WELCH BACK ON TOP AT STOCKTON 99
(STOCKTON, CA--June 25, 2000)-Turn about was fair play Saturday night as Mark Welch took advantage of Tony Silvas mechanical woes to win for the ninth time in 11 starts and regain the NASCAR-sanctioned premier division top spot at Stockton 99 Speedway. A week ago, the Orangevale driver had suffered his own mechanical problems halting an eight-race winning streak and losing the point lead to Silva in the process. This week-as part of Mega Jammin Oldies 100/ Craftsman Tool 50s Night-Welch started third in a 22-car field and led the final 37 laps to register his sixth career 50-lap triumph.
Darrin Halterman of Stockton was the initial leader from his outside front row starting position as the first of nine yellow flags fell on lap-three when Johnny Unger of Stockton stopped on the front straight apron with flames coming from under his car. Welch was second at that point and the 44-year old defending champion moved under Halterman to take the top spot on the 13th go-round.
Minor yellows on laps 15 and 23 had little effect on the top-five; however, when Danny Contessotto of Stockton spun on lap-26, Silva of Sacramento, running fifth, headed to the pits with motor vibrations and was done for the night. Welch ran virtually unchallenged until the final few laps when the nights fast qualifier Barry Callouette of Benicia began to apply some pressure.
"I thought I was going to run out of fuel," Welch said. "Toward the end, I felt the car fluttering and I thought, Oh no." As it turned out, Welch had about two gallons of fuel at the end. After Callouette in second, Jason Philpot of Sacramento was third ahead of Stockton drivers Steve Stacy and Halterman, whose top-five effort was his best ever. Robert Miller of Gardnerville, Nevada,--the nights trophy dash winner--was sixth.
Welchs win earned him $1,000 and enabled him to reestablish a 31-point margin (578-547) over Silva in the season standings.
The "50s Night" program also included a 50-lap feature for the Pro Stocks that saw season point leader Cary Treadway of Stockton continue his dominance by registered his third clean sweep-fast time, dash and feature-in 10 events. Treadways effort was so complete that he lapped everyone in the field except second place finisher Scott Chappell of Lodi.
Pete Anderson, Jr., of Stockton was the initial leader, but he gave way to fourth place starter Ed Cullom of Lockeford on lap-eight. Treadway, who started 10th in the 13-car field, had already made his way to third. The eventual winner came to second on lap-10, took the lead on the next pass and never looked back to pick up his second career 50-lap victory. On the season, Treadway has seven wins.
After Chappell in second, Joe Hylton of Manteca placed third ahead of Cullom and Mike Monez of Lodi. Treadways season point lead is 75 (565-490) over Chappell and Hylton, who are tied for second.
Stocktons entry level I. B. Benedict Pure Stock division ended the night with a 30-lap romp that saw only two minor yellows slow the pace. Jeff Lovelace of Stockton was the early leader for the 20-car field, but bowed to Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs on lap-six. Meanwhile, incoming point leader and defending champion Guy Guibor of Manteca was making his way from a 17th place start towards the front. Guibor, who had failed to gain a feature starting position through his heat race, was forced to run and subsequently win the semi to make the field.
Bolin led comfortably and the last thing he wanted to see was a late race yellow. As luck would have it, a yellow was displayed for debris, which allowed Guibor to close and challenge over the last four laps. Moving under Bolin on lap-28, Guibor completed the pass on lap-29 and sailed home for his sixth win in nine-starts. Bolin held on to second ahead of Arron Shankel of Lodi, early leader Lovelace and the other Guibor, brother Danny, also of Manteca.
Heat winners for the night were Tracy Bolin, John Medina of Galt and Stockton drivers Chris Mays and Chad Holman. Bolin was the trophy dash victor.
The Pure Stock point chase is a battle of the Guibors-with Guy now leading brother Danny by just 11 (567-556). Tracy Bolin is another 21 back at 535.
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Fireworks will be busting out all over at NASCAR-sanctioned Stockton 99 Speedway this coming Saturday and Monday as part of a 4th of July weekend doubleheader.
Saturday night, its the Firecracker 100 for Late Model Sportsman sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts-plus a 50-lap main event for Pro Stocks and the usual slam-bang action of the I.B. Benedict Pure Stocks.
Monday, July 3, Indy 500 participant Davey Hamilton highlights a USAC Midget program sponsored by C.L. Bryant 76 Racing Gasoline that also includes Legends and a 100-lap Grand American Modified main event. Both racing programs will conclude with huge fireworks shows.
Ticket gates for both events will open at 3:00 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:00.
"Two dollar off" discount tickets for the Firecracker 100 can be obtained at NAPA Auto Parts stores in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Elk Grove, Jackson, Lockeford, Salida, Rio Vista, Brentwood and Patterson.
Adult tickets will cost $18; $12 for students age 13-17 and seniors over 65; six dollars for children six-to-12 with those under six getting in free.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.
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