2006 99 Schedule

Stockton 99 Memories
From the Modesto Bee April 2, 2006

"I won the last 150-lap race in a Chrysler Corporation kit car. It came in a box on a UPS truck. It had everything but the paint and tires. We put it together and went to the track and raced it. Ernie Irvan was in that race. He was another Ivan Baldwin disciple. We hung around a lot at Ivan's shop."

-- Modesto's Ron Lyon, 1982 Late Model Sportsman champion

"I never went to the race track with the same set-up in my car. Not once. Except we had the same roll-coupling. Some nights I'd run the trophy dash, then pack and up and go home because I didn't like what we put in it. It was fast, but I didn't like it."

-- Modesto's Norman David, Stockton 99 driver

"My best memory in seven years of coverage at Stockton 99 Speedway would probably be Oct. 1, 1995: the night that Harry Belletto lost his nickname. Belletto, of Modesto, was in a heated race with Tracy's David Philpott and after a full season, only 15 points -- just under three places on the track -- separated the two heading into the final race. Belletto had the nickname of 'Hard Luck' Harry after 26 years of close calls at Stockton -- but not titles. In the last nine years, he'd finished in the top four every season. And in the finale, he took third, while Philpott was sixth, to seal his first title. Normally a gregarious man with an easy word for everyone, Belletto was pensive after the race -- you could tell how much a championship meant to him. He quashed the rumors of retirement that night, too. 'As long as I keep winning, I'll keep racing,' he said. 'What am I gonna do instead? Sit in a rocking chair?'"

-- Will DeBoard, Bee staff writer

"Ron Strmiska Jr. had problems qualifying for the Southwest race (in 2002). He ended up in the semi-main. They got the problem solved and he won it. I thought to myself, 'That's nice he made the tour race. There's 22 cars. If he doesn't get in trouble and uses his head, he could be in the top 10 or 15.' He was just the class of the whole night. He was so smart about that racetrack. He knew it better than those tour guys. I was watching his lines. He was at the halfway point and I'm thinking he's got a shot at winning the whole thing. To me that was the greatest win of his career and one of the greatest all-time races at Stockton 99."

-- Ken Clapp, Stockton 99 co-owner

"I remember going up there as a kid and watching my dad race. My first SRL win there. Winning the Grand National West race -- that's when the lights went out. That's one of the weirder things to happen to me in that race car."

-- Modesto's Mike David, Grand National West driver

"I did my share of work on cars. A lot of things I passed on to other people. I'm proud of (the winning). It's a pretty good accomplishment."

-- Riverbank's Dan Reed, five-time champion

"You knew you were getting better when the straightaways got longer. You had more time to think. The corners were really important. I just wanted to get around there the fastest way I could. They were two very different corners so you drove them different. You use more brake in turns 1-2 and go up on the track in 3-4."

-- Ron Lyon

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