Stockton 99 Speedway
By Bill Poindexter
Record Assistant Sports Editor
September 28, 2003
Miller, #2, of Turlock earned a nice
round of applause when he turned down the pole and opted to start
in the back for the Western Late
Model main event Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway.
move gave Miller a chance at a $5,000 bonus if he could come from
the back and win the 125-lap race.
Miller gave it his
but nobody could stay up with track champion, #05x Eric Schmidt of
Schmidt took the
lead on the fifth lap and absolutely ran away from the 20-car
field in front of an estimated crowd of
Running his weekly
engine with an added eight-inch spoiler and beefed-up
shocks, Schmidt lapped all but three drivers and took the
checkered flag about two car-lengths behind
Miller, who finished
fourth. Jason Fensler, #22, of
Wilton was second
and Harry Belletto, #74, of Modesto third.
Asked if he had
anything for Schmidt, Fensler chuckled.
was untouchable,'' Fensler said. ''You only get those cars once in a
lifetime, and it sure was good.''
No. 1 at 13.837 seconds
around the quarter-mile paved oval and lapped an impressive list
of drivers on his way to a $5,000 check, including John Gaalswyk,
of Ripon, Mike David, #17, of Modesto, Pete Anderson Jr., #5,
of Stockton and John Moore, #27, of Granite Bay.
don't ask why,'' Schmidt said. ''You just be happy.''
Solari, #6 of Salida got the best of a
bump with Joey Stearns, #3, of Stockton on a restart 13 laps from the
end and drove
to victory in the 66-lap
Solari, the quickest
of four drivers under 14 seconds in qualifying, earned $2,000 for
''What kind of motor
is it? It's a Panella motor,'' Solari said of the engine in his
machine, built at the shop of Stockton
drag racing champ
Bob Panella, Jr.
Stearns led the
first 36 laps before Greg Williams, #2, of Ceres passed him on a
restart. Stearns regained the lead on lap
52, but Solari
passed him for good in turn four on the next lap.
Stearns was second, season points champ Jason Philpot,
#5, of Sacramento was third,
Williams fourth and Jay Linstroth
of Citrus Heights fifth. Linstroth lost
two positions in the last four laps.
pro Pete Anderson
Sr., #85, of Stockton, a past champion in the division, made it look
like old times by leading 34 laps,
but young gun
#1, of Lodi passed him on a restart on lap 41 and led
the final nine laps to collect a big
trophy and $1,000.
Wendt, who also
was fast qualifier, celebrated with a tremendous smoke show along
the front stretch.
dad said I'd
better or he was going to keep my money,'' Wendt said. ''He said I
better do something.''
Anderson nearly lost
it in turn two following the restart and was passed for second by Kannai
Scantlen, #8, of Stockton.
Donny Darter, 9x, of Manteca was fourth
and Cindy Freitas, #9, of Lodi fifth.
* To reach assistant
sports editor Bill Poindexter, phone (209) 546-8289 or