WS: Point chase after Stockton

VICTORY AT STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY VAULTS MIKE DAVID ATOP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS STOCKTON, Calif. (April 29, 2006) -- A victory by Mike David before a packed house at his home track of Stockton 99 Speedway has vaulted him into the...

VICTORY AT STOCKTON 99 SPEEDWAY VAULTS MIKE DAVID ATOP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

STOCKTON, Calif. (April 29, 2006) -- A victory by Mike David before a packed house at his home track of Stockton 99 Speedway has vaulted him into the lead in the championship standings of the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series.

David charged into an early race lead and then held off numerous challenges to win the Basalite 150 by Havoline on Saturday, April 29. It marked his second win in three years on the tight quarter-mile oval and his third career series victory overall.

David, who started fourth on the grid, slipped past early leader Austin Cameron and into the lead on lap 61. Once out front, he faced multiple challenges during restarts that followed the 11 cautions in the event.

"The restarts were tough," David said. "Austin Cameron and Johnny Borneman, they're tough competitors and great short track racers. Fortunately, we had a good enough car to hold them off. It always makes you a little bit nervous when the yellows come out and you're leading that much, the tires are hot and you're slipping and sliding around. You don't know how much the guy behind you is trying to save."

Saving his equipment was something David focused on after he had the lead. "Once we got out front, we were saving the brakes and the tires -- just trying to be real smooth on the throttle," said the 39-year-old driver from nearby Modesto. "My spotter kept reminding me to be smooth."

Although Cameron was able to get out front following a restart on lap 138, David managed to regain the lead as Cameron quickly faded with a tire going flat. Borneman was left to mount challenges in the last two restarts. Despite a late-race caution that extended the race distance to 155 laps for a green-white-checkered finish, David was able to maintain the lead in the final two laps of green flag racing.

David crossed the finish line in the Bennett Lane Winery Ford, with a margin of victory of .410 of a second. The win netted him $7,884 in prize money and posted awards.

Fords swept the podium as Borneman of Ramona, Calif., finished second in the Borneman Plastering/Red Line Oil Ford and Steve Portenga of Sparks, Nev., took third in the King Taco Ford.

After unveiling a new car at Stockton that features the composite body being phased into competition in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Brett Thompson was faced with a big challenge. After an early-race spin left him at the tail end of the field -- the Jerome, Idaho, driver charged back to the front to finish fourth with very little significant body damage to the Rich Thompson Trucking/Thompson Motorsports Chevrolet.

Veteran driver Jim Inglebright of Farifield, Calif., was fifth in the Jelly Belly Chevrolet -- followed by Scott Gaylord, Carl Harr, Tim Woods III, Eric Hardin and Eric Humphries. The race featured four lead changes among two drivers -- David and Cameron. After suffering a flat tire, Cameron recovered to finish 18th.

Series rookie Nick Lynch of Burley, Idaho, captured his first career Budweiser Pole Award at Stockton in only his fourth start in the series. He turned a lap of 63.003 mph in qualifying around the high-banked quarter-mile track. Contact with another car and a subsequent spin 40 laps from the finish left him charging to a 12th-place finish at the end.

David's victory, meanwhile, propelled him into the lead in the championship standings. With three of 12 races in the books, he tops the standings with 481 points. Portenga is second with 466. Series rookie Peyton Sellers of Danville, Va., is third with 448. Inglebright is fourth with 439 -- followed by Eric Holmes of Escalon, Calif., with 433. Rounding out the top 10 are Spencer Clark at 423, Thompson at 412, two-time and defending series champion Mike Duncan at 410, Brian Ickler at 371 and Daryl Harr at 369.

Peyton Sellers continues to lead the freshman class in pursuit of this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He has 26 points -- followed by Ickler with 19, Justin Lofton with 19, Humphries with 16, Lynch with 15, Clark with 14, Hardin with 14, James Bruncati with nine, Brian Pannone with nine, Justin Fisher with eight, Daniel DiGiacomo with six and Bruce Betts with four.

The next event on the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series schedule is the King Taco 200 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on May 27. The event is to be televised live in high definition on HDNet. In addition, an enhanced replay will air on SPEED.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Tim Woods , Jim Inglebright , Scott Gaylord , Brett Thompson , Mike David , Daryl Harr , Eric Holmes , Austin Cameron , Peyton Sellers , Justin Lofton , Brian Ickler