Vidovich in Fine Form at Stockton STOCKTON, CALIF. (July 16, 2005) Auggie Vidovich from Lakeside, Calif. continued his pursuit of a second NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series title by claiming his third victory of the season...
Vidovich in Fine Form at Stockton
STOCKTON, CALIF. (July 16, 2005) Auggie Vidovich from Lakeside, Calif. continued his pursuit of a second NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series title by claiming his third victory of the season ninth of his Southwest Series career Saturday night at the tight and tricky quarter-mile oval of Stockton 99 Speedway. Vidovich edged championship rival and Southwest Series point leader Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Calif. by one second in the 125-lap event. Nick Lynch, Greg Voigt, and Sunoco Rookie competitor Stephan Sadler rounded out the top five finishers in the AutoZone sponsored race.
Earlier in the evening, Burney Lamar laid down a quick lap of 13.668 seconds/65.847 mph to lead twenty-two drivers in qualifying. It was Lamar's 14th career Bud Pole Award and third of the 2005 season. Lynch, Pettit, Eric Holmes, and Voigt rounded out the top five in qualifying. Lamar drew an eight-car invert putting the Belletto brothers, Jeff and Steve, on the front row to start the race.
Vidovich would start third in the event after qualifying sixth and take the lead of the race on lap seven and never look back. Before Vidovich could reach victory lane he would have to fend off several challenges over the course of the race including a late race duel with championship point leader Pettit.
Lamar had perhaps the fastest car on the race track all race long, but cut a tire forced the fifth year competitor to pit on lap nine losing three laps in the process. Lamar was able to make up two laps under racing conditions but ran out of time and finished ninth one lap down.
Finishing sixth was local favorite Eric Holmes of Escalon, Calif. Holmes ran as high as second but a mid race altercation with Ceres, California's Mike Ledbetter dropped Holmes back in the running order. Front row starter Steve Belletto finished seventh with Doug McCoun, Lamar, and Don Campbell rounding out the top ten in the running order.
Fifteen of the twenty-two starters were running at the conclusion of the race that was slowed five times for 28 laps. Jeff Belletto led the first six circuits before giving way to Vidovich. The race was completed in 41 minutes and 25 seconds.
Lamar collected the $400 Bud Pole Award while Stephan Sadler secured the $750 PowerAde Award for improving the most positions in the event (16). Vidovich added the $300 Featherlite Award for improving the most positions over the previous event (34). Sadler also was the top finishing Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year competitor.
With Vidovich's win he shaved ten points off Pettit's point lead but still sits third in the standings after eight races. Lamar maintains second. M.K. Kanke finished 13th and holds down the fourth spot in the standings while Voigt holds onto the fifth spot. Eddy McKean, Nick Lynch, Greg Pursley, Thomas Martin, and Rip Michels round out the top ten in the point standings heading into the King Soopers Freedom "150" next weekend at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway in Fountain, Colo.