WELCH SWEEP WIDENS LEAD AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CAJune 6, 1999)In baseball, an individual goal is hitting for the cyclea single, double, triple and a home run. In auto racing, a comparable feat is topping every eventqualifying, trophy dash and main event. Stockton 99 Speedway NASCAR premiere division point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale did just that Saturday night, posting his first fast time of the 99 season, duplicating his effort in the trophy dash, and, after starting eighth in a 22 car field, passed Robert Miller of San Jose on lap-27 of the 30-lap feature to win his third main in nine starts.
Miller outran pole sitter Robert Knittel of Lodi for the first lap feature lead with Scott Winters of Tracy falling into third. Welch moved to fourth on lap-13 as a yellow fell for a spin by Stocktons Shawn Wentzel. The yellow allowed the field to bunch up; whereupon Welch started to pick off those in front of him one-by-one. He moved to third on lap-16, second on lap-20, and began to press Miller starting on lap-23. A second and final yellow fell for a stalled racer on lap-26, and that was all Welch needed as he jumped past Miller on the re-start. Miller finished second ahead of Winters, Knittel and Stockton's Steve Stacy.
Welchs 60-point evening enabled him to stretch his season point margin to 54 (502-448) over Jason Kerby of Stockton, who supplanted Dan Dabbs of North Highlands in second. Kerby leads Dabbs by four with Winters fourth in points at 424, 34 better than Jason Philpot of Sacramento. Winters is the only member of the top five in points to not win a feature thus far. Welch and Kerby have won three apiece, Philpot two and Dabbs one.
The BCRA (Bay Cities Racing Association) Midgets were making their third appearance at Stockton on the season, albeit their first as a stand alone, having run in conjunction with USAC in the prior two events. Their 30-lap feature produced only two yellows with 18-year old Thomas Meseraull of San Jose turning in an impressive performance. Fourteen cars took the green flag with the first lap lead falling to Cliff Servetti of San Francisco with Meseraull moving from 12th to sixth in one go-round on the quarter-mile paved oval. The youngster, who had set fast time on the night, moved to third on the next pass and took second on lap-four, with dash winner Sterling Pratz of Mill Valley sliding in behind for third. Meseraull took the point on lap-five with Pratz following as heat winner Terry Tarditi of Lodi moved to third on lap-eight. Meseraull was never threatened as he sailed home with his first Stockton feature win, ahead of Pratz, Tarditi, Matt Streeter of Salt Lake City and Servetti.
The 360 Renegade Sprints were on hand for their second appearance of the 99 season with Mike McCann of Banks, Oregon posting a new track record at 13.782. McCann brought along his broom as he backed up his quick time with a heat and dash win.
In their 20-lap feature, Eddie Rhoades of Don Pedro took the early lead with Don Hicks of Patterson taking control on lap-seven as McCann slid to third on the following circuit. McCann waited for the final lap to squeeze by Hicks and make his night perfect with the win. Burt Foland, Jr. of San Jose finished third ahead of Rhoades and Ceres Mark Amador.
The Charterway Auto Recycler Pure Stocks pulled off a perfect feature with no yellows; but still lived up to their usual slam bang, fender slapping action. The Guibor brothers--Guy and Danny of Manteca--shared the front row when the 19-car field took the green flag. Guy, who was seeking his second straight feature win, grabbed the early lead over Danny, who won his first heat race and trophy dash earlier in the evening.
The younger Guibor briefly took the lead on la;p-13 after the two tangled on the backchute and Guy was forced to take a short cut through the infield grass. The older brother quickly got himself back together and surged back to the point on lap-19 and never looked back to post his third win in eight starts. Danny Guibor held on to finish second ahead of Doug Lane of Stockton, Aaron Shankel of Lodi and San Joses Adam Ramsdell.
Guibors victory enabled him to move within 36 points (462-426) of season point leader Orville Dahl of Stockton. Another Stockton driver--Gary Shafer, Jr.--and Lane are within shouting distance of Guibor at 408.
Twin 50-lap features for Late Models and the Grand American Modifieds top the NASCAR-sanctioned bill of fare at Stockton 99 Speedway this coming Saturday as part of Craftsman Tool night.
Racers and fans alike could be lucky winners of one of several Craftsman Tool prizes that will be given away. In addition to the two 50-lap main events, the Street Stocks and Pure Stocks will answer the bell for 30-lappers.
Ticket gates for Craftsman Tool night will open at 3:00 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:00 and green flag racing at 6:00. Adult tickets cost $12; four for children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 with children under six getting in free. A family tickettwo adults and two childrencosts $28.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N.Wilson Way, a quarter mile west of Highway 99.
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