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Tight races open season

STOCKTON - Michael Wendt took advantage of Chad Holman's tough luck in the final laps and won the season-opening NASCAR Western Late Model main event at Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday night.

Holman led most of the race but spun out after his car was bumped by Jeff Belletto with seven laps to go in the 50-lap race. Wendt took the lead and won on the first night of the NASCAR Whelen Racing Series, when drivers can begin competing for track, state and national points.

The results were unofficial at press time.

Holman, a former Stockton 99 Street Stock champion racing just his fourth WLM event, was impressive and took the lead on lap four. It was a rough race, with nine caution periods, and Holman handled every restart until Belletto seemingly made contact on lap 43.

Earlier, Gary Glen and Scott Winters put on a thrilling show in the Grand American Modified main event, and Glen was able to hold off the challenge of the defending division champion.

Winters seemed to have the lead on lap 27, but there was a yellow flag for debris and Glen remained the leader. After the green flag, he held on for the final three laps.

"Everybody said that he's not beatable, but everybody is beatable," Glen said.

Sam Solari of Escalon had another strong night in the Street Stock division, winning his heat race and setting fast time with a qualifying lap of 14.943 seconds before going on to dominate the main event.

"We are in control, and we hope to keep control the rest of the season," Solari said.

Tom Dahl of Stockton dominated the preseason Bomber main event at Stockton 99 on March 13, and did the same thing in Saturday's 40-lap feature. Dahl took the lead on the fourth lap and cruised to the win. Dahl also won the trophy dash and the heat race.

Travis Affonso of Manteca won the Mini Cup main event, heat race and trophy dash.

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281 or


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