ANDERSON, MOORE, MEDINA & MORISSEY WIN AT STOCKTON
BY: JIM SHIELS
Die Hard fans braved the triple digit temperatures for the Gatorade/Subway Sandwich night show at Stockton Speedway this week, and were rewarded with always popular career first feature victories in two of the four divisions on hand in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by DODGE and sponsored by C.L. Bryant/Union 76 Gas.
First and foremost on the night was a first career HOTWOOD Western Late Model win by #5, Pete Anderson, Jr., of Stockton. Anderson, who had three second place runs coming into the night’s action, was determined to get that first taste of victory, making a quick jump from his third place starting slot to grab the early lead with fifth place starter Tracy Bolin, #29 of Valley Springs coming to second on lap-three. Incoming point leader Dave Byrd of San Jose moved to the third slot on lap four.
The first of only two yellows fell on lap-11 as Johnny Berndt of Clements spun in turn-two, leaving a restart of Anderson, Bolin, Byrd, Jeff Belletto, and his Father Harry, both of Modesto. Bolin ran side by side with Anderson on laps-12 and 13 and led at the line by a nose on the 14th circuit with Harry Belletto coming to third.
Body parts caused the other yellow on lap-21, allowing the field to regroup with Anderson winning the shoot-out for the lead, denying Bolin a shot at his first Late Model win. Byrd slipped to third on lap-22 ahead of Harry Belletto as the laps clicked off, but nobody was going to catch the fast moving heat winner Anderson, who sailed home with the victory over Bolin, dash winner Byrd, and the father-son combination of Harry and Jeff Belletto. Harry Belletto won his heat, and notched the quick time on the night, his 7th of the season and 6th straight.
Byrd continues to lead in the season points with a slim 12-point margin over Harry Belletto. Anderson gained ground in his third place position.
The Grand American Modifieds pulled off a perfect non-yellow event for the first time in the 2002 season with Rookie point leader John Moore of Granite Bay and Fred Guthmiller of Sierra Village in charge of the pole row duties. Being on the pole for the first time proved difficult as both played games with flagman John Moreland on three attempts before Moreland showed them his game hand by flipping the front two rows giving Aaron Young of Stockton and Sam Solari of Salida the lead duties. Solari grabbed the early lead as the race quickly fed laps into the score books with a tenth lap line consisting of Solari, Young, Moore, Guthmiller, and Danny Contessotto of Stockton.
On the 25th circuit, Young got into the back of the leader Solari as they came off turn two forcing Solari to lift and open a door for the rookie Moore to slide through and take the lead on lap-26. Moore held on to notch his first career win over dash Winner Contessotto, Solari, Young, and Guthmiller.
Tempers flared after the event as Solari had words with Young in the back straight claim area, and Guthmiller discussed the failed start attempts with Moore in the pits.
Incoming point leader #91, Steve Stacy of Stockton picked up his fourth quick time for the season and maintains a 16-point margin over Contessotto who moved to second over Solari.
Only two minor yellows marred the Pure Stock action, which helped to keep the fans focused to the heat on the track as opposed to the heat in the stands. John Medina #6, of Galt took the first lap feature lead with incoming point leader Danny Guibor of Manteca coming to second on lap five, followed by Charlie Clawson, #15, of Modesto, Johnny Bird of Stockton, and fellow Stockton pilot Joey Stearns in Medina’s back up car, #6X.Cindy Freitas of Lodi, #9, brought out the first yellow on lap-13 with a second turn spin that left Tom Bolin of San Jose with a crumpled front end that ended his attempt to score a record tying fourth straight feature win. The final yellow fell on lap-17 as Stearns spun in turn-two with Guibor gaining the lead on the 18th-lap restart. Medina decided it was time for a win taking the point slot back on the next circuit and romping home with his first 2002 season victory over Guibor, Clawson, Bird, and #75, Chad Holman of Stockton.
Medina, the owner of JM Seal Coating, who had spent many hours in pre-season paving work to add to the pit improvements, was happy to take some of the asphalt home on his tires for the night.
Ron McCaul of Manteca set the quick time, with heat wins going to Richard Harper of Stockton and Aimee Sullivan of Lodi. Michael Wendt of Lodi captured the dash with the B-Main falling to Brian Miller of Railroad Flat.
Guibor continues to lead in the current feature division points with 45 more than second place runner Holman. Bird holds tight to third, with Miller now holding an impressive 138-point lead in the B-Main Championship run.
The "Mighty" Legends of the Pacific were on hand for their fifth season appearance with fast timer Michael Morrissey, #15n, of Kings Beach posting his third season feature win. Jack Humphrey of American Canyon took the first lap lead over Mike Hoffman of Fremont with Gary Hockman of San Jose gaining third of lap-four. Hoffman took the point on the fifth circuit with Ryan Mosher of Cupertino gaining 5th. Mosher moved to 4th & 3rd on the ensuing laps with Morrissey showing 4th on lap-seven.
Hockman took the lead on lap-nine with Mosher running second ahead of Morrissey. Hockman spun on the back straight with a little help on lap-10 to bring out the first yellow as Legend Manager Jack Houston place both Mosher and Morrissey to the rear for "Involvement," giving the lead to Kelly Martin of Modesto.
A spin by Jeff Collins of San Diego on lap-15 brought out the final yellow with Mark Bailey of San Lorenzo coming to third and than second on the following go-round. Being placed to the back must have fired Morrissey’s rockets as he quickly moved back to fourth by lap-16 and passed a car a lap to take the lead on lap-19, with an equally fast returning Mosher following in fourth.
Morrissey continued on to pass the checkered first over Mosher, dash winner Bailey, Wayne Estes of Patterson, and Pete Currin of Redwood City. Martin and Hockman were heat winners on the night.
Action will continue on the quarter mile paved track next Saturday, July 20th when DODGE Night presents double feature points for the regular divisions, and a return of Ultra Wheel Super Trucks and Baby Grands.