WELCH WIN STREAK CONTINUES AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CAJune 27, 1999)"Different approach, same result" that pretty much sums up Saturday nights NASCAR-sanctioned Winston Racing Series Grand American Modified 30-lap feature at Stockton 99 Speedway. Coming off two weeks of ugly crash marred main events, a new format of single file re-starts was initiated as a means of reducing the number of yellow and red flag incidents; and it seemingly worked as 20 cars started and 19 finished. The outcome, however, was the same: Mark Welch was the winner for the fourth straight week.
Pole sitter Robert Knittel of Lodi took the first lap lead and held forth through two brief yellows on laps two and seven followed by a couple of Jasons--Philpot of Sacramento and Kerby from Stockton, who earlier set quick time for the third straight week. Kerby, who also won the divisions trophy dash, slipped into second on the 10th-circuit, then passed Knittel for the lead on lap-12, with Welch of Orangevale coming to second one pass later.
Another yellow on lap-21, set up a duel with Welch trying to get low under Kerby in the corners but failing to pull off the pass. A final yellow on lap-26 saw Danny Contessotto of Stockton suffer a cut tire that allowed Welch to again tighten up on Kerby. When the green flag was waved, Welch beat Kerby into the first turn to win for the fifth time in the last six races and his sixth of the season in 12 starts. At the checkered flag, it was Welch and Kerby followed by Tracys Scott Winters, Knittel and Barry Calloutte of Benicia.
Both Welch and Kerby accumulated 58 points on the evening enabling Welch to maintain a 74-point margin (672-598) over the runner-up in the season point standings. Winters is third (568), with Dan Dabbs of North Highlands (558) and Contessotto (456) completing the top five.
The Ultra-Wheel Spec Trucks were on hand for their second Stockton appearance of the season. In spite of a small field (nine), they fashioned a highly competitive 40-lap feature that saw Michael Sherman of Hayward take the initial lead before bowing to Todd Mumma of Fresno on lap-six. Local favorite Mike David of Modesto, who was fast qualifier, slipped into second on lap-11, only to be passed by Vince Little of Clovis three laps later. Little made several attempts to pass Mumma, but never could pull it off.
A yellow on lap-26 following an entanglement in turn-one between Trevor Brillman of Big Bear and Larry Hinderman of California City enabled the field to tighten up again. David passed Little on the re-start to regain second, then surged to the point on the next go-round as Mumma suddenly faded with a flat tire. David continued unchallenged to post his first Stockton Spec Truck triumph in front of Little, dash winner Eric Seely of Modesto, Justin Brillman of Covina, and the early leader, Sherman.
The 30-lap Street Stock feature produced a couple of jarring crashes and the nights most exciting finish. Ed Cullom of Lockeford, seeking his first ever win, was the early leader, with Matt Borges of Banta second. Scott Chappell of Lodi took the second spot on lap-10, with Lathrop's Angelo Queirolo coming to third one lap later. A red flag halted the action on lap-13 when Chappell lost a tire and slid up and into the leader Cullom, with both pounding hard into the turn-four wall. At the same time, Lodi's Mike Garcia got a throttle stuck coming off the same corner and found a not-so-perfect way to shut it off, smashing nose-first into the front straightaway tires. The wrecker crews were kept busy for several minutes, hauling both the Chappell and Garcia mounts to the pits. Although Cullom was able to drive off under his own power, he, too, was done for the evening.
Once racing resumed, Borges inherited the lead with Queirolo on his bumper. Lurking in third, however, was season point leader and fast qualifier Cary Treadway of Stockton. Having earlier won his fourth trophy dash on the season, Treadway watched as Queirolo took the lead on lap-24, then took second when Borges bobbled coming off turn-two. The last three laps saw Treadway and Queirolo battle side by side. First, it was Treadway by a nose, then Queirolo by the same margin, and, at the checkered flag, it was Treadway by nothing more than a bumper.
The victory was Treadways sixth of the season and completed a clean sweep or "hat trick"fast qualifier, dash and feature winfor the second time on the season, having duplicated his effort back in May. The win for Treadway, combined with Chappells accident, enabled the season point leader to stretch his margin over Chappell to 78 (610-532). First year Street Stock driver Queirolo is third in points (470).
The 30-lap Pure Stock feature saw Manteca's Danny Guibor grab the initial lead with Stockton's Pete Anderson, Jr., moving into second on lap-seven. Danny's brother Guy, also of Manteca, took the third spot on lap-10. On the 14th circuit, the three leaders got entangled behind a lapped car that saw Anderson grab the lead as Guibor hit the binders. Guy Guibor also made the most of the melee passing his brother for the second spot behind Anderson. The two battled for several laps before Guibor finally made it stick, passing Anderson for the lead on lap-20.
Guibor came home the winner; his fifth of the season, to add to his dash win. Anderson held on for second in front of Danny Guibor, Stockton driver Doug Lane and another Manteca pilot, Mike Graham. Guibors win enabled him to overhaul Orville Dahl of Stockton for the season point lead. Guibor now leads Dahl by 34 (616-582) with Lane only 10-points further back in third.
There will be fireworks galore this coming Saturday at Stockton 99 Speedway when more than 30 Late Model Sportsman participate in the Firecracker 100, the second leg of the Tri-Holiday Classic. Mantecas Ron Strmiska, Jr. and Burney Lamar of Sacramento are currently tied for the lead in the Fifth Annual Tri-Holiday event. Also expected to participate are defending track champions Harry Belletto and David Philpott and current point leader John Gaalswyk as well as former Tri-Holiday champions Bob Strandwold and Steve Belletto.
In addition to the Firecracker 100, the NASCAR-sanctioned program will include Grand American Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks and a spectacular fireworks show.
Ticket gates for the holiday weekend event will open at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:00 and green flag racing at 6:00. Adult tickets will cost $18 with children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 being admitted for six dollars. A student ticket (age 13-17) will cost $10 and a family ticket (two adults and two children) will be $40.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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