2003 99 Schedule        

Schmidt Wins 100 Lap
Showcase at Stockton 99!

Rosevilleís Eric Schmidt, #05, became the second Western Late Model driver to win consecutive races this season after gaining the checkered flag in the HOT WOOD presents "Tri-Holiday Classic 100" round one, before a large crowd at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Schmidt, who has won three races overall this season, joins Modestoís Harry Belleto to garner back-to-back race victories in the WLM division in 2003.

Schmidt led the final 55 laps in the 11-caution race which featured four lead changes. He also qualified with the fastest time and won the four-lap trophy dash earlier in the evening.

Stocktonís Danny Contessotto, #97, had a chance to win an extra $2,000 when he decided to move from his pole position to the back of the 22-car field. Contessotto, who gained five spots in the first 10 laps, wrecked on lap 11 with Lodiís Mike Garcia, #51, spoiling his to chance win the biggest purse in the history of the WLM division.

The bonus money sponsored by HOT WOOD and J-M ENVIRONMENTAL will be moved to July 3 for the second leg of the "Tri-Holiday Classic 100".

Lincolnís Phil Perry, #22, who won two weeks ago, finished second and Harold Rieker of Orangevale placed third.

Stocktonís Gary Shafer Jr., #96, appeared to capture his fourth-straight race in the Pure Stock division after leading the final 13 laps of the 30-lap main event. But Shafer Jr. was disqualified after check inspections and second-place finisher, Stocktonís Tom Dahl, grabbed the checkered flag for the first time this season.

Dahl joined Kannai Scantlen of Stockton as the only other drivers to win in the Pure Stock division besides Shafer Jr.

In a three-way battle for the lead, Sacramentoís Jason Philpot took his first lead on lap 22 and never looked back to win the Grand American Modifieds 30-lap main event. Citrus Heightsí Jay Linstroth, #10a, who had won the previous two races, led the first 20 laps before blowing his right-rear tire. Linstroth finished seventh in the 11-car field.

Riponís Mike Regelman, #66, won his second trophy dash of the season, and led two laps in the main event before finishing fourth. Sam Solari placed second and Joey Stearns finished third.

Saratogaís Carrie Miller, #27, made it a clean sweep of the three Pro 4 Trucks events, when she moved to the front of the pack on lap 16 and won her first main event this season. Miller, who had the fastest qualifying time and won the trophy dash, became the third winner in three main events.

Stockton 99 Speedway returns this Saturday with LAGORIO COMMUNICATIONS night featuring the BCRA Midgets, Western Late Models, Pure Stocks and Grand American Modifieds.

A Shift In Holiday Plans At Stockton 99!!
By Rick Brewer
Record Staff Writer
Published Sunday, May 25, 2003

By the time the 100-lap Tri-Holiday Classic was over Saturday, there was about as much sand on the quarter-mile oval track as on Waikiki Beach. The 100-lap main event for Western Late Models at Stockton 99 Speedway was simply a war of attrition.

Twenty-two cars started the marathon, but an hour and 20 minutes and 11 caution flags later, only nine were left running.

One of them belonged to points leader Eric Schmidt, #05, of Roseville, who battled the other drivers and a broken transmission to take the checkered flag. Schmidt had to drive with only his left hand, while holding the gear shift with his right for the last 50-plus laps.

"I attribute that to luck," he said. "A couple of years ago and I wouldn't have been able to finish the race."

On the last three restarts, the tranny problem forced Schmidt to take the outside position. Usually leaders choose the inside line, but Schmidt needed the extra wide circumference to steer. He still beat Dave Byrd, #9, of Monterey to the start-finish line each time, and held the appropriate line for the final 15 uninterrupted laps to win.

"I always say that to finish first, first you have to finish," Schmidt said. "Just staying out here was big."

Big also describes the performance of Carrie Miller, #27,  of Saratoga. She pulled off the track's version of a hat trick by winning the qualifying, trophy dash and main event of the Pro-4 Truck series.

"I didn't think the car was that fast, because our time was slower than two weeks ago," said Miller, 30, one of two female drivers in the division. "But everything worked out just fine."

After starting fourth of four cars in the four-lap trophy dash and figuring a way to win, Miller drew the fifth starting position for her 20-lap main. She dropped to sixth after the start, but began to build steam almost immediately. She was fourth by Lap 3 and third by Lap 7.

A re-start on Lap 8 allowed Miller to pull into second, where she battled points leader Bret Barney, #81, of Rohnert Park. Miller and Barney touched between turns 3 and 4 nine laps later, and Barney was shielded by Darryl Jahoda of Tracy while attempting to lap the slower car. Miller had a clear shot at the lead, and took it.

"I just held my line and got a little lucky," she said.

After losing an engine last week, Miller stood in sixth place in the division. She should move up two or three spots.

"Believe me, we check the internet for the standings every day," she said.

Jason Philpott, #5, of Sacramento won the Grand American Modified main event. On Lap 22, Philpott was in the second spot on a restart, when he maneuvered around Mike Regelman, #66, of Ripon. Regelman had driven well to grab the lead two laps earlier from fast qualifier and current series leader Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights, but sputtered out of the yellow and dropped to fourth within a lap.

Tom Dahl, #04, of Stockton was declared the winner of the Pure Stock main event after Gary Shafer Jr.'s, #96, car was deemed illegal. Shafer had already won qualifying and the trophy dash.

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