CONTESSOTTO CAPTURESSTOCKTON FEATURE:
8-4-01 BY: JIM SHIELS
Twenty-four-year-old Danny Contessotto of Stockton won his second career Grand American Modified feature and first of 2001 in this weeks NASCAR sanctioned events at Stockton 99 Speedway surviving four yellow flags and a red flag multi pileup that marred the 25-lap battle.
Starting on the pole, Contessotto and the field of 20-cars slid into single file action with the fifth lap pack consisting of himself, Shawn Wentzel of Stockton, Manteca drivers Greg Potts, & Jerry Bauguess, and six-time feature winner Greg Williams of Ceres.
The first yellow fell on lap-eight as fast timer Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights and incoming point leader Paul Henry of Groveland tangled on the backchute with the dash winner Henry spinning to last and Linstroth heading to the pits for new rubber. Another yellow flew on the restart as Eddie Wilcox of Modesto spun off from turn-two. Trying once again to restart the action, the field was covered by a long red/yellow condition as eight cars piled up in a chain reaction wreck off turn-four that ended the night for Jerry Bauguess of Manteca, and Troy McQueen of Lodi.
It began to look as if the event would never see another clean lap as the following restart saw Randy Miller of San Jose sitting backwards on the outside wall off turn four with the field roaring past him and safely back to the line. The next green flag lap saw Contessotto in charge over Wentzel, Potts, John Unger of Stockton, and Williams, with Steve Stacy holding sixth.
The final yellow fell on lap-16 with duel spins by Joel Theisen of San Jose, and Wilcox as they came off turn four. Potts came to second on lap-17, with Unger taking third on the next circuit. Second place point runner Robert Knittel of Lodi took over fifth on the next pass. Unger moved to second for his best finish effort in several seasons as the checkered fell for Contessotto’s wire-to-wire victory with Potts in third over Wentzel and Knittel who took over the point lead by five marks due to a dismal 16th place run for Henry.
The Pro Stock feature for the night saw outside pole sitter Mike Monez of Lodi with the first lap lead with second week driver Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs coming to second in his newly purchased Mike Garcia ride. Jeff Lovelace of Stockton moved to second on lap-5, with incoming point leader Cary Treadway coming to fourth. Treadway, who had started 9th on the field, moved to third on lap-six, and into second two go-rounds later. The only yellow on the event fell on lap-12 as Ed Cullom of Ripon spun in turn-two. With the cars bunched up for the restart, the chance for Monez to record his first win went by the boards as Treadway went by on the outside with his usual patented restart blast. Dash winner Lovelace came to second on lap-18, with fast timer Joe Hylton ofManteca coming to third on lap-21. Hylton took second in the final laps with Johnny Berndt of Clements finishing fourth. over Monez. Treadway recorded his sixth feature win of the season and added to his point lead over rookie of the year contender Lovelace.
The popular Pure Stocks produced a yellow free 25-lap blast with Chad Holman of Stockton leading wire-to-wire from the outside pole for his second season victory. By lap-five it was Holman, Joey Stearns of Stockton, Aimee Sullivan of Galt, Cindy Freitas of Lodi, and Tom Dahl of Stockton.Ray Davis of Galt came to fifth on lap-seven and progressed to third on lap-10. Tom Bolin of Morgan Hill came to fifth on lap-13, fourth on lap-16, and third on lap-18, to finally get by last weeks winner Stearns in the final laps to finish second. Heat winner Davis finished fourth over Sullivan, who notched her first career main top five finish.
Additional heats were won by Manteca drivers Danny Guibor, Mike Graham, and Steven Hall. Guibor came back to post the dash win, with the B-Main transfer ticket going to Tracy Bolin of Valley Springs. Guibor added to his current point lead over Jeff Ahl of Lodi with a 29-point margin.
The Legends of the Pacific were on hand for their fifth appearance of the season with Ryan Foster of Anderson again showing his dominance of the quarter-mile paved Stockton track.with a fast time effort, dash win, and 30-lap feature victory, his fourth of the year.
Charles Young of Los Banos took the early lead over Pete Currin of Redwood City, with Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo coming to third on lap-three. Bailey moved to second on the next passwith Frankie Winchel of Sebastapol sliding into third on the next pass. Foster, who had started 12th in the 18-car field, was already into fourth by lap-six, with past Pro Division champion Joey Zampa of Napa hot on his bumper. Two minor yellows slowed the action on laps eight and twelve as Foster and Zampa pulled away to a personal battle for the win. The final yellow fell on lap-28 as Randy Raduechel of Oakdale tangle on the front straight with Gary Hockman of San Jose. Bailey held strong to finish third ahead of Ryan Mosher of Cupertino and Barney LaRue of Napa.
Other heat wins fell to Young, Winchel, and Hockman.
The Pro-4 Truck Series drivers were on hand for the first time this year with Dave Daniel of Salida recording the 25-lap feature win from his 9th place starting spot in the field of 11-trucks.
Heat winner Mike Sims of Turlock was the early leader, bowing to heat and dash winner Troy Ermish of Fremont on lap-seven. Daniels fell in behind Ermish and the two waged a tight battle for ten laps before Daniels moved to the front on lap-20 to win ahead of Ermish, Tim Fernandes, Jr. of Modesto, early leader Sims, and Gary Franks of Manteca.
A short memorial service was held before the night’s events for veteran driver Steve ‘Rosebud’ Riley of Stockton who lost his race against cancer early in the week at age 51. A tribute to his popularity was shown as half the front straight away was filled with cars to make the traditional final lap led by Steve’s Stepson and Grand Am driver Darrin Halterman.
The C.L. Bryant/Union 76 Late Models return to action next week with twin 38-lap features. The will be joined by the Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks and Baby Grands for KIDS NIGHT featuring ‘big wheel’ racing action for kids of all ages.
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