2003 99 Schedule
Maybe a taste of the past is just what Jim Pettit II needed to pick up his
first ever Featherlite Southwest Tour victory. Pettit, starting in 10th
position, led the final 33 laps of the 125-lap championship race at Stockton 99
Speedway, en route to capturing the "BUDWEISER 125" presented by HAVOLINE title
last Saturday night in front of a packed house.
In 46 career series races,
#03, Pettitís previous best finish was fourth at
Colorado in 1998. But returning to Stockton where he last won in 2001 in the
Late Model division, Pettit regained the old magic for his ninth top five finish
The Prunedale native finished ahead of pole sitter, #6, Todd Souza who led the
first 92 laps before Pettit slid down the inside on turn-4 to forge ahead for
the only lead change of the race.
Souza, 2000 Rookie of the Year, recorded his third top
five finish in his
Former Sacramento resident Burney Lamar, #16, who placed second at Stockton in
2002, finished third ahead of Auggie Vidovich Jr.
Escalonís Eric Holmes rounded out the top five, finishing in front of
Riversideís David Gilliland and Modestoís Steve Belleto.
Defending series champion Eddy McKean,
#19, of Idaho garnered a top 10 spot,
placing ninth in the 20th Southwest Tour visit to Stockton.
Last yearís Stockton 99 Speedway Tour winner, Ron Strmiska Jr., finished 12th
out of the 22-car field.
For the second consecutive week, veteran Harry Belletto,
#74, of Modesto captured
the Western Late Model 30-lap main event. Belletto, who only led the final two
laps the previous week, dominated the race after slipping to the inside on
turn-2 and jostling for track position with Stocktonís Danny Contessotto on the
Belletto led 25 of the 30 laps during the caution-free race.
Rosevilleís Eric Schmidt, #05, who won the trophy dash earlier in the evening,
finished third just behind Pacific Groveís Dave Byrd and Pete Anderson Jr. of
Stockton placed fourth.
Stocktonís Gary Shafer Jr.,
#96, made it back-to-back victories in the Pure Stock
division, dominating the 20-lap main event. Shafer Jr. led the final 16 laps and
collected the checkered flag under caution for his 15th career win.
Lodiís Michael Wendt finished 12th, despite the fastest qualifying time and
placing second in the dash,
that #21 Tom Bolin of Valley Springs won. Wendt broke the track record last week after Chad
Holman and John Medina accomplished similar feats earlier in qualifying.
Holman and Medina finished second and third, respectively, this past week.
Stockton 99 Speedway will be closed this Saturday and will return May 10 with
Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Pro 4 Trucks and
The following week "HAVOLINE presents The DWayne Starr Classic" for the
UNITED STATES AUTO CLUB (USAC) Western States Championship Sprint car race
featuring the top pavement sprint car drivers in western America plus the Ford
Focus Midgets on May 17. Returning will be the NASCAR Western Late Models for a
full night of racing and three big main events.
|Pettit gets first Southwest
By Bill Poindexter
Record Assistant Sports Editor
Published Sunday, April 27, 2003
It was a first for
Jim Pettit II in car 03.
Pettit, of Prunedale,
took the lead from Todd Souza, #6, of Aromas on lap 93 and went on
to win the Budweiser 125 on Saturday night at Stockton 99
Speedway for his first NASCAR Southwest Series victory.
"We've been real
close a lot of times," a jubilant Pettit said. "We've been
real flustered because we've been so close."
No more close
misses. Starting in the fifth row in the 22-car field, Pettit
passed Burney Lamar of West Sacramento for second on lap 83,
then jumped on the opportunity to blow by Souza on the first
lap following a restart on lap 93.
"I didn't want to
sit around," said Pettit, who went into the race sixth in
points. "We were good from the beginning. I knew we had a
really good car for these conditions."
#6, led 92 laps
on a cool, breezy night before a crowd of 3,002 and held off
Lamar for second. A problem of some sort held back Lamar.
"If it wasn't for
that, we'd have been up front. It sort of burned up our tires
a little bit," said Lamar who, like Pettit, has considerably
more experience at 99 than most of the Southwest Series
drivers. "We gave it all it had. I wish we could have been up
two more spots, but I'm happy for Jim."
Auggie Vidovich Jr., #59 of Lakeside finished fourth, and Eddy
McKean of Jerome, Idaho, who went into the event second in
points, finished ninth.
Escalon, who went into the race fourth in points, finished
fifth. Steve Belletto of Modesto, who's in the top 10 in
points for the first time (in ninth), had the seventh-fastest
qualifying time and finished seventh in the race.
winner Ron Strmiska Jr., #90, of Manteca finished 12th.
Ceres recorded the fast time in qualifying, 13.663 seconds
around the quarter-mile paved oval, but fell to 17th after
locking up with Greg Potts of Morada on lap 63. It was the
first yellow flag of the race.
second to Darrell LaMoure of Phoenix, Ariz., in the qualifying
race, and both transferred to the main.
It took about
eight minutes for Harry Belletto, #74, of Modesto to record his 80th
career main-event victory.
Belletto took the
lead from Danny Contessotto of Stockton on the sixth lap and
led the final 24 laps in a feature that had no yellow flag.
trying to get better," Belletto said.
Dave Byrd of Los
Gatos passed Contessotto on the seventh lap and followed
Belletto across the finish line.
Eric Schmidt of
Roseville qualified second, won the trophy dash and finished
third in the main.
Modified driver Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights made his Late
Model debut in a car owned by Al Vautier of Ripon and finished
10th in the 15-car field.
Gary Shafer Jr.
of Stockton took the lead from John Medina of Galt on the
fourth lap and pulled away to his second consecutive feature
win and the 15th of his career.
about four seconds ahead of Chad Holman of Stockton. Medina
The race went to
a red flag for about 20 minutes because of a four-car pileup
on the second lap that ended with the car of Lodi's Ron Greenmyer helping knock over the retaining wall coming out of
* To reach
assistant sports editor Bill Poindexter, phone 546-8289
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org