Thursday, October 31, 2019

Merced Speeday, Siskiyou Golden Speedway, Marysville Raceway, More

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Dotson, Ryland, Johnson, Myrick Win John Fore Jr 
Dirt Track Nationals At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...October 26...Ethan Dotson won the 30 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. This was the Fourth Annual John Fore Jr Memorial Dirt Track Nationals, and the win paid $2,000 to Dotson. Dotson was the winner of the IMCA Nationals in Boone, Iowa back in September and swept the IMCA Modified and IMCA Sport Modified Main Events on both nights of the recent Bakersfield Speedway Bud Nationals.

Dotson had the front row for the Main Event and charged into the lead from the start ahead of Tim Balding. Dylan Thornton made an inside pass in Turn 2 of the fourth lap to take second. Only two yellow flags slowed the race, the second of which happened on the fifth lap. Dotson maintained command on the restart and pulled away just a little bit. However, Thornton began to make a run on Dotson and challenged him as they hit traffic on lap 15. Dotson made some good moves and put a little bit of distance between himself and Thornton, but Thornton again caught him with five laps to go. Again, Dotson made a strong move on the outside of two slower cars and used that cushion to pull away from Thornton in victory. Friday night winner DJ Shannon finished third, followed by Bobby Hogge IV, Tim Balding, Jim Pettit II, Paul Stone, Jerry Flippo, Randy Brown and Darrell Hughes II.

The IMCA Modifieds had 25 competitors, and Dotson, Shannon, Balding and Stone won their respective 10 lap heat races. Oregon visitor Doug Lockwood won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Craig Cassell and Billy Wilker.

Fred Ryland won the 30 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. This was the second win of the season for the track champion, and it paid $1,200. Fred shared the front row of the feature race with his wife, Patti Ryland. In the early goings, Fred lead Patti, and a red flag waved when contact sent Nick Spainhoward rolling on the front straightaway. Spaonhoward was not hurt, and the Ryland's continued to run at the front of the pack on the restart. Chase Thomas made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the seventh lap to take second from Patti Ryland. As Fred Ryland began to work slower traffic by the midpoint of the race, a frontstretch pass on the 15th lap gained Michael Johnson third. Fred Ryland worked heavy traffic in the later stages of the race and made no mistakes as he brought it home to an impressive victory. Chase Thomas settled for second, followed by Johnson, Patti Ryland, Randy Brown, Billy Simkins, Paul Stone, Andrew Peckham, Troy Foulger and Adriane Frost.

There were 26 cars in this class, and the eight lap heat race wins went to Fred Ryland, Tyler Blankenship, Michael Johnson and Chase Thomas. Jesse Burks won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Foulger and Trevor Clymens.

Cody Johnson won the 30 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. The Bakersfield Speedway star had a front row start and led all the way for the $1,000 victory. Johnson led Michael Scruggs and Nick Johnson early, but Nick Johnson pitted during a lap two yellow flag. After two more yellow flags, the final 23 laps went all green. Cody Johnson set a rapid pace and pulled away to a comfortable lead, while Bruce Nelson, Buddy Shepherd and Michael Scruggs had a spirited duel for second. The only thing that could stop Cody Johnson was the heavy traffic he worked in the waning laps, but he made all the right moves to take the checkered flag in first. Nelson would hold on to second despite late pressure from Domissie Scoggins. Shepherd settled for fourth, followed by Joe Gallaher, Tyler Guzman, Colby Quinton, Kristie Shearer, Timmy Crews and Allen Neal.

There were 33 Hobby Stocks on hand for this one, and eight lap heat race wins went to DJ Keldsen, Dylan Wilson, Cody Johnson and Shepherd. The first 12 lap B Main win went to Austin Van Hoff ahead of Mike Germait and Guzman. Quinton won the other B Main ahead of Dexter Long and Devon Belton.

Dan Myrick won the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Myrick is the current Central Valley Mini Stock point leader, and the win paid $400. He started on the front row and raced into the early lead ahead of Gene Glover. Dakota Keldsen settled into third on lap four, but he had his hands full in a four-car battle as Myrick checked out on the field. A slower car spun in front of Myrick on the backstretch to bring out a lap 10 yellow flag. Myrick continued to lead Glover on the restart, and Greg Baronian made a low-pass in Turn 4 the 14th lap to take third from Keldsen. However, Baronian pushed high in Turn 4 of the 16th lap, allowing Keldsen to regain third. Keldsen began pressuring Glover for second and moved by on the back straightaway on the final lap. Jeff Durant got a run on the inside of Keldsen as they raced to the checkered flag and grabbed the second position as Myrick won comfortably. Keldsen settled for third, followed by Glover, Baronian, Jason Cook, Shawn DePriest, Jerry Tubbs, Clinton Massey and Chris Corder. Eight lap heat races were won by Keldsen, Corder and Myrick.

Riley Jeppesen won the 15 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. This was his third win of the season. Jeppesen led from the start ahead of track champion Timmy Crews and Logan Clay. A low pass in Turn 2 of the third lap gained Kaylin Lopez third. Lopez closed in on Crews as that was the closest battle for position the rest of the race. Jeppesen would score the victory, and Crews would held off Lopez for second. Clay settled for fourth, followed by Carson Guthrie and Kennzzie Brown. Jeppesen also won the eight lap heat race.

This race concludes 2019 season. For further information on the happenings at the track, go to or check out the Merced Speedway Facebook page.

Shannon, Foulger, Irwin, Corder Win First Round Of 
John Fore Jr Memorial At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...October 25...DJ Shannon won the opening round of the John Fore Jr Memorial Dirt Track Nationals Friday night at Merced Speedway. The win was the third of the season for Shannon and paid $1,000. He withstood a late-race challenge from IMCA Nationals winner Ethan Dotson for the victory.

Tim Balding had a front row start and set the early pace ahead of Jim Pettit II. Shannon got by Pettit for the second position on lap four and set his sights on Balding. Following a yellow flag on lap 13, Shannon took the lead from Balding on the restart. Dotson made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 15th lap to take third from Trevor Fitzgibbon and made a similar move two laps later to grab second from Balding. Dotson steadily gained on Shannon until he caught him with two laps remaining. After taking the white flag, Dotson made an inside move through Turns 1 and 2 and pulled even with Shannon. Shannon got a nose advantage going through Turns 3 and 4, but they bumped wheels coming out of the fourth turn. They crossed the checkered flag with Shannon claiming the victory by inches over Dotson. Balding settled for third, followed by Paul Stone, last season's champion Darrell Hughes II, this year's champion Troy Foulger, Dylan Thornton, Fitzgibbon, Pettit and Jerry Flippo.

The 23 car field ran four eight lap heat races with wins going to Foulger, Dotson, Stone and Balding. Randy Brown won the first 12 lap B Main ahead of Flippo and Jeff Streeter. Craig Cassell won the other B Main ahead of Bailey Jones and John Osgood III.

Troy Foulger won the 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Foulger was driving the All Spec Racing Modified owned by Todd Gomez. Paul Stone jumped into the car that Jarrod Mounce drove to the Watsonville championship this year and led the first two laps before Foulger got a good run exiting Turn 4 of the third lap to jump from third to the lead. As Foulger led the way, Stone held on to second until surrendering the position to a Turn 2 pass by Bakersfield Speedway star Steven Johnson on lap 15. During the final laps, Foulger caught slower traffic, which allowed Johnson to close in on him. However, Foulger made the right moves and brought it home to victory. Johnson settled for second, followed by Stone, Nick Spainhoward, Andrew Peckham, Billy Simkins, Fred Ryland, Chase Thomas, Tyler Blankenship and Bruce Nelson.

The 24 competitors ran four eight lap heat races, and Thomas, Spainhoward, Johnson and Foulger picked up the wins. They also had a pair of 12 lap B Mains, which transferred the Top 3 finishers into the Main Event. Jesse Burks won the first race with a late pass on Patti Ryland as Paul Espino finished third. Cody Parker won the other race in front of Chuck Weir and Richard Ragsdale.

Kevin Irwin won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Irwin led a Bakersfield Speedway sweep of the Top 4 positions. The race was restarted twice due to crashes that eliminated past champions Michael Shearer and Raul Rodriguez. Irwin charged into the lead at the start ahead of Domissie Scoggins. Nicholas Johnson moved into third on lap five and made a low pass in Turn 4 of the seventh lap to take second from Scoggins. As Scoggins was fighting to hold on to third, Johnson tried to reel in a big Irwin lead. Both Cody Johnson and Buddy Shepherd got around Scoggins on lap 11. Irwin set a rapid pace and caught slower traffic. However, that didn't keep him from scoring the impressive win. Nicholas Johnson finished second ahead of Shepherd, Cody Johnson, Scoggins, John Hensley, George Silva, DJ Keldsen, Austin Van Hoff and Allen Neal.

There were 28 Hobby Stocks, and the four eight lap heat race wins were earned by Scoggins, Cody Johnson, Meghan Myers and Keldsen. Neal won the first 12 lap B Main ahead of Jeff Lacy and Lee Ragsdale. Van Hoff outran Mike Germait and Rodriguez to win the other one.

Chris Corder won the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Corder was driving the car of the late Robert Jackson, who died in an auto accident due to somebody who was texting and driving last year. He is a three-time Merced Speedway champion, and he took advantage of his front row starting position to lead all the way. Corder set the early pace ahead of Central Valley Mini Stock point leader Dan Myrick and reigning CVMS champion and Greg Baronian. Baronian made an outside frontstretch pass on Myrick to gain second on lap seven and started pressuring Corder for the lead. Just as Baronian was making an outside pass on Corder to gain the lead on the backstretch, Austin Sprague lost a wheel in Turn 4 to bring out a lap 15 yellow flag and negate the past. After a pair of yellow flags botched restart attempts, Corder led Baronian and Myrick on the restart, and they would finished in that order. Clinton Massey finished fourth, followed by Shawn DePriest, Gene Glover, Jerry Tubbs, Lauren Oliveiea, Tracy Glass and James McGranahan. Massey, Baronian and Dakota Keldsen were the eight lap heat race winners.

For further information on the happenings at the track, go to

Wheeler, Rayburn, Killingsworth, Flowers Close 
Siskiyou Speedway Season With Victories

Yreka, CA...October 26...Jake Wheeler won the 25 lap Interstate Sprint Car Series Main Event Saturday night at Siskiyou Golden Speedway. Wheeler is the 2016 Southern Oregon Speedway champion. He was once again piloting the car owned by Ron Osborne, which he has driven to victory twice in Medford this year. The night featured a Halloween theme with a costume contest and kids trick-or-treating with the racers on the front straightaway during intermission.

Wheeler drew a fourth row starting position for the feature race with fellow past Medford champion TJ Winningham starting in the second row. Winningham and Scott Fox ran in contention as Wheeler quickly moved his way to the front of the pack. Wheeler got around Winningham and went on to score the impressive victory. Winningham settled for second, followed by Fox, Anthony Pope, Tyrell Mead, Steven Snawder, Cooper Desbiens and Brody Sim. Snawder and Mead were the eight lap heat race winners.

Bruce Rayburn Jr won the 25 lap Late Model Main Event. Rayburn was piloting the Joey Tanner Willamette Speedway championship car, which is now owned by Pete Bowne. The second-generation racer shared the front row with Dustin Knight, but Knight had problems early on. Rayburn had his closest competition from Chris Biggs, but in the end he was too fast for everybody in victory. Biggs held onto second ahead of seven-time Medford Modified champion Mark Wauge, Bob Dees, Eric Massey, Cliff Massey, Jason Schultz, Knight and Dana Bowers. Dees and Wauge were the eight lap heat race winners.

Ethan Killingsworth scored the victory in the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Killingsworth is the champion this year, and this was his division-leading fourth win of the season. Both Killingsworth and Matt Sanders picked up their respective eight lap heat race wins, and that put them both on the front row for the feature race. Sanders has won at four different venues this year, including twice in Yreka. However, Killingsworth would prevail in this battle with Sanders settling for second. Colt Boswell placed third, followed by Isaac Sanders, Zak Potts, Rich McCoy, Randy Wright, Ryder Boswell, Cale Cunial and Chris Silva.

James Flowers won the 20 lap Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock Main Event. This was the first win of the season for Flowers, and he outran his father, Scott Flowers, to get the job done. In finishing second, Scott Flowers notched his first career championship. James Flowers had started in the third row with his father in the row behind him, but both came up through the pack. Following James and Scott were Matt Harlow, John David Duffie, Rick Lukens, Colby Hammond, Steve Borror and Ginny Flowers. Borror and Duffie were the eight lap heat race winners.

Marilyn Yawnick won the 20 lap Jefferson State Jalopy Main Event and the eight lap heat race. This was the division champion's fourth win of the season, and she held off JJ Smith for the feature win. Three-time winner Michael Colson settled for third ahead of Karl Bernstein.

Following the trick or treating with the kids and the drivers in the infield during intermission, there was an Outlaw Kart exhibition race, which was won by Dallin Dagata.

This wraps up the 2019 racing season. Keep up with the latest happenings by checking out the Siskiyou Golden Speedway Facebook page or going to

Forsberg, Ford, Schank Win At Marysville Raceway

Marysville,, CA...October 26...Andy Forsberg won the Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Marysville Raceway. This was the annual H&H Trenching Gold Fever Sprint Car Spooktacular event.  Forsberg is the Placerville Speedway Sprint Car champion.

Forsberg started back in the fourth row of the feature race, and polesitter Shane Hopkins set the early pace. Blake Carrick was an early second, but he surrendered the position to Forsberg on a lap eight restart. Forsberg set his sights on Hopkins, and he finally put the moves on him to grab the lead on lap 14. Forsberg pulled away just a little bit from Hopkins in the closing laps to score the victory. Cole Macedo finished third, followed by Carrick, Chico champion Sean Becker, Jake Haulot, Colby Wiesz, Marysville champion Michael Ing, Korey Lovell and Geoff Ensign.

There were 27 competitors, and Rowdy McLenon set the quickest time of 12.173 to beat the 12.186 of Justyn Cox. Eight lap heat race wins went to Carrick, Macedo, Brad Bumgarner and Ing. Ensign won the 13 lap B Main after taking the lead from Burt Foland Jr early on. Foland settled for second ahead of Mike Monahan.

Jimmy Ford won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Ford is a two-time Mini Stock champion at the track. Richard Vander Ploeg led four laps before tangling with Chuck Golden for a yellow flag. Driving the David Pierce car, track champion Todd Cooper took over the lead ahead of Ford. Ford moved past Cooper for the lead on lap 12, but Cooper ran closely behind him. Ford kept his cool in the closing laps for the well-earned victory as Cooper settled for second ahead of his brother, Brian Cooper, David Larabee, Timothy Allerdings, Mike Merritt, Alan Furuta, Golden, Vander Ploeg and Bryce Campbell. Merritt and Golden won their respective six lap heat races.

Terry Schank Jr won the 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event. Schank is a three-time Hunt Series champion. With the benefit of a pole position start, Schank bolted into the lead at the start and would lead Josh Young for the entire distance. The race only had two yellow flag slowdowns, and the second yellow flag would fall for Kevin Box and Cort Marchuk on lap 11. Orland star Nathan Johnson moved into third on the restart and would finish there, followed by Braiden Moniz, Wyatt Brown, Box, Kaimi Moniz-Costa, James Thomson and Marchuk. Schank also won the eight lap heat race.

Cameron Haney Jr won the 15 lap Crate Sprint Main Event. Haney had the pole and led all the way in victory. Cody Smith ran second before his race ended on lap six. Brandon Dozier took over second, but he trailed Haney buy a straightaway at the checkered Flag. Jaylon Deas finished third ahead of Chad Thompson and Cody Smith. Smith won the eight lap heat race, and Chad Stancil was a Main Event scratch.

On November 9th, The Mel Hall Memorial race will be made up from the May 26th rain out. This event will feature the Civil War Sprint Car Series and the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints. For further information, go to

Johnson, Bender Win At Ventura Raceway

Ventura, CA...October 26...Chase Johnson won the USAC Midget 30 lap Main Event Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. The Penngrove competitor seems to compete in various open-wheel divisions, which also includes Winged and Wingless Sprint Cars. Johnson maneuvered past early leader Ben Worth on the 13th lap and would proceed to lead the rest of the way for the victory. Worth held on for second, followed by championship hopeful Cory Elliott, Shannon McQueen, Josh Lakatos, Robbie Josett, David Prickett, CJ Sarna, Terry Nichols and Saldana Racing Products hard-charger Kyle Beilman, who started back in 18th.

Incoming point leader Robert Dalby settled for a disappointing 14th and holds a slim 25 point lead over Elliott going into the 52nd Annual Western World Championships, which happens at Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley, Arizona on November 15th and 16th. Johnson, Dalby and Lakatos won their respective 10 lap heat races. Elliott set the fastest time on the 1/5 mile clay oval with a lap of 13.112, beating the 13.137 of Robbie Josett.

AJ Bender won the 25 lap Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Main Event. Dominic Del Monte led 10 laps before bringing out a yellow flag. Bender was running second at that point and took the lead on the restart with Cody Nigh settling into second. The duo drove to a 1-2 finish, leaving the battle for third. Aiden Lange held third until being overtaken by Grant Sexton on lap 16. Sexton would finish third, followed by Jarrett Kramer, Lange, James Turnbull, Jeff Dyer, Del Monte, Brent Sexton and John Robertson. Eric Greco set the fast time of 12.743, beating the 12.833 of Bender. The eight lap heat race wins went to Robertson, Jason Arnolde and Lange.

Jeff Fillingame scored the victory in the VRA Sprint Car Main Event. Fillingame started up front and led all 20 laps in victory. Trent Williams finished second ahead of heat race winner Rick Hendrix. The third place finish also wrapped up an impressive championship season for Hendrix. Ricky Lewis finished fourth, followed by Brent Owens, Chris Meredith, Tyler Hatzikian and Colby Johnson.

Brody Fuson picked up the win in the Western Midget Racing division. Fuson started on the front row and proceeded to lead all 20 laps in victory with Kevin Woody settling for second. Randi Pankratz won a heat race and finished third in the feature to secure the division championship. Heat race winner Jessica Swanson finished fourth in the Main Event, followed by final lead-lap finisher Greg Edenholm. Wally Pankratz, Joey Bishop, Tyler Slay, Keoni Texeira and Blake Bower rounded out the Top 10 finishers. Following Pankratz in the championship race were the absent David Prickett and Texeira.

Trent Morley won his heat race and also scored the victory in the 20 lap VRA Dwarf Car Main Event. Morley had to make a little effort to score this victory. Johnny Conley paced the first three laps before his race came to an end as Tom Morley took over. Morley only led a pair of laps before being overtaken by new division champion Jason Horton. Horton led until Trent Morley put the moves on him on lap 15 to take the lead. Morley led the rest of the way with Horton settling for second. Horton also won a heat race. Gage Cheek scored a podium finish in third. Tom Morley would settle for fourth, followed by Jeff Brink, Brad Curnel, Shane Linenberger, Jeff Hinz, Tim Morse and Bobby Meneley. Following Jason Horton in the standings were Trent Morley and Tom Morley.

The track was considering going to IMCA rules for the Hobby Stock division, but that plan has been abandoned for next year as some of the regulars would not have been legal for the class. Ricky Lewis won the division championship this year by just 15 points ahead of Tom Stephens Jr. Alyssa Smith solidified her third place ranking by winning the October 19th point season finale. There were 10 starters in that race

Jack Parker ended up winning the IMCA Modified championship. Despite winning the September 28th point season finale, IMCA State champion Trevor Fitzgibbon finished seven points behind Parker in second with Terry Hershberger ranking third in the final rundown. 

Ventura Raceway will be hosting the 79th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix event on November 27th and 28th. The USAC Midgets and USAC 360 Sprint Cars will be competing on both nights. For further information, go to

The Editor's Viewpoint

I'm sitting here in a power outage at the race track as I'm writing this. Merced Speedway just had the John Fore Jr Memorial race. I was a little bit disappointed in General Manager Doug Lockwood and his decision to eliminate some of the special races that the speedway has had in recent years. I considered it almost miraculous that the track's General Manager at the time, Doug Williams, managed to revive the Ted Stofle Classic when he did. The Timmy Post Memorial and the Matt And Glass Cancer Fundraiser races were both very special to the Merced Speedway schedule. All three of these races fell by the wayside under the leadership of Lockwood.

Before I give praise for what just happened, I need to nitpick this. I disagree strongly with Doug's decision to eliminate these races. Ted Stofle was an absolute Stock Car racing legend. Some say he was the greatest Stock Car racer on the dirt in California in the 1970s, and I wouldn't disagree with that statement. Matt was special because of all the things he did for the racers for all of those years, and it wasn't that this race was some big event for money. It was that money was raised to fight Cancer in Matt's name, and people loved the guy. I get a big kick out of looking at Angela Brown's race car with the Matt And Glass sticker on it.

I know the argument is you can't have a memorial race for everybody. Yeah, whatever. In this day and age, when you're trying to get people to come out to the track, you do whatever you can. When you have a memorial race, it doesn't always mean that it has to be for bigger money or any of that. Just a nice trophy would work. Maybe just a small increase in the purse. I don't know. What Doug said was that everybody would be honored at Legends Night, but as I understand it, the honorees were Porter family. As of yet, Merced Speedway still hasn't started a Hall of Fame. Doing this would be remarkably easy, and I nearly had the late Ed Parker ready to get it started. You already have Legends Night and a Legends Breakfast the Friday morning before the show. What happens is people get bogged down in small details, and before you know it, those small details prevent it from happening.

Doug did keep the John Fore Jr Dirt Track Nationals on the schedule. John wasn't really around for that long, but he did make an impact. Ed Parker established this race as an IMCA Sport Modified show back in 2016, and it has grown to include the core four divisions that the speedway has. It was also moved to October. One thing I will give Doug Lockwood credit for is he put together a rather nice schedule, despite the lack of certain key memorial races. Not only were there some big IMCA Modified shows, there were also some big open wheel events. A nice mixture. This is something to build a future on.

When you're trying to book a postseason race in October, the goal is to get as many race cars as you can. I'm kind of amazed that there aren't that many races that have established long traditions. Watsonville has been building the Pat And Jim Pettit Memorial Dirt Track Shootout, and it's going to be 10 years old next year. Bakersfield Speedway has the Bud Nationals the second week of October, and this race has happened for over 30 years. This leaves open dates for other tracks to get big races. Hanford and Tulare have taken shots at big Stock Car type shows, but in recent years they've backed off. Antioch Speedway takes looks here and there and just had the West Coast Nationals the week before. Petaluma has the Adobe Cup at the beginning of October, but there's room to grab a date and build a tradition.

As I said, the John Fore Jr Memorial race was established by Parker and moved to October by Parker. He had turned it into a four division show last year, but he passed away before he could see it through. The show wasn't as big as it could have been that year, but under the circumstances, I understand. Ed's son, Cody Parker, oversaw a lot of that. Margie Mejia was the woman behind the scenes who kept things going when we lost Ed. The show went on, and even if the numbers weren't as big as they could have been, it wasn't a bad show in 2018. Doug came in this season with the goal of making it a little bit bigger.

Honestly, there is potential for Merced to host something extraordinary. Something on the level of a George Steitz show could be possible. However, you're also dealing with big show fatigue. Drivers have already run the Bakersfield show and are gearing up for Las Vegas. A Steitz level show would bring huge fields in each division. Merced had respectable fields both nights, and there were almost 120 cars competing on Saturday. That's not bad. Is it big by open show standards? Maybe not, but it was one heck of a show nonetheless. I don't get a sense that Doug and Merced Speedway were swinging for the bleachers with this race. Put it this way, the purses were bigger than usual, but they were reasonable purses. The three primary classes delivered enough cars for B Mains to be required, which always helps with the purse when you get more cars than you will run in the Main Event.

The secret of George Steitz was pretty simple. He had a nice to win prize for his divisions, but the Main Event starters were not getting more than their entry fee to get into the show. However, this was attractive enough to get lots of racers. You had enough cars to go three or four letters into the alphabet in Mains, and those purses were more than paid for. In his case, George went the extra mile to make it fun for everybody. It doesn't require a ridiculously huge purse to make an open show tick. It requires a good format, a well run program and the feeling that this is a place that you need to be. Throughout the season, there's been lots of positive buzz regarding the Modified show at Merced Speedway, so there were drivers ready to come to come out for this event. They came from as far south as Ventura and as far north as Oregon to be in Merced.

I believe that Merced Speedway has the potential to establish something really strong with this event. You always want to end the season on a high note, and I think this race accomplished that. I think there are still more cars and more fans to be had, but this requires some finesse and some intelligent planning. I don't subscribe to the theory that you need to dump a bunch of money into the purse to accomplice this goal. You just need to establish this as a fun event with a regular date people can circle on their calendars. Perhaps the end of October will be the regular time for this show? As far as money to win, I don't think $2,000 for the IMCA Modifieds, $1,200 for the IMCA Sport Modifieds and $1,000 for for the Hobby Stocks is bad. $400 for the Mini Stock winner was nice as well.

Actually, you can get yourself into trouble when you are worried about topping your biggest race. Pettit is a good example of that. There was a time when they kept raising the winner's purse for the IMCA Modifieds, and it reached $10,003 at one point. The family reassessed things at that point, and they settled on the $3,003 first prize they have now. I don't think the IMCA Modified purse needs to go much bigger, if at all, at Merced to keep the show going. It's the little touches you might be able to add to the program that could make a difference. I'm sure Doug and his staff had to be pleased with the way things went, and they should be proud of this show. Every track should have a few marquee events throughout the season with one to go out on if possible, and I think Merced Speedway is accomplishing that.

I seriously questioned why Kevin Barba would book races into October at Siskiyou Golden Speedway. You deal with colder weather and the possibility of rain that far north in California. On the other hand, weather patterns in the last couple of decades have been such that you've certainly got a chance to get some racing in. I think part of the reason Kevin went this far was to pay the bills to keep things going. However, this wasn't merely about money. I also believe he was looking to see what other divisions might be there for possible scheduling in 2020. There were some things to be gained by going to the end of October.

What made me nervous about the schedule was the fact that the annual Rod Restad Memorial race on September 21st produced some 60 cars in the pits. By all accounts, that final point race was a success, and it was also the biggest car count Kevin had achieved at the speedway. I know that he had announced from the start that he was going into October, but I was starting to wonder if maybe he would rethink his position and end it there. He did not. He doubled down, and the car count nose dived to around 20 the following week. It didn't get much better at the next race, and I thought that at that point he might be doing more harm than good to his effort.

In the midst of those numbers, however, there were some positive signs being shown. Yreka hosted their first Late Model race in several seasons. Granted, there were only five cars that came in from Medford, but it was still something different. Kevin had announced that any division that could give him five or six cars would have a purse paying show, and that prompted Sprint Car drivers to question whether they could be involved in this. The problem with that Late Model show was that it was impromptu. Nobody knew Late Models were going to be there that week, and the track was not really able to gain the potential fans it could have had if it were known ahead of time.

It was sounding like the Sprint Cars were going to do the same thing. You might get a half-dozen Sprint Cars, but it would happen that next race and the fans wouldn't know anything about it. This is when the Interstate Sprint Car Series officials stepped in. They reached out to Kevin to set a race date, and that date was last Saturday. The Interstate Sprint Car Series was relaunched as a Limited Sprint Series prior to the 2018 season, and I was well aware that officials were interested in booking at least one date at Yreka. The date they were thinking of was Week of Speed in August. The problem is the Siskiyou Speedway track is basically closed during much of August to allow for the Siskiyou Golden Fair to take over the area.

Week of Speed really needs another date to help it along. As Medford chooses not to participate in the series, it starts later than officials would like. They would like to have Yreka be a part of this. I'm not going to tell you that this is going to happen in 2020, but I can tell you that series officials are looking at doing something at Yreka. So, this hastily scheduled Interstate Sprint Car Series race was almost like a test to see what was out there. While this was scheduled, several Late Model drivers also voiced an interest in being a part of that show, and Barba agreed.

I can't tell you when the last time was that Siskiyou Golden Speedway had a Sprint Car and Late Model show on the same bill, but it happened on Saturday. This, in my opinion, was probably Kevin's shining moment in his inaugural year as the promoter. Though I've had some criticism for the way things have been scheduled and changed on the fly, this race was booked in plenty of time to get the interest of the fans. It was booked in plenty of time for the racers to know and be ready to go racing. I'm not going to tell you that they flooded the pit with cars, but both divisions delivered enough cars to give the fans a good taste of what they have to offer. There were eight Interstate Sprint Cars and nine Late Models. Add to that the eight Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks, 12 IMCA Sport Modifieds, four Jefferson State Jalopies an even the kids who ran an exhibition with their Outlaw Karts, and you had over 40 competitors for the final race.

The biggest problem at Siskiyou Golden Speedway is easy to see. They don't deliver enough cars on a regular basis. Once upon a time, they did. The show has dwindled down to IMCA Sport Modifieds and Mini Stocks and whatever visiting divisions they can get. They watched their IMCA Modified division basically die on them, though I think Kevin could resurrect this class if he made the effort. There are drivers there who want to race in Yreka. Even if there aren't a bunch, the six or eight cars you could get to restart this thing is better than having nothing at all. Fans want to see cars, and two divisions with 20 cars total on average is simply not enough for some fans to want to spend money to come watch.

Kevin didn't enter the picture with blinders on. He knew the program was struggling and knew that change needed to be made. Perhaps it was the late announcement that he would be promoter that hurt his effort to book a schedule and forced him to do some things on the fly. Whatever the case, he got through the season, and the later part of the season saw the success of the Rod Restad and this last race. He left the fans with something exciting to go out on, and the Sprint Car Main Event winner, Jake Wheeler, started in the fourth row and scored the victory. The Rayburn family returned for the first time in several seasons with a victory in the Late Models. The night was a winner.

Kevin has been working on family-friendly things, giving away free passes to get people to come check out the show and doing whatever he can to change the perception that this Speedway is fading away. Saturday night was a successful effort, and it's one he can be proud of. It's also raised the track's status as a place that can offer bigger shows for the fans. You are likely to see an Interstate Sprint Car Series race on the schedule next year, perhaps even a Limited Sprint race or two. You could even see Late Models. You can expect anything at this point as Kevin knows he needs to get more cars and give the fans more of a show. You want fans in the seats? Give them more cars to watch.

I give Kevin credit for pulling this one off, but I wonder if the relationship between Yreka and Medford will warm up a little bit. Medford Promoter Mike McCann entered the picture at a track who's own show had fell to a point where only 18 cars showed up for a three division show one night in 2015. McCann invested heavily in rebuilding this program. If there's a Late Model division or a Limited Sprint Car division for Yreka to borrow from Medford, it's only because McCann made the investment in paying a good purse to get the cars out there in the first place. I already know the question Medford would ask in any potential partnership with Yreka. What do we gain?

I know a lot of people would like to see the track that's doing better off just lend a helping hand to the track that isn't, but it's a business. If you're not taking care of your own business model and building your own show, you're not getting fans. Even though Medford had another solid season this past year, they are not out of the woods just yet. Lots of work has to be done to maintain the progress and build upon it. Partnerships can work, but a potential partnership that Medford might have with Yreka is incumbent upon Yreka being able to provide visiting drivers to Medford. There is potential with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, but Yreka can't really work with Medford in IMCA Modifieds without having its own class. They must work on building that back up.

My opinion on the matter is that a stronger Yreka partnering with Medford would be a winner. If I had the power to make it happen, Yreka would become a Friday night track with occasional Saturday shows thrown in when scheduling allows. In that way, you could have Medford drivers more free to go to Yreka without missing a local show and vice versa. Yreka could work on cultivating an IMCA Modified show and establishing other classes. The only negative in a point series sort of way is that the two tracks are in two different states. You're not going to rank high in the IMCA State point race because you cross the border to run at the other track. So, without creating a Medford/Yreka series of your own, there is no bigger point race beyond the track point race.

It's a bit of hypothetical thinking, but it's not likely to happen. When you have a track that has run on Saturday night for as long as Yreka has, it's risky to change it to Friday. My contention is that numbers are low enough at Yreka that you could make that move and build from there. However, I believe no move would be made unless it was with the understanding that there would be a partnership. I see no partnership forthcoming. Medford will stay the course. There will be a few adjustments next year, and the track will try to improve upon what's been done for the past four years and make the fifth year under McCann that much better.

As a promoter in your first year, you have to learn. From the outside looking in, it may seem like those guys don't know what the hell they're doing and all of that. A new promoter should be confident in thinking they can do it better, but they're going to learn a lot in that first year. Kevin got a wake up call from the start when a car crashed through the fence on the front straightaway, prompting the rest of the show to get cancelled. He's had his struggles behind the scenes that have challenged him, but he's persevered. Just when things might have looked hopeless, things started to get better. He's learned some things that have worked for him, and he'll continue to learn.

I think the first thing is bringing a sense of stability to the race track. Kevin is working on accomplishing that goal. The next thing is improvement of program. You're building your car count, figuring out what divisions you can run and all of that. Kevin's made much progress, and this will be reflected in the 2020 schedule. There's also been improvements to the facility and in fan interaction. One would have to say that Kevin's first year has certainly been better than the previous year, and that's a positive. There is much progress yet to be made, but there certainly is hope that it's going to get better. As I said, I give Kevin credit for having probably his biggest night of promoting to close the year.

I would certainly recommend getting out of the season now. Then again, the last month would not have happened in Yreka had that been my call. Then, they wouldn't have had the night they just had. Kevin has already announced a playday for November 2nd, and the danger you get into when you're making moves like this is thinking maybe you could even book another race or something of that nature. Drivers need time to recoup their budgets and fix their race cars, and promoters need the off time to make more improvements to the track and make plans for next season. Hopefully, the playday this Saturday is all that will happen. Just a play day, and then it's time to plan for next year. But, even if they try to go much longer, the weather will tell them what they can and can't do.

Marysville Raceway had the H&H Trenching Sprint Car Spooktacular Saturday night, and there were 27 Winged 360 Sprint Cars in the pits. They were the headliners of the night. There were only a half-dozen Crate Sprints, and there were nine Wingless Spec Sprints despite the fact that the track dropped the class from it's regular rotation two years ago. The IMCA Sport Modifieds also had a 10 car show. I think those numbers were within the parameters that were expected. I doubt management thought they would have a huge field of Spec Sprints since they're not promoting the class. However, there might have been a little bit of disappointment that only six Crate Sprints were there. Given the fact that management dumped Spec Sprints in favor of this other Winged Sprint Car class and it still isn't delivering double digits, I can't imagine people are too happy. I know I wouldn't be. Then again, I always thought of it as a stupid decision for Chico and Marysville to ever add Crate Sprints in the first place as it only divided a good car count. The Crate Sprints have failed to deliver so far. By now, they should be averaging double digits. They are lucky to get that.

Remaining on the schedule is the November 9th Mel Hall Memorial race. This race was initially rained out on Memorial Day Weekend, so it's been rescheduled for after next week's Gary Patterson Memorial race at the Stockton Dirt Track. It's also being listed as a Civil War Series and Hunt Series event. I can find no evidence that the Civil War Series is even in existence at this point, and that does make me a little bit sad. I spoke with Watsonville track prep guru Tom Sagmiller at the West Coast Nationals, and he indicated that he knew nothing about Marysville being a Civil War race on this night.

I had some comments to make about it as it looked like there would be no champion crowned. Since before the last Watsonville race, you couldn't find Civil War Sprint Car points on the official webpage. After the Watsonville race ran, there was no indication that the rescheduled Mel Hall Memorial race at Marysville was being acknowledged by the Civil War. Marysville had it on the their webpage, but not a word from the Civil War. No race scheduled, no point race and it looks like the thing is dead, right?

I'm actually pleased to report that upon looking at a news release on my phone from Marysville concerning the November 9th race, they were talking about a point leader for the Civil War and hyping the deal up. I said to myself that this didn't sound right as just a couple of days ago I went to the official page and there were no points. Punching it in on my phone web browser, I found the point sheet. Koen Shaw is listed as the Civil War Series leader going into Marysville, which will be the fourth and final race. So, it looks as if John Prentice will make sure that the Civil War Sprint Car Series has a champion this year.

The real question is will it continue into a 30th season next year? Will there be enough races to make it happen? Will there be enough tracks to get involved? Some places have sided with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour and others don't appear to be interested in getting dates. On the other hand, there might just be enough interest to keep this thing going. Personally, I want to see that be the case. I know John may have upset a few people here or there, but the Civil War Series means something. Well, at least it used to and still can.

In my mind, a Civil War Series schedule probably doesn't need more than 6 to 10 races to be good enough. If Prentice is at the helm, then you could put two or three races on at Watsonville. As it seems as if Dennis Gage is still on board at Marysville, you could keep that going. Perhaps a race at Chico could be secured again? The harder question is, where do you get other race dates? I believe a Civil War Series should have four or five different tracks on its schedule. It's not likely to happen at Petaluma, and Merced has just thrown in with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour as well. Going as far north as Yreka might be stretching it a bit. Antioch Speedway? Not if John Soares is running the track.

I always like to play devil's advocate with situations like these. What would happen if? It's likely that if Prentice is going to work towards a series, he'll look at the All Star IMCA Modified Series first. Personally, I see potential to get that thing back up to eight or nine dates in 2020. The Civil War Sprint Car Series brand may not get that kind of attention, and that's unfortunate given it's lengthy history. There was a time when promoters worked together on that series, and it was normal to see 50 or 60 cars at any event. I don't think you're looking at 50 or 60 cars on average, even if this thing could be salvaged. However, you could get it into the 20s, and that would still be an entertaining show. To do so, it would take a lot of work. Is Prentice still willing to put in the effort? Are there enough promoters willing to work with him? The answers may be forthcoming after we see what happens with this November 9th date at Marysville.

I recently had a really good conversation with my friend Don O'Keefe on the subject of the Bay Cities Racing Association. This was on my mind back in August, and I recall writing something for a Viewpoint column. Unfortunately, it somehow got wiped out. I'd have to look back to see if I rewrote anything and posted my thoughts on the subject. In my opinion, the merger of BCRA and POWRi has been a failure. I think when they did that, some of the BCRA leaders felt that the national status of POWRi would help elevate their group, but this was never the answer. Don tells me that one of the BCRA people he spoke to with recently said the only thing the group is getting out of it is an insurance policy.

In BCRA, you have California's oldest sanctioning auto racing organization, and it's heritage is something that I believe should be preserved. You go back to the 1930s when you talk about BCRA. Back in the 1950s, BCRA was sanctioning races at several different tracks throughout the state, and they also had a booming Hardtop circuit in addition to the Midgets. Times have changed, and the organization always managed to adapt. It was through BCRA that some of the greatest Bay Area promoters, such as Bob Barkhimer, John P Soares and Bert Moreland, got their starts. Even when Barkhimer started his own association and eventually sold to NASCAR, he did all he could to help the BCRA keep going.

In the 1990s, the group was still viable, but they branched out to absorb the Mini Sprint tour that had been running under the Northern Stars banner. BCRA sanctions Midgets, Midget Lites and the Vintage Midgets. When I spoke with Don recently, he suggested that the Midget Lites group should basically merge with the Midgets, running the two groups together. He also suggested something I've been saying for a while. BCRA should stick with the dirt and drop the pavement idea. I believe pavement is being pushed by maybe a couple of staunch BCRA supporters, but it's doing more harm than good.

I'm going to elect to side step the idea of the Midget Lites being forced to run with the Midgets. My thinking is that BCRA is booking far too many race dates as it is. Drivers don't want to run 20 or more times a year. While it might be nice for BCRA to have dates at so many different race tracks, it really doesn't do them good when they're not producing a car count to entertain the fans. My belief is that you should cut back. BCRA has long had its strongest car counts on the dirt, even though they've had a mixture of dirt and pavement on the schedule.

You're not getting a bunch of Midget drivers coming from other places in the way you would with Winged 360 Sprint Cars. BCRA is the only full Midget game in Northern California. There is a fledgling Eco Tech Midget effort that's getting started at Watsonville and Ventura. It's not really anything new as they ran under the Ford Focus banner for a while, but leadership is attempting to make something of this in the way the Northwest Focus Midget group has done up in Washington and Northern Oregon. You can actually run this group with the Midgets on occasion, and I would certainly advocate for that.

Since there's not an abundance of Midgets to draw cars from at the moment, but there are several dirt track cars out there that are parked, a shorter schedule on dirt would work perfectly. Work with the tracks that are willing to book you, such as Petaluma, Watsonville and Placerville. Reach out to other tracks on the dirt to see what you can get. Look at 12 to 14 dates as your ideal schedule to get the car count up. When you look at where the strongest car count has come in recent years, as I have said, it happens on the dirt. Placerville this year was a good example of that. If you want to save BCRA, you don't need national sanctioning. You need a sensible schedule, a focus on dirt and an effort to bring cars back to the track, even if they are a bit older. It can happen. The question is, is there any desire to do it?

This year, BCRA didn't have a Hall of Fame picnic. I'm very disappointed in that. In recent years, these events happened at Petaluma, but I believe the weekend in question ended up going to USAC, rather than BCRA. Whatever the case was, it didn't happen. Now, I know BCRA has a pretty big Hall of Fame as it is, and you might be running out of people to induct. However, the idea of the pre race picnic and get together of the old guard and the new drivers is still a good thing to do. Perhaps you make it BCRA Legends night. This is a night when you have all three of your groups on hand, if possible, induct somebody into the Hall of Fame if you can or simply invite a few of the old timers out there as legends to be saluted on that occasion. Don't let this gathering fall by the wayside.

I'm not going to tell you that I've been the biggest fan of Midget racing through the years. I was offered a scorekeeping job with the group back in 1985 and declined as Stock Cars have been my love. You weren't going to get me to leave Antioch Speedway back then. I do have an appreciation of this form of racing. Looking back when BCRA had a bunch of races at Antioch in 1981 and 1982, the racing was pretty darn good. Drivers like Floyd Alvis, Rick Bussell, Bobby Morrow, Wheeler Gresham, Ted Montague, Tim Joyce, Victor Mancarini, Tom Enea and so on put on some great races. It can be that way again, but I believe it happens when you make a more reasonable schedule and do it on the dirt. Time will tell what happens.

Arena racing is something I've been advocating for since discovering this form of auto racing about five years ago. You're taking cars and running them in a Rodeo Arena sized venue. It's an off shoot of the concept I fell in love with back in the 1990s that had Mini Stock race cars running on the little 1/8th mile oval at Delta Speedway in Stockton. I was pessimistic about that until going out there and seeing how well those cars ran on that little track. You couldn't run 20 cars in a Main Event. I think it was 12 or 14, and they were very entertaining. They had a big car count throughout the 1990s until the Outlaw Kart program took over.

I suppose Arena Racing begin at the County Fairs. Not every Fairgrounds has a quarter mile or bigger race track. Some of them have little Rodeo Arenas, and many of them like hosting a Destruction Derby when the County Fair happens. This appeared on my radar back in 2015 when a Destruction Derby promoter added an Arena Figure 8 to the Alameda County Fair lineup. Three nights of racing. In this case, they paid a pretty nice sum to the drivers who came out to run each race, and they only asked for a half dozen of them.

I was also made aware of a little Derby Arena back in Hoagland, Indiana. Destruction Derbies are their mainstay, but they added a really cool attraction. Figure 8 races. They would run full programs of big cars and little cars with heats and Main Events. At the end of the night, they do the Destruction Derby. Other venues have run similar programs. Out west, we've had venues in Oregon and Washington doing a Figure 8 and also this Alameda Fair effort. Also, there was the Agri Race that happened at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds. I've seen them run on a track that I don't even know if it would measure as 1/8th mile in size. What's remarkable about the Agri Race is they have a set limit of entries. I think it was 24 cars this year, and they had 24 entities.

Now, a tight bull ring might not make it to 1/8th of a mile in size. I'm not sure. You could be looking at somewhere between 1/10th of a mile and 1/7th, but it's not very big. However, with the basic stock Hornet car, not to be confused with the regular Mini Stocks, you're not talking a bunch of money in a car, and you're not talking high speeds. In a little Arena 8, the cars don't go very fast. What you see with the Arena 8 is that you can get six cars on the track, no more than eight, and that's plenty. The fans get lots of action, there is contact, but you're not going so fast that you have as big a chance of getting hurt as you might in the bigger 8.

The Agri Race I looked at was interesting, because it's in such tight confines. You don't have a long straightaway to gather up speed, and it's all about getting through the turns as quickly as possible. They're not big, wide turns. The excitement comes when second-place comes in really hard behind first place and has to watch themselves or they might dump the leader. The officials at the Agri Race frown on any sort of rough driving. In other words, while an accident might happen, you'd better be trying not to dump the guy in front of you. There's still an art form in this sort of thing, and it is racing.

I'm still trying to shape this idea in my mind, and there is no real worry. It's not like I'm sitting on a pile of money and can make something like this happen anyway. My dream would be to move to Contra Costa County and establish an Arena Race Track. The ultimate goal would be to expand something to 1/5th of a mile, the size of Ventura or Orland. I'm looking for stuff the average working person can afford to race and isn't too expensive to come watch as a fan.

One of my beliefs is that racing doesn't necessarily have to be about the fastest cars going out there. If you give the fans a show with close competition, it doesn't matter how fast the cars go. In the 1980's, Late Models were fast at Antioch Speedway, but frequently the show of the night took place in those old, beat-up Street Stocks. Fans liked the competition, and people weren't rushing to get out the gates if Street Stocks happened to be running last. They wanted to watch these cars as much as they did the Late Models. It's all about close, competitive racing.

I'm looking for something here that can entertain and is something people can afford to do on a reasonable budget. The Arena Racing idea is perfect. In seeking to build any sort of racing venue, you're faced with all sorts of loopholes in California, but I think we've learned that it is not impossible to keep racing going. Look at the number of tracks we have in the state. However, my idea is offering something different and unique. The Hornet race cars I would like to use are affordable enough that anybody could race them. An Arena Race Track means that a full Main Event is achieved at 6 to 8 cars. If you deliver a dozen to 20 cars, you're talking about a full show with qualifying, Trophy Dash, heat races and B Mains. You could do that with oval and Figure 8.

I picture weekend warrior racing. This is somebody who's not seeking to travel up and down the road to go racing. Being able to put together a cheap Hornet race car might be appealing. They bring it out to the arena to run so many times a year and park it in the garage or alongside their house until next year. Give the fans enough close, competitive racing and they will show up. The venue I look at would have seating somewhere in the area of 600 to 800 in the grandstands. It doesn't take much to have a full grandstand, and even half full, it still appears to be packed. It's the place to be.

My Arena Racing idea would feature the Hornet race car, but there are other things that would be considered. In addition to the four-cylinder Destruction Derbies that we would host, Outlaw Kart racing, Micro racing, Dwarf Cars (see Vintage Duels and what they did in Grass Valley), Quads and even Motorcycles. Motorsports entertainment. The beauty of the Outlaw Kart program is that this is where the kids get in. You're instilling a love of racing in the next generation to help keep racing going at the big track as well.

My ideal venue, if I were to build a track, would be a Rodeo Arena sized venue, which might measure anywheres from 1/10th of a mile to 1/7th of a mile. The goal would be to have enough room to make it 1/5th in the vein of Orland Raceway or Ventura Raceway. If you look at what they do at Ventura Raceway on that little track, they run injected Wingless Sprint Cars and Midgets. I can assure you, that's one hell of a show. However, I wouldn't necessarily be looking to do those two things on my 1/5th. I might consider midcard to lower class divisions, such as Sport Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and those sorts of things. This would be a long-range goal, though if a new track were actually being built, it would be the arena first.

The idea that I have is one that I call Friday Night Mayhem. Being that I'm looking to do something in Contra Costa County, in my dream at least, I wouldn't want to try to go head-to-head with Saturday night racing at Antioch Speedway. Saturday night would only happen if Antioch Speedway didn't have something scheduled. Otherwise, it's Friday night, and we have no problem encouraging fans to go to the Antioch Speedway on Saturday. In fact, if we were to cultivate a good Arena Figure 8, and Antioch Speedway was interested in hosting something like that on the infield, we would endorse it. That's the dream, anyways. Where could I build a track like this? That's the big question.

I'm sorting through these thoughts, and they still evolve. There's a lot I don't know. How much would it cost to operate such a venue and so on. In the midst of my stay here in Antioch, I took notice of the old Rodeo Arena. This was built during the 1980s, and these days they use it for paintball. The bleachers are still there, and the seating capacity has to be somewhere in the 800 fan range. The arena could host the things I talk about. The only question would be, could something like an Arena Racing venue be doable there?

I've heard rumors, though unconfirmed, that the paintball place might eventually move. This leaves an opening. It appears as if the rodeos and horsing events have gone by the wayside, which is a shame. This was a nice little venue for those things when it was built back in the 1980s as Antioch Speedway stopped being a place to host rodeos. They needed to keep money coming into the fairgrounds, and paintball became popular enough to pay the rent there. In absence of that, could Arena Racing happen?

I had a thought as I peered over the fence. Okay, maybe I walked a little bit further. I call it the Antioch Fairgrounds Arena and the program would be Friday Night Mayhem. A lot of things need to be cleaned up in the area surrounding the arena, but you've got enough area to pit your race cars. You could host an event like this within those confines without even using the Antioch Speedway pits. That is if you're thinking that it's possible for a racing promoter to come in and use that venue, while Antioch Speedway has its own promoter. This was the case in Chowchilla when Chowchilla Speedway ran and somebody else promoted the Barnburner Series.

On the other hand, if Antioch Speedway was to expand, this could be just another event promoted by the Antioch promoter. I'm sure that the arena racing idea that I pitch won't go over with everybody. Hornets on that little venue? But I think it could be a winner. Furthermore, whereas Antioch Speedway isn't hosting Destruction Derbies these days, the Antioch Fairgrounds Arena could host a derby and Arena Figure 8, and I bet you would pack the stands. You might even need to do what they do in Alameda, which means you have two or three nights where these events are happening during the annual County Fair. They would get more use out of this venue during the fair under my proposal than they currently get.

What I could see this venue doing, that is if Antioch Speedway were able to take on the promotional role there, is Outlaw Kart Racing. There's been an interest in establishing an Outlaw Kart venue here for the past few years, but it hasn't materialized. I think there's just a concern about using the infield for a race track due to the fact that there are scales in the infield for weighing cars afterwards, the water for the water truck is there and so on. I think those things have served to keep Outlaw Kart racing from happening.

The arena next to the speedway would serve as a perfect venue for this. You've got bleachers, you've got concessions and you've got everything you need to make something happen. If this is being promoted by Antioch Speedway, you can even use the Antioch Speedway pits if need be. However, I think you could still use the space that is there to run an event. Speedway management would not have to worry about the effects an Outlaw Kart track has on the big track. It would be next door.

The bigger question would be how much does this cost? It's not a secret that running Antioch Speedway is an expensive endeavor. I haven't seen the operational cost numbers for Fairgrounds race tracks, but I'd be utterly shocked if Antioch didn't rank in the Top 3 of the most expensive Fairgrounds to run a race track, if not the most expensive. It's not going to get any cheaper. Therefore, if Antioch Speedway management were to look into this venue, the Fairgrounds would have to cut them some sort of break. They couldn't gouge them at every turn the way they do on the big track. You're not talking about a lot of money. The same holds true if another racing promoter were to step in and run just that little venue.

You're not going to be talking about a lot of money here. Racers will not be running for big purses. You don't have huge seating capacity. If you can get 800 fans to show up, you're about at capacity. It's not likely that you could get away with charging a $15 adult ticket to this venue. Plus, there are other costs you have to associate with this venue, also considering you don't have as much money coming in. Therefore, if the Fairgrounds wasn't willing to work out some sort of deal, at least ways where they didn't have their hands in percentages and that sort of thing, it's not likely that the idea could get off the ground.

The question is, would they want some money or no money at all. If the paintball Arena ends up being taken out, what takes its place? Will there be rent money coming in? Now, if this thing were to come in and be successful, and if that meant more money coming in, negotiations might take place where the fairgrounds might try to get a few more dollars out of it. However, they're not going to be able to shake the little track down for money and get away with it for long before racing ends. I couldn't tell you what they'd have in mind to do, but I do see much potential there.

I'm not kidding myself. I'm lucky to have a roof over my head, and I certainly don't have the money to build a race track unless I had people investing in my idea. I'm not even sure that the Fairgrounds would entertain such an idea. The best bet may be the Antioch Speedway promoter taking on the smaller venue and putting somebody in charge of putting together the program. Whether that would ever happen, I couldn't begin to tell you. However, these sorts of ideas start with talk. When a plan gets put together, you never know. I still believe in Arena Racing.

I'm still here for a couple more days as I write this. I extended my stay in Antioch a little longer, thanks to John allowing me a place to stay. My curiosity was to see what exactly was in the cards for this race track as it enters its 60th consecutive season. I will still be evasive in talking about anything else, but many of you know what it is I'm looking at when I ask what the future is here. As I am still weighing my options for 2020 and looking for opportunities for myself and my involvement in the sport, this extra time staying here in Antioch seemed necessary.

I've been saying all along that I expect to be involved at a race track next year and to continue to be active on this blog. Nothing has changed in that. The blog activity may change a little bit as it became very stressful when it came to sending things out to media outlets to get tracks coverage this year. I still feel there is much for me to do in the sport, and I can be very helpful to the cause of building up a racing program. I feel that my work these past four years in Medford speaks for itself, and the work I've taken on with my media effort for all the different tracks shows more of what I can do.

This feels very much like a crossroads moment for me in any possible return to Antioch Speedway. I know what I can offer, and it's been humbling to me to realize the outpouring of love that's come my way. I wouldn't have been able to step back through those gates if it wasn't for some of the people who helped me make it happen. They treat me like I haven't been away for long, and I'm still a part of it. They make me feel like I am still a part of the family. It means a lot more than you know. I sometimes feel like I've run my course with racing and feel like it's a matter of time before I go away, but I also feel like there are things that I can do to help.

I look around at Antioch Speedway, and like other venues here on the West Coast, it's had its down moments in recent years. I also see an incredible potential to make things better. I know there are things that I do that can help make it better. I'm careful when I say things like this to not say if you hire me to do this I'm going to give you that. That is to say, I won't put any sort of attendance numbers behind what I think I can do to impact the show. What I do think is I can and will work hard every week and things will get better over time. The question is, do they want me here?

I feel that during these past four years, I have done everything from afar that I can to try to help the track. I feel like it's made a difference, but it hasn't made as much difference as it could have had I been here. There's things I can't do for this track unless I am here, and I'm a believer in the  idea that every race track should hire somebody on the scene to work media, engage the racers and fans and promote the positivity of the race track. Antioch Speedway needs this, whether I am the one brought in here or somebody else is. So, when I say I'm at a crossroads, I really believe that I've done everything I can for here from afar, but I don't think it helps the track as much as somebody on the scene would.

So, I'm waiting to see what happens and if the appropriate conversation will happen before I board my train. That's all I know. There's a lot more I can say and may say when the time comes. I won't speculate on what's going on behind the scenes, but I will comment on whatever happens once I know what happens. Because I don't think it really helps the cause to speculate too much, I've kept my mouth shut on purpose. There should be news here within the next couple of weeks.

With this blog post, I have intentions of at least taking a couple of weeks off from the blog to take a little bit of a break. I'll be heading back to Oregon to take care of whatever loose ends need to be handled regarding this past season in Medford. If I know a little bit more when I head up to Oregon, it may impact what I do over the next few weeks. If something needs to be said, keep an eye on this blog, my Facebook page or more likely The DCRR Twitter page for my comments or whatever news. In the meantime, I think I've said plenty for now. Until next time...

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Antioch Speedway, Petaluma Speedway, Siskiyou Golden Speedway, Merced Speedway, Dixon Speedway, More

First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
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Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
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DeVolder, Peckham Win West Coast Nationals 
Preliminary Features At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...October 18...Shane DeVolder won the 20 lap A Modified Preliminary Feature Friday night at Antioch Speedway.  This was the opening night of the West Coast Nationals, and DeVolder led all the way in victory.  DeVolder is the 2018 IMCA Modified State champion.  He led Danny Wagner for a lap before Ethan Dotson took over second on a lap two restart.  Bobby Hogge IV settled into third on a lap nine restart.  During the second half of the race, DeVolder had his hands full holding off Dotson, while Troy Foulger was looking for a way past Hogge for third.  DeVolder drove a great race to score the victory with Dotson, Hogge and Foulger finishing in the Top 4 and locking themselves into Saturday's show.  Wagner just missed the cut with a fifth place finish.

There were two sets of 10 lap heat races, and Dotson was the only double winner.  DeVolder, Cody Burke, Foulger, Hogge, Anthony Giuliani, Danny Wagner, Nick DeCarlo and Trip Gaylord won the other heats.  DeCarlo won the first of two 15 lap B Mains ahead of Foulger and Kellen Chadwick.  The second B Main win went to Anthony Slaney ahead of Grey Ferrando and Chester Kniss.

Andrew Peckham won the 20 lap B Modified Preliminary Feature.  He led from the start, and the race only had one yellow flag.  Following the lone yellow flag, Kenny Shrader took second from Fred Ryland on the restart.  Peckham didn't get too far ahead of Shrader, but he drove a smooth race for the win.  Ryland and Troy Foulger made the Saturday Main Event as they finished third and fourth, respectively.  Tommy Fraser settled for fifth.

Foulger was the only double 10 lap heat race winner as Peckham, Ryland, Bobby Motts Jr, Brent Curran, Fraser and KC Keller won the other heat races.  Chase Thomas won the first 15 lap B Main ahead of Kenny Neu and Todd Gomez.  Phillip Shelby won the other B Main over Tanner Thomas and Tyler Bickford.

The $7,500 to win A Modified Main Event and the $1,500 to win B Modified Main are both tonight.  You don't want to miss the second night of the West Coast Nationals.

Unofficial Race Results
Antioch Speedway West Coast Nationals
A Modifieds
Round 1 Heat Winners (10 Laps)-Ethan Dotson, Shane DeVolder, Cody Burke, Troy Foulger, Bobby Hogge IV.  Round 2 Heat Winners (10 Laps)-Ethan Dotson, Anthony Giuliani, Danny Wagner, Tripp Gaylord, Nick DeCarlo.  B Main 1 (15 Laps)-Nick DeCarlo, Troy Foulger, Kellen Chadwick, Chris Lewis, Austin Burke.  B Main 2 (15 Laps)-Anthony Slaney, Grey Ferrando, Chester Kniss, Clint Reichenbach, Duane Cleveland.  Preliminary Feature (20 Laps)-Shane DeVolder, Ethan Dotson, Bobby Hogge IV, Troy Foulger, Danny Wagner, Bricen James, Anthony Slaney, Ryan McDaniel, Nick DeCarlo, Kellen Chadwick.

B Modifieds
Round 1 Heat Winners 10 Laps)-Andrew Peckham, Fred Ryland, Troy Foulger, Bobby Motts Jr.  Round 2 Heat Winners (10 Laps)-KC Keller, Brent Curran, Troy Foulger, Tommy Fraser.  B Main 1 (15 Laps)-Chase Thomas, Kenny Neu, Todd Gomez, Trevor Clymens, Cameron Swank.  B Main 2 (15 Laps)-Phillip Shelby, Tanner Thomas, Ty Bickford, Tommy Clymens Jr, Kevin Brown.  Preliminary Feature (20 Laps)-Andrew Peckham, Kenny Shrader, Fred Ryland, Troy Foulger, Tommy Fraser, KC Keller, Chase Thomas, Bobby Motts Jr, Todd Gomez, Brent Curran.

Chadwick Wins $7,500 West Coast Nationals 
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...October 19...Kellen Chadwick scored a thrilling victory in the West Coast Nationals A Modified race Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  This was his 34th career Modified win at Antioch, and he pocketed $7,500 for his impressive effort.  Chadwick used slower traffic to take the lead from Bobby Hogge IV on lap 38 and made this the biggest win of his career.

Fresh off of a huge weekend at Bakersfield last week, Ethan Dotson charged into the lead at the start ahead of Friday night winner Shane DeVolder.  Troy Foulger moved in to battle DeVolder for second by lap 10, but traffic threw a monkey wrench in that effort.  They came up on a slower car, which dropped DeVolder back to fourth and left Foulger stuck in Turn 4 for a lap 17 yellow flag.  Dotson led Bobby Hogge IV and Chadwick on the restart.  Traffic in Turn 2 on lap 28 cost Dotson the lead as both Hogge and Chadwick went by.  During the final 10 laps, Chadwick kept looking to the inside of Hogge in his effort to take the lead.  With traffic again coming into play, Chadwick used a low move in Turn 2 on lap 39 to take the lead.  Chadwick thrilled the crowd with his late move to victory.  Hogge settled for a $3,800 second ahead of Bricen James, Dotson and Tripp Gaylord.

The A Modifieds ran six eight lap qualifying heat races, and Grey Ferrando, Gaylord, Chadwick, Nick DeCarlo, Austin Burke and Jim Pettit II used their wins to make the big Main Event.  Cody Burke won the first 15 lap B Main ahead of Danny Wagner and Buddy Kniss.  James outran Brian Cass and Dylan Shriner to win the other B Main.  Bobby Motts Jr and Raymond Lindeman got the final starting spots in the Main Event by winning their respective 10 lap Last Chance Qualifier races.

Kenny Shrader won the 25 lap B Modified Main Event.  The $1,500 win was the biggest of his career.  Shrader started outside front row and raced into the lead ahead of Troy Foulger.  Things got interesting when the leaders caught slower traffic on lap 12.  Foulger made an outside pass in Turn 2 to grab the lead, and a yellow flag waved for Kenny Neu on lap 15.  Foulger had to make a pit stop, putting Shrader back into the lead over Friday night winner Andrew Peckham and Fred Ryland.  The battle up front changed on lap 20 when Ryland pitted off the frontstretch and Peckham spun in Turn 2.  Ethan Dotson inherited second.  During the final five laps, Dotson tried to make a run on Shrader on the outside, but Shrader kept his cool and scored the well-earned victory.  Dotson got too high exciting Turn 2 on the last lap and lost second to Tommy Fraser.  Dotson settled for third ahead of Foulger and Brent Curran. 

The four eight lap heat race wins went to KC Keller, Chase Thomas, Bobby Motts Jr and Curran.  Todd Gomez was the first 12 lap B Main winner ahead of Adriane Frost and Neu.  The other B Main win went to Dotson over Fraser and Kevin Brown.  After race long leader Anthony Welborn spun in the final turn, Joe Salvi won the Last Chance race just ahead of Cameron Swank and Tanner Thomas.

This wraps up the 2019 season at Antioch Speedway.  For news concerning next season, go to

Unofficial Race Results
Antioch Speedway West Coast Nationals
A Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Grey Ferrando, Tripp Gaylord, Kellen Chadwick, Nick DeCarlo, Austin Burke, Jim Pettit II.  B Main 1 (15 Laps)-Cody Burke, Danny Wagner, Buddy Kniss.   B Main 2 (15 Laps)-Bricen James, Brian Cass, Dylan Shriner.  LCQ 1 (10 Laps)-Bobby Motts Jr, Shawn DeForest, Dave Duste Jr.  LCQ 2 (10 Laps)-Raymond Lindeman, Sean O'Gara, David Zeiter.  Main Event (40 Laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Bobby Hogge IV, Bricen James, Ethan Dotson, Tripp Gaylord, Nick DeCarlo, Danny Wagner, Jim Pettit II, Brian Cass, Raymond Lindeman.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-KC Keller, Chase Thomas, Bobby Motts Jr, Brent Curran.  B Main 1 (12 Laps)-Todd Gomez, Adriane Frost, Kenny Neu.  B Main 2 (12 Laps)-Ethan Dotson, Tommy Fraser, Kevin Brown.  LCQ (10 Laps)-Joe Salvi, Cameron Swank, Tanner Thomas.  Main Event (25 Laps)-Kenny Shrader, Tommy Fraser, Ethan Dotson, Troy Foulger, Brent Curran, KC Keller, Todd Gomez, Bobby Motts Jr, Tanner Thomas, Chase Thomas.

Ensign, Paul Close Petaluma Speedway Season With Victories

Petaluma CA...October 19...Geoff Ensign won the 25 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event at Petaluma Speedway. The win was worth $1,000 to the 2017 Petaluma Speedway Winged Sprint Car champion. Ensign had the pole for the Main Event end led from the outset with Marcus Hardina an early second. 600 Micro Sprint star Nick Robfogel moved into second on lap six. On the 12th lap, Boy Moniz slipped past Robfogel and Hardina and into the second position. Robfogel briefly took second from Moniz on lap 14. Hardina ran third until putting the moves on Moniz for second on lap 22. A late yellow flag didn't stop Ensign. He maintained his lead on the restart and held off Hardina for the victory. Robfogel was a close third, followed by Terry Schank Jr, Moniz, Jimmy Christian, new champion Angelique Bell, Adam Christian, Keith Calvino and Tony Bernard.

Ensign set the fastest time in qualifying at 15.578, beating a 15.856 of Hardina. Eight lap heat race wins went to Bell, Robfogel and Schank.

Michael Paul Jr won the 25 lap McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modified Main Event. Paul collected $1,000 for his efforts. This was his third win of the season, and he also picked up the $1,500 prize in the Top Dog race earlier this season. Michelle Paul had the pole for the race and jumped into the early lead ahead of Chris Sieweke. Michael Paul had started back in the third row and gained second on lap four. Michelle Paul saw her run come to an end just after surrendering the lead to Michael Paul on lap nine. Sieweke inherited second, but he retired on lap 12, giving Oregon visitor Jeffrey Hudson the position. Hudson and David Spriggs had a good battle going for second for the rest of the race as Michael Paul Jr pulled away to a decent lead in victory. Spriggs made a last-lap pass on Hudson to finish second. Hudson settled for third ahead of Jeffrey Faulkner, Kimo Oreta, Trevor Brady, Jerry Roy Jr, Sieweke, Michelle Paul and Ron Palombino. The eight lap heat race wins went to Spriggs and Hudson.

Mark Hanson won the 20 lap General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Car Main Event. Hanson and new champion Chad Matthias shared the front row of the race and ran closely from the start. However, Hanson would prevail over Mathias at the checkered flag. Garrett Brady was a solid third ahead of Jamie Faulkner, Adam Teves, Scooter Gomes, Sean Catucci, Sam Borland, Carroll Mendenhall and John Peters. Rick Holbrook, Faulkner, Matthias and Hanson were the six lap heat race winners as 24 drivers came to compete.

Jeremy Tjensvold turned in another dominant performance in winning the 20 lap Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock Main Event. This was the seventh win of the season for the new track champion. Cody Bolles led the first three laps before Tjensvold took over. As Tjensvold stretched his advantage, 2018 champion Tom Brown managed to take the second position from Bolles on lap 10. By then, however, Tjensvold held a straightaway advantage. Tjensvold went on to win by a half lap as Brown was the final lead lap finisher. Bolles, Randy Miramontez, Ben Baxman, Sophie Shelly, Brian Ascoop and Casey Monahan completed the finishing order. Miramontez and Tjensvold won their respective six lap heat races.

This concludes the 2019 season. For news on the happenings at the track, go to

John Fore Jr Dirt Track Nationals This Weekend 
At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...After a month off to allow the racers in the area to go to some of the other big events in the state, Merced Speedway will wrap up the 2019 season with a big special event this Friday and Saturday night. It's the Fourth Annual John Fore Jr Memorial Dirt Track Nationals. The IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks will all be competing for increased purse money this weekend.

John Fore Jr didn't have a long racing career at Merced Speedway, but he made an impact. He was a Main Event winner in Sport Modified competition as well as a Rookie of the Year. In March of 2016, John died in a work related accident. The outpouring of love from within the community prompted the promoter at the time, Ed Parker, to schedule the first race for John in 2016. Since he was a Sport Modified competitor, that was the featured class. Clint Reichenbach won the race that year.

This event was expanded last season to become the four division program that it is this year. The IMCA Modifieds will have nice paydays on both evenings as they compete for $1,000 on Friday and $2,000 to win on Saturday. The IMCA Sport Modifieds get a $1,200 payday on Saturday, while the Hobby Stocks will race for $1,000 to win. The Mini Stocks, which don't always race for money, get a $400 first prize on Saturday. It's anticipated that the car count will increase across all divisions, as is usually the case when Merced Speedway hosts a big event.

Having won over half of the point races for the IMCA Modifieds this season in the Bowers Motorsports entry, Troy Foulger is the track champion. He may come into this show with a slight advantage, but some of the best drivers from throughout California are expected to be on hand for this race. Second-ranked Ryan Porter will be looking for his first win of the season, but local standouts such as DJ Shannon, Paul Stone, Ramie Stone and Randy Brown are certain to make their presence known. Add in such top notch competition as Watsonville and Santa Maria champion Austin Burke, highly-decorated champion Bobby Hogge IV, Bakersfield champion Robby Sawyer and last week's $7,500 Antioch Speedway West Coast Nationals winner Kellen Chadwick, and this is sure to be an exciting show.

Fred Ryland has won two John Fore Jr Memorial races, and he also won his second track championship this season. He had his hands full with two-time winner Kelly Wilkinson in close pursuit in the battle. Even California State champion Guy Ahlwardt was a Merced feature winner in the big money Labor Day race, and these three will offer formidable competition from anybody coming in from out of town with eyes on the big prize. Other local standouts such as Bruce "Bubba" Nelson, Chris Falkenberg and the Thomas brothers, Tanner and Chase, will be tough to beat as well. Hard-chargers such as Watsonville champion Jarrod Mounce, Bakersfield point leaders Michael Johnson and Jason Nation and Santa Maria champion Kevin Johnson should help make this a thrilling event.

The knockdown, drag-out Hobby Stock championship battle ultimately went to two-time winner Shannon Nelson, but not without some serious pressure from 2016 title winner Michael Shearer. Both drivers are among the early favorites to win this division's big show. Austin Van Hoff is chomping at the bit to get his first win of the season, and it could come this week. Other local standouts, such as multi-time champion Raul Rodriguez, Timmy Crews and Allen Neal should offer good competition for the stars anticipated from out of the area. Nick Johnson, Watsonville champion Rob Gallaher, Kevin Irwin and three-time Watsonville champion Billy Nelson are some of the stars expected to come to town to make a run at the money.

Merced Speedway Mini Stock champion Lee Ragsdale will be hoping to score the biggest win of his career, but Shawn DePriest and point runner-up Lucy Falkenberg are two drivers who could stand in his way. DePriest won more Main Events in this class than anybody this season. Multi-time track champion Chris Corder and this year's top rookie, Tyler Post are two others to watch. Watsonville star Dakota Keldsen, CVMS point leader Dan Myrick and Gene Glover are among the top visitors to watch for.

Not only is this the last opportunity for you to check out racing at Merced Speedway this year, but the two-day format will offer some of the best racing seen at the fast quarter mile clay oval all year. This will be an event that you won't want to miss. For further information, go to

Siskiyou Speedway Offers Night Of Firsts 
To Close Racing Season

Yreka, CA...The racing season is about ready to come to a close at Siskiyou Golden Speedway this Saturday night. However, they are going out in style with a special night of racing and trick or treating for the kids. During intermission, the drivers will be parked on the front straightaway for candy giveaways. There will also be a costume contest for this Halloween special. Scheduled divisions include the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks, Interstate Sprint Car Series, Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, SODCA Dwarf Cars and Jefferson State Jalopies.

You'd have to do some digging to uncover the last time Siskiyou Speedway hosted a night that had Sprint Cars and Late Models on the same bill. This Saturday night, both classes will be competing. A deal was struck a few weeks ago to bring the Interstate Sprint Car Series to town for their first ever appearance. The Winged Sprint Car Series runs the limited rules package that has proven to be very successful at both Cottage Grove Speedway and Southern Oregon Speedway. It's been designed to cut costs and get more competitors.

This season, the Interstate Sprint Car Series competed at five different tracks, and young Tanner Holmes emerged as the champion. In fact, the talented teen racer also won the Week Of Speed crown in August. Fans of the Yreka Outlaw Kart track have witnessed him win races there as well as being a championship driver at the Red Bluff indoor track. Holmes won this year's title ahead of Kinzer Cox and previous series champion Tyler Thompson. As it is technically the off-season for the group, it's uncertain who will be making the trip, but potential competitors include past Southern Oregon Speedway champions Jake Wheeler and TJ Winningham, Cooper Desbiens, Aaron Miller, Brody Sim, Anthony Pope and Scott Fox.

A few weeks ago, five Late Model competitors came to town for the division's first appearance at the speedway in several seasons. Most of the drivers came from the Rapp Racing stables in Medford, and it was Top 10 Medford point competitor Eric Massey scoring the win that night. Eric and his father, Cliff Massey, are anticipated this week along with Dustin Knight, Chris Biggs and Medford Modified racing legend Mark Wauge.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds will be a part of this show. Young Ethan Killingsworth is this season's champion and a three-time feature winner. He scored a Top 3 finish last time out in an event that was won by Medford star Rich McCoy. It was the third win of the season for McCoy, who is anticipated for this race. Past champion Colt Boswell, who finished third in the standings this year, won the first postseason Sport Modified race and could be a threat to win this one along with this year's point runner-up, Ryder Boswell. Yreka is the only game in town, and stars from the area as well as Medford could be on hand.

It's still a close battle for the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock championship. Because of last weekend's rain out, Promoter Kevin Barba and the Pro Stock Association made an agreement to reschedule for this week. Having won the previous feature race, Scott Flowers took a slim lead over seven-time feature winner Dr Scott Lenz. Lenz is the two-time series champion and is looking to rebound after three-straight disappointing efforts in Yreka. Two-time Yreka feature winner Steve Borror, the 2016 champion, is anticipated along with Ginny Flowers, Colby Hammond, Roy Bain and Top 5 ranked competitors James Flowers, John David Duffie and Matt Harlow.

The SODCA Dwarf Cars and Jefferson State Jalopies round out the program. Josh King is the Dwarf Car champion this year after a stellar season that saw him win at seven different tracks. He outran division stars such as Camden Robustelli, Chad Cardoza, Fred Hay, Brock Peters and Ryan Smith to get it done. Marilyn Yawnick is the Jalopy champion. She and Mike Colson both had three wins this season as division founders JJ Smith and Karl Bernstein built the cars.

This family themed night will offer some great racing and candy for the kids during intermission. It's also the last opportunity to check out a race at the track until next year. For further information, go to

Micheli, Gonzalez, Brace, Etchieson, Palmer 
Win Gold Fever Taxi Cab Open At Marysville Raceway

Marysville, CA...October 19...Matt Micheli won the 15 lap Limited Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Marysville Raceway. This was the annual Gold Fever Taxi Cab race. Micheli is the track champion at Marysville and also won the Super Stock and IMCA Sport Modified titles at Chico. He started on the pole for the race and led from the outset. After Dan Brown Jr fell out of second on lap two, Trey Willand held the position for a lap. However, Jay Norton took over second on lap four. Micheli held nearly a straightaway advantage over Norton at the checkered flag. Willand finished third ahead of Michael Helton, Brown and Richard Vander Ploeg. Micheli also won the eight lap heat race.

Jesse Gonzalez won the 20 lap Super Stock Main Event. Gonzalez is a long time Nevada Late Model and Pro Stock competitor. Petaluma star Steve Studebaker led two laps before multi-time Marysville champion James Castleberry took over. Studebaker held second until being overtaken by Gonzalez on lap seven. Gonzalez pressured Castleberry until making his winning pass on lap 12. Gonzalez would stretch his lead to about a straightaway over Studebaker. Richard Brace Jr finished third, followed by Mike Walko, Castleberry, Brent Lawrence and Garrett Agnew. Gonzalez also won the eight lap heat race.

Richard Brace Jr won the 20 lap Street Stock Main Event. Brace has competed in several different divisions through the years, but more recently he is a Sprint Car competitor. He started on the pole and led from the outset. Steve Studebaker was not too far behind in second at the finish, followed by Brent Lawrence, Les Friend, Bill Hall and David Silva. Studebaker was the eight lap heat race winner.

Rick Etchieson won the 21 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. The race ran the extra lap due to a lap 19 yellow flag. Jacob Johnson led two laps before third row starter Devin Ryan moved into the lead. Johnson held second until being passed by Zach Lindgren on lap seven. Ryan led Lindgren until they tangled in Turn 3 for a lap 19 yellow flag. On the restart, Etchieson moved by Johnson to grab the lead and would hold off Jason Palmer to the checkered flag. Johnson settled for third ahead of Brad Myers, Ken Johns, Tyler Henrickson, William Merritt, Ryan, Lindgren and Angela Brown. There were three eight lap heat races with wins going to Merritt, Ryan and David Allen. The 10 lap B Main was won by Skylar Merrifield ahead a Bill Clark and Sebastian Davis.

Jason Palmer won the 20 lap Pure Stock Main Event. This classification basically features cars that run at Placerville Speedway, where Palmer is the 2017 champion. Joey Ridgeway Sr led two laps before Palmer raced into the lead. Modified star Les Friend moved into second on lap four and held the position until being passed by Placerville champion Nick Baldwin on lap 13. Baldwin was still being pressured by Friend. As Palmer went on to win by about a straightaway, Friend made a last-lap pass on Baldwin to finish second. Baldwin settled for third, followed by Jared Hess, Jason Leonard, David Silva, Devin Ryan, Ryan Peter, Rick Etchieson and Chris Asher. The eight lap heat races were won by Baldwin and Friend.

Racing continues next Saturday night with the annual Gold Fever H&H Trenching Sprint Car Spooktacular. The Winged 360 Sprint Cars will be competing along with the Wingless Spec Sprints, Crate Sprints and IMCA Sport Modifieds. On November 9th, the track will attempt to make up the rained out Mel Hall Memorial race, which will feature the Civil War Sprint Car Series and the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints. For further information, go to

Carey, Hannum, Torgerson 
Win Lonnie Kaiser Memorial Races At Dixon Speedway

Dixon, CA...October 19...Brandon Carey won the 30 lap Wingless 600 Micro Sprint Main Event Saturday night at Dixon Speedway. This was the Seventh Annual Lonnie Kaiser Memorial event, and Carey won the Friday night feature race as well. His win on Saturday was worth $1,000. Austin Torgerson followed him not too far behind in second. Torgeson also had a third place finish on Friday. Kelvin Lewis finished third in the Saturday race, followed by Brandon Shaw, Jeremy Chapman, Taylor DeCarlo, Tyson Davis, Michael Laughton, George Nielsen and Matthew Kaiser.

There were 31 competitors, and Joe Silva had the fastest lap of 10.763. Carey was second quick at 10.824. Carey also won the 10 lap Trophy Dash, but his clean sweep effort was interrupted by Stone, who held him off to win the second 10 lap heat race. The other heat race winners were Chapman, Norman Harley Rose and Lewis. DeCarlo won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Todd Kaiser and Chuck Patterson.

Brad Hannum won the 40 lap Super 600 Micro Main Event. Hannam didn't compete in the Friday portion of the show, but he was practically unstoppable on Saturday as he won both the six lap Trophy Dash and his 10 lap heat race. Jeffrey Pahule was a close second in the feature race, followed by Rickey Sanders, track champion Kyle Mentch, Hayden Saitch, Tony Alosi, Caleb Debem, Jason Chapman, Frank Camacho II and Christian Harris. Michael Laughton turned the 1/5 mile dirt oval with the quickest lap of 10.571, beating the 10.597 of Hannum. Saitch was the other heat race winner.

Ashton Torgerson won the 30 lap Restricted Micro Main Event. Torgerson is the champion this season, and he also won the Friday night feature race. On Saturday, Torgerson found his toughest competition from Matthew Tatoole. Tatoole outran Torgerson to win the six lap Trophy Dash, but Torgerson was the 10 lap heat race winner. Once Torgerson got the lead in the Main Event, he pulled away by nearly a straightaway ahead of Tatoole in victory. Rylee Whitehouse finished third, followed by Jackson Kohler, Bryant Bell, Cole Patrick, Austin Taborski and David Camacho. Tatoole had the quickest lap of 11.239.

Brody Rubio scored the victory in the 20 lap Junior Sprint Car Main Event. Rubio and Lemoore Raceway champion Jett Barnes had a good battle at the front of the pack with Rubio managing to hold on for the victory. Friday night winner Taylor Mayhew finished third on Saturday, followed by Nathan Ward, Ryder Byrd and Peyton Whitehouse. Rubio won the four lap Trophy Dash, but Barnes picked up the 10 lap heat race win. Rubio set the fast time of 13.568.

This wraps up the 2019 season. For further information on the happenings at the track, go to

Lonnie Kaiser Memorial Opening Night Wins To 
Carey,  Bordenave, Torgerson At Dixon Speedway

Dixon, CA...October 18...Brandon Carey won the 25 lap Wingless 600 Micro Sprint Main Event Friday night at Dixon Speedway. This was the opening night of the Seventh Annual Lonnie Kaiser Memorial race. Carey started in the second row and settled into an early second behind previous winner Kelvin Lewis. On the 10th lap, Carey found his opening and raced into the lead. Lewis held second until being passed by George Nielsen on the 19th lap. Fifth row starter Nick Robfogel followed into the third position and raced past Nielsen for second on lap 22. However, Carey was the happy winner ahead of Robfogel, Austin Torgerson, Lewis, Nielsen, Derek Patterson, Michael Wasina, Norman Harley Rose, Jeremy Chapman and Blake Parmley.

The Wingless Micros again had a strong turnout of 32 cars, and Wasina was the fastest on the 1/5 mile dirt oval with a lap of 10.796. Nielsen was second quick at 10.885. They ran four 10 lap heat races with wins going to Carey, Blake Parmley, Taylor DeCarlo and Rose. Wasina picked up the 10 lap Trophy Dash win. Joe Silva led all the way to win the 12 lap B Main ahead of Matthew Kaiser and Darrell Busby.

Sage Bordenave won the 25 lap Super 600 Micro Sprint Main event. Jeffrey Pahule led the opening lap before being passed by Hayden Saich. Saich led until being overtaken by previous feature winner Rickey Sanders on lap six. Sanders was doing a good job of leading the way until both Wasina and Bordenave got by on lap 20. It was Bordenave getting the win ahead of Wasina, Sanders, Tony Alosi, champion Kyle Mentch, Jared Heimlich, Cody Parmley, Steve Kaiser, Christian Harris and Pahule. Pahule and Saich tied for the quickest lap of 10.400. The two 10 lap heat race wins went to Mentch and Wasina. Pahule was the six lap Trophy Dash winner.

Ashton Torgerson won the 20 lap Restricted 600 Micro Sprint Main Event. Torgerson is the champion this year. He started on the pole and led from the green flag all the way to the checkered flag. Rylee Whitehouse was a race-long second, followed by Matthew Tatoole, Bryant Bell, Jackson Kohler, Austin Taborski, Cole Patrick and Jeffrey Pahule. Pahule was the quickest qualifier at 11.065. Torgerson won the 10 lap heat race with the four lap Trophy Dash win going to Tatoole.

Taylor Mayhew won the 20 lap Junior Sprint Car Main Event. Mayhew had the pole for the race and led from green to checkered. New champion Makayla Tatoole was a race-long second, followed by Nathan Ward, Peyton Whitehouse, Aubry Patterson and Ryder Byrd.  Mayhew was the quickest qualifier at 14.341, but Tatoole won the 10 lap heat race. Mayhew came back to win the four lap Trophy Dash.

For news on the happenings at the track, go to

Pit Stops

It's been a few years since the last time Antioch Speedway hosted a big two-day event. It was on January 1st and 2nd when the track held the last big event, also called the West Coast Nationals. This event was promoted by Oval Motorsports and John M Soares. The West Coast Nationals name had been used before, and there was actually a five-year run for this race from 1993 to 1997. It was during that time when the biggest A Modified car count in the track's history was achieved. There were 83 cars in 1993.

In mid-September, it was announced that Chad Chadwick would be promoting the West Coast Nationals. People had been anticipating a $12,000 to win race, which had been listed on the schedule all season for October 11th and 12th. Because Chadwick wanted to give racers the opportunity to go to Bakersfield Speedway for the long-standing Bud Nationals event, the West Coast Nationals was scheduled for October 17th through the 19th. The 17th would be a practice day that would also include a cornhole tournament and barbecue. Hobby Stock drivers had been lobbying for inclusion in this event, but it was decided that the A and B Modified classes should be featured. It was thought that having anything more might slow the program down.

The biggest challenge in trying to put on an event of this magnitude in one month's time is that there were several teams in both divisions who were either committed to other things or had damaged race cars that would not be ready in time. Therefore, the numbers one would hope to reach for an event like this weren't likely to occur. Let's be honest here, the A Modified purse alone would be paying $25,000. This is because Chadwick announced that drivers would receive a minimum of $500 just for taking the green flag in that race, while the winner would pick up a $7,500 paycheck. The B Modifieds got $150 just to start with $1,500 going to the winner. Their purse checked in at just over $5,000 for the Main Event alone.

There's more than one reason to put on a race like this. The business side of things would suggest that you do it to generate revenue, and while it was hoped that something could happen there, it wasn't the primary goal that Chadwick had in mind. He wanted the opportunity to showcase the good that could happen at Antioch Speedway. He wanted an opportunity to show racers why they should want to come out to the track and give the fans something more to be excited about. As far as good faith and positivity is concerned, this event was a resounding success.

As race day drew closer, over 50 competitors across both divisions had pre-registered, and optimism was high heading into race day. Practice day saw somewhere between 35 to 40 racers on hand, and they were given plenty of opportunity to make laps on the 3/8 mile clay oval. Track conditions were a concern for Chadwick, and he had arranged to bring in a sheepsfoot, which would be operated during the week by Brian Pearce. The track looked good on practice day, and it would be even more to the racer's liking on the first night.

All totaled, there were 40 A Modified competitors and 26 B Modified competitors lining up for an opportunity at the big money. The stakes were high, but there was plenty of opportunity to earn a spot in the big money show on Saturday. It kicked off on Friday night with a two heat race format. The drivers drew for their lineup in the first heat race, and that lineup would be inverted for the second heat race. Finishing and passing points would be calculated, and some drivers would qualify automatically for the Preliminary Feature later that evening. The rest of them would get an opportunity to run one of the B Mains later that evening to make it into the Preliminary Feature. Only the Top 4 finishers in the Preliminary Feature earned starting bids for Saturday's big money Main Event. Points were still earned, which would line the drivers up at the front of their qualifying heats on Saturday.

There would be two sets of five heat races on Friday. The first heat race rolled onto the track with Brian Pearce having a front-row start. Third row starter Ethan Dotson quickly charged into second. Dotson was fresh off a big weekend at Bakersfield Speedway, where he won the Friday and Saturday night Main Events for both the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds. People were still talking about his huge victory in the annual Boone, Iowa IMCA Nationals back in September. Dotson was too much for Pearce, who surrendered the lead to an inside pass in the fourth turn on the ninth lap of the 10 lap race. Dotson won with Pearce settling for second ahead of Ryan McDaniel, Anthony Slaney and Canadian Geoff Morris.

A bit later in the evening, Dotson wasted no time getting the lead in their second heat race. He won comfortably ahead McDaniel as Morris, Slaney and Shawn DeForest rounded out the Top 5. Needless to say, Dotson would punch his ticket into the Preliminary Feature, and he would prove to be the only driver in the A Modified division to win both of his heat races.

DJ Shannon took the early lead in the second heat race ahead of Antioch champion Buddy Kniss, but 2018 State champion Shane DeVolder quickly moved into second. Shannon is a feature winner at his home track in Merced. Much like Dotson, however, he likes to travel across the country and test his skills against some of the best drivers in the nation. Shannon would lead the heat race for just three laps before surrendering first to eventual winner DeVolder. Shannon settled for second ahead of Chester Kniss, Anthony Giuliani and Raymond Lindeman. Giuliani took advantage of his front row start in their second heat race by holding off DeVolder for the victory as Shannon, Chester Kniss and Lindeman completed the Top 5.

The third heat race saw 2018 Watsonville champion Cody Burke on the pole with his brother and new Watsonville champion Austin Burke on the outside. Austin is the Santa Maria champion as well, but he dropped back to third behind local star Danny Wagner at the start. Cody Burke proved to be the class of this heat race as Wagner settled for second ahead of Austin Burke. Bakersfield star Clint Reichenbach and past Hanford and Watsonville champion Brian Cass completed the Top 5. The next heat for the group saw Cass and Austin Burke each lead a lap before Wagner went charging by. Cody passed his brother Austin Burke on the fifth lap and would finished second behind Wagner. Austin Burke settled for third ahead of Oregon star Jon DeBenedetti in the Ira Compton car and Cass.

Troy Foulger and car owner Billy Bowers have done lots of good things together in their decade-long partnership. Foulger had the outside front row start for the fourth heat race and the four-time Antioch champion and current Merced title winner went flag-to-flag for the victory. Oregon State and IMCA Western Regional champion Bricen James finished second, followed by Kellen Chadwick, Grey Ferrando and two-time Western Regional champion Cory Sample. Colorado resident Tripp Gaylord was driving the team car of Chadwick, and Gaylord would hold off Chadwick to win their next heat race ahead of James, Duane Cleveland and Bobby Motts Jr.

The fifth and final heat race featured a flag-to-flag romp for Bobby Hogge IV. The three-time Antioch champion and six-time Watsonville champion had Antioch Speedway Hall of Famer Jim Pettit II running closely behind him until traffic tripped Pettit up just a bit as they passed the halfway point of the race. Pettit still finished second ahead of Nick DeCarlo, Chris Lewis and Sean O'Gara. Their second heat race saw DeCarlo take a flag-to-flag trip to victory with Pettit finishing second. Hogge settled for third ahead of Dylan Schriner and Lewis.

Top 10 point earners would automatically qualify for the Preliminary Feature, which in this case included Dotson, DeVolder, Wagner, Hogge, James, Cody Burke, McDaniel, Pettit, Gaylord and Shannon. They redrew for their starting order in front of the crowd, but there were still six spots available via the 15 lap B Mains.

The first B Main saw DeCarlo starting up front and charging into the lead. He would have Foulger nipping at his heels the entire way. However, both drivers knew they were doing well enough to make it into the Preliminary Feature and would finish in that order. Chadwick also made the cut in third and Lewis, Austin Burke, Sample, Cass, Lindeman, Buddy Kniss and Motts made up the balance of the Top 10.

There was a second 15 lap B Main that would also take three drivers into the Preliminary Feature. Giuliani led three laps, but a lap four restart allowed Anthony Slaney and Grey Ferrando to come charging by. Slaney would lead Ferrando the rest of the way, leaving a good battle for the third position between Chester Kniss and Reichenbach. Kniss would get that final transfer spot as Reichenbach finished fourth ahead of Cleveland, Duste, Pearce, Morris, DeBenedetti and Bob Newberry.

The Friday night portion of the program ended with high stakes. It was a regular paying purse for the 20 lap Preliminary Feature, but the Top 4 drivers would automatically qualify for Saturday's Main Event. Drivers were still earning points, and that would help line up the important qualifying heat races on Saturday. As race Promoter Chad Chadwick had mentioned, there were plenty of opportunities for the drivers to work their way into the show, but in the A Modified division, it wasn't going to be easy.

DeVolder and Wagner led the pack to the green flag. DeVolder has racked up some impressive credentials in his young career, which include State championships in the IMCA Sport Modified and Modified divisions in 2017 and 2018. DeVolder had been to Southern Oregon Speedway this year and turned in very impressive performances in both the Preliminary Feature and Main Event there, but luck didn't turn out to be on his side that weekend in the end. On this occasion, things went just a little bit better for the second-generation racer.

DeVolder led Wagner for a lap, but Dotson shuffled Wagner back to third on a lap two restart. Wagner didn't go away quietly. Following a yellow flag for DJ Shannon on lap six, Wagner took second behind DeVolder on the restart. Dotson was still holding tough in third ahead of McDaniel, but another yellow flag on lap eight shuffled the order. As DeVolder continued to lead the way, Dotson, Hogge and McDaniel settled into second through fourth. Following his transferring from the B Main, Foulger steadily worked his way up from the seventh row in the Preliminary Feature. An inside pass in Turn 4 of the 11th lap gained Foulger fourth from McDaniel, and a final yellow flag waved on lap 12. DeVolder wasn't phased by the yellow flag as he continued to hold off Dotson on the restart. DeVolder would punch his ticket into the big show with the impressive win ahead of Dotson, Hogge and Foulger. Wagner settled for fifth, followed by James, Slaney, McDaniel, DeCarlo and Chadwick.

Only four drivers had qualified for the big show as of Friday, but we would know six more qualifiers by the time heat race competition was done on Saturday. The six qualifying heat races would run eight laps, but only the winners would make it into the Main Event. Everybody else would line up in one of the 15 lap B Mains. If necessary, they would have to run one of the two 10 lap Last Chance Qualifiers. It made for some exciting moments all Saturday night.

The first heat race saw Slaney on the outside front row and leading the opening lap. Ferrando made an inside pass on the backstretch a lap later, and the past Cottage Grove and Willamette Speedway champion led the remainder of the race to win and make it into the show. Wagner settled for second ahead of Lewis. The next eight lap heat race saw Gaylord go flag-to-flag to win ahead of James and O'Gara. Chadwick followed his teammate's example by going flag-to-flag to win the third heat race, followed by Cody Burke and Motts.

Good point totals from Friday night proved to be very useful to the heat race winners. A pole position start enabled DeCarlo to lead all the way to win the fourth heat race ahead of Schriner and Lindeman. Outside front row starting was good enough for Austin Burke to go all the way in victory in the fifth heat, followed by Buddy Kniss and Pearce. The last heat race qualifying spot went to Pettit as he led all the way to win ahead of Cass and Chester Kniss. There were still 10 qualifying positions left to be filled.

The first of two 15 lap B Mains saw Cody Burke in front from the start. He was never really threatened by second place finisher Wagner. Buddy Kniss managed to hold off five-time Nevada State champion Cory Sample for the third position, but Sample still got the fourth and final transfer spot ahead of Motts, Slaney, Lewis, Duste, Newberry and DeForest.

James would lead the pack at the start of the second B Main, but a big crash forced a restart. Schriner had the lead at that point and led until being overtaken by James on the sixth lap. Cass slipped underneath Schriner for second in Turn 4 a lap later. James won ahead of Cass and Schriner with Chester Kniss outrunning Raymond Lindeman for the final transfer position. Lindeman settled for fifth ahead of David Zeiter, Morris, O'Gara, Jake Dewsburuy and Gary Hetrick. There were still two spots left to fill in the big show.

Six drivers lined up for the first 10 lap Last Chance Qualifier race, but only one driver would make it onto the last row of the big Main Event. Motts had the pole and led Slaney in the early goings. Slaney brought out a yellow flag on lap two as DeBenedetti took up pursuit of Motts. DeBenedetti saw contact send him spinning in Turn 4 of the sixth lap, and his race was over. Motts led the rest of the way to make the show as DeForest and Duste rounded out the Top 3.

Lindeman had the front row for the final Last Chance Qualifier, which also started six drivers. He would lead all the way with O'Gara finishing second ahead of Zeiter.

The thing about a process like this is not only do you have to race your way in, but it's an even playing field. The cream gets an opportunity to rise to the top, and the real winners are the fans. They were about to be treated to one of the most exciting A Modified Main Events seen at the speedway in recent memory. On paper, it would appear as if the drivers who made the show on Friday and got the starting positions in the first two rows would be the favorites to win, but as witnessed on Saturday, this didn't turn out to be the case.

Dotson set the early pace ahead of DeVolder and Foulger. Throughout the first half of the race, Dotson was looking like a sure winner as DeVolder and Foulger were putting on a closer battle for second. Unfortunately, traffic turned out to be the undoing for that duo. When DeVolder and Foulger came up on a slower car down the backstretch on lap 15, there was contact. DeVolder had problems entering Turn 3, and Foulger came to a stop in Turn 4. The race was over for both drivers, though DeVolder managed to get to the yellow flag. Dotson continued to lead the restart ahead of Hogge and Chadwick. There seemed to be nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Dotson, but as he came up on a slower car, his race took a bad turn. Dotson went a bit too high behind the slower car as they exited Turn 2 of the 26th lap, allowing Hogge and Chadwick to race into the first two positions.

Dotson recovered in third, but he had problems in Turn 2 on the 32nd lap and lost another position to James. Chadwick and Hogge continued to run closely at the front of the pack during the final five laps, but they were again coming up on the slower car of Motts. They took the white flag with Hogge in the lead, but Motts was in the path of Hogge as they came through Turn 2. Chadwick moved to the inside and charged into the lead down the back straightaway. As they hit Turns 3 and 4, Hogge tried to make a run on the outside of Chadwick. However, the slower car was in his path. Chadwick went on to pick up the $7,500 victory. This was his second big money win of the year as he won the $5,000 prize in the R Charles Snyder Salute in Medford on Labor Day Weekend. He had to come from the last row to win that race. This was the biggest win of his career.

A dejected Hogge settled for a $3,800 second place finish. It's hard to be disappointed when you go to the pay window and collect as big of a prize as he did, but the third-generation racer knew this one got away from him. James brought it home to a solid third, followed by Dotson and Chadwick's team-mate, Gaylord. DeCarlo, Wagner, Pettit, Cass and Sample completed the Top 10 at the checkered flag.

It's hard to top a show like that. The A Modifieds were fast and exciting all weekend and had a respectable turnout. The numbers weren't as big for the B Modified division, and yet the drivers who showed up gave it their all and put on a show for the fans. There were still some top-notch competitors looking to pick up the $1,500 prize on Saturday as the division doesn't get too many opportunities to run for a purse of this magnitude.

The Friday program would have two sets of heat races where the drivers earned finishing and passing points as the A Modified drivers did. Andrew Peckham got the show started on a good note by winning his first 10 lap heat race in flag-to-flag fashion. 2016 Antioch champion KC Keller finished second ahead of past Antioch Street Stock champion Todd Gomez, past Antioch Modified champion Kenny Neu and Brandon Baughman, who is no relation to past Dwarf Car champion Bill Baughman. Keller returned in the second round and won that heat race ahead of Gomez and Peckham. Ty Bickford and Neu completed the Top 5.

Fred Ryland has won over 50 Main Events in his Antioch Speedway career across three different divisions. He's a past Antioch Hobby Stock and IMCA Modified champion, and he just wrapped up his second Merced Speedway IMCA Modified title. He entered this event as perhaps the driver to beat, and he didn't do anything to discourage those thoughts as he led his first heat race in flag-to-flag fashion ahead of past Chico and Marysville champion Philip Shelby, Brent Curran, Tanner Thomas and Kevin Brown. It was Curran winning the next heat race as Ryland came from the back to finish second ahead of Thomas, Shelby and Al Johnson.

Normally, Haley Gomez is piloting the #38h All Spec Sheet Metal B Modified, but Todd Gomez put A Modified star Troy Foulger behind the wheel. Foulger responded with the only double heat race winning performance of the night in this class. He started by going flag-to-flag to win the first heat for the group ahead of Kenny Shrader. Shrader took second from Chase Thomas on the ninth lap as Thomas settled for third ahead of Cameron Swank and Chris Bennett. Swank led the next heat for four laps before an inside pass in Turn 2 of the fifth lap gained Foulger the lead. Shrader followed closely for the second place finish as Chase Thomas, Anthony Welborn and Swank completed the Top 5.

The fourth and final group saw their first heat race win go to Bobby Motts Jr in flag-to-flag fashion. Motts was driving the car owned by Nick Caughman Jr, who was not cleared by his doctors to race yet. Caughman reacquired the car that he won the Petaluma IMCA Modified championship with and more recently Motts drove it to the 2017 Antioch title . He converted it back to the Sport Modified division. Motts got the win ahead of Antioch champion Tommy Fraser, Tommy Clymens Jr, Trevor Clymens and Joe Salvi. For the next round, Fraser used a pole position start to lead all the way in victory. Motts finished second ahead of Trevor Clymens, Tommy Clymens Jr and Salvi.

The Top 8 drivers would redraw for their starting spots at the front of the Preliminary Feature to be held after the two 15 lap B Mains. Those drivers would include Foulger, Ryland, Shrader, Peckham, Keller, Fraser, Motts and Curran.

There were eight more starting spots available in the Preliminary Feature, and four of them were up for grabs in the first 15 lap B Main. Chase Thomas wasted little time charging into the lead from his outside front row starting position. This one only had two yellow flags during the midpoint of the race, and Thomas kept Gomez at bay during the first half of the race. Neu made a charge past Gomez for second on a lap seven restart and would finish behind Thomas. Gomez settled for third with Trevor Clymens grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot. Swank, Baughman, Bennett and Welborn completed the finishing order.

Not only is Shelby a past IMCA Sport Modified champion at Chico and Marysville, but he's also a multi-time Street Stock champion at Marysville. With his front row start, Shelby would lead every lap in victory in the second B Main. Tommy Clymens Jr held second for 14 laps before spinning in the fourth turn as Tanner Thomas claimed second ahead of Ty Bickford. Clymens still made the transfer in fourth as Kevin Brown and Johnson completed the finishing order.

The Preliminary Feature would go for 20 laps and give four drivers automatic starting berths in Saturday's $1,500 to win Main Event. Much like DeVolder, Peckham won the Preliminary Feature at the R Charles Snyder Salute back on Labor Day Weekend in Medford. With an outside front row start, Peckham surprised Ryland by beating him for the early lead. In fact, Shrader slipped past Ryland for the second position on a lap three restart. Shrader was no match for Peckham, who scored the victory. Ryland still made the big show with a third place finish ahead of the final transfer, Foulger. Tommy Fraser settled for fifth, which still helped him get points for a good heat race start on Saturday. Sixth went to Keller ahead of Chase Thomas, Motts, Gomez and Curran.

The stakes got a little bit higher on Saturday, and it started with the first of four eight lap heat races. The pole position start was all Keller needed to lead most of the way in victory. Keller took the lead from Gomez with an inside pass in Turn 4 of the second lap. Gomez settled for second ahead of Salvi. The second heat race was a flag-to-flag romp by Chase Thomas, who won by a decent advantage over Fraser and Welborn. The third heat went to Motts, who led all the way to win ahead of Tanner Thomas. Adriane Frost showed up to race on Saturday and finished third. Ethan Dotson was also a Saturday night entry, and he battled for a second place finish in the fourth heat race. However, it was Curran making the Main Event cut with the victory. Kevin Brown settled for third.

With eight drivers already qualified, another eight drivers would make it in by the two 12 lap B Mains. Gomez started on the pole of the first B Main, which proved useful to him. Despite three yellow flags during the race, he led all the way to win. Tanner Thomas held second until misfortune struck and he retired on the third lap, handing that spot to Frost. Neu and Tommy Clymens Jr took the third and fourth transfer spots as Salvi settled for fifth ahead of Johnson, Swank and Tanner Thomas.

With an outside front row start, Dotson bolted into the lead at the start of the next B Main and was never really threatened as he won ahead of Fraser, Brown and Trevor Clymens. Welborn ended up fifth ahead of Baughman, Bickford and Bennett.

All that remained was in a 10 lap Last Chance Qualifier race, and the Top 4 drivers would make it into the show. This one ended in dramatic fashion. Welborn had the outside front row starting spot and led Salvi from the start as there was plenty of activity behind them. At one point, Welborn held a straightaway advantage over Salvi before a yellow flag waved for Tanner Thomas and Johnson in Turn 3. Welborn continued to lead the way and seemed headed for the victory when the unlikely happened. He spun in the final turn as Salvi raced by for the victory. Swank finished second ahead of Thomas. With Welborn not getting his car started in time, Johnson moved by for the final transfer spot. Welborn was a disappointed fifth ahead of Bickford and Baughman.

Drivers had to earn their way into the B Modified Main Event, and you can believe Welborn was just a bit disappointed that he let a starting berth slip away when he was so close to winning that Last Chance Qualifier. This is the kind of drama fans enjoy. It was great to see that even this division gave people plenty to talk about.

Making the cut on Friday night proved to be the winning combination. Shrader settled for second behind Peckham that night, but with his outside front row starting spot, he charged into the early Main Event lead on Saturday. It wasn't long before Foulger came charging into second and looking for a way around Shrader. During a lengthy green flag run, Foulger used traffic in Turn 2 to take the lead from Shrader on lap 12. Foulger seemed to be going pretty well when a yellow flag waved on lap 15. He ended up ducking into the pits, putting Shrader ahead of Ryland and Peckham. Unfortunately, Ryland and Peckham saw their hopes of victory end abruptly. Ryland ducked into the infield off the front straightaway on lap 20. Moments later, Peckham spun in Turn 2 for a yellow flag. Shrader led Dotson on the restart. Even with the talented Dotson behind him, Shrader was not going to let the biggest win of his career slip away. He drove impressively to victory. Fraser made a Turn 4 pass on the 25th lap to take second from Dotson, who settled for third. Foulger charged all the way back to fourth ahead of Curran, Keller, Gomez, Motts, Tanner Thomas and Chase Thomas.

Watching so many talented drivers come to Antioch Speedway to compete was amazing on so many different levels. It's great to see the 59 year old racing facility still hosting big events and attracting some of the best drivers. Even on short notice and without the car count that could have been if there were more time to prepare, the West Coast Nationals did not disappoint. All of the drivers can be praised for doing their best and putting on a good show for the fans. Chadwick and his crew can be very proud of what was accomplished.

Unofficial Race Results Petaluma Speedway October 19, 2019
McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds
Michael Paul Jr
David Spriggs
Jeffrey Hudson
Jeff Faulkner
Kimo Oreta
Trevor Brady
Jerry Roy Jr
Chris Sieweke
Michelle Paul
Ron Palombino
Mitch Machado

General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars
Mark Hanson
Chad Matthias
Garrett Brady
Jamie Faulkner
Adam Teves
John Gomes
Sean Catucci
Sam Borland
Carroll Mendenhall
John Peters
Matt Hagemann
Michael Williams
Travis Day
Tom VanTuyl
Rick Holbrook
Shawn McCoy
Kylee Johnson
tim steger
Vernon Hubbard
Shiloh Borland
Jordan Souza
victor vaz
jim dubois
Danny Marsh Wingless Spec Sprints
Geoff Ensign
Marcus Hardina
Nick Robfogel
Terry Schank Jr
Boy Moniz
Jimmy Christian
Angelique Bell
Adam Christian
Keith Calvino
Tony Bernard
Joshua Leach
Kevin Box
Eden McCormick
Nick Larson
Bruno Bianchi
Bert Siverling
Jeff Scotto
Matthew Haulot DNS

Jake's Performance Hobbies Stocks
Jeremy Tjensvold
Tom Brown
Cody Bolles
Randy Miramontez
ben baxmen
Sophie Shelley
Brian Ascoop
casey monahan
Antonio Miramontez DNS

Dixon Speedway Unofficial Race Results October 18, 2019
Seventh Annual Lonnie Kaiser Memorial Night #1
Wingless 600 Micro Sprints
Main Event
Brandon Carey
Nick Robfogel
Austin Torgerson
Kelvin Lewis
George Nielson
Derrick Patterson
Michael Laughton
Norman Harley Rose
Jeremy Chapman
Blake Parmley
Kyle Grissom
Ryan Holden
Chris Parmley
Josh Hurley
Joe Silva
Mikie Clark
Chuck Patterson
Taylor DeCarlo
Danny Rozendahl
Todd Kaiser
Matthew Kaiser

B Main
Joe Silva
Matthew Kaiser
Darrell Busby
Chris Parmley
Todd Kaiser
Don McLeister
Tyson Davis
Justin Stretch
Rick Goddard DNS
Brandon Shaw DNS
Angelina Dempsey DNS
Carson Lee DNS
Rick Gutzke DNS

Super 600 Micro Sprints
Sage Bordenave
Michael Wasina
Rickey Sanders
Tony Alosi
Kyle Mentch
Jarrett Heimlich
Cody Parmley
Steve Kaiser
Christian Harris
Jeffrey Pahule
Jason Chapman
Todd Job
Darrell Busby
Hayden Saich
Caleb Debem
Paul Alatorre
Lee Brewer DNS
Angelina Dempsey DNS

Restricted 600 Micro Sprints
Ashton Torgerson
Rylee Whitehouse
Matthew Tatoole
Bryant Bell
Jackson Kohler
Austin Taborski
Cole Patrick
Jeffrey Pahule

Jr Sprints
Taylor Mayhew
Makayla Tatoole
Nathan Ward
Peyton Whitehouse
Aubry Patterson
Ryder Byrd DNS

Dixon Speedway Unofficial Race Results October 19, 2019
Seventh Annual Lonnie Kaiser Memorial Night #2
Wingless 600 Micro Sprints
Main Event
Results are not official
1     #55 Brandon Carey        
2     #10J Austin Torgerson
3     #87 Kelvin Lewis
4     #0 Brandon Shaw
5     #26C Jeremy Chapman
6     #17 Taylor De Carlo
7     #3D Tyson Davis
8     #24 Michael Laughton
9     #23 George Nielson
10     #5K Matthew Kaiser
11     #16C Chris Parmley
12     #5 Kyle Grissom
13     #6B Blake Parmley
14     #41 John Patterson    
15     #48X Chuck Patterson
16     #4 Mikie Clark        
17     #38 Todd Kaiser
18     #7R Norman Harley Rose            
19     #87F Josh Hurley            
20     #37H Ryan Holden        
21     #52 Joe Silva
22     #22M Austin Stone

B Main
Results are not official
1     #17 Taylor De Carlo            
2     #38 Todd Kaiser
3     #48X Chuck Patterson
4     #5K Matthew Kaiser
5     #41 John Patterson
6     #8R Rob Brown
7     #27D Don McLeister
8     #48 Derrick Patterson
9     #25H Clayton Harris
10     #8S Savannah Brown    
11     #R5 Rick Gutzke        
12     #44J Rick Goddard    

Super 600 Micro Sprints
Results are not official
1     #13H Brad Hannum            
2     #44X Jeffrey Pahule
3     #17 Ricky Sanders
4     #21K Kyle Mentch
5     #45S Hayden Saich
6     #4 Tony Alosi
7     #3d Caleb Debem
8     #25 Jason Chapman
9     #77X Frank Camacho II        
10     #67 Christian Harris
11     #77 Sage Bordenave        
12     #83 Paul Alatorre        
13     #15 Michael Laughton            
14     #10Z Steve Kaiser
15     #3 Todd Job
16     #16C Cody Parmley        
17     #11 Jarrett Heimlich    

Restricted 600 Micros Sprints
Results are not official
1     #02 Ashton Torgerson        
2     #88T Matthew Tatoole
3     #10R Rylee Whitehouse
4     #73J Jackson Kohler
5     #72B Bryant Bell
6     #20 Cole Patrick
7     #44T Austin Taborski
8     #99D David Camacho

Jr Sprints
Results are not official
1     #25R Brody Rubio            
2     #55 Jett Barnes
3     #2 Taylor Mayhew
4     #95 Nathan Ward
5     #686 Ryder Byrd
6     #10P Peyton Whitehouse    

Ukiah Speedway Unofficial Race Results October 19-20, 2019
Fall Classic
Late Models
Results are not official
1     #75 Jeremy Doss            
2     #55 Tyler Caturegli
3     #37 Sierra Furia
4     #12C Cody Winchel
5     #57K Kylei Keown
6     #33 Bryan Crawford
7     #52 Chris Sarvinski

Results are not official
1     #75 Jeremy Doss            
2     #98 Dustin Kuhl    
3     #15 Mike Lovell Sr
4     #40 Charley Tour
5     #01 Brenton Smith
6     #64 Simi Tour
7     #A88 Bob Mook
8     #3 Ron Duke Sr
9     #16X Bobby Gilbert
10     #24 Cody Rickard
11     #96B Shelby Helm
12     #5 Jeff French        
13     #52 Brian White        
14     #25 Bradley Dale        
15     #3X Dave Land
16     #66 Jimmy Sorrels        
17     #27 Jesse Frey
18     #79 Forrest Kuecker        
19     #22 Scottie Cape            
20     #96 RJ Randall    

Limited Modifieds
Results are not official
1     #57X Eric Price Jr            
2     #04 Cole Brown
3     #37 Sierra Furia
4     #15X Jared Martin
5     #15A Jason Philpot
6     #55 Tyler Caturegli
7     #83 Richie Potts
8     #15 Mikey Lovell
9     #89 Kevin Coburn
10     #5 Kobe Taylor
11     #57K Kylei Keown
12     #67 Shelby Helm
13     #23 Tim Buzzard Sr
14     #17 Dennis Anderson
15     #51 Bo Robertson
16     #21 Tyler Manning   

Pro 4 Modifieds
Results are not official
1     #8 Andy Leuzinger        
2     #29 Mike Peterson
3     #4 Wade Eldredge
4     #14 Timber Haskins
5     #5 Ashley Aceves    
6     #87 Chris Straka    
7     #75 Robert Byers
8     #91 Doug Rivera

Pro 4 Modifieds
Results are not official
1     #8 Andy Leuzinger    
2     #14 Timber Haskins
3     #29 Mike Peterson    
4     #91 Doug Rivera
5     #4 Wade Eldredge        
6     #5 Ashley Aceves 

Legend Cars
Results are not official
1     #12C Cody Winchel        
2     #75 Jeremy Doss
3     #7 Kylie Daniels
4     #11 Colby Furia
5     #68 David Rank
6     #8 Aiden Daniels

Results are not official
1     #11 Ray Molina            
2     #21 Vic Theberge
3     #20 Danney Helm Sr    
4     #5 Jim Underwood
5     #23X Loren Powers Jr        
6     #2 Dave Rogers            
7     #4 Raymond Taylor Jr

Stockton 99 Speedway Unofficial Race Results October 19, 2019
Super Late Models
Main Event
Sam Solari
Joey Iest
Arron Shankle
Justin Philpott
Dominic Lopez
Jeremy Tucker
Carl Pierce
Kimberly Rouse
Gary Shafer Jr
Larry Tankersley
John Moore
Dennis Byers
Ty Carlson
Seth Holman
Joe Hylton
Greg Uffins
Tim Spurgen
Danny Devore

B Main
Danny Devore
Kimberly Rouse
Justin Scantlin
Sam Berri
Robert Magana
Garland Powell

Joey Stearns
Rodney Tripp
Barrett Sugden
Mikala Stearns
Harrison Stone
Allen Rider
Jeana Ramos
Ben Lewis
AJ Rider
Rick Roberts
Troy Walz
Rob Dueck
Brandon Diede

Basically 4 Cylinders
Josh Cross
Joe Flowers
Brian Cobb
Andy Rumsey
Mark Hunt
Matthew Richardson
Frank Brown
Ethan Rumsey
Jeff Harris
Dave Keller
Joshua Brown
Andrea Rumsey
Joe Martin
Kenny Burton Jr.

Mini Cups
Wyatt Sansom
Kash Holman
Evan Laires
Rebecca Duebie
Tanner Whitaker
Molly Laires

Madera Speedway Unofficial Race Results October 19, 2019
13th Annual Pumpkin Smash
Gene Etheridge
Craig Mastropierro
Dan Myrick
Wes Brown
Ken Winland
Mike Munoz
Scott Wasson
Less Wasson
James/Richard Cook/Fox
Ryan Hart
David Mcewen
Richard Herzog
Robert Kieffer
Cody Dean
Adam McEwen
Matt Schlessinger
Shawn Bailey
Dave Helmuth
Judy Hart
Mike Mulvihill
Raymond Tevis
Jake Kirby
Sean {Twiggy} Gee
Taylor Myers
Jeff/Kit Lloyd/Murphey
Mark Odgers
Gene Glover
Dexter Long
Wayne Hart
Joe Semin
Randy Brown
Marshall Weaver
Robert Smith
Shawn DePriest
Johnny Williams
Joe Kennealy DNS

Barrel Race
James/Richard Cook/Fox
Jake Kirby
Scott Wasson
Less Wasson
Mike Mulvihill
Sean {Twiggy} Gee
Ken Winland
Joe Semin
Joe Kennealy

Hobby Stocks
Howard Holden
Lloyd Wrenn
Steve Schermerhorn
Thomas Suarez
Triston Hansen
Donny Large Jr
Skip Spiller
Manny Gonzales Jr
Dennis Saunders Jr.

SWT Trucks
Ronnie Davis
Mike Kelperis
Steve Reeves
Curtis Burns
Parker Jones

Ryan Reynolds
Bert Stephens
Patrick Geiger
Shaun Reynolds
Dave Lander
Kyle Labrie DNS
Dennis Brannon DNS

Toyota Sedans
Jillaun Holden
Dean Gould
Tim Curtis
Jason Lawton
Lloyd Bamping
Greg Tyler
Thomas Magray
John Williams

Marysville Raceway Unofficial Race Results October 19, 2019
Gold Fever Taxi Cab Challenge
Limited Late Models
Matt Micheli
Jay Norton
Trey Willand
Michael Helton
Dan Brown Jr
Richard Vander Ploeg

Street Stocks
Richard Brace Jr
Steve Studebaker
Brent Lawrence
Les Friend
Bill Hall
David Silva

Super Stocks
Jesse Gonzalez
Steve Studebaker
Richarf Brace Jr.
Mike Walko
James Castleberry
Brent Lawrence
Garrett Agnew

Pure Stocks
Jason Palmer
Les Friend
Nick Baldwin
Jarred Hess
Jason Leonard
David Silva
Devin Ryan
Ryan Peter
Rick Etchieson
Chris Asher
Robert Warf
Joey Ridgway Sr
Brad Myers
Billy Wolf
Zach Throton

Hobby Stocks
A Main
Rick Etchieson
Jason Palmer
Jacob Johnson
Brad Myers
Ken Johns
Tyler Henricksen
William Merritt
Devin Ryan
Zach Lindgren
Angela Brown
Skyler Merrifield
David Allen
Kyle Cheney
Kenny Troen
Willie Horn Jr
Toby Merrifield

B Main
Skyler Merrifield
Bill Clark
Sebastian Davis
Kenny Troen
Angela Brown
Robert Warf

The Editor's Viewpoint

There's a certain satisfaction I feel in seeing Antioch Speedway host the big show that just took place last weekend. To me, Antioch Speedway is a track capable of hosting big time racing events. It didn't suddenly just happen. It's not like last weekend's West Coast Nationals was the first big event this track had ever hosted. Quite the contrary, we've had several big shows through the years at this race track, and they've proven to be very entertaining.

The Modifieds have been the center of many big shows out here, and it goes without saying that they are the easier class to do something like this with. Everybody runs the Modifieds, so when you try to put up a big race with a big prize, the potential is there to produce a field of 80 to 100 cars. This rarely happens since the introduction of the B Modified class, but the potential is there. Prior to the other class being added, Antioch had hosted multiple shows with over 60 cars. The biggest had 83 cars at a race bearing the West Coast Nationals name. This was actually the first big show attempted for the class back in 1993.

With the B Modifieds running as strong as they are in the state, it's just common place now to have both Modified classes at any big race that is attempted. You might not get 60 or more cars in the A Modifieds, but with the B Modifieds you are certain to achieve that goal if you do it right. These two divisions were listed on the schedule that was released at Antioch Speedway back in February. We all knew Antioch was going to have a big show in October for both divisions. I think a few people might have had their doubts, but I didn't. At the time, John Soares was planning on promoting that race.

My concern came when we didn't get more details. At about the time the schedule was released, I still believed that I would be down in Antioch for the entire season. This was one of the things on the schedule that I wanted to talk to John about, because I felt that since it was decided that he would be paying so much money to win, we needed to get the word out there with the racers for pre registration or at least put something out there to get people ready for the show. In my opinion, you can't start too soon on advertisement and just putting out publicity. February wouldn't be too early, even if the race wasn't until October.

The heavy storm hit Oregon at the same time as Antioch released the schedule. As luck would have it, not only were we buried under a bunch of snow, the power went out. The conversation I had hoped to have never happened. I didn't get the power back for a couple of days as I was trying to put the press release out as well as my regular DCRR blog post. It was a miserable time. Cold and miserable. I wasn't happy, and I was not as sure as I had been that I would be in Antioch. I wanted to be, but it wasn't looking good.

The show was going to go on in Antioch after the challenging offseason John had went through. Knowing that he was going to be at the helm of the track, he made plans to put cars on that race track in only a few weeks time after the schedule was announced. Seems like a crazy idea, but people were rallying behind the track. They wanted it to happen, and playday happened. Actually, Antioch Speedway had one of the most successful playdays that it had ever had, and there was optimism in the air headed into the season. This isn't a look back at the Antioch Speedway season, just my thoughts on this particular race.

I waited to hear news on what the format would be and what the purse breakdown would be. I wanted to help spread the word. Even after my hopes of coming down for the full season went up in smoke, that race was still on the schedule. I wanted to see Antioch pull it off. I wanted to see John step up to the plate one more time and show everybody what he could do. This was nothing new, because he's had races like this before. It's just that when you announce a $12,000 to win A Modified race, people are watching you. They want to know what's going on or if this is even real.

As we entered June, there wasn't a lot of talk. As we got into July, I started hearing rumblings that an announcement was going to be made. I think it was late July when I spoke with John and he said things were coming together. He was lining up sponsorship and had worked out a purse. When I saw the purse, I was no longer worried. I knew it would be a good show. Why wasn't this being announced? There were two things going on behind the scenes. John had people advising him against running this race. John also had people advising him to move the race one week back so that Bakersfield Speedway would not be challenged on the weekend of their Budweiser Nationals.

Leading the charge in that second group was Chad Chadwick, the General Manager at the speedway. Chad felt that it would also give Antioch a shot at Bakersfield cars. Ultimately, I think we only gained two cars, so I'm not so sure John was wrong about what he was planning to do. You're not going to convince me that John would have had less Modifieds for the show if had he gone on with the race he was planning on October 11th and 12th, rather than Chad's West Coast Nationals a week later. However, there was a problem here when it came to the rollout of this race.

As the big show in Medford approached, I was looking for a flier to release. We were going to have a bunch of Modifieds and Sport Modifieds for this big show, and my feeling was we could hand them out there and send racers back to their home tracks with more fliers. Really get the word out. What I heard was that the announcement would be made on the first week of September, which would be too late to get the word to these drivers. By then, I did know what the purse breakdown was going to be and could have put a flier together, but John had not gone all-in on the announcement just yet. People were pleading with him to back off.

It's no secret that Chad has had at least some interest in promoting for a while now. This even goes back before the rumors we've been hearing for the last two or three years. He wanted to do something big, but he also wanted to get off on the right foot with other tracks. I think it was a week or so after John was going to release more details on this race when it was announced. Chadwick would be promoting this big event, and it would be called the West Coast Nationals. The purse was going to be big, even if the first prize wasn't as big as John was going to make his race.

When you hear $7,500 to win, that's nothing to scoff at. It's the biggest pay to win a race on the West Coast for the Modifieds this year. Just taking the green flag in that race was $500. That announcement was put out on the flier that Chad released. It even mentioned $1,500 to win for the B Modifieds and $150 to start. People were asking for rules, race procedure and further purse breakdown, but nothing was ever officially released in a press release. This was about the time I jumped on the train to come to Antioch Speedway for my visit. The trip was only scheduled to go until the Sunday after John's original big race. It's October 22nd, and I'm still in Antioch, which I'll get to in just a moment.

Chad and I have only had brief conversations, but I asked him for information so that I could help get the word out. I was down by September 21st for the Chet Thomson Memorial race. We still had just under a month to really hype this race. I didn't quite get the information I needed, so I put out some stuff that was a little bit vague. I'm not going to be wrong in putting information out, but I'm going to put something out to get people talking further about what's going on. It might have been another week or so when Chad and I finally sat down and talked about the race procedures, which was still slightly adjusted from what I had put out.

Here's the breakdown. 40 A Modifieds and 26 B Modifieds. I felt that we could get to 40 in each class, and the A Modifieds delivered that. The B Modifieds did not. I was a bit disappointed, but I also understand racers. You need to put information out there soon enough. Really, this is the sort of information needed before the season starts. Drivers look at all of the schedules, not just their home track schedule. They make plans on when they will be racing, and their families gets the rest of the schedule. If there's a date they have to go someplace else, that date is no longer available for racing. The late roll out of this race didn't help, and even if those details were not forthcoming when the schedule was announced, something more should have been put out there sooner.

Chad came into this with much optimism. There were two goals on his mind. Yes, he wanted to get as many cars as he could for this show. Who doesn't want that? No, he wasn't trying to lose money to make the statement he was looking to make. He didn't have a lot of time to do this, but he also wanted to prove that it could be done. The second part of the statement was that he wanted to show what Antioch Speedway is capable of. He wanted to show a good side of Antioch Speedway, good track conditions and a good crowd. I think all of that was accomplished.

As I said, I'm not surprised Antioch could have a big show with a lot of cars. John's done that plenty of times. Brynda Bockover did that before John was the promoter. It's been done, and John would have had a good show. However, you always look at the future and what will be next. Can somebody else promote a big race and be successful? In this case, can Chad Chadwick do it? I've known Chad long enough to know that the man will accomplish what he sets out to do. He didn't have everything set up the way he would have liked, but it was good enough to get the job done.

We're only talking about a month's worth of time, and let's be honest about that. Chad didn't really get going on this as quickly as he would have liked. Some might have said it was too late or push the date back, but he knew that even in a short time span, something could get done. That particular date was perfect for a race, and he knew it could be a winner. He knew he could get enough top-notch racers in both divisions to put on a show that would entertain the fans. He knew he could put on an event that would show these racers that it's worth coming to this track when the money is on the line. Hopefully, he proved that it's worth coming to this track just because there's great racing here.

So even though I think it was not the most ideal conditions and it might not have been advisable to proceed knowing how late the start was, I still think this was one hell of a show. Given time to do a second annual event, I've no doubt that Chad can pull it off. He had some good people behind him and even some good sponsors. Given more time, he can put more of the right people in place to make it that much better. There's more going on behind the scenes right now that I'm not going to talk about, but rest assured that Chad has the wheels in motion on his end.

There were a couple of things being brought up that I will address. There were Hobby Stock racers who wanted to be a part of this show, and Chad entertained the idea early on. He ultimately decided not to add them. The biggest reason for this was he thought there would be a few more cars in the other two classes. Adding Hobby Stocks would have made things go a little bit later and made it more difficult to put on the kind of show that the fans would enjoy. This is not to say the Hobby Stocks would not have added to the show, because they damn sure would have. Actually, I think they would have fit in for this program perfectly knowing the turnout we ended up with, but how do you know that going in? I think we all expected there would be more B Modifieds and maybe even a few more A Modifieds. So, even though I think the Hobby Stocks would have worked, I think it was the right decision to not include them this year.

I heard people talking about the announcing. Wylie Wade was up there as usual, joined by Hollywood Brad. Thing is, these two aren't necessarily used to working with each other, and the chemistry wasn't quite there. I heard comments on Brad's announcing, and that doesn't come just from people who were here at the race track. With Speed Shift TV going live, people were messaging me as well. I don't really know what to say about that other than I've always liked Brad and respect him for his accomplishments, and the more I've gotten to know Wade, the more I like him as well. Wade is a competent announcer who hits his marks and has done right by the speedway in his time.

Am I going to tell you that I was happy to not be asked to be a part of this? No. I was disappointed. There's that song by John Fogerty. You know the one? Centerfield? Put me in coach, I'm ready to play. I think I could have helped add something to this show, but though I know people were speaking up on my behalf and I know Chad knew I was available, I didn't get the call from the coach to go into the game. At least ways, I wasn't asked. That didn't mean I couldn't help out in other ways, so with my media effort and social media, I added as much as I could.

There is the thought in my mind that maybe I don't go above and beyond on this race. There was actually somebody hired to handle the media effort. So, I could have done a couple of basic things and left it at that. You know, when you're looking at your value, you have options. I'm the idiot who just jumps in and does what they can, thinking either I'll be rewarded or thanked or whatever. Thinking that I'll make a difference. Something was needed, and I saw that. Sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing was not an option, even though I knew I wasn't asked to do anything at all. I probably could have done a little bit more, but I tried to follow the lead of the guy they hired. I figured he would write certain stories and I would write stories that I know he wouldn't write. That didn't quite work out as the stories I thought he would write were not forthcoming. It is what it is. In either case, I hope I made a difference.

An additional thought had to do with track conditions. I've interacted with the Modified crowd enough to know that they like it dry and slick, and nobody seems to care if dust is thrown up in the faces of the fans. That's just the way it is. Nobody in the pits is saying, screw the fans, dust them out. But, they do complain when it's not dry enough. Chad and his crew were working to give them those conditions. Practice was a little bit wet, and they worked the track in during the two hours of track time they gave the drivers that night. The drivers had plenty of time to do their thing, and I think Chad and his crew knew what it was they would have to work with on Friday. They were okay with it.

We clearly saw two different race tracks on Friday and Saturday, and I believe Friday was the sort of track they were going for on Saturday. I watched as it got drier and saw the dust in the air. Walking down the grandstands and seeing the dust all over the seats and the walkways was not a pretty sight, and I will stand against that. It may not be a popular opinion for some, but I am against dry conditions that dust out the fans. Do that too many times, and the casual fans you need to keep you going won't be there. Put simply, you need as full a grandstand as you can get to pay the bills.

I know John got on the track and did things slightly differently on Saturday afternoon than they would have liked. I had heard about the environmental complaints of the dusty conditions Antioch had, which I believe occured the night of the Jerry Hetrick Memorial earlier this year. John went out there and graded the track and put the water to it. We weren't going to get dry and dusty this time, but we were going to get two grooves and great racing. Both nights had a good low groove and a good high groove and drivers were taking advantage of it. The second night was just a little bit wetter, and there were some racers who weren't happy with that.

You have to strike a happy balance, and I've said that track prep is an art form. You really have to work on this, and the weather, the wind, how much water you put on it and all of that will play into it. If you can find a way to give them a dry track that doesn't dust out the fans, I might be more okay with something like that. I just believe if you produce those dry tracks on a regular basis and the fans get dusted out, not only are you going to have fans that don't want to come back, you're going to have problems with the neighborhood as the dust gets into the air and starts going onto their cars. But what do I know? It's just a nitpick of mine, and I know that my opinion isn't shared by the Modified crowd.

It was a success. That's the point. Even the Thursday practice and party night that Chad had planned was a success. You had BBQ and music and a cornhole tournament. There were some 35 to 40 drivers who came out to practice, and all got their time. People were just hanging out and enjoying good conversation. This has the ear markings of a George Steitz type of program, and I know that meant something to Chad. Chad is a guy who's going to try to make people happy when he does these shows, and you do want to have a guy trying to make people happy.

I go back to the warning that I make from time to time in this column. I've seen so much more that promoters go through and you can't always be the racer's friend. You have to work on what's good for the general welfare and well-being of your track. You have to know that some are not going to be happy with you and others are. So, if you're trying to please everybody out there, it's a quick way to burn out. You'll go in there all optimistic and happy and somewhere along the way you'll get so bruised and beat up you'll be wondering why you did what you did.

I'm not suggesting you should not try, just beware. I was once that person who wanted to make everybody happy and promoted the idea of track unity. I still believe in those things, but I also believe you can't make everybody happy. I believe that when you're trying so hard, and when the negativity comes back your way, it'll take even the person with the best of intentions down a peg or two and have them questioning why they bothered at all.

Antioch Speedway has been around for 59 glorious racing seasons. There will be a 60th season, and I believe there will be more beyond that. I want to see that. I can't tell you what the future is going to be, just that the track is riding on a high after the last couple of races. I know that this race lost Chad money. I haven't heard that officially, but I know that to be the case. He did what he did for the good of this race track, and the race that went on was very successful in other ways. The show was top-notch with the kind of finish you see in a Hollywood movie. What's not to like about that?

I was scheduled to jump on a train on Monday. Actually, I wasn't going to even stick around for the big race, but I wanted to try to help. I also wanted to see what would break regarding news behind the scenes at the track. I did all I could to try to help, and then came Monday, the day of my train ride. In the back of my mind, I was really kind of thinking to myself, okay, what's next? Now that I'm here and now that this track has had such a good show and all the things I'm hearing, what's next? To jump on the train seems like if there's a what's next at Antioch Speedway that could involve me, I'm sort of hurting those possibilities.

John and I have had some great interactions. I did thank John for all of the opportunities that he's given me and the idea that I'd ever become a regular announcer. It started with him. Thank you for being a friend, and I told him that I'd be here if he needed me next year. John had been telling me I was welcome to stay here as long as I needed to, even through winter. The reason staying here through winter wasn't a possibility is because, what's next? There's that question again. I don't have anything lined up, California is not the cheapest state to live in and I don't know what's happening here. Will I be a part of things next year?

Yes, I'm being evasive here. There is that elephant in the room that we all know is there, but we're not talking about it. You'll have to forgive me if I don't talk about it here. I think some of you will understand why. However, the elephant is in the room, and I'm still here. I will at least wait until the end of the month. I'm sticking around to see if the picture clears up a little bit. What's going on here and what's next? Do I fit in or is it time to finally let go of some things I've been holding on to? Believe me, letting go is not something I want to do, and so here I am.

The one thing being on the scene does for me is it puts me in the face of whomever is making the decisions. Rather than having somebody speak up for me, I'm here. Rather than doing things on the phone, I'm here. Once the picture becomes clearer, I can have that conversation. Things can be laid out on the table and it can be decided whether my presence is even wanted. Only then will I know what the future will hold for me. I spoke with my dear friend and Southern Oregon Speedway Promoter Mike McCann before making the decision to stay until the end of the month. Had anything been needed of me in Oregon, I would have been on that train. However, it will wait a little bit longer. Mike agreed that I should stick around just a little bit longer to see what happens.

Otherwise, I'm happily at the end of this year's media effort. There are two tracks that we have been featuring in our regular effort that both close out their seasons this weekend. After that, only an event including the Central Valley Mini Stocks down in Hanford remains. I made the commitment to cover all of the tracks that we featured on the DCRR and the Jefferson Racing News blogs, and that commitment has almost been fulfilled. I have a great deal of pride that I was able to do this and get track coverage in so many different newspapers. I'm relieved that after some of the stressful weeks that I've gone through all season long, it's just about done. I proved something, I guess. I know my dear friend Gary Jacob would probably be amused at how wiped out I am when he covered even more tracks than I did.

Somebody here in the pits had the conversation with me regarding a possible book at the end of the year. What they were alluding to was a yearbook. Actually, I've been thinking for a year or so about a follow-up to Best Of The Blog And Beyond. What I've thought about doing was a book covering the contents from my blogs from 2015 to the present. This would include all of the weekly coverage I gave Antioch Speedway, Merced Speedway, Orland Raceway. All three started in 2015. Plus all of the other tracks that I added in the next few years. Talk about work, this is a ton of work. The beautiful part about it is the content has been written, so all I'm required to do is lay it all out in book format, create a nice PDF file, upload it to and then people can buy it on print-on-demand from there. This is how I've done the other two books.

On the other hand, another possibility would be to just do a book for this year. There's a lot of content just in that. You're talking, Antioch Speedway, Merced Speedway, Southern Oregon Speedway, Siskiyou Golden Speedway, Coos Bay Speedway, Douglas County Speedway, Orland Raceway, Petaluma Speedway, Ocean Speedway, Central Valley Mini Stocks, Dixon Speedway, am I missing somebody here? It could be an interesting book, but the other book that I would like to do is the follow-up to Just A Kid From The Grandstands. I'm calling it My Apologies, A Written Retraction. A lot of the content has been written, but there's a ton of editing to do. I'll make a decision here shortly, because I won't be able to completely shut down the way I usually do if I'm going to work on a racing project. Part of me would like to shut down.

The other conversation I had was an interesting one with Mikey Slaney. We talked about a few different things and the subject of Dixon Speedway came up. I think I was talking about Mini Stocks on that track, which is something I would love to see again. He brought up something I was aware of. I think Terry DeCarlo Jr might have been involved with things at that time, and there was discussion of making the 1/5 mile dirt oval a 1/4 mile. I thought that would be a cool idea, but I think there was some layout problems with the facility itself that made that challenging. The idea was abandoned.

I told Slaney that a Mini Stock program could have been cultivated there. The challenge they had was that at a time when they were looking into getting into this, Antioch Speedway, Marysville Raceway and Chico Silver Dollar Speedway all dropped their classes, leaving Orland Raceway and Petaluma Speedway as the two main places they could draw from. You would have had to build all of the cars yourself. This is something not unlike what the Myrick and Doglione families did in Lemoore. They built most of the cars that started the Central Valley Mini Stock thing in the very beginning.

Dixon has cultivated a rather nice Micro Sprint program that runs every other week, so I'm sure they're comfortable in that. They aren't really worried about other things. On the other hand, it's already been proven that if you were to run Mini Stocks, Dwarf Cars and that sort of thing at Dixon, it could work. I think ultimately what they were looking at was that the track could probably be a bit bigger. If so, they could entertain bigger things than that. As it is, the track has had Midgets, Spec Sprints, Modifieds and even Hardtops practicing on it at various times.

The thing working against Dixon is you might not have the sort of money you need to pay a big show without big sponsorship, but there could be potential for a bigger track. To me, I would think outside the box and go big with lower card divisions. That is to say, if I made it a quarter-mile, I might try something with Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks as the featured classes and see how that went. You're not talking about the big purse requirements that you have when you go with Modifieds, and the Hobby Stocks deserve to headline their own show. I don't think that happens on the 1/5 mile, but it could on a quarter-mile in Dixon.

Ultimately, I think Jeremy Prince and his crew are happy with what they have, and they should be. The Micro program does pretty well, and I don't think they're looking at anything else being needed. That's fair enough. When you can get enough Wingless Micros to have a B Main every week, you're doing pretty darn good. On the other hand, if anybody in Dixon were to try to start a Mini Stock program there or even have a special show for them, I'm not going to stand against the idea.

Dixon Speedway held the Seventh Annual Lonnie Kaiser Memorial race this last week to close their season, and it went well. Petaluma Speedway had their final race of the season, which paid $1,000 to win both the IMCA Modified and Wingless Spec Sprints. There were Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks as well, and over 60 cars were in the pits. It was a nice close out to the season, but I know there were some people grumbling about the IMCA Modifieds there when Antioch Speedway had the show they had. As I said before, Petaluma had booked this race as a rainout makeup back in June, so there was no ill-intent at all.

When we talk about track unity, which is something that comes up every once in a while, I'm still of the belief that Petaluma Speedway and Antioch Speedway would make great partners in some sort of series. They have enough in common that could work. Being old school and believing in the Barkhimer legacy, I'd still add Watsonville and Merced to that list and wonder if there was anything we could do to bring them all together. That's up to the powers-that-be. I'm just a dreamer with a racing blog, and you know you'll get my opinions here.

I just don't want to hear anybody jumping on Rick Faeth over having IMCA Modifieds as part of his show last week. The guy tries to do something special for each one of his divisions and wanted to remind the IMCA Modifieds that they belong there as well as the Sprint Cars. I know people grumbled about not having enough dates booked for the class this year. There were only eight, and only six of them managed to get off without being rained out. This, therefore, was their seventh race. I would just like to see the Modifieds get at least 10 dates like the other classes next year as Petaluma Speedway's history in this division goes back before everybody else in California. It was John P Soares who brought the class out to California, and the division should continue on.

Siskiyou Golden Speedway will have a race this week. I thought Kevin Barba was rather crazy trying to go all the way into October, because it gets cold in Yreka and it gets rainy. Last week was the perfect example as the show they had planned got rained out. I think Kevin wanted to use October not just to give the fans racing they could enjoy but also to see what else Yreka could be capable of hosting outside of the Modified and Mini Stock classes. He's got one heck of a show lined up this week, and it looks like the weather is going to allow it to happen.

Because the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock show got rained out last week, Kevin invited them back to run their point season finale this week. The chatter that he had on his Facebook page regarding a division that could bring him five or six cars getting paid a purse resulted in an Interstate Sprint Car Series race this week. This is the Sprint Car division using the limited rules package that they run at Cottage Grove and Southern Oregon Speedway. I'm not entirely sure who's race ready at this point, and I understand they will run the regular Interstate Sprint Car purse. I also know that series director Brian Crockett was keenly interested in having dates in Yreka from the moment the series was resurrected two years ago. They wanted a Week Of Speed race in Yreka, but the track gets torn down in August due to the county fair.

In addition to the Sprint Cars and the Pro Stocks, there will be some Late Model drivers coming in from Medford. Mini Stocks, Sport Modifieds and Jefferson State Jalopies will also be on the card. I can't begin to tell you who might show up in those three classes as some drivers have already parked for the season. I can tell you that if there is anybody with a car ready to go and wanting one more shot at it, this is the last opportunity they will have until next year.

I've said that Kevin has kind of flown by the seat of his pants and learned by doing this year. It's been challenging trying to cover Yreka going into a race, because the schedule gets adjusted on the fly. Given the car count situation that he has inherited, he's had to do that. I'm hoping that the wheels are turning in Kevin's mind and he's looking at what he can add to the schedule next year. I also believe he needs to have more in-house divisions with track championships. He wants to get more fans attending, and he's even handed out free passes every week to make that happen. In the end, however, you get more paying fans when you have more cars out there on the track. So, I think this October experiment has in part been a way for Kevin to try to figure out what else is available for Yreka to consider next year.

Merced Speedway is taking their turn at a big end-of-the-season race. It's rather interesting that past Promoter Chuck Griffin used to take shots at a big show at the end of the year with mixed results. John did a few when he ran Merced and then Ed Parker was the one who moved the John Fore Jr Memorial race to October for its third running. Sadly, Ed passed away before the race happened, and that put things in disarray. His son Cody Parker tried to carry on and get the season to the end, and I don't think they got the sort of car count this race should have had.

Current General Manager Doug Lockwood has hit on a few good notes this year, and he's been beating the drum to get support for this race. The purse money is rather nice with the second day paying $2,000 to win for the IMCA Modifieds and $1,200 to win for the IMCA Sport Modifieds. Even the $1,000 prize for the Hobby Stocks and the $400 to win prize for the Mini Stocks is attractive enough to get visitors from out of town. There's been some good buzz, and I think they will do well. You worry about how many of the Modified and Sport Modified racers are parking their cars until Vegas next month, but I still think they will do well.

Actually, the numbers were pretty strong in the car count department at Merced Speedway. The local base was solid, but they often had visitors coming in from other tracks. They did particularly well with the Sport Modifieds and Modifieds. Given that bit of information, I won't be surprised to see drivers having to earn their feature starts again. Even the Hobby Stocks should do pretty well, and there's word of drivers coming up from further south to compete in the Mini Stocks as well. Given that it's a two-day event, this is the last really big show for the California Stock Car contingent before we're done for the season. Doug has done well with his schedule this year, and I have no doubt there will be good things in store for Merced Speedway next year.

Other than that, I've gone on too long. I was considering a Pit Stops cilumn this week, and I think I may talk myself out of that. I'd like to do more of an in-depth breakdown on what just happened at Antioch Speedway with such a big race. We'll see what I end up doing. If that column doesn't come to pass, forgive me. I'll just keep doing the best that I can. Until next time...