Racing returns to Antioch Speedway Saturday night with a five division program. The track has been dark for two weeks, but one of the biggest races of the year in the state, the $5,000 to win Dirt Modified race, is on tap for June 19.
The over/under number for this week's race is 54
Wingless Spec Sprints (16), Hobby Stocks (12), Super Stocks (7), Mini Trucks (10) and Four Bangers (9).
Coming off of a two week break, drivers should be ready to go. The one division that seemed to be suffering the most from racing so often was the Mini Trucks. Last time out, the Four Bangers matched a season high of nine cars and produced perhaps their best race of the year. Super Stocks could use more cars, but the racing up front hasn't been too bad. The two divisions that seem to be the most reliable on this card are the Spec Sprints and the Hobby Stocks.
The Spec Sprints are currently one of the closest championship battles at the track. Tommy Laliberte moved into a two point lead after his victory in the previous race. Tommy is in the hunt for the championship at Watsonville, meaning he could become a two track champion in one season.
Press still came home with a top three finish last time, but he will need to take it up a notch the way Laliberte has been running lately. Jim Perry Jr. is 14 points out at the moment, and it would be a mistake to count out the former champion. Feature winners this season include Laliberte, Press, Billy Macedo and Jeff Kindt. Will somebody new join the ranks of the winners in this competitive division this week?
The team concept finds Melissa Hansen and Brad Myers sharing the point lead as their combined points in car #33 give them a 12 point lead over Eric Schantin. A one time feature winner this season, Schantin has been fast, but former champion Hansen's two wins and the one win for Myers definitely makes them the team to beat.
Since winning the opener, Chris Sorensen's results have been a mixed bag of good and bad, but he is still just 16 points out in another good battle. Paul DeLuca, Mike Rydman and former champion Dan McCoun complete the top six, and any one of these three hope to lead a pack of eager racers looking to add their name to this year's feature winner's list.
What the Super Stocks may lack in car count this year they have made up for in a competitive battle for feature victories. Former Petaluma champion Mitch Machado leads Larry Damitz (a man with many championships in his long and storied career) by 16 points and "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Fred Ryland by 26 points, and this trio accounts for all the feature wins at the moment.
Late starter and three time track champion Mike Gustafson has two heat race wins and seems like the most likely to be the fourth winner this season. Eric Berendsen sits 12 points behind Ryland for third and is fast enough to win if he can keep things together. Lloyd Cline is four points behind Natalie Perry in the battle for fifth after a season best third place run last time. Hopefully, new racers will show this week, and rumor has it that a Merced Speedway champion is planning a trip soon.
The battle for Mini Truck championship was shaken up when two time winner Tom Brown did not race his truck last time out and debuted a Dwarf Car in second. Point leader and two time winner Travis Dutra ran a Dwarf Car at Petaluma last week, which may cause speculation as to whether he may be next.
Sitting second now, 38 points out of the lead, is 4 cylinder racing veteran Ray Bunn. Bunn is 18 points ahead of previous race winner Dan Wagner and Brown. Late starter and frequent top three finisher Jon Haney is 14 points out of third and may be a driver to keep an eye on as the next driver to join the 2010 feature winner's ranks.
Since restarting the Four Bangers at Antioch last season after an absence of a couple seasons, the division has had it's growing pains. However, last time out, the good racing they had in that nine car field was an example of how good racing can be in the division. 2009 champion Patty Ryland outran JC Elrod for her second feature win of the season.
Concord High School student Clayton Groves and Watsonville title contender Adriane DeSousa also have feature wins this season, but it's the consistent Dayna Anderson holding a ten point lead over 2009 point runner up Ken Radabaugh. Radabaugh is coming off of a third place finish last time out and is one of the drivers hoping to get his first feature win of the season.