2003 99 Schedule
Three separate drivers broke track records in the Pure Stock Division and the youngest driver in the field stole the show in the NASCAR DODGE Weekly Series at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Last Saturday, Lodiís Michael Wendt watched helplessly as John Medina of Galt broke his old track record during qualifying. But Medinaís record lasted mere minutes until Stocktonís Chad Holman snagged the new mark.
Not to be outdone, Wendt circled the track in 16.655, breaking Holmanís new time and setting the fastest record at the Speedway. However, Wendt finished second in the main event behind Gary Shafer Jr while Holman and Medin finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Shafer Jr. of Stockton grabbed the lead away from No. 21 Tom Bolin on lap-9 when he took the inside move on turn-1 and never relinquished his lead the rest of the way. Shafer Jr. wasnít challenged for the duration of the race, winning by nearly 10-car lengths.
Sixteen-year-old Michael Brooks Jr. of Manteca stole the spotlight in the inaugural race of NASCARís newest division at the Speedway. Brooks Jr. led wire to wire after slipping past pole sitter No. 72 Randy Jahoda on the first lap in the Pro 4 Trucks 15-lap main event.
Bret Barney finished second behind Brooks Jr., closing the gap on the final lap to within shouting distance but still couldnít find away to spoil the youngsterís first victory of the season.
Veteran Harry Belletto, a three-time champion, waited nearly the entire race before making his move in the Western Late Model showcase. Belleto, defending WLM champion, led only two laps throughout the 30-lap event, but it proved to be the biggest pair of the night.
Rookie John Moore of Granite Bay remained in the top spot for 23 laps after pulling ahead on the restart on lap-5. After the fourth yellow caution of the race, Belleto of Modesto gained the upperhand with a swift bump and a sharp inside move around turn-1 on Moore.
Joe Locicero, who had the fastest qualifying time at 14.167, won the dash in front of second-place finisher, Dave Byrd.
Pole sitter Kyle Gottula was forced to the pits during the starting grid with an oil leak and was unable to return in the Grand American Modified 30-lap main event. With only seven of 15 cars finishing the race, mostly due to an eight-car pileup, Citrus Heightsí Jay Linstroth took the lead on lap-14 and never looked back in his first victory of the 2003 racing season.
Stocktonís Chris Mays edged Mike Regelman of Ripon for second place. Regelman won the dash earlier in the evening.
Legends speedster Frankie Winchel had the fastest qualifying time and captured top honors in the dash and the third heat race, but those feats didnít help him in the main event. Winchel finished last after engaging in a wreck with Cupertinoís Ryan Mosher on lap-4, leaving room for Kelly Martin of Modesto to slide in for the victory.
Martin, who led the final 10 laps, battled with Elk Groveís Steve Fensler Jr. for second place before pulling ahead down the straight away after turn-2.
Traditional time changes at the Stockton 99 Speedway have been changed to accommodate extended car counts. Beginning May 10, pit gates will open at 1:00 p.m., with practice running from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Grandstands open to the public at 2:30 p.m. and qualifying begins at 4:30 p.m.
Racing and opening ceremonies will remain the same, starting at 6:00 p.m.
The Speedway has also announced a change in the May 17 "HAVOLINE presents" USAC Sprints Western States race. Western Late Models and the new Ford Focus Midgets sponsored by the Southern California Ford Dealers Association will be apart of the festivities but the Pure Stocks, Grand American Modifieds and Legends will not race.