Turlock's Wes Miller cruised to his first victory of the season in the 17-car Modified feature at Stockton's 99 Speedway last Saturday.
The early laps of the 50-lap race were run at a blistering pace with Citrus Height’s Jay Lindstroth, Tracy’s Scott Winters, Ripon’s Mike Regelman and Turlock’s Wes Miller leading the way.
Lindstroth held the lead as the race neared the halfway point when Winters, the 2012 defending track champion, attempted to squeeze by him on the inside going into turn one. Neither driver would give ground and as a result they both flew up towards the outer wall in a haze of brake and tire smoke.
When the race resumed Miller grabbed the lead from Regelman while Lindstroth and Winters tried to work their way back into contention from the back of the pack.
With five laps to go Lindstroth tried to get around Regelman causing him to spin. Track officials invited Lindstroth to join Regelman at the back of the pack for the restart for rough driving.
“I’m kind of sick of the way he drives. Every time he is here he seems to take somebody out or roughs somebody up. It is starting to get old real fast,” fumed Regelman after the race back in the pits. “I try to give everybody respect and I expect the same thing.”
Lindstroth had a different take on matters.
“I tried to be smooth and clean like I have been doing all year and both those guys cut down on me and stayed on it. I’m not out to get into wrecks, I’m out to win races,” said an equally unhappy Lindstroth. “They are desperate for wins. What may be the most frustrating is that they think they are right.”
The final laps were run without incident as Miller cruised home to the checkered flag for his first win of the season ahead of Luis Tyrrell and Andy Vanderveer.
“There are a few people that had their feelings hurt tonight,” said Miller with a wry smile. “We had a fast car and then it just sort of fell into our lap when the leaders tangled.”
Ironically, the late race altercation between Lindstroth and Regelman pushed Winters up to a fourth place finish in the race giving him the Tri Holiday championship for the Modifieds by two slim points over Miller.
Early on Saturday, Pine Bluff’s Matt Scott held off a determined Kyle Gottula to capture the 100-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Racing Series Western Late Model feature.
The victory ran Scott’s 2013 record at the 99 Speedway to a perfect eight wins in eight starts and it also gave him a clean sweep of the three Tri-Holiday events.
“I was so happy to see the checkered flag finally come out instead of a yellow,” said Scott in victory lane. “It has been a dream season that has come true. It’s been unbelievable.”
Season points leader Ben Lewis II, of Stockton, took command of the 17 car Pure Stock main on lap five and cruised to his fifth win of the season while Manteca’s Chad Holman led wire to wire for his third victory of the year in the Super Stock class.
Both drivers also clinched the Tri Holiday championship crowns in their respective division.
Season points leader Brad Mast passed fellow Mantecan Mark Jacke for the early lead and cruised to his third straight win of the season in the 30-lap B-4 feature.
Stockton’s Dave Kong came into the B-4 race tied for the lead in the Tri Holiday points with Jacke only to have the title slip from his grasp on the final lap when he was forced to pull off the track with an overheating engine while riding comfortably in second place behind Mast.
The 99 will be back in action today, with the Modifieds in Twin Features, Legends of the Pacific, Pro-4 Modifieds, California Hard Tops, and Mini Cups.