After spinning out while fighting for the lead in the previous race, Escalon’s “Slammin” Sam Solari gained some revenge by rolling to a convincing win in Saturday’s 50-lap Stockton Late Model feature at the 99 Speedway.
Starting on the outside of the front row in the 10-car field, Solari and his old nemesis Larry Tankersley of Stockton, began a battle for the top spot at the drop of the green flag. The pair traded paint on a couple of occasions before Solari emerged with the lead on after lap 2.
Solari would gradually pull away in the caution free race to post a 3.3 second victory over Tankersley while defending track champion Joey Stearns came home third for his best finish of the young season.
“That was an old fashion butt whooping,” exclaimed a jubilant Solari before giving full credit to his crew. “They gave me a great hotrod. I’ve got to give them a ton of thanks. Without them I would not be able to do this.”
It was also a story of redemption in the B-4 division where Manteca’s Joe Flowers picked up his second victory of the season. After winning the season opener back in April, Flowers, the reigning division champion, had failed to finish in the previous two events due to a crash and a mechanical failure.
Flowers jumped to the lead in the 20-lap feature on the opening lap as Jordan Mast and Josh Cross, both of Manteca, gave chase. However, neither driver had anything for the leader, which allowed Flowers to check out while the pair sparred for second before Cross finally secured the runner-up spot with a late lap pass.
“I am happy; this thing was really hooked up,” said Flowers, who drives a car prepared by his son-in-law and teammate Josh Cross. “Josh set the car up perfect tonight. He is the man.”
Lodi’s Brandon Jones outdueled Stockton’s Barret Sugden to take the lead in the opening lap of the 20-lap Street Stock feature. He would never be seriously challenged over the remainder of the caution free race as he cruised to his second victory of the year ahead of Sugden and Brian Miller of Railroad Flats.
Stockton’s Natalie Harper continued her domination of the B-4 Junior division by going wire-to-wire in the 10-lap main to post her fourth consecutive win of the 2023 season and Napa’s David Goodwill pulled off a late race pass on Justin Kawatha, of Clovis, to snare the win in the 25-lap NCMA Sprint Car race.
The 99 Speedway will host its next night of racing on Saturday, July 1, with the Strmiska 125 for the Stockton Late Models. The program will also include the Street Stocks, B-4s and B-4 Juniors along with a car show and a huge fireworks display that will light up the sky before the main event.
Kern County Raceway
Jacob Gomes, of Manteca, continued to carve up the competition in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series as he picked up his fourth win in five 2023 starts in Saturday’s “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – For Those About to Rock 107” at Bakersfield’s Kern County Raceway Park.
Gomes started the 107-lap race from the pole, but fell behind Austin Herzog, of Clovis, on the opening lap where he remained until the first of three completion cautions came out on lap 30. Gomes would get the jump over the 15-car field on the restart and he never looked back as he cruised to a 4.4 second victory over Frazier Park’s Cale Kanke and Herzog.
The victory was worth $10,000 and combined with a $1,000 bonus for winning the heat race, Gomes pocketed $11,000 for his evening’s work.
Gomes will continue his quest for an unprecedented third SRL season championship when the series heads to the Stockton 99 Speedway on July 15, for Round #6 of the JM Environmental Wild West Shootout. The Super Late Models will be joined in Stockton by the Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services and the Spears Modified Series, which will be making its first appearance at the historic quarter-mile oval.