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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!!

Bellettos drive off with a victory

Record Staff Writer
Published Sunday, Sep 17, 2006


An official steps onto the track during a yellow flag on the last night of racing at the Stockton 99 Raceway in Stockton on Saturday.

Credit: Victor J. Blue/ The Record

STOCKTON - Steve Belletto made certain his family left Stockton 99 Speedway with at least one more good memory.

He started on the pole and never lost the lead in the StockCar Racing League's Wild West Shootout event during the final night of racing at Stockton 99, earning another victory for one of the most successful racing families in track history.

Belletto joyously did doughnuts in his car and then saluted the standing-room-only crowd of more than 5,000 that packed the 60-year-old track on the final night. While Belletto celebrated, his father, Harry, stood in the pit area and smiled.

"This was good to see," Harry said. "I'm very proud of him."


Steve, 41, has won two track titles and beat his younger brother, Jeff, off the starting line to set up his win. Harry was competing in the NASCAR Western Late Model race that was not completed at press time, and Steve said the family was determined to pick up a win.

"We got one of them," Steve said. "This was great. I'm extremely happy. I've never seen a crowd like this."

He said he worked the past three weeks to get his car ready for the final race, and he quickly took control of the race.

Several drivers chased him, but an accident on lap 72 of the 100-lap event took out three contenders.

Dave Byrd of Pacific Grove, Ken Boyd of Ceres and Eric Holmes of Escalon were running in the top four when they collided.

"It was very disappointing," said Byrd, who also planned to compete in the WLM event. "I really thought we had Steve's number because he was having trouble in (turns) one and two. I thought we had a great chance."


Fans line up to enter the track to see the final races. A crowd of more than 5,000 was in attendance

Credit: Victor J. Blue/ The Record

Eric Schmidt finished second and Jim Courage Jr. was third.

Chad Holman of Stockton found the best way possible to celebrate his American Limited Stock Car title.

Holman won another tight battle with Pete Anderson Sr. of Stockton and earned his fifth victory of the season. Holman clinched the last ALSC title in track history by finishing second in qualifying, but the celebration didn't begin until he took the checkered flag.

Holman crossed the finish line and did several doughnuts on the front straightaway, creating a huge white cloud of smoke. He then jumped out of the car and climbed on the hood to accept a standing ovation, and later happily stood still while his crew soaked him with champagne.

"This is something that I've dreamed of for so long, and it's just amazing," Holman said. "To win the final race at this track and to finally win the title is just awesome."

Holman once again found himself matched up against Anderson, who was hoping to finish off his run at the track with his fourth consecutive win. Holman had finished second to Anderson in the two previous races, and both were tight battles.

"You know it's going to be tough against Pete," Holman said.

Anderson had the lead much of the race, but Holman finally passed him on lap 23 of the 30-lap, double-points event.

"Anything Chad gets, he deserves," Anderson said. "Chad is a heck of a racer. He drives really clean, and he deserves the championship."

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281