So­lari Dom­i­nates Com­pe­ti­tion At Stock­ton 99 Speed­way

Riverbank News - - SPORT - By DALE BOSOWSKI Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

“Slam­min” Sam So­lari, of Escalon, picked up his sec­ond straight win of the young sea­son by taking the check­ered flag in Satur­day’s Stock­ton Late Model fea­ture on April 28 at the Stock­ton 99 Speed­way.

Un­like his first vic­tory in at the sea­son open­ing race on April 8, in which he came across the line sec­ond, but was later awarded the win when Modesto’s Kyle Got­tula was dis­qual­i­fied in pos­trace tech, So­lari dom­i­nated Satur­day’s 30-lap main.

“We had a real hotrod to- night,” pro­claimed So­lari af­ter the race. “I have Nor­man David work­ing on the car and he is giv­ing me ev­ery­thing I need.”

So­lari led the strong 20-car field from the pole along­side of de­fend­ing track cham­pion Ar­ron Shankel of Lodi. He im­me­di­ately shot to the lead with Shankel hot on his heels.

The pair quickly pulled away from the field, en­coun­ter­ing the back marker car of Stock­ton’s Don­ald Pom­roy on the back straight of the fourth lap. They split with So­lari go­ing low and Shankel go­ing to the high side when Pom­roy moved up into Shankel, break­ing his rear sus­pen­sion and end­ing his night.

“We had a rocket tonight and the rear end of my car was de­stroyed,” said the dis­ap­pointed Shankel. “Be­ing the first guy out re­ally hurts our cham­pi­onship chances and be­ing taken out by an in­ex­pe­ri­enced driver is re­ally frus­trat­ing.”

So­lari would sur­vive four more yel­low-cau­tions and two red flag stop­pages over the next 10 laps, suc­cess­fully us­ing the out­side po­si­tion on each restart, to post a wire-to-wire vic­tory.

“I’ve won a lot of races and I’ve won cham­pi­onships, but the last five years I have not re­ally been ded­i­cated to rac­ing,” con­fessed So­lari. “This year I have re­fo­cused and I am 100 per­cent com­mit­ted to rac­ing and to win­ning.”

Justin Philpott, the for­mer two-time track cham­pion out of Tracy, had to fight through traf­fic for much of the race due to his fifth row start­ing spot be­fore fi­nally get­ting into po­si­tion to make a late run at So­lari, but his ef­forts fell short as he was forced to set­tle for sec­ond.

“I wish we had about 10 more laps or a yel­low be­cause I think I would have had a chance at him,” said Philpott. “I think we put a good show on tonight though.”

Chris Lyons, of Gree­ley Hill, Ben Lewis II and Gary Shafer Jr., both of Stock­ton, com­pleted the top five.

It was an all-girl power front row made up of Lin­den’s Mikala Stearns and Stock­ton’s Kim­berly Rouse that led the13-car Bomber field to the green flag of their 25-lap main.

Stock­ton’s Rick Roberts would take com­mand of the race by pow­er­ing to the lead on the back straight dur­ing lap four and never looked back to take the first win of his ca­reer over vet­eran John Med­ina of Galt and Justin Scantlen of Val­ley Springs.

Roberts shares the own­er­ship and driv­ing du­ties in the car with Man­teca’s Robert Dueck who also picked up his ca­reer first vic­tory when he drove the car in the sea­son opener ear­lier in the month.

“Af­ter Rob won in the car last week it was my turn tonight so it was hero or zero,” ex­plained Roberts with a huge smile. “And Lord will­ing, it turned out all right.”

Roberts will be back be­hind the wheel next race, but the pair is pre­par­ing a sec­ond car for Dueck to drive.

In other di­vi­sions, Bar­rett Sug­den held off An­drew Rum­sey, both of Stock­ton, to take the win in the 20-lap B-4s fea­ture and West Sacra- mento’s Ron Rezz notched the vic­tory over Plac­erville’s Ja­son Arm­strong in the Cal­i­for­nia Hard Top main.

The Stock­ton 99 will have a busy month of May as the Mon­ster Trucks, along with the Dr. Dan­ger Stunts, take over the track on Fri­day and Satur­day, May 4 and 5. The Gun Slingers Wing Sprint Car Se­ries and Grand Amer­i­cans will make their 2018 sea­son de­but on Satur­day, May 12 and the Late Mod­els re­turn to head a four di­vi­sion pro­gram on Satur­day, May 19.

Madera Speed­way

Blaine Rocha, of Oak­dale, claimed his first ca­reer RPM Mort­gage Pro Late Model 80-lap fea­ture on the 1/3 mile Madera Speed­way on Satur­day night. Rocha bat­tled Bak­ers­field’s Racin Ver­non for most of the race un­til Ver­non spun on his own en­ter­ing turn num­ber one on lap 68.

Rocha out­du­eled Jake Wood, of Loomis, on the restart and led the fi­nal 12 cir­cuits for the win ahead of track points leader Austin Her­zog, of Clo­vis, and Wood. Madera Speed­way continues rac­ing next Satur­day with the Vukovich Clas­sic which includes the BCRA Midgets, NCMA Sprints, CSS/360 Su­per Mod­i­fieds, Leg­ends of Kear­ney Bowl, Se­nior Open Vin­tage Su­per Mod­i­fieds, Cal­i­for­nia Hard Tops, Vin­tage BCRA, USAC Western Midgets, and Leg­ends of the Pa­cific.


Pos­ing with his tro­phy, Sam So­lari of Escalon dom­i­nated Satur­day’s 30-lap main event at the Stock­ton 99 Speed­way, run­ning wire-to-wire.

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