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July 01, 2006

Mantecan finally wins in Stockton
Guibor gets first 99 victory; Hunt pulls off the double


By KELLY JONES
BEE STAFF WRITER

Last Updated: July 9, 2006, 06:36:52 AM PDT

STOCKTON Saturday was a good time for Manteca's Guy Guibor to earn his first win of the season.

It was, in fact, the first time Guibor had won any race in three years at Stockton 99 Speedway. He was more excited about that than taking over the Western Late Model points lead.

"I can't believe I finally won," said Guibor, who earlier in the night posted his second fast time of the year. "I owe it to the crew. We all hung together and finally got one."

Tony Hunt got two. The Lincoln driver won the United States Auto Club Western Sprint Car 50-lap main and the USAC/Bay Cities Racing Association 30-lap midget race in the last open-wheel event ever at Stockton.

"I always wanted to do the double," Hunt said. "I don't think anyone has done the double, winning sprint and midget races on the West Coast, especially here at Stockton. There's a lot of memories here and my heart is here. What a way to wrap up the Stockton Speedway tradition."

Pro 4 Trucks leader Mark Henslee of Lathrop won his division race to start the night in front of 2,460 fans.

The American Limited Stock Car race started after press time.

Guibor became the eighth Western Late Model winner this season. He worked for the victory, holding off Pacific Grove's Dave Byrd through two caution flags after taking the lead in lap 12 of the 50-lapper.

The early departure of Stockton's Pete Anderson Jr. helped Guibor. Anderson got squeezed off the track and onto the backstretch wall in lap 10.

Salida's Sammy Solari was in the middle between Anderson on the outside and Guibor on the inside, all chasing Byrd. Solari said he was trying to right himself after Guibor tapped him in turn 2, and ended up with nowhere to go.

"(Guy) initially got me sideways and (Anderson) tried to run over me," Solari said. "The guy who had the points lead got it the worst, but he caused it the worst. I'm friends with them all. We'll talk about it."

Solari, who is not in the track championship race, said it was the kind of racing incident that happens with drivers racing aggressively for points.

Anderson was busy helping his father prepare for the American Limited Stock Car race after the WLM main.

Guibor said he liked racing with Anderson and Solari, but had his hands full with Byrd. He got to breathe a little easier the final nine laps when Byrd got pushed into the wall on the front stretch, making contact with Stockton's Danny Contessotto and Chowchilla's Eric Humphries. The collision slowed but didn't stop Byrd, who finished fourth behind Los Altos driver Mark Holeman.

Manteca's Ron Strmiska Jr. finished second to Guibor and moved up a spot in the standings to second, trailing Guibor 522-515. Humphries finished fifth and moved to third in the standings with 500 points while Anderson dropped to fourth.

"We're not looking too much at points right now," Guibor said. "We just want to win races."

Someone who doesn't have a problem winning or leading the points race is Hunt. He swept the United States Auto Club Western Sprints races at Stockton this year, winning his second 50-lap main event at the track this year and third overall.

It was a big week for Hunt, who was celebrating his one-week wedding anniversary. He wed longtime girlfriend Philippa in Montreal last Saturday, then won at Madera Speedway on Tuesday.

"The car was just great," Hunt said after the sprint race. "The guys really paid attention to detail. We put our heads down and focused on what our goal is this year. We hope to win another title."

Hunt, a four-time USAC champion, inherited the lead in the caution-filled midget race from Bakersfield's Shannon McQueen with three laps to go. He had been tailing her for six laps, and said he couldn't help but hit her when she hit her brakes.

"She hit a big brake check and I had nowhere to go," Hunt said. "I hated to do that because that's not the way I race."

CLAPP HONORED After the sprint race, Tommy Hunt, USAC vice president of Western Operations, surprised Stockton 99 co-owner Ken Clapp with a plaque in appreciation of his longtime support of open wheel racing.

Bee staff writer Kelly Jones can be reached at 578-2300 or kjones@modbee.com.

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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