an incredible display of blazing speed. Concord’s Burt Silvering (77) got this one under way from the pole position alongside Denny Burrell (88) of Ripon. Burrell jumped out quickly to the lead, but on lap 3, coming down the backstretch, Pat Ariaz (XX), the AG Teacher from Manteca’s Sierra High, powered his way to the front of the pack and pulled away to a monumental victory by no less than a half lap. Gary Koster (17K) of Woodland worked his way into a distant second while Napa’s David Goodwill finished a close third. Burrell fell back to finish in the fourth spot with Modesto’s racing farmer, Ed Amador rounding out the top five.
The Legends of the Pacific were back in action with their usual high car-counts. This Division is a culture unto itself as is quite evident by the discipline these drivers possess. However, once the green flag drops, they morph into racers of the highest order and all-out war is waged until the checkers fall. This race would command a complete restart as the battle began before they came around to meet lap 1. A total of five cars tangled going into three which brought an unfortunate end to their nights. After the track was cleared of the carnage, “Fearless” Fred Clement (58) of Stockton would bring the remaining field to the stripe to get this one going. Clement held the front line until lap 8 when Johnny Morrissey (11n) of Tahoe City, after making his way from the number eleven spot on the starting grid, shot by Clement to steal away the lead. On lap 12, Robby Czub (05) of Rocklin, moving up from twelfth on the grid, fell in line behind Morrissey and from there the next 18 laps would be pure, unadulterated warfare as the two battled to rule the night. In the end, Morrissey would reign as he crossed the finish line with little room to breathe as Czub was all over him. Morrissey earned the spoils on this night, but only begrudgingly so, because it was obvious Czub did not want to finish one tier down. Phillip Morrissey, last week’s winner, finished the night in third in his #14n machine. Manteca’s Donny Darter (99d) came home fourth with James Gilliland (17) of Santa Rosa making up the top five.
In the ALSC/Street Stock Division, simplicity is no longer the key and it probably never really was. With the speeds this new breed of car attains, they are far from simple. But, when they roll out onto the track, simplicity or not, these drivers put on a pretty decent show with one simple thought in mind: win. Points Leader Jeff Ahl (31) of Lodi brought the field to green with Zach Huffman (50) of French Camp by his side. Ahl nabbed the early lead, but on lap 4, the “Ol’ Man” Pete Anderson Sr. grabbed a huge hunk forward-bite coming out of two to take over the top spot. On lap 9, the only caution of the night came out as Brian Vosburg (89) of Stockton and Huffman tangled in turn one. On the restart, Anderson would resume his lead, but not without intense pressure from Vosburg. However, Anderson would not be denied on this night as he crossed under the checkers for his third win on the year. Vosburg rallied back from his earlier altercation to finish a very strong second. Ahl slid back a bit, but still managed a podium finish. Huffman and Leroy Hunt (61) of Stockton rounded out the top five.
In this fledgling Division you never know who will come out on top. But that doesn’t imply the Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks don’t put their best foot forward, because they do, and I mean all the way to the floor. As the series continues to grow, so grows the racing excitement. Andrew Blake (88) of Valley Springs started on pole with Ron Robeck (3) of Milpitas to the outside. Robeck jumped out to the quick lead, but on lap 1 the #3 spun up high between turns three and four collecting Terry Shannon (32) of Roseville and Blake, which put a sudden end to the night for all three involved. The race was cut to a 5 lapper because of the previous melee, and on the restart, Jim Morgan (40) of Tracy pulled away to victory. The #27 of Rodney Oliver inherited the second spot and that’s exactly where he finished. Robeck, Shannon and Blake were all credited with third, fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively.
The Basically-4-Cylinders are also a youngster at Stockton 99 Speedway. But if you were fortunate enough to be in attendance during their race, you would think anything but a young Division. JD Silva (14) and Richard Hull (23), both of Modesto, brought this one under the green with Hull snatching the top spot away coming back around to the line where he held strong, despite the constant nagging at his back bumper from Silva. The top four cars were nose to tail and side by side with some great racing until lap 21 when Rodney Lopez (16) of Pleasanton decided it was his turn to lead and he and Hull put together some great door handle to door handle racing for the next several laps. But on lap 25 the race would slow as the one and only yellow of the race flew when Modesto’s Dan Durbin (13) spun going into three. Lopez would retain the lead on the restart and charge on to his first victory in this Division. “It’s been a great night compared to the last couple weeks. We’ve been very slow and tonight we come out and pull the hat-trick, we got all three: the Heat, the Dash and the Main,” said a jubilant Lopez, “This is the first Main Event and it feels good.” Silva moved back up to finish in the two slot with Dawn Darter (99) of Manteca sliding into third. Hull would slip back to finish fourth while Larry Toon (88) of Modesto brought it home fifth.
You talk about a wild and wacky race, the Bombers was everything you could ask for and much, much more. Tonight a road-course was set-up for these drivers to navigate. Instead of left only, some rights would be thrown in as well. “Wild” Russell Johnson Jr. (23) of Stockton started on pole and brought this one to green. Jeff Ahl (808) of Lodi climbed out of his usual garb and descended into a whole new persona as he jumped to the lead on lap 1 and held on until lap 10 when Bomber Great, Ben Lewis (22) of Stockton, dove deep into turn three and beat Ahl to the gas coming out of four to snag the lead. With orange traffic cones seemingly falling from the sky like a meteor shower, this one ended as many do, with Lewis crossing the finish line ahead of the field. Ahl would finish second in his first-ever Bomber race with Tom Dahl (4) of Stockton bringing home his usual top three finish. The #007 of Mike Massone finished fourth and Johnson fell back to fifth.
The Inaugural Figure-8 Competition took place with a six-car field. Riverbank’s Aaron Coonfield (25) would prove to be too much for his competitors as he took the checkers in this one. There were many close calls at the crossing, but no devastation occurred, much to the chagrin of the fans in the stands. As interest in this Division grows, there will be some exciting nights yet to come.
Next Saturday, July 18th, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series rolls back onto the racing surface starring, after a well-deserved week off, the Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, ALSC/Street Stocks, Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks, and the always crowd favorite Enduros are back to put on their wet and wild show for the entire family to enjoy.
The New Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, ¼-mile west of Highway 99. For more information on tickets and times, please contact the Speedway Office at (209)466-9999 or visit the website at www.stockton99.com. And remember, The New Stockton 99 Speedway is always Family Friendly.
The New Stockton 99 Speedway is sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, California Welding Supply, Budweiser, and Alamo Alarm.