2005 "99" Schedule
Home track may give racers edge
By Scott Linesburgh
Record Staff Writer
Published Friday, April 29, 2005
STOCKTON -- Burney Lamar, (pictured to the right) and Mike David are coming back to Stockton 99 Speedway, and both are happy to be home.
David is returning to the track where he learned how to race and won his first NASCAR Grand National West main event. Lamar arrives in Stockton as the young phenom who is atop the Southwest Series points standing and was the surprise winner of last week's Grand National race.
Both hope racing on their home track is an advantage.
The Grand National West and Southwest Series come to town on Saturday for an elite doubleheader of racing. The American Limited Stock Cars will also compete. Racing begins at 6 p.m.
David and Lamar said they both have an edge because of their experience in Stockton. The question is how much of an advantage it is.
"I think it will help," Lamar said. "Part of it is motivation, because you want to win on your home track. Plus you are comfortable here."
David agreed, to a point.
"I think there's a little advantage, but there are so many talented teams at this level that they catch up fast," David said.
"They have tested here, and they figure it out pretty fast. They are so professional. But I will say I've always been comfortable here."
David, #2, grew up in Modesto, and his father, Norman, raced at Stockton 99 for years. Mike David has 10 career wins at the track, including last year's Grand National West victory.
"That was thrilling for me, it was great," David said. "It was a very rewarding experience."
Stockton 99 is a unique challenge to the Grand National West drivers. It's a thin, quarter-mile track -- known as bull ring racing -- and the smallest track on the series.
"It's definitely a track that tests your skills as a driver," David said. "Pure horsepower won't win it, in fact too much horsepower could hurt you."
Among those trying to stop David's quest for a second consecutive win at Stockton is 2004 Grand National West champion Mike Duncan.
Duncan has finished second in three of the last four races. David won't have to deal with Lamar, who has run both races on a single night at Bakersfield but won't do it in Stockton.
Lamar won last week in Avondale, Ariz. in just his second Grand National West start. He didn't predict a victory, but he expected to do well.
"We were hoping we could run in the top three, we knew we had a good car," Lamar said. "And when we won it, well, it just felt like an out-of-body experience. That's the only way to describe it."
Lamar, 24, started racing at Stockton 99 at age 16. The West Sacramento native recently moved to Kernersville, N.C., and is racing for a team owned by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kevin Harvick. He has one win in Stockton.
"But I've always done well there and I'm looking forward to coming back," Lamar said. "It'll be a fun challenge."
Lamar isn't the only Southwest Series driver with experience at Stockton 99. Jim Pettit, #03, of Prunedale has been to the track several times and has a Southwest Series win.
"I have had a lot of success at Stockton over the years," Pettit said. "It's a special place to race."
Auggie Vidovich, left, #11, has never been a Stockton 99 regular, but he comes into Saturday's race as the Series' hottest driver. The 2003 Southwest Series champion led all 150 laps during his win in Bakersfield two weeks ago.
To reach reporter Scott Linesburgh, phone (209) 546-8281 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
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