2003 99 Schedule

By Floyd Busby


STOCKTON, CA, MARCH 30: J.J. Yeley took control on the fifth lap and never looked back as he commanded the main event before a near-capacity crowd at the Stockton "99" Speedway's "Havoline Cavalcade of Motor Racing" season-opener. The second-fastest qualifier in the co-sanctioned USAC National/Bay Cities Racing Association event, drove the Steve Lewis Ed Pink Ford Beast to the 40-lap victory. Yeley started fifth on the grid as Teddy Beach charged into the initial lead from the pole with outside front row starter Marc DeBeaumont holding second over Bud Kaeding and Jay Drake.

Following a caution flag on the second lap for a spinning John Sarale, Kaeding spun the TST Motorsports Esslinger/Beast exiting the fourth turn on the restart, placing him to the rear of the field. Yeley now held fourth and challenged for position, passing Drake, then DeBeaumont to hold second at the completion of the third circuit.

On the fifth lap leader Beach spun the Beach Boys Motorsports Mopar/Beast into the turn-two infield, relinquishing the lead to Yeley. Bobby East had the second Lewis machine up to fourth with Richey Jacobs moving into fifth over, #69, A.J. Fike and Tom Hessert. Three more caution flags were unfurled over the next several laps. Danny Ebberts spun the Schlachter Pink Ford/Beast while riding ninth on the sixth round. Three laps later a turn-two tangle between Ebberts, Floyd Alvis and Jim Silva brought out the caution. On the tenth circuit second-place, #11,  DeBeaumont spun his DW Motorsports Pink Ford/Stealth in turn-four. From that point the race ran 14 non-caution laps with second-place East and third-running Drake unable to seriously challenge Yeley. At the halfway point Yeley led East, Drake, with Jacobs up to fourth, followed by Fike, Hessert and Tracy Hines. Ryan Durst brought out the yellow on the 28th lap with a spin in the third turn. On the 38th circuit Wally Pankratz and Durst were collected in the third turn when Sarale's Gaerte/Beast developed a water hose connection leak with all three cars tangling to a stop. At the green, with three laps remaining, Yeley's control of the race continued and at the checkered flag he led East and Drake, with Kaeding making a strong comeback to capture fourth over Fike, Hines, Hessert, DeBeaumont, Jacobs and Pankratz.

Bobby East,#19,  outqualified the field with a new Stockton National record of 13.234, eliminating the 35-year-old 1-lap National record of 14.750 held by George Benson from 1969. (John Starks holds the midget record of 12.742, established in 2002 in a co-sanctioned USAC/BCRA event).

Drake won the first heat race over Jerome Rodela and Stuart Birkinbine. Yeley took the second eight-lapper over Jim Silva and DeBeaumont. Beach won heat-three over Thomas Meseraull and John Sarale with Floyd Alvis taking the fourth heat over Jacobs and Durst.

Bobby East, #19, won the 12-lap semi main with he and Hines, Fike, Pankratz, Lee Yetter and Steve Paden transferring into the feature. Van Knill and Bill Lindsey started the feature in the rear as provisionals.

The next event on the USAC/BCRA schedule is the Fred Gerheart Classic on April 18 at the Madera Speedway. 100 laps with 33 cars, three abreast.

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bobby East, 19, Lewis-13.234; 2. J.J. Yeley, 9, Lewis-13.326; 3. Bud Kaeding, 57, TST-13.399; 4. Johnny Rodriguez, 30, Rodriguez-13.408; 5. Jay Drake, 71, Stewart/Kunz-13.437; 6. Marc DeBeaumont, 11D, DeBeaumont-13.471; 7. Teddy Beach, 125, Beach-13.507; 8. Richey Jacobs, 114, Jacobs-13.518; 9. Danny Ebberts, 44, Schlachter/Ebberts-13.537; 10. A.J. Fike, 69, RFMS-13.558; 11. Thomas Meseraull, 10, White-13.599; 12. Tom Hessert, 5, Hessert-13.660; 13. Jerome Rodela, 25x, Rodela-13.703; 14. Travis Berryhill, 11B, Berryhill-13.748; 15. Tracy Hines, 11, Wilke Pak-13.779; 16. Ryan Durst, 51, Durst/Klatt-13.856; 17. Steve Paden, 0, Farrier-13.897; 18. Wally Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.920; 19. Dan Gundo, 6, Gundo-13.951; 20. Lee Yetter, 22P, Yetter-13.971; 21. Stuart Birkinbine, 02, Birkinbine-13.983; 22. Van Knill, 43, Knill-13.988; 23. John Sarale, 32, Sarale-14.012; 24. Cliff Servetti, 83, Servetti-14.019; 25. Rob Lindsey, 23, Lindsey-14.080; 26. Jim Silva, 19x, Chandler-14.161; 27. Dallen McKenney, 88, McKenney-14.163; 28. Floyd Alvis, 18, Alvis-14.180; 29. Bill Lindsey, 1, Lindsey-14.584; 30. Garrett Hansen, 76, Hansen-14.544; 31. Steve Roza, 20, Roaa-17.091; 32. Pete Davis, 00, Davis-NT; 33. #32-NT.

HEAT-1: Drake, Rodela, Birkinbine, Ebberts, East, Hansen, R. Lindsey, Paden. NT

HEAT-2: Yeley, Silva, DeBeaumont, Berryhill, Pankratz, A.J. Fike, Knill, B. Lindsey. NT

HEAT-3: Beach, Meseraull, Sarale, Kaeding, Hines, Gundo, McKenney, Roza. NT

HEAT-4: Alvis, Jacobs, Durst, Hessert, Yetter, Servetti, Rodriguez. 1:57.78

SEMI: East, Hines, Fike, Pankratz, Yetter, Paden, R. Lindsey, McKenney, B. Lindsey, Gundo, Hansen, Knill, Servetti, Roza, Rodriguez. NT

MAIN: J.J. Yeley, Bobby East, Jay Drake, Bud Kaeding, A.J. Fike, Tracy Hines, Tom Hessert, Marc DeBeaumont, Richey Jacobs, Wally Pankratz, Jerome Rodela, Steve Paden, Ryan Durst, Floyd Alvis, Travis Berryhill, John Sarale, Danny Ebberts, Lee Yetter, Stuart Birkinbine, Jim Silva, Thomas Meseraull, Bill Lindsey, Teddy Beach, Van Knill. NT. Lap leaders: Beach 1-4, Yeley 5-40.


By Floyd Busby


STOCKTON, CA, MARCH 30: Eric Schmidt, #05, drove to victory in the Western Late Model feature and Kanai Scantlen took the pure stock car win in the Havoline Cavalcade of Motor Racing season opening program at the Stockton "99" Speedway.

Winning the speedway's popular Western Late Model 30-lap, 21-car main event, Schmidt battled early leader Wes Miller for the lead and took the top spot on the 17th lap. Dave Byrd, #9, challenged Miller for second over the waning laps, but had to settle for third over Chris Monez and Robert Knittel.

Kannai Scantlen, #8, emerged victorious in the pure stock division, taking the lead from Johnny Bird, #67, on the 13th lap. Bird had surpassed early leader Tom Dahl and led for only two laps before giving way to Scantlen. Dahl finished second in the 30-lap feature with Chad Holman, #75, moving up to third, followed by Michael Wendt, with Bird dropping to finish fifth. The Havoline Cavalcade of Motor Racing also featured the USAC National/BCRA midgets and SRL Late Model Stock Car "Wild West Shootout 100".

SUMMARY - WLM: Main: Eric Schmidt, Wes Miller, Dave Byrd, Chris Monez, Robert Knittel, Pete Anderson Jr., Harold Riker, Mike Garcia, Larry Hoover, Harry Belletto, Scott Chappell, Danny Contessotto, Jason Balsford, Johnny Brendt, Melissa Davis, Brock Monroe, Pete Ramirez, Joe Locicero, Phil Perry, John Moore, Doug Ollis.

DASH: Belletto, Perry, Byrd, Rieker.

SUMMARY - PURE STOCK: Main: Kannai Scantlen, Tom Dahl, Chad Holman, Michael Wendt, Johnny Bird, Jeff Ahl, Aimee Sullivan, Steve Hall, Dave Ball, Johnny Cordoza, John Medina, Brian Vosburg, Greg Tyler, Bob Simpson, Brian Miller, Ray Bird, Tom Bolin, Richard Harper, Aaron Shankel, Mike Robinson.

DASH: Holman, Scantlen, Ayres, Medina.

HEAT-1: Shankel, Tyler, Simpson, Sheila Wall, Tom Dibble, Boyd Camper, Kurt White, Phillip White, Michael Matthews, Danny Rose.

HEAT-2: Miller, R. Bird, Robinson, Terry Madden, Terry Ayres, Jeff Saunders, Troy Smith, Chris Norton, Charlie Clawson.

SEMI: Simpson, Robinson, Boyd Camper, Madden, Saunders, Norton, White, Wall, Matthews, Dibble, Ayres.


Strmiska inherits wild Wild West win

By Bill Poindexter
Record Assistant Sports Editor
Published Monday, March 31, 2003

Tracy Bolin wasn't about to give up the lead, Eric Holmes wasn't about to give up, but after taking the checkered flag, Ron Strmiska Jr. wasn't about to give back the victory.

Strmiska, #90, of Manteca, took the lead with four laps remaining and won the SRL Wild West Shootout 100-lapper Sunday in front of a crowd of 2,143 at Stockton 99 Speedway.

Bolin, of Valley Springs, stole the show on an opening-day program that included the first USAC/BCRA Midget National series race at 99 in 34 years.

Opening day turned into opening night by the time the Wild West Shootout began. And it was all Bolin -- well, mostly all Bolin. Just two years removed from Pure Stock, 99's beginner division, Bolin led 95 laps over an impressive field that included Jeff Anthony of Livermore, the defending series champion and last weekend's winner in the SRL opener at Altamont Raceway Park, 2001 series champ,#41, Nathan Tucker of Sonora, 2001 NASCAR Pacific Coast Regional champ Aaron Days, and Holmes, the Escalon racer who finished third in the Southwest Series race last weekend in Bakersfield.

Bolin, who drove in the Western Late Model class last year, wasn't touched by that field and was closing in on a victory when he and Holmes got to know each other a little too well.

Holmes, driving a car owned by Rick Knudson of Newark, slipped inside of the yellow #2 Bolin, in turn three. Not surprisingly, there were two versions about what happened next. Bolin ended up spinning. Officials ordered Holmes behind Bolin. They finished ninth and 10th.

Strmiska, the No. 1 qualifier for the second week in a row, inherited the lead and beat John Gaalswyk of Ripon to the checkered flag four laps later.

"The car wasn't good enough to win," Strmiska said. "But (Bolin and Holmes) were getting dicey, and I told the guys, 'Maybe we'll be OK.' It was kind of a racing deal."

It was a racing deal all right. Holmes tipped his cap to Bolin with one hand and wagged a finger at him with the other.

"These aren't Pure Stocks. You can't cut down like that," Holmes said. "He ran me down so far I was out of room. The car slid up, and I hit him. He was awesome. He ran a great race. He just messed up. He was plenty fast to race side by side with me."

"I didn't run him down," Bolin said. "I guess that's racing. It's just tough."

Bolin purchased his yellow No. 2 from 99 legend Ken Boyd of Ceres. Boyd built the motor, too.

Bolin qualified fifth and finished fifth last weekend at Altamont. He was hot again at 99.

He dived into turn one throughout the race, gassed it coming out of turn four and gradually played a higher groove heading into turn three late in the race.

Bolin wasn't a bit worried about the veteran hot shoes chasing him. He even spent a few laps midway through the race chasing the about-to-be-lapped car of Tim Bost and still didn't lose the lead.

"I just sat back and followed him," Bolin said. "They couldn't catch me from the back."

Brandon Whitt of El Cajon, preparing for the Southwest Series race at 99 in three weeks, was sent back in the pack for spinning out Joey Zampa but came back to finish third.

Teammates, #9, J.J. Yeley of Phoenix and, #19, Bobby East of Indianapolis finished 1-2 in the 40-lap Midget National race. Yeley took the lead on the fourth lap and was challenged only by several yellow flags.

"Man, that was a long race," said Yeley, who was second at the Copper World last weekend in Phoenix. "The race track really got wide, and there were two or three groups you could go around pretty quick."

The midgets are running a new back right tire this season, and testing on the shocks helped Yeley and East get their cars dialed in.

"They got the cars nice and comfortable," Yeley said.

Western Late Model, the track's premier division, opened the season with Eric Schmidt of Roseville winning the 30-lap feature. Schmidt took the lead from Wes Miller of Turlock on the seventh lap.

Kannai Scantlen led the final 17 laps of the Pure Stock main for the win. Tom Dahl was second and Chad Holman third in a 1-2-3 Stockton finish. Holman was fast qualifier and won the trophy dash.


There were 116 cars in the pits. ... Carla Miller won the second Pure Stock heat race, then was docked five points for spinning a doughnut in the frontstretch. ... Jay Drake of Val Verde won the first heat race and finished third in the Midget main in a car partially owned by NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart.

* To reach assistant sports editor Bill Poindexter, phone 546-8289 or e-mail bpoindex@recordnet.com

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