A nice crowd of nearly 2,000 was on hand at Stockton’s 99 Speedway for last Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen All American Racing Series program and tribute to Manteca racing legend Johnny Brazil.
Season points leader Jeff Belletto of Modesto seemed to be on his way to another victory in the first of two 50-lap Western Late Model features until he tangled with Trevor Schlundt of Clovis in the closing laps. Belletto was done for the night and that opened the door for Lodi’s Mike Wendt to take the checkers ahead of Seaside veteran Dave Byrd.
"It certainly was a good night for us," said Mike Wendt, whose younger brother Matt won the Super Stock race earlier in the evening. "We built Matt's (Wendt) car ourselves, so that's very gratifying."
Belletto got revenge in the second Western feature when he squeezed under Schlundt in the final stages of the race to earn his fourth win of the season.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the special Vintage Super Modifieds feature in which Brazil participated in a borrowed car. The 77-year-young “Manteca Missile” grabbed the lead at mid race and then held off Everett Edlund, of Caruthers, to notch his 100th victory at the 99 Speedway.
"I had to wait a while to get it," smiled Brazil. "It was fun to come out here and quite a night for me."
Tonight the 99 Speedway will be dark, but fear not race fans, the Madera Speedway will be hosting the LunkerDaddy Late Models, Hobby Stock, MST, Toyota, Sedans and 4-Bangers today and the Merced Speedway program on Sunday will include the Wingless Sprints, Super Stocks, Hobby Stock, Sportsman and 4- Bangers.
The 99 will return to action July 30 with another NASCAR Whelen All American Series program featuring the Western Late Models, Super Stocks Twin 40's, Bombers and Basically 4- Cylinders.
The next couple of weeks are going to be busy ones on almost every racing level.
Escalon’s Eric Holmes and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West series drivers will be at Portland International Raceway for the Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops “125” on Sunday. It will be the series’ fourth visit to the 1.967-mile road course just south of the Columbia River.
“I'm extremely excited to be going back to PIR and am looking for my first road-course win at Portland,” said Holmes. “Our NAPA Toyota Camry road course car has been very fast in the past two road course races.”
Holmes, the defending series champion, is currently fifth is the point standings behind runaway leader Greg Pursley of Newhall, but only 19 points out of the top-three.
The second half of the 10-race SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series championship kicks off today with the inaugural “Century Boatland 115” race at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City, Utah.
MK Kanke, of Frazier Park, holds a slim 835 to 831 lead over Manteca’s Jacob Gomes. Seaside veteran Jim Pettit II is third followed by Manteca’s Ross Strmiska and Eric Holmes.
The Red Bull United States Grand Prix returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend for Round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship. At 2.238 miles, Mazda Raceway is the shortest circuit in the MotoGP series, yet that distinction also makes it one of the most technical and physically-demanding tracks for riders to navigate.
Also racing this weekend will be the FIM E-Power TTX Championship, AMA Pro Daytona Sportbikes, AMA Superbikes, AMA SuperSport and a host of off track activities.
For more information call 1-800-327-7322 or visit www.mazdaraceway.com.
The NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel, will be roaring down the quarter mile strip at Infineon Raceway near Sonoma this weekend and the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals will be at Infineon July 29-31.
For more information call 1-800-870-RACE or go to infineonraceway.com.