The SRL Spears Southwest Tour Came To Conquer The Tricky Quarter-Mile,
But Soon Discovered Only The Rare Few Ever Do
6/14/12 - By David Holman / Stockton 99 Media Relations
On Saturday, June 9th, the SRL Spears Southwest Tour Series Strandwold Properties 125 presented by Wrapped Graphics exploded onto the sticky asphalt surface for their second adventure at the Speedway this year. Also on the schedule for the Event: NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified Twins, Legends of the Pacific and Basically-4-Cylinders. And, once again, the Toughest Test in the West would hold tight to her modern-era moniker by demonstrating what a monumental task it is to tame the monster she is well-known to be simply by taking on all challenges and turning all but the historic few back to the garage scratching their collective heads and already pondering a new plan of attack next time out. An estimated 2000 fans in the stands played witness to some great battles and much carnage in their wake.
The Modified’s Twin #1 was unusual in its content, but in the end, one of the usual suspects, who just so happen to come in the form of Modified Super Star from Tracy, Scott Winters (24), would reap the winner’s share of the spoils in a battle well-fought.
Fremont’s William Camara (20) nabbed P1 honors while Stockton’s David Strickland (3X) took up residence at P2 to get this one under green. And, with the green flag wrinkled high above, Camara had the heavier foot and beat the field down into turn one for the early lead where he would hold tight until lap 6 when the #49 of Santa Rosa’s Andy Vanderveer suffered the wrath of the Racing God of Catastrophe by losing an engine down the frontstretch and anointing the hot surface with much fluid, which brought with it first a yellow, then a red. On the ensuing restart, Scott Winters (24) jumped out into the breathable air and it most likely agreed with the attitude of his car because despite having to deal with four more cautions, and a whole lot of 2011 Division Champ from Turlock, Wes Miller (57), Winters would prevail as he rolled beneath the checkered/yellow on lap 37 for the time/shortened Victory. Miller, pulling every trick out of his ample bag, nibbled, pinched, bit and chewed at every part of the #24, but on this night, he simply could not overcome Winters as he crossed the stripe, still picking pieces of tire, paint and numbers from his teeth, to finish second. Menlo Park’s Nick Romano (4), after maneuvering through the carnage all race long, landed on the podium in an impressive third. Rio Linda’s Don Lehman (83A), coming back from an injury earlier this year, hung around the front most of the race and finished her up in fourth, while the other #3 of Don Swartz had a great run of his own in rounding out the top five.
The Basically-4-Cylinders rolled onto the racing surface to get the evening’s events underway. 2011 Division Champion from Manteca, Joseph Reichmuth (6), once again put a stamp on his resume by handily taking it to the field for a convincing third win on the year.
Stockton’s Shannon Rumsey (59) and Manteca’s “Firecracker” Matt Anderson (5) paced the field around to greet the green with Anderson getting to the gas a mere eighth inch sooner than did the rest of the field as he drove it off into turn one with the immediate lead. Once out front, Anderson enjoyed the same rarified air that his ancestors once breathed in until lap 11, when 2011 Division Champ from Manteca, Joseph Reichmuth (6), after starting deep on the grid, had made his way to the back bumper of the #5 and rolling off into turn three, the #6 used a pick and dove low, coming out on the other side with the lead. And, as most often happens, Reichmuth took full advantage of the situation by taking it, completely unchallenged, to the checkers for his third win on the year. Stockton’s David Kong (9) continues to inch closer to that win he is so desperately seeking by finishing on the podium with a masterful second place run. Anderson, slipped back, if only slightly, but still manage a podium run in third, while Stockton’s Chris Boone (747) brought her home in fourth. Brad Mast (69), from parts unknown, rounded out the top five quite nicely.
The Legends of the Pacific, with 38 cars taking time, put on their usual great show. But not to be outdone, Tracy’s own “Gentleman” Jeremy Wood (22), put on a significant show of his own in beating the large field to the checkers for the spectacular Victory.
Ryan Cansdale (37X) of Laguna Beach nabbed the pole with the #41 of Mark Borchetta high and tight to the right to get this one up to speed. Cansdale jumped out to the early lead where he appeared solid, despite a few cautions, including a loose wheel bounding mindlessly around the turn one area, until, on a lap 19 restart, Darren Amidon (03) of Santee vaulted out to the point. Unfortunately for Amidon, Jeremy Wood (22), was caught up in wake and came along for the ride. However, on lap 23, after starting deep on the 24-car grid, Wood performed an outstanding move through three and four which catapulted the #22 well out onto that coveted real estate at P1, where the air is clean and the view is pristine. And, of course, when Wood sniffed out the lead, he began to chew away at the tasty asphalt, in convenient increments, until there was nothing left but immortality and Lion’s share of the spoils of Victory. Amidon, after living a piece of history, had to finally settle for a podium finish in second. Cansdale fell off a bit, but still managed to drive onto the podium in third. Napa’s James Bickford (25B), ran a solid race of his own in finishing fourth, with second generation driver from Frazier Park, Cale Kanke (33), rounding out the top five.
The Modified Twin #2 was similar to the first. However, this time, the tables were turned and Modified Sensation from Turlock, and 2011 Division Champion, Wes Miller (57), received a little recompense in winning his third of the year.
David Crouch (2) of Deuces Wild inherited P1 with the #3 of Don Swartz flanking him out to the right to get this one going. At the drop of the green, Swartz made first contact with the territory out front, but the race was immediately slowed when, on lap 1, Don Lehman (83A) and Crouch made contact up in turn one with Crouch spinning around to face traffic in the middle groove, which brought with it the first yellow of the race. On the restart, Swartz would get the nod, if only for a moment because on the next circuit, which would be most assuredly, lap 3, Nick Romano (4) nosed the #3 car at the stripe and was declared the new race leader. Once out front, Romano would enjoy a whole new atmosphere where only the few have tread, until lap 16, when Wes Miller (57) decided it was his time to shine, and shine he most certainly did by tip-toeing away from his nearest competitor all the way through to the checkers for number three this year. Scott Winters, winner of the first Twin, methodically as always, drove his way onto the podium in second. Romano, strong all night long, backed up his first Twin with another podium finish in third. Swartz, fifth in the first Twin, one-uped himself in this one by finishing fourth. Nick Lyons (43) of Loomis was the final member of the top five.
The SRL Spears Southwest Tour returned for their second visit of the Season. This time out, Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn, driving the #43 Four Star Fruit/Campbell Motorsports Ford, brought home the gold in dominating fashion.
Due to the luck-of-the-draw, Roseville’s young hotshoe, Zane Lovelace (46), pulled pole honors with Derek Thorn (43) pulling P2. With the green flag flying in the warm spring breeze, Thorn got the great jump on the outside and grabbed the holeshot going off into turn one where he would lay claim to that much-coveted real estate out front by stamping his name and number all over it. And, despite having to endure seven caution periods and two reds, and, of course, 2011 Champion from Prunedale, Jim Pettit II (18), Thorn, on this night, would never be headed as he took it to the house for the very impressive win. Pettit, after nibbling and gnawing at the spoiler of the #43 from lap 26 on through to the checkers, simply ran out of car toward the end of the race and had to settle for a second place run. Dublin’s Jason Gilbert (88), after displaying great strength and much skill battling over that precious number three spot, finally pulled off the pass with thirteen laps to go and drove it straight through to the podium in third. The Newlywed and Legend from Seaside, Dave Byrd (0), once again running stealthy all night long, showed up on the radar just in time to finish a miraculous fourth. Frazier Park’s M.K. Kanke (33), after being involved in an earlier altercation which sent him a lap down, fought his way back to the lead lap as only Kanke can do, and somehow managed a top five finish in fifth. Polesitter, Zane Lovelace, looking very strong early, was stricken down by the Racing God of Mechanical Woes on lap 26, which sent him to the pits and ended his night.
Next Saturday, June 16th, the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Whelen Night presents
Western Late Model Twins, Modified Twins, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Basically-4-Cylinders.
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.