Monday, August 30, 2010

Gale Gets Third Win In Four Weeks, Skidmore Wins Again At Orland

Some information was made available on what was probably the best night of the season at Orland Speedway with over 40 cars in action among four divisions. All statistics are unofficial.

The best car count of the season competed in the four division show Saturday night at Orland Speedway as the track continues to gain momentum down the stretch run of the season. Winning features in the track's regular classes were Richard Gale (Mini Trucks), Jason Clayton (Mini Stocks) and Jesse Skidmore (Hobby Stocks). The Pro 4 Sprints paid their first visit to the speedway this season, and Brandon Ternora won the their Main Event. The track also ran Powder Puff Races for the regular divisions.

The Mini Truck division has always had one of the strongest car counts at the track through the years, and it grew to a season high 15 trucks for this event. Double division racer Jake Van Tol, a feature winner earlier in the season, returned to action and won the first heat race ahead of Jeremy Langendater and Ross Vige. Unfortunately for Vige, he ended up last in the feature. The second heat race went to another of this season's feature winners, Tyler Pebley, ahead of Dan Webster and Tony Billotti.

Trophy Dashes weren't run on this night, but one of the nice things about Orland Speedway is they actually hand out trophies, rather than plaques, to those winners. With all the cars and races on this night, it was decided to skip the dashes. All 15 trucks started the Mini Truck feature, which was marred by a late race crash that saw one of the top competitors of this season, Webster, flip his truck and get hit. Fortunately, he was not injured, but his truck took severe damage and may be destroyed at this point.

The hottest driver in the Mini Truck division lately has been Richard Gale, and he continued to impress by winning the Main Event. If not for the second place finish he took behind Webster three races ago, this would be Gale's fourth straight win. Van Tol's bid for another win came up just short as he finished second. Pebley grabbed the third podium position as Langendater and Clinton Earl rounded out the top five. Webster was still scored sixth after the race ending crash as Blevins, Jim Davis, Don McClain and Wendy Miller made up the remainder of the top ten.

The Mini Stocks again had a season high turnout with 11 cars in action. Marysville regulars again ran at the front as fifth ranked Marysville driver Will Robertson won the first heat in front of past Orland Modified Mini Stock champion "Rollin" Olin Crane and Don Runkle. Third ranked Marysville competitor Jason Clayton started a great night off right with a heat race win of his own in front of Eric Hammond and Chris Van Dyke. It was a Marysville 1-2 finish again this week in the Main Event as Clayton scored the win in his first Orland appearance of the season ahead of Robertson and one of Orland's top competitors and a 2010 feature winner, Hammond. Van Dyle and Barbara Brunner were top five finishers as the #33 car of Joe Kniep, the #95 car, Crane, Cheree Smith and Runkle completed the top ten.

There were ten Hobby Stocks, and they ran one heat race with Tony Hobbs picking up the win ahead of Richard Jones and top five ranked Marysville competitor Paul Castaneda. Picking up where he left off last week, Jesse Skidmore collected another feature victory with Kevin Kampschmidt a season best second. A feature winner earlier this season, Jake Van Tol returned with his Hobby Stock and finished third ahead Jones and Karl Brummit. One of this season's top competitors, Rich Hood ended up a disappointing sixth ahead of Hobbs, Castaneda, Steven Joseph and the #66b car.

Partial information appeared from the August 7th Hobby Stock race. Newcomer Anthony Ramirez debuted a new car with a heat win ahead of Brian Compton, but Ramirez missed the dash putting in a new radiator that fellow competitors provided for him to keep him racing. Skidmore may have won the other heat, but that is unofficial. In the Main Event, Earl Adams was leading Skidmore in a good battle through traffic on lap 14. Kampschmidt, Clay Rawls and Compton were top five at that moment as Ramirez pitted his overheating car from fifth on lap 13. Steve Ema was lapped at that point and running sixth, while Jones fell out during the first ten laps. This is all unofficial, but no results were posted for the eight car Hobby Stock field that night.

Eight Pro 4 Sprint Cars made their first Orland appearance of the season. This division has it's origins tracing back to Baylands in 1982 and SORA from 1989 through most of the last decade. Some rules have been changed to allow racers to be able to swap out motors and compete in the 360 Sprint Car class. Two heat races were held with point leader and two time winner P.J. Petersen winning the first heat ahead of John Cardoni. Chad Thompson won the second heat ahead of Mat Beardslee. In the Main Event, it was Brandon Ternora picking up a first win of 2010 ahead of Thompson and Petersen. Cardoni finished fourth ahead of Beardslee, second ranked Pro 4 and Marysville Mini Stock racer Misty Castleberry and veteran Jim Phifer. Third ranked point competitor Gary Eckman was a feature scratch.

They ran two Powder Puff Races, one for Hobby Stocks and one that combined the Mini Trucks and Mini Stocks. Dee Jones won the Hobby Stock Powder Puff Race ahead of Tammy Thurber, Kelly Kampschimdt, Diana Baker and Kim Cook. The Mini Truck/Mini Stock event had ten starters with Joleen Van Tol winning ahead of Megan Tanner, Jennifer Drewry, Kristina Runkle and Lielian Gray.

Pat Bisio and J.D. Hopkins had Wingless Spec Sprints at the track, and there was also a #3 Hardtop making hot laps. Hardtops are scheduled for next Saturday night along with the track's regular divisions in what is shaping up to be another good show on the one fifth mile dirt oval.

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 (9 Races) *

69-Josh Jacobo 418
74-Josh Tucker 278
7x-Brian Kirby 270
4xl-Pat Bisio 218
5-John Hopkins 176

* At least 1 race missing

Mini Trucks (12 Races)*

62-Dan Webster 540
23-Richard Gale 512
97-Ross Vige 490
00t-Tyler Pebley 374
5-Jim Davis 346

*1 race missing

Mini Stocks (12 Races)*

86-Eric Hammond 380
23-Don Runkle 350
93-Ken Johnson 316
46-Sean Perry 284
82x-Olin Crain 214

* 1 race missing

Hobby Stocks (9 Races)*

12-Rich Hood 366
22-Earl Adams 192
2-Jake Van Tol 188
18-Brian Compton 186
4-Richard Jones 178

* At least 1 race missing