Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Good Night At The Races At Orland Speedway

Perhaps the best night of racing of the 2010 season took place Saturday night as the action resumed at Orland Speedway. The Wingless Spec Sprints were back in action, along with a solid turnout of Mini Trucks, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. When the checked flag flew on another exciting evening of racing, it was Josh Jacobo (Wingless Spec Sprints), Keith Ross (Mini Trucks) and the hard charging duo of Rich Hood (Hobby Stocks) and Eric Hammond (Mini Stocks) collecting the victories.

The Wingless Spec Sprints rebounded this week as seven drivers competed in the popular division. A pair of racers from the Emery family were back in action for the first time since the season opener, and Dave Emery chased Josh Tucker across the line for a second place heat race finish. Pat Bisio was third in the heat race, but he was a feature scratch. A feature winner this season, Tucker continued his pursuit of a clean sweep with a Trophy Dash victory. However, it was four time division champion Josh Jacobo adding another feature win to his impressive Spec Sprint racing resume. Tucker settled for second. The third ranked driver in 2007, Don Emery, finished third in the feature, followed by newcomer John Hopkins, Dave Emery and Brian Kerby.

The Mini Trucks boasted a season high 11 truck field for this event, and they ran two heat races to qualify the four drivers for the Trophy Dash. Last week's feature winner, Richard Gale beat the combined Mini Truck/Mini Stock winner from last week, Dan Webster, in the first heat. Making his second start of the season, 2002 point runnerup Keith Ross won the second heat ahead of Clinton Earl. Earl won the Trophy Dash. Last time out, Ross finished a disappointing seventh, but he collected the feature victory on this occasion ahead of the hard charging Webster. Earl wrapped up a solid night in third as recent feature winner Jim Davis and the #22 truck completed the top five. Steven Woods was sixth ahead of Gale, Ross Vige, John Blevins, the #27 truck and Zack Webster.

Jimmy O'Reilly won the Hobby Stock Trophy Dash. At least five different drivers have enjoyed Main Event glory this season, and recent winner Rich Hood grabbed another win this week, followed by a driver with at least three second place finishes this season, Earl Adams. O'Reilly finished third as the #10x car and the #4 car completed the finishing order.

In Mini Stock action, the seven competitors all ran the one heat race, and Eric Hammond scored the victory ahead of Jarod Flower. Pole sitter Ken Johnson claimed Trophy Dash honors and provided some good competition for Hammond in the Main Event, but the two time winner Hammond would take the checkered flag in first. Johnson settled for second with Barbara Crain driving the #23 car to the final podium position in third. Joe Kneip finished fourth ahead of Flower, Don Runkle and Chad Arnold.

Next week, the track holds an Enduro Race and Destruction Derby. Regular racing resumes on August 7th with Wingless Spec Sprints, Mini Trucks, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. A week later, the Dirt Modifieds will join those four divisions for their second appearance of the season.

These are NOT official points for Orland Speedway. To my knowledge, they are not keeping points this season. Using Antioch Speedway's Main Event point system (50, 48 46...), I took the Main Event finishes I had (a few are missing), just to get an idea how drivers might rank this season. Here's a look at the top five, but remember, they are not official.

Wingless Spec Sprints (6 Races) *

69-Josh Jacobo 284
74-Josh Tucker 228
7x-Brian Kerby 224
4xl-Pat Bisio 136
50-Don Emery 92

* At least 1 finish missing

Mini Trucks (8 Races)*

62-Dan Webster 360
97-Ross Vige 342
23-Richard Gale 314
00t-Tyler Pebley 240
5-Jim Davis 216

*1 Race Missing

Mini Stocks (8 Races)*

23-Don Runkle 318
86-Eric Hammond 242
93-Ken Johnson 192
82-Chad Arnold 170
14-Jarod Flower 168

* 1 race missing

Hobby Stocks (6 Races)*

12-Rich Hood 230
22-Earl Adams 192
2-Jake Van Tol 142
18-Brian Compton 138
44-Jimmy O'Reilly 136

* 2 races missing