Ty Carlson took maximum advantage of a late race yellow caution restart to capture the 30-lap feature for the Late Models at the Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday night.
Lodi’s Brandon Jones led the 14-car field to the opening green flag, but he was eventually swallowed up by the hard charging Aaron Shankel, who started alongside of Jones in the front row, following a four lap side-by-side battle.
Starting well back in the fourth row, Carlson got the break he needed when Jones got tangled up with second row starters Salida’s Seth Holman and Gridley’s Larry Tankersley on lap 10. All three drivers were able to continue, but from the back of the pack, putting Carlson next to Shankel for the restart.
Shankel was able to fend Carlson off on that restart, but he was not so fortunate two laps later following another yellow caution when Carlson darted to the inside coming out of turn #4 for the lead.
Shankel remained right on Carlson’s tail before using the outside line to power by him on lap 18. He held the lead after yet another restart on lap 20,5 but was not so fortunate after the sixth and final caution flag came out on lap 23 when Carlson roared by him on the outside to retake the lead.
“I like the outside line here because I get more momentum,” explained Carlson, a Manteca native who now resides in Stockton. “My brakes were starting to burn to the metal and I was just praying for no more restarts.”
Shankel tried to chase Carlson down over the final laps, but his efforts were in vain as he was forced to settle for second place at the checkered flag. Holman recovered from his early spin to finish third while Roseville’s Justin Lovelace and Tankersley filled out the top five.
“I feel great. I am ecstatic,” said Carlson as he celebrated his second career win with his crew. “Shankel has been a top runner out here all year so I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I really had to earn that one.”
Stockton’s Robert Dueck was on the pole of the 14-car field for the 25-lap Bomber feature, but his good fortune quickly soured when he was forced to the pits with a right front flat on just the second lap of the race.
John Medina, of Galt, was the recipient of Dueck’s misfortune as he gladly inherited the lead. He would stay there for the next 15 laps until the black #22 of Stockton’s Ben Lewis began to fill his rearview mirror.
Lewis, who started from the back row of the starting grid, completed his quest for the lead by swooping under Medina through turn #4 of lap 17.
Lewis would survive a late race yellow caution to take the victory over Linden’s Mikala Stearns and Medina.
“I just tried to keep calm and stay out of trouble,” said Lewis of his march to the front. “It took me a bit to get around him (Medina) but I knew I had time and just tried to be patient.”
Rio Linda’s Kris Price went wire-to-wire in the 20-lap Grand American Modified main event holding off his brother Eric for most of the race. Kris Price also won the dash heat and set fast time in qualifying for a clean sweep of the evening’s GAM events.
Stockton’s Dave Kong sat on the pole for the B-4 feature and he made the most of it by staying at the front of the seven car field for the entire 20-lap race in a dominating performance.
Racing returns to the 99 Speedway on Saturday, May 6, with a four division program that includes the Stockton Late Models, Bombers, Grand American Modifieds and Mini Cups.