The over 4,000 fans that packed the grandstands for the annual Firecracker 150 at the Stockton 99 Speedway on Sunday thoroughly enjoyed a great evening of fireworks both on and above the high-banked quarter-mile oval.
A random draw for position put Stockton’s Joey Stearns on the pole and veteran Dave Byrd on his right in the 18-car Western Late Model feature.
Byrd got off to a great jump from his outside position and put himself a full straightaway ahead of his nearest competitor until a yellow caution erased his advantage on Lap 29 when Stockton’s Larry Tankersley smacked the Turn 2 wall.
On the Lap 32 restart, Michael Wendt vaulted to the lead over Byrd and motored away to the checkered flag a full half a lap ahead of the disappointed Byrd.
Season points leader Jeff Belletto came home third, 2006 track champ, Guy Guibor of Manteca, brought her home in a very respectful fourth while third generation driver and 2009 Track Champ, Justin Philpott of Tracy, rounded out the top five.
“My dad kept telling me to save my tires, save my tires and don’t get too involved in lapped traffic,” said Wendt. “So that’s what I did and it paid off.”
The Premier Division Super Stocks produced some great racing and a bit of controversy as Modesto’s Garland Tyler picked up his second on the year.
Tyler, who started from the pole, was pressed hard by Jason Aguirre of Atwater. Aguirre gnawed on Tyler for several laps before applying a bumper to the quarter-panel of Tyler coming off of turn 2 to slip by Tyler.
After that, Aguirre distanced himself from the field and sped off to the checkers for an apparent third win of the year until officials set Aguirre back a spot for rough driving, giving Tyler his second win of the year.
“There was some interesting racing tonight, a little rougher than it should have been,” said the young Modesto driver. “I guess the officials kind of felt that way too. I’ll take the win, I don’t like it like that, but I’ll take it.”
Turlock’s Wes Miller picked up his third victory of the season to protect his points lead in the Grand American Modified Division and Manteca’s Matt Anderson snared the win in the Basically-4-Cylinders division, snapping the five-race winning streak of Joseph Reichmuth also of Manteca.
This Saturday, Stockton 99 Speedway presents USAC Open Wheel Night featuring the USAC Western Classic Racing Series Sprint Cars, USAC Western Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, and the Junior Focus Midgets.
The USAC Western Classic Racing Series is a 16 race series with eight dirt and eight asphalt races for traditional sprint cars. The first six races were an even split of dirt and pavement shows, with Lincoln’s Tony Hunt being the only repeat winner thus far.
Hunt has won both pavement races at Madera Speedway along with a runner-up finish at All American Speedway in Roseville.
Other winners this season on the WCRS schedule have included Bill Rose (Chico), Scott Pierovich (All-American Speedway), Geoff Ensign (Watsonville), and Tim Barber (highest finisher at Santa Maria).
The all-USAC show will get underway at 6 p.m. with general admission tickets just $15 for adults, $10 for juniors ages 11-15 and kids under 10 are free! Stockton 99 Speedway is online at www.stockton99.com
Also on Saturday the LunkerDaddy Late Models, Hobby Stocks, MST, Toyota Sedans and 4-Bangers will go at it in Madera and on Sunday the DIRT West Ump Modifieds, Valley Sportsman, Super Stocks and Hobby Stocks will be racing at the Merced Speedway.
Escalon’s Eric Holmes shook off a frustrating weekend at Sonoma to earn a fourth place finish in last weekend’s Southern California Toyota Dealers 200, presented by King Taco, at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale.
Holmes started the second half of the 200-lap race in 12th, but steadily worked his way up to garner a fourth place finish behind winner Greg Pursley of Newhall, who picked up his fifth win in seven starts this season.
“That was a great race,” said Holmes. “It was just tough out there. We’re happy with our finish though we went into this to win it. We didn’t quit get it done.”
Holmes, who finished third in the Thunder Valley Casino Resort “200” at Sonoma the previous week only to be docked one hundred points for a rules violation, now sits seventh in the season standings, a distant 388 points (1270 to 882) behind Pursley as he attempts to win his fourth series crown
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be at Evergreen Speedway July 9th and 10th in Monroe, Washington.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival, Powered by Mazda, featuring the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, will be at Mazda Raceway/Laguna Seca near beautiful Monterey this Friday and Saturday July 9th and 10th. Saturday’s feature, which includes the Daytona Prototype (DP) class, will be a timed 2 hour and 45 minute race beginning at 2:30 p.m.
For more information call 800-327-7322 or visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.
To contact Dale Bosowski, e-mail email@example.com.