2009 Local Tracks


99 Night At The Races Presented By Stockton 99 Speedway.  And Starring In Leading Roles: Philpott, Winters, Ahl and Dahl


Is Stock Car Racing an honorable sport? This is an age-old question with as many answers as there are those asking.  It might depend on what part of the country you’re from or what particular track you race at to be able to come to any kind of valid conclusion.  But, at Stockton 99 Speedway, there is still honor in our sport which is proven week in and week out on the quarter-mile, high-banked oval 99ers call home.  Saturday night, June 6th, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, ALSC/Street Stocks and the Bombers all made anyone with racing blood coursing through their veins very proud.


Coming off a caution-riddled weekend of racing, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Western Late Models returned to prove the previous week’s race was just “one of those racing deals.”  And boy did they hit the track absent of malice and resolute to put on a great show for the fans in the stands.  In the first of the twin-fifties, the #21 of Mark Holeman brought the field past the flag stand.  But it would be David Philpott (50) of Tracy grabbing the lead on lap 1 and pulling away to his second wire to wire victory on the year.  In the mean time, the budding rivalry between Points Leader Vito Ranuio (27) of Modesto and “Young Gun” Justin Philpott (05) of Tracy continued to blossom as they were glued nose to tail the entire race until on lap 49 Ranuio got into the back of the younger Philpott sending him up the hill between one and two and into the wall.  The race was finished with the checkered/yellow flying. 


Ranuio would lay quick claim to the point in the second fifty and would hold strong until on lap 17, the #14 of Katie Hager would tangle with the #27 coming off turn four sending both cars in a tandem spin down the grid causing the first yellow of the race to fall.  Consequently, that enabled the #50 of the elder Philpott to restart in that coveted number one slot where he took instant advantage and jumped out to a five car-length lead until lap 26 when Ranuio got into the rear bumper of Michael Wendt (2) of Lodi and shot him straight up the track between one and two and hard into the outside fence.  Because of such a precarious night, on lap 27 it was decided that the #27 car should take the rest of the night off and was sent to the pits.  On the restart Philpott took off to over a full straightaway lead and completed his sweep on the night by crossing the stripes at the head of the pack in winning his fourth of the season.  “I wrecked this car last week, I have to put all my heart to my father,” said the 49 year old Philpott, “He worked sixty, seventy hours to get this car ready for me.  Without him, this would not happen.  And Kyle Bush, you ain’t got nothin on me because I won on my birthday too!”  Hager would finish a close second with Holeman coming home third.


The Grand American Modifieds took to the asphalt with a tenacity as of yet this year, unseen.  After a week off, which apparently seemed to be good medicine for the drivers, everyone was ready to see these guys put the rubber to the road.  And, if you were in attendance to be disappointed, you wasted your Saturday night.  James Thompson (99) of Tracy and Larry Tankersley (96) of Stockton took the green from the front row.  Tankersley jumped to the front on lap 1 followed closely by the #17 of Points Leader Michael Ostrowski.  On lap 4 coming off turn two Tankersley and the #1 of Todd Lynch tangled attracting the first caution of the race.  Ostrowski would inherit the lead on the restart with Jason Philpot (15a) of Sacramento moving into a close second.  David Crouch (2) of Livermore would draw the second yellow of the race on lap 21 spinning out of turn four.  After the restart Philpot continued to pressure the #17 until on lap 33, coming out of two the #15a got into the back of Ostrowski sending them both spinning down the backstretch and collecting Scott Winters (24) of Tracy along the way to bring out the third caution of the evening.  Due to the melee, the #44A of Jeremy Jackson moved to the number one spot on the restart on lap 36 and held on until the competition yellow waved on lap 50.  On lap 52 Philpot would slide below Jackson to grab the top spot and pull out to what should have been a comfortable lead.  However, Winters steadily reeled him in as both moved out to a half lap lead over the rest of the field, and on lap 86 the #24 assumed the lead and cruised away to his fifth win of the year and second in a row.  One more yellow would mar the race on the night but it would be of no consequence to the leaders.  “After we got tangled something happened to our car.  We still had a decent car, but I don’t know if we had a car that could win,” said a smiling Winters, “So we decided to go to the pits and let the crew work on the car and it came out lightening fast.”  Philpot would finish second, Jackson would drift back to finish third, the 5a of Mike Regelman was fourth and Crouch finished an impressive fifth.


It was obvious the ALSC/Street Stock Division took notes from their last race which included a single caution period, and applied them to this week.  Apart from the two divisions merging earlier this season, the second biggest challenge of the year for them would be to make it through 99 laps of their hard-core style racing.  Pole sitter Zach Huffman (50) of French Camp and Chad Holman (75) of Valley Springs brought the ten car field to the green.  Holman jumped out to an early lead only to be slowed on lap 2 as Huffman spun between turns one and two bringing out the first caution of the night.  The second yellow would fall on lap 6 as Holman cut down a tire after a brief skirmish down the backstretch with Pete Anderson Sr (85) of Stockton.  On the lap 9 restart Points Leader Jeff Ahl (31) of Lodi darted out to a very comfortable lead   until the competition yellow fell two laps early on lap 48.  The restart of the second half would begin pretty much as the first half ended with Ahl leading the way and jumping out into an insurmountable lead.  The night would belong to the #31 car as it crossed the checkers in first well ahead of second place finisher Anderson Sr.  “Once I got out in front I just tried to keep it smooth,” exclaimed an excited Ahl, “I needed to hit my marks lap after lap and my spotter was telling me where the other cars were so I knew what I needed to do .”  The top two cars were the only ones left on the lead lap at evening’s end.  Aaron Coonfield (25) of Riverbank would finish the night out in third while Richard Harper (5) of Stockton and Holman rounded out the top five.


The Bombers returned to action after a week off for their ninth race of the season.  Russell Johnson Jr was out to prove a major point to himself as well as everyone else.  His point: Ben Lewis is mortal.  Unfortunately for Johnson he wouldn’t be the one to prove the point.  Instead, Tom Dahl (4x) of Stockton started outside front row next to the #4 of Jim Lay.  Dahl would grab the lead on lap 1, and although Lewis would make his way to second, he never really challenged for the lead as Dahl went wire to wire to capture his first Bomber win of the year.  “I knew the car was smoking in the later laps,” said an exhausted, but happy Dahl, “I was hoping the laps would count down real fast so we could get it over with.”  Lewis would hold on to finish a strong second and the only other car on the lead lap.  The #88R of Steve Grant finished third while Ed Bryden in his #52 machine was fourth and Johnson came home a distant fifth.

Next Saturday, June 13th the NASCAR Whelen All-American Western Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, ALSC/Street Stocks, Bombers and Mini-Stocks/Mini-Trucks are on the card for plenty of racing action at Stockton 99 Speedway.

The New Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, ¼-mile west of Highway 99. For more information on tickets and times, please contact the Speedway Office at (209)466-9999.   And remember, The New Stockton 99 Speedway is always Family Friendly.


99 Night at the Races was sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, California Welding Supply, Budweiser, and Alamo Alarm.


Philpott doubles in WLM mains

Quite a birthday present

By Scott Linesburgh

Record Staff Writer

June 07, 2009 6:00 AM

STOCKTON - Dave Philpott, #50, didn't need a big party to celebrate turning 49 years old. Two wins in the same day was more than enough to guarantee he had a happy birthday.

Philpott won both NASCAR Western Late Model main events at Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday, leading from the opening lap of the first race and taking advantage of an opportunity to win the second.

The results and points standings for the WLM division were unofficial at press time because of a scoring issue involving Philpott's son, Justin, who came into the evening in second place in the standings.

Because of mechanical problems with his car, Justin Philpott switched to the car of his brother, Matt, for the second race, and officials plan to check the rules to find out which driver earned the points for the fourth-place finish. Justin was fifth in the first race on double-points night at the track.

Philpott won the first race under a yellow-checkered flag on lap 49 because of an accident. The second win was tougher.

Points leader Vito Ranuio of Stockton was leading on lap 16 of the 50-lap race when he and Katie Hagar tangled, allowing Philpott to take the lead.

"I knew I'd catch up to them, and I knew they would mix it up," Philpott said. "That's what happens here."

Hagar finished second to Philpott in both races. Ranuio was ejected late in the second race for rough driving and was fourth in the first event.

Scott Winters won his sixth Grand American Modified main event by passing Jason Philpot of Sacramento on lap 86.

Early in the race, Philpot, Winters and Mike Ostrowski were involved in a skirmish at the front of the pack, but Winters and Philpot recovered and finished in the top two.

Philpot set a track record with a qualifying lap of 13.734 seconds.

In the Street Stock main event, Jeff Ahl of Lodi took the lead on the sixth lap and cruised to a victory.

In the Bombers main event, Tom Dahl took the lead on the first lap and led all the way. Ben Lewis II was second, snapping his six-race winning streak.

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

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