Merced Speedway To Open On Sunday, July 18th
This one broke over at the Late Model Racer forum with a special thanks to Dennis Daniel for keeping us posted.
Let the speculation rest, Merced Speedway will open on Sunday, July 18th and will be a Sunday track. John Soares Jr. has been working on picking the right time to reopen the gates and it has been decided that for now the track will run Sundays. When you think about it, it was the best logical choice to open the track, given that we are at mid season now and Chowchilla runs Saturday. A Friday opening would hurt potential Watsonville visitation or possibly keep certain people from being involved in things.
Sunday allows not just Watsonville and Chowchilla regulars a second night of racing, but drivers from Antioch and other venues as well. The track's temporary website (they are working on transferring over to the old website) lists Dirt Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers, Valley Sportsman and Mini Truks as competing at the opener.
Once the track gets started on July 18th, they are scheduled for every week through August, two weeks off in September and every week through October 24th. Highlights listed on the schedule include the Timmy Post Memorial race at the end of July and the return of the Buddy Cox Memorial Hobby Stock $500 on August 15. Also there is the Underdog Nationals $2000 to win Dirt Modified race August 29th. Other extra money races on that night are scheduled for Hobby Stocks and 4 Bangers.
The track will also host special visits from the Dwarf Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints and IMCA Stock Cars. Looks like about 14 races are scheduled. As to who is running for championship points and other details, I'll leave that up to the track to announce.
Check The Temporary Merced Speedway Website for further information.
That's it for the speculation on my end. I am happy to see the gates opening and hope this is the beginning of a bright new future for the track. Hopefully, the web page keeps us posted on any other new details. I'm happy to see the Timmy Post Memorial race on the schedule and hope that perhaps we see a return of the Ted Stofle Classic in the future too.
Five Divisions In Action At Orland Speedway
Five divisions competed at Orland Speedway Saturday night with five names added to the winner's list. The track was visited by the Northern California Vintage Hardtops, and Dan Williams out dueled "The Green Hornet" Tommy Thomson in picking up the feature win. Coming off of his recent win at Stockton after a good battle with Jack Low, Conrad Cavallero held off Low for the third place finish as Leland Smith and Carmen Cavallero rounded out the finish.
The track has a good tradition of Mini Truck racing, and nine trucks appeared for this event. Tyler Pebley won back to back features to open the season in trucks, but it was Jake Van Tol winning this race with Dan Webster and Jim Davis in the place and show positions. Richard Gale grabbed the fourth place finish as Ross Vige completed the top five. The finishing order was completed by Steven Woods, Andrew Geyer-Gryder, the #11 truck (driver name not available) and Zack Webster.
Jake Van Tol was doing double duty in a Pure Stock, but his bid for a two win night was thwarted as Clay Ralls impressed with the victory. Van Tol settled for second ahead of Jimmy O'Reilly, an unidentified driver in the #47 car and Rich Hood.
Ken Johnson and Erc Hammond won the first two Mini Stock features this season, and it was Sean Perry joining the winner's ranks by holding off an unidentified driver in the #86 car (I guess it wasn't Hammond), "Rollin" Olin Crane in his specially painted car saluting the four branches of the US Military and Don Runkle.
Steve Fletcher and Josh Tucker won the first two Wingless Spec Sprint races of the season and both driver's wins came ahead of Josh Jacobo. Jacobo rattled off three straight championships in this division from 2001-2003 and also won the DCRR Terrific 12 State championship in 2003. Jacobo turned the tables on Tucker this time around by winning the Main Event as an unidentified driver in the #7k car and former Antioch Pure Stock and Spec Sprint racer Pat Bisio completed the finishing order. Bisio was in the 4xl car that former NFL Football player Jeremy Newberry drove to a Trophy Dash win in the second event of the season.
This race marked the 20th event promoted by the current track management as they work on maintaining the fine tradition of racing at the Glenn County Fairgrounds racing facility. If I can get results from the third event of this season, I will post them here. The Track hosts Wingless Spec Sprints, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks and 4 Cylinder Modifieds this Saturday night.