(STOCKTON, CA--August 16, 1998)--Steve Stacy of Stockton kept his hopes of repeating as Stockton 99 Speedway's Grand American Modified champion alive Saturday night, winning for the second time in three weeks. Stacy registered a clean sweep by setting fast qualifying time and collecting a division record ninth trophy dash triumph in the NASCAR sanctioned Winston Racing Series action. "Our luck is improving," said Stacy. The opposite, however, would apply for current point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale who has seen his season point lead disappear following back-to-back 16th place finishes. Jason Fensler of Wilton now trails Welch by just two points; with Stacy lurking 60 points off the pace in third with a "double points" event scheduled this coming Saturday.
Jason Philpot of Sacramento was the initial leader in the 20-car, 30-lap feature and held forth until a red flag was displayed on lap-six following a solo spin by Bob Wood of Auburn in turn one. Fensler cut to the outside to avoid Wood and in turn forced Jeff Thomas of Stockton, to bounce into the outside retaining wall. Thomas injured his back and was taken to the hospital, and later released as being sore but okay.
Stacy grabbed the lead from Philpot on the re-start, with Welch coming to second and dogging Stacy to the 14th circuit before slowing with fuel pick-up problems. After repairs, Welch returned to the track only to be black-flagged by NASCAR officials for not having a cover over his fuel cell. Philpot resumed the pursuit of Stacy, but the defending champion was not to be denied as he cruised to his third win of the year good for $500. At the checkered, Stacy was followed by Philpot, Walt Haas of Antioch, Robert Knittel of Lodi, and Cole Tiwater of Modesto.
Another defending champion, Jerry Tripp of Stockton, was the Street Stock winner. Dave Conway of Modesto led for four laps until Tripp drew alongside on lap-five and took the lead on the next go-round. By lap-10, the front runners consisted of Tripp and two other Stockton pilots, Pete Anderson, Sr. and Carey Treadway, as well as Manteca's Donnie Darter. Lap-22 saw Treadway cut a tire and lose his chance for the win; however Jason Beltrama of Stockton closed fast from the back of the 14-car field to pull into third on lap-27 and second on lap-29. Tripp held forth to notch his fourth season win and add to his earlier dash victory. Anderson ran third ahead of Jerry Crawford of Stockton and fast timer Dan Dabbs of North Highlands.
Dabbs, with a single main event triumph, continues to lead the season point standings in pursuit of his second division championship 824-780 over Treadway. Dabbs won the Street Stock crown in 1996.
Stockton fans also enjoyed the fourth season appearance of the B.C.R.A. Midgets which saw Nick Geranio of Van Nuys take the early feature lead before bowing to Scott Nail of Visalia on lap-seven. Terry Tarditi of Lodi, the B.C.R.A. point leader who has never won on what would be considered his home track, came to second a lap later and waged a race long battle to overtake Nail. Only two yellow flags slowed the pace as Nail held on for a 30-lap triumph, hisfirst-ever on asphalt. Tarditi, with fast time and a trophy dash win, was a strong second followed by Rex Calderwood of Bakersfield, Geranio and Jim Silva of Manteca.
The popular Pure Stock division also produced a first-time winner as Orville Dahl of Stockton overcame John Medina of Galt on lap-six and hold off the rest of the l 8-car field to get the checkered flag. The 25-lap event ran yellow-free with Dahl finishing ahead of fast qualifier Guy Guibor of Manteca, dash winner Angelo Queirolo of Lathrop, defending champion Doug Lane of Stockton and Sam Solan of Salida.
Joe Allen of Stockton holds a 40-point lead (788-748) in the season standings over fellow Stockton driver Jeff Lovelace. Three other Charterway Auto Recyclers competitors--Solari (740), Queirolo (732) and Lane (728)--are within 20 points of Lovelace in the third through fifth positions
Stockton 99 Speedway will feature two 50-lap main events and "double points" in all four racing divisions this coming Saturday night (August 22). The Late Model Sportsman will race for $1,000 first place money in the Winston "No Bull" 50; while the Grand American Modifieds will compete for a $750 top prize in another 50-lapper.
The program will also include the third and final leg of the I.B. Auto Parts "run for the money" for Pure Stocks. The Charterway Auto Recyclers sponsored Pure Stock division runs for trophies only; but, on three nights, I.B. Benedict Auto Parts of Stockton, Galt and Modesto provides gift certificates for the top three finishers.
Qualifying for the NASCAR-sanction Winston Racing Series action will begin at 5:30 with green nag racing set for 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for the Winston "No Bull" 50 will be $12 and four for children six-to-12 and senior citizens over 65. A family ticket--two adults and two children--will be available for $28.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.