2008 Local Tracks
Golden Age Part 1
Golden Age photos of Stockton 99 Speedway Part 2
(May 13, 1936-Oct. 25, 2008 ) (obituary here)
Early Model, Modified Hardtop Driver and LMS driver from Turlock
and Modesto Ca.
NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Champion 1973
From Bill Olsen: Please enjoy these pictures of my uncle Ted. My hero, an off track accident ended his racing career. Ted Fritz Passed away on Oct. 25, 2008.
Excerpts from 50 Years and Still Turning Left, by Jim Shiels, regarding Ted Fritz and others of the era.
The R. J. Reynolds Company expands it's involvement in racing to include the short tracks and the Weekly Winston Racing Series is born. The 74 season also included the official start of the Hobby Division in NASCAR records with the class running cars five years older than the Late Model division, giving the top division a place to sell off their equipment as they kept pace with the latest developments in racing.
Ted Fritz is back in action with a 63 Ford Fairlane, and Dan Reed makes a showing in a 63 Pontaic Tempest.
Reed picks off another speed record, but Ron Lyon of Modesto is the king of the hill with fifteen fast times and three new records, including a season best of 15.718 on September 21st.
Dennis Hickman of Modesto picks up five dash wins on the year, while Fritz notches seven feature wins and fourteen total wins. Reed answers back with eighteen main top five finishes to pile up the needed championship points ahead of Fritz and Hickman. Barry Mitchell and Ron White of Stockton also show as top stat runners in 74.
Here's a race report from 1973 regarding Fritz and the drivers of the day.
(Original story from Racing Wheels, written by Gary Jacob on July-6, 1973)
Stockton's Barry Mitchell scored his first ever Late Model feature win as he completely dominated his part of the regular Friday night modified stock competition at Stockton 99 Speedway. Mitchell opened the evening by winning the first heat, came back to win the final heat and then led every lap of the feature.
As the top runners were smashing their way through the pack at the opening of the 20-lap feature, Mitchell was building a strong lead that was wiped out by a red flag on lap-2 for a five car tangle on the back straight. On the green, Mitchell again vaulted in front and held a half-lap lead when the yellow came out on lap-5 as rookie Bob Craven spun. Top runner Dan Reed moved into fourth on the Craven spin, but Mitchell again left the field at the green with Reed battling it out with Tim Gillit, Gary White, and Harry Belletto.
The rest of the race was caution-free with Mitchell breezing in front. Ted Fritz made a late charge, passing Belletto and Gillit to take over second, but there was catching Mitchell. Mitchell took the checkered an easy winner with Fritz a strong second and Reed finally pulling out of the pack for third. Gillit and Belletto rounded out the top five.
Fritz again paced the field through time trials with a mark of 16.121. Other heat winners were White, and Reed, with Reed coming back to win the dash. Jerry Bishop outran Curtis Nelson to capture semi honors. The hobby feature again went to Roger Bentz, with Bill Simpson winning the dash.