LAMAR FIRST-TIME WINNER AT STOCKTON TRI-TRACK EVENT
(STOCKTON, CAJune 20, 1999)In a finish that only Hollywood script writers could write, 18-year old Burney Lamar of Sacramento presented his dad a perfect Fathers Day gift Saturday night on Stockton 99 Speedways quarter-mile paved ovala first-ever Late Model Sportsman triumph in the 100-lap Shell Oil Tri-Track Challenge. Second in points after the first four Tri-Track events, Lamar became the third-year series front-runner by moving from fourth to first over the final three laps. And, as one might expect, the exciting charge to the front did not happen without some controversy.
Seemingly content with his top-five position, the teenager bolted past Mike Ledbetter of Ceres on lap 96 to position himself behind Ron Strmiska, Jr. of Mantecawho had led for more than 40 laps from lap-38 until losing the top spot to Escalons Eric Holmes on lap-80. Lamar gave Strmiska a solid bump entering turn-four on lap 98 and gained second. On the white flag lap, he pulled even with Holmes down the back stretch, then duplicated the Strmiska pass by slipping underneath the leader off the final turn making a clean pass to win by the narrowest of margins and bringing the crowd of just under 2,000 to their collective feet. Afterward, the ecstatic winner said the bump on the Strmiska pass was unintentional and he was "thrilled to win at Stockton" where he graduated from go-karts to Late Models two years ago.
The NASCAR-sanctioned Shell Series 100-lapper started with two-time Stockton 99 champion David Philpott of Tracy leading from the pole in front of Ledbetter, Brent Seitz of Stockton and Strmiska. The 20-car field ran smoothly with the only change up front coming on lap-21 when Strmiska moved past Seitz. The first of six yellows fell on lap-24 when Paul Guthmiller of Manteca and Modesto drivers Mike David, Jason Wright and Scott Masellis all wound up in a pile in turn-three. Only Masellis was forced to the sidelines as the green flag was displayed again.
Strmiska took the runner-up slot on lap-34 and began to press Philpott for the point. He made his move three laps later and grabbed the top spot on lap-38. Philpott pulled up lame four laps later allowing Ledbetter to regain second with Holmes third and incoming series point leader Mike Terpstra of Oakdale fourth. Jason Fensler, winner of the last Tri-Track event, who had been up and down the score sheets from his seventh-place starting position, then at the back after a 20th lap solo spin, slipped into fifth on lap-58. Lamar made his first top-five appearance on lap-65 supplanting Fensler. Holmes got by Ledbetter setting himself up for a shot at Strmiska when the then 15-car field took the green following a lap-79 stall by Jason Wright in turn-two. On the re-start, Holmes and Strmiska ran side-by-side before Holmes assumed command setting up the final lap heroics by Lamar.
At the checkered, behind Lamar and Holmes, it was still Ledbetter with his best ever Tri-Track effort, Stockton point leader John Gaalswyk of Ripon and Seitz. Lamars triumph gave him the Shell Series point lead by 14 (241-227) over Terpstra, who is just two points in front of Gaalswyk. Holmes (216) and Fensler (200) complete the Series top-five with next event set for Madera Speedway July 10.
Twenty-three Grand American Modifieds took the green flag in Stocktons premier division feature only to have the re-start flag waved after two Stockton driversDanny Contessotto and Steve Stacycollided in turn-one right off the get-go. On the re-start, Scott Winters of Tracy grabbed the top spot with season point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale, who was seeking his third straight feature win, hot on his tail. Unfortunately, five yellow flags and two reds slowed the pace for the 30-lapper that took more than an hour to complete. Winters was able to hold Welch off until a lap-18 re-start with the nights fast qualifier Jason Kerby of Stockton coming to third. Kerby was able to get by Winters for second, but Welch sailed home for his straight feature triumph, fourth in five, and fifth overall in 11 starts. Antiochs Doug Henry turned in his best ever Stockton finish in fourth with Contessotto coming back to complete the top-five.
Welch has a comfortable (614-540) season point lead over Kerby with Winters (522) and Dan Dabbs of North Highlands (512) breathing down Kerbys neck for second.
Action in the Street Stock division feature started with a first lap lead by Ed Cullom of Clements, who quickly bowed to first time runner Marc Borges of Banta on the following circuit. Cullom regained the point following a lap-three re-start with Jerry Crawford of Stockton coming to third on lap-seven. Crawford waited for his chance and took the point on lap-15, with Cary Treadway of Stockton, the night's fast timer, coming to second on the next pass. Mike Garcia of Lodi was forced to the sidelines a few laps later with Treadway surging to the lead on the re-start. Treadway maintained with first-time career dash winner Angelo Queirolo of Lathrop sliding to second on lap-24. Treadway and Queirolo were followed to the finish by Cullom, Joe Hylton of Manteca and Crawford.
The 30-lap Pure Stock main saw Perry Reeder of Stockton lead early, but quickly bow to Gary Shafer, Jr., also from Stockton, on lap-four. The brothers Guibor began to apply pressure in the next few laps. Danny was second on lap-five with Guy moving to third a lap later. Guy, who was shooting for a record setting fourth straight feature victory, gained second on lap-10 with Doug Lane of Stockton coming to third on lap-14. Shafer got tied up in a back stretch melee that enabled Guy Guibor and Lane to occupy the top two spots after lap-21. Guibors bid was thwarted when Shafer forced the front runner high in turn-four on the final lap allowing Lane, to scoot home with his victory of the season. The two GuiborsGuy, then Dannyfollowed with Pete Anderson, Jr. fourth and Orville Dahl fifth.
Dahls season point lead over Guy Guibor is narrowed to only four (546-542) with Lane (522) looming in third.
The Ultra-Wheel Spec Trucks will make their second Stockton 99 Speedway appearance this coming Saturday (June 26). Joining the Spec Trucks will be NASCAR-sanctioned Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks, competing in the third of four I.B.Benedict Auto Parts nights.
Ticket gates will open at 3:00 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:00 and green flag racing at 6:00. Adult tickets cost $10 with children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 being admitted for four dollars. A family tickettwo adults and two childrenwill cost $25.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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