WILLIAMS WINS THIRD STOCKTON FEATURE
BY: JIM SHIELS
The NASCAR sanctioned Grand Americans took center stage this week at Stockton 99 Speedway with Greg Williams of Ceres picking up his third feature win of the season in another dominate run of a yellow flag marred event.
Pole sitter Jack Stone of Lodi led the first lap with a yellow attached as Fred Clement of Stockton got shoved into the back straight wall. The next lap saw another yellow as Jerry Bauguess of Manteca took a hard hit at the same point after he and Shawn Wentzel made contact. Wentzel had set his first career fast time and looked capable of winning his first ever feature. Bauguess was out for the night, with Wentzel effecting repairs to return many laps down later in the event. Danny Contessotto of Stockton beat the field to the yellow to take the point with fellow Stockton driver John Unger sliding into second for the restart.
Contessotto and Unger made contact in turn two with Unger spinning around and Contessotto checking up long enough for Steve Stacy of Stockton to dive to the inside and take the lead as he charged back to the yellow on lap-four.
Williams, taking advantage of the yellows, moved from his 15th place starting spot to fourth for the restart and quickly moved to second on the next lap. He got side-by-side with Stacy on lap-eight and made the pass for first place on the following go-round. Contessotto came back to second on lap-13, with Jason Kerby of Stockton coming to fifth on the next go-round.
From this point on it was all Williams as he quickly laid ground between himself and the others that was only lost to five more yellows for minor spins in the pursuing pack of open wheelers. Williams was chased to the checkered by Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights, Kerby, Stacy, and Robert Knittel of Lodi.
A ninth place finish by Paul Henry of Big Oak Flat enabled him to keep control of the current point lead with Knittel moving to second just 16-points back. Ted Harrison of Stockton notched a fourth place fast time in qualifying and picked up his first Stockton career dash win on the night, as the many time former dirt track Modified Sprint Car champion finally saw his pavement learning curve take an upwards spiral.
Only three yellows slowed the Pro Stock feature, but two of those drove the rice hull commodity market higher as several bags of sweep got spread over the entire quarter-mile distance after blown engines. Johnny Berndt of Clements took the early lead with defending champion Cary Treadway of Stockton quickly moving from seventh to third on lap-three. Stockton pilot Jeff Lovelace laid the first oil trail on lap-five causing a lengthy clean up period. Mike Monez of Lodi led the next two laps by a nose over Berndt finally gaining full control on lap-11. Ed Cullom of Ripon brought out yellows on laps 13 and 15 with solo spins in opposite corners as Treadway charged to the lead on lap-16. Treadway held tough to score his third win of the season over Monez, who was followed by second-time-straight dash winner Joe Hylton of Manteca. Berndt, and Chris Monez of Lodi rounded out the top five. Mike Garcia of Lodi notched the quick time in qualifying.
Even though three yellows slowed the Pure Stock feature, it was a scoring nightmare as position changes took place throughout the field lap after lap in a hotly contested affair that saw Ray Davis of Galt with the early lead.
Stockton drivers Chad Holman and Doug Lane tangled on lap-seven with Holman taking a hard hit by the nights fast timer Danny Guibor of Manteca as Davis continued to pace heat and dash winner Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs, and Tom Dahl of Stockton. A four-car pileup in turn-two allowed Bolin to jump ahead of Davis on the restart and he held strong to record his third feature win of the season. Davis maintained second followed by Dahl. Kannai Scantlen of Stockton ran fourth, with Heat winner Cindy Freitas of Lodi running a strong and impressive fifth.
Other heats were won by Jeff Ahl of Lodi, and Chad Holman, with the C-Main falling to Brian Enis of Stockton. Eric Graef of Galt notched the B-Main win.
The normally quick & clean Legend action was marred by several cars testing and losing battles with the high walls of the speedway in their 30-lap feature as series director Jack Houston simply stood by shaking his head.
Barney LaRue of Napa took the first lap lead with a yellow falling one circuit later as Ryan Mosher of Cupertino took a hard shot against the back wall and tore off his right front tire assembly. LaRue retained control followed by Randy Raduechel of Oakdale and Rick Andrews of Santa Clara, with Gary Hockman of San Jose coming to fourth on lap-four, and Pete Currin of Redwood City in fifth on the next pass.
Hockman was third by lap-nine and second after a 10th-lap yellow. Another tire ripping wreck came on lap-14 as fast timer Rob Lathrop of Santa Clara got loose off turn-two and was hit hard by Terry Miller of Escalon.
The yellow slow downs enabled 17th-place runner Ryan Foster to close ground and make the pass for the lead on lap-15. The final yellow came on lap-20 as Jack Humphrey of American Canyon shot almost head-on into the third turn concrete and also left the field of battle minus a front end assembly. Foster forged on to record his second season Stockton victory finish ahead of heat and dash winner D.J. Krentz of Reno. LaRue held on for third ahead of heat winner Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo, and Hockman.
Stockton 99 Speedway returns to action next Saturday with twin 38-lap features for the C.L. Bryant/Union 76 Late Models, who will be joined in turn by the Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks.
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