STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY: 1946-2006
While Speedway track is demolished,
memories live on
Record Staff Writer
January 14, 2007 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - Earl Summers, at the controls of the backhoe,
is sad that he'll never again watch a race at the track
his father helped build.
he's takes some solace in the fact that he will always
have Stockton 99 Speedway in his heart and in his trophy
Summers recently helped in the demolition of the old
track by cutting deep holes through the asphalt, and he
took a few chunks of the track with him.
give some to friends, but I'm going to mount a big piece
of the track on a plaque and put it in my trophy room,"
said Summers, a Stockton resident. "The plaque will say
'1946-2006, 60 years of Stockton history.' It will give
me something to look at and remember."
Stockton 99 officially closed on a warm night in
September in front of a crown of more than 5,000 fans.
The property is in the process of being sold to land
developers, and the track is slowly being dismantled
through the winter months, with many pieces being sold
to Altamont Motorsports Park and other race tracks.
Bleachers, stadium lights, concessions stands and even
restrooms from Stockton 99 will be scattered around
Northern California at places such as Altamont Raceway
Park, Madera Speedway, All-American Raceway in Roseville
and Thunder Hill in Williams.
"Stockton was such a grand old track and so important to
racing in this area, so I think it's fitting that it
lives on in some ways, said Kenny Shepherd, who promotes
races at Altamont and Madera.
Shepherd said he expected to have all the equipment
removed from the track by Feb. 15.
Summers, 66, is happy that parts of Stockton 99 will be
put to use, but he's sure going to miss the whole
package. His father, Max Summers, worked for Tom Moore,
who was one of the original partners in the track along
with Billy Hunefeld. Construction on the track began in
1946, and Max got on a bulldozer and helped clear the
way. He brought his family, including 6-year-old Earl,
to opening day on May 27, 1947.
Summers would later become a racer and an official who
was on duty when the track closed on Sept. 16. His last
official act happened a few weeks ago when he was asked
by track owner Bob Hunefeld to use a backhoe to put the
ditches in the track and stop potential joy riders.
just always been a part of my life since I was a child,"
tough to say goodbye to that. There's a lot of history
being taken away. So it was tough to do."
been a tough winter for many who loved the track. Chris
Hunefeld, Bob Hunefeld's son, said he thought it would
too emotional to watch the work crews come in and take
apart Stockton 99.
Patnaude, the last track manager, figures he should be
working on next season's schedules.
leaves an empty feeling inside of you," Patnaude said.
"You feel there are all sorts of things you should be
doing, but know you don't have to do them anymore."
Houston, 72, a track official who came to Stockton 99 in
1957, was with Summers when he chopped up the track and
grabbed a few pieces for himself.
is sad, but if it has to come apart, it's better if
someone like Earl to be involved," Houston said.
Summers, it was therapeutic, and in the end left him
with positive thoughts.
just remember the good times; I don't remember the bad
times," Summers said. "I had bad moments, wrecks and
such. I just chose not to remember them."
Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281 or
Thanks to the Record for the story and photos.