Drivers docked after bumpy rides

Record Staff Writer
Published Monday, May 15, 2006

STOCKTON - The Western Late Model drivers delivered another crash-marred main event at Stockton 99 Speedway.

But track officials answered the rough driving with some stiff penalties against a few of the division's premiere drivers.

Mark Holman, #15, of Los Altos won the third round of the Hotwood 1,000 on Saturday night. After his victory, chief official John Weimer announced the #90, Ron Strmiska of Manteca, Pete Anderson, #5,  of Stockton and Eric Humphries, #32, of Chowchilla were docked points and put on probation for actions during and after the race.
Anderson and Strmiska were unhappy with the penalties, but Weimer said it's part of the officials' tougher attitude.

"We told these guys we're going to crack down on the rough driving," Weimer said. "We've been losing cars, and it has to stop."

Just 10 of the 17 cars finished the race. Strmiska and Humphries were penalized 10 points each, and Anderson lost five points. They all received four weeks of probation.

Humphries and Strmiska got into a skirmish while battling for the lead on lap 60. Humphries was leading, but he spun out after Strmiska bumped him. Strmiska was sent to the back of the field and finished third, but Humphries, who was fifth, bumped his car after the race. Strmiska retaliated and the drivers had heated words.

Humphries said he accepted the penalty, but Strmiska argued that he was just defending his property.

"I don't agree with (the decision)," Strmiska said. "He came and ran into my car. I didn't stick him into the wall, I just let him know I wouldn't put up with it."

Anderson, who finished second, was irate when he heard about his penalty. Anderson hit Dave Byrd's car in turn No. 4 on lap 35, and Byrd's spinout led to a five-car crash. Anderson was sent to the back and found out the penalty was much stiffer than originally anticipated.

"I think it's truly wrong," Anderson said. "It was typical Saturday night short-track racing. I got into Dave and paid the penalty, I went to the back. This is too much for a first offense."

Updated official points standings weren't available Sunday.

Holman, 20, picked up his first Stockton 99 win. John Moore, #27, of Granite Bay had the lead on the restart after Humphries' spin, but Holman grabbed the lead on lap 63 and never trailed again.

"I avoided a few crashes and was able to get the lead," Holman said. "This is very exciting for me."

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

The Stockton 99 Speedway is located just off Highway 99 at 4105 North Wilson Way. If you are traveling south on Highway 99 take the Wilson Way exit. If you are heading north on Highway 99 take the Cherokee Road exit, loop over the freeway, turn right onto Newton Road and then turn left on Wilson Way.

Stockton 99 Speedway Info/Race Line (209) 466-9999.

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