Friday, August 6, 2010

Hardtops Join Five Division Show At Antioch

Have you seen the full results for Antioch Speedway recently? Shhhhhh, it's a secret. There were at least 52 cars on hand last week for that five division show, a couple less that I thought might be there, but things could have been much worse. Despite several regulars missing from the Dirt Modifieds, several non regulars kept this field in double digits. Though there isn't any buzz out there for Antioch, other than the $3,500 win Dirt Modified show on August 28, which should be huge, the show goes on.

Finding information has been more difficult lately, and if this trend continues, I will assist them in what they apparently want, no mention of results. It's not really my place anyway, but I wanted to help spread the word a little with this independent effort. We'll see how things go this week. I hope it's a good night at the races. I also hope we see the finishes posted, because it's not that hard to post finishes on a web site. It was harder ten years ago with twice the cars, and Dennis always managed to do it in a timely manner.

Anyway, I put the Over/Under number at 54.

Dirt Modifieds (14), Super Stocks (10), Dwarf Cars (14), Four Bangers (8), Nor Cal Hardtops (8).

Is The Dirt Modified Championship Battle Over?

There was a pretty brutal race not that long ago that ended the season for Joe Carr and may have done the same for another of the track's top ten racer's, Sean Wilson. An incident a few laps prior saw Nick DeCarlo and previous champion Aaron Crowell get together on the back stretch with Crowell spinning sideways in front of oncoming traffic. Nobody made contact, but DeCarlo was punished in the only call of the race and sent pitside, while being dropped to a last place finish. This dropped him from within 6 points of the lead going in to 42 out by night's end. DeCarlo never commented on this on his web page, but his absence from last week's race spoke volumes. He still raced, finishing third at Marysville.

I'm not commenting on it other than to say I bet long time fans may wonder if any DeCarlo can ever catch a break at Antioch. It's a shame that this had to happen, but it happened and that's that.

What it really did was make Troy Foulger's closest competition going into last week a past second place point runner at Petaluma in Street Stocks named Jeff Thomas, 38 points back. Quietly, Jeff has been near the front in his #07 Dirt Modified, and he beat Chester Kniss back to the line last week for second in an ugly finish that saw Kniss slam the all. Still, Thomas lost points to fourth place finisher and heat race winner Troy Foulger, who now leads by 42 points. Given how fast Troy has been all season, one has to wonder if this battle is now over. If it is, Troy is in line for his first track championship, and he's really done a great job all season long.

When one thinks of Dirt Modifieds at Antioch, you can't help but think of Scott Busby, who roughly 60 feature wins at the track and four Dirt Modified championships, just at Antioch alone. When Scott has been at Antioch this year, things haven't gone very well for him, and some have been wondering if "The Buzz Man" still has it. Last Saturday, Scott answered with an emphatic yes by winning his first feature of the season. The #73 car will be there on August 28th, and it would be a mistake to count him out with the big money on the line.

"Stormin" Norman Boeck is third in the points now, which would be his best Dirt Modified season ever if he can hold onto it. Boeck is 34 points behind Thomas as both drivers are looking for their first win this season. Not sure who all will be on hand for this race, but fifth ranked Rick Karnes and top ten competitors Sean O'Gara and Gene Haney are likely to be there. The question is, after Busby's first 2010 win, is another new winner in the cards Saturday night?

Machado Keep Rolling, But Damitz Not Going Away

Mitch Machado keeps winning in the Super Stock division, but two time winner Larry Damitz refuses to go away. Damitz is still shown 26 points behind Machado after the latest race, which is 12 points further than he was going into that race. What could help either of these drivers is the fact that car count had been at 10 lately, up from six for the first few races, and that means more point gaining potential should either of these two slip up.

The latest driver to debut was the #9 of Greg Fuss, giving the track 13 cars in this division to this point in the season. It's been shown just how much better the races in this division are when some of the more competitive racers of the past, such as Michael Newman, Lori Brown and Todd Gomez, show up. Newman had a good run last week as the two time Street Stock champion finished third behind third ranked Fred Ryland.

Trying to reconstruct a top five based on point totals can be chore when they don't seem to add up right, but Lori Brown and Lloyd Cline may have had top five finishes last week. Cline won his heat race once again, and he still holds a 54 point advantage over Mike Gustafson in his bid for a second straight top five season. Gustafson, Machado, Damitz and "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Ryland are feature winners this season, but will there be a fifth member of this group before the season is up? At this point, Newman, Jon Haney and Cline seem to be the three making the best case for themselves, but we'll see how it goes.

Rivera Closing In Fast

It's simply amazing to watch five time Dwarf Car champion Ricardo Rivera come from the back of the pack and win, and watching him slowly wipe out the 60 point lead of Nick Squatritto has been impressive as well. Ricardo probably wouldn't need to do that had he not missed a race, but it's looking more and more like it won't matter. After Squatritto's nightmare performance last time out and Rivera's win, the Squatrito lead is now just 9 points. Also sticking around in this battle is Jerry Doty, just 12 points back after his fourth place finish.

With a fourth and a third in his last two starts, Clayton Dortzbach is a solid fourth in the standings, while making a good case for himself as a potential Main Event winner. He has definitely gotten smoother in recent weeks in his 1n car, and it's looking more and more like he will be able to keep the #00 car of Mike Corsaro behind him in the fourth place battle. Actually, Corsaro may have his hands full holding onto fifth. After his fifth place finish last time out, Dan Liston is just 6 points behind him. Two others coming on strong of late are Tony Carmignani and top ten ranked open wheel veteran Charlie "The Hammer" Correia. Carmignani impressed with a second place finish last time out.

Ryland Vs Radabaugh: Round 2

Patty Ryland won again last time out in her newly painted Four Banger. A check of the points finds the defending champion trailing Ken Radabaugh by 20 points. Last season, Radabaugh finished second to Ryland in the standings, and he's hoping he can win it all this season. The biggest thing now for Ken in his yellow #12 car is he will need to step it up and get his first feature win of the season. He has finished as high as second and is a heat winner this season. Dayna Andreesen is shown in third now, 42 points out of the lead. She was the point leader going into the last race and was there, but I never got word what happened with her than night. She's not listed as gaining any points.

Mike Felt was the latest driver to get into this division last time out, and his debut was a respectable third behind Radabaugh. Meanwhile, Justin Silveira, who has come on strong of late, managed to take over fourth in the standings after the last race, dropping Dominic Myers to fifth. The real question in this class is who will show up to race. Over 15 cars have competed this season, and if we can get even ten of them to come, it will make things much more interesting. At any rate, the division is still performing a little better than it did when it was brought back last year.

Hartops Return To Antioch

The Nor Cal Hardtops are back at Antioch for their third and final scheduled appearance on the dirt at Antioch. Much of this group's racing is done on the pavement, but Antioch and Orland have welcomed them to the dirt a total of five times between the two tracks. Larry Damitz won the first visit in his Super Stock with a Hardtop body, but according to the group's official page, his car is not legal. I'd love to see one of the nearly 20 car owners this group has put Larry in one of their legal cars for a night. Then again, I'd like to see more of these cars show up for this race at Antioch.

The last time out, George Connor put Nick DeCarlo in his #70 car, while Terry DeCarlo drove the #39 car. The result was a father-son battle that went to the son, Nick. Both of these cars could be in action Saturday, though who will drive them I don;t know. It may be Tommy Thomson's turn in the #39 car. Thomson raced against the Okie Bowl Hardtops in Santa Maria earlier this year and scored the win. He did win a feature at Antioch last season, and this is the car he won the last Hardtop race in at Vallejo Speedway in 1979.

The Hardtops offer people a glimpse of what it was like back in the 1960's, and credit goes to Conrad Cavallero and Mike McClure for putting this deal together. Not sure if McClure will be there, but Conrad and his brother Carmen Cavallero should both be in action along with Jack Low and others. It should be a fun night in the dirt for the Hardtops.