STOCKTON, Calif. (April 23, 2003) When the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series rolls through the pit gates for the 20th time this weekend at Stockton 99 Speedway, drivers will get a chance to glimpse back in history at one of the...
STOCKTON, Calif. (April 23, 2003) When the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series rolls through the pit gates for the 20th time this weekend at Stockton 99 Speedway, drivers will get a chance to glimpse back in history at one of the series' charter tracks. This year's event will be the same, but different.
The first NASCAR Southwest Tour (as it was then called) race at Stockton 99 Speedway was on Saturday, April 19, 1986. Twenty-two drivers took the green flag for 100-laps of racing action around the historic paved oval. Of the starting line up in 1986, only Bob Strandwold will be on hand in 2003 to make an attempt at qualifying, with names like Boyd, Kelley, Calczynski, Beebe, Esau, Krebs, and Baldwin being replaced by names like Vidovich, Raudman, McKean, and Lamar.
Ivan Baldwin set fast time with a lap of 13.923 seconds, 65.641 mph in his Conti Trucking Pontiac, but it was Roman Calczynski who started on the pole after an invert of six was drawn. Calczynski, driving the Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet, led the first 18 laps before giving way to Ken Boyd in his Valley Balancing Buick on lap 19.
Boyd would go on to lead the final 81 laps and collect $2050.00 for the win four seconds ahead of Roger Avants. Loran Kelley finished third, with Darryl Gardner and Bob Strandwold rounding out the top five finishers. Carl Lux was sixth, with Frog Trent, John Unger, Roman Calczynski, and Ron Esau rounding out the top ten.
The race was completed in 33 minutes, 4 seconds at an average speed of 45.363mph. There were six caution flags for 27 laps with one lead change between two drivers. Sixteen of the twenty-two starters were running at the end of 100 laps. Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, and Dodge were all represented in the field and Roger Avants left the race leading the point standings by five markers over Roman Calczynski. The series would then head to their next event in late May at the old Riverside Int'l Raceway.