CONTESSOTTO FIRST TIME STOCKTON 99 WINNER
(STOCKTON, CA--July 30, 2000)--Danny Contessotto of Stockton took advantage of a late race flat tire on NASCAR Pacific Coast Region point leader Mark Welchs Grand American Modified Saturday night to register his first ever Stockton 99 Speedway feature triumph. Welchs tire went down on lap-28 of the 30-lap main and Contessotto seized the opportunity to pick up the $600 first place money. Contessotto was followed to the checkered flag by three other Stockton pilots, who also enjoyed career best finishes-Shawn Wentzel, John Unger and Aaron Young. Welch hung on to finish fifth.
Twenty-two cars took the green flag with Robert Knittel of Lodi taking the first lap lead from his outside pole starting position with Welch of Orangevale, who started third, moving to second on the next pass. Second place point runner Tony Silva came to third on the fifth go-round as a yellow fell for a spin by Sam Solari of Salida in turn-four.
Contessotto was the cause of the second yellow on lap-seven as he spun on the front straight negating his original ninth place initiating what would become a sterling effort from the back of the field. A red flag halted the action on lap-13 as Bob Trull and Mark Mays, both of Stockton, tangled on the front straight with Mays contesting and losing a battle with the crash wall.
On the ensuing re-start, Knittel suffered mechanical woes and turned left into the infield pit area with Welch inheriting the top spot. The then 15-car field ran trouble free to lap-22 when a spin by Erik Clark of Sacramento brought out another yellow. The re-start consisted of Welch, Silva and dash winner Barry Callouette of Benicia, with Wentzel and Young in the top-five.
The race looked like a "done deal" until on lap-27 Callouette attempted a pass on Silva and made contact with both spinning from contention in turn-one. By this time, Contessotto had passed both Wentzel and Young and was poised in second place. When the green flew, so did Contessotto as he took advantage of Welchs deflating tire as did Wentzel, Unger and Young. Contessottos victory marked the third straight week that Welch has not won. After winning 10 of the first 12, the last three wins have gone to Callouette, Bob Reichmuth of Manteca and Contessotto. Even so, Welchs season point lead over Silva is sizable (777-703) with Contessotto third at 624.
The I.B. Benedict Pure Stocks turned from their usual quick paced, non-caution program to a crash fest with three yellows and a lengthy red marring the action. Twenty cars took the green that saw Kannai Scantlen of Stockton pull away early with Ray Davis of Galt in pursuit. By lap-seven, Gary Shafer, Jr., of Stockton was third. The first yellow was displayed on lap-11 as Stockton drivers Tom Dahl and Chris Mays tangled and spun in turn-four with fellow Stockton driver Richard Harper taking a hard hit into the front wall. One lap later, it was Shafer and John Medina of Galt who drew a yellow as they found themselves pasted against the non-moving front chute cement.
Chad Holman of Stockton made the pass by Scantlen to be scored the leader on lap-14. A third yellow fell one go-round after that as Adam Ramsdell of San Jose joined
with Johnny Bird of Stockton in the "spinners waltz" near the flagstand. Holman led at the re-start, followed by Shafer, Danny Guibor of Manteca and Scantlen, with Shafer taking the point on the next pass. Dash Winner Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs slid to fourth on the same lap, with current point leader Guy Guibor of Manteca coming to fifth on lap-18.
One of the worst wrecks of the season took place on lap-22 as Jeff Lovelace of Stockton lost a motor and most of its oil going into the third turn, sending all but three of the 17 cars still running into the outside wall. Once the carnage had been cleared, only 12-cars were able to take the next green with Bolin in charge of the front position. Bolin held strong to post his second win in a row and third of the season in front of Mike Graham of Manteca, his brother Tom Bolin of Morgan Hill, Medina and Scantlen.
Guy Guibor, the season point leader, started the evening by lowering the Pure Stock qualifying record to 17.120. His ninth place feature effort enabled him to retain his point lead at 45 over brother Danny (817-772) with Bolin closing in third at 757.
The Renegade Sprints were on hand for their fourth appearance of the year with Bob Bankson of Rancho Cordova starting the program with a quick time of 14.084. Heat wins fell to Bill Zarevich of Lathrop and Don Hicks of Patterson, with the dash going to Ed Amador of Modesto.
Allen Harney of Foster City was scored as the first lap leader in their 15-lap feature with Eddie Rhoades of Don Pedro coming to second on the next pass. Two circuits later Rhoades took the lead with Zarevich and Bankson in tow. Bankson moved to second on lap-seven and made the pass for the lead on lap-13, proceeding to the checkered first with Rhoades in second followed by Zarevich, Ken Rines of Tracy, and Amador.
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This coming week is Stockton 99s second "double-point" night of the season featuring C.L.Bryant 76 Racing Gasoline Late Model Sportsman, Grand American Modifieds, Pro Stocks and I.B. Benedict Pure Stocks-all sponsored by Exide Batteries, the official battery of NASCAR.
In additon, the evening will feature the Speedways annual "Kids Night"-"big wheel" racing for toddlers three-to-eight years old-and a miniature racecar giveaway sponsored by I.B. Benedict, with proceeds going to the Mary Graham Childrens Shelter of Stockton.
Ticket gates for the Exide Battery Night will open at 3:00 p.m. with green flag racing set for 6:00. Adult tickets for the four-division "double point" night will cost $15, $10 for seniors over 65 and teens 13-to-17, five 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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