Friday, September 10, 2010

Davis, Skidmore Prevail At Orland Speedway

Didn't get working on this until the last minute as I was hoping to find out who the driver was in the #8 Wingless Spec Sprints. I'm not a fan of writing stories where you don't know the name of the drive who won, but I wrote one anyway. I have to admit it was pretty nice to see Mike Rydman go up there and win a Trophy Dash and hear that his decision to race there was influenced by reading this blog. Good job Mike. By the way, check out YouTube for video clips of this and other races there.

Racing resumed at Orland Speedway with a five division program on the one-fifth mile dirt oval track Saturday night. Among the winners of the five division program were Jim Davis (Mini Trucks), Jesse Skidmore (Hobby Stocks), Sean Perry (Mini Stocks) and Dan Williams (Nor Cal Hardtops). The Wingless Spec Sprints also competed with an unidentified driver in the #8 car collecting the win.

As the track's website only posts the names given to them by the track and just numbers if that is all they get, the driver of the #8 car was unidentified. It could be that a racer from Antioch came, though Dan Gonderman has been driving the #99 car of Sam Davies in recent weeks. The other #8 from Antioch is Jeff Lee. Bob Newberry has also driven that car at Antioch and Petaluma. Another possibility is a past top 3 driver in this class at Orland, Rob Worthington. Rob is one of the originals in this class from 2001. If I get a clarification, I will post it here.

The five Spec Sprints ran one heat race with J.D. Hopkins getting the win ahead of the #8 car. The Trophy Dash win went to one of this season's top competitors and four time champion Josh Jacobo, but that was the high point of the night for Jacobo, who finished last in the feature. As pointed out on the Spec Sprint Web Page Forum, a minimum five car field gets $250 to win, and it was the #8 car collecting that money in his first appearance of the season. Hopkins would finished second ahead of Pat Bisio and Brian Kirby.

The truck count slipped a bit this week, but there were still 11 Mini Trucks in action for this event. On a bit of a roll lately, Richard Gale won the first heat race ahead of Jeremy Langenderfer. Clint Croman collected what may have been his first heat race win of the season with Jim Davis settling for his only second of the evening. Davis came back to win the Trophy Dash and added what was at least his second feature win of the season to wrap up an impressive effort. Coming off of a third the last time out, Pebley finished second this time. After a disappointing last place finish in the 15 truck field last time, Ross Vige rebounded in third, while Langenderfer earned his second straight fourth place finish. Tony Billotti finished fifth as the finishing order was completed by Gale, John Blevins, #48, Zach Webster, Clint Cromman and Steven Woods.

By far, the hottest driver in the Hobby Stock field lately is Jesse Skidmore. With six cars in action, Skidmore won the heat race ahead of Raul Castaneda. Encouraged to come to Orland from reading this blog, top ten Antioch Hobby Stock driver Mike Rydman made his first visit and brought home the trophy with his Trophy Dash victory. Rydman tried to make a run of it early in the feature, but Skidmore proved too tough to beat as he collected at least his third straight victory. It may be four straight as he was running up front late in the race before that, but that finish was not made available on the track's website. Following the hard charging Skidmore at the finish line was Brian Compton with a solid second place finish. Rydman held off the challenges of Marysville racer Castaneda to finish third as Richard Jones and John Dragoo completed the finishing order.

There were five Mini Stocks in action this week, but heat winner Derick Grezier scratched before the feature. Eric Hammond chased Grezier across the line in second, but it was Sean Perry winning the Trophy Dash. Perry followed it up with another feature win. Don Runkle returned with another car and finished second ahead of another one of this season's top racer's, Hammond. Jacob Leniham completed the finishing order.

The Nor Cal Hardtops returned for their final appearance of the season and brought four cars. Having hot lapped his car a week earlier at Orland, Chuck Sanford used that extra track time to get a heat race win ahead of Linda Pease, who was driving the Jack Low #92 car. Dan Williams took over from there. Coming off of a victory at Antioch at the last race there, Williams would win the Trophy Dash on this night and follow it up by charging to a Main Event victory, making him the only double feature winner with the Nor Cal Hardtops on dirt this season. Pease was second ahead of Sanford and John Fineren, who was driving the #2 car of Conrad Cavallero.

After a week off, racing resumes with all of the regular divisions in action on September 18th. A week later, all divisions return along with the popular Powder Puff Races.

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 (10 Races) *

69-Josh Jacobo 460
7x-Brian Kirby 314
74-Josh Tucker 278
4xl-Pat Bisio 264
5-John Hopkins 224

* At least 1 race missing

Mini Trucks (13 Races)*

23-Richard Gale 552
62-Dan Webster 540
97-Ross Vige 536
00t-Tyler Pebley 422
5-Jim Davis 416

*1 race missing

Mini Stocks (13 Races)*

86-Eric Hammond 426
23-Don Runkle 398
46-Sean Perry 334
93-Ken Johnson 316
82x-Olin Crain 214

* 1 race missing

Hobby Stocks (10 Races)*

12-Rich Hood 366
18-Brian Compton 234
4-Richard Jones 220
07-Jesse Skidmore 196
22-Earl Adams 192

* At least 1 race missing