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Watermelon Bash set at Stockton 99

By Scott Linesburgh

Record Staff Writer

September 20, 2013 12:00 AM

STOCKTON - Russell "Superman" Johnson can't leap tall buildings, but he can drive through a couple of tons of crushed watermelons.

The Stockton driver with the Superman-themed car will be part of the annual 199-lap Watermelon Bash Enduro at 6 p.m. Saturday at Stockton 99 Speedway. Track official Tony Noceti said there will be about two tons of watermelons on the track, and fans are invited to come on the track and smash them.

A truck adds soap and water, and then the race starts.

"It's a blast, it's one of the most fun races out there," said Johnson, 58, whose 1977 blue Chevrolet Malibu Classic has a Superman doll attached that seems to by flying as he speeds up.

"Normally an enduro has soap and water on the track, but the watermelons make it much more slippery out there. And it's a lot of fun that the fans get to participate."

Enduros are unlike any other type of auto race. About 50 older and battered late model cars will compete in the race. There are no caution flags, crashed or stopped cars remain on the course as obstacles and a race is usually not halted unless for complete track blockage, fire or injury.

"I've done many and it gets wild, but I've never been hurt," Johnson said. "If you do feel like you are in danger, you wave the red flag you have in the car and officials will stop the racing and get you out. You don't want anyone to get hurt."

The Northern California Modified Association's Sprint Cars, Pro-4 Modifieds, B-4s, Pure Stocks, and Mini Cup divisions will also compete.

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