Sunday, August 22, 2010

Damitz, Smith, Ensign Antioch Winners

Again, Jon has come through with some videos from Saturday's races. Thanks for making the effort to spread the word about the track Jon. Looks like a good night for the track. As always, all statistics are unofficial. Just wanted to get the word out.

Racing continued Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with an action packed five division program on John Soares Jr's three-eighth mile clay oval. Holding off the serious challenges of point leader Mitch Machado, Larry Damitz won his third Super Stock feature of the season. Taking advantage of late race mechanical woes for Adam McCarthy, point leader Craig Smith won the Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event. Petaluma racer Geoff Ensign made a rare Antioch visit and won a brutal Main Event in his first Antioch appearance of the season. Nick Squatritto gave his title hopes a much needed boost with his third Dwarf Car feature win. Making a late move into the lead, runaway point leader Travis Dutra captured his seventh Mini Truck feature win of the season. A good crowd witnessed one of the better car counts of the year for a regular point season event as nearly 70 cars were in action.

With Fred Ryland scratching after the heat races, nine Super Stocks started their Main Event. Looking to gain ground on Ryland for third in points, Eric Berendsen had the pole with Larry Damitz outside the second row and point leader Mitch Machado outside third row. Berendsen charged into the early lead ahead of Mike Calhoun, but Damitz and Machado shuffled Calhoun out of the top three on lap two. Lloyd Cline and Kelly Dauksch both pitted very early. The lead three quickly pulled away from the rest of the pack and had a half-lap lead over fourth by lap five. Berendsen had a tire going down, and it gave up on him and ended his impressive run in the lead on lap seven as Damitz and Machado charged by on the back stretch. Lori Brown was now third ahead of Mike Gustafson and Melissa Hansen. While Damitz and Machado dueled for the lead, Gustafson made a low pass in Turn 4 of the 12th lap for third, but by then he was over a half-lap behind the rapid pace of the leaders. Sixth place Calhoun was lapped by Damitz and Machado, who soon caught Brown and Hansen. Damitz caught Brown in the wrong place exciting Turn 4 of the 16th lap, and Machado raced past for the lead. Moments later, Brown made contact with Damitz and spun on the front stretch for the only caution flag of the race. Damitz was on the outside for this restart and would regain the lead entering Turn 1. From there, Damitz drove to a well earned victory with Machado right behind him in second. Gustafson was third ahead of Hansen and Calhoun. Machado started his night off right by out running Damitz to win his heat race. Ryland won his heat race ahead of Lori Brown.

Adam McCarthy and Mike Monahan shared the front row of the eight car 360 Sprint Car feature, and Adam McCarthy raced into the lead ahead of 2007 Marysville champion Jeremy Burt and Monahan. A caution flag flew with one lap in the books as Art McCarthy spun in Turn 4 and collected Colby Wiesz, eliminating both drivers from the race. Adam McCarthy led Burt and 2009 Antioch Wingless Spec Sprint champion Billy Aton on the restart. A low move in Turn 4 of the third lap gained Aton second from Burt. A lap later, Burt spun in Turn 3 for a caution flag. McCarthy led Aton and Monahan on the restart with point leader Craig Smith now fourth. Aton spun from second in Turn 4 of the sixth lap, and McCarthy continued to lead Monahan and Smith on the restart. McCarthy had a straightaway advantage by lap ten before Ryan Rusconi spun in Turn 3 for a caution flag. A low move in Turn 2 of the 12th lap gained Smith second from Monahan, and Aton spun for the second time to end his race on lap 13. Burt moved past Monahan for third on lap 16. Adam McCarthy's impressive run up front ended when he slowed with mechanical problems on lap 18. Smith went on to score the victory ahead of Burt and Monahan. Rusconi was fourth as Adam McCarthy rounded out the top five. Rusconi impressed with his second straight heat race win ahead of Art McCarthy.

There were 16 drivers in the Wingless Spec Sprint feature, and they endured one of their ugliest races of the season. Zach Lynsky led the pack to the green flag, but when Tommy LaLiberte made contact with Geoff Ensign in Turn 4 trying to complete the lap, he stalled for a yellow flag. The restart saw David Press and Watsonville point leader Ryan Bernal get together and spin on the front stretch. A third restart attempt saw Lynsky spin in Turn 4, resulting in a big crash behind him. The fourth restart saw Ensign lead ahead of Jim Perry Jr. and Roy Fisher. A lap three caution flag flew when Fisher spun in Turn 4, and in his effort to get going, he collected Lynsky and Press. Ensign continued to lead LaLiberte and Chuck Bradshaw on the restart. A low move in Turn 4 of the seventh lap gained Lynsky third from Bradshaw. Bradshaw nearly spun in Turn 3 a lap later, but Perry did spin for a yellow flag. Ensign led LaLiberte, Lynsky and Nick Larsen when the green flag waved again. The leaders caught slower traffic with seven laps to go, but Ensign maintained his lead just ahead of LaLiberte. With five to go, LaLiberte was trying to find a line around Ensign when something went wrong in Turn 4 and he hit the wall hard. The race was over at that point with Ensign winning ahead of Lynsky, Larsen, Scott Dupont and Bradshaw. Two heat races were run with Bernal out dueling LaLiberte to win the first heat. Jim Perry Jr. held off a late charge by David Press to claim the second heat.

Dan Liston had the pole for the 19 car Dwarf Car Main Event with Nick Squatritto and Ricardo Rivera in the third row and Jerry Doty starting back in 11th. Liston paced the opening lap ahead of Ed Johnson and Tony Carmignani. Liston got out of shape exiting Turn 2 of the second lap, and Carmignani made an outside pass to move from third to first ahead of Johnson. A series of three yellow flags slowed the pace. On two of the restarts, Johnson made inside passes to take the lead, only to have the passes negated. Carmignani finally led the single file restart. Squatritto and Rivera moved into second and third moments before Johnson spun in Turn 4. An inside move on the front stretch on lap six gained Squatritto the lead from Carmignani. Doty had settled into fourth by then. Squatritto led through another caution flag, and Rivera made a front stretch pass on Cargminani on lap 12. A caution flag flew moments later, and Rivera pitted from second. Squatritto led Carmignani and Doty on the restart, and the lead trio ran in that order to the checkered flag. Sam Westhorpe finished fourth ahead of Bob Accardo, Sonny Calkins, Alan Heeney, Mike Corsaro, Jim Davis and Chuck Golden. There were actually 23 cars in action, and Carmignani won the first heat ahead of Petaluma racer Sonny Calkins. Ricardo Rivera ran away with the second heat ahead of Ed Johnson. The third heat race went to Carmignani ahead of Liston.

Eight trucks started an exciting Mini Truck feature with 2009 champion Gene Haney setting the early pace ahead of Dan Wagner and Ron Mayberry. A lap two caution flag flew for a tangle between Dean Cline and Mike Harmon in Turn 3. Haney picked the outside and continued to lead Wagner on the restart as Pete Paulsen and Travis Dutra both got past Mayberry for third and fourth. Cline fell out, and a low move in Turn 3 of the sixth lap gained Dutra third. Harmon spun in Turn 4 for a lap nine caution flag. Haney maintained the lead over Wagner and Dutra on the restart, and Mayberry and Greg Williams took a wild ride through the infield off the front stretch. There was no caution flag, and both drivers got back on the track. Working traffic, Dutra made a high pass in Turn 2 of the 13th lap to move from third to first. From there, Dutra went on to post the victory ahead of Haney, Wagner, Paulsen and Williams. Wagner won the heat race with Dutra charging from the back of the pack to finish second.

Four Dirt Modifieds ran some hot laps in a tuneup for Next Saturday's big show that will pay $3,500 to win. A huge field of drivers is anticipated for the event that will pay a minimum of $300 to start the Main Event.