Friday, June 18, 2010

Big Bucks On The Line For Dirt Modifieds At Antioch Saturday

Antioch Speedway is the place to be for the Dirt Modified division this Saturday night, and already some of the best drivers in the state are signed up for this event. Why? Promoter John Soares Jr. has put $5,000 on the line for the winner from a $20,000 purse. Just making the Main Event guarantees you $400. It's the middle of racing season, but the timing seemed perfect for this blowout event.

A look at the list finds over a dozen Dirt Modified champions among the entry list released last Friday from a total of 41, and that list is likely to grow. Past Dirt Modified champions include Randy McDaniel, Ryan McDaniel, Duane Cleveland, Richad Papenhausen, Joe Carr, Alex Stanford, Bobby Hogge IV, Scott Busby, Jon DeBenedetti, Kellen Chadwick, Jim DiGiovanni, Aaron Crowell and Keith Brown Sr. Current Antioch point leader Troy Foulger is also signed up, and making this even more interesting is the fact that Ryan Porter and Stanford, currently 1-2 at Chowchilla, are skipping the point race at their home track to come to the big money race.

Over 20 of these drivers have won a Main Event at Antioch at one time or another in their career. Will it be one of them who wins this time, or is there a driver in the field ready to make the first Antioch win of their career the biggest of their career?

Busby, Hogge, Crowell, Chadwick and Neu all have won Dirt Modified championships at Antioch, and Brown's title came from a seroies of races between Antioch and Chowchilla. Nobody has won more Dirt Modified races at Antioch than Scott Busby, who has been in a bit of a slump lately. Will this be the time for Busby to snap out of that slump and grab what could be the biggest win of his storied career?

Busby isn't the only driver topping an Antioch win list who is entered in this race. Word came from Antioch publicist Jack Menges that the track's all time Late Model feature winner, Jim Pettit II, is entered. Between Busby and Pettit, there are some 100 feature wins at Antioch alone. Pettit won three Stock car championships at Antioch, the sight of some of his biggest triumphs in a Stock Car on the dirt. I'm not sure how much racing Pettit has done at Antioch in the last 20 seasons, but it's a good bet he will be ready to battle for the big bucks come Saturday.

At this point, it doesn't appear as if one of Pettit's toughest rivals from the Stock Car days, Bobby Hogge II (a two time champion) is planning to race, but Bobby Hogge IV is. The third generation racing Hogge won two Dirt Modified championships at Antioch and shows up from time to time to grab the big bucks when they are on the line. Most recently, Bobby earned a $3,000 payday with a win at Santa Maria.

From the Chico area, Papenhausen, the McDaniel duo and Cleveland are genereally a threat to win whenever they show up to Antioch. In fact, these four have a habit of showing up and winning the xtra money when it's on the line. These four dominate the scene at Chico and other tracks in the area, and Randy McDaniel and Papenhausen are also Stock car champions. Randy has won at least 150 features all over the state in his storied career.

If it's a big money race for Dirt Modifueds, chances are you'll find Joe Carr among the pack. Joe was one of the first to field a car when the division came to California in the 80's, and he's a two time Petaluma champion. The thing about Joe is those numbers could be much bigger if that's what he wanted, but he's stepped behind the scenes at various times to help others make their mark. However, the respected car builder should not be counted out.

Alex Stanford is being called one of the greatest Dirt Modified drivers currently racing by some fans, and he has earned some good results this year. A win in this race would plant the second generation champion firmly into the conversation.

Chadwick and Crowell aren't regulars at the track this year, but both have championship pedigrees. Chadwick has followed nicely in his father's footsteps and counts a few big money west coast race victoroiss among his career highlights. Crowell managed to do something in winning his Antioch championship that didn't happen very often. He beat a serious effort by J.D. Willis to do it.

With their championship battle in full swing, a win for Troy Foulger or Nick DeCarlo could serve a dual purpose. The prestige of the win would not only vault their names into the conversation of who is the best, but the money won would go nicely towards their stretch run to a possible track championship.

The field is chalked full of top drivers, and whomever gets the win will have to earn in. Even a top five fisish with the money on the line will be like a victory. So, who will win the big bucks? You'll have to go to Antioch Speedway Saturday night to find out. It's sure to be a great show.

The entries confirmed and received, as of June 9th

0D Jon DeBenedetti
1 Randy McDaniel
1 Aaron Crowell
1JR Jerry Roy Jr.
2 Bobby Hogge IV
2A Andy Angelo
2C Duane Cleveland
4P Richard Papenhausen
7 Sean Wilson
7 Brian Popac

10 Ryan McDaniel
12 Joe Carr
14 John Esskew
14P Ryan Porter
17 Nick DeCarlo
17T Terry DeCarlo Sr.
19 Michael Dalton
25DD Danny Dozier
25D Rick Karnes
28 Chester Kniss

28B Keith Brown Sr.
29 Michael Salazar
49 Troy Foulger
66 Kevin Fitzgerald
68 Norman Boeck
69 Michael Mendenhall
73 Scott Busby
74S Chris Sieweke
75x Jim DiGiovanni
80 John Pierce

81 Bob Motts Jr.
82 John O'Gara
83 Kellen Chadwick
91P Jason Papich
91T Tony Toste
98 Alex Stanford
98 Robby Sawyer
99 Kenny Neu
07 Jeff Thomas
09 Mitch Enos

?? Shawn DeForest

03 Jim Pettit II was reported to have entered in the latest news release for Antioch Speedway
6 Dan Gonderman was practicing at Antioch last week