STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY POST SEASON HONORS ANNOUNCED
(MODESTO, CA -November 7, 1998)--Almost as if it were an instant replay of the 1998 racing season, there was a modicum of controversy as the Stockton 99 Speedway post-season awards were handed out Saturday night at The DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto. A gathering of nearly 400 drivers, pit crew members, sponsors and supporters saw Ceres' Ken Boyd recognized as the venerable Speedway's Late Model Sportsman champion for a fifth time. While Boyd's achievement was greeted with enthusiasm; there was mixed reaction when Jason Fensler of Wilton was announced as the Grand American Modified NASCAR-sanctioned Winston Racing Series winner. Fensler won the championship on the final night of the racing season when season long point leader Mark Welch ran elsewhere. Interestingly, neither Fensler nor Welch were in attendance as Fensler was competing in an event in Las Vegas; while Welch was in Nashville, Tennessee, representing Stockton 99 at the NASCAR Region Champions' Awards Dinner.
In addition, two other champions--Cary Treadway (Street Stock) and Joe Allen (Pure Stock)--were recognized for their efforts. The festivities also included the announcements of "most improved" and "rookie of the years' designations in each racing division.
Boyd's Late Model championship marks a return to the winner's circle- since winning four straight titles 1988-thru-'91. His '98 title did not come easily, as runner up John Gaalswyk of Ripon still had a shot at the 44-year old Ceres' driver going into the final "double point'' Taco Bell 100 the first weekend in October. Overall, in 15 races, Boyd posted eight fast times, won two trophy dashes and collected three feature triumphs while in finishing in the top-five 11 times and l3 times in the top-10.
Gaalswyk, who finished second in the point standings, was honored as the division's '`most improved'' driver after posting two fast times' winning three dashes and collecting one feature triumph. In 15 races' the 33-year old had 11 top-five finishes and 13 in the top-10. Late Model ''rookie of the years' honors went to John Wood, who finished fourth in the final point standings. The 36-year old Walnut Creek driver registered two top-five and six: top-l0 finishes in 14 events. He also set a track record for running, five different car numbers-41x, 41, 97. 98 and 99--during the season.
In winning the premier division Grand American Modified championship, Fensler passed the absent Welch on the season's final night. Overall, the 23-year old Wilton driver was fast qualifier 10 times resulting in three dash wins and seven feature triumphs. It was almost all or nothing for Fensler. In 25 races, he finished in the top-five 18 times with only one more (19) in the top-10. Welch, in winning the region title, had four fast times, seven dash wins and 13 main victories. In 24 starts, the GAM track Record holder had 20 top-five and top-10 efforts.
Another Jason--Philpot of Sacramento--was named ''most improved" Grand Am driver. The 22 -year old college student was 10th in the 1997 point standings and jumped to sixth in '98.
In 25 races, Philpot had three dash wins, seven top-five finishes and 16 top-10 efforts. After stepping up from Street Stocks to Grand Am's and starting the season at Madera, Teresa Morten of Manteca returned to Stockton 99 at mid-season and earned ''Rookie of the year" honors. In 13- 99 Speedway starts, Morten posted one top-five and seven top-10 efforts while finishing 18th in the point standings.
Stockton's Cary Treadway left little doubt who had the fastest car in the Street Stock championship race. In 22 events, the 35-year old was fast qualifier 15 times. He was able to parlay those fast times into five dash wins and three feature triumphs as well as 16 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Dan Dabbs of North Highlands led the Street Stock point chase for most of the season, but, succumbed to Treadway on Labor Day weekend.
Another Stockton pilot, Jason Beltrarna' was recognized as "most improved" in the Street Stock division. The 20-year old second generation driver turned in an impressive performance--in 13 races, he was fast qualifier twice, won two dashes and registered four main event triumphs en route to an eighth place finish in the point race.
Fifth place on the Street Stock ladder earned "rookie or the year" honors for Lodi's Scott Chappell. In his first full season, the 32-year old posted a single main event win, seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 22 races.
Stockton's Joe Allen was crowned champion in the Charterway Auto Recycler Pure
Stock division. With three fast times, three dash wins and two feature victories, Allen bested
1997 champion Doug Lane of Stockton. The third year division flourished with 33 or more cars competing regularly including several drivers who were making the transition from the dirt at
Delta Speedway. Two of those--Angelo Queirolo of Lathrop and Guy Guibor of Manteca--were recognized: Queirolo for setting a new track record qualifying speed and Guiber as the division's top first year driver. In 21 events, Guibor recorded six fast times, three dash wins and a like number of main event victories. All in all, the qualifying record for the Pure Stocks was broken five times--first by Allen, then twice by Guibor and finally in back-to-back weeks by Queirolo culminating with a time of 17.264 on October 3. Also receiving recognition in the Pure Stocks was Adam Ramsdell of San Jose as ''most improved." The teenager (18 in September) posted a single fast time, won a dash and two main events and jumped from 17th in the 1997 point standings to 11th this past season.
The final post season accolade, "Sportsman of the Year", went to Allen Butler--tow truck operator for Wilson Way Tow. Butler was honored for his tireless support when racers run into trouble. In recognizing Butler, track manager Duane Borovec said: 'Time and time again in our post race meetings, one or more official would say 'Damn, we'd be lost out there if it weren't for that guy from Wilson Way Tow." That's what makes a sportsman of the year."
Stockton 99 Speedway will wrap-up its 1998 season this coming Saturday with a 250-lap Enduro and Roll-Over contest sponsored by Charterway Auto Recyclers.
A field of more than 30 cars is expected to vie for the $1,000 first place money in the Fifth Annual event which features 125 laps in one direction on the track's quarter-mile paved oval; then another 125 laps in the opposite direction.
The Enduro will be followed a roll-over competition with $500 going to the driver that rolls the most times.
Ticket gates for the Enduro will open at S:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults, four for children six-to-12 and seniors over 65 with a "family" ticket--two adults and two children--for $25.
Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, a quarter-mile west of Highway 99.