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Speedway closes out May racing with plenty of action
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Surrounded by his crew, family and friends, Henry Barton, center, celebrated a victory in the May 25 zMAX CARS Pro Late Model race at Stockton 99 Speedway. Photo By Jessica McAnelly/Jessie’s Fast Photos

The largest crowd of the season was on hand to witness Henry Barton, of San Francisco, steal a victory in the debut of the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model West Series at Stockton’s 99 Speedway on Saturday night, May 25.

Formed in 2014 and owned by former NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton among others, the zMAX CARS Series has raced predominantly in the South until this year when it expanded to the West Coast for 10 races centered around Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield.

Trevor Huddleston of Agoura Hills earned the pole for the 100-lap feature after turning a blistering 14.146 second lap in qualifying while only .2 seconds separated the top 16 of the strong 23-car field.

Huddleston set the pace through the first 60 laps of the race as Madera’s Joey Iest, Ripon’s Eric Nascimento, Napa’s Dylan Zampa and Barton all attempted to chase him down. While mechanical problems would claim Iest and a midrace spin dashed Nascimento’s hopes, the others remained in hot pursuit of Huddleston, who despite multiple yellow-cautions was able to use the inside position on the ensuing restarts to retain his lead.

Huddleston began to inch ahead following another restart on lap 61, but when Zampa tried to dive under him coming out of the turn onto the back straight, the pair touched causing them to hit the outside wall. While Barton was able to squeeze by, Tracy’s Justin Philpott, who had moved up to the fourth spot, was tagged from behind as he tried to dodge the mess.

The mishap ended the night for all three contenders and Barton gladly inherited the top spot. He made the most of his good fortune as he cruised to the win over the final laps just ahead of Kenna Mitchell, of Loomis, and Nascimento, who was somehow able to work his way back up through the field following his midrace mishap.

“I just played my cards right tonight. After I got shuffled back a bit early on, I was just trying to save my car and let the race come to me,” explained Barton. “It was a crazy race with all the cautions. It was a tough field and they all ran us really hard. We just tried to keep our nose clean and somehow it all worked out.”

The 35-lap Legends Tour West feature was dominated by Upper Lake’s Jeremy Doss, Tracy’s Brenden Ruzbarsky and Tyler Reif, of Las Vegas, who fought it out for the lead in the opening laps.

Reif held the early advantage, but when Doss moved underneath him for a pass Reif slammed into the back of a slower car when he attempted to fight him off. Although his car survived the accident, Reif was sent to the back of the 22-car field on the restart which ended any hopes he had of a top finish.

Doss spent the remainder of the caution filled race desperately hanging on to the lead while Ruzbarsky stayed glued to his bumper trying every trick in his arsenal to get by him. Doss was somehow able to hold on for the win thanks in part to the race being called early on lap 29 due to a predetermined time limit restriction leaving Ruzbarsky to settle for a hard-earned, but frustrating second place finish just ahead of Bakersfield’s Tyler Mayhew.

“Oh, man what a race. I knew he had a better car and I was slowing a bit on the entry to the corners just trying to protect myself so he couldn’t get a big run on me,” Doss admitted. “It was just constant pressure. When someone stalks you like that they are hoping that you make just one mistake and luckily, I didn’t tonight.”

Only seven cars were on hand for the 25-lap Stockton Mini Stocks race when many of the regulars in the division elected to sit out after the prior weekend’s grueling triple header. Manteca’s Jordan Mast took advantage of the depleted field by grabbing the lead from Stockton’s Ethan Rumsey on lap seven to pick up his second win of the season.

Modesto’s Aaron Coonfield assumed the early lead in the 30-lap Grand American Modified feature and then spent the rest of the race frantically holding off the repeated attacks of Tracy’s Scott Winters and his twin brother Adam Coonfield for the victory.

The Stockton 99 Speedway won’t return to action until Wednesday, July 3, with the Annual Ron Strmiska Memorial 90 for the Stockton Late Models along with the Mini Stocks, Legends of 99 and Street Stocks. A car show and huge fireworks extravaganza are also on tap.


Other Racing News

Three-time Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series champion Jacob Gomes, of Manteca, passed Kole Raz of Lake Oswego Oregon, on a lap 85 restart and led the rest of the “All-Star Showdown 125 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse” to take home the $15,000 winner’s prize at Irwindale Raceway on Saturday, May 18.

The Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will make its only 2024 appearance at the Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Tickets are now on sale as the NASCAR Cup Series makes its only regular season stop in California for the Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway from June 7 through 9. This year the event includes the General Tire 200 ARCA Menards Series West Race on Friday, June 7; the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race on Saturday, June 8; and Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 9.

Tickets can be bought separately for each day or in a three-day package. There are also special ticket offers that include a Q and A session with Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson, who finished 18th in this year’s Indy 500. For more information on Sonoma Raceway tickets call 1-800-870-7223 or visit

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Ultimately winning the 35-lap Legends feature race at Stockton Speedway on May 25, Jeremy Doss, in the number 35 car, does battle with Brenden Ruzbarsky, in the number 19 car. Photo By Jessica McAnelly/Jessie’s Fast Photos