Teen Cashes In At Stock­ton 99 Pa­cific Chal­lenge Se­ries

The Oakdale Leader - - SPORTS - By DALE BOSOWSKI Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

Sec­ond gen­er­a­tion driver Cole Moore, age 18 of Gran­ite Bay, sur­vived a crash marred fea­ture to pick up his sec­ond win of the sea­son in the Pa­cific Chal­lenge Se­ries (PCS) at the Stock­ton 99 Speed­way on Satur­day night.

Ja­son Romero, of Cameron Park, who came into Stock­ton with a nar­row four­point lead over John Moore in the PCS stand­ings, set the fast time in qual­i­fy­ing, but a bad run in the tro­phy dash pushed him back to eighth on the start­ing grid in the 11-car field for the main.

Pole sit­ter Matt Wendt, of Galt, grabbed the early lead, but was soon over­taken by John Moore on lap 9. Two laps later, Cole Moore was sent to the back of the pack af­ter he got into the rear of Wendt’s car as he at­tempted a pass.

Wendt got off slowly on the en­su­ing restart which caused sev­eral cars to ac­cor­dion into him caus­ing a mass ex­o­dus of cars to the pits for re­pairs.

The next restart went smoothly, but on lap 14 John Moore’s rear end broke caus­ing a pile up with Dave Byrd, of Sea­side and Matt Scott, of Pine Grove, who had nowhere to go.

With only six cars left race of­fi­cials elected to re­duce the race to 60 laps.

Romero was the new leader, but he was soon passed by the re­silient Cole Moore. Romero stayed right on Moore’s tail for the re­main­der of the race, get­ting along­side of him on more than one oc­ca­sion, but Romero could never make the pass and was forced to set­tle for a hard earned sec­ond place ahead of At­wa­ter’s Car­los Vieira as Moore took the check­ered flag.

“It was a weird race. I spun Wendt out at the begin­ning and was sent to the back and then my dad looked like he was go­ing to run away with it un­til he blew up. So to end up winning it is pretty awe­some,” said Moore. “I have only fin­ished two races this year and I won them both.”

De­spite fail­ing to win Romero was sat­is­fied with the re­sult.

“That bat­tle with Cole over the last 20 laps was awe­some. We are friends and I am glad to see him win it if I couldn’t,” said the gra­cious Romero. “I had op­por­tu­ni­ties to move him, but I like to drive clean.”

Mak­ing his first start of the 2018 sea­son in the fa­mil­iar Str­miska fam­ily #90, Man­teca’s Guy Gui­bor showed no signs of rust as he dom­i­nated the 35-lap fea­ture for the Stock­ton Late Mod­els.

Start­ing along­side of pole sit­ter Gary Shaf­fer of Stock­ton in the 14-car field, Gui­bor jumped into the lead on the sec­ond lap and never looked back.

“It is kind of like a bi­cy­cle, you don’t for­get how to do it,” said Gui­bor.

As Gui­bor cruised to the check­ers, a late race tus­sle be­tween Escalon’s Chris­tian Roche and Shaf­fer al­lowed Sam Solari, of Escalon, to steal sec­ond place and pad his sea­son point’s lead while Shaf­fer, Roche and Sal­ida’s Seth Hol­man com­pleted the top five.

After­ward, Gui­bor was quick to give credit to Ron Str­miska Jr. and the crew for pre­par­ing the car.

“It is pretty easy to step in be­cause they al­ready have all the bugs worked out of it,” ex­plained Gui­bor, who took over the ride fol­low­ing Ross Str­miska’s emo­tional vic­tory in the Str­miska Me­mo­rial Fourth of July race.

“I have some big shoes to fill since the car has won two of the last three races here,” Gui­bor said.

The 30-lap Leg­ends of the Pa­cific race got off to a rough start af­ter three yel­low-cau­tions and one red flag stop­page oc­curred be­fore the first of­fi­cial lap of the race was recorded.

Michael Ray, of Farm­ing­ton, con­trolled the first half of the 35-lap main un­til he tan­gled up with a hard­charg­ing Codi Winchel, of Se­bastopol, on lap 16.

A grate­ful Shel­don Crouse, of Grov­e­land, took over the lead and cruised to the vic­tory ahead of Bakersfield’s Brandon Rodgers.

Kimberley Rouse, of Stock­ton, held down the top spot of the 18-car Bomber main un­til Rick Roberts, of Stock­ton, was able to squeak by her with just two laps to go in the 25-lap race.

Rouse al­most lost con­trol of her car as she made one fi­nal at­tempt to re­take the lead com­ing out of the fi­nal cor­ner on the last lap and just man­aged to hold off Man­teca’s Robert Dueck for sec­ond de­spite sway­ing down the front straight­away like a fresh­man leav­ing his first frat party.

Joe Flow­ers of Man­teca led the eight-car field to the green flag for the B-4’s fea­ture and grabbed the early lead only to see Bar­rett Sug­den, of Stock­ton, charge past him five laps into the 20-lap main.

Flow­ers would cruise to the check­ered flag while Flow­ers hung on for sec­ond just ahead of Stock­ton’s Andy Rum­sey.

Next up at the 99 Speed­way will be the Night of Cham­pi­ons Reunion when the Stock­ton Late Mod­els will head a three divi­sion pro­gram with a 100-lap fea­ture on Satur­day, Aug. 4. The pro­gram will also in­clude fire­works.

There will be plenty of thun­der in the hills of the North Bay as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Rac­ing Se­ries roars into quar­ter-mile dragstrip at Sonoma Race­way for the 31st An­nual Toy­ota Sonoma Na­tion­als July 27 through 29.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.sono­marace­way.

PHOTO BY JES­SICA MCANELLY/JESSIE’S FAST PHOTOS

Dad John Moore, left, shares a smile with his son Cole Moore, cel­e­brat­ing Cole’s Pa­cific Chal­lenge Se­ries win in vic­tory cir­cle on Satur­day night at Stock­ton 99 Speed­way.

PHOTO BY JES­SICA MCANELLY/ JESSIE’S FAST PHOTOS

Man­teca’s Guy Gui­bor cel­e­brates tak­ing the check­ered flag in the Stock­ton Late Mod­els on Satur­day night, driv­ing the Team Str­miska car to vic­tory.

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