Stockton 99 promoter meeting with drivers today about rules changes

Record Staff Writer
Published Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006

Ken Clapp decided to change some of the rules at Stockton 99 Speedway in an attempt to draw more NASCAR Western Late Model cars.

But those changes haven't been popular with several drivers, and some of them will get a chance to plead their case about everything from carburetor size to tires.

Clapp, the track's promoter, announced he is holding a discussion with a select group of drivers and car owners today. The group includes drivers Pete Anderson Jr. of Stockton, Dave Philpott of Tracy, Harry Belletto of Modesto, Ron Strmiska Jr. of Manteca and Sam Solari of Salida, as well as Dave Byrd's car owner, Ray Miller.

The main issues are new rules that allow cars with bigger carburetors to compete in the division and the decision to remove the tire impound rule, allowing drivers to bring tires home between races. Those changes represent a return to rules that were used last season.

Anderson said drivers are upset because they were not originally consulted about the changes, and those who have been loyal to the track all season have to spend money to keep up.

"It just boils down to us paying more money to draw more cars when we've been faithful all year," Anderson said. "And they never made one phone call to ask any of us what we think about it."

Clapp said he did discuss the situation with some car owners and race officials in the area, and he defended the moves. He said the bigger carburetor will not make much of a difference at the small quarter-mile track, and that there are several cars in Northern California that run the larger carburetor and might come to Stockton if it were legal here. His primary concern is the size of the WLM field. Although there were 20 cars at Stockton 99 on Saturday, a 50-lap race on June 3 drew just 12 cars.

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