STOCKTON — Stockton 99 Speedway will host its points season finale on Saturday night with the double points Night of Champions at the 68-year-old quarter-mile.
Night of Champions caps off a 2016 season that has focused on rebuilding the local heroes, with points paying action for the new Stockton Late Models, return of the Grand American Modifieds, Bombers, and Mini Cups.
Stockton Late Models has been one of the success stories of the year in California short track racing. Building off of the advancements of Super Stocks along with many regional tracks going to a low cost Late Model formula, Stockton Late Models have hit on the sweet spot of speed and affordability. Pete Anderson, Jr. won last week’s 35-lap feature, but runner-up Larry Tankersley leads Dennis Byres by 51 points heading into the finale. Tankersley just needs a smooth finish to wrap up the championship.
Justin Lovelace and Aaron Shankel round out the top-four. The father-and-son duo of Chad and Seth Holman have split time in their entry to run eighth and 14th in the overall order but would be fourth on their combined efforts. Gary Shafer, Jr.’s Fourth of July weekend win was enough to boost him to sixth in the standings. Twenty-six different drivers have earned points this year in nine races.
Sacramento’s Eric Price got his first Grand American Modified win of the year last week to move within 16 points of his younger brother Kris in the tightly wound championship battle. Stockton Super Stock graduate Robbie “The Kid” Knittel ranks third ahead of Sammy Solari and Camino’s Scot Alves.
John Medina and Brad Mast have consistently anchored the top of the Bomber points all season, with Mast getting Saturday’s win over Medina. Medina leads Mast by 63 points to all but wrap up the championship. Allen Rider III, Dave Anderson, and Mikala Stearns make up the rest of the top-five. A season-high 12 cars competed in last Saturday’s main event.
The youngest drivers at Stockton 99 Speedway are in the California Mini Cups, where drivers ages 8-15 compete in this diminutive spec cars. A class virtually entirely made up of rookies, Hollister’s Adam “The Bullet” Lemke is using his sophomore season to lead rookie second generation driver JoJo Stearns by ten points heading into the finale. Kash Holman is third in his rookie campaign ahead of fellow rookie Aaron Thomas and sophomore driver Joshua “Bubba” Terry.
No Friday practice will be held for this weekend’s activities.