WINTERS RECORDS CAREER FIRST AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CAJuly 25, 1999)Scott Winters topped a 20-car NASCAR- sanctioned Winston Racing Series field of Grand American Modifieds Saturday to make his first ever visit to the winners circle at Stockton 99 Speedway. Not only did the Tracy driver overcome a top flight field, he also had to withstand a series of yellow flags and a red for the track lights failing for close to 30-minutes.
After being named "rookie of the year" at Altamont Raceway Park in 1997 and sitting out the 98 season, Winters came into the night with 11 top-five finishes in 15 starts. Starting seventh, he saw Jack Stone of Lodi take the initial lead and hold forth for the first seven laps. Winters was fourth after four laps and second when Robert Knittel of Lodi took the lead on lap-eight. A pair of spins on lap-10 slowed the field and saw NASCAR officials send season and region point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale to the back for bumping Stocktons Steve Stacy. Under the yellow, free loading fans on the quarter-mile paved ovals backstretch short circuited some wiring, causing a bank of lights to go off.
Following a lengthy delay, Winters was ready and surged past Knittel on the re-start. Three more yellows over the next 20 laps saw positions swapped behind Winters and Knittel, however, the $600 first place money was all Winters when the checkered flag was waved. Knittel got $400 for second with Danny Contessotto of Stockton, San Joses Robert Miller and Dan Dabbs of North Highlands completing the top five. Season point leader Welch, who finished out of the top-10 for the first time a week back, returned to finish sixth and retain a 56-point margin over Jason Kerby of Stockton.
A short field of eight Street Stocks turned in a barn burner 30-lapper. Johnny Berndt of Clements jumped in front off the green flag, then bowed on lap-five to Manteca's Joe Hylton. The divisions top-two point getters--Jerry Crawford and Cary Treadway, both of Stockton-- were third and fourth respectfully by lap-10. Crawford came to second on lap-13, with Lodi's Scott Chappell coming to third on the 15th-circuit. By lap-20, Crawford had closed on Hylton and, in the process of trying to take the lead, allowed Scott Chappell of Lodi to get beside him on lap-26. Chappell passed Crawford for second on the next go-round; then, on the white flag lap, made a dive low into turn one and made the move hold off turn two to come home with his second feature triumph in 14 events. Hylton hung in for a best-ever second in front of fast timer Crawford and dash winner and season point leader Treadway. Jeremy Hammon of Lockeford rounded out the top five.
Chappells win enabled him to shave just four points off Treadways point margin, who leads by 116 (888-772).
The PARTS Pro Truck Series was on hand for its first Stockton appearance with fast time falling to Bill Nason of Caruthers. A.J. Russell of Clovis looked to be the class of the five-car field; winning both the heat and dash, then surging to the first-lap feature lead. His luck turned, however, as he slowed on the fourth-lap to be passed by Darrell Herzog of Fresno. Although he was able to hang in, Russell finished several laps down to Herzog, who was unchallenged to the final flag. Nason finished second ahead of Shawn Wolf of Clovis, Jeff Steckler of Modesto, and Russell.
A 20-car Legend field was on hand for the groups third Stockton appearence of the season. Barney LaRue of Napa led early and was passed on the fourth go-round by Rick Rushton of Ceres. Thirteenth-place starter Randy Raduechel of Oakdale was fourth by the sixth-circuit and took the lead on lap12. Only one yellow slowed the bumble-bee action as Raduechel brought it home a winner for the third straight time and 13th in 19 Stockton legend events. Heat winner Doug Rocha of Oakdale ran second ahead of dash winner Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo and fast timer Pete Currin of Redwood City.
A field of 20 Pure Stocks answered the bell for their 30-lapper. Jeff Lovelace of Stockton led from the top. Former division champion Doug Lane of Stockton moved into second on lap-six and applied pressure on Lovelace and eventually take the lead at the halfway mark. Most of the focus then was centered on the Guibor brothersDanny and Guy of Mantecawho were beginning to make their presence known. After winning the semi and transferring, Danny started 18th in the main. By the 20th go-round, he was third followed by Lodis Aaron Shankel and brother Guy was fifth.
On the 24th lap, Lane bobbled off turn-four with Lovelace again taking the point. A yellow on lap-25 gave the Guibors their opportunity. On the re-start, Danny moved to the front with brother Guy following into second. Lovelace and Shankel tangled on the white flag lap enabling Mike Soiseth of Stockton and Lane to gain third and fourth with Lovelace and Shankel recovering for fifth and sixth. Guy Guibor leads the season point standings by 82 over Lane (904-822).
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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