WINTERS GAM OPEN COMP WINNER AT STOCKTON
(STOCKTON, CAOctober 1, 2000)Scott Winters of Tracy bested a strong fieldincluding three current track champions, Stockton 99s Mark Welch, Altamonts Wes Miller and Jim Miller of All-American Speedway in Roseville--Saturday night to win an "Open Comp" Grand American Modified feature at Stockton 99 Speedway. Winters showed no signs of rust after not competing during the regular season, opting to stay close to home while becoming a father for the first time. The 100-lap victory--Winters first at Stockton since July 24, 1999--was good for a $1,5000 first-place paycheck.
Starting on the outside of the front row of a 20-car field, Winters led the first seven laps before giving way to first time Stockton competitor Jay Linstrath of Citrus Heights, following an early race spin by Stocktons Steve Stacy. While Linstrath continued to impress, most of the attention was focused on Welch, whoafter winning 14 of 22 regular season events and posting fast timestarted 10th. Welch was fourth by lap-16 when Steve Daniels of Oangevale slowed and exited the track.
Lap-20 produced another yellow as Bob Reichmuth of Manteca spun in turn-two and saw former Stockton champion Wes Miller of Delhi park his entry. With 18 cars still running, the re-start produced the nights most serious carnage when Greg Williams of Ceres and Harold Reiker of Roseville tangled off turn-four and, in the process, collected five other cars causing a red flag to fly. That melee resulted in Willams and Stocktons Shawn Wentzel parked on the sideline, leaving 16 cars still running.
Linstrath continued to hold forth as the laps blazed by with Welch closing to second and applying pressure. The crafty Welchtwo-time Stockton and NASCAR Pacific Coast Region championfinally pinned the frontrunner in slower traffic to take the lead before a mid-race red flag halt for fuel. During the break, Linstrath pitted to change a tire, moving Winters to second with Barry Callouette of Benicia third.
Once the green was waved again, a backstretch set-to involving several cars led to Stocktons Steve Stacys mount being cradled to the pit area by a pair of wreckers. Welchs reign was short-lived as he slowed on lap-56 and headed to the pits with Winters inheriting the lead. Robert Miller of Gardnerville, Nevada pulled up lame on lap-60; and, all of a sudden, only 10 cars were still running. Trophy dash winner Johnny Vega of Newcastle pulled to third on lap-66 and the field ran smooth to lap-86 for a yellow caused by a spin in turn-one by semi main winner Joel Theisen of San Jose.
Winters held forth to finish in front of Callouette and Vega, with Jim Miller of Roseville fourth, Paul Henry of Groveland fifth and the only other car on the lead lap, Sam Solari of Salida sixth.
The Grand American "Open Comp" show was accompanied by an appearance of the Legendsfive-eighths scale 1938 to 1940 Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge coupes and sedans. At stake, was the Stockton Legends point leadership with Joey Zampa of Napa leading Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo by two points heading into their 22-car, 30-lap feature. The two combatants started side-by-side in the fifth row with Don Krout of Pine Mountain Lake taking the first lap lead.
A yellow fell immediately as a four-car melee off turn-four left Dick Appleby of Sacramento minus a right front wheel. Zampa quickly moved to fourth to close behind Krout, Bumper LaRue of Napa and Skip Brown of Suisun. Zampas title hopes were crushed on lap-nine as he tangled on the back straight with Rob Lathrop of Santa Clara and had to be wreckered to the pits.
On the re-start, Bailey was third, moved into second on lap-11 and into the lead on the next circuit. Only two more minor yellows slowed the action with Gary Hockman of San Jose coming to second on lap-21. Although Hockman was able to apply some pressure, he ran out of laps to settle for second with Bailey collecting a pair of trophies for the feature and overall championship.
Hockman, who earlier had won the trophy dash, was chased to the finish line by LaRue, Kelly Martin of Modesto and Pete Currin of Redwood City.
The nights action was concluded by a Powder Puff derby, giving novice lady drivers a chance to strut their stuff. Twenty cars answered the bell as the first lap lead fell to Thelma Bolin of Valley Springs. Stacy Lee of Stockton took the point on lap-six with a red coming out as Kimm Lovelace of Stockton took a hard hit against the front chute wall. Jaime Grant of Stockton took the lead on the re-start with Elesha Williams of Orangevale coming to fifth on lap-nine. Williams was third two laps later and gained a spot per lap to take the lead on lap-13. Williams was in full control to the end taking the win over Grant, Evelyn Bird of Stockton, and Bolin.
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Stockton 99 Speedway will conclude the 2000 racing season Saturday, October 7, with the running of their annual 250-lap Enduro. Pre-entries indicate that more than 30 cars will try to negotiate 99 Speedways quarter-mile paved oval that will be covered with soap and water.
For the uninitiated, an Enduro can best be described as a destruction derby going in circles. The field will run 125 laps in one direction, then turn around and run another 125 in the other direction.
Additionally, Charterway Auto Recyclers is sponsoring a roll-over contest with $500 going to the driver that rolls his car the most times after launching it off an inclined ramp.
Ticket gates for the Enduro will open at 6:00 p.m. with green flag racing set for 7:00.
Adult admissions will cost $12, eight for seniors over 65 and teens 13-to-17, four dollars for children six-to-12 with those under six getting in free.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 North Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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