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Scott takes 9th late model win at 99

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POSTED September 16, 2013 12:39 a.m.

STOCKTON — Saturday night’s NASCAR Whelen All American Racing Series program at the 99 Speedway, with twin mains in the premier Western Late Model and Grand American Modified divisions, produced plenty of exciting racing, seven different feature winners and a couple of very unhappy drivers.

Matt Scott, of Pine Grove, entered the evening with a perfect eight wins in eight Western Late Model starts this season. He sat on the front row for the first late model main along side of Stanisluv Osterlund, age 18 of Los Gatos, who has posted eight top five finishes and has been knocking on the door for a win all season.

Osterlund grabbed the early lead in the 35-lap race and proceeded to spend the next 29 laps fending off Scott. On lap 30, Osterlund bobbled just a bit going into turn #1, thanks to a little tap from Scott, which allowed Scott to squeeze by him and pick up his ninth win of the season.

The story was much the same in the second half of the late model doubleheader as Osterlund once again took the lead and Scott looked for a way to get around him.

Heading into turn #1 on lap 33 Scott used another bump and run to get past Osterlund, but Osterlund returned the favor in spades two turns later by getting underneath Scott and slamming him up towards the wall.

Lodi’s Matt Wendt, who finished third in the first race and was gliding along in the same position in the nightcap, happily cruised by both of them to take his first win of the season and putting an end Scott’s bid for an undefeated season.

“I was just trying to hang close and I had a feeling something might happen,” said Wendt. “It worked out for me and we finally got a win.”

Osterlund recovered to finish second while Scott limped home fourth behind Cody Thompson.  

“We were just fighting hard, I gave him a little move in turn two and I guess he didn’t appreciate it,” fumed Scott. “If that is how he wants to race, that is how we will do it next time. It may get a little exciting”

Osterlund also showed no remorse.

“We have been leading the last two races and both times Matt bumped me because he wasn’t fast enough to get by otherwise. I wasn’t going to take that so I ran him up to the wall and we tangled. It allowed Wendt to get by but at least the 35 (Scott) didn’t win.”

The first 30-lap race for the Grand American Modifieds saw Lodi’s Robbie Knittel grab the early lead and hang on for dear life as 2011 division champion Jason Philpot, of Sacramento, battled him throughout the second half of the race.

Following a lap 20caution restart the pair squared off in a side-by-side duel for six laps before Knittel finally prevailed. He went on to earn his second checkered flag of the season ahead of Philpot and Ripon’s Mike Regelman, who entered the night with a narrow 16-point edge over Philpot in the 2013 championship fight.

“The car was really hooked up. This is awesome,” said Knittel, age 20. “We had a quite battle with Philpot over the last laps. I thought he had us for a second, but the car came back and we held on.”

 There was far less drama in Modified race #2 as second generation driver Tripp Gaylord, of Golden, CO, started on the pole and went on to take a wire-to-wire victory for his first win in seven starts this season.

“We led every lap and it doesn’t get much better than that,” said Gaylord. “My dad raced here so this is really cool.”

Philpot once again finished in second to further narrow his season point’s deficit to Regelman, who settled for fourth behind CR Courage.

 Season points leader Jason Aguirre, of Atwater, cruised to an easy win in the 25 lap Super Stock main for his second victory of the year. Behind him Howard Holden of Rancho Maderas, Stockton’s Robert Daniel and Manteca’s Chad Holman spent the entire race duking it out with each other before crossing the finish in that order.

A caution filled, but exciting 17car Pure Stock feature saw Stockton’s Ben Lewis II earn his sixth win of the season after taking the lead from Stockton’s Joey Sarafin on a late race restart.

Stockton’s Dave Kong picked up his third win of the year by holding off Manteca’s Brad Mast and Mark Jacke in the B-4 main.

The 99 will be back in action next Saturday, September 21st with Watermelon Bash/Back to School Night featuring a 199-Lap Watermelon Bash Enduro, NCMA Sprint Cars, Pro-4 Modifieds, Basically-4-Cylinders, Pure Stocks and Mini Cups.

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