2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
The New Stockton 99 Speedway Media Release – 11-8-2009
Media Relations – David Holman
The Fall Classic 150 Drew 108 Cars To The Storied Venue Which Produced Some Fantastic Racing
On the weekend of November 6-8, a total of 108 cars converged on the "Little Jewel of The West" to compete in the first annual Fall Classic 150. Friday's practice saw no less than 80 cars in the pits, which was most definitely the largest Friday practice in the Modern Era. On Saturday, Time Trials and Heats commenced including two feature events with the MST's and the Basically-4-Cylinders. On the Card for Sunday was the Western Late Models in their 150 Lap Feature Event, Grand American Modifieds (75), ALSC/Street Stocks (75) and the Bombers (75).
In their 150 Lap Feature Event, the Western Late Models took the green with the Legend Harry Belletto (74) of Modesto in the number one slot and the #52 of Tracy's Ryan Philpott alongside. Philpott got to the gas to hard coming out of four and spun completely around in front of the entire field which drew an immediate yellow and a complete restart. Unfortunately for Philpott, his actions relegated him to the tail-end of the longest line. Once again, with the green flag waving, Belletto jumped out to the early lead and held strong until lap 24 when Stockton's Greg Potts (12p) and the #21h of Eric Holmes made contact coming off turn four. Lodi's Michael Wendt (2), an innocent victim, was swept up in the melee, which brought out the first yellow of the night. On the lap 27 single-file restart, Belletto assumed the point and held solid until lap 41 when teen sensation Jacob Gomes (16x) of Manteca dipped low for the pass and the lead. Gomes would be seriously challenged by the #84 of Michael Self and on lap 65, Self squeezed by Gomes and took control of that much coveted top spot for the next 23 laps when Gomes returned the favor and jumped back out front. From that point forward it would be all Gomes despite having to hold off a hard charge from Harry Belletto just before Belletto slid up the track and hit the wall a ton in turn two on lap 122 bringing out the fourth and final caution of the night. Gomes brought it to the checkers in front of a star-studded field to finish a stunning night of racing. "I got hit, then ended up getting passed, but I got the lead back. So that was pretty cool to come back and retake the lead," said the 16 year old phenom, "All of a sudden I started smelling rear-end oil and I thought "oh no". But we ended up finishing it." Modesto's Jeff Belletto (12x) had a solid run finishing second with Holmes bringing her home on the podium in third. Philpott and Mark Holeman (21) rounded out the top five.
In the Grand American Modified Division the #1 of Todd Lynch and the #2x of Chris Smith brought the field around to greet the green with Smith grabbing the early lead only to be slowed on lap 2 as the #62 of AJ Rider made contact with the #1x of Rick Anable drawing the first yellow of the night. On the lap 5 restart, Smith jumped back out to the lead and held strong, despite several more cautions and the constant gnawing at his back bumper by the #50 of Gary Glenn, until lap 50 when a competition yellow was thrown for the teams to gas-up and check tire pressures. On the restart, Smith resumed where he left off out front until lap 69 when Glenn finally wrestled the lead away only to be overtaken on lap 70 by Modified Sensation, Wes Miller (57), who had started twenty-first on the grid and patiently worked his way forward. Once there, Miller would go on to victory lane as he flew below the flagstand for the very popular win. "We had to have the car and the patience to take the opportunities when they were there," said the always pleasant Miller, "It's like every time there was a hole we were able to make it work. Good job by all the guys, there was some hard racing out there. It was a lot of fun." The #21a of Bobby Grewohl worked his way up from very deep in the field to finish a strong second with Glenn falling off a bit at the end to finish third. The #21 of Jeremy Grasty and the #96 of Mikey Lehman, both also starting deep in the field, manage a fourth and fifth place finish, respectively.
With the largest field of the year, which included 24 cars, the ALSC/Street Stocks went to green with "Slammin" Sammy Solari (79) and Brock Monroe (42), both of Escalon, pacing the field. Solari, in his beautifully prepared Chevy Camaro, jumped out to the early lead, which he would carry through to the checkers as he went flag to flag, virtually untouchable, for the victory. Meanwhile, there was some great racing going on back in the pack as drivers were jockeying for position for that valuable real estate behind the leader. On lap 15, Robert Daniels (22) of Stockton, and one of the many double-duty drivers on the day, went up in smoke, which attracted, first a yellow, then a red, as oil was laid down around the entire surface. Despite the race being plagued by 6 more caution periods, Solari maintained his lead throughout in a lopsided victory of talent and great equipment. "It takes all these guys that help me man, they're the baddest in the business," said an elated Solari, "When I saw the #89 in the mirror, I know he's got a Philpott setup and we got a Joyner setup, that's the way we roll." Brian Vosburg (89) of Stockton would hold on to finish a fairly close second while Matt Erickson (42x) of Lake Don Pedro worked his way up from deep in the field to finish on the podium in third. Josh Whitfield (50x) from parts unknown, finished fourth with Madera's Howard Holden (41) rounding out the top five.
The Bombers got underway with 2009 Track Champion, Ben Lewis II (22) on pole with Escalon's Brock Monroe (21) at his side. Monroe grabbed the early lead until lap 4 when the #313 of Stockton's Robert Daniels took the spot away only to be slowed on lap 8 when Monroe made contact with Tom Dahl (4) of Stockton, which abruptly ended Dahl's day. On the restart, Daniels resumed his position, but on lap 12, he ducked into the pits with mechanical issues thereby relinquishing the lead to Lewis who knows exactly what to do once out front. On lap 21, Dawn Darter (909) of Manteca spun between turns one and two bring out the second caution of the day. Lewis assumed the number one spot on the restart and held strong until lap 33 when Darter, fighting an ill-handling car all day long, looped it again in the same spot, which drew the attention of the flagman and the third yellow went flying. On lap 35, Monroe snatched the lead away on the restart and despite several more cautions, one which relegated Monroe to the back of the field, and swapping the lead back and forth with Lewis, Monroe would not be denied the sweet taste of Victory as he crossed below the checkers at the head of the pack. Lewis, the only other car left on the lead lap, would have to settle for second on this day. Stockton's Brandon Jones (33) had another remarkable run with a podium finish in third while Lodi's second generation driver Robbie Knittell (3) finished an impressive fourth with the #24 of Adam Baggett racing into the top five.
On Saturday in the MST Division, the #10 of Donnie Large took the victory. In the Basically-4-Cylinders it was the #1 of Madera's Miles Humphries reaping the spoils of a battle hard fought.
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.The New Stockton 99 Speedway is sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, California Welding Supply, Budweiser, and Alamo Alarm.