Friday, September 22, 2017

Antioch Speedway Preview, Merced Speedway Preview, Pit Stops, Placerville News



First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books


Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
Stories of my time in auto racing from the beginning to 2003
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

And

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback


If You Like Reading Our Articles
Support Us Via The Go Fund Me The Tip Jar HERE

Also...

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion Can Be Heard HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th General Hydroponics Dwarf Car Main Event at Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th Jake's Performance  Hobbies Mini Stocks Main Event At Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE

Bakersfield Speedway Segment On Bako Motorsports Power Hour Can Be Viewed HERE


The DCRR Racing Radio Show


 Sprint Cars Headline Antioch Speedway Show

Antioch, CA...On the heels of last week's John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Race, Antioch Speedway is coming back with another exciting All Star Series program.  Sprint Cars will be a featured class with both the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints in action.  Limited Late Models, B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks complete the card.  The championship battles in the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Hobby Stocks are really heating up.

This week is the season finale for the Winged 360 Sprint Cars.  Art McCarthy has been playing catch up since mechanical problems forced him to scratch from the season opener.  However, the 2007 champion is on fire lately with three wins and a second in the last four races.  Marissa Polizzi is clinging to a nine point lead after she suffered a DNF with motor problems last week.  It was also a bad night for Burt Foland Jr., who was eliminated in a lap 14 crash.  Despite four second place finishes, it looks like Foland may end up settling for third in the standings.  Polizzi will need to come up with a big night to hold on to that point lead.

After a late start to his season, "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Jacob Tuttle has moved all the way up to fourth in the standings.  Like Foland, he has finished as high as second and could be a threat to win this week.  Other drivers to watch for this week include Dan Gonderman, Tim Burcher, Jason Paniagua and David Dias.

The Wingless Spec Sprint battle was set to conclude this week, but management added a race on September 30th after the Fall Brawl was moved to October 7th.  Three time winner Bryan Grier holds a 12 point lead over Rick Panfili going into the night.  2014 Watsonville champion Grier hasn't missed a Top 3 finish in his last six starts.  The extra race may give past champion Bob Newberry a chance to make a move.  Newberry is still 38 points behind Grier and 26 points behind Panfili.  Newberry has four wins this season.

Newberry is also in a close battle for third in points as Shannon Newton is four points behind him, while early season point leader Alan Miranda is five points back.  Miranda has a pair of seconds this season and Newton has two thirds, but both drivers are looking to get their first wins.  Other drivers to watch for this week include Brandon Burd, Roy Fisher, James East and rookie Abigail Gonderman.

Kimo Oreta has been practically unstoppable this season behind the wheel of the Sun Drop Racing #15 car.  With four wins and five seconds in his ten starts, Oreta has a 32 point lead over two time winner Jim Freethy.  Though the Limited Late Models also have an added race on their schedule for September 30th, Oreta will have to have some bad luck to lose the lead.  Freethy has a battle on his hands with one time winner Mark Garner four points behind him.  A second place season would be Garner's best effort in this class, while Freethy is the 2013 champion.  Also in the second place battle is two time winner and two time division champion Mike Gustafson.  Gustafson is ten points behind Freethy.

The steady John Evans has a pretty good hold on fifth in the standings.  Lori Brown is coming off of an impressive second place finish last time, and the past division champion could be a threat to win this week.  Buddy Kniss and Chad Hammer are other drivers to watch for this week.

With 13 Top 3 finishes and four wins in his 14 starts, K.C. Keller has a commanding 64 point lead in the B Modified point race.  Mark Garner has had a strong second half to his season after a slow start.  With three wins, Garner is 44 points ahead of Chuck Golden in the race for second.  Golden has finished second once in the Main Event, but he's still looking for his first win.  Reigning champion Trevor Clymens has five wins.  He skipped a couple of races, but he has a good hold on fourth in the standings.  Nick Caughman Jr. started late in the season, but the past Petaluma Speedway A Modified champion has a pair of second place finishes as he searches for his first win.  Other drivers to watch for this week include Kenny Neu, Guy Ahlwardt, fifth ranked Kevin Brown and two time winner Todd Gomez.

The closest championship battle at the track is in the Hobby Stock division.  Cameron Swank is getting closer to the point lead after winning his heat race and his second Main Event last week.  Four time winner Chris Sorensen is clinging to a four point lead over Swank.   With his third second place finish of the season last week, two time winner Brent Curran is only seven points behind Sorensen.  After having motor problems in the previous race, Chris Long missed last week and fell out of the grueling championship battle.

Rookie Chris Bennett has a battle on his hands to hold onto fourth in points.  He leads Long by 18 points and Gene Haney by 22.  While Long has three wins and Haney has two, Bennett is searching for his first feature win.  Two time champion Melissa Myers has two Main Event wins as well as two seconds and two thirds.  She'll be a threat to win again this week, and other drivers to watch for include Ken Rhoades, Billy Garner, Jordan Swank, Frank Furtado, newcomer Haley Gomez and two time winner Michael Cooper.

Saturday will offer a nice combo of open wheel and Stock Car racing for the fans to enjoy.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.


Merced Speedway Remembers Matt Van Hoecke 
In Season Finale

Merced, CA...The 2017 racing season has come to an end at Merced Speedway, but there's still one very important race to go.  It's the Matt Van Hoecke Memorial Matt & Glass Fight Against Cancer Fundraiser.  Matt lost his battle with Cancer in 2014, and the track began running a special end of the season race in his honor.

For years, he ran Matt & Glass in Merced, which created race car bodies for several racers and also sold parts and fuel at the race track.  Matt also sponsored races at the track, and the drivers proudly ran his decal on their cars.  When he died, the community was in mourning, and it was Race Director Doug Williams who added the big event to the end of the season.  It's not only the final point race of the season.  The event raises money to fight Cancer.  A portion of the ticket sales will go towards fighting Cancer.  The three division show will include IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds as well as a double point race for Hobby Stocks.

The Hobby Stock championship is the only one up for grabs.  Kodie Dean leads Garrett Corn by just six points.  Dean has won three Main Events, while Corn has four wins.  Both drivers have two seconds and two thirds.  Earlier this year, Dean was disqualified from a win in post race tech, which made the battle close.  The championship could go either way.  If both drivers stumble, Robbie Loquaci is waiting in the wings to make his move.  The past Chowchilla Mini Stock champion is 22 points out of the lead.  Robbie hasn't won yet this year, but he has one second and two thirds.  To illustrate that anything can happen in this battle, both Corn and Dean did not finish the most recent Main Event.

Loquaci has his hands full trying to hold onto for third.  Kristie Shearer is just seven points behind him, while Austin Van Hoff trails by 15.  Van Hoff is coming off of back to back fourth place finishes.  All three drivers are Main Event winners in the past, but they are stil looking for their first win this year.  Two Top 10 drivers with wins this season are reigning champion Michael Shearer and 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin.  One of Bruce "Bubba" Nelson's two wins this season came in Shearer's car.  Donnie Shearer is giving one of Merced's Top Street Stock drivers of the 1980's, Dell Humbert, a chance to drive his car this week.

A good group of racers will be on hand to wrap up the season, and Top 10 competitors Shannon Nelson, James Stockton and rookie Tony Peffer should be there battling for the win.  Peffer has a win at Stockton, but the Mini Stock graduate would love to get one at Merced.  John Hensley, Darren Miguel and Dexter Long are others to watch for this week.

Much like last season, Randy Brown was the model of consistency in the IMCA Modified division.  In point races this season, Brown had three wins, three seconds and two thirds.  His worst finish was a fifth.  With those kind of numbers, Brown has successfully defended his division championship and left the battle for second.  Bruce Nelson moved into second following his fourth place finish last week, and he leads 2012 champion Bill Egleston by eight points.  Mike Villanueva had second, but he slipped back to fourth after last week, 12 points out of second.  All three of these drivers are searching for their first win.

Fourth generation racer Ryan Porter has five Top 5 finishes, including his win on Legend's Night.  Ryan would love to add another win to his totals, and he may need that to hold off second generation racer Jarod Fast in the battle for fifth.  Porter is clinging to a two point advantage.  Four time champion Ramie Stone won his heat race last week and ran second in the feature for several laps before falling out.  He has moved into tenth in points despite some terrible luck this season.  He'd love to get his first win of the season.  Other drivers to watch for include Troy Stone, Ricky Thatcher, Derrell Hughes II, Tim Cecil and Derek Nance.

Like Brown, Fred Ryland has been the model of consistency with 11 Top 3 finishes in 14 starts, including two feature wins.  His most recent victory came in the John Fore Jr. Memorial Race.  After finishing third last week, Ryland clinched the IMCA Sport Modified championship.  With Rick Diaz attending a family function, Jeremy Hoff used his first Main Event win of the season to take a four point lead over two time champion Diaz in the battle for second.  Diaz leads the division with seven Main Event victories and immediately jumps out as the driver to beat this week if he's there.

The competitive division has had ten different drivers earn second place finishes this year.  Jack Aguiar was the latest as he held off Ryland and Chris Falkenberg to get that finish and move into the Top 10 in the standings.  Teen leadfoots Tanner Thomas and Cody Parker have also earned second place finishes, and Tanner led several laps last week before falling back a few positions.  Tanner trails older brother Chase Thomas by 12 points in the battle for fourth, but it looks like both brothers may have Top 5 point seasons this year. 

Merced Speedway may have the most competitive Sport Modified division in the state, and there are some good drivers who hope to win the season finale.  Some of the drivers to watch for this week include Top 10 ranked Chuck Weir, Tim Elias, Patti Ryland, Chris Falkenberg, Mark Odgers and Josh Hensley.  Weir is the top rookie, and he also won a Main Event earlier this season.  The season finale is expected to draw another big turnout of cars.

Not only will the Matt & Glass Fight Against Cancer Fundraiser offer a great night of racing, but it's an opportunity to help raise money for a good cause.  For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.


Cox, Henry Win Nor Cal Posse Wingless Sprint Races 
at Placerville Speedway

Placerville, CA...September 21...Justyn Cox won the 25 lap Wingless 360 Sprint Car Main Event Thursday night at Placerville Speedway.  The all Wingless Sprint Car race kicked off the three night Nor Cal Posse event.  Cox took the lead from Austin Liggett late in the race and went on to score the $2,000 victory.

ADCO Driveline sponsored a $100 bonus to the fast qualifier, and Liggett's 11.797 lap beat the 11.847 of Cory Eliason for fast time.  Cox won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Liggett, and James Sweeney won the second heat ahead of Tanner Carrick.  Jimmy Truilli won the third heat race ahead of Billy Butler.  The six lap Trophy Dash set the first three rows of the Main Event, and Cox grabbed the pole with his win ahead of Liggett. 

Cox fell back a few spots at the start of the Main Event as Liggett led Michael Kofoid and Eliason.  Sweeney flipped for a lap five red flag.  He was uninjured, and he actually made repairs and rejoined the race.  Liggett continued to lead Kofoid on the restart as Cox moved into third.  Butler brought out a lap seven yellow flag, and Eliason took second from Kofoid on the restart.  Cody Fendley brought out a lap 11 caution flag.  Cox began battling Kofoid for second on the restart as Liggett continued to lead the way.   Cox took over second on lap 14 before a yellow flew when Eliason stalled with a flat tire.  Cox jumped the start, causing another yellow flag.  A lap 19 yellow flag for Sweeney and Carrick provided Cox with his opportunity.  Cox took the lead from Liggett on the restart and led the final five laps for the win.  Liggett settled for second ahead of Kofoid, Geoff Ensign, Chase Majdic, Jimmy Trulli, Stephan Ingraham, Eliason, Shane Hopkins and Ryan Timmons.

Kalib Henry won the 25 lap C&H Veteran's Services Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event.  The win paid Henry $1,200 and one of the gold coins sponsored by Intents Racing to the Top 3 finishers.  Henry set the fast time of 12.140 to earn the $100 prize offered by ADCO Driveline.  Casey McClain was second quick with a lap of 12.252.  The first eight lap heat race saw three time series champion Terry Schank Jr. make a lap seven pass on Marcus Smith for the win as Smith settled for second.  Incoming point leader Austin Liggett won the second heat ahead of Barry Pries Jr.  When Schank spun on lap five and collected Pries, Liggett earned the six lap Trophy Dash win ahead of Henry.  Schank's car suffered too much damage, ending his night early.

American Tool & Mfg. was offering $1,000 bonus if a driver could win the dash, heat and feature, and Liggett had a pole position start for the 25 lap race.  However, Henry raced into the lead over Liggett at the start.  Pries brought out the only yellow flag on lap two.  Henry continued to lead Liggett and Smith on the restart.  Henry set a good pace up front and caught slower traffic by lap 15.  However, the slower cars didn't slow Henry down as he made all the right moves in traffic to score the win.  Liggett has a huge point lead following his second place finish and the absence of Klint Simpson.  Two time Antioch Speedway point runnerup Smith had his best Hunt Series finish in third.  Paul Vandenberg finished fourth ahead of Shannon Newton, Sparky Howard, Scott Hall, Angelique Bell, Brett Youngman and Trey Walters.


Pit Stops

The All Star Series Antioch Speedway schedule has three races left.  With several racers talking about going to the Pat Pettit Memorial Shoot Out at Watsonville on September 29th and 30th, Antioch management moved the Fall Brawl from that week to October 7th.  This gives the race a better chance of succeeding as some of the drivers with Late Models and A Modifieds can run the Pat Pettit Memorial IMCA Modified race and then run the DIRTcar Late Model race at Antioch that will pay $1,500 to win.  B Modified drivers can now race both weekends.  Antioch will pay $1,000 to win on October 7th.  The Hobby Stocks also run the Fall Brawl for $850 to win.

Antioch did not decide to go dark on the 30th.  Instead, Late Models and B Modifieds were replaced by a regular Wingless Spec Sprint and Limited Late Model point race.  Hobby Stocks with remain and Dwarf Cars are also part of the show.  This means that the Limited Late Model and Wingless Spec Sprints have two races remaining instead of one.  How that might effect those point races remains to be seen. 

There are some positives to take away from recent weeks at Antioch Speedway.  Some of the car counts have been up slightly.  There have been improvements made to the facility as well.  Management announced that the Awards Banquet will take place on November 18th, and further information can be found on the track's website at www.antiochspeedway.com.  Furthermore, Promoter John M. Soares and Oval Motorsports will return for a 21st season, giving Soares the longest run of any promoter in the track's history.  What comes in 2019 will be the subject of wide speculation as the contract will go up for bid once again, but the important thing is that racing continues.

The A Modified season is over, and we know that Bobby Motts Jr. is the track champion.  Motts entered the season with that goal in mind as he dedicated his effort to Steven "The Hammer" Cunningham.  Motts has won over 20 Street Stock Main Events in his career as a past champion in that division.  In 2015, Motts gave it a good effort before finishing second to Scott Busby.  This year, Motts had seven Top 5 finishes, including four seconds and a win.  He had already clinched the division championship going into the last race.  Second generation racer Sean O'Gara also had his best season in second.  O'Gara had a second and a third as his best finishes.  Third went to "Rookie Of The Year" Eric Berendsen, who had six Top 5 finishes.  There were six different winners in the 12 races.  Kellen Chadwick had four wins, Nick DeCarlo had three, Scott Busby had two and Motts, Chester Kniss and Bobby Hogge IV each had one.

The Wingless Spec Sprints are nearing the end of their 19th season, and it looks like season #20 at Antioch Speedway will happen.  Chances are good that a first time Antioch champion will be crowned this year as Bryan Grier leads Rick Panfili by 12 points.  With an extra race on the 30th, Bob Newberry's chances at a second championship have improved slightly, though it would take serious bad luck for Panfili and Grier for that to happen.  Newberry's four feature wins tops the list this year.  Grier has three wins and is the 2014 Watsonville champion.  Panfili is still looking for his first career win and has finished as high as second in his career.  His highest point ranking is third, which means he's in a good position to wrap up his best season ever.

Speaking of first time champions, Ryon Siverling just won the PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint championship at Petaluma Speedway with a sixth place finish at the last race.  Ryon is the grandson of longtime NCMA supporter Burt Siverling.  When Klint Simpson skipped this race and took a ride in a Winged Sprint Car that night, winning that race, it opened the door for Siverling or past champion Sparky Howard to win the championship.  Howard finished second in the Main Event that night to finish one point behind Siverling.

The Adobe Cup is on the schedule next for the PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprints and Winged 360 Sprint Cars.  The Winged class is racing for $5,200 to win, and the Spec Sprints will also race for an increased purse.  The Adobe Cup also has the biggest Lumberjack's Restaurant Super Stock race of the season, and the purse has been increased to $2,000 to win in memory of Bob McCoy.  McCoy served as the push truck coordinator at the speedway for several seasons, and he passed away in July of this year.  Further information on this race and the track in general can be found at www.petaluma-speedway.com.

The Super Stocks are part of this Saturday's program along with a Wingless 360 Sprint Car race, the Santa Rosa Auto Body Wingless 600 Micros and Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks.  Matt While leads multi time champion Steve Studebaker by just eight points in his quest to repeat as Super Stock champion.  Two other past champions, Jim "Woody" Woodward and longtime Petaluma racer Shawn McCoy, have a close battle going for third.   Woodward leads McCoy by five points.  Mitch Machado leads Roger Miller by 13 points in another close battle for fifth.  In Mini Stocks, second generation racer Austin Ohlinger leads Dave Spindell by 24 points and Sean Hale by 30.  Car count has actually reached into double digits in the past few races as things are looking up for this division.

Speaking of Mini Stocks, the Central Valley Mini Stocks will be at Lemoore Raceway for Round #5 of their six race season, and the battle is on.  There have been 21 drivers to earn points so far, and Dan Myrick leads Danny Myrick by just one point, 213-212.  Most recent winner Rod Baronian is third with 194 points.  Chris Goldsmith (188) and Jeff Durant (157) make up the remainder of the Top 5.  The Mini Stock effort at Lemoore's one-fifth mile clay oval is off to a good start thanks to the efforts of the CVMS group to promote things.  At this point, it has been a success, and the future looks bright.  Sunday afternoon's race should be another good one as they run time trials, a Trophy Dash, two sets of heat races and a Main Event.

Merced Speedway is wrapping up their season this Saturday, but two championship races are already over.  Last week, Jennifer Corder won her second Mini Stock Main Event of the season in a close battle with Lucy Falkenberg, but her brother Chris Corder won the championship by just two points.  Chris won five Main Events this season, and this was his third Merced Speedway championship in the last four years.  Counting her runnerup season in Hobby Stocks, this was Jennifer's third runnerup season in the last four years.  Falkenberg's third second place feature finish solidified her career best third place point season.  The Mini Stock class gained several new drivers this year, which bodes well for the future of the division.

The California Sharp Mini Late Models will reportedly run for points next year as this season was about getting the class started.  In nine races, Tim Vaught won five times, while Riley Jeppesen, Rick Diaz, Troy Foulger and Tommy Bostic each won once.  Tim Crews had three seconds and three thirds, and he probably would have been the champion had points been kept.  Michael Shearer is the official car dealer, and the track saw seven different cars during the season.  More new drivers are anticipated when the division comes back next season.

The point sheet hadn't been released all season long for the Valley Sportsman division, prompting speculation about the future of the division.  However, last week saw the release of the final points, and Jeff Bristow is listed as the champion over Chris Birdsong.  The division lost three people very important to the class this year.  Third ranked Shannon Fry passed away, and 2016 champion Kenny Birdsong lost his battle with Cancer.  Long time Promoter Chuck Griffin recently passed away.  Griffin brought the division back to Merced in 1999.  Car count in the area is known to be in the teens, and it would be a great tribute to these three supporters of the class if more racers came out with their cars in 2018.

Closing with Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, they are running a regular show of Ocean Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks this Friday.  The Pat Pettit Memorial Shoot Out is September 29th and 30th.  IMCA Modifieds headline along with IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.  The Friday night IMCA Modified race pays $1,003 to win, while Saturday's All Star Series IMCA Modified race will pay $3,003 to win.  The Sport Modifieds will be racing for $1,003 to win on Saturday.

While Robby Sawyer has four All Star Series wins this season, including the recent race at Calistoga, and Troy Foulger has three wins in the Bill Bowers Modified, reigning All Star Series champion Ryan McDaniel has one win and is the point leader by 13 points ahead of Foulger going into the big race.  Sawyer is 19 points back in third, while Cody Burke is 24 points out of the lead.  Burke is locked in a close battle with Nick DeCarlo for the track championship.  Burke leads DeCarlo by two points and Alex Wilson by 14.  In the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Matt Hagio leads Mark Hartman by just ten points as he tries to win his second track championship in the last three years.  A huge field of IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks are anticipated for the Pat Pettit Memorial Shootout.  For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Decker, Chadwick, McCarthy Win At Antioch, Brown, Hoff, Corder Win At Merced, Plus Orland



First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books


Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
Stories of my time in auto racing from the beginning to 2003
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

And

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback


If You Like Reading Our Articles
Support Us Via The Go Fund Me The Tip Jar HERE

Also...

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion Can Be Heard HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th General Hydroponics Dwarf Car Main Event at Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th Jake's Performance  Hobbies Mini Stocks Main Event At Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE


The DCRR Racing Radio Show

Decker, Chadwick, McCarthy Win 
John Soares Sr. Memorial Race At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...September 16...Jeff Decker won the 20 lap DIRTcar Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  This was the John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Race, and the win was the sixth of the season for the Late Model point leader.  Decker won a heat race and started tenth in the Main Event.  Shawn DeForest took the lead from Paul Guglielmoni on lap three, and Decker was up to fourth when a lap five caution flag flew for David Newquist.  DeForest chose the outside on the restart, and Decker followed him into second.  Decker then moved past DeForest for the lead on the front stretch.  Richard Papenhausen took second from DeForest with a Turn 2 pass a lap later.  However, Decker was unstoppable as he led the remaining laps to win ahead of Papenhausen, DeForest, Guglielmoni and Rod Oliver.

Kellen Chadwick won his fourth All Star Series A Modified Main Event of the season.  Chadwick started back in tenth as the previous winner, and reigning champion Carl Berendsen II charged into the lead.  A battle developed between Berendsen, Nick DeCarlo and Brian Pearce for the lead, and DeCarlo made a high pass in Turn 2 to take the lead on lap 12.  Chadwick joined the battle up front and made a low pass in Turn 4 to take second from Berendsen on lap 16.  DeCarlo stalled in Turn 4 for a caution flag moments later.  Chadwick had the lead at that point and led the rest of the way for the victory.  Pearce passed Berendsen in Turn 4 to grab a second place finish.  C. Berendsen, Terry DeCarlo and Eric Berendsen rounded out the Top 5.  Heat race winner Bobby Motts Jr. clinched the championship with a seventh place finish.

Art McCarthy continued to close in on the Winged 360 Sprint Car point lead with his third 20 lap Main Event win.  Petaluma star David Lindt II set the early Main Event pace, and McCarthy moved past David Dias for second on lap two.  McCarthy made a Turn 4 pass on Lindt to take the lead on lap 10, and Marysville star Peter Paulson took second on lap 13.  Incoming point leader Marissa Polizzi retired with motor problems on lap 14, and title contender Burt Foland Jr. crashed with Jason Paniagua to end his night as well.  McCarthy led the rest of the way to win.  Paulson was a close second ahead of Lindt, Mike Monahan and heat race winner Jake Haulot.

Point leader K.C. Keller won his fourth B Modified Main Event.  Mark Garner had the early lead, and there was just one early caution flag.  Trevor Clymens got past Garner on the restart, and Keller managed to take second from Garner by lap six.  Clymens appeared to have things in hand, but he spun from the lead in Turn 4.  This put Keller in the lead, and he led the rest of the way to win ahead of Garner, Guy Ahlwardt, Clymens and Anthony Giuliani.

Cameron Swank kept the pressure on point leader Chris Sorensen by winning his heat race and his second 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event.  Swank raced into the lead at the start of the Main Event, and championship contender Brent Curran took second from Michael Cooper with a Turn 4 pass on lap three.  Tenth starter Melissa Myers took third from Ken Rhoades on a lap ten restart and pressured Curran the rest of the way for second.  Swank drove a great race and earned the victory ahead of Curran, Myers, Sorensen and Rhoades.

Reigning champion Kevin Miraglio won his third 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event.  As the previous winner, Miraglio started back in tenth.  Miraglio and point leader Mike Corsaro charged through the pack to the front.  Miraglio got the lead and scored the win ahead of Corsaro, Devan Kammermann, David Rosa and heat winner Brian Gray.

Racing continues next Saturday night with All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, Limited Late Models, B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.

Unofficial Race Results
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Justin Henry, Jake Haulot.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Art McCarthy, Peter Paulson, David Lindt II, Mike Monahan, Jake Haulot.

DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Jeff Olschowka, Jeff Decker.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Decker, Richard Papenhausen, Shawn DeForest, Paul Guglielmoni, Rod Oliver.

A Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Bobby Motts Jr.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Brian Pearce, Carl Berendsen II, Terry DeCarlo, Eric Berendsen.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Anthony Giuliani, K.C. Keller.  Main Event (20 Laps)-K.C. Keller, Mark Garner, Guy Ahlwardt, Trevor Clymens, Anthony Giuliani.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Michael Cooper, Cameron Swank.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Cameron Swank, Brent Curran, Melissa Myers, Chris Sorensen, Ken Rhoades.

Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Brian Gray, Kevin Miraglio.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Kevin Miraglio, Mike Corsaro, Devan Kammermann, David Rosa, Brian Gray.


Brown, Hoff, Corder Win Merced Speedway Main Events

Merced, CA...September 16...Randy Brown won the 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway.  This was the third win of the season for Brown, and he cliched his second straight track championship.  Brown started back in ninth as D.J. Shannon set the early pace.  Four time champion Ramie Stone, Derek Nance and Tim Cecil had a good early battle for second.  Brown made his way up to third by lap seven, and he went to work on passing R. Stone.  Brown made an inside pass on the front stretch on lap 13 to take second from Stone, and Stone headed to the pits.  A low pass in Turn 1 of the 16th lap gained Brown the lead.  Once he took the lead, Brown pulled away to straightaway advantage.  A last lap bobble in Turn 2 didn't stop Brown as he won ahead of Shannon, Nance, Bruce "Bubba" Nelson, Mitch Enos, Mike White, Bill Egleston, Jarod Fast, Harley Turner and Cecil.  Stone and Brown won nine lap heat races.

Jeremy Hoff won his first 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event of the season.  The win enabled Hoff to move into second in the standings.  Hoff started back in seventh, and front row starter Tanner Thomas set the early pace ahead of Josh Hensley.  Jack Aguiar gained second on lap four restart, and he took the lead from Thomas on a lap six restart.  Hoff was up to third by then, and an inside move on the front stretch of the eighth lap enabled Hoff to take the lead from Aguiar.  Chris Falkenberg settled into third, and Fred Ryland passed T. Thomas for fourth on lap 11.  Hoff ran strong up front, and Aguiar had his hands full with Falkenberg and Ryland right behind him.  Ryland made a last lap pass on Falkenberg for third, and Hoff scored the victory ahead of Aguiar, Ryland, Falkenberg, Mark Odgers, Tim Elias, Patti Ryland, Chase Thomas, T. Thomas and Paul Espino.  Aguiar and F. Ryland won nine lap heat races.

Jennifer Corder won her second 15 lap Mini Stock Main Event, but her brother Chris Corder won his third championship in the last four years with his third place feature finish.  Lucy Falkenberg raced into the early lead ahead of Jason Womack and C. Corder. A low pass in turn 2 of the fourth lap gained C. Corder second from Womack as J. Corder also got by for third.  A three wide battle on lap six saw J. Corder make an inside pass in Turn 1 to take the lead.  The three car battle continued as Falkenberg searched high and low for a line around J. Corder.  Shawn DePriest joined the battle up front.  J. Corder ran a great race and brought it home to a well earned victory ahead of Falkenberg, C. Corder, DePriest, Destiny Carter, Womack, Jakob Ebersole, Brent Desaire and Karina Peffer.  Womack and Falkenberg won their nine lap heat races.

Tim Vaught won the 15 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event.  Tim Crews won the nine lap heat race and led most of the Main Event.  Vaught ran right behind Crews and made a last lap pass for the victory.  Riley Jeppesen finished third ahead of Neill Barcellos and Ian Shearer.

The season wraps up next Saturday night with the Matt & Glass Cancer Fundraiser.  IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and a double point Hobby Stock race are all on the schedule.  For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.


Cheney, Ross, Chilton Win Fan Appreciation Night Features 
At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...September 16...Orland Raceway hosted a special Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday.  Before the races, the cars were all on display behind the main grandstand, and the fans got to meet the drivers.  The racing program consisted of double points for the Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and 250 Micro Sprints.  Also on the program were Wingless Gas Sprints and 600 Micro Sprints.

Kyle Cheney won a trilling 20 lap Pure Stock Main Event.  Matt Magenheimer led the 15 car field to the green flag, but he surrendered the lead to a front stretch pass by Cheney on lap two.  An outside move on the front stretch of the fourth lap gained Shannon Collins second from Magenheimer as a yellow flag flew.  Cheney chose the inisde and led the restart over Collins, 2015 champion Paul Stevens and point leader Jeremy Langenderfer, who started back in the seventh row.  Collins beat Cheney back to a lap six caution flag.  Collins led the next restart, and Langenderfer made an outside pass in Turn 4 to take second from  Cheney.  Langenderfer spun from second in Turn 2 for a lap 17 caution flag.  Collins stayed with the inside and led Cheney and Stevens on this restart and a restart a lap later.  The battle intensified on the final lap as Cheney moved to the inside exciting the final turn.  The leaders made contact, and Cheney just barely beat Collins back to the line for the victory.  A three car photo finish for third went to Stevens ahead of Brad Ray and Langenderfer.

Point leader Keith Ross won the 20 lap Mini Truck feature.  He beat a season high 11 truck field.  Mike Chase led two laps before a low pass in Turn 2 gained Ross the lead.  Olin Crane passed Chase on the inside on the front stretch for second on lap five.  Nathan Skaggs settled into third after an inside pass around Ross Vige in Turn 2 on lap seven.  A caution flag flew on lap nine, and Crain made a pit stop.  Ross chose the inside and continued to lead Skaggs and Vige on the restart.  The lead duo ran closely before the final caution flag flew on lap 13.  Ross stayed with the inside and continued to lead Skaggs on the restart.  Crain moved into third on the restart.  Ross led the rest of the way to win ahead of Skaggs.  A low pass in the final turn gained Webster third as Crain settled for fourth ahead of Vige.

Donovan Chilton won his third 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  John Kirkpatrick set the early pace ahead of Barbara Crain.  Crain made an inside pass on the front stretch of the fifth lap to take the lead from Kirkpatrick.  Hunter Merritt made a similar move a lap later to gain second.  Merritt slipped past Crain on the front stretch to take the lead on lap ten.  Chilton was running third at that point, and he made a Turn 2 pass on Crain for second on lap 12.  Merritt led Chilton on a pair of restarts before Chilton beat Merritt back to the line for the lead on lap 14.  Chilton led the rest of the way to win ahead of Merritt.  Dustin Hills had third until point leader Tom Davis made a Turn 4 pass to grab the position for good on lap 19.  Hills and Sean Perry rounded out the Top 5.

Jackie Whitson Jr. pretty much wrapped up the 250 Micro Sprint championship with his latest 20 lap Main Event win.  Whitson Jr. started in the third row and was already third on the start behind Jess Garland and Jackie Whitson Sr.  Whitson Jr. made a backstretch pass on Whitson Sr. for second on lap two.  A high move in Turn 2 of the sixth lap gained Whitson Jr. the lead, and he pulled away from everybody.  Fourth place Seth Libbee was lapped on lap eight, and Whitson Sr. made a Turn 4 pass on Garland for second on lap 12.  Garland was lapped on lap 15, and Whitson Jr. cruised to the victory ahead of Whitson Sr., Garland, Libbee and Pax Gonzalez.

Josh Jacobo won the four car Wingless Gas Sprint race ahead of Josh Tucker.  Antonia Boscacci won the Wingless 600 Micro Sprint race in front of Harley Rose.

The point season wraps up on September 30th with a program that will feature Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks, Micro Sprints and Wingless Gas Sprints.  For further information go to www.orlandraceway.org.


McCarthy Wins Third Sprint Car Feature 
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...September 16...Art McCarthy continued to close in on the All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car point lead with his third 20 lap Main Event win Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  McCarthy has been playing catch up in the point battle since mechanical problems kept him from starting the season opening Main Event, and his latest win moved him to within nine points of the lead.  McCarthy's latest win came after he took the lead from Petaluma star David Lindt II on lap ten. 

Justin Henry won the first eight lap heat race ahead of "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Jacob Tuttle.  Jake Haulot won the second heat in front of Mike Monahan.  Lindt set the early Main Event pace, and McCarthy moved past David Dias for second on lap two.  McCarthy made a Turn 4 pass on Lindt to take the lead on lap 10, and Marysville star Peter Paulson took second on lap 13.  Title contender Burt Foland Jr. crashed with Jason Paniagua in Turn 4 for a lap 14 caution flag.  Incoming point leader Marissa Polizzi retired with motor problems on lap 14, and Foland was also out of the race.  McCarthy continued to lead Paulson and Lindt on the restart.  Haulot and Monahan had a good battle going for fourth.  McCarthy never got too far ahead of Paulson, but he drove a great race for the important point gaining victory.  Paulson settled for a close second ahead of Lindt.  Monahan won his battle with Haulot for fourth.  Henry and Tuttle rounded out the Top 7 and the lead lap finishers in the 13 car field.

This Saturday wraps up the 2017 season, and Polizzi is clinging to a nine point lead over McCarthy.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.

Race Results
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat 1-Justin Henry, Jacob Tuttle, Jason Paniagua.  Heat 2-Jake Haulot, Mike Monahan, Peter Paulson.  Main Event-Art McCarthy, Peter Paulson, David Lindt II, Mike Monahan, Jake Haulot, Justin Henry, Jacob Tuttle, David Dias, Tim Burcher, Marissa Polizzi, Burt Foland Jr., Jason Paniagua, Steve Jaquith.

Point Standings
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Marissa Polizzi 394
Art McCarthy 385
Burt Foland Jr. 364
Jacob Tuttle 258
Jenna Frazier 205
Aaron Miller 203
Jason Paniagua 196
David Dias 166
Kyle Offill 150
David Lindt II 144

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule
September  23

Past Champions
1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga
2016-Billy Aton

Recent Feature Winners
September 16, 2017:  Art McCarthy
September 9, 2017:  Art McCarthy
August 26, 2017:  David Lindt II
August 19, 2017:  Art McCarthy
June 24, 2017:  Colby Wiesz
June 17, 2017:  Jonathan Allard
June 10, 2017:  Dustin Golobic
May 13, 2017:  Kyle Offill
May 6, 2017:  Tyler Seavey
April 22, 2017:  Kyle Offill
April 1, 2017:  Cory Eliason
September 31, 2016:  Billy Aton
September 17, 2016:  Colby Johnson
September 10, 2016:  Matt Barber
August 27, 2016;  Billy Aton
August 20, 2016:  Riley Matson
August 13, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 6, 2016:  Seth Nunes
July 30, 2016:  Art McCarthy
July 16, 2016:  Brayden McMahan
June 25, 2016:  Kaleb Montgomery
June 18, 2016:  Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga


Ventura Raceway Unofficial Race Results September 16, 2017
VRA Pro Dwarf Cars
MAIN

1 8 Tim Conley
2 93 Jason Horton
3 22s Gage Cheek
4 69 Johnny Conley
5 14 Tommy Velasquez III
6 41 Nick Velasquez
7 64 Trevor Fitzgibbon
8 4 Tommy Velasquez II 
9 44x Zach Curnel
10 91 Kody Cowan 
11 88 Jeff Brink
12 16 Tom Stephens Jr. 
13 13 Jeff hinz 
14 6 David Conley
15 48 Trent Morley 
16 45 Korey Coway

Semi
1 41 Nick Velasquez
2 45 Korey Cowan
3 4 Tommy Velasquez II
4 44x Zach Curnel
5 55 Mike Long
6 0 Brad Curnel
7 72 Troy Robison 
8 39 Gary Cheek
9 18 Tom Morley
10 33 Todd Atkins DNS 

IMCA Modifieds
1 70 Terry Hershberger 
2 55jr Jack Parker 
3 75 Brad Prows 

Focus Midgets
1 37 Phil Schack
2 98 Kyle Beilman
3 33 Mike Leach
4 59 Jet Davison

USAC Midgets
1 84 Chad Boat
2 68 Ronnie Gardner
3 4d Robert Dalby
4 22Q David Prickett
5 9E J.J. Ercse
6 7 Shannon McQueen
7 7R Clayton Ruston
8 31 Kyle Beilman
9 20 C.J. Sarna
10 63 Grankie Guerrini III
11 2 Robby Josett
12 8 Randi Pankratz
13 1P Terry Nichols
14 20X Brennan Rogers
15 75 Matt Mitchell
16 73 Jake Swanson
17 25 Courtney Crone
18 11 E Cory Elliot DNS
19 71 Bryan Drollinger DNS


Santa Maria Raceway Race Results September 16, 2017
IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars

Jesse Mack
Mike Schott
Grant Duinkerken
Albert Pombo
Tony Pombo
Mauro Simone
George Tristao
Landon Davis
Steve Wenzel

Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Jimmy Thompson
Kalab Montgomery
Trent Carter
Ryan Stolz
Albert Pombo
Tony Pombo
Jordan Linson
Bill Jones
James Herrera
Matt Day
Hobie Conway
Garrett Long DNS

Hobby Stocks
Scotty Preast
Taelor Janes
Matt McEwan
Eddie Williams
Jake Jones
Aaron Bruce
Dave Condon
Mack McGeary
Pat Fausel
Robby Cervantes

American Stocks
Jimmy Satlawa
Sheldon Bailey
Jimmy Teixeira
Kristina McGeary
Justin Teller
Ed Wyand
Hailey Wyand
Nicholas Verbryke
Gary Rayburn
Taylor King
Gregg Teller
Jon Waterfiled
Aaron Bollman DNS

Mini Stocks
Justin Jackson
Joel Chavez
David Kavanagh
James Price
Megan Burgett
Thomas Mederios
Dylan Thornton
Aaron Calvert
Levi Burgett
Jaryd Padgett

NMRA TQ Midgets
Chuck West
Jason Arnolde
Scott Niven
West Evans
Donald Brasher
Ace Kale
Kevin Kale 
Taelor Janes
John West

QRC Karts
Dylan Thornton
Tim Randolph
Larry Moody
Robert Gordon
Hailey Smith
Ron Smith
Mike Keebler
John West
Robert Gordon DNS


Madera Speedway Race Results September 16, 2017
Harvest Classic
BCRA Midgets

Chad Nichols
Scott Pierovich
Cody Gerhardt
Nick Foster
Mark Maliepaard
Maria Cofer
Floyd Alvis
JR Williams
David Goodwill
Bobby Wilson

Winged Sprints
Cody Gerhardt
Justin Kawahata
Cody Jessop
Audra Sasseli
Dylan Noble

360 Super Modifieds
Donnie Large
Lance Jackson
Donnie Large Jr.
Larry Hinz

USAC Speed2 Midgets
Jesse Love IV
Annie Breidinger
Joey Iest
Tom Patterson
Adam Lemke
Jackson Dukes
Johnny Nichals
Blake Brannon

NCMA Sprint Cars
Denny Burell
Robb Hammond
Charlie Huff
Mark Ferrera

Hobby Stocks
Howard Holden
Jon Schlundt
Jesus Hernandez
Steve Schermerhorn


Stockton 99 Speedway Race Results September 16, 2017
Late Models

Seth Holman
Justin Philpott
Guy Guibor
Aaron Shankel
Robbie Knittel
Mike Regelman
Dennis Byers
Sam Solari
Larry Tankersley
Brandon Jones
Jeremy Tucker
Chris Lyon
Dominic Lopez
Lance Ward
David Blair
Travis McCullough
Chad Holman
Guido Bindi
John Perras
Steven Cabral
Jayden Rocha

Bombers
Ben Lewis II
Justin Scantlin
Rob Dueck
Mikala Stearns
Kyle Singleton
Ben Lewis
Roy Luft
Robert Magana Jr.
Devin Slagle
Joe Morgenstern
Darin Adler
Troy Waltz
Jake Pitt
Richard Roberts
John Medina
Kelly Fensler
Jerry Crawford
Hunter Medina
Roy Worthy

Basically 4 Cylinders
Dave Kong
Josh Cross
Andy Rumsey
Barrett Sugden
Billy Rodrigues
Ethan Rumsey
Jason Martins

Mini Cups
Jojo Stearns
Aaron Thomas
Wyatt Sansom
Jon Wolfson
Kash Holman
Kena Mitchell
Aiden Phillips
Joseph Holiday

Friday, September 15, 2017

John Soares Sr. Memorial Preview For Antioch Speedway, Plus Merced And Orland Previews


First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books


Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
Stories of my time in auto racing from the beginning to 2003
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

And

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback


If You Like Reading Our Articles
Support Us Via The Go Fund Me The Tip Jar HERE

Also...

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion Can Be Heard HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint main Event Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th General Hydroponics Dwarf Car Main Event at Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE

September 9th Jake's Performance  Hobbies Mini Stocks Main Event At Petaluma Speedway Can Be Viewed HERE


The DCRR Racing Radio Show

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 138 by GenWhat



John Soares Sr. Memorial Set For Saturday Night
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...This Saturday night is a special event at Antioch Speedway. It is the John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Race. Soares was the founder of Antioch Speedway, and the Top Dog is a reference to the big A Modified events he promoted at Petaluma Speedway. In fact, the elder Soares was the first promoter on the West Coast to run the Modifieds at his track in 1987.

Soares came from an era of some of the greatest racing promoters, including Bob Barkhimer, Bert Moreland, Jerry Piper and John Padjen. He opened Petaluma Speedway for weekly racing around the same time as Antioch in 1961 and ran that track with only a three year interruption until 2002. He promoted Antioch Speedway until 1980, and his son John Jr. has been the promoter since 1998. The elder Soares promoted and built multiple race tracks dating back to the 1950's

People tend to forget that John was also a championship winning race car driver. He raced Stock Cars, Midgets and Hardtops and won some of the biggest races back in the 1940's and 1950's before becoming a full time promoter. Soares is a member of several Hall Of Fames including the West Coast Stock Car, BCRA and Motoring Press Association.

In addition to the All Star Series A Modifieds, this week's show will also include Winged 360 Sprints, DIRTcar Late Models, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

Without much fanfare, Bobby Motts Jr. has been leading the A Modified championship race all season long. The goal all along for Motts and car owner Mike Ferry was to win this one for their fallen friend, Steven Cunningham, who died earlier this year from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Motts is coming off of his fourth second place finish last week and hopes to get his second win this week.

Defending race champion Scott Busby hopes to grab his third win of the season. If he can do it, Busby would take lone possession of the top spot on the track's all time win list at 73. There was word that Bobby Hogge IV was looking to run this race, which would make him the driver to beat. Hogge ranks third on the all time win list with 70 wins.

Hogge and Busby aren't the only past champions to watch this week. On the heels of his third win of the season, Kellen Chadwick would have to be a considered a top contender. Petaluma point leader Oreste Gonella and two time Petaluma champion Nick DeCarlo are two others to watch. DeCarlo has won three times this year. Second ranked Sean O'Gara, Mike Salazar, rookie Eric Berendsen and Gregg McElhaney are among the top regulars in the field to watch this week.  Berendsen only trails Salazar by ten points in the battle for third in the standings, and Busby is 25 points out of third.

Art McCarthy remains in the hunt for the Winged 360 Sprint Car championship. McCarthy won his second Main Event of the last three races, and that puts the 2007 champion 27 points behind Marissa Polizzi in this year's title chase. Polizzi drove to a fourth place finish last week. Despite earning his fourth second place finish, Burt Foland Jr. fell one point behind McCarthy in the three car championship battle. After his third place finish last week, Dan Gonderman will be aiming for his first feature win, and top rookie Jacob Tuttle will be another driver to keep an eye on this week.

Jeff Decker is well on his way to the DIRTcar Late Model championship. Last week, Decker scored an impressive fifth win of the season ahead of reigning champion Richard Papenhausen. The two set such a rapid pace that third place Terry Kuntz was a lap down. While Decker appears to be headed for his third championship, there's an interesting battle between Shawn DeForest, David Newquist and Papenhausen for second. While the other two have finished as high as second, Papenhausen has two wins this season. DeForest leads Newquist by four points and Papenhausen by 27. Kimo Oreta, Joey Olschowka, Dennis Souza and Rob Norris are other drivers to keep an eye on this week.

In the B Modified point race, K.C. Keller is on the verge of clinching his first track championship. Keller picked up another third place finish last week, which was his 12th Top 3 finish in 13 starts. Trevor Clymens was battling him for the point lead before skipping a couple of races, but Clymens returned last week for his division leading fifth feature win. Mark Garner has taken up pursuit of Keller in the championship chase and finished second last week. However, a rough start to his season finds him 50 points behind Keller. With three wins, Garner's late season surge has him 30 points ahead off Chuck Golden for second. These four are anticipated this week along with Kevin Brown, Todd Gomez and Doff Cooksey.
 
The championship battle remains close in the Hobby Stock division. Four time feature winner Chris Sorensen maintained a 13 point lead over two time winner Brent Curran after last week. Curran finished a strong second in the Main Event, while Sorensen managed to earn a fifth place finish. Cameron Swank is still within 16 points of the lead after he won his heat race and finished fourth in the feature. Chris Long was working on his fourth win, but he had mechanical issues while leading and fell out. Long is still within 27 points of the lead and very much in contention. Gene Haney used his third place finish to keep within 16 points of Chris Bennett in another close battle for fifth. Melissa Myers was all smiles last week after the two time champion won her second Main Event. Most of these front runners are anticipated this week along with Billy Garner, Michael Cooper, Jordan Swank and Ken Rhoades.

Mike Corsaro has won three of the last six Dwarf Car races and has eight Top 3 finishes in his 11 starts. Not surprisingly, he leads rookie Devan Kammermann by 53 points as he closes in on his first championship. With six Top 5 finishes, Kammermann holds a ten point lead over David Michael Rosa and a 20 point lead over two time Street Stock champion David Rosa. The younger Rosa now has two second place finishes this year, but the teen Quarter-Midget graduate Kammermann recently won the Sportsman Dwarf Car feature at a WSDCA Regional event in Petaluma. Other stars to watch for this week include Charlie Correia, Chuck Conover, Chris Becker and Brian Gray.





Saturday night's racing program will be a good one as we remember the man who first opened the gates to weekly racing at Antioch Speedway back in 1961, John Soares Sr. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.



IMCA Modified  Classes Return,
Mini Stock Finale At Merced Speedway


Merced, CA...After a week off for Labor Day and last week's big John Fore Jr. Memorial Sport Modified race, won by Fred Ryland, point racing returns to Merced Speedway Saturday night.  The IMCA Modifieds are back this week, along with IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks and California Sharp Mini Late Models.  It should be another great night of racing on the Tim Ragsdale prepared quarter-mile clay oval.

Randy Brown is knocking on the door to his second straight IMCA Modified championship.  He has been the model of consistency with eight Top 5 finishes and two wins, making it difficult for anybody to keep up with him.  Brown holds a 27 point lead over Mike Villanueva.  With four Top 5 finishes, Villanueva has a 25 point advantage on a Bruce "Bubba" Nelson in the race for second.  Nelson has Hobby Stock wins this year, including the Mike Cecil Memorial at Watsonville.  His only Modified win came at Chowchilla earlier this season.  He's still searching for his first win at his home track, and the pressure is on him to hold onto third in the standings.

Nelson leads Ryan Porter by one point and 2012 champion Bill Egleston by five.  Porter won the Main Event a few weeks ago.  Third in points is the closest point battle at the moment.  The competitive IMCA Modified division had 18 cars last time, and there are some good racers still looking for their first win of the season.  This includes brothers Ramie Stone and Troy Stone.  Ramie has looked goood after suffering through two blown motors earlier in the season.  Ramie and cousin Paul Stone are both multi time champions, and Paul has two wins this season.  Other hard chargers to watch for this week include Darrell Hughes II, Justin Villanueva, Jarod Fast and Ricky Thatcher.

Two time reigning IMCA Sport Modified champion Rick Diaz has won seven Main Events in ten starts.  Despite that, he trails Fred Ryland by 31 points.  Ryland has 11 Top 5 finishes, most of them Top 3's, and he also has two wins.  Diaz missed a race for family reasons, but he has certainly put the pressure on Ryland not to make any mistakes.  As the 2015 IMCA State champion, Ryland has proven to be cool under pressure.  Third place Jeremy Hoff is 36 points behind Diaz.  The past Antioch Speedway champion has six Top 5 finishes, but he's hoping to get a win.

Chase Thomas leads his younger brother Tanner Thomas by just 11 points in the battle for fourth.  Tanner has finished as high as second this season, and both are a threat to win.  Rookie Chuck Weir did get a win earlier this season as he maintains his Top 10 season.  Teen leadfoot Cody Parker recently had a second place finish, and the Top 10 point competitor would have to be considered a threat to win.  Other hard chargers to watch for this week include 2015 champion Josh Hensley, Patti Ryland, Jack Aguiar, Tim Ragsdale and IMCA State point leader Shane DeVolder.

Double points are on the line as the Mini Stock season comes to a close.  Despite winning five races out of eight starts, reigning champion Chris Corder leads his sister Jennifer Corder by just six points.  Jennifer is gunning for her brother, and if he slips up even a little bit, she hopes to stake her claim on her first championship.  Lucy Falkenberg looked good last time out as she made her first start in one of the Corder Racing Team cars.  Lucy has a pretty good hold on third in the standings, but after multiple second place finishes, she is hoping for her first win. 


The same can be said for Destiny Carter.  She is only three points behind fifth place Jason Womack, and she is coming off of her best career finish in third.  Destiny has shown improvement this year, and a win may be just around the corner for her.  Womack recently grabbed a win at Watsonville, and he's now 13 points behind Shawn DePriest in the battle for fourth.  Other drivers to watch for include Helena Guzman, Tyler Jackson, Jeremy Perry, David Richards and Troy Tatum.

The California Sharp Mini Late Models round out the program.  The roster is up to seven cars as Merced Speedway is the first track in the state to run this class.  Tim Vaught has multiple wins this season.  Riley Jeppesen is also a winner this year.  Ian Shearer and Tim Crews have supported the class all season.  The Shearer team his fielding most of the cars as the official car dealer, and that includes two newer cars that have been driven by different racers, including one time winners Troy Foulger and Rick Diaz.

Saturday night will be a great night of racing at Merced Speedway as the season nears an end.  For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.



Fan Appreciation Night And Double Points On Tap
At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...Saturday night is a big night at Orland Raceway for a few reasons.  It's Fan Appreciation Night.  Track management introduced this race to the schedule last season, and fans got an opportunity to meet the racers.  This year, it's a $5.00 general admission,  It's also double points for all divisions.  This is an opportunity for drivers to make a move up the point ladder.  Divisions on the schedule include Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Micro Sprints and Wingless Gas Sprints.

Jeremy Langenderfer has led the Pure Stock point race since the season began.  Despite missing the August 12th race, Jeremy still leads Shannon Collins by 30 points.  The most recent race saw Langenderfer pick up another win as Collins had a bad night.  The lead for Langenderfer is now 30 points, and this may be the last chance for Collins to make his move.  Reigning champion Steve Martin holds a 23 point lead over Amanda Koop in another good battle for third.  There are some good racers looking to get their first wins of the season, and other drivers to watch for include Brad Ray, Cody Bundy, Earl Adams, Chris Barnett and 2015 champion Paul Stevens.

Tom Davis has been so consistently fast this year that Sean Perry has done well keeping within 25 points of the leader.  Davis has won his last two races from last starting.  With double points on the line, a bad night for Davis could open the door for Perry to make his move.  There are some drivers to watch in the race to win.  Donovan Chilton has two wins this year and would love to win his third race this week.  Barbara Crane drove her best race of the season last time as she led several laps before finishing second.  Jason Libbee and reigning champion John Kirkpatrick are other drivers to keep an eye on this week.

Even when he had a rough start in the most recent race, Mini Truck point leader Keith Ross still finished a strong third in the Main Event.  Ross has won most of the features this season, and now he leads reigning champion Dan Webster by 32 points.  Webster came close to winning last time, but Jeff Bennett picked up the win in Olin Crane's truck.  William Fogle has been consistent and has a good hold on third in the standings.  Zach Baker and Nathan Skaggs are other drivers to watch for this week.

Jackie Whitson Jr. has had such an impressive season in the 250 Micro Sprint class that he could have a bad finish and still be leading.  After winning the most recent race, Whitson leads James Barnes by 48 points.  Barnes is the only driver to beat Whitson for a feature win this season.  The steady Ronnie Heyer has a good hold on third in the standings.  Dave McKinnon Jr., Jess Garland, Pax Gonzalez, Seth Libbee and Jackie Whitson Sr. are other drivers hoping to enter the win column this week.

The Micro 600 and Wingless Gas Sprints are both trying to build up their rosters this season and have struggled a bit.  Leading the Wingless Sprint charge will be multi time champion Josh Jacobo, Josh Tucker, Rob Worthington and David Johnson.

Fan Appreciation Night at Orland Raceway is the perfect time to come out and enjoy a great night of racing.  For further information, look up Orland Raceway on Facebook or go to www.orlandraceway.org.



California Hardtops Return To Action At Placerville Speedway


Placerville, CA...The California Hardtops are back at Placerville Speedway this Saturday night.  Joseph Shenefield and Dave Reed had their cars on display at Calistoga two weeks ago, then both drivers were at Antioch in support of the Chet Thomson Memorial Bay Area Hardtop race last week.   In fact, CHA star Jason Armstrong was the driver scoring the victory for the second straight year.

Armstrong has been fast and smooth all season long with wins at multiple tracks, and this includes multiple victories at his home track in Placerville.  He enters this race as the driver to beat.  One of the drivers hoping to beat him will be his father, Dennis Armstrong.  Dennis is a past Hardtop Main Event winner at Placerville.

Ron Ruiz has been getting faster and faster with each start.  The CHA's last race was on the pavement of Roseville, and it was Ron's night to shine as he scored his first Main Event win ahead of J. Armstrong and Shenefield.  Shenefield had reason to smile.  Last time he was at his home track in Roseville, he had a little crash that knocked him out for a few races.  This time around, he won his first Trophy Dash.

"The Rocketman" Ken Clifford has been at all of the CHA races this year and is about as enthusiastic a supporter as you will find for Hardtop racing.  Whether first or last, Ken is having a good time living out his dream of racing Hardtops.  Adding to that dream is the fact that he gets to race with his son Jason Clifford.  Jason is a past feature winner with the group, but he hasn't been able to race as much as he'd like due to various projects.  This includes building a shop for his father.

Dave Reed has had his moments in the former John Philbert #57 car, but he's had a bit of bad luck lately.  He'll be out to turn that around this week.  There have been a couple of new cars to debut in recent weeks, and other drivers to watch out for this week include Joe Hopp, Dan Whitney and Rhett Lange.  The CHA is further excited to announce their return to Orland Raceway on October 7th.  J. Armstrong won their last visit ahead of Ruiz and K. Clifford.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Decker, McCarthy Win At Antioch, Ryland Wins Fore Memorial At Merced

First of all...



Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price







Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback


Also...

If You Like Reading Our Articles, Visit The Tip Jar HERE at Go Fund Me to support our efforts

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion Can Be Heard HERE


The DCRR Racing Radio Show
Decker, McCarthy, Chadwick Collect Antioch Speedway Wins

Antioch, CA...September 9...Jeff Decker won the 20 lap DIRTcar Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  This was the fifth win of the season for the point leader.  Paul Guglielmoni paced the first three Main Event laps ahead of Decker.  A lap four restart provided Decker with an opportunity to race by Guglielmoni on the back stretch for the lead.  Reigning champion Richard Papenhausen moved into second and started pressuring Decker for the lead.  However, Decker pulled away in the waning laps to record the impressive victory.  Papenhausen settled for second ahead of Terry Kuntz, Kimo Oreta and Jim Freethy.

Art McCarthy won his second 20 lap All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event.  The ageless Sprint Car veteran has two wins and a second in his last three starts as he continues to cut into Marissa Polizzi's point lead.  McCarthy and fellow heat winner Dan Gonderman shared the front row for the Main Event, but title contender Burt Foland Jr. raced into second behind McCarthy at the start.  There were two early yellow flags, but the final 17 laps went all green.  McCarthy was being careful with a slower car on lap 15, allowing Foland to close the gap.  McCarthy made a move past the slower car on the back stretch and continued his rapid pace for a well earned victory.  Foland settled for his fourth second place finish.  Gonderman won a close battle with Polizzi for third as Ricky Brophy rounded out the Top 5.

Kellen Chadwick returned to action and won his third A Modified Main Event.  The race was a battle of attrition as several drivers didn't make it to the end.  Chadwick was the class of the field as he grabbed the win ahead point point leader Bobby Motts Jr.  Heat race winner Scott Busby settled for third ahead of Sean O'Gara and Gregg McElhaney.

Reigning B Modified champion Trevor Clymens won his fifth 20 lap Main Event of the season.  The race looked like it would go to past A Modified champion Kenny Neu.  Neu led the first 13 laps through multiple yellow flags.  Clymens was running second when Neu slowed in Turn 4 for a lap 14 caution flag.  Clymens led the pack on the restart and led the rest of the way for the victory.  Mark Garner battled point leader K.C. Keller for a second place finish as Tommy Frazier and Nick Caughman Jr. completed the Top 5.

Kimo Oreta collected his fourth 20 lap Limited Late Model Main Event victory in the Sun Drop Racing #15 car.  Oreta had a front row start in a race that was destined to go non stop, and he charged into the lead at the drop of the green flag.  He stretched his advantage to a half-lap ahead of second place by the time Bob Kempf threw the checkered flag, leaving the battle was for second.  Despite relentless pressure from Mark Garner, Lori Brown kept her cool and earned a season best second place finish.  Mike Gustafson made a couple of late passes to finish fourth ahead of fellow heat race winner Jim Freethy.

Melissa Myers won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event.  This was the second win of the season for the two time division champion.  Jordon Swank led the Main Event for four laps before Chris Long made a high move in Turn 4 to grab the lead.  Long slowed on the back stretch as Swank and Myers made it a three wide race up front on lap seven.  Long fell back several positions, but a red flag flew moments later for a blocked race track exit.  Long was back in the lead for the restart, but he slowed on lap nine.  Myers raced into the lead at that point ahead of Brent Curran.  Myers led the final ten laps to win ahead of Curran, Gene Haney, Cameron Swank and point leader Chris Sorensen.

Jason Armstrong won the 15 lap Bay Area Hardtops Main Event.  This was the 15th running of the Chet Thomson Memorial, and the race ran non stop.  Armstrong sprinted out to a straightaway lead over the dueling Ken Retzloff and Tommy Thomson, but Armstrong slowed his pace in traffic on lap six.  Retzloff used traffic to break away from Thomson, and he chased Armstrong closely.  However, Armstrong scored his second straight Thomson Memorial win ahead of Retzloff.  Thomson managed to hold off last starter Kimo Oreta for third as Dan Williams rounded out the Top 5.

Next Saturday is the 2nd Annual John Soares Sr. Top Dog Memorial, which honors the man who promoted Antioch Speedway from its opening in 1961 to 1980.  The All Star Series Winged 360 Sprints are back along with the DIRTcar Late Models, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.

All Star Series Antioch Speedway
Unofficial Race Results
DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Dennis Souza, Richard Papenhausen.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Decker, Richard Papenhausen, Terry Kuntz, Kimo Oreta, Jim Freethy.

Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Art McCarthy, Dan Gonderman.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Art McCarthy, Burt Foland Jr., Dan Gonderman, Marissa Polizzi, Ricky Brophy.

A Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Brian Pearce, Scott Busby.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Bobby Motts Jr., Scott Busby, Sean O'Gara, Gregg McElhaney.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-K.C. Keller, Mark Garner.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Trevor Clymens, Mark Garner, K.C. Keller, Tommy Frazier, Nick Caughman Jr.

Limited Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Jim Freethy, Mike Gustafson.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Kimo Oreta, Lori Brown, Mark Garner, Mike Gustafson, Jim Freethy.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Cameron Swank, Chris Long.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Melissa Myers, Brent Curran, Gene Haney, Cameron Swank, Chis Sorensen.

Bay Area Hardtops
Heat Winner (8 Laps)-Jason Armstrong.  Main Event-Jason Armstrong, Ken Retzloff, Tommy Thomson, Kimo Oreta, Dan Williams.

Fred Ryland Wins John Fore Jr. Memorial 
At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...September 9...Fred Ryland won the $1,500 first prize in the 50 lap John Fore Jr. Memorial Saturday night at Merced Speedway.  The race was presented by Bob Smith Truck Repair, and it was the second win of the season for the current Sport Modified point leader.  The Sport Modified car count grew to 31 cars for the extra money race that honors John Fore Jr.  Fore was a former Top 5 point competitor who died in a work related accident in early 2016.

The track ran time trials with the Top 9 starting positions in the Sport Modified Main Event filled by time.  IMCA State point leader Shane DeVolder set quick time of 14.656 to beat the 14.765 lap of F. Ryland.  Josh Hensley won the first nine lap heat race ahead of Brian Cooper.  Anthony Giuliani won the second heat ahead of Lee Jensen and the third heat was won by Jeremy Hoff in front of Andrew Peckham.  The Top 3 heat race finishers earned Main Event starting spots.  The Top 4 finishers of the 15 lap B Main earned the final starting spots in the 22 lap feature, and Bakersfield star Michael Johnson won that race ahead of Cody Parker, Patti Ryland, Chris Falkenberg and Tanner Thomas.

DeVolder raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of F. Ryland, but Garrett Jernagen moved by Ryland on lap two to grab second.  Phillip Shelby took fourth from Rick Diaz on lap six, and the yellow flag flew on lap 12.  DeVolder continued to lead Ryland and Jernagen on the restart.  2016 Fore Memorial winner Clint Reichenbach moved into fourth on lap 25.  A low pass in Turn 4 of the 28th lap gained F. Ryland the lead from DeVolder.  Jernagen spun from third in Turn 4 on lap 35, and Reichenbach found himself in second on lap 37 when DeVolder spun in Turn 2.  F. Ryland ran smooth down the stretch and went on to grab the big victory ahead of Reichenbach, Diaz, Nick Spainhoward, Johnson, Cooper, Hensley, Chase Thomas, Jensen and DeVolder.

Billy Nelson won the 50 lap Hobby Stock Main Event.  The win paid $500 to the three time Watsonville champion.  The first nine starting positions in the big race were set by time trials, and Nick Lawrence set the fast time of 17.075.  Two time champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson was second quick with a lap of 17.089.  Four time Merced champion Raul Rodriguez Sr. won the first heat race ahead of Dexter Long to earn the tenth starting position.  Point leader Kodie Dean won the second heat ahead of Watsonville champion Rob Gallaher to earn the 11th starting spot.  Gallaher started back in 13th.

The first half of the Hobby Stock Main Event was plagued with yellow flags, and championship contender Garrett Corn dropped out with a broken driveline early on.  Bruce Nelson raced into the early lead ahead of Lawrence and Billy Nelson.  An inside move on the back stretch of the fifth lap gained Billy Nelson second from Lawrence.  Billy Nelson made a high pass in Turn 4 of the eighth lap to take the lead from Bruce Nelson, and the two Nelsons ran close at the head of the pack.  Austin Van Hoff took third from Lawrence on lap 10.  Bruce Nelson made a low pass in Turn 2 of the 20th lap to take the lead from Billy Nelson as Rodriguez ran a close fourth behind Van Hoff.  A low move in Turn 3 of the 21st lap gained Rodriguez third from Van Hoff, and Gallaher grabbed fourth on lap 27.  An inside move on the front stretch of the 28th lap regained Billy Nelson the lead as the final 28 laps ran caution flag free.  Bruce Nelson had problems and fell out of second on 39, and Billy Nelson now had a straightaway advantage over Rodriguez.  Billy Nelson set a blistering pace in scoring the impressive victory ahead of Rodriguez and Gallaher.  Van Hoff had a good run in fourth as Kevin Joaquin, Mike Stockton, Wally Kennedy, Kristie Shearer, Kalob Shelton and D.J. Keldsen rounded out the Top 10 in the 24 car field.

Rick Diaz won the 20 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event.  Two time IMCA Sport Modified champion Diaz took the wheel of one of the FND Motorsports cars and enjoyed a good battle with Tommy Bostic.  Bostic beat Diaz in the six lap heat race, and Bostic raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of Diaz and Raulie Rodriguez.  When the second caution flag flew on lap five for Portland, Oregon's Paul Meusling, Diaz made his move.  Bostic picked the inside on the restart, but Diaz raced into the lead down the back stretch.  Tim Crews took third from Rodriguez.  A lap 16 caution flag slowed the pace one last time, but Diaz maintained the lead on the restart and brought it home to victory ahead of Bostic, Crews, Rodriguez, Riley Jeppesen, Meusling and Ian Shearer.

Racing resumes this Saturday night with IMCA Modifieds back in action along with IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks and California Sharp Late Models.  It will be a double point race for the Mini Stocks.  For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.


Remembering Merced Speedway Promoter Chuck Griffin

It's been a sad last couple of days in the racing community.  When I got home from the races Saturday, I saw the news from Merced that long time promoter Chuck Griffin had passed away.  I got the honor of working at Merced Speedway for three seasons when he was promoter.

Through the years, I heard stories about him.  It was always the negative side of things that got out in the 1990's.  You know how stories go.  If you want to know the truth, you have to get it for yourself.  I'm not going to tell you Chuck was perfect.  I will tell you this much.  He cared about that race track and it's racers, he cared about the community and he devoted more than two decades to that race track as promoter.

Chuck raced the Sportsman division all the way to when it ended at Merced at the beginning of the 1980 season.  I think this is something that stuck with him.  Things came full circle.  When the track's Limited Sprint division decided to form a club and race pavement tracks, Chuck got together with Luis Miranda and started the Valley Sportsman division.  That division has had races at the track every year since.

This year, Chuck was honored as a "Legend Of Merced Speedway" along with the man who announced all of his races, Johnny Sass.  This award is the forerunner to the "Hall Of Fame" induction that he and Sass will surely get.  I wish he could be there to receive that honor, but Chuck never struck me as a guy who cared about such things or even the spot light.  He just got in there and did what needed to be done.  DCRR Racing News did present him with the 2002 "Award Of Excellence" at the Merced Speedway awards banquet.

I recall getting to announce Legends Night 2015.  Two of the biggest highlights for me were interviewing Sass and walking over to Chuck and Marylee Griffin and thanking them for all they did for that race track and for ever hiring me in the first place.  Here I was, this long haired person from the Bay Area coming to Merced, and he gave me a chance.  I was welcomed like one of the racing family.  I tried to interview him that night.  Typical of Chuck, he pointed to Sass, smiled and said, "I let that man do the talking for me."

I loved the Cal Mod division Chuck created in the days when Late Models were still running for NASCAR Regional points.  Merced's Cal Mod car count grew to almost 20.  With Gordon Rodgers running only one track, he nearly won the Regional title twice and finished Top 3 both seasons.  There were certain people in NASCAR who weren't thrilled by that.

Chuck was in a difficult position.  NASCAR wanted him to drop Late Models so cars could go to Antioch, and that left a lot of drivers parked.  The Modifieds were added, but drivers were slow to respond to that.  The decision was made to pull Merced out of NASCAR.  What Chuck realized was his Modified car count would grow if it were IMCA sanctioned, and that's what he did as the Street Stocks were his top CCMR division.

Given the local economy, Chuck was always looking for new ways to get drivers into the sport.  His first attempt was the Pure Stocks.  He started this class before the other tracks in the area, and it was effective.  Next, he started the Little Truck division.  It might not seem like much, but we gained all four racing members of the Stone family (Ramie, Paul, Steve and Troy), Jack Stanford, Marcus Aue, Ed Parker and John Clarke.  It was just what was needed at the time.

As truck count climbed into the teens, Chuck attempted to interest Antioch and Watsonville in the class.  He came to both tracks with several of his racers one weekend.  The racing was good.  Unfortunately, the NASCAR way at the time was not known for thinking outside the box.  A few years later, Antioch did follow Merced's lead with Little Trucks.

For the record, Chuck was also the first promoter in California to start a Sport Modified division, and he also brought in Four Bangers.  The idea was to get new drivers to the track and give the fans a better show.  Just a year or two before the bottom fell out of the local economy, around 2007, Chuck's shows often had B Mans in IMCA Modifieds and a strong Street Stock and Hobby Stock count.  One of the biggest races every year was the Timmy Post Memorial race remembering his grandson.  All of the local drivers made it a point to be at that race.

Chuck also worked with the fairgrounds if they needed anything from him.  He knew that the fairgrounds and that race track were partners.  He was community minded.  There were food drives, kids bike races and that sort of thing.  He also did something unheard of.  Fourth Of July was the biggest night of the year at Merced Speedway.  People flocked to the track for the fireworks show and the stands would be packed every year.  Chuck got some very good sponsors and began giving that night away for free admittance.

The track hosted some big races through the years.  There was a $10,000 to win USAC Midget race in the early 1990's and big Late Model and IMCA Modified races.  There were also big 100 lap Street Stock races held once or twice every year.  In 2002, Chuck began the 9-11 Memorial for IMCA Modifieds and boasted a then Merced record 40 IMCA Modifieds along with 40 Street Stocks.  He gave that first night away for free admittance to the fans and used it as a food drive for families in need.

I don't think I can adequately tell the whole story here.  I know people have heard the bad.  These days, people remember the bad and don't think about the good.  Chuck and his wife Marylee were there for over two decades doing good things for that track.  We often talk about how the track has had continues racing there every year since 1950, and Chuck was a big reason why that is continuous.  When he walked away at the end of 2009, he still offered any help he could give to the next promoter, John M. Soares.  It's my understanding that he made the same offer to the current promoter, Ed Parker.

Being a promoter is an often thankless job.  Many promoters don't get out without a lot of people bashing them.  It's the nature of the game.  You risk your money, do many things people don't even know about in order to keep the track alive and you do it because you love it and want to make a difference.  Having talked with Chuck several times, his love of racing and the heritage of that race track was unquestionable.

I entered the picture at a time when things were down a little bit, and I saw that this thing could be turned around.  Chuck opened those gates and kept that show going.  You knew the show would go on with whomever was there, and you knew the rules were going to be enforced.  Play by the rules, and you'd be fine.  Myself and Joe Martinez had a website called California Racing Online.  I started attending races weekly at Merced in 2001 and doing audio calls of the races and writing as much as I could to help spread the word for that track.

Matt Van Hoecke heard my announcing and recommended me to Chuck.  He even offered to pay my salary as an audition to Chuck.  I recall playing We Will Rock You on the PA and Chuck smiling because the crowd was stomping and clapping to it.  He hired me, and thus began one of the most enjoyable years of my time in  racing.  And I knew two things.  I wanted this race track to survive and prosper, and Chuck was committed to that. 

To watch car count and the crowds grow that year and know I got to be a part of the team is something I am very proud of.  I was set to receive a Team Player Award for my involvement in 2003 before circumstances prevented my attendance at the banquet.  However, I consider the fact that I was going to receive that award one of my proudest achievements in the sport.

Chuck over saw the expansion of the track from a quarter-mile to a third of a mile.  He was in charge of the track preparation, and the racers usually got a fast, two groove race track.  This meant the fans got to see close and competitive racing every week.  He was also a Top 5 driver in points at Merced and Watsonville in 1979 as he ranked fourth in the NASCAR State point race.

Merced Speedway lost a legend.  Not all legends are those who win every race to the roar of the crowd.  You have to have somebody guiding the ship and keeping things going in the right direction.  For many years, Chuck Griffin was that man.  I, for one, appreciate all he did.

I can't even imagine what Chuck's wife, Marylee Griffin, is going through now.  She is a sweet woman who is very  much the woman behind the man.  This was a team effort.  My thoughts and prayers go to Marylee and the entire family during this difficult time.


Thomas Wins Thrilling USAC/CRA Sprint Car Feature 
At Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...September 8...Kevin Thomas Jr. won the 30 lap USAC/CRA Sprint Car Main Event Friday Night at Ocean Speedway.  Thomas picked up the win on Saturday at Calistoga Speedway as the Wingless Sprint Cars are running their Fourth Annual Speedweek Series.  Thomas got the evening started by besting the 18 car field with a fast lap of 12.848.  That just barely beat the 12.873 lap of incoming point leader Brody Roa.  They ran three ten lap heat races, and Austin Williams outran Speedweek point leader Damion Gardner to win the Extreme Mufflers first heat race.  Cody Williams won the Brown And Miller Racing Solutions second heat ahead of Chad Boespflug.  Thursday night Chico Spec Sprint winner Austin Liggett won the Circle Track Performance/Keizer Aluminum Wheels third heat ahead of Jake Swanson.

The 30 lap Main Event was a thriller with four different leaders.  Swanson charged into the lead at the start and paced the first 13 laps.  Gardner took over on lap 14, but he was passed by Monday night Petaluma winner Tyler Courtney for the lead on lap 17.  Courtney was running strong up front, but Thomas moved in for the challenge.  Thomas made his winning pass on lap 28 as Courtney faded back a few positions.  Thomas brought it home to the thrilling victory ahead of Gardner, Swanson, Liggett, Boespflug, Courtney, Roa, Stevie Sussex, Geoff Ensign and C. Williams.

Reigning champion Rob Gallaher continued his march towards another championship with his  20 lap American Stock Main Event win.  J.C. Elrod won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Wally Kennedy, while Matt Kile won the second heat in front of Bobby Huckaby Sr.  The invert of eight put Gallaher and Austin Williams on the front row, and Gallaher charged into the lead.  Huckaby came from the third row, but all he could do was chase Gallaher for a second place finish.  Merced Speedway racer Nick Lawrence finished a strong third in front of Tony Oliveira and Kile.

Central Valley Mini Stock competitor Logan Doglione returned and won his fourth 15 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  It was a perfect evening as L. Doglione also won the eight lap heat race ahead of point leader Dakota Keldsen.  Bill Beardlsey and Kate Beardsley had front row starts as B. Beardsley was the closest challenger to Keldsen's point lead.  However, B. Beardsley faded as L. Doglione charged from seventh starting into the lead.  L. Doglione went on to victory ahead of Brady Muller, Ryan Dolione, Keldsen and K. Beardlsey.


McCarthy Scores Second Winged 360 Sprint Main Event Win At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...September 9...Art McCarthy won the 20 lap All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  The win paid $1,200 and was McCarthy's second win in the past three races.  He finished second in between his two wins and now trails Marissa Polizzi by 27 points in the championship battle.  Burt Foland Jr. came into the night ranked second in the standings.  Despite finishing second to McCarthy in the Main Event, he slipped to one point behind McCarthy and 28 behind Polizzi.

McCarthy won his eight lap heat race ahead of Foland, while Dan Gonderman won his heat race ahead of Ricky Brophy.  Gonderman was making his third start of the season after a solid third place point season last year.  McCarthy raced into the lead at the start, and Foland raced past Gonderman for second.  Jacob Tuttle spun in Turn 4 to bring out a lap two caution flag.  McCarthy paced one more lap before the second and final caution flag flew for David Dias on the back stretch.  When the green flag flew, McCarthy continued to set the pace ahead of Foland and Gonderman.  McCarthy caught a slower car around lap 15 and took his time lapping them.  Foland closed in on McCarthy, but McCarthy finally got by the slower car.  The leaders caught traffic again on the final lap, but McCarthy held on for the win.  Foland settled for his fourth second place finish with Gonderman a strong third.  Polizzi brought it home in fourth, followed by Brophy, Matt DeMartini, Tim Burcher, Tuttle and Dias.

The All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars return to action on Saturday night as part of the John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog race.  They wrap up their season on September 23rd.  It's a three car battle for the championship between Polizzi, McCarthy and Foland, while Tuttle has moved into fourth in his rookie season.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.

Race Results
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat 1-Art McCarthy, Burt Foland Jr., Marissa Polizzi.  Heat 2-Dan Gonderman, Ricky Brophy, David Dias.  Main Event-Art McCarthy, Burt Foland Jr., Dan Gonderman, Marissa Polizzi, Ricky Brophy, Matt DeMartini, Tim Burcher, Jacob Tuttle, David Dias.



Ventura Raceway Unofficial Results September 9, 2017
Dwarf Car Silver Cup #3

1 10 Kevin Calvo
2 69 Johnny Conley
3 64 Trevor Fitzgibbon
4 6 David Conley
5 93 Jason Horton
6 22s Gage Cheek
7 16 Tom Stephens Jr.
8 41 Nick Velasquez 
9 14 Tommy Velasquez III
10 45 Korey Cowen
11 38 April Banuelos
12 8 Tim Conley
13 48 Trent Morley
14 4 Tommy Velasquez II
15 72 Troy Robinson
16 88 Jeff Brink 
17 91 Jody Cowan 
18 18 Tom Morley 
19 55 Mike Long

VRA Senior Sprints
1 15 Rick Hendrix 
2 67 Russell Martin
3 2 Wally Pankratz
4 27 Steve Brown 
5 66 Chris Meredith
6 12 Smokey Stover
7 4k Tyler Hatzikian
8 3k Eddie Williams
9 3g greg Andrews
10 1k Danny Parrish

VRA Hobby Stocks
1 3 David Heurung
2 52 Zachary Peterson
3 7 Mike Stanford
4 3r Erie Malone 
5 43 Sam Garvin
6 15 Joey Diaz
7 45 Christina Garvin
8 44 Gary Garvin
9 28 Gary Curtis

TQ Midgets Exhibition
1 20 Brandon Wiley
2 5 Bruce Hiroshimna
3 40 Chris Thomas

Focus Midgets
1 37 Phil Schack
2 98 Kyle Beilman 
3 33 Mike Leach 
4 59 Jet Davison


Keller Auto Speedway Hanford, CA September 2, 2017
King Of King Sprint Cars

Mitchell Faccinto
Cory Eliason
steven tiner
Kaleb Montgomery
Giovanni Scelzi
Kyle Hirst
Craig Stidham
Mathew Moles
Nathan Rolfe
Scott Parker
Travis Coelho
Zane Blanchard
Cole Macedo
Steven Kent
Danny Faria
Vaughn Schott
Gary Nelson Jr.
Tucker Worth
Landon Davis
DJ Netto
Blaine Fagundes
Dalton Hill

IMCA Sport Modifieds
nick spainhoward
Jack Aguiar
Ryan Bledsaw
Dwayne Short DNS

Mod Lites
Zack Forster
Anthony Balcazar
Caden Cochrun
Roy Maynard
Kenny Cochrun
JD Brown
Kyleigh Forster


Keller Auto Speedway Hanford, CA September 9, 2017
AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars

Results are not official
1     #9K Kevin Thomas Jr.           
2     #4 Damion Gardner
3     #3f Geoff Ensign
4     #5 Logan Williams
5     #88 Jace Vanderweerd
6     #91R Brody Roa
7     #4s Mike Spencer
8     #42 Steve Sussex
9     #92 Jake Swanson
10     #2 Austin Williams
11     #69 Chad Boespflug
12     #44 Cody Williams
13     #68 Chase Johnson    
14     #10 Richard Vanderweerd
15     #88k Koen Shaw
16     #28m Matt McCarthy    
17     #17v Danny Faria Jr.            
18     #3t Austin Liggett            
19     #5m Max Adams        
20     #56 Tyler Courtney        
21     #73 Ryan Bernal        
22     #4G Chris Gansen        
23     #98 Jeremy Ellertson

IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars
Zane Blanchard
Grant Duinkerken
Jared Faria
George Tristao
Albert Pombo
Vaughn Schott
Scott Meisner
Eric Correia
Blaine Fagundes
Tony Pombo
Doug Gandy
Landon Davis
mike schott
Chris Ennis
Cole Danell
Phil Heynen

IMCA Stock Cars
Troy Patee
James Elliott
Josh Nichols
Shawn Schwartzenberger
Gina Hendrix
Brock Hamilton
Pat Biggs
Alan Mendes

Mini Stocks

Jason Cook
kit murphy
Craig Moody
Chris Corder
Jennifer Corder
Ben Lickey
Darren Estermann
Gene Glover
Jacob Cardoza
James Smith
Paul Schwartzenberger
Helder Santos
Jason Womack
Cory Mata
Larry Rameriz
Todd Minchew
andrew boydstun


Petaluma Speedway Race Results September 9, 2017
PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Cars

Results are not official
1     #101 Klint Simpson        
2     #5v Colby Copeland
3     #72w Kurt Nelson
4     #43 Bradley Terrell
5     #7c Tony Gualda
6     #7h Jake Haulot
7     #9x Pete Paulson
8     #12j John Clark
9     #9 Bret Barney
10     #52 David Lindt II
11     #4s Michael Kofoid
12     #31c Justyn Cox
13     #13 Rowdy McClenon

PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprints
Results are not official
1     #24n Nick Larsen            
2     #6 Sparky Howard
3     #11 Matthew Haulot
4     #42 Will Fatu
5     #3r Bob Davis    
6     #77s Ryon Siverling
7     #73x Keith Calvino
8     #11b Alan Miranda
9     #83 Danny Potts    
10     #57n Dennis Furia Jr.
11     #41s Jack Clark

General Hydroponics Dwarf Cars
Results are not official
1     #10x Adam Teves        
2     #74b Punky Pires
3     #66b Mark Biscardi     
4     #66 Scooter Gomes
5     #9xxx Chad Matthias 
6     #23 Dave Mosier 
7     #12 Brandon Gentry
8     #0hr Matt Hagemann 
9     #13a Mike Affonso 
10     #21b Kyle Jones
11     #15 Carroll Mendenhall    
12     #30 Robert Coe
13     #10 Barry Waddell
14     #22z Zack Albers             
15     #22 Travis Dutra        
16     #88n Adam Freitas
17     #46b Marty Weisler            
18     #14           
19     #21x Marcus Hardina         
20     #79 Mark Hanson    
21     #71 John Peters            
22     #44b Bill Delfield             
23     #38d Ryan Klein
24     #11 Trevor Mendenhall            
25     #34 Brian Cook        
26     #5b Brady Beck

Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks

Results are not official
1     #32 Sean Hale        
2     #1a Austin Ohlinger
3     #13 Dave Spindell
4     #2 Vince Herring    
5     #17c Duane Croft
6     #07 Aiden Primrose
7     #7 Antonio Miramontez
8     #c4 Roy Dearing    
9     #81 Randy Miramontez        
10     #20 Snazzy Duckworth            
11     #69 Danny Naron


Kern County Raceway Race Results September 8, 2017
A Modifieds

Brad Pounds
Kyle Heckman
Robby Sawyer
Ricky Childress Jr.
Roger Holder
Steve Noland
Garret Jernagan 
Royce Henry
Steve Boles
Jerry Flippo
Terry Hershberger
John Piker

B Modifieds

Garret Jernagan
Nick Spainhoward
Shane Devolder
LEE JENSEN
Jeff Miller
Dylan Thornton
Austin Manzella
Clay Daly
Michael Johnson
Clint Reichenbach

Hardtops
Marc McCaslin
Richard Souza
James Bradburn
Jason Stanphill
Justin Yadon
Steven Sorenson
Tom Dugan
Brandon Stanphill
Josh Yadon