STOCKTON — On Sunday, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series ignited the smoldering racing surface in the annual Firecracker 150, brought to you by California Welding Supply Co.
The Independence Day Weekend’s grand finale went off with the Western Late Models in 150 Laps of explosive action, which culminated in one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Also, the Grand American Modifieds returned to action with the Super Stocks, Bombers, Basically-4- Cylinders and, of course, the Annual Fireworks Spectacular Show.
The 4,000-plus fans in the stands thoroughly enjoyed a great evening of fireworks both on the track and above in the beautiful summer sky.
The Basically-4-Cylinders rolled onto the high-banks, 12 deep.
A new chapter would be written in an old book when 15-year old, up-and-coming star and third generation driver from Manteca, Matt Anderson (5), battled his way to the checkers for his career-first win.
Kelle Bobbitt (61) of Stockton, with Tommy Wood (28) of Hughson alongside, paced the field around to greet the green. Bobbitt beat the field down into turn one to capture the early lead only to be slowed on the next go-around when the No. 7 of Charles Kundert, Jr. came to rest low on the track in turn one, bringing with him the immediate first yellow of the race.
On the Lap 1 restart, the No. 747 of Chris Boone got the great bite high and outside and wrestled the lead away from Bobbitt. Boone would enjoy the rarified air out front for the next eleven circuits until lap 12 when, in turn one, the No. 9 of Dave Kong spun low while the No. 51 of Nick Rogers spun high, and the second yellow of the race broke the silence of the night sky.
On the restart, Boone, once again, showed his strength as he jumped out to retain his lead. However, on Lap 23, Anderson had plans of his own when he rolled by the leader on the outside coming off two.
Once there, Anderson would not be denied his career-first victory, despite the massive aggression going on behind him, which came in the form of points leader Joseph Reichmuth (6) of Manteca. Anderson’s very popular win snapped Reichmuth’s five-race winning streak.
“This is just amazing, I’m proud to be here,” Anderson said “I knew Joseph (Reichmuth) was there. He’s a great driver and it’s easy to see why he’s leading the points.”
Reichmuth, after mechanical issues on Lap 1 forced him to drop back to the tail-end of the field, would have to settle for a rare second place on this night.
Boone slipped back, if only slightly, to finish a very solid and impressive run on the podium in third. Bobbitt, the early leader, managed to hold on to a top five by finishing fourth, while Mark Jacke (4x) of French Camp rounded out the top five.