TERPSTRA STAYS CLOSE WITH STOCKTON TRI-TRACK WIN
(STOCKTON, CASeptember 19, 1999)And then there were two. That pretty much sums up the status of the Shell Tri-Track Challenge following Mike Terpstras win Saturday night at NASCAR-sanctioned Stockton 99 Speedway. With one 100-lap event left in the 11-race series, Terpstra of Oakdale, who became the eighth different winner in 10 races, trails Burney Lamar of Sacramento by 55-points (500-445). That would seem to be a safe lead for the teenaged frontrunner, but that margin is really only 23 points when the stipulated worst race is thrown out. Terpstra did not run the July 31 race; thus his "drop-out" would leave his point total at 445. Lamars worst point total of 32 would reduce his number to 468. Eric Holmes of Escalon (at 442) and Jason Fensler of Wilton (at 441) are close to Terpstra; but, with "drop outs," fall further off the pace.
Sponsored by Paul Oil Co. of Oakdale, the Shell event more than lived up to its pre-race billing as a 20-car field of Late Models took the green flag. Troy Ermish of Fremont, who started on the outside of the front row, jumped past Sonoras Nathan Tucker to become the initial leader. The first of five yellow flags fell on the 12th go-round as Greg Potts of Manteca fell off the pace and was clipped by several cars in their efforts to avoid him. On the re-start, the lead changed hands in favor of Fensler, who is the series only multiple winnertwo at Altamont on one at Madera. Fensler, though, suffered from the "bad luck blues" just four-laps later as his racer developed electrical problems forcing him to the pits and giving the lead back to Ermish.
By the quarter mark, the top-five consisted of Ermish, Terpstra, Stockton 99 point leader John Gaalswyk of Ripon, Holmes and Tucker. Bob Strandwold of Modesto moved to the fifth slot on the 28th circuit and the laps unwound without problems until the 49th go-round when the second yellow fell and Ermish went to the infield with an electricial fire. That left Terpstra in front of Gaalswyk with half the race to go.
The next yellow came when Paul Beaty of Modesto tangled with Stocktons Buzz Devore in turn one with Devore leaving the event on the hook. Gaalswyk nosed past Terpstra for the lead on lap-60 with Lamar now in third. Inexplicably, the series point leader did a 360 degree spin coming out of turn-four on lap-66 with the field passing him by leaving the teenage hot-shoe in 10th place. The final yellow fell on lap-88, setting up a final dash to the checkered with Terpstra taking the point on lap-91. Terpstra was pressed by Potts, who had worked his way back through the pack, and by the fast-closing Lamar, who made five passes in the final 10-laps.
Terpstras win, his career second, was good for $2,500 of the more than $10,000 purse Potts received $1,400 for second; while Lamar got $1,000 for third. Gaalswyk held on to the fourth spot and, in the process, claimed the 1999 Stockton Late Model season championship duplicating a title that his father Henk won in 1983.
The 30-lap Street Stock feature resulted in yet another championship. Marc Borges of Banta took the first lap lead as 14-cars took the green. Borges bowed to Scott Chappell of Lodi on lap-four; with Jerry Crawford of Stockton coming second on lap-nine. Season point leader and defending champion Cary Treadway of Stockton moved into third on lap-12.
The events only yellow was displayed on lap-19 for a solo spin and a simultaneous blown engine for Borges. The final 11 laps saw Crawford press Chappell culminating with the two colliding and spinning between turns one and two on the final lap with Treadway cruising by to take the checkered flag. Treadways victory was his 12th in 22 starts and clinched the season championship. Joe Hylton of Manteca claimed second, followed by Joe Stearns of Stockton, Johnny Berndt of Clements, and Lockefords Ed Cullom. Chappell and Crawford were seventh and eighth, respectively. With a single "double point" event left in the season, Treadway has an insurmountable 144 point (1332-1188) lead over Chappell.
A season ending "double point" event for the Pure Stock division produced a wire-to-wire triumph for Orville Dahl of Stockton, who notched his third feature victory of the season. The championship battle came down to incoming point leader Guy Guibor of Manteca and Stocktons Doug Lane, who both started deep in the 20-car field. Lane, a heat winner on the night, followed second place finisher Jeff Lovelace of Stockton to the final checkered; but it was not enough to overcome the sixth-place effort of Guibor, who walked away with the 1999 crown (1288-1262). Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs finished fourth ahead of another Stockton pilot C.W. Davis.
A visiting group of Mini Trucks were on hand after finishing their regular season at Altamont. Dave Fly of Alameda and Dave Daniel of Salida dominated the action. Fly was the fast timer, and won a heat and the main, leading from lap-two to the checkered. Daniel won the dash and the other heat, and ran second in the feature. Third back at the final flag was Andrew Livengood of Richmond, followed by David Gonzalez of Livermore and Eddie Robert of Sebastopol.
"Come early and stay late" is the theme for this weeks season-ending event at Stockton 99 Speedway. Napa Auto Parts Night will feature racing in five different divisionsNASCAR-sanctioned Late Models, Grand American Modifieds and Street Stocks, as well as BCRA Midgets and Legends. In addition, the program will include a Powder Puff race for novice lady drivers and fireworksall sponsored by the Napa Auto Parts dealers of the Central Valley.
"Double Points" will be at stake in the three NASCAR divisions. Ticket gates will open at 1:30 with qualifying set for 4:00 p.m. and green flag racing at 5:30.
Some lucky fan will also win two free tickets to the Napa 500 in Atlanta. Adult tickets will cost $18, five dollars for children six-to-12 and seniors over 65. Discount tickets for Napa Auto Parts Night can be obtained through participating Napa dealers.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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