Premier Division Drivers Came To The Table And Served The Fans A Delightful Taste Of Pure Adrenaline
5/1/12 - By David Holman / Stockton 99 Media Relations
On Saturday, April 28th, the NASCAR Whelen All American Series returned to the tricky quarter-mile and featured Stockton’s New Premier Division, the Grand American Modifieds in Twin 50’s. Also on the docket were the Pure Stocks, Basically-4-Cylinders and the Mini Cups. And, as expected, these guys and gals produced the high-octane, high-powered thrills and spills only they know how to do. So far this year, the Speedway has produced some of the tightest racing and finishes in years, which has filled the air with excitement for everyone involved. The nearly 1000 fans in the stands exhaled a collective sigh of relief when the green flag fell to get the much anticipated action in this Event underway!
The Mini Cups got the show rolling and 2011 Division Champ, Bryce Napier (03) of Scotts Valley, made quick work of the competition by capturing the wire to wire Victory.
Napier started on pole with Danville’s Colin Mullan (27) to the outside and ready to go. With the green flag wrinkled high against the soft Spring breeze, Napier got to the gas an eighth-inch quicker than did Mullan and the #03 was off to the races as he began to tip-toe away from the competition. Unfortunately, for the rest of the field, the tip-toe away quickly became giant strides until there was most certainly nothing left to race for but that distant number two spot. And that’s exactly where the race was, with Mullan owning the spot and rookie and third generation driver from Manteca, Seth “IceChip” Holman (75), trying to lay claim to that real estate behind the leader. Holman put on a great show picking them up and putting them down, but much to his dismay, the laps simply ran out and Mullan would finish second while Holman would settle for a podium finish in third. Fremont’s Cameron Winninger (88), fighting handling issues all day, did a great job overcoming the adversity and finished her up in fourth.
The Grand American Modifieds Twin #1 put Modified Sensation, and 2011 Division Champ, Wes Miller (57) of Turlock, right where he wanted to be when he notched his very impressive first win of the year performing a beautiful late race pass beneath yet another Modified Great, Jay Linstroth (25) of Citrus Heights.
Wes Miller shared front row honors with Jay Linstroth to get this one up to speed, but it would be Linstroth with the heavier foot as the green flag took to the night sky, and the #25 beat the field down into turn one from the high groove. Once out in the breathable air, Linstroth would enjoy the view, unfettered by everything, but the pure joy of leading the pack. And, of course, the first caution, which fell on lap 14 when David Strickland (3) of Stockton and David Crouch (2) of Charlotte, NC tangled high on the backstretch. On the restart, Linstroth, once again, assumed the point only to be slowed, once again, when, on lap 19, Fremont’s William Camera (20A) came twisting low off turn two and brought with him the second and final caution period of the race. On the ensuing restart, Linstroth resumed control, however, this time around, Miller came attached to the rear bumper of the #25 machine and over the next 18 circuits, Miller would nibble and gnaw and bite and chew at that rear bumper until, on lap 38, Linstroth had no choice but to surrender to the overwhelming harassment applied by Miller as the #57 made a stunning move through three and came off turn four with the lead. From that point Miller stepped away ever-so-slightly and crossed beneath the checkers for the very impressive Victory. Linstroth had to settle for what was very likely a disappointing second, if second can really ever be considered disappointing. The “Ripon Rocket” Mike Regelman, driving full time this year in the #63 Cherokee Muffler Hotrod, finished on the podium in a very strong third, while Super Star Scott Winters (24) of Tracy, after an earlier altercation that seemed to upset the handling of his car, brought her home in fourth. Nik Romano (4) of Menlo Park rounded out the top five.
The Pure Stocks, as they often do, produced another exciting battle that had the fans on the edges of their seats. When the smoke and dust settled, the familiar face of 2011 Champ and Stockton’s own Jeremy Tucker (7) would be the one frolicking in the Victor’s share of the spoils of war.
This one got underway with Guido Bindi (016) and Jeremy Tucker (7), both from Stockton, pacing the field around to greet the green when Bindi grabbed a quick gear along with the holeshot off into turn one. The thrill for the #016 would be rather short-lived when, on lap 3, Stockton’s Rodney Tripp (8) pulled off a handsomely clean move coming up off turn four which most certainly vaulted him into the lead. Tripp would relish in the rarified air for his fifteen minutes until lap 14 when Tucker turned up the heat, which always means only one thing: nice racing with you, but see you at the finishline. And that’s exactly the way the story went with Tucker never completely shaking free from Tripp, but nonetheless, he was never headed all the way through to the checkers for a very typical-style Jeremy Tucker win. Tripp, although there wasn’t a lot of gnawing going on at the rear bumper of the #7, the #8 was definitely breathing down his neck and held on to finish on the podium in second. Bindi fell off, if only slightly, but still managed a podium finish in third. Stockton’s Ben Lewis II, on an up-and-down evening, put together a strong finish in fourth. The fiercest battle of the night was fought over P5 with no fewer than five cars vying for the position through at least 15 laps, but on the final tally, it would be second generation driver from Lodi, Brandon Jones (005), filling in the five spot quite nicely.
For those who think a mere seven cars can’t put on a great show, think again. The Basically-4-Cylinders did just that with Mark Jacke (747) of Stockton squeezing through at the stripe for the fabulous Victory.
Modesto’s Jennifer Corder (24) nabbed P1 with Manteca’s Brad Mast (69) already nibbling at her right side numbers when the green went flying. And from that point it became a monumental moment when, coming back around to lap one, these guys and gals went five deep through three and four with Dave Kong (9) of Stockton, starting P5 on the grid, squirting low through the pack and to the lead at the flagstand in what appeared to be a matted throttle all the way through the turns, which, until now, seemed virtually impossible. Once out front, Kong trickled away, if only slightly, but unfortunately, he left too much grip on the asphalt behind him because the #747 of Mark Jacke began to chew away at the tasty surface until, on lap 16, Kong washed up in turn two and Jacke pounced all over it into the lead. Over the next five laps, the give and take flew out the window and the atmosphere was filled with pure adrenaline as these two drivers battled ferociously over that prime real estate with Jacke returning the favor by washing up in turn two on lap 20 and Kong gratefully accepting the opening as he jumped out front once again. The battle continued with 2011 Champ Joseph Reichmuth (6) of Manteca joining in the fray all the way through to the finish where they were stacked three wide at the stripe with Jacke getting the edge and the nod on the unbelievable, breathtaking finish. Kong would get the thumps-up for second while Reichmuth would have to settle for third in what was a superb late charge on his part. Manteca’s Nick Rogers (51), starting shotgun on the field, moved up to finish fourth, while Mast fell off just a bit, but still held on for a fifth place finish.
In the Grand American Modified Twin #2, the tide was turned, but it only managed to slow him a bit, because in the end, Wes Miller (57) of Turlock was standing high atop the podium once again, pocketing his second win in as many races on this night.
Sonoma’s PJ Pedroncelli (0) inherited P1 due to an eight invert off Twin #1. Sitting out high and to the right, 2010 Division Champion from Stockton, AJ Rider (62), was ready to rumble at the drop of the green. Pedroncelli got the great jump and beat the field down into turn one where he held strong over the next twelve circuits when, on lap 13, Tracy’s Superstar, Scott Winters (24), decided he had had enough on this night as he drove her deep into three and came out on the other side with the lead. Unfortunately, and an extremely rare occurrence for the #24 Team, the Racing God of Mechanical Woes frowned down on them and on lap 18, their night was done as Winters exited the track. Winters unforeseen departure from the racing surface handed the lead back to Pedroncelli, but much to his chagrin, Miller had worked his way through the field to the forefront and on lap 21, Miller once again found himself straddling that much-coveted territory travel by only the very few. From that point forward, Miller would go, mostly unchallenged, to the land of milk and honey for his second win on the night. “There’s a pretty high class of cars out here, so you have to take the positions when you can get them,” said the well-spoken Miller, “Good night, brand new car, I couldn’t be happier.” Jay Linstroth (25), with a fantastic night of his own, finished her up in second for the second time on this night. Mike Regelman (63), after finishing on the podium in third in Twin #1, backed it up with another third in this one. Nick Lyons (43) of Loomis, after a rather fruitful, but quiet night, finished fourth with Dave Strickland (3) of Stockton, after an altercation earlier in the evening, putting together a marvelous evening in rounding out the top five.
Next Saturday, May 5th, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Pick-n-Pull 150 Brought to you by Pick-n-Pull, Allegiant Air, San Joaquin County Chevrolet Dealerships, Budweiser, and Garton Tractor. Plus NASCAR Whelen All American Series Grand American Modifieds, Super Stocks, and Legends of the Pacific. Mark your calendars for this one and come out early. This could easily be the most exciting race of the year with the K&N Pro Series West making their first appearance on the Toughest Test in the West in over six years.
General Admission $35
Seniors, Military, & Juniors 11-15 $25
Family Pack (2 Adults & 2 Juniors) $95
Kids 10 & Under Free
With Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Giveaways
The New Stockton 99 Speedway is located at 4105 N. Wilson Way, ¼-mile west of Highway 99. For more information on tickets and times, please contact the Speedway Office at (209)466-9999 or visit their Website at www.stockton99.com.
The New Stockton 99 Speedway is sponsored by Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel, Budweiser, Alamo Alarm and Stockton Hampton Inn and Suites and Lodi Holiday Express.