WELCH STREAK REACHES SIX AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CA--May 21, 2000)It doesnt seem to make any difference where he starts, the result is the same for Stockton 99 Speedways NASCAR-sanctioned Grand American Modified division. Orangevale pilot Mark Welch started fifth in a 21-car field Saturday night and continued to exhibit his dominance on Stocktons quarter-mile paved oval by nailing down his sixth straight feature win, leaving him just three shy of the all time record of nine-in-a-row established by Robert Miller in 1996.
Stocktons Danny Contessotto was the initial leader for the 30-lapper that saw Welch move to third on the opening go-round. Following a quick yellow for a second lap solo spin by Mike Regelman of Ripon, Welch advanced to second and surged to the front on the third circuit. Another yellow was displayed on lap-five when Erik Clark of Sacramento banged into the first turn wall.
On the re-start, it was Welch, Contessotto, Jerry Bauguess of Manteca, dash winner Tony Silva of Sacramento and fast qualifier Steve Stacy of Stockton with the field running smoothly to a third yellow on lap-13. Stacy moved to fourth at the halfway point and eventually to third behind Welch and Silva as more caution flags slowed the pace.
Sam Solari of Salida was the cause for the fifth yellow on the night as he spun in turn-three on lap-26, setting up a four-lap dash to the checkered flag for the top three of Welch, Silva and Stacy. Stacy passed Silva for second on the re-start and seemed poised to give Welch a run for his money, only to see a checkered/yellow displayed on the 28th-lap as Stockton driver John Unger spun in turn-three. Silva hung on to third followed by early leader Contessotto, with Jason Philpot of Sacramento completing the top-five.
In spite of Welchs streak, his season point lead over Silva is still only 11 (408-397). After winning the season opener, Silva has followed the defending NASCAR Pacific Coast Region Champion with three seconds, two thirds and a fourth. Following his win, Welch claimed some good fortune. "We were lucky tonight. I think our fuel pump was about to go away. Im not sure we could have made two more laps."
Stocktons newest divisionPro Stockscontinued to show signs of growth as 13 cars answered the bell for their 25-lap feature. First time runner Pete Anderson, Jr. of Stockton took the early lead and led to a second-lap yellow as Johnny Berndt of Clements and season point leader Cary Treadway of Stockton locked up in turn-one. Treadway went down a lap to the field during a lengthy pit stay, as another yellow fell on lap-four when Angelo Queirolo of Lathrop and Lodi driver Mike Monez tangled in turn-two.
The re-start consisted of Anderson, Jason White of Lodi, Joe Hylton of Manteca and Lodi pilot Mike Garcia with the pace being slowed again on lap-nine when Ed Cullom of Lockeford, Hylton, and White tangled off the second corner. Through all this, Treadway had begun to work his way back and rested third on the track, one lap down to the leader. On the re-start, the lead changed into the hands of Scott Chappell of Lodi with the action again being halted when White and Monez got tangled up on lap-13. It took a pair of wreckers to disengage White and Monez; however, both were able to continue.
By now, Treadway had moved to second with hopes of passing Chappell to get himself back on the lead lap. It wasnt to be, however, as he was forced to pit with
additional mechanical problems. Several no-go attempts at re-starting the field cost Chappell his lead as he and Anderson were dropped a row back by officials, giving the point to Berndt. Chappell applied steady pressure and got low under Berndt on lap-18 to re-take the lead on the next pass. White, Garcia, Anderson and Monez chased Chappell to the final flag. The win by Chappell jumped him from fifth to second in the season point standings with Treadway still leading (343-309).
A lucky draw in the I.B. Benedict Pure Stock class saw the two Guibor brothers of MantecaGuy and Danny--line up side-by-side in the front row for their 30-lap contest. The two ran a virtual dead heat on the opening go-round with Guy gaining the advantage the second time by. Lodi pilot Arron Shankel wrested the second spot from Danny on lap-six, just before a red flag halted the action. Mike Robinson of Modesto got turned around off turn-two and was dead in the water when he was hit head-on by Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs. While both cars were totaled, both drivers walked away uninjured.
The event looked like a "done deal" until a yellow/red fell on the 26th lap as a tire ripped off the car of Stockton driver Doug Lane, and he shot straight out the pit exit. Lane, too, was able to walk away.
Guibor continued on to score his third win in a row, followed by Shankel, brother Danny, heat winner Jeff Lovelace of Stockton and a career best fifth for Chad Holman of Stockton. The hat trick by Guibor ties a record he previously set and shares along with two Juniors--Pete Anderson and Gary Shafer, both of Stockton. The win also elevated Guibor from third to first in the season point chase by five (354-349) over Lovelace.
Ten open-wheel Renegade Sprints were on hand for their second Stockton appearance. However, only eight made the grid for their 25-lap feature. Fast-timer Joe Kerduca of Patterson taking the early lead before bowing to Mark Amador of Ceres on lap-five. Mark, in turn, bowed to his brother Steve from Patterson on lap-12. It was an all-Amador finish as Ed, Sr., of Modesto, the nights dash winner, passed son Steve on the final lap for the win, with third falling to his other son Mark.
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Late Model Sportsman return to Stockton 99 Speedway this Saturday, May 27, for the first leg of the Sixth Annual Tri-Holiday Classic..sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts, 76 Racing Gasoline and Budweiser. The Tri-Holiday Classic is three 100-lap events run on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day holiday weekends.
"Two-Dollar" discount tickets for the race can be obtained at NAPA Auto Parts stores in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Elk Grove, Jackson, Lockeford, Salida, Rio Vista, Brentwood and Patterson.
The program will also include Grand American Modifieds, Pro Stocks and I.B. Bendict Pure Stocks.
Ticket gates for the Tri-Holiday Classic will open at 3:00 p.m. with time trials set for 5:00 and green flag racing at 6:00.
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