WELCH RETURNS TO WINNERS CIRCLE AT STOCKTON
(STOCKTON, CA--August 13, 2000)NASCAR Pacific Coast Region point leader Mark Welch of Orangevale returned to the winners circle at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday night ending a four-race drought. Welch started ninth in a 21-car field and assumed the lead on lap-21 of the 30-lap main event.
Steve Stacy of Stockton took the first lap lead from the outside pole and ran to a quick yellow on lap-four for a spin by Bob Reichmuth of Manteca in turn-two. Welch, running eighth at the time, caught a break on the subsequent re-start. Coming to the green, Jason Philpot of Sacramento got loose causing a chain-reaction pile up that involved all but five of the 21 starters. Although all of the involved cars were able to make hasty repairs in the pits and return, four--who had been in front of Welchhad to start from the back moving the eventual winner into fourth. The 44-year old defending Region Champion moved to third on lap-13, with another yellow falling on lap-17.
Once again, the re-start allowed the cars to bunch up with Stockton drivers Fred Clement and Shawn Wentzel, along with Reichmuth taking a hard shot into the pit entry gate off turn-four. Welch, meanwhile, was second with Barry Callouette of Benicia third and last weeks winner Robert Miller of Gardnerville, Nevada coming to fourth on lap-19. Welch made the move under Stacy down the backchute on lap-20 and took the lead as the scoreboard flashed lap-21. At the same time Welch was making his move, Stacy and Callouette bumped in turns three and four and while they righted themselves, Miller took advantage and shot through to follow Welch in second.
Two more yellows slowed the pace over the final eight laps, but it was a short haul to the checkered for Welch who picked up his 11th win of the season and first since July 3. He was followed to the checkered flag by Miller, Callouette, fast qualifier Angelo Queirolo of Lathrop and Stacy. Welchs closest Stockton point chaser Tony Silva of Sacramento was sixth and now trails the front runner by 100 (919-819).
A field of 12 Pro Stock drivers ran off a special 50-lap feature that saw Doyal Moen of Modesto take the first lap lead. A yellow for debris on the track slowed the action on lap-four and Johnny Berndt of Clements grabbed the lead on the re-start with season point leader Cary Treadway coming to third on lap-eight. Treadway, who earlier had set the quick time and won the dash, was looking for his 10th win of the season as he slipped to second on lap-nine and to the lead on lap-11. Jerry Crawford of Stockton took over second on lap-15 with Scott Chappell of Lodi third. By that time, Treadways lead was almost half a lap and growing. Chappell suffered a mechanical problem and dropped out coming home as Treadway lapped everyone but the top four. The race ran trouble free to the checkered as Treadway registered his sixth sweep of the season--followed by Crawford, Joe Hylton of Manteca and two Lodi entries, Mike Monez and Mike Garcia.
Treadways season point lead is now 92 (922-830) over Chappell.
The I.B. Benedict sponsored Pure Stocks produced several firsts. In the preliminaries, Karen Wagner of Lodi won her first ever heat race. John Medina of Galt won his first ever trophy dash. And, Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs became the first Pure Stocker to ever win four straight main events.
Meanwhile, their 30-lap feature resembled a destruction derby going in circles. Eric Graef of Galt was the initial leader with a quick yellow/red condition prevailing on lap-two when a trio of Stockton drives decided to hold a meeting at the start-finish line. Joe Stearns drifted high in the fourth corner forcing Kannai Scantlen even higher. Scantlen smacked the outside wall and bounced back into traffic collecting Brian Enis in the process. With Enis and Scantlen sitting sideways on the front stretch, another Stockton pilot, Chad Holman, nailed Scantlen on the passenger side door.
Graef surrendered the top spot to Gary Ayers of Stockton on the re-start as another yellow was waved for a spin by Wagner, who was making her feature event debut for the season. Bolin--who started 16th--was third by this time and moved to second on lap-four. Two laps later, he was in front, with another yellow being displayed as his brother Tom of Morgan Hill got his rear bumper hooked with Graefs front bumper and the field passed them by as they struggled to get free.
Incoming point leader and defending champion Guy Guibor of Manteca took second on the next green-flag lap as yet another yellow fell on lap-eight when Ayers locked up with Medina on the back straight and both slid to a halt against the main pit exit tire barrier.
Aimee Sullivan of Lodi got credit for the final yellow on the event on lap-18 as she spun on the front straight. On the re-start, it was Tracy Bolin, Guibor, Tom Bolin and Royce Niceler of Stockton at the front running unchanged to the checkered with Jeff Ahl of Stockton picking up fifth.
Bolins fourth straight win moved him past an absent Danny Guibor into second in the season point standings behind Guy Guibor, whose lead is 48 (967-919).
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Renegade Sprint Cars will join NASCAR-sanctioned Grand American Modifieds, Pro Stocks and I.B. Benedict Pure Stocks this Saturday (8/19) night at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Ticket gates for the four division program will open at 3:00 p.m. with qualifying set for 5:00 and green flag racing at 6:00.
Adult admission will cost $12, eight for seniors over 65 and teens 13-to-17, four for children six-to-12. Children under six get in free.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter mile west of Highway 99.
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