2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel Presented Poker Run Night At The Speedway
On Saturday, August 29th, Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel Presented “Poker Run Night,” with the NorCal Vintage Hardtops-North & South All Star Shootout, WSRA, ALSC/Street Stocks, Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks and Basically-4-Cylinders.
What would race night be without Stockton’s beloved ALSC/Street Stock Division. Since the upper echelon was absent this week, these guys got to play the part of Featured Division and they proved once again that it is not a giant leap. If you’ll indulge me yet again, I’ll step out of my PR garb and slip into something a lot less comfortable, like my driver’s suit, which, by the way, doesn’t really fit anymore, in more ways than one. As the misfortunes of luck would have it, a total invert was drawn, which put yours truly on the pole for the Main Event. Well, I brought the field around to green in what I construed as a great start, but much to my surprise, I was only fooling myself. I did, however, manage to lead the first lap before the onslaught of metal and horsepower, which included every other car on the track, overtook me. Much to my dismay, on lap 2, the #2 car of Mel Wilson and the #75 car of, well, myself, made contact going into turn one and the #61 of Stockton’s Leroy Hunt had no place to go as he hit full-force into the outside wall bringing out the only stoppage of the race in the form of a red flag. Before the restart, Livermore’s Mark Squadrito (31x) suffered mechanical failure and ducked into the pits, which relegated me to the pole once again. Fortunately, the field got around me very quickly on the restart and the real race was on. Wilson was the first to go by as he jumped out to the lead on lap 3 and held on until lap 9 when he succumbed to too much pressure from Escalon’s Brock Monroe (42). Monroe would hold point for the next sixteen circuits, but not without waging an epic battle between Aaron Coonfield (25) of Riverbank and Points Leader Jeff Ahl (31) of Lodi. And I have to say, from my front row seat, these guys were flat out hauling the mail as they flew by me like I was a spectator. That first time I was lapped, and then the second time, was the only chance I had all night of being on the track next to a car, which was thrilling, yet lonely. Anyway, on lap 25, Coonfield got underneath the #42 and from there it was the same ol’ story as it has been on eight other occasions this year as Coonfield pulled away to his ninth victory on the season. Oh, and lest we forget, the Inaugural Figure-8 win as well. “This doesn’t get old. I want to win every week,” said Coonfield smiling ear to ear, “They really made me earn my money tonight starting from the back. The car got a little beat up this time around, but it will be ok.” Monroe would hold on, despite heavy pressure from Ahl, to finish second with Ahl glued to his bumper for third. Roseville’s two drivers, Spencer Emerson (6) and Wilson rounded out the top five. And, as for lonely little me, I managed a solid sixth place finish. Of course, you have to realize there were only six cars left on the track at the checkers. You know that old adage “sometimes you have to slow down to go faster”, well I guess I’m the exception to that rule because the more I slowed down, the slower I got. Go figure!
I would like to thank my son, Chad, for stepping out of his car and allowing me the opportunity to relive some old memories, and for the hard work he did all week to get the car prepared for me, which was a monumental task in itself considering everything had to be reinforced to suit my style of driving. He did it without complaint. A dad could not ask for a finer son. Also, thank you to the ALSC/Street Stock drivers for showing me nothing but respect, on and off the track and for making my entire day fun and memorable. I learned something about myself today: It wasn’t the actual racing I missed so much, but the camaraderie in the pits, which to me, was priceless. You couldn’t ask for a better group of young people than those in the ALSC/Street Stocks. And last but not least, thanks to Tony and Carol Noceti for their hard work in giving us all a great place to race.
The Nor Cal Vintage Hardtops were back in action for their second visit of the year. This is a great Division and they certainly brought back memories for the over-fifty crowd and created new ones for those who happen to be a bit younger. The #7 of Kendra McKdee started on pole with the #85 of Joe Diaz Jr. alongside. Diaz jump out to what appeared to be an insurmountable lead, but the #2 of Conrad Cavallero continuously chewed away at that lead until lap 13 when the #2 assumed the point. From there it was smooth sailing for Cavallero as he went unchallenged to the checkers. The #6 of Dan Williams finished a very close second with the #92 of Jack Low on the podium in third. Diaz slipped back a bit after showing his strength early to finish fourth and the #00 of Charles Mart made up the top five.
The Mini Cups returned to entertain the crowd of nearly 800. These little guys are a joy to watch, and the show they put on tonight was, as usual, very satisfying. Hanford’s Eric Hamilton (11) and Patrick Hill (07) of Brentwood brought this one under green with Hill grabbing the point on the first go-round and from there he would go unchecked, wire-to-wire for an absolutely fantastic show of driving talent from this young man. “I had a pretty fast car tonight,” said the well-mannered Hill, “I would like to thank all my sponsors and everyone who came out tonight: my mom and dad, my sister and one of her friends.” Starting deep in the field, Lincoln’s Danny Allen (24) displayed some wonderful driving skills of his own as he worked his way up to finish a close second. Tommy McCarthy (23) of Mt. View brought her home third while Hamilton slid back a bit to finish in the fourth spot and the #03 of Scotts Valley’s Bryce Napier raced his way into the top five.
A step up from the Mini Cups, the Baby Grand Division was on hand as well to electrify the fans in the stands as they often do. The speed these cars carry into the corners is quite deceiving, but always makes for some absolutely great racing. And their race this evening was probably the best of the night. This racing adventure got underway with the #98 of Rocklin’s John Bowman starting on pole with Josh Gomes (18) of Manteca at his side. A total restart was required after the #29 of Scotts Valley’s David Napier went spinning down the back shoot. On the restart, Gomes jumped to the point, but was slowed immediately as Napier performed a mirror-image spin down the front stretch and ducked into the pits to end his night. On the single file restart, Gomes resumed control but on lap 5 the #7 of Brentwood’s Taylor Hill looped it coming off four and down the front stretch to attract the second yellow of the night. On the restart, Michael Sandoval (17) of Ripon and Jarrett Kelly (6) of Lincoln tangled off four and ended up against the inside wall in turn one which drew an immediate third caution of the race and relegated the two drivers to the back for their part in the incident. As the race went back to green, Gomes assumed his rightful position on point and held tight, despite the relentless pressure applied by Sandoval and the #88 of Citrus Heights’ Dylan Hutchinson in this dogfight of a race to the checkers which had the crowd on their collective feet. Gomes would win out in a seriously hard-fought battle to the end with Sandoval and Hutchinson under the same blanket at the stripe. There was no doubt from the fans in the stands that they had just witnessed what racing is all about. “I was told on the radio Michael (Sandoval) was on my bumper through the corners, but he raced me clean and I brought home the win,” said the happy young Gomes. Aside from the top three, Kelly would bring her home fourth and Sacramento’s Robbie Roy (33) came home in the fifth spot.
In the Mini-Stock/Mini-Trucks the hope is always high for more cars, and tonight that hope was realized as eight cars/trucks showed up to attack the high banks at Stockton. The #11 of Brad Graef and Points Leader Rodney Oliver (27) brought this one to green from the front row. Oliver jumped out to the early lead, but on lap 6 the 2006 Pro 4 Truck Track Champion and Lathrop’s own Mark Hensle (6), after a three year absence from racing, took control of the point with Ron Robeck (3) of Milpitas shadowing his every move as they got into heavy traffic, but Hensle managed to hold-off the hard-charging Robeck and cross below the checkers just ahead of him in what was a very exciting race from these two excellent drivers. “Ron (Robeck) has always got a fast truck, so it’s hard to keep him behind you,” said a very gracious Hensle, “This is the first time I’ve been out in a long time and it feels great. He (Robeck) was fast, so I just drove it like I stole it.” Robeck, of course, finished a very strong second while Jim Morgan (40) of Manteca had another podium finish in third with the #88 of Andy Blake fourth and Manteca’s Chris Parker (21) in the number five position.
The Basically-4-Cylinders rolled back onto the high-banks for the kind of action only they can produce. And produce they did as these drivers mixed it up pretty good on the lightning-fast surface in the form of good, hard-nosed racing. This one got underway as the #11 of Rick Roberts and the #88 of Larry Toon brought the field around to greet the green. Toon took to the front early on but was quickly derailed on lap 4 when the #16 of Rodney Lopez, starting deep in the pack, snatched the lead away and never looked back as he took the checkers by a full straightaway over second place and Points Leader Richard Hull (23). “The restarts worked in our favor,” said Lopez, “We were in the third row and by lap 4 we were in front. I think the #23 and the #14 were a little faster, but I think they got caught up in traffic.” The #14 of JD Silva came home in the third spot while Toon went backwards to finish fourth and Dan Durbin Jr. (13) rounded out the top five.
During the evening’s events, an intermission was taken so all the participants in the Poker Run could have their parade lap around the track. It was an unusual, but beautiful sight to see some absolutely gorgeous bikes circling the Speedway. The winners of the day’s Run were as follows:
1st place Mike D'Arcy
2nd place Kathy Cowger
3rd Place Celina Franco & Chet Hopkins
The winner of the 50/50 Raffle for Autism - Mike Massone
Stockton 99 Speedway would like to thank all the participants and look forward to bigger and better things next year.
Next Saturday, September 5th, California Welding Supply Co. Presents the 2009 Tri-Holiday Classic Series Race #3 with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Western Late Models in 150 Laps, Grand American Modified 75 Laps, ALSC/Street Stocks 75 Laps and the Bombers 60 Laps. Also, a Fabulous Firework Show to cap off the evening.
ATTENTION: On Sunday, September 6th, Cherokee Muffler Presents their Second Classic Car, Motorcycle and Race Car Show!!! Cherokee Muffler and Radiator is located at 2650 N. Wigwam Dr. Stockton, CA 95205 (209)462-2610 Business Hours: Mon-Fri. 8am-5pm.
Registration time for the event will be from 7:30-9am, Car Show: 9am-?
Pre-regist. Must be done 2 weeks in advance
Registration (the day of show)..$15
Car, Motorcycle and Race Car Show
Drawing with prizes from many of our listed sponsors!
Food and drinks: by Cherokee Muffler
A Percentage of Our Proceeds Will Be Donated to Betsy Stromer (family Friend of Cherokee Muffler)
Betsy Stromer is suffering from thyroid cancer.
For further donations for Betsy or more information on the Car Show, please contact Cherokee Muffler @ (209)462-2610
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 their Website at www.stockton99.com. And remember, 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.