WELCH & STACY SCOREAT STOCKTON
BY: JIM SHIELS
Mark Welch of Orangevale, and Steve Stacy of Stockton both walked away $1,000 richer after the second running of the JM ENVIROMENTIAL GOLD CUP CLASSIC for Grand American Modifieds at the NASCAR sanctioned Stockton 99 Speedway this Saturday.
With A cool grand to win on the line, it was fast timer Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights and Sam Solari of Salida on the pole for the first 50-lap feature with Solari grabbing the early lead. By the fifth lap, as the cars sorted out it was Solari over Linstroth, followed by Danny Contessotto of Stockton, Stacy, and Aaron Young of Stockton. The first of nine nasty yellows came out on lap-7 for a spin with help by Kyle Gottula of Modesto in turn-2, with Contessotto coming to 2nd on the restart. Incoming division point leader Stacy moved to 3rd on lap-10. A solo spin on lap-14 brought out the next yellow with Contessotto gaining the lead by a bumper on the next green. Solari took it back on the next pass as Semi Main winner Jeff Thomas of Stockton stalled on the front chute to expose a 17th-lap yellow with Stacy gaining second at the line.
Another "cool it" flag fell on the next go-round with Stacy grabbing the point at the line to lead Solari, Welch, Contessotto, and John Unger of Stockton. Three more yellows followed with Welch moving to second on lap-31. After two final yellows for minor spins on laps 40 & 46, Stacy suffered a moment of despair as he romped the gas for the restart and the fuel pump, said "no more juice." The car caught once again but the surge was enough to allow Welch to get past to sail home with the first feature win over Stacy, Solari, Contessotto and Linstroth. Stacy ran out of fuel on the way to his pit stall and word filtered up from the pits that due to a seizing engine; Welch would be unable to make the second main.
It was Unger and Jason Kerby of Galt on the front row for the second 50-lap contest with Unger grabbing the early lead. A more common sense-three-yellows were all that slowed the program and allowed for great racing in the second event, with Linstroth grabbing the lead on a 7th-lap restart.
Linstroth and Unger put on a wild battle before making contact on lap-18 off turn-2. Contessotto beat the field to the yellow to take the lead, with Stacy and Solari hot on his heels. A 34th lap yellow fell as Craig Swim of Elverta spun off turn-2. Unger cut a tire on the way by, and Solari spun on the front chute with a flat right rear. Stacy pressed hard on the restart and took the point on the next green flag lap with Linstroth coming back to second on lap38. Both finished in that order with Gary Glenn or Orangevale running a strong third over dash winner Young, and Gottula with his best finish to date in his rookie season at Stockton. Stacy was declared the overall winner of the duel events and increased his point lead with a current count of 522 over a now tied Contessotto & Solari at 491 each.
In the Pure Stock action for the Weekly Racing Series presented by DODGE, it was Aimee Sullivan of Lodi with the first lap feature lead. Two quick yellows and a red in the first two laps started the action as a wall shot by Gary Shafer, Jr. of Stockton on the back straight, and a hard door hit by Jeff Saunders of Salida into Brian Vosburg of Stockton in turn-2 slowed the event.
A 4th-lap yellow fell as incoming second place point runner, Chad Holman of Stockton, spun in turn-3 with Ken Ratcliff of Stockton joining him at the rear by "Official" request. Sullivan held strong with John Medina of Galt running second over Tom Bolin of San Jose. Richard Harper of Stockton took a hard hit into the front chute tires on lap 17, just as C.W. Davis of Stockton took the lead from Sullivan. The ensuing red gave the point back to Sullivan, but Davis was a nose ahead on the 18th lap-restart. Bolin, who had set the fast time and won the dash, climbed to second on lap 24 as the race ran clean to the checkered with Davis in front of Bolin, Sullivan, Median, Holman, and Michael Wendt of Lodi.
A post-race engine check revealed "too much compression" in the Davis engine and he was struck down for the night, giving the win to Bolin and moving all others up the ladder of finish.
Ray Bird of Stockton took the B-Main event with Danny Guibor of Manteca picking up addition points in his championship drive, now leading Holman by a 546-515 point margin. Johnny Bird of Stockton still holds third over Wendt and Cindy Freitas of Lodi. Brian Miller of Railroad Flat holds the B-Main championship point lead over Stockton drivers Dustin Himes and Dave Ball.
Mini Trucks and Cars were on hand for fun and games with the fast time, heat and dash wins going to Gary Franks of Manteca. Joe Williams of Manteca took the early feature lead with Franks coming to the front on lap-nine only to slow with a mechanical problem two laps later, giving the lead to Tracy pilot Matt Borges. Borges brought it home a winner over Williams, Ken Herger of Manteca, Brandon Trevethan of Tracy, and Randy Johoda, also of Tracy. Larry Otto of Sacramento won the other heat.
The USAC/BCRA Midgets made their third 2002 season appearance with Jerome Rodela of El Monte taking the high honors. After a fast time effort and a 10th place feature start. Rodela challenged Marc DeBeaumont of Clayton for the lead and took control of the 30-lap event on lap-17. Rodela was chased to the checkered by DeBeaumont, Cliff Servetti, Glen Carson, and Floyd Alvis.
Stockton 99 Speedway now makes a quick turn-around to present itís annual FIRECRACKER-100, featuring the HOTWOOD Western Late Models in the second of their three-race HOTWOOD Tri-Holiday Series on Wednesday, July 3rd.
By Floyd Busby
RODELA ROMPS TO STOCKTON MIDGET WIN
STOCKTON, CA., JUNE 29: Fast qualifier Jerome Rodela , vaulted from his 10th starting position to victory in the Bay Cities Racing Association-United States Auto Club co-sanctioned feature at the Stockton "99" Speedway. Driving his Fontana powered Hawk, the youthful pilot challenged Marc DeBeaumont for the lead and took control of the 30-lap event on the 17th lap. Sleepy Tripp charged from his fifth starting berth to the front on the first lap to lead Travis Berryhill, Glenn Carson, Thomas Meseraull and Tim Joyce across the line. Carson displaced Berryhill for second on the second round aboard the Doug Bock Esslinger/Stewart with Meseraull pulling the Walker Racing Esslinger/Stealth into third. Carson put pressure on the leader until the sixth lap when he dove under Tripp in the third turn. The nose of Carson's car began to skate upward. Tripp cut down exiting turn-4 to avoid the outer dirt debris left by the stock cars. The two cars made contact with Tripp's Esslinger/Hawk ricocheting to the wall. The car was towed from the track with extensive frontal damage. At the restart Carson led Meseraull with Rodela already up to third. Jim Fowler, trailing at the back of the pack, slowed high in turn-one just before his engine expired in a ball of oil flames. Fowler attempted to pull to the infield as Meseraull approached. Meseraull attempted to avoid Fowler, but clipped the right rear as he passed, sending the second-place machine to the pits with front end damage. As the race resumed, Stealth distributor Marc DeBeaumont outbid Rodela for second aboard his DeBeaumont Motorsports Ed Pink Ford/Stealth. Berryhill held fourth over an aggressive Cliff Servetti. On the seventh circuit, Servetti, displaying his best career effort, put his Custom Engine Brayton Buick/Stealth into fourth with Floyd Alvis also displacing Berryhill to capture fifth aboard his Interstate Batteries VanDyne/Stealth. DeBeaumont put the pressure on Carson and made good his bid for the lead on the ninth round. One lap later Rodela also passed Carson to claim second. On the 14th lap Tim Joyce, making his first start in several years, pitted with the loss of brakes in the Segur Gaerte/Ellis, also making its first start of the season. Several laps later Dan Gundo pitted with mechanical ills. Rodela hounded DeBeaumont, who began experiencing brake lock. On the 17th lap Rodela worked under DeBeaumont as the duo exited the second turn and outraced him to the third turn to take command of the lead. The close running order was now Rodela over DeBeaumont, Servetti, Carson and Alvis with visiting Washingtonian Brad Curtis moving his Gaerte/Beast up to sixth over Desi Bray, Berryhill, Washington's Glen Guiles and Ken Molica to round out the ten cars on the leader's lap. The order remained the same to the finish with Rodela claiming his third feature of the season, two on the pavement in the BCRA/USAC co-sanctioned events. The program included two ten-lap heat races with the top five retaining their qualifying times and starting the feature in front, inverted. Carson won the first heat over Guiles and Alvis with Meseraull taking the second heat ahead of Joyce and Tripp.