2006 99 Schedule
Ken Boyd Dominated Like No Other
By KELLY JONES
BEE STAFF WRITER
Last Updated: April 1, 2006, 08:49:01 AM PST
Ken Boyd had his eyes on the road, but his thoughts were on the track at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Boyd used the driving time from Ceres to Stockton to visualize what he'd do once he got behind the wheel of his race car.
The five-time Late Model track champion said it took considerable concentration to pull off the most dominating streak through 59 years of racing at Stockton 99.
Boyd set a NASCAR record with 39 consecutive fast times. Being the fastest was fun, but the longer he was known as "Mr. Quick," the more it became a distraction.
"Pretty soon, it got to be an obsession," Boyd said. "It was just expected of you. It became a lot of pressure on you."
Boyd's streak started on June 18, 1988. It came in the midst of his first championship season. He won four in a row and added a fifth in 1998.
Boyd said several drivers would come to him on race day and vow to snap his streak. He'd laugh and tell them to go do it. He hinted he might not show up one night, effectively snapping it himself.
Norman David of Modesto said he bet a couple guys he'd stop Boyd's streak one night. They insisted it couldn't be done, that Boyd would post more than 40 fast times. David said he came within hundredths of a second, but he ended up paying up.
"Kenny was one of those drivers you could race beside lap after lap and he'd give you room," David said. "Now, they'll put you in the wall."
Former track manager Whitey Rich said Boyd's streak ignited talk that he was cheating. People simply didn't believe anyone could be that fast without having an illegal advantage.
"You're always going to have that," Rich said. "If a guy dominates, he's cheating. I had a crack pit crew. We did all we could do and could never find anything on Kenny's car."
Rich said he advised one driver who wanted to protest to tell Rich what to look for.
"He said, 'What really makes me so damn mad is we don't know what he's doing,'" Rich recalled. "Kenny was a good driver. He had a good crew. He knew how to make his car work."
Boyd's streak ended April 15, 1990. Though he went on to win his third consecutive main event that night, Boyd said it was cold out and his car's set-up wasn't on target.
Frankly, it was a relief when it was over.
Ken Boyd pilots the car he drove to a
NASCAR-record 39 consecutive fast
qualifying times at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Somewhat fittingly, the man who qualified faster than Boyd was Manteca's Johnny Brazil, a four-time Hardtop champion who holds numerous track records for fast times and wins.
Boyd credited his crew, including wife Cindy and tuner Doug Foss, with preparing him well for racing. Boyd actually had trouble qualifying before Foss came to him at the end of the 1987 season and offered to help.
"Doug was a meticulous kind of guy," Boyd said. "Every detail, everything had to be perfect. That was really what started me on that streak."
Boyd is proud of the streak, winning four consecutive championships and joining his idol — Dan Reed of Riverbank — as the only drivers with five titles at the track.
But more than all that, Boyd said he's proud to know the people he's met throughout his career.
"We just had so much fun," Boyd said. "All the opportunities that came from racing, sponsors that became people I deal with today in business — racing has been really good to me."
Bee staff writer Kelly Jones can be reached at 578-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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