Triumphant return of Doss Crafts to Stockton Speedway
Jeremy Doss, 25, of Upper Lake, continued his mastery of the Stockton 99 Speedway by capturing Saturday night’s JM Environmental WildWest Shootout 127 for the Spears Southwest Tour. The July 16 trip to victory lane was his fifth straight SRL Touring Series win at the historic quarter-mile oval.
After sweeping all four SRL Pro Late Model Series races held at 99 Speedway last season and reaching the 2021 championship with nine overall wins from 11 starts, Doss opted to race exclusively in the Spears Southwest Tour premier division for 2022.
“I really like racing here. It’s exciting for the drivers and the fans,” said Doss, as he celebrated with his family and crew on the front straight. “We worked hard on the car, so it feels good. We really needed it.
Doss started in the second row of the 17-car field just behind front row starters John Moore, of Loomis, and Dustin Ash, of Las Vegas NV and alongside teammate Jeff Bischofberger, of Long Beach. He remained in contact with the leaders despite a series of warnings which constantly disrupted the pace at the start of the race, but he finally managed to take advantage of one of them to regain the lead from Bischofberger on lap 64.
Despite being constantly harassed by Bischofberger and Blaine Rocha of Oakdale for the remainder of the race, Doss was able to hold on to the checkered flag to take his first win of the season with $10,000 in prize money. first place.
“You never know what’s going to happen here in Stockton and I have to give credit to my spotter for helping me through traffic,” Doss said. “I was able to save enough for the end and I feel like that’s where I messed things up this season.”
It was a disappointing comeback for Manteca’s Jacob Gomes who entered the evening with the series points lead after claiming three wins in the first five events this season. Gomes started the race from sixth position and finished in the same spot after struggling with grip for most of the night.
“We were only a hair away all night,” admitted Gomes. “We struggled and tried to fight, but we got pretty exhausted in the end.”
Sean Hingorani, a teenage rookie driver from Orange County, looked more like a seasoned veteran as he drove to a convincing wire-to-wire victory in the 60-lap Spears Pro Late Model feature.
Hingorani set a quick time in qualifying to take pole, then capitalized on it by immediately taking the lead on the first lap over a strong 21-car field that included several Stockton regulars. Hingorani never shied away as he negotiated several restarts flawlessly to finish ahead of Napa’s Logan Zampa and Henderson, NV’s Tanner Reif to claim the first victory of his young career in just his second start.
“We had a great car throughout the race and I can’t thank my crew enough,” Hingorani said. “We were strong at the top so I was able to take the outside route for the restarts and pull away.”
Saturday marked 99 Speedway’s only appearance for the SRL Southwest Tour Series this season, but the Spears Pro Late Model Series will return for the Bischofberger Brawl 100 on Saturday, October 1.
The main B-4 got off to a shaky start when Joe Flowers of Manteca climbed into the back of Barrett Sugden of Stockton, causing him to skid after failing to fully accelerate when the green flag dropped to start the 25-point feature rounds.
The second attempt to start the race went more smoothly when Flowers took the lead with Stockton’s Andy Rumsey and Manteca’s Josh Cross glued to his tail. Flowers would spend most of the race fending them off to claim his fourth win of the season, finishing just ahead of Cross who made a daring late pass on Rumsey for second place.
“It was a good night tonight. I came in front and never looked back,” said Flowers, who trailed Rumsey by eight points in the B-4 season standings at the start of the evening. “And I was happy to see Josh beat Rumsey because I need all the help I can get.”
The main bomber quickly turned into a match race when Donnie Darter of Valley Springs locked horns with third-generation driver Seth Holman of Salida for the full 20 laps. Holman used an 11th-round restart to edge past Darter after a long side-to-side battle to pick up the win and end Darter’s six-game winning streak.
“Restarting was tough,” Holman admitted. “I thought he was going to have me for a second, but I was able to rub against him a bit and maintain my position.”
Scottie Crawford of Stockton inherited the win in the B-4 Junior main after Natalie Harper of Stockton and Jayden Cross of Manteca collided while battling for the lead resulting in the stoppage of the race three laps earlier.
Racing resumes at 99 Speedway on Saturday, August 6, with the annual Night of Champions featuring a tribute to Steve Belletto. The program will include a 100 lap race for Stockton Late Models, as well as Bombers, B-4s and B-4 Juniors.
The Stockton Dirt Track, located at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, will host the tribute to NARC Champion Leroy Van Conett on Saturday, July 23, along with the NARC King of the West Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series, Tri-State Pro Stocks and California Hard Tops.