Tuesday, August 10, 2010

From The Archives: Stories From 2006

From the archives of August 2006. Actually, from the GTRA Group when I was briefly doing a the DCRR Show. I did about a dozen shows and I showed up at the fairgrounds a few times that year to say hi to old friends. Being disappointed at the lack over coverage the drivers were getting, I wrote a little bit. Not too much, but a small glimpse into things. I also wrote stories from the stats I saw from the races that week at Antioch and Merced. Thought I'd post it here.

A Few Antioch Speedway Notes

I spent a few hours at Antioch Speedway prior to the races. It was
good to see a few faces I hadn't seen in almost three years.

When I left, there were 15 Modifieds and nine Spec Sprints. I doubt
too many more cars came after I left. Wanna stay positive here, so
I'll just say I'm disappointed in the Spec Sprint count, but it's not
that way due to it being a bad division or too expensive. Note that
both Chico and Placerville had enough Spec Sprints for B Mains.

Anyway... Let's not call this the return of PIT STOPS, but here are
a few notes:

Dan Gonderman was a no show due to a hard flip last time out.
Apparently, Jim Perry III was kicking butt again when his car broke.
Gonderman hit Perry's stalled mount and flipped.

Roy Fisher was back after a hard flip a few weeks ago. Roy joked
that the only straight piece on his #22 car was the shock he borrowed
from David Press. Long time Spec Sprint crew man Charlie Kight and
Rick Panfili were both on his crew Saturday.

I talked with Jim Perry Jr. He has a couple cars, but he's buying a
house this year and decided to focus the team's racing on his son
Jimmy's championship run.

Bill Wallace Jr. and his dad showed up with the Dirt Modified. Bill
still has his Spec Sprint, but his motor is in the Modified. He
decided to park the Spec Sprint because it was getting too expensive,
but he may bring it back to the track before season's end.

Jim Reid was crew chiefing for a new driver Johnny (?), who has
bought Steve Noack's old car.

Billy Bowers Jr. was at the track with his Coelho Chassis. This is
the ride that J.D. Willis had, but J.D. has decide to retire again.

I saw Brad Coelho and his crewman Danny Cadigan, there to drive the
#27 Robert Predmore owned car. I remember Danny as a kid crewing for
Steve Torres, and it's great to see him still wrenching on a car.
Hope he gets one of his own some day. Anyway, Brad mentioned that he
rolled his car recently, but he's still running strong in both
Antioch and All Star Steries points. Later, I spoke with his father
Butch, who mentioned that he'd love to see Brad build a Super
Stocker. I like that idea as well. Brad was alweays exciting to
watch in Street Stocks.

I had a quick word with Keith Brown Sr. I mentioned that it was
unusual for him to chase points. He's leading the All Star Series.
He said he wasn't planning on it, but he decided he might as well
after getting off to a good start. Keith is one of the last front
runners in Modifieds to tow with an open trailer, but he has an
enclosed trailer now.

Saw the McDaniel family with their two cars. Didn't get a chance to
say anything but hi though.

The 15 cars I saw in the Modified's had some quality though, and this
probably ended up being a good show for them.

I said hi to Russ Roy. I believe he is the son of Rob Roy, who drove
the old "Mean Green Machine" #3n Sportsman car. I recalled some of
my old memories of the good old days to him and that seemed to make
him smile.

Roy and Antioch Chief Steward Lance Cline were at Dennis Furia's
funeral earlier in the afternoon. Lance owned the Dirt Works
Modified that Dennis parked his Harris to drive, and they won more
that one feature together. I spoke briefly with Donna Soares, and
she mentioned that there would be a lap for Dennis. Announcer John
Trussler, subbing for John Meyers, mentioned he was planning to say a
few things about Dennis as well. Meyers, meanwhile, was riding his
motorcycle across the country.

Dean Cline mentioned that he probably would have went to the funeral,
but he didn't find out about it until that day. Dean raced with
Dennis in the Sportsman division. Now in his 70's and one of the top
ten winningest drivers in Antioch history, Dean recently won a Mini
Truck feature ahead of fellow old timer, Pete Paulsen, a driver who
goes back to old Contra Costa Speedway in Pacheco.

Eric Bookout recognized me and mentioned that this truck was his
first shot at racing for points. He's one of the top five in points
too. I hate to admit that I didn't recognize Eric, and I feel kind
of bad about that. The guys and gals at Antioch, Chowcilla, Merced
and all the tracks I have been to have made a big impact on my life,
and that extends to those I've spoken with and don't recall names of
through the years. I'm glad Eric is getting a chance to live the

I talked to Jimmy Arva. He has a new motor in his #22 car, but he's
having a problem getting the RPM's up on the straights. It seems to
me that he misses the Motts team as they had helped him a bit before
they stopped coming. Jimmy remarked that he wished he could test his
car at the track to figure out what's wrong.

It was nice to b.s. with Dean Plambeck. Dean has a pair of top fives
in the last month or so to rank inside the top ten. Now, if we can
just get him a good paint job...

I spoke briefly with Dan & Denise McCown. They were asking about my
return. Unfortunately, I had to tell several people that I was just
there to say hi to my old friends. Somehow I missed Terry DeCarlo
Jr. while speaking with an old gaming buddy, but Terry saw me and
called me over to the truck. He too was wondering about my return.
It's nice to be missed. I'm still wondering how Terry is still
hanging in there when I know he's not one of the most liked guys of
management. Terry has come a long way, and these last couple seasons
at Antioch and Chowchilla show that he has become a top contender.

There are a lot of new faces in the Pure Stocks that I don't
recognize, but I did see Rob Waldrop. Great to see him again. What
a class act. I guess Rob is still helping other people as he had
mentioned he built a car for one of the lady drivers out there.

The Dwarf Cars are a class I always felt I needed to spend more time
on when I did the magazine, but they always seemed to slip through
the cracks with all the other stuff going on. It certainly isn't
because they don't put on some darn good racing. It was nice to see
old Charlie Cachelin, who is in his 70's. Actually, he was in his
70's when he started racing a few years ago.

Dana Craig, who has crewed for Jim Perry Jr. for over 20 years, has
gotten into the Dwarf Cars with his son Kurtis and his stepson David
Teves. I forgot to ask if David is related to the Teves family that
raced at Baylands. Anyway, Kurtis recently earned the right to start
features where he was posted at and led a race for several laps
before mechanical problems cost him. David is locked in a four car
battle for fifth and the "Rookie Of The Year" battle, while Kurtis
was further back outside the top ten due to missing about four races.

I'm not sure how the track was as I left when mud packing started,
but John Soares Jr. was out on the grater working the track for at
least a half an hour while I was there and seemed to be working hard
to get the track right. I counted about 72 cars for the six decision
show when I left, but there were probably more.



Locked in a tight three car battle for the
championship at Chico Silver Dollar Speedway, Duane Cleveland paid a
visit to Antioch Speedway and scored a clean sweep of the All Star
Series Modified action Saturday night. Cleveland, who ranks third
at Chico, less than 20 points out of the lead, won his heat, the
Trophy Dash and the Main Event. Looking to be the first in his
family to win a track championship, point leader Jimmy Perry III
rebounded from mechanical failure last time out to win the Wingless
Spec Sprint Main Event. Point leader Todd Gomez held off defending
champion Melissa Hansen for yet another Super Stock feature
victory. Mark Tillinger claimed his second Dwarf Car feature
victory in five starts, while Jason Robles won his third Pure Stock
Main Event. Eric Bookout swept the heat and Main Event in Mini
Truck competition.

A solid 19 car field turned out for the All Star Series
Modified event. Mitch Enos picked up the first of three heat races
ahead of Bill Wallace Jr. and former San Jose and Baylands Stock Car
champion Larry Lundin. Still running a distant second to Kellen
Chadwick in track and State points, 2004 Chowchilla champion Brad
Coelho drove Robert Predmore's car to the second heat win ahead of
Kenny Neu and Robert Norris. 2005 Chico champion Cleveland started
his night off right with a third heat win over former Petaluma champ
Michael Paul Sr. and three time Antioch champ Don Shelton, then
followed it up with a Trophy Dash victory in front of Neu and Enos.
Rookie Kevin Fitzgerald and former Chico, Marysville and Sacramento
champion Randy McDaniel scratched prior to the feature to leave 17
starters. Cleveland and Paul repeated their 1-2 performance from
their heat race, while Chadwick maintained his point lead with a
third place finish. Norris turned in a solid effort in fourth as
Lundin rounded out the top five. Taking over for the retired J.D.
Willis in the Bowers Racing Modified, Neu finished sixth as Shelton,
State point leader Keith Brown Sr., Coelho and Aaron Crowell rounded
out the top ten.

The Wingless Spec Sprints had another ten car field and ran two
heat races. Title contender David Press captured the first heat
ahead of Brandi Ford and Perry. Rookie Dan Simpson won the second
heat ahead of Derek Overcamp and Roy Fisher. The last time out,
Perry lost a sure victory a few laps from the finish when mechanical
failure struck. In that same incident, Dan Gonderman hit his
stalled mount and flipped hard, causing him to miss this event.
Perry won what would be his division leading fifth Main Event ahead
of Overcamp. Fisher came back strong from a hard flip that caused
him to miss the previous even to finish third, and he ranks third
behind Press in the current standings. Simpson turned in one of his
best performances to date in fourth and leads all rookies in the
standings, while Ford rounded out the top five. Press settled for
sixth ahead of Steve Mannina, Danielle Simpson, Anthony Ryan and
Jack Clark.

There were 14 Super Stocks on hand for this event, and Michael
Newman won the first of two heat races ahead of Hansen and Gomez.
Manny Avilla captured the second heat in front of Brian Zachary and
Ronnie Jones. After winning his division leading sixth feature of
the season, Gomez now has a 42 point lead, but Hansen used her
second place finish to take second from Avilla in the standings.
Top five ranked Terry DeCarlo Jr. scored a third place finish ahead
of Tony McCown and Daniel Mendes. Newman ended up sixth, and Jimmy
Arva continued to work on his engine problems in seventh. Megan
Ponciano, newcomer Billy Williams and Avilla rounded out the top ten.

A solid 24 car field of Dwarf Cars required three heat races,
though five scratches caused the B Main to be dropped from the
schedule. Tillinger got off to a good start with the first heat win
ahead of rookie Jack Haverty and Sonny Calkins. Coming off of his
first ever Watsonville victory, point leader Ricardo Rivera won the
second heat ahead of Craig Avery and Ed Johnson. Roger Ingalls
claimed third heat honors in front of veteran Charlie Correia and
Russ Roy. Tillinger's second feature win of the season came ahead
of the third second place finish in his last four starts for top ten
ranked rookie Avery. Tony Carmignani finished third to stay within
28 points of Rivera in one of the track's closest championship
battles. Jack Haverty and Sonny Calkins completed the top five with
Correia settling for sixth. Travis Hensley was seventh, Kurtis
Craig matched his season best effort in eighth, Jaclynn Haverty was
ninth and Rivera finished tenth.

The 16 Pure Stocks were given two heat races with Billy Barnes
holding off fellow rookie Scott Hansen to win the first heat. Brian
Beard II was third. 1998 Street Stock champion Rob Waldrop won the
second heat ahead of Mike Matheson and Tony Jennings. With his
third feature win of the season, Jason Robles stayed within 50
points of Barnes in the battle for second in the standings, but he
didn't gain much as "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Barnes finished
fourth. Bob Bennett held off Jennings to finish second. Jon Haney
scored the fifth place finish ahead of rookies Dan McCown and Cathy
McCause. Gene Haney, Mark Wilson and Adam Kujala completed the top ten.

All nine Mini Trucks ran the first heat race with Eric Bookout
winning ahead of point leader Steve Walde and Pete Paulsen. Veteran
Dean Cline, Phil McClelland and Jason Jennings scratched to leave a
six truck feature. Bookout won that race for his second feature win
of the season ahead of the 66's of Paulsen and Joe Cambra. Joey
Shreffler, John Tinay and Steve Walde completed the finishing order.



Locked in a tight battle with Andrew Krumm
for second in the IMCA Modified point race, Bob Williamson Sr.
scored his fourth IMCA Modified feature victory Saturday night at
Merced Speedway. Tim Ragsdale continues to have the hot hand in the
CCMR Street Stocks in recent weeks, and the recent Timmy Post
Memorial winner won his fifth Main Event of the season. William
Egleston captured his second Hobby Stock feature win of the season.

The IMCA Modified car count had a rare dip below ten with all
nine cars running one heat race. Tim Goodson won the heat ahead of
Marshall Weaver and Joel Chavez. Williamson claimed Trophy Dash
honors, then used his front row start to score an impressive Main
Event victory. However, he gained little on Krumm, who finished
second. Runaway point leader and two time track IMCA Modified
champion Ramie Stone finished third, followed by Weaver and
Goodson. Joel Chavez, rookie Clay Daly, Bill Vieselmeyer and Ryan
Porter completed the finishing order.

The ten Street Stocks were divided into two heat races, and
William Davis captured the first heat ahead of point leader Randy
Brewer and Steve Strickland. Buddy Thatcher won the second heat in
front of John Clarke and Dan Holcomb. Brewer came back to win the
Trophy Dash. For this Main Event, Ragsdale found himself starting
back in eighth in the ten car field, but he drove his way to the
front for the hard fought victory. Thatcher collected the second
place finish in front of Brewer, former champion Jimmy Lust and
Clarke. William Davis settled for sixth ahead of Raymond Mays,
Jimmy Davis, Strickland and Holcomb. Brewer's lead over Clarke is
now 75 points in the championship battle.

The 16 car Hobby Stock field was given two heat races, and
Richard Key won the first heat in front of Ryan Larimer and Rich
Altamirano. Egleston gave signs of things to come by winning the
second heat in front of Bruce Nelson and point leader Raul Rodriguez
Sr. Larimer won the Trophy Dash. All 16 drivers started the
feature, and Egleston's win came from sixth starting. Rodriguez Sr.
started back in tenth and drove to a second place finish ahead of
Aaron Widick, Larimer and Chris Shelton. Don Hiser II finished
sixth, and Altamirano kept the point battle close with a seventh
place finish. Charlie Kelley, Shannon Porter and Jim Watson rounded
out the top ten. Rodriguez Sr. leads Altamirano by 12 points and
Key by 26 in the track's closest championship battle.