Once time trials went into effect, Frey was credited with the first track record of 17.11, which Pacheco soon lowered to 16.53 by season's end. Dash events started as two car shows but were soon expanded to three cars to please the fans.
Just like any new baby, the track suffered many 'teething' problems in it's first year, as the promoter Hunefeld switched night's as often as construction workers switched tee-shirts, trying to find the right combination for fan and car draw. The track itself was widened at each end (30 feet for Midgets--60 feet for Roadsters) on August 18th., but the track continued to be hard on drivers and equipment alike.
Hunefeld imported a track technician named Jack Zuiker from Illinois to help guide reconstruction of the track surface but the project got started late in the week and the following race was held up until 10:15 p.m. as they tried to finish the work. Only one event was flagged off before it was decided to cancel the show for the night, a move that sent angry fans to the ticket booth demanding their money back. As the mob grew louder they began to shake the booth which sent the hapless agent inside running out the back while several fans helped themselves to their own form of refund before the black and whites arrived to restore calm.
The next week the work was finished, but by main event time it had gotten so bad that only two of the 10 starters finished due to broken springs, axles, and roll overs. The 1947 racing season was canceled at that point.
No local track champions were crowned in those early years, with all the points at each of the many tracks involved in the circuit going towards a state title instead. Frey picked up four fast times in the season, and notched seven dash wins (the division's all time best). He also won five main events, eleven main top five's, and seventeen total wins for the season to lead Oakland drivers Gene Tessien (ta-seen), Ed Elisian, Pacheco, and Modesto's Sam Hawks in the performance standings.
The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) sanctioned motorcycle races at 99 Stadium in the 47 season, and the Modesto 99 Stadium in Modesto was also constructed and owned by Billy Hunefeld.
During the 47-48 off-season, the track surface was drawn into it's present size and shape and the surface was paved and ready in time for opening day on May 9th. Sam Hawks of Modesto was the first asphalt winner in his Roadster. A fierce battle for control of the Midget racing events on the west coast between Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) and United Racing Association (URC) served only to split the Midget ranks and hurt car counts, not only at Stockton, but throughout the state. The two factors finally got together for a show on June 28th, but still produced a poor drawing of cars. At this point the Mighty Midgets' were discontinued as a regular weekly feature at Stockton, and ran only as special events. Larry Terra of Oakland, Bill Stevens of Livermore, and Frey were the Roadster record breakers this season, with the final hot time of the season going to Frey with a 16.14 on July 4th.
Back Home Forward