Matt Scott of Pine Grove survived some early race carnage to drive to a convincing victory in Saturday night’s opening round of the annual Tri-Holiday Classic at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Second generation driver Colby Potts, of Stockton, held the pole position as the 20-car field took the green flag in the 100-lap Western Late Model feature, but quickly fell back as Stockton veteran Joey Stearns grabbed the early race lead.
An early race caution forced a lap nine restart that saw the top three cars driven by Stearns, Brock Monroe of Escalon and Michael Wendt of Lodi all get tangled up in a huge wreck on the back straight. It caused the race to be red flagged to allow track workers to clean up the mess.
“It was kind of a survival of the fittest in the first part of the race. I don’t know if people were trying to shake the cobwebs off or what in the early laps,” explained Scott. “We just tried to stay out of trouble and be there at the end. I was lucky to avoid that wreck early on.”
When the race resumed 20 minutes later Stanislav Osterlund, of Los Gatos, held the lead with Jessica Burnelli of Hayward and Scott in hot pursuit.
Scott shot past Burnelli on a lap 36 restart and began stalking Osterlund. With Scott looming on his tail, Osterlund touched the backmarker car of Novato’s Todd Schneider on lap 55 and cut a tire. He was forced to the pits to make repairs as Scott happily inherited the lead and cruised to the win.
Following Scott across the finish line were Tracy’s Justin Philpott who was able to make a strong recovery from an early race flat tire and Chris Scribner of Sacramento.
“There were a ton of cars out there that could have won tonight which makes it really special to come out on top tonight,” said Scott who is now a perfect three wins in three starts at the 99 in 2013. “I have a lot of friends and family in the armed forces so this race is a huge thank you to them.”
Jay Lindstroth of Citrus Heights turned in an equally impressive performance in the 50-lap Modified feature.
Lindstroth started in the 16-car field from the sixth position and quickly moved to the front, grabbing the lead from his teammate Jason Bamberg, of Loomis, on a lap 11 restart. He never looked back as he cruised to the win while Bamberg fought off defending track champion Scott Winters of Tracy for second place.
“My car was just strong all night long,” said Lindstroth. “We were able to keep Winters in check and finish one-two with my teammate so that felt good.”
In other events on Saturday, Oakdale’s Aaron Coonfield won the Super Stocks 30-lap main over Lodi’s Matt Wendt and Chad Holman of Manteca; Stockton’s Ben Lewis picked up the victory in the 40-lap Pure Stocks ahead of Manteca’s Marc Borges; and Larry Toon, Jr. of Modesto won the B4s 30-lapper over Stockton’s Dave Kong and Brad Mast of Manteca.
The action returns to the Stockton 99 this Saturday with the Pacific Challenge Series Late Models.
California HardTops, Legends of the Pacific, NCMA Sprint Cars and Super Stocks.