PHILPOT, WELCH ONE-TWO AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CA--April 18, 1999)--After a two week Mother Nature induced layoff, more than 100 cars and a sun splattered crowd enjoyed NASCAR-sanctioned racing Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway. And, in what may be a fore-runner of the Winston Racing Series season long point chase, Jason Philpot of Sacramento held off defending region track champion Mark Welch in the 30-lap Grand American Modified feature.
Thirty one Grand Am's filled the pits with the top 14 qualifiers going automatically to the main. Second chance qualifying heat wins went to Jerry Bauguess of Modesto and Darrin Halterman of Stockton; while Robert Miller of San Jose grabbed the trophy dash gold.
The 20-car feature saw the front row duties shared by Scott Winters of Tracy and Jason Beltrama of Stockton with the first lap lead falling to Winters. The first of five yellows fell on lap-six at which time Miller, who was running in the top-five, pitted with a locked starter motor. Similarly, Stockton hot show Steve Stacy saw his night end with mechanical problems. On the next re-start, five cars got tied up in turn one including Welch of Orangevale, Manteca's Bob Reichmuth, Beltrama, Jason Kerby of Stockton, and North Highlands' Dan Dabbs.
Philpot, who posted fast qualifying time for the third straight week but battled a carburetor problem during the trophy dash, evaded all of the skirmishes and began to press Winters for the lead, and moved past him on lap-10. From that point, it was a question whether any of the other challengers would be able to work their way back from the rear to challenge. Welch zipped past Winters on the white flag lap to finish second with Winters, Stockton's Danny Contessotto and Robert Knittel of Lodi completing the top five.
After three events, with Philpot winning twice and Welch once, the 23-year old California State College, Sacramento student leads Welch by 22 points (178-156) with Winters, a Stockton 99 rookie, third.
The 25-lap Street Stock feature produced a non-yellow barn burner between two Stockton pilots--Jerry Crawford and defending champion Cary Treadway. Modesto's Greg Albiani led the 14-car field from the pole, but quickly bowed to Crawford with trophy dash winner George Black of North Highlands coming to second on lap-four. A lap later, it was Crawford, Black, Treadway, Scott Chappell of Lodi and Albiani. Treadway passed Black for second on lap-10; and, for the next 15-laps Treadway tried virtually everything in the book to shake Crawford loose of the front slot. On more than one occasion, Treadway was able to get alongside Crawford only to be thwarted.
The win for Crawford was his career seventh. Treadway, who leads the season point chase (118-102 over Scott Chapel of Lodi), settled for second followed by Black, Chappell and Lathrop's Angelo Queirolo.
The crowd was also treated to an appearance by the Legends of the Pacific as they put on their usual exciting show of "Bumble-Bee" action from pillar to post. Kelly Martin of Modesto was the early pacesetter for the 20-car field before bowing to Dave Sukow of Brentwood on lap four. A quick yellow allowed the pack to close up and the lead changed hands in the favor of Rick Rushton of Ceres on lap seven, with San Jose's Gary Hockman coming to second on lap-12.
Rushton and Hockman hooked up in a classic battle only to tangle coming to the start-finish line on the white flag lap. Randy Radeuchel of Oakdale graciously slipped by to claim the 25-lap win followed by Bill Geiger of Ceres, fast timer Doug Rocha of Oakdale, Robert Lamb of Manteca and dash winner Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo.
A record 44 cars showed up for the Pure Stock division forcing the first-ever C-Main for the four-year old class. Qualifying heat wins went to four Stockton drivers--defending champion Joe Allen, Gary Shafer, Jr., Doug Lane and Orville Dahl. In the 20-lap feature, Dahl held sway for all but four laps. He was chased to the checkered flag by Allen, another Stockton pilot Pete Anderson, Jr., Manteca's Guy Guibor, and trophy dash winner Shafer, Jr.
The Shell Tri-Track Challenge, sponsored by Paul Oil Company of Oakdale, will make the first of four Stockton 99 appearances this coming Saturday, April 24. More than 35 of the sleek Late Model Sportsman are expected to gather and chase current series point leader Bob Strandwold of Modesto.
Defending Shell champion Mike David and Mike Swanson of Kingsburg trail Strandwold by only two points with former two-time Stockton 99 champion David Philpott of Tracy just two more points off the pace.
The third year series offers more than $160,000 in prize money, including bonuses from Pick-n-Pull Auto Dismantlers for passing points and for qualifying from the United Trade Bureau.
Ticket gates for the Tri-Track event which will also include Grand American Modifieds and Ultra Wheel Spec Trucks will open at 2:30 p.m. Qualifying is set for 4:30 and green flag racing at 6:00.
Adult tickets will cost $15 with children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 being admitted for five dollars. A family ticket--two adults and two children-- will be available for $35.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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