Crashes, Cau­tion Flags Mar Busy Night At Speed­way

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

It was a wild and crazy night of rac­ing, even by Stock­ton stan­dards, as the Spears SRL South­west Tour, pre­sented by 51 Fifty En­ergy Drink, made its one and only ap­pear­ance of the sea­son at the 99 Speed­way on Satur­day night, Aug. 18.

Vet­eran John Moore of Gran­ite Bay led the stel­lar 21-car field to the open­ing green flag to start the 125 lap fea­ture. He would hold the lead over Derek Thorn, of Lake­port, through the open­ing laps un­til the race was red flagged on lap 17 af­ter sev­eral back mark­ers tan­gled up on the back straight.

Thorn took full ad­van­tage of the restart to mus­cle by Moore on lap 19 and charge into the lead. He would re­main in front for the re­main­der of the race, fight­ing off a va­ri­ety of ag­gres­sive chal­lengers the rest of the way.

Af­ter Moore be­gan to slowly slip back at mid-race, Clare­mont’s Ricky Sch­lick was able to push his way past him on lap 79 and im­me­di­ately latched on to Thorn’s rear bumper. A series of late yel­low-cau­tion restarts pre­sented Sch­lick with sev­eral late race op­por­tu­ni­ties to at­tack Thorn, but Thorn was able to fight him off on ev­ery oc­ca­sion.

A mid pack col­li­sion on lap 105 sent cars in ev­ery di­rec­tion, caus­ing a mas­sive pile up and forc­ing the race to be red flagged once again in or­der to clean up the mess.

When it re­sumed Ro­seville’s Eric Sch­midt, who had fought his way back through the pack af­ter a lap 12 spin, blew past Sch­lick and be­gan to jab at Thorn. De­spite get­ting un­der Thorn on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions he was never able to com­plete the pass as Thorn held on for a hard earned vic­tory.

“This was not the race I ex­pected. We were good on the long runs, but there were so many restarts I did not know if I could hold them off,” ex­plained Thorn. “We will take this win, go home and en­joy it. Stock­ton is one rough place and I am glad I don’t have to come back any time soon.”

Sch­midt, Up­per­lake’s Jeremy Doss, Sch­lick, At­wa­ter’s Carlos Vieira and Moore rounded out the top six fin­ish­ers.

“What a rough race. Af­ter our spin we were in sur­vival mode try­ing to keep our nose clean and get back to the front,” said Sch­midt. “I did what I could to get by him (Thorn) but the tires were gone at the end.”

Man­teca’s Ja­cob Gomes hov­ered around the mid­dle of the top 10 for most of the race, but was caught up in the lap 105 mess which put a pre­ma­ture end to his night.

“We kept get­ting shuf­fled to the out­side and my car wasn’t work­ing well up there,” said Gomes, who was of­fi­cially cred­ited with 15th place. “We were try­ing to hang on ev­ery lap while every­one was wreck­ing around us. I think we could have fin­ished in the top three if we didn’t get stuck in that wreck, but that is Stock­ton.”

The 11-car Bomber main pro­vided plenty of on track fire­works also as Stock­ton’s fa­ther/son team of Ben Lewis and Ben Lewis II, Kim­berly Rouse and Kyle Sin­gle­ton of Clo­vis duked it out from the open­ing lap.

Sin­gle­ton would spin out on lap 12, end­ing his chances, while the oth­ers went three-wide com­ing out of turn #4 on lap 15 in a drag race for the lead. Rouse and the se­nior Lewis spun into the wall giv­ing Ben Lewis II the win when of­fi­cials halted the race early with a check­ered-yel­low.

A near tragedy put a damper on the nine-car B-4 main when early race lead­ers Joe Flow­ers and Joshua Cross, both of Man­teca, tan­gled up on the front straight of the main’s third lap to bring out a red flag.

When track worker Shaun Davis walked onto the track in turn #4 he was struck by the car driven by Andrea Rum­sey, of Stock­ton, send­ing him up in the air be­fore land­ing hard on the as­phalt where he laid mo­tion­less.

The race was stopped for about 40 min­utes as Davis was care­fully strapped to a stretcher and trans­ported by the on duty am­bu­lance to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal where he was be­ing treated for sev­eral non-life threat­en­ing in­juries in­clud­ing a bro­ken leg and lac­er­ated liver.

When the race re­sumed Stock­ton’s Bar­rett Sud­gen cruised to the win over Dave Kong of Stock­ton with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent.

Napa’s Aaron Thomas sur­vived a crash marred Mini Cup fea­ture to earn the vic­tory over Lin­den’s Joey Stearns.

The 99 Speed­way will be back in ac­tion the next two Satur­days, Aug. 25 and Sept. 2, with pro­grams fea­tur­ing the Stock­ton Late Mod­els in 50 lap mains.

PHOTO BY JES­SICA MCANELLY/JESSIE’S FAST PHO­TOS

Tak­ing a hard fought win in the Spears SRL South­west Tour dur­ing an ap­pear­ance at the 99 Speed­way was Derek Thorn of Lake­port, in the #43 car, hold­ing off some late chal­lenges to take the check­ered flag.

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