2003 99 Schedule


Stockton 99 Speedway

By Bill Poindexter
Record Assistant Sports Editor
Published Sunday,
September 28, 2003

Western Late Models

Wes 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.

The 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 best, but nobody could stay up with track champion, #05x Eric Schmidt of Roseville.

Schmidt took the lead on the fifth lap and absolutely ran away from the 20-car field in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000.

Running his weekly engine with an added eight-inch spoiler and beefed-up calipers and 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.

''He was untouchable,'' Fensler said. ''You only get those cars once in a lifetime, and it sure was good.''

Schmidt qualified 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.

''Sometimes, you don't ask why,'' Schmidt said. ''You just be happy.''

Grand American Modified

Sam 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 main.

Solari, the quickest of four drivers under 14 seconds in qualifying, earned $2,000 for the win.

''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.

Pure Stock

Old 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 Michael Wendt, #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.

''My 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 e-mail bpoindex@recordnet.com

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