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Sprint Cars Back In Action At Antioch Speedway
Antioch, CA...The Winged 360 Sprint Cars are back at Antioch Speedway for the first time in August. This Saturday night's All Star Series racing program will include a nice variety of divisions as Limited Late Models, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, BCRA Midget Lites and California Hardtops are all on the card.
Melissa Polizzi continues to lead the Winged 360 Sprint Car championship battle after five races. Antioch Speedway has never had a female champion in a division higher than Limited Late Models. She's doing it through consistency with four Top 5 finishes. Her lead is 26 points ahead of Aaron Miller. Miller had a fifth place finish at the opener and is still looking for another Top 5 finish. He's going to need it if he wants to keep second generation racer Burt Foland Jr. behind him.
Foland has two second place finishes and two thirds. He's still looking for his first win, but if not for missing a race, he would probably be leading the points. Foland is 23 points ahead of the man who has finished second in points for the past two seasons, Art McCarthy. McCarthy failed to start the season opener and has been playing catch up ever since. He has two fifth place finishes, but is still without a win. Only rookie Kyle Offill has won twice this season as Tyler Seavey, Dustin Golobic and Colby Wiesz also have wins.
We get different drivers coming to town for a shot at a nice winner's payday each race, and you never know who will be there next. it's usually younger drivers who are up from the Micro Sprint and Cage Kart divisions. 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" Jenna Frazier, teammate Jason Paniagua, Steve Jaquith and Jacob Tuttle are other drivers who have supported the effort on multiple occasions this year, and Frazier is just six points behind McCarthy in the battle for fourth.
Last week, Jim Freethy finally picked up his first Limited Late Model feature win of the season. Freethy is tied with point leader Kimo Oreta with six Top 3 finishes. Freethy's win came ahead of Oreta, who holds a 14 point lead in the championship battle. Freethy and Mark Garner are tied for second, 12 points ahead of Mike Gustafson. Any one of the four could win this championship, but Oreta isn't making it easy on them with two wins and four seconds. All four of them now have feature wins. Fifth ranked John Evans, Chad Hammer, Buddy Kniss and Jeff Kendrick are hoping they could be next. Hammer had his best finish in fifth last time, and Evans is currently fifth in points. Kniss will be missing the race this week due to a baseball tournament.
K.C. Keller is coming off of a B Modified race that he'd rather forget last week. He spun out twice in his quest for a third win. He ended up a disappointed third at the finish, but his lead is now 54 points ahead of Chuck Golden. Trevor Clymens basically took himself out of title contention while running second, and second is where the battle is at the moment. Mark Garner won his second Main Event last week and is now just two points behind Golden. Past Petaluma IMCA Modified champion Nick Caughman Jr. made his division debut in his #21 car and finished second. Caughman switched numbers to pay tribute to his cousin, Steven "The Hammer" Cunningam. Cunningham died due to complications from an automobile accident last year. Nick is dedicating his season to Cunningham. Nick could be a threat to win this week, but Doff Cooksey, Todd Gomez and Kevin Brown are other drivers to watch for this week.
The Hobby Stock championship battle seems to be a wide open affair this season. Nobody really entered the season with a big budget, and two of the top teams have been forced to miss a race due to motor issues. Chris Long missed a race earlier this year to drop him out of the point lead. Last week, Brent Curran missed a race because of motor problems he discovered while loading his car for the races that night. Long lost a top 5 finish last week when he had to pit with a flat tire. Long still moved into the point lead. Four time winner Chris Sorensen used a fourth place finish last week to move into second in the standings. Long now leads Sorensen by 22 points. Curran fell 25 points out of the lead after missing the race.
Still lurking out there in championship contention is Cameron Swank. Swank earned his fourth second place finish of the season. Cameron is probably the driver most due for a feature win. He did give Michael Cooper a good run last week before settling for second behind the two time winner. Swank had a race well in hand earlier this year before a last lap flat tire wiped out a huge lead and forced him to settle for second. Swank is just 3 points ahead of Chris Bennett. Following his fifth place finish last week, two time Super Hobby Stock champion Gene Haney is 44 points behind Bennett in the race for fifth. Two time champion Melissa Myers is a welcome late addition to this season's roster. She has a win, two seconds and a third in the last five races.
The BCRA Midget Lites have been struggling a bit this year in the car count department. Kyle Offill and Scott Males have moved up to Sprint Cars after Top 3 seasons last year, but reigning champion Craig Dillard is back this year and running away with the point lead once again. He may be the driver to beat, but long time racer Scott Kinney and his son Hunter Kinney are both winners on the circuit this year who could present a challenge. Emilee Lindgren currently has a pretty good lead over Dakota Albright in the race for second. Albright had a strong second place finish last week behind Charlie Carracilo at Merced. These five should be there this week, and others to watch for this week are Kayla Green, Terry Begstrom and Danika Jo Parker.
The last time Dave Mackey was here with his Bay Area Hardtop, he was winning the Main Event. Mackey takes great pride in the red and white #1 Coupe, which be built as a tribute to the Dudley racing family. Mackey leads the group into Antioch, and we are hearing of the debut of two new cars, driven by Ken Retzloff and Doug Braudrick. Braudrick built is car in tribute to his father, Dick Braudrick. Kimo Oreta will be back in the Sun Drop Racing #100 car as he goes for his second win. Other drivers to watch for include Rob Waldrop, Dan Williams, Gene Haney and Steve Cloyes.
It's a nice mixture of open wheel and stock car racing this Saturday night that should be entertaining from start to finish. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
IMCA Modified Classes Back At Merced Speedway
Merced, CA...Fresh off of another great Legends Night, Merced Speedway has an exciting lineup of racing booked for this Saturday night. It is D&L Pump Service night at the races, and IMCA Modifieds are back to headline the show along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. It's getting late in the season, and there are some close championship battles to decide before the track wraps up its 68th season of continuous operation.
After six races for the IMCA Modifieds, reigning champion Randy Brown is the only driver with all Top 5 finishes. Brown is a one time winner this season, and this has helped give him a 22 point lead in his battle with past Hanford champion Mike Villaneueva. When last week's makeup race was ruled by IMCA not to be eligible for track points, Brown and M. Villanueva both took the night off, but Justin Villaneueva very nearly earned his first win. He was holding off the serious pressure of four time champion Ramie Stone for several laps. Stone settled for fourth, but fourth generation racer Ryan Porter raced past both of them for his first win of the season. Villanueva still earned a career best second place finish.
In the point race, M. Villanueva holds a 19 point advantage over Bruce "Bubba" Nelson for second. Nelson is still looking for his first IMCA sanctioned Modified win to go with an unsanctioned win earlier in the season in Chowchilla. However, Nelson has two Hobby stock wins at Merced. In fact, the two time Hobby Stock champion scored the biggest Hobby Stock win of his career two weeks ago in the 80 lap Mike Cecil Memorial race at Watsonville. Can Bubba get his first IMCA Modified win this week? He also has his hands full in the battle for third as Darrell Hughes II is seven points behind him in a tie with past champion Bill Egelston. Porter should be back to try for two in a row, and other stars to watch for this week include Troy Stone, Jarod Fast and Ricky Thatcher.
Consistency is the name of the game for Fred Ryland in the IMCA Sport Modified battle. The 2015 IMCA State champion leads the Merced race by 34 points over Rick Diaz. Fred only has one finish in nine starts that is lower than a Top 5, and he also has a win. Diaz missed a race this year, but the two time champion has an impressive five feature wins as he's managed to put 20 points between himself and third ranked Jeremy Hoff. Hoff has five Top 5's, but he's still looking for his first win of the season.
Rookie Chuck Weir is the only other Top 10 point competitor with a feature win so far this season. Sixth ranked Tanner Thomas was doing all he could to get his first win last week, and he finished a career best second behind IMCA State point leader Shane DeVolder. Tanner's older brother Chase Thomas holds down fourth in the standings, 14 points ahead of Tim Elias. Merced Speedway has some fast competitors in this division, and other drivers to watch for this week include 2015 champion Josh Hensley, Paul Espino and Cody Parker.
Garrett Corn and Kodie Dean are friends off the track and rivals on the track this season. Both have racked up three wins this season, but Corn's rough start had him trailing Dean by a wide margin until Dean was disqualified in the race previous to last week. However, Corn got caught up in somebody else's spin to end a top 5 run last week. Dean picked up his ninth Top 5 in ten starts, and this put him seven points into the lead over Corn. Don't look now, but past Chowchilla Mini Stock champion Robbie Loquaci is only 21 points out of the lead despite some of the bad luck he's had this year. Robbie is looking for his first win of the season, and that could happen this week.
Kristie Shearer has won several Main Events in her career, and she could strike at any time for her first win of the season. Kristie is only 26 points out of the lead and nine ahead of 2015 Chowchilla point runnerup Austin Van Hoff. 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin is coming off of a second place finish last week. Like reigning champion Michael Shearer, Joaquin is looking for his second win of the season, and he's been running strong lately. There are some fast racers in the Merced Hobby Stock division, and other hard chargers to watch for this week include James Stockton, Mike Stockton, Dexter Long, John Hensley and Mike Germait.
The battle of the Corder siblings continues this week when the Mini Stocks return to action. Reigning champion Chris Corder is only leading his sister Jennifer Corder by three points. Chris is a three time winner who has only missed the Top 5 once in his six starts. Jennifer has a win out of four Top 5's. The rapidly improving Lucy Falkenberg is lurking 38 points out of the lead in third. She's finished as high as second but she has to be considered a threat to win her first Main Event. Shawn DePriest ranks fourth with four Top 5's. Fourth is where Destiny Carter ended up last season, and she's only 12 point behind DePriest as she prepares to debut her new car this week. The division continues to gain new competitors, and other drivers to watch for this week include Jeremy Perry, Tyler Jackson and Jason Womack.
This week's lineup is what we call, the "core four" classes, and it's a lineup that usually produces one of the better shows for the fans. For further information on D&L Pump Night and other happenings at the track, go to www.racemerced.com.
CASA Awareness Night, Full Racing Program
At Orland Raceway
Orland, CA...Orland Raceway will have another exciting program of racing this Saturday night. It's CASA Awareness night. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and this is a great program that allows children to have a voice. They are always searching for volunteers to help with that. The exciting Pure Stocks are back along with Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Micro Sprints and Wingless Gas Sprints. The fans are talking after last week's Thomas Schmitke Memorial Race, and its been positive. People can see the improvements being made, and Promoter Rich Hood and his crew are working hard to build up a great racing program on the one-fifth mile clay oval.
Point leader Jeremy Langenderfer surprised everybody when he missed the last race to compete in the Clyde Cordell Memorial race in Hayfork. Shannon Collins had already missed a race this year, so this makes the two even. Collins won last week after a good battle with Nick Vidovich to make it two wins in a row. In the process, Collins managed to cut Lagenderfer's lead to just 17 points. Collins is also maintaining second in points at Chico. Reigning champion Steve Martin has had his ups and downs since winning the season opener, but he's 19 points ahead of the steady Amanda Koop in the battle for third. John Camper is closing in on Keith Ross for fifth in the standings. Other drivers to watch for include Brad Ray, Cody Bundy and 2015 champion Paul Stevens.
Another close championship battle is happening in the Mini Stocks, where two time champion Tom Davis is leading Sean Perry by 18 points. Davis came from the back for another win last week, but he had Perry on his back bumper in second. Perry is a two time winner this season as is Donovan Chilton. Reigning champion John Kirkpatrick is 29 points behind Perry for third, while the Pinto driven by rookie Jason Libbee now fourth in points. Barbara Crane holds fifth in the points. Barbara's husband Olin Crane has brought his Pinto back for the past two races and finished fourth last week.
Keith Ross is like the energize bunny of the Mini Trucks. The point leader just keeps winning and winning. Ross has won most of the Main Events this season to hold a 32 point lead over reigning champion Dan Webster. Webster couldn't quite keep up with the lead battle last week and settled for third. However, Olin Crane made Ross work for his win as he shadowed his every move in second. It seems only a matter of time before Crane gets a feature win. He had two of them last season. Third ranked William Fogle, Zach Baker and Ross Vige are other drivers to watch for this week.
Jackie Whitson Jr. is in control of the Winged 250 Micro Sprint point lead. The second generation racer now leads James Barnes by 42 points and has won seven Main Events. However, Barnes happily evicted Witson from the winner's circle last week as he passed him for the victory. Seth Libbee did a great job by leading several laps before finishing third. The steady Ronnie Heyer is a solid third in the standings, while past NCMA Sprint Car star Scott Holloway and Dave McKinnon Jr. are tied for fourth, five points ahead of Jess Garland. The 250 Micros have been pretty well supported this season.
The Winged 600 Micros and Wingless Gas Sprints have been struggling to get momentum this season. Mark Michelet's team has been fielding two cars this year, and Rowdy McLennon won the most recent race. Tony Alosi is another driver with a win this year. The potential is there for a good turnout, but some of last year's stars have yet to appear this season. Meanwhile, multi time Wingless Gas Sprint champion Josh Jacobo has been supporting that division's effort and winning most of their races. The Jacobo team fields multiple cars. Long time division supporter Rob Worthington and Josh Tucker were also part of their most recent race.
It should be another exciting night of racing. Gates open at 5:00 PM with the first race at 7:00 PM. General Admission is $8.00 with Seniors and Juniors (7-12) $5.00 and children 6 and under free. For further information, look up Orland Raceway on Facebook of go to www.orlandraceway.org.
Orland Raceway Points
Jeremy Langenderfer 410
Shannon Collins 393
Steve Martin 334
Amanda Koop 315
Keith Ross 278
John Camper 268
Brad Ray 251
Cody Bundy 187
Frank Leonardo 174
Earl Adams 172
Keith Ross 482
Dan Webster 449
William Fogle 414
Olin Crain 290
Zachary Baker 289
Ross Vige 196
Jeremy Callen 125
Jake VanTol 48
Nate Skaggs 45
Tom Davis 473
Sean Perry 455
John Kirkpatrick 426
Jason Libbee 296
Barbara Crain 244
Donovon Chilton 202
Dustin Hills 187
Steven Spears 128
Olin Crain 96
Donny Fortney 87
Jackie Whitson Jr. 475
James Barnes 433
Ronnie Heyer 344
Scott Holloway 258
Dave McKinnon Jr. 258
Jess Garland 253
Seth Libbee 211
Jackie Whitson Sr. 156
Pax Gonzalez 126
Russel Hensley 98
Tyler Rockwell 105
Colby Greg 100
Kyra Michelet 94
Steve Harvey 89
Marty Plumb 83
All Star Series Winged Sprint Cars back At Antioch Speedway
Antioch, CA...The All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars return to Antioch Speedway this Saturday night for their sixth race of the season. The three-eighth mile clay oval continues to be a prime location for Sprint Car racing as the track has hosted two Sprint Car Challenge Series races and a King Of The West race this year, and the Wingless Spec Sprints are in their 19th season at the track. The commitment has been made by Promoter John M. Soares to build this division
The track offers a $1,200 payday to the winner, and they see visitors come to town at every race to challenge the regulars. Three of them have won Main Events. Most recently, three time Marysville champion Colby Wiesz scored the victory. Tyler Seavey and Dustin Golobic also have wins. The other two wins belong to division rookie Kyle Offill. After his Top 3 season with the BCRA Midget Lites last year, Kyle made the big move. It didn't go so well in playday as he flipped the car, but he returned on opening day and scored a victory. His next win came after a charge from the back of the pack. Offill has taken himself out of the point battle to run special big events.
The championship battle has an interesting look to it. It's just possible that somebody will be winning their first career Winged 360 Sprint Car championship, but who is the question. The fastest among the group may be second generation racer Burt Foland Jr. Burt missed the third race of the season. However, his four starts have resulted in two seconds and two thirds. He's now four points behind Aaron Miller. Miller makes the trip from Grants Pass, Oregon to compete at Antioch. After his fifth place finish in the opener, the second generation racer decided he wanted to come race for points.
At the top of the point list is Marissa Polizzi. Polizzi has been consistent this season with four fourths and one third place finish, and she is poised to break new ground for the lady racers at the speedway. No woman has won a championship in a division higher than Limited Late Models at Antioch Speedway. Last year, Jenna Frazier won the "Rookie Of The Year" award. She is currently fifth behind the driver many people thought of as the man to beat, Art McCarthy.
McCarthy has been racing open wheel cars for many years, going back to Super Modifieds at San Jose Speedway. He's a two time Petaluma Speedway champion, but he has been the biggest supporter of the Antioch effort, going back a decade when he won the championship there. His last three seasons at Antioch include two seconds and a third. Art has won five Main Events from 2015 to 2016, but he has thus far been shut out of the winner's column this season. A mechanical issue kept him out of the season opener. Even if he had started that race, he'd probably still be second to Polizzi. What's interesting is that all of the Top 5 drivers have yet to win a Main Event this year, and Foland's two seconds are the best of the group.
A local teen joined the field three races ago and got everybody's attention. He's Jacob Tuttle. Tuttle comes up from the Cage Karts, and his first start saw him lead every lap but the last one. It was Offill making the last lap pass and making Jacob settle for second that night. There have been three late race lead changes in the Main Event this year as the division has been exciting to watch. Frazier's car owner Jason Paniagua is fielding a car for himself and is currently seventh ahead of Chowchilla's Steve Jaquith. Jaquith had his best finish ever in third earlier this season after winning his heat race. This has him feeling pretty good about his chances of getting a first career win.
The Antioch Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Car division is growing. There are some good racers committed to the effort and top notch young talent showing up from week to week to battle for the $1,200 victory. Saturday night's race should be a good show. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Marissa Polizzi 224
Aaron Miller 198
Burt Foland Jr. 194
Art McCarthy 171
Jenna Frazier 165
Kyle Offill 150
Jason Paniagua 142
Steve Jaquith 96
Jacob Tuttle 82
Emily Williams 72
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule
Recent Feature Winners
June 24, 2017: Colby Wiesz
June 17, 2017: Jonathan Allard
June 10, 2017: Dustin Golobic
May 13, 2017: Kyle Offill
May 6, 2017: Tyler Seavey
April 22, 2017: Kyle Offill
April 1, 2017: Cory Eliason
September 31, 2016: Billy Aton
September 17, 2016: Colby Johnson
September 10, 2016: Matt Barber
August 27, 2016; Billy Aton
August 20, 2016: Riley Matson
August 13, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 6, 2016: Seth Nunes
July 30, 2016: Art McCarthy
July 16, 2016: Brayden McMahan
June 25, 2016: Kaleb Montgomery
June 18, 2016: Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
May 16, 2015: Jake Haulot
April 25, 2015: Alissa Geving
March 7, 2015: Art McCarthy