Monday, June 28, 2010

An Orland Speedway Post

What's up at Orland Speedway?

Another race in the books last Saturday night with a pair of feature winners, a long time official steps down, and thoughts on spreading the word on Orland Speedway.

Ralph Jacobo Steps Down

Ralph Jacobo resigned from his official post at Orland Speedway after Saturday night. Not sure on the details, but the news first broke on the track's Facebook page with insinuations that there was more to the story. That was then pulled from the page. The track has made the official statement that he was not fired. I would hope that this isn't turned into a deal that hurts the track, which nobody should want to do.

As for Ralph, I believe he has been a part of things at the speedway for several years. He was part of the team for most if not all of the previous management's run, and he was the instigator of the Wingless Spec Sprint movement. Ralph had a couple of cars that he had drivers hot lap several weeks during the 2000 season. A year later, the track started racing the division for points, and Josh Jacobo won the first three championships. From everything I have heard, Ralph was a positive force at the track, so I hate to see him go.

Hopefully, everybody keeps on racing and supporting the cause, and I wish Ralph all the best.

Bits & Pieces From Previous Races

The 4 Cylinder Modifieds have been showing up to race, though the results haven't been posted. I don't believe it's been more than 4 cars on any one night, but I could be wrong. I don't have names, but the #42, #66, #5, #26 #77 and #78 cars have competed. According to photos on the track page, #77 has won a couple of races, while the #78 has won once. Those may have been Trophy Dashes.

When the Nor Cal Hardtops were at the track, Jack Low won the Trophy Dash, and Richard Papenhausen won the Dirt Modified dash when they were there.

The #22 Hobby Stock of Earl Adams won the Trophy Dash at the May 8th race, which hadn't been reported. The Hobby Stock portion of that race was not mentioned in the results, but at least six cars were there that night. In addition to Adams, The #8 of Steve Martin, the #3 of former Antioch racer Bob Bennett, the #12 of Rich Hood, the #08 car and the #18 car competed. It appeared as if Bennett and Adams had a good battle going at one point.

At the third race in May, the #23 Mini Stock of Olin Crain and the #0 Mini Truck of Jake Van Tol are pictured in the winner's circle after apparent Trophy Dash wins, which hadn't been reported at the time.

June 5th Trophy Dash winners weren't reported at that time either, but from looking at pictures on the web site, the #44 Jimmy O'Reily (Hobby Stock), the #0 Jake Van Tol (Mini Truck), the #46 Sean Perry (Mini Stock) and maybe the #69 of Josh Jacobo (Spec Sprint) were winners.

Now, the unnamed driver in the #7k Spec Sprint and the #69 car appear to both be Jacobo Racing Team cars and both are painted similarly. I also bel;eve #34j is Kenny Webber, who raced at the track in the past, including last season.

The #01, #10 and #3 cars were also at the most recent Hobby Stock race at Orland, but were apparently not part of the six car Main Event.

Jacobo, Davis Win Final June Race At Orland Speedway

Wingless Spec Sprints, Mini Truck and Mini Stocks were part of the show at Orland Speedway Saturday Night in addition to the 4 Cylinder Modifieds and a kids bike race (Information isn't available on the 4 Cylinder Modified class).

Former champion Josh Jacobo continues to be one of the track's stars, and he won the Spec Sprint heat race ahead of the #34j car, which may have been Kenny Webber. Jacobo continued to run strong, winning the Main Event ahead of Pat Bisio, in one of his best finishes at the track. A feature winner this season, Josh Tucker finished third with the Jacobo Racing #7k car finishing fourth.

The Mini Stocks and Mini Trucks ran together with about a dozen entries total. Trucks led the way in the first heat as Dan Webster won ahead of Richard Gale. "Rollin" Olin Crain put his Mini Stock in the winner's circle in the second heat ahead of the Mini Stock of Ken Johnson. The truck of Tyler Pebley won the Trophy Dash.

Jake Van Tol was looking to grab the winner's prize in the Main Event, but it was another Mini Truck, driven by Jim Davis, claiming the victory. Van Tol settled for second and Gale capped a pretty good night in third. Webster brought it home in fourth as Crain was the top Mini Stock finisher in fifth.

For July 3rd, Hobby Stocks are back in action, along with Wingless Spec Sprints, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and 4 Cylinder Modifieds.

A Few Thoughts

Somebody needs to step forward and help with the race results on the web page. I do appreciate the effort that is there, but getting names, especially in a field like this that is being rebuilt, should be doable. If nothing else, have a list at the sign up booth that a driver can print car #, name and division, or many tracks when they post finishes have the names along with the finishes. Have a kid go out and get the names. I bet several of the cars without names on these finishes have drivers who have raced at Orland in the past few seasons.

Get a story up there. A fan or a driver's wife of kid could do this. Give them a hot dog and a coke or a free entry or whatever. It doesn't have to be a long story, just something describing a few of the high points. Then, get that story to local newspapers and any web page that will post it. Put it on message boards. The more you spread the word, the more new racers and fans will come out.

Get a new video on YouTube from a better vantage point of all the divisions and link it on the web page. Give people an idea of the racing going on there. Looking at some of the photos on the page, it looks like there has been some good racing going on there.

For 2011, get point racing back out there. Do it bare bones at first, or get some sponsors, whatever. Crown some champions again and add to the track's history of champions. I understand getting it all started again, but hopefully things can be taken up a notch in the future.

And finally, thank you Orland Speedway management for opening the gates and trying. The track could be done at this point, but you wouldn't let that happen. Your effort is appreciated. Hopefully, people will join in and help out and make this bigger and better, because it can be done. Also, thank you to the racers and the fans who are supporting the cause, and here's hoping the rest of the season just gets better and better.

More From The June 12th Race At Orland

The Modified 4 Cylinder class hasn't been getting much coverage, but they are racing. Wil Robertson visited the track on May 8th and won both the dash and feature. On the night of June 12th, the #77 of Robertson was part of the six car field in the heat race, but it was Jimmy Ford scoring the victory. Zach Webster beat Robertson back to the line for second. Robertson won the dash with Ford making a pass underneath Webster at the white flag for second.

The Main Event for the Modified 4 Cylinder class was one of the more exciting races of the night. Webster and Eric Hammond didn't start this race, but Olin Crain, a former champion in this division, raced his Mini Stock. Crain had swapped cars with Don Runkle in the Mini Stock class, but he jumped back into his car for this race after Runkle suffered a broken thumb in the Mini Stock feature. Greg Davey raced into the lead at the green flag ahead of Ford and Robertson. Racing side by side into Turn 1 a lap later, Ford drifted up, taking Davey over the top of the turn as Robertson raced past both for the lead. Ford recovered in second with Crain in third. About lap ten, the leaders lapped Miller as Davey tried to reel in third place Crain. Lapping a slower car in Turns 1 and 2 of the last lap, Ford moved underneath Robertson for the lead. Not wanting to be in the leader's way, Crain started moving high in the turns for the last couple laps, allowing Davey to make a pass for second in Turn 4 of the 19th lap. Ford collected the win in the non stop race, followed by Ford, Davey, Crain and Miller.

The Hobby Stocks produced a ten car field (originally reported as six) for an exciting night of racing. The wet track conditions produced some wild heat race action. Clay Ralls led much of one of the heat races, but the #01 car of Tony Hobbs excited Turn 2 of the final lap right on his bumper and pushed him down the back stretch, forcing Ralls to spin before entering Turn 3 Hobbs won the race ahead of Karl Brummit. I believe Mike O'Reilly won the other heat over the #18 of Brian Compton, but the roles may have been reversed. Compton won the Trophy Dash with Hobbs making a late pass on Brummit for second.

Jake Van Tol started back in the fourth row of the Main Event with front row starter Ralls charging out to an early lead. By lap two, Van Tol was already third behind the yellow 7k car (don't have a name on that driver). The drivers were driving through Turns 1 and 2 right on the edge of the track as the bottom of the track was still wet from the rains of earlier in the week. Working the fourth lap, Hobbs got sideways and nearly drove off the track, collecting O'Reilly. The red #10 car (still have no name on him) crashed into O'Reilly, ending the race for the #10 car. Ralls led the single file restart over the #7k car and Van Tol, but Van Tol moved underneath the #7k car exiting Turn 2 for second before a yellow flag flew. Brummit pitted on the resatrt as Van Tol pressured Ralls for the lead. Van Tol moved into the lead in Turns 3 and 4 of the 7th lap. Ralls was shuffled back to fourth on lap 9 by the #7k car and Compton. Just past the halfway point, Hobbs had a left front flat tire and joined the #3 car (driver name unknown) in the pits. Van Tol drove a good race and collected the victory ahead of the #7k car, Compton, O'Reilly, Ralls, the #73 car (Gary Harris), Hobbs, #3, Brummit and #10.

There were six starters in the Mini Stock Main Event, and Preston Irwin set the early pace ahead of Sean Perry and Jared Flower. Driving the Olin Crain car, Don Runkle raced past Flower for third on lap three. Battling for second in Turn 1 of the fifth lap, Runkle and Perry got together as Flower drove around both of them. Perry recovered in third. Perry tagged the front wall on lap eight, allowing Eric Hammond to race by for third as Perry dropped to fourth. A lap 10 caution flag for Runkle on the back stretch bunched the field. On the restart, Perry and Flower both raced past Irwin into Turn 1 on the restart lap, but it was Runkle moving into second as they raced out of Turn 2. Hammond had regained third at the completion of lap 12. Working the back stretch on lap 14, Runkle tried an outside pass on Perry, but contact saw him spin for a caution flag. On a lap 17 restart, Perry led Olin Crain in the Don Runkle car and Runkle as Hammond was now fifth behind Iriwn. A wild series of events would shuffle the lineup yet again. Crain tried an low pass on Perry exiting Turn 2, just as Runkle was attempting a low pass on Crain. Left with no room, Runkle spun to avoid contact with Crain. Irwin tried an outside pass on Crain entering Turn 3, but contact sent both cars spinning as Hammond emerged in second. Perry led Hammond and Irwin on the restart, but Hammond got a run on Perry on the inside as they entered the back stretch to take the lead. Hammond pulled away from there to collect the victory. Perry settled for second ahead of Irwin, Crain, Runkle and Flower.