2009 Local Tracks
STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY
The Watermelon Bash,
Presented By Robeck’s Welding & Fabrication,
Went Over With A Splash
Saturday, September 19th, Robeck's Welding & Fabrication Presented the Watermelon Bash featuring 299 Laps of wet and wild fun with the always popular Enduros. Joining in on the evening’s excitement was the Mini-Stocks/Mini Trucks, WSRA and the Basically-4-Cylinders.
The Enduros brought their usual wet and wild excitement to the Speedway. This time, however, the fans were asked to participate by smashing watermelons on the racing surface before the race got underway. Great fun was enjoyed by all as was easily discernable by the laughter and the smiles on everyone’s face. Valley Spring’s Jake Pitt (21) led the first couple laps until lap 4 when Stockton’s David Pabst Jr. (2) took over the top spot. The lead during the first 100 laps would be exchanged on several occasions between Pabst, Pitt and the #98 of Manteca’s Ryan Strmiska, but by lap 100, it was all Pabst. The second half would continue much the same as the first with Pabst leading the way and second place being swapped a number of times by several drivers. When the mush finally settled, and asphalt could once again be seen, it was Pabst, in a very familiar position at the top of the heap. “It was pretty rough out there tonight. There was a lot of contact, usually I try not to make any contact,” said the watermelon-soaked Pabst, “But I got locked up with the #22 a couple times. I would like to thank everyone who supports me.” Pitt would be the only other car on the lead lap in his second place bid. The #7 of Chris Lancaster had a podium finish in third with the #24x of Adam Baggett in fourth and Strmiska brought it back to finish fifth.
In the first Baby Grand Twin-25, Ripon’s Michael Sandoval (17) and the 21x of Larry Theobald got this one going as the green flag waved with Sandoval grabbing the early lead until lap 8 when Chase Grigsby (14) of Rio Linda got into the back of Brentwood’s Taylor Hill (7) between three and four spinning himself out and drawing the attention of the flagman as the yellow went flying. On the single-file restart, Sandoval once again held point only to be slowed once again on lap 17 as Michael Ray (46) of Modesto and Sacramento’s Robbie Roy (33) tangled coming out of two attracting the second yellow of the night. Sandoval assumed his position out front on the restart and slipped away to victory as he crossed below the checkers to claim the spoils. Although Theobald challenged Sandoval throughout the race, the #17 would prove to be too much which relegated the #21x to a very respectable second place finish. Manteca’s Josh Gomes (18), glued to Theobald’s bumper for most of the night, finished a close third. The #24 of Alberta, Canada’s Cameron Hayley brought her home fourth followed by Dylan Hutchinson (88) of Citrus Heights, in fifth.
In the second Baby Grand Twin-25, John Bowman (98) of Rocklin shared the front row with Fremont’s Dylan Hutchinson (88) with Hutchinson jumping out to the early lead until lap 3 when the #88 lost it coming out of four in front of the entire field resulting in a chaotic crash that collected all but five cars and drew an immediate red flag. All the drivers involved were checked out at the infield care center and released. A total of six cars were retired for the night with a few managing to get back out and limp around for the remainder of the race. Cameron Hayley (24) would inherit the lead where he took full advantage of the situation by holding tight through the next 22 laps, despite the nagging at his back bumper by the 21x of Larry Theobald, and crossed the line first for the impressive win. “There must have been an inch between me and the car in front when the carnage took place on lap 3,” said Hayley, “but I somehow made it through. I would like to thank all the fans for coming out and showing great support.” Theobald finished a very close second while the #46 of Michael Ray finished third. Sandoval and Bowman completed the top five.
The Mini-Stock/Mini-Trucks got underway with Manteca’s Christopher Parker (21) pacing the field to green with the #08 of Bill Baze at his side. Baze took the early lead which was extremely short-lived when on lap 2, Ron Robeck (3) of Milpitas, starting shotgun on the grid, came breezing by Baze and set it on cruise-control to the checkered flag as he completely dominated by almost lapping the field in this 20 lap event. “I’m happy, we were real fast tonight,” said the soft-spoken Robeck. The #40 of Jim Morgan finished a distant second while Manteca’s Matt Borges (45x) was third with Parker and Baze rounding out the top five.
The Mini-Cup Division returned to action with Danny Allen (24) of Lincoln and Tommy McCarthy (23) of Mt. View leading the field to greet the green, but before they could get back around to lap 1, McCarthy’s hood rolled back over his windshield coming down the backstretch and drew an immediate yellow. After further review, Track Officials deemed Allen responsible for the unusual incident, which relegated him to the back of the pack. Brentwood’s Patrick Hill (07) inherited the lead on the single-file restart and held tight until lap 14 when the #23 of McCarthy lost it coming off two which brought with it the second yellow on the night. On the lap 14 restart, Hill continued his bid on point and pulled away to a half straightaway lead until lap 22 when the third and final caution of the race fell as the #33 of Adrian Wilson looped it between turns one a two. The green flag waved with three laps to go, and, on this night, Hill would not be denied the sweet taste of victory as he flew beneath the checkers well ahead of the rest of field. “We did a lot of work to make this thing fast tonight,” said the well-mannered young Hill, “This is great. I would like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work and help, and I would like to thank my aunt from Colorado for coming out to watch this race.” Eric Hamilton (11) of Hanford raced his way into the second spot while Allen and McCarthy maintained the third and fourth positions, respectively, and the #03 of Scotts Valley’s Bryce Napier came home fifth.
The Basically-4-Cylinders came to life under the lights with the #13 of Dan Durbin Jr. and the #88 of Larry Toon leading the way, but as they came around to lap 1, they were five-wide at the stripe with Toon edging ahead if only slightly. That slight edge would disappear on lap 3 when the #14 of JD Silva jumped to the front where he remained as he took full control and sped away to the finish line and the win. However, the #16 of Rodney Lopez did reel him (Silva) in over the last several laps, but he (Lopez) simply ran out of time. “Well, I got to apologize to Rodney, I came down on him a little bit there and we got together,” said the very gracious Silva, “My car was loose and I just didn’t have anywhere to go. I don’t like racing like that, but, other than that it was a real great race, he ran me clean all the time. He was definitely glued to my back bumper.” Of course, Lopez finished a solid second while the #23 of Points Leader Richard Hull finished on the podium in third. Toon and Durbin Jr. made up the top five.
Next Saturday, September 26th, Stockton 99 Speedway Presents Fan Appreciation Night with the "Whelen All American Series Final Points Night" - Western Late Models 99 laps, Grand American Modified, ALSC/Street Stocks, Bombers, USAC Ford Focus Midgets and 99 Cent Hotdogs All Night Long! Also, DOUBLE TRACK POINTS!
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.
The New Stockton 99 Speedway is sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, California Welding Supply, Budweiser, and Alamo Alarm.