WELCH REGAINING GROOVE AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CA--May 23, 1999)--Season point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale survived an hour long, six yellow and one red flag 30-lap marathon Saturday night enroute to his second 99 feature triumph as part of Stockton 99 Speedways NASCAR-sanctioned Winston Racing Series action.
After qualifying sixth and benefiting from an invert draw of six, Welch started on the pole of the 20-car field only to have Tracys Scott Winters outgun him for the initial lead. The carnage on 99s quarter-mile paved oval began to unfold on lap-five when Jerry Bauguess of Modesto spun costing Jack Stone a trip to the back as the guilty party. Winters held forth on the re-start ahead of Welch, Robert Miller of San Jose and Dan Dabbs of North Highlands. On lap-10, Jason Philpot of Sacramento got loose off turn-two, veered toward the wall and was tagged by Steve Stacy of Stockton. Stacy was able to bounce away and continue; however, Sam Solari of Salida hit Philpot even harder resulting in both being wreckered to the infield, done for the evening.
On the re-start, Welch wrested the lead from Winters with another yellow being displayed on lap-14 when Dabbs spun with Miller being cited as the offending party and catching a pass to the rear of the pack. One lap later, a red fell as a six-car pile up took place off turn-two with Shane Welch, Marks sibling, winding up with two wheels over the backchute wall. Two more fracases slowed the pace before the 12 cars left out of the starting field ran clean to the checkered flag. For Welch, the win was not only his second of the season but the 16th of his career at Stockton. Winters held on for second with fast timer and dash winner Jason Kerby of Stockton third with Robert Knittel of Lodi and a fast closing Dabbs completing the top five.
Dabbs, a former Street Stock champion at Stockton, has moved into second in the season point standings trailing Welch by 36 (394-358). Kerby (350), Philpot (330) and Winters (322) round out the top-five in points with four full months of racing to go.
A field of 12 Ultra-Wheel Spec Trucks answered the bell for their 50-lap feature. Gene Woods of Upland, a former national moto-cross champion, was the early leader as the first seven trucks in line broke away from the remaining pack. By the 10th circuit, it was Woods, Fresnos Todd Mumma, Scott Calvin of Moreno Valley and Mike David of Modesto, who was trying to duplicate his feature win of a week back at Madera. Calvin moved to second on lap-15 and took the point three laps later before the first of only two yellows fell on lap-20 for debris on the track.
Joe Herold of Poway took second on lap-25 with the second yellow coming out on lap-34 when Mike Sherman of Stockton limped to the pits with a flat tire. Herold pressed Calvin to the finish; however, the fast timer was able to hang on to post his second ever triumph. Herold was second, followed by Jon Nelson of Hemmit, dash winner Mumma and David.
The Street Stock drivers paced off a near perfect 30-lap feature with only one yellow flag being displayed. Joe Hylton of Manteca led the first lap, then quickly bowed to Angelo Queirolo on lap-two. Queirolos reign lasted only three go-rounds before the Lathrop pilot succumbed to season point leader Cary Treadway of Stockton, with Scott Chappel of Lodi coming to second one pass later. The yellow fell on lap-18 as Johnny Berndt of Clements smacked the outside wall off turn-four.
Treadway, who also won the trophy dash, held tight to register his third win of the year, ahead of fast timer Chappel, Queirolo, Hylton and Modestos Greg Albiani. Treadways season point lead over Chappell is still only 18 (384-366) with plenty of racing yet to come.
The four division racing program was completed by the Pure Stocks where 20 of the more than 30 on hand took the green for 30-laps. Lodis Aaron Shankel established his point position off the get-go, then swapped spots with Guy Guibor of Manteca before claiming his first-ever win. Guibor came to third on lap-five and began to apply the pressure. Lap eight spelled doom for incoming point leader Joe Allen of Stockton as he lost a wheel on the backchute in a shower of sparks. On the re-start. the top four consisted of Shankel, Guibor, Adam Ramsdale of San Jose and another Manteca pilot, Mike Graham.
Guibor got his turn to lead on lap-18 with Shankel staying hot on his bumper. On the 27th go-round, Shankle used a slower car as a pick and regained the lead to receive the checkered flag. Guibor hung on for second, followed by Ramsdale, younger brother Danny Guibor, who gained entry to the feature by winning the semi, and heat and dash winner Doug Lane of Stockton.
Ramsdale and two Stockton drivers--Orville Dahl and Jeff Lovelace--were also heat winners. Dahls heat win and seventh place feature finish enabled him to overcome Allen for the point lead (396-384).
This Saturday kicks off Stockton 99 Speedways Fifth Annual Tri-Holiday Classic..the first of three 100-lap Late Model Sportsman races run on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day holiday weekends..sponsored by Budweiser, the official beer of NASCAR.
Among those expected to participate are former track champions Harry Belletto of Modesto and David Philpott of Tracy, current point leader John Gaalswyk of Ripon as well as Mantecas Ron Strmiska, Jr., Nathan Tucker of Sonora and Burney Lamar of Sacramento.
In addition to the NASCAR-sanctioned Late Model feature, the program will also include Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks.
Gates for the Budweiser-sponsored Tri-Holiday Classic will open at 3:00 p.m. with green flag racing set for 6:00. Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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