Hernandez seeks thrill of victory

Record Staff Writer
Published Saturday, Jun 10, 2006

Peter Hernandez wants to win a race, but he realizes that one victory doesn't make for a championship season.

So Hernandez is content to be winless while sitting in second place in two different divisions when racing resumes at 6 p.m. today at Stockton 99 Speedway. He trails Pete Anderson of Stockton in the NASCAR Western Late Model regular season and Hotwood 1,000 series.

"We want that win, but we're looking at the big picture," Hernandez said. "I've always said that a win feels good for a weekend, but a championship lasts forever."

Hernandez, 36, came from Chicago as part of the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program. He replaced Allison Duncan as the driver for McAnally Racing, and has done well enough in his first season at Stockton to stay close Anderson, the steady and consistent defending champion.

"I look at all the talented veterans they have at the track, and we feel pretty good about where we are," Hernandez said. "Pete Anderson is very good and he's leading, and there are a lot of other good drivers out there. It's so competitive, so we're happy we've been able to hang in there."

Hernandez knows he doesn't need wins to compete for titles. Hernandez won the Mid-American Stock Car Series in 2004 without winning a main event. He finished in the top five 14 times in the 18-race series which ran at tracks in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"That's what it takes," Hernandez said. "We figure that if we can stay in the top five or seven in the main events, we'll be there at the end. But this is going to be a very long and tough season."

Anderson leads Hernandez 306-282 in the Hotwood series, and Eric Humphries of Chowchilla is third at 280.

Anderson has a 364-347 edge over Hernandez in the WLM standings, and Guy Guibor of Manteca has 344.

The WLM drivers will be dealing with a few changes in the rulebook today. Track promoter Ken Clapp announced he was changing the track's tire rule and adjusting some of the specifications involving carburetors and shock absorbers.

Drivers have been required to buy their tires at the track and the tires were left in an impound section during the week. Those rules have been abolished.

"We've loosened some of the rules, hoping to make it easier on the drivers," Clapp said. "We want to get our car counts higher, and we hope this helps."

Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy has made the same changes for its WLM division. Last weekend, Stockton 99 drew 12 WLM cars, and Altamont had 15.

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281 or slinesbu@recordnet.com

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