Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Few Notes Of Interest

Had a few random thoughts I wanted to put out there. They don't seem to fit in with the Antioch pre race story, so I'll put them here in this post.

Tony Karis of Ocean Speedway is doing even more for racing than I've given him credit for. You can find his stories about Ocean Speedway in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, but that's not all. Did you know that Tony has a weekly radio show? It's called Motor Sports Radio and it's Wednesday nights from 7-9 p.m. on KNRY 1240 AM. Oh, and guess what? It's streaming live on the internet from the KNRY Website.

Why isn't this being touted more on the various websites. Guys, you're dropping the ball here. When we get something like this out there, the people really need to know. It's for racing, and it gives attention to Ocean Speedway and Laguna Seca. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tony would be willing to use a few minutes of the show for race winners or top threes at other tracks if he received the information.

But I will say this. The show is very interesting. I didn't take notes as I was busy researching some stuff for potential future blog posts, but his two Ocean Speedway guests were Taco Bravo Sprint Car racer Kyle Larson and Wingless Spec Sprint ace Ryan Bernal, both of whom won at Watsonville last week. These kids both seem pretty nice to me and gave good interviews. It was interesting to note that young age of the Sprint Car drivers who have been running up front at Ocean Speedway lately.

Both drivers discussed their schedules. Kyle is headed for Tulare and I think he said Hanford this weekend. Ryan talked about running the Hunt Magneto Series at the three tracks (Chico, Placerville and Marysville) and mentioned Chowchilla. I know people call them Wingless Sprints, but it's music to my ears when Tony and Ryan referred to them as Wingless Spec Sprints. There's a reason Don and I called them that when we put the rules together at Antioch. Wingless Sprints are what CRA and USAC run. It doesn't make the Spec Sprints any less important, but there are differences.

Anyway, Tony got into the road racing thing with two other guests and touched on some interesting subjects there. It's a good show, and I hope the racers realize how important things like this are for the sport. We are lucky to have shows like this when almost everything else on radio or TV focuses in on the NASCAR guys. You should check it out sometime and spread the word.

Memorial Day Weekend is going to be a busy one. People already knew about Santa Maria and Calistoga, but it looks like Chowchilla Speedway has entered the fray as well. Kenny Shepherd is attempting to keep the spirit of The Freedom Series alive with the LunkerDaddy Tri-Holiday Classic. The races take place on May 30th, July 4th and September 5th. There is a points fund as well. Divisions include the Dirt Modifieds ($1,000 to win), Wingless Spec Sprints ($1,000 to win), Street Stocks ($750 to win), Hobby Stocks ($600 to win), Dwarf Cars ($500 to win) and Four Bangers $200 to win).

Further information can be obtained at the Chowchilla Speedway Website.

A couple of things of interest. For those who didn't register in time be a part of Calistoga or maybe feel the deck is stacked too high in the Dirt Modifieds at Santa Maria, Chowchilla is your alternative. You wanna race and maybe have a real chance at the money, Chowchilla is there as a nice alternative. I'm not sure who will be there, but there are enough cars out there that a decent turnout is possible.

Also, the Wingless Spec Sprints have been on the schedule there this year, but they seem to be a bit of an afterthought. This race is the perfect opportunity for the racers to flex their muscles and get noticed. Car count has a way of opening people's eyes, and if the track sees it, maybe they will start paying better attention to the class. This could be the biggest car count that night, but that will be up to the drivers.

I will be most interested to see if they can pull this off. I think the reason John dropped the deal at Antioch was that competing shows were taking away cars. I'm sure he would love to put on big money races, but when other tracks step up on those nights, it's hard to get the cars. I find it interesting that Antioch is dark that week, and I think this could be an interesting time for announcements from John.

Certainly, Soares got people's attention with the announcement of the June 19th $5,000 to win Dirt Modifided show. People in The Valley want to know what's up with Merced Speedway, what will be running, when and who will be managing things at the track. As of yet, that hasn't been announced. Also, a look at the Chowchilla schedule finds them booked the last week of June, the rumored date for Merced's opening. Merced has traditionally done well with the 4th Of July races, but again, Chowchilla is booked. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I'm considering a preview post for the Calistoga Dirt Modified race. Having the Dirt Modifieds back again is huge news really. The bigger cars usually don't get to race on the Sprint Car track, so of course they were crashing the gates to get in last year. They signed up quickly for those 50 spots this year, even with the purse a modest, but still respectable $1,200 to win. Why? Drivers want to race there. You could book a Hobby Stock or Mini Stock race there and say first 30 entries get in. It would be full within a few days. Why? Racers know what it means to win at that place. It matters. It's a part of racing history. A few details are already up for the Dirt Modifieds and can be found on the Calistoga Speedway Website.

A few notes from the Hardtops have crossed my desk, so I figured I'd put them out here for the record.

The Nor Cal Vintage Hardtops group was at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday with seven cars. They were given a full program of qualifying laps, 2 heat races, a dash and Main Event. Conrad Cavallero's 16.520 bested Charles Mart's 16.566 for fast time. Cavallero held off Mike Friesen to win the dash, but Jack Low beat him to the line in their heat to prevent the sweep. Mart outran Friesen to win their heat race. Cavallero and Low put on a show up front in the Main Event with Cavallero coming home the winner. Mart was next, followed by Friesen, Carmen Cavallero and Kendra McKay. Dan Williams scratched after his heat race.

I managed to track down a little more information on the Okie Bowl Hardtops race from Santa Maria on April 17. Of course, Tommy Thomson won the most recent event there, and there was information on the whole feature finish. The April results seemed a little elusive. However, Paquet Photography was on hand for that race and took plenty of pictures too. There were at least ten cars there, and Matt McCaslin has photos of him with the trophy and being interviewed. Matt's #29 car is a 2 door sedan, Chevy 350, 350T-trans, camaro sub frame and rear end.

The Okie Bowl Hardtops group has run two races at Santa Maria, and their web site says they are working on a possible date at Bakersfield Speedway. However, nothing is booked at this time. You'll have to stay tuned to their website for any updates.