Grand American Modified win is icing on the cake for Regelman
Ripon resident celebrates No. 23 in winning fashion


STOCKTON — Ripon's Mike Regelman celebrated his best birthday "by far" at Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday.

Though he's raced at Stockton since his teens, Regelman, 23, won his first main event, holding off Grand American Modified points leader Jay Linstroth in a 50-lap race.

"I can't believe it still," Regelman said. "I just tried to be smooth. I had my spotters, Sam Solari and my dad Rick, saying 'Don't be dumb. Just use your head.' I did it."

Regelman was part of a trend at the track, as three of the four main event winners took the checkered flag for the first time this season, on double-points night no less.

Matt Erickson of Ceres won the American Limited Stock Car 50-lapper and defending champ Pete Anderson Jr. of Stockton, (right), won the Western Late Model 50.

Lathrop's Mark Henslee won his third Pro 4 Truck race with 1,329 in the stands.

Regelman said he was anxious for the Grand Am race to be over, especially with Linstroth on his tail or threatening to pull even. Add the lapped traffic he had to weave through, and Regelman pulled out a very satisfying victory.

"I wished it was only an eighth-mile track," Regelman said with a smile.

Erickson has had a lot to smile about, too. He won at Altamont Motorsports Park last Sunday and was hoping for his third win in seven days there today.He survived a crash-marred race at Stockton on Saturday, including one he caused with two laps remaining.

Erickson said he didn't see Escalon's Darrell Hughes trying to pass him low and cut him off inadvertently coming out of turn 2.

"I did it to him a couple weeks ago, pinched him off like that," Hughes said. "He didn't mean to do it. I lost my brakes after he put me in the wall on the backstretch so I didn't have brakes the last 15 laps."

Hughes entered the night in the points lead, but knew finishing sixth on Saturday would hurt him. The gap closed, but Hughes stayed ahead of #1, Stockton's Joe Allen in the standings.

Erickson inherited the lead in lap 38 when Allen was forced into the infield with car problems. Erickson said his strategy was to follow Allen and make a late move to pass him. That wasn't necessary, but with eight caution flags, he still had to work for the win.

"It felt like it was a 100-lap race," Erickson said. "Luckily we didn't do too much damage to the car. We're going to go out to Altamont (today) and hopefully win again."

Being back in Victory Lane felt good to Anderson. He posted the Western Late Model fast time and led the 50-lap race from start to finish. Manteca's #90, Ron Strmiska Jr. finished second, followed by #20, Chicago's Pete Hernandez.

Anderson took over the points lead from Pacific Grove's Dave Byrd, who was not at the track Saturday. Byrd, who led 264-260 entering the night, races for Miller Motorsports. According to track officials, car owner Ray Miller had an issue with the tire rules and decided not to race Saturday.

Miller Motorsports driver Mark Holeman of Los Altos has won the last two Hot Wood 100 races at Stockton, with another set for next Saturday.

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