FENSLER SWEEPS: WELCH STOCKTON 99 REGION CHAMP
(STOCKTON, CA--September, 13, 1998)--Jason Fensler of Wilton recorded his second straight clean sweep Saturday night as the NASCAR-sanctioned Winston Racing Series Regional Point season came to an end, but it wasn't enough to overtake Orangevale's Mark Welch for the season point lead. After starting 10th in an 18-car field, Fensler survived a crash-marred 30-lap Grand American Modified main event that had six yellow flags and one red and took nearly an hour to complete. The feature win was Fensler's seventh in 22 starts. He also won his third trophy dash and was fast qualifier for the ninth time and now trails Welch by 22 points (1228-1250) with three races remaining.
Bob Reichmuth of Manteca was the initial leader from his pole starting position with Cole Tiwater of Modesto coming to second on lap-five after a solo spin by outside front row starter Victor Machado of Escalon. Machado's spin brought out the first yellow. The red came two laps later when Machado lost his oil pan plug, spreading a slick streak around the entire quarter-mile paved surface. Chris Gwinn of Rio Linda, making his Stockton debut, was the first to encounter the oil and slid into the turn-three retaining wall. In rapid fire order, ten more cars slid in the third turn creating a massive traffic jam that led to a red flag. Reichmuth was able to survive with Sacramento's Jason Philpot second and Fensler sneaking through the carnage for third.
During the stoppage, a half dozen cars, including Welch, went to the infield for various repairs and returned at the back of the pack with 17 cars still running. Teresa Morten of Manteca brought out the next yellow one lap later with a spin in the first turn with Philpot gaining the lead at the yellow only to have Reichmuth regain the top spot one lap later. Welch, surging from the back, came to fourth on lap-13, trailing only Reichmuth, Philpot and Fensler. Philpot passed Reichmuth again on lap- 14 with Fensler coming to second. Fensler took control on the 20th pass and survived two more yellows with Philpot, Reichmuth, Welch and Walt Haas of Antioch completing the top-five at the checkered flag.
A pair of 50-lap features--for Street Stocks and Pure Stocks--complemented the premier division Grand American Modified event. David Stricklin of Stockton led the first seven laps of the Street Stock affair before giving way to fellow Stockton pilot Jerry Crawford. Defending division champion Jerry Tripp, also of Stockton, slid to third on the next pass. Tripp, who holds the record for most career wins in the Street Stocks, passed Crawford for the lead on the 11th circuit with Jason Beltrama of Stockton pulling to third on lap-14. The only yellow on the night fell on lap-17 when Dan Dabbs of North Highlands and Donny Darter of Manteca collided in the first turn.
Beltrama used lapped traffic on the 33rd go-round to get past Crawford for second. However, the night's fast timer and dash winner could not catch the fast moving Tripp, who held forth for his 26th career win. Tripp was ecstatic afterward as he noted: "This is my first 50-lap win. I've been waiting a long time for it." Behind Tripp and Beltrama, Crawford held tight for third, followed by Cary Treadway of Stockton and Manteca's John Vanderwerff.
Treadway is the Street Stock division point leader by 34 over Dabbs (1050-1016).
The Charterway Auto Recycler Pure Stock 50-lapper was a typical barnstormer. Twenty cars answered the call as former Stockton 99 chief steward Earl Summers, driving for the first time since the mid-60's, borrowed his daughter's car and led the first three laps before bowing to another Stockton pilot, C.W. Davis. Summers' rustiness eventually showed--as he managed a pair of solo spins that relegated him to a 16th place finish.
The lead fell to Gary Shafer, Jr., of Stockton on lap-11, with defending champion Doug Lane of Stockton coming to second three laps later. At the halfway point, it was Shafer and Lane with two other Stockton drivers--Orville Dahl and Joe Allen--third and fourth with Manteca pilot Guy Guibor, the nights' fast timer and dash winner, in fifth. With smoke coming from the back of his car, Shafer was given the black flag by NASCAR officials on lap-30 only to be ignored. As a result, Shafer was no longer scored and Lane became the new point man on lap-33. Lane came home in front for his fourth feature win of the season ahead of current point leader Allen, Jeff Lovelace, also of Stockton, Davis and Angelo Queirolo of Manteca.
Allen's point lead over Lane stands at 20 (996-976).
Legends--5/8-scale 1934 to 1940 Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge coupes or sedans--made their final 1998 Stockton appearance with Joey Zampa of Napa re-establishing a new track qualifying record, at 15.830. Kelly Martin of Modesto started on the pole of an 18-car field and took an early lead. However, Randy Raduechel of Oakdale, after starting 11th, was fourth by lap-nine, third two laps later, second on the next pass and in front on lap-14 of with 16 to go. Zampa made it to second a lap later as the event ran non-yellow to take the checkered second behind Raduechel. The remainder of the top-five consisted of initial front runner Martin, Jim Klopp of South Lake Tahoe and David Gundred of Vacaville.
The $130,000 Shell Tri-Track Challenge featuring Late Model Sportsman sponsored by Paul Oil Co. will return to Stockton 99 Speedway this coming Saturday.
Mike David holds a 28-point lead over fellow Modesto driver Bob Strandwold with two races to go in the 10-race series contested at NASCAR-sanctioned Altamont Raceway Park, Madera and Stockton 99 Speedways. David's employer and current Stockton 99 point leader Ken Boyd is third in the Shell Tri-Track series,
Each of the Challenge's 10 events offers a purse in excess of $10,000 with a $20,000 bonus payoff to the top 20 drivers at the series' conclusion.
The series also offers a $5,000 qualifying bonus provided by Pick 'N Pull Auto Parts. David holds a slim one-point lead over two-time Stockton champion Harry Belletto with Boyd, a four-time Stockton champion, another point back in third for the qualifying monies.
In addition to the 100-lap Shell Tri-Track Challenge, the program will feature Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks.
Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:30 and green nag racing at 7:00. Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 410S N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.