Friday, April 9, 2010

Six Divisions Prepare To Do Battle At Antioch Speedway

Actually, I don't know what was in The Times, if anything, today, because my newspaper carrier forgot to include the sports section. I'd complain about it, but since an effort isn't being made to get Antioch Speedway in there, I figured why bother?

On the bright side, Jack Menges is doing some work for the track and has articles in the Antioch Press, for whomever might actually get that paper. Better than nothing, I suppose. At 82 years old, Jack is still doing his thing and is featured in a story in the Antioch Press this year. I always liked the man, and I am happy to know he's doing better.


The over/under number for Antioch tomorrow is 70. I'm guessing Dirt Modifieds (14), Wingless Spec Sprints (14), Super Stocks (8), Hobby Stocks (12), Mini Trucks (12) and Four Bangers (10). I'm not expecting less than 70 cars and hopefully a few more.

A few questions I'm interested in.

Where are the other Super Stocks at? I'm expecting at least one more season debut this week, but this division is capable of producing double digits now. Can't let Machado and Damitz dominate things, can we? Who will be the first to break their hold on feature wins? "Bad News" Berendsen is looking good, but Fred Ryland already looks like he's getting things down. As tax season is almost over, "The Blue Knight" should ride again soon in the #2 car, so keep an eye out for Mike Gustafson. Hopefully, Ron or Lori Brown is back soon and Jeremy Petrell as well. So, I'm interested in what car count will be.

Will we get a battle in Dirt Modifieds this year? Come on guys, step up and go for it. Don't let the title be a foregone conclusion going into the last month. Hopefully, "The Piledriver" Dan Gonderman is back after his rollover on that restart. I saw the clip on YouTube, and it looks like the driver on the inside got into him a little racing for the lead on the restart. I'm curious who our contenders will be after the first four or five races. Is Aaron "Crazy Man" Crowell pursuing his second division championship? By the way, this is the 21st season of championhsip points for this class. 21 years. Who was that first champion, anyway? Answer in a moment.

I'm also wondering about the Wingless Spec Sprints. "Jammin" Jim Perry Jr. has one championship to his credit in this class, but I'm not sure there is a driver in the division at Antioch with more feature victories than him. Maybe Darrell Hanestad. I'd have to check the notes. Is "Bullet" Billy Macedo back in the hunt for a second title. As with the Dirt Modifieds, I'm hoping to see some competition for this one down the stretch as the track is holding it's 12th season for championship points in this class.

Four Bangers, where are you? "Peppermint" Patty Ryland won the title last year. Is she looking to repeat? I'm not a big fan of drivers sticking around to dominate this particular class, but she really didn't last year. She was just one of the drivers trying to give the class a boost who made every race. In fact, former Figure 8 champion "Wild" Jim Robbins had a couple cars out there in an effort to try and help car count last season. It should be more competitive this season, and I'm hoping for more cars. This class has lots of potential. I just hope that if the cars come, track management has the good sense to let it grow and don't start "tweaking" things. It would be nice to have a class with a car count big enough for B Mains, and this class has that potential. Remember B Mains?

By the way, it was former track Stock Car and State Sportsman champion "Rapid" Richard Johnson who beat 1981 Stock Car champion Bruce "The Phantom" Curl by the slimmest of margins to win the 1990 Dirt Modified championship.

Mini Trucks will compete for their 10th track championship season. Has it been that long. The division has actually produced a solid truck count in the last year of 14-18 trucks per race. Can't complain about that. Don't really have a lot of questions here, just hoping for a good show once again. Does Dean "The Blinker" Cline still have a truck, or Pete Paulsen, for that matter? It would be nice to have a couple legends in the field, even if only occasionally. I understand Pete has a Hardtop, and maybe the fans will see it when that division comes to town.

The Pure Stocks have held 15 championship seasons, and amazingly, only one driver has been a repeat champion in that time. The 2009 champ, "Fast" Freddy" Ryland, has moved up, and I'm not sure if any former champions will be in the field. I've seen the videos on YouTube, and the racing has been pretty good in this class, even if car count has been down in the 10-12 car range. I'm hoping it will be a little better. There are some good drivers in this field, and I'm wondering who will rise to the top. Chris Sorensen returned for a victory in the opener. I saw the in car camera on Brad Myers, who charged back from a flat tire to finish fourth that night

It's a six division show. Yeah, that's a little too many in my book, but for the car count the as it is, I guess it's necessary. It's a good variety though, so it should be a good show. Who will be there Saturday night? Will there be any new cars? The season is still young, and I'm sure there will be plenty of surprises and excitement on tap.

By the way, the only two time Pure Stock champion? The "Mad Dog" Rich Gardner Jr. Interestingly enough, we do have a mother-father-daughter combo who have each won championships in that division. Denise McCown, her husband Dan McCown, and, most recently, daughter "Mean" Megan Poniciano. Dan McCown was at the opener and won his heat race, but mechanical problems saw him scratch for the feature.

Hopefully, we'll get some results for this coming race. Still waiting on the full finish for the Dwarf Cars from last week. Oh well, at least we got a top three. Better than nothing, I guess.

For those attending, have fun. Hopefully it will be a fun and safe night for all competitors involved.