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Season champions crowned at Stockton 99 Speedway

Manteca’s Reichmuth goes back-to-back in B4 division

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Season champions crowned at Stockton 99 Speedway

Joseph Reichmuth celebrates his second straight championship in the Basic4-Cylinders division at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday.

Photo by MIKE & JEFF BURGHARDT/


POSTED September 18, 2012 1:21 a.m.

STOCKTON — The last points-earning races for the 2012 Stockton 99 Speedway NASCAR/Whelen category championships in Western Late Models (WLM), Grand American Modified (GAM), Super Stock, Pure Stock “Bombers” and Basic 4-Cylinders (B4) finalized the season champions with some surprises and repeat winners.

Count Manteca’s Joseph Reichmuth among the successful title defenders, as his third-place finish in the “unique road course” track configuration was good for a repeat. David Kong, who had earlier won the Trophy dash, crashed on the first lap as he came into the “modified chicane” with too much speed.

“I’ve seen the chicane before, but I’ve never driven it. I thought it was fun,” Reichmuth said. “It’s too bad Dave crashed. I had a front-row seat when it happened. I was worried about the other drivers crashing going into the narrow turn and lost a lot of speed coming out of the turn.

“This championship was a tough one because there are so many drivers who could have won it.”

In the Western Late Models, Jeff Belletto of Modesto came into the event leading the points race. The event featured two main events and one trophy dash.

Belletto some difficulties in qualifying, as a loose tie rod bolt affected his cars steering, resulting in an off-paced qualifying position in the first of the two main events.  Once he and his team corrected the problems they didn’t look back, as he put his SaveMart/ESSCO/Belletto Glass/Hot Wood Chevy into fourth place in the first main and in the winner’s circle second. That catapulted him into a second straight season championship.

It was a great showing for the Belletto family, as Nic Belletto finish second in the Trophy Dash and Steve Belletto (Nic’s dad) finished third in the Trophy Dash driving the elder Harry Belletto’s No. 74 car.

In the Grand American Modifieds, Scott Winters of Tracy accomplished a rare feat. He not only won the Whelen GAM season track championship, but also came into the event as the Roseville track champion.

By finishing second in the first of two main events and winning the second, he also garnered enough points to be in the running for the NASCAR GAM State championship. In order to accomplish this feat, Winters and his team had to race nearly every weekend at either the Roseville track or Stockton 99 track in order to garner enough points to win each individual track championship.  Since he racked up several wins at both tracks, as well as numerous top-five finishes, he was able to gain enough over-all season points to challenge for the state championship. 

Jason Bamberg of Roseville won the first main event, and John Mamula of Rocklin won the GAM Trophy Dash. Young Jessica Clark of West Lake Village won the Star Modifieds dash. It was her first-ever win the Modifieds category.

In Super Stock, Jason Aguirre of Atwater won the Stockton 99 Super Stock season title with a fifth-place finish in the main event.  Aaron Coonfield of Riverbank took over the lead early in the event from pole sitter, Mike Graham of Oakdale, and drove away to the checkered flag.

To celebrate his win, Aaron performed a crowd-pleasing, tire-smoking burnout that filled the air with thick smoke, which took several minutes to clear. With the win, Aaron secured fourth place in the Super Stock standings with his All-Pro Pest Controls/ RCI Engineering/ Les Schwab Tire Service of Riverbank sponsored race car.

In the Pure Stock “Bomber” division, the season championship came down to a three-way battle between Brandon Jones, Tyler Guzman and Rodney Tripp. Guzman of Oakdale, came into the race in second place, trailing Jones of Lodi by about 27 points and leading Tripp of Stockton by a mere nine points.

Tyler was able to parlay a 10th-place start in the main event into a fifth-place finish that would secure at least second-place in the season championship. Tripp put together a third-place finish, which would not garner him enough points to surpass Guzman.

Jones ended up winning the main event from his No. 2 starting position, but during post-race technical inspections, he was disqualified for use of unapproved components on his race car — a special adjusting suspension spring component. This would cause him to forfeit all event points, including those for winning the trophy dash.

The resulting loss of points coupled with Guzman’s fifth-place finish made Guzman the Pure Stock “Bombers” season champion.

“It’s been a tough year,” Guzman said. “I got put into the wall early in the year and one week I had to borrow a car from Chad Holman — I couldn’t have won it without that. I just focused on finishing in the top three or five each week.”

The 17-year-old Guzman won has won his first championship in just his second full season.

The next event (a non-points event), which will feature nearly every category raced at Stockton 99 Speedway, is the Annual Fall Classic (two-day event) on October 20-21.

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