STACY GRAND AM HAPPENING WINNER AT STOCKTON
(STOCKTON, CA--June 28, 1998)--Defending champion Steve Stacy picked a perfect time to win his first main event in nine months Saturday night--claiming the $1,000 top money for Stockton 99 Speedway's first-ever 100-lap Grand American Modified feature race. The Stockton driver's winnings in the NASCAR-sanctioned Winston Racing Series event was also enhanced by $400 in lap money provided by Jim Kietzke of Stockton-based Beck Realtors.
The 100-lapper--billed as a Grand American Happening--saw 20 cars line up for the green flag with Stacy starting ninth inside of fast qualifier Jason Fensler of Wilton. Jason Kerby of Stockton was the initial leader, holding the point for the first 15 laps when a yellow flag was displayed for season point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale, who was leaking fluid on the quarter-mile paved oval. Another Stockton pilot, John Unger--a veteran Late Model Sportsman competitor making only his second Grand Am start--took charge on the re-start with Stacy moving to second on lap-20, and taking the lead on the next pass.
Three yellows--including one where Fensler rode up on the side of Danny Contessotto of Stockton in turn-one--slowed the action before the cars were halted for re-fueling at the halfway point. At the break, the top-five was Stacy, followed by Walt Haas of Antioch, Sacramento's Tony Silva, Fensler and another Sacramentan, Jason Philpot.
Laps 50 through 75 saw only a couple of quick yellows for minor spins; however, a red flag halted the action altogether on lap-76 when Silva--dicing with Fensler for third--pinched the Wilton driver into the retaining wall just past the flag stand. Fensler ended up climbing the 52-year old racing facility's new barrier with sparks flying before coming to rest back on the track and out of the competition for the rest of the night. As a result, NASCAR officials ruled Silva to the rear of the field with 16 cars still running at the time.
Stacy, who entered the Grand Am Happening trailing Welch by 58 points, was never seriously challenged on his way to the checkered flag. The defending division champion actually received a checkered-yellow as Robert Knittel of Lodi and Silva, charging from the back, got together in turn-one on lap-99. When the checkered was displayed, behind Stacy came Haas, Philpot, Contessotto and Unger. The victory closed the point gap between Stacy and Welch to 18 (592-574) with Fensler (580) still sandwiched in second
Defending champion Jerry Tripp of Stockton pulled off a clean sweep in the night's Street Stock action with fast time, a dash win, and a wire-to-wire 30-lap feature victory. However, the celebration was short-lived as NASCAR officials found his car to be under weight in a post-race inspection. The disqualification elevated Jerry Crawford of Stockton to his fourth feature triumph of the season. Next in line came Scott Chappell of Lodi--with his best-ever finish, season point leader Dan Dabbs of North Highlands, and Stockton drivers Pete Anderson, Sr. and Cary Treadway.
Tripp's disqualification also enabled Treadway to get his name into the Stockton 99 record books for most consecutive fast times--tying marks held jointly by Greg Rayl ( 1991 ) and Bud Beltrama ( 1995) of eight straight fast times.
Dabbs, who as yet has failed to win a Street Stock feature, continues to show that consistency pays off as he leads Treadway in the season point standings by 24 (488-464).
The Charterway Auto Recyclers Pure Stock division produced its usual slam-bang 25-lap main event with Gary Shafer, Jr. of Stockton making it to the winner's circle for the first time in nearly a year--having last won on July 5, 1997. Rookie Albert Silva of Denair took the point and held on for 14 laps before bowing to Shafer on the 15th pass. While Shafer was able to bring it home a winner, second and third represented best-ever performances for fellow Stockton drivers, Orville Dahl and C.W. Davis. Fourth went to Joe Allen of Stockton with Guy Guibor of Manteca completing the top-five.
An eighth place finish by season point leader Sam Solari of Salida enabled the rookie to stretch his point margin over Jeff Lovelace of Stockton to 46 (512-466). Joe Allen is a close third at 458.
The evening's fare on 99's Budweiser and "The Right Place" Pontiac of Stockton sponsored facility was completed by a second visit by the Super Mini Cups--miniature versions of Winston Cup cars. Jeff Womack of Modesto nailed his first career feature win over fast timer Jeff Jess of Stockton. Larry Hoover, Jr., of Turlock finished third ahead of dash winner Jason White of Stockton with Bill Barrett, Jr., of Tracy completing the top five.
Stockton 99 Speedway will host it's annual "Firecracker 100", the second leg of the Tri-Holiday Classic--sponsored by Budweiser, I.B. Benedict's of Stockton, Galt and Modesto and Raybestos, the official brake of NASCAR, this coming Saturday.
Modesto's Steve Belletto will try to extend his lead over current Late Model Sportsman point leader Ken Boyd who won the Tri-Holiday opener Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the "Firecracker 100", the program will also include Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks, plus a spectacular fireworks show.
Ticket Gates will open at 2:3V p.m., with qualifying set for 5:30 and racing at 7:00. Adult tickets for the "Firecracker 100" cost $15 with children six-to-12 five-dollars. Children under six get in free. A family ticket--two adults and two children--will be $35.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way--a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.