DeBeaumont USAC/BCRA Winner at Stockton 99
(STOCKTON, CA--May 16, 1999)--With the Winston Racing Series premier division Grand American Modifieds getting a night off, Marc DeBeaumont topped a classy field of combined USAC and BCRA midgets at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday night.
A 20-car field took the green flag in the 40-lap feature with Bobby Boone of Palmdale leading from the pole for the first 13 laps. USAC veteran Sleepy Tripp of Costa Mesa slipped past Boone for the lead on lap-14. The first yellow fell on lap-19; and, when the green came out again a lap later, Tripp surrendered the top spot to fast qualifier and heat winner DeBeaumont of Clayton. After starting 10th and moving to the point, DeBeaumont survived four more yellows and fought off Tripp more than once on his way to the winner's circle. Tripp was second, with another USAC competitor Billy Felts, Jr., of San Bernardino third. Two teenagers--18-year old BCRA rookie Thomas Meseraull of San Jose and 16-year old first-year USAC runner Chuck Gurney, Jr., of Livermore--completed the top-five.
While much of the crowd's adulation went to DeBeaumont for his victory, some was saved for USAC's Shane Scully of Encino. During the evening's second heat, Scully sent shock waves through the stands when he flipped at the center point of the back chute and slid on his roll bar off the track through the pit exit gate. Miraculously, Scully landed on his wheels on pit road and rolled to a stop against a barrier protecting the oleanders in the pit enclosure. Minutes later as the cars regrouped, the fans came to their feet when Scully's car nosed back out onto the track to complete the heat run. Although unable to make the top-five and transfer to the feature, Scully ran second in the semi, then fashioned a seventh place finish in the feature.
The NASCAR portion of the four division program saw 12 Street Stock's on the grid for their 30-lap feature. Ed Cullom of Lockeford was the initial leader and ran smoothly before the first yellow flag was displayed on lap-nine for a spin by Lathrop's Angelo Queirolo. Scoring then became fast and furious as another Lockeford pilot, Jeremy Hammon, took the lead on lap-ten, with Dan Dabbs of North Highlands coming to second a lap later. It was Dabbs' turn to take the point on lap-12, with Jerry Crawford of Stockton taking second on the next pass. Scott Chappell of Lodi, the fast timer of the night, took third on lap-15. By the 20th circuit, it was Dabbs, Crawford, Chappell, and Stockton's Cary Treadway. However, Dabbs surrendered the top spot on lap-22 when he suffered a flat tire and spun off turn two to hand the lead to Crawford. Two go-rounds later, Chappell took the point and sailed home with the win, his first of the season, ahead of Crawford, dash winner Treadway, early leader Cullom, and a fast returning Dabbs.
Treadway continues to lead the season point chase, leading Chappell by 18-points (326-308).
The popular slash and bash Pure Stock division--which most often resembles a destruction derby going in circles--put on yet another crowd pleasing performance. Lodi's Aaron Shankel led early under constant pressure from Kannai Scantlen of Stockton. On lap-12, Orville Dahl of Stockton tried to pass Schankel on the high side going into turn three and the two locked up and headed for the pit entry gate. Dahl slid to a stop and continued on; while a yellow was displayed to check on Shankel. He, too, was okay, and after extricating himself from the pit entry, was able to pick up where he left off. That mix-up, however, allowed Gary Shafer, Jr., of Stockton to lead for one lap before surrendering to Scantlen on lap-16.
Joe Allen of Stockton came to second on lap-17, as the three (Scantlen, Allen and Shafer, Jr.) waged a ferocious battle to the end. Allen, the defending Pure Stock champion, overcame Scantlen coming down the stretch to add to his heat and trophy dash victories on the night. Scantlen finished second over Jeff Lovelace of Stockton, who entered the fray on a pass from the semi. Another heat winner, Mike Graham of Manteca put together his best ever showing, finishing fourth in front of Lodi's Jason White.
Alllen's win, his first for 1999, enabled him to overtake Dahl for the season point lead. Allen now leads by 26 (366-340).
Also on hand this week were the 360 Sprinters, the first time this style of car has appeared at Stockton since 1972. Mike McCann of Eugene, Oregon made his long tow worthwhile, as he set a new track record qualifying time of 13.869, and then proceeded to register wins in the dash and feature events, as well.
Bill Zarevich of Lathrop led lap-one, with Don Hicks of Patterson taking charge on lap-two. McCann came to second on lap-five, and made the final pass on lap-nine, to finish ahead of Hicks, Zarevich, Eddie Rhoades of Don Pedro and Ceres' Mark Amador.
Grand American Modified racing will resume at Stockton 99 Speedway this coming Saturday (May 22) in a four division program that will include the first visit of the season by Ultra-Wheel Spec Trucks.
Jason Philpot of Sacramento and Dan Dabbs of North Highlands will continue their pursuit of season point leader MarkWelch of Orangevale in the Grand Am's. Street Stocks and Pure Stocks will round out the program that calls for qualifying at 5:00 p.m. and green flag racing at 6:00.
Adult tickets for NASCAR-sanctioned program will cost $12, with children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 being admitted for four dollars. Children under six get in free. A family ticket--two adults and two children--costs $28.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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