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Mantecans among winners at 99 Speedway Saturday

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Mantecans among winners at 99 Speedway Saturday

Will Power, from left, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti celebrate from the winner's circle following Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Photo by OSCAR RODRIGUEZ/


POSTED August 29, 2012 11:02 p.m.

Even though the racing season is coming to an end faster than a Kardashian marriage, there are still several events on tap at the local tracks in September.

This Saturday night the 99 Speedway in Stockton will be hosting the third round of the annual Tri-Holiday Classic Series. The NASCAR Whelen All American Series program will feature the Western Late Models in a 100-lap feature plus the Grand American Modifieds, Star Racing Supply Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, Basically 4s and Mini Cup.

Last Saturday saw two fresh faces celebrate in the winner’s circle, as Fremont’s William Camera and Stockton’s AJ Ryder, the 2010 Division Champion, picked up their first wins of 2012. Tracy’s Scott Winters, despite being a no-show last Saturday, continues to hold a large lead in the Modified championship standings.

Two Manteca drivers also captured checkered flags last Saturday. Joseph Reichmuth padded his lead in the Basically-4sby taking his seventh victory in just 11 starts this season, and Chad “the Iceman” Holman took the checkers in the Super Stock feature.

It was only the second start of the season in the division for Holman, but the 2010 Western Late Model champion, stormed to the lead on lap 17 and then held off a determined charge of Riverbank’s Aaron Coonfield for the remainder of the 30-lap race to make it a perfect two wins in two starts for the wily veteran.

 The 99 will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 8 with the Watermelon Smash Enduro before concluding its regular season on Saturday, September 15 with a program that will feature twin mains for both the Late Models and Modifieds. 

Madera Speedway will be dark for the next two weekends before returning with the two- night Annual Harvest Classic on September 14 and 15. The program will include Modified Pulling Tractors and Pulling Trucks in addition to the Super Modifieds, USAC Sprint Cars, and USAC/BCRA Midgets.

Chowchilla Speedway will also be in action this coming Saturday and Saturday September 8th with cards that includes the Modifieds, Sport Mods, Wingless American Stocks 4-Bangers, Dwarf Cars & 360 Winged Sprint Cars.

Scott Speed update

It was recently announced that Manteca native Scott Speed will be back with the Leavine Family Racing team in NASCAR Sprint Cup series for 2013.

Speed, age 29, has committed to exclusively drive the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion, effective immediately. He had been driving selected events in NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season for other organizations.

“It’s a big deal to go from a partial schedule to a relatively full-time deal for the 2013 season. It’s the start of a bigger journey,” Speed said. “Now is the time I need to give them 100 percent of my time and effort. No longer will I be competing in anything else other then the No. 95.”

Speed has had limited success in 2012 while running a partial schedule with the team, which only began operations in 2011. In seven starts his best results have come at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma on June 26th and at Watkins Glen, New York on August 12th where he finished 25th and 17th respectively. Both of those events are road courses in which Speed excels with his open-wheel background that included a stint in Formula One.

Since joining the Cup Series in 2008, Speed has one top-five, and three top-10 finishes. He also posted a victory in the NSCAR Truck Series at Bristol in 2008.

“I am very pleased with the progress crew chief Wally Rogers and Scott have made this year,” team owner Bob Leavine stated. “It is that progress, along with Scott’s charisma and talent enhancing our team chemistry that has resulted in our agreement to go to an exclusive relationship through the 2013 season.”

Speed made it clear from the outset that he had no plans to explore the free-agent market due to his loyalty to Leavine Family Racing.

“As an organization, Leavine Family Racing and team owner Bob Leavine provide the resources I need to compete, and as a driver, that is the most important consideration,” Speed said. “Every year the team has been built more and more. We’ve grown much this year as the first year, and now we are all committed to a third season. The team has proven to do more and more and I look forward to continuing this growing relationship into the future.”

Speed was entered in last Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol, but missed out on making the 43-car starting field when rain washed out qualifying. As a result of the weather, the field was set based on existing points and practice times. Despite putting down the 23rd fastest time, Speed was one of four drivers that failed to make the main event.

Next up for Speed and the Leavine Family Racing team is the AdvoCare 500 in Atlanta this Sunday.

IndyCar tidbits

Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden are shaking off the effects of their scary encounter in last Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma in which Bourdais lost control and collected the unfortunate Newgarden for a ride into the outside retaining wall on the back straight at more than 140 mph.

“I don’t think I have anything that’s broken,” said the shaken Bourdais afterward, “but it’s the biggest impact of my life I can remember having.”

TV footage of the impact shows Newgarden’s car slamming through Bourdais’ sidepod and striking near his shoulder, while Newgarden’s car smashed nose first into the tire barrier and sending it flying into the air.

“Looking at the tub, it’s terrifying,” said Bourdais, “It bent the whole car. They couldn’t get my seat out of the car it was so bent.”

Bourdais will be back with a new car in this week’s IZOD IndyCar Baltimore Grand Prix street race but while Newgarden’s car will be repaired, unfortunately, Newgarden will not be in it as he recuperates from surgery on a broken finger. Veteran Bruno Junqueira will take over the pilot duties of the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car for the weekend.

The Chevrolet people were all smiles at Sonoma after Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe, Will Power and Helio Castroneves finished 1-2-6 to wrap up the engine manufacturer’s title. Following a six year absence from Indy racing, Chevy was able to capture the 2012 title over Honda and Lotus by racking up eight poles and nine wins in 13 races this season, led by Team Penske’s combined seven poles and six race victories.

“I think to have Chevy come into the series was a big plus. We have three engine manufacturers now, and there’s a lot of competition.” said team owner Roger Penske. “To see them when the manufacturer’s championship in their first year back is very rewarding.”

The victory may also reward Briscoe, whose last win was more than two years ago on the mile and half oval at Texas Speedway, by saving his seat at Penske for 2013. 

“You get into a slump, you know, you think, ‘Man, am I ever going to win again?’” said the relieved Briscoe. “So this is definitely lifting, a confidence builder. It’s been too long.”

Following this weekend’s race in Baltimore the IndyCar series returns to California for the season finale under the lights at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the MAVTV 500 on September 14-15. For more info call 1-800-944-7223 or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.

 

To contact Dale Bosowski, email dalebosowski@yahoo.com.

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