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99 Speedway 1946 ( before completion)


Billy Vukovich at Stockton 99 Speedway in 1947.

Stockton 99 Speedway, Early Race. Note the goal posts in the infield, St. Mary's High School played football there!!

Emotional win for Byrd at 99

Record Staff Writer
Published Sunday, Sep 10, 2006

STOCKTON - Dave Byrd won the race and jumped out of his car to accept his trophy. At that moment, the somber truth hit him.

After Saturday's program, there's just one more night of auto racing at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Byrd took the lead at the start of the 50-lap NASCAR Western Late Model main event and won the penultimate event at the 60-year-old track. The finale at Stockton 99 is on Sept. 16, and Byrd's eyes got a bit misty when he thought about the end of the speedway.


"It started to hit me that it's not going to be here anymore," Byrd said. "I thought it would always be here."

Byrd and the rest of the 21-car WLM field were aiming at getting one more win before the gates close for the last time. Byrd started on the first row next to pole sitter Ron Strmiska Sr. of Stockton and took the lead on the first lap on his way to his 48th win at Stockton 99. Byrd is a three-time champion at the track and is the WLM points leader at Altamont Motorsports Park this year.

"The thing is that the competition is so strong (at Stockton 99) and there's 10 guys at every race who have a chance to win," Byrd said. "It's always so tough out there."

While Byrd was rarely challenged for the lead, there was plenty of movement behind him as drivers jockeyed for position.

Strmiska finished second, and he battled Pete Anderson Jr. of Stockton and Guy Guibor for the spot until the end of the race. Anderson was third and Guibor was fourth.

"Just another night of Stockton 99 racing," Anderson Jr. said. "That's the way it goes out here. I don't complain about it, because I drive the same way."

Mark Henslee of French Camp won the final Pro-4 Truck race at Stockton 99, finishing his season of dominance. Henslee, the two-time division champion, won nine of the 15 races and has five clean sweeps in a row. He won the trophy dash and was the fast qualifier at 15.114 seconds.

Henslee, who clinched the title last week, spun 10 donuts on the front straightaway after the race.

"I'm thrilled to win the final race," Henslee said. "It's nice to go down in history."

Pete Anderson Sr. of Stockton won his third consecutive American Limited Stock Car main event and his fourth of the season. For the second week in a row, Anderson Sr. had to hold off a strong challenge from Chad Holman of Stockton. Holman, who was second, moved within seven points of clinching the ALSC season title.

"This is a nice way to close out the speedway, and we have one more left," Anderson Sr. said.

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281 or