Friday, September 17, 2010

Five New Winners Highlight Racing Action At Antioch

Honestly, when weeks like this come up, I have a hard time being motivated to put a story out. The track has apparently again decided that people don't need to know the results of the races or the points. JonKPest once again put some videos out there, though the Dwarf Car feature was unfortunately missing. It's a shame, because this class has been enjoyable lately with a good point battle.

I notice John wasn't announcing, and his absence only highlights how much he's missed when he's not there. Say what you want about him, but at least he knows the names and can call a race. I think I know who replaced him, and I don't want to be a jerk. I'll just say that I hope he enjoyed the nap he took while the racing was going on. I'm sure John didn't have a lot of choices for the last minute.

Anyway, I hate to be negative. Looked like a good night for the track and a strong season ending continues. Momentum leading towards the next season is always a good thing, especially if the powers that be can capitalize on it, which I hope they do. Two point races left, and I'm done. I may have something to say after that, and maybe not. At this point, I don't know if I even care. I again had to talk myself into typing this. Statistics are unofficial. Just an attempt to put the word out.

Roughly 75 cars appeared for the six division show Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. The night's action produced five new winners for 2010 and one familiar face in the Winner's Circle as Mitch Machado seems to have the Super Stock championship in hand after his most recent victory. Other winners included Jeff Thomas (Dirt Modified), Jeremy Burt (360 Sprint Cars), Dave Lincoln (Hobby Stocks), Tony Carmignani (Dwarf Cars) and Mike Harmon (Mini Trucks).

For the first time this season, the Super Stocks had more than ten cars, and the 13 car field ran two heat races with Michael Newman holding off Larry Damitz to win the first heat. Mitch Machado held off Mike Gustafson to win the second heat. In the Main Event, Fred Ryland set the early pace from the front row with Machado quickly settling into second. Machado grabbed the lead from Ryland on a lap seven restart, and Newman slipped into second a lap later. Machado would bring it home to victory with Newman a season best second. Damitz made a late charge for third ahead of Gustafson.

The 16 Dirt Modifieds ran three heat races with wins going to Scott Busby, Rick Karnes and Dan Gonderman. They also ran a Trophy Dash with Mike Salazar collecting the win. Salazar seemed poised to win in Main Event as well as he raced into the lead at the start. Busby steadily worked his way into second. As the lead duo came up on a slow car in Turn 3 of the 12 lap, things got dicey. Salazar passed the car just before that car spun in front of Busby and collected him for a yellow flag. Salazar's run up front ended moments later with problems in Turn 2 of the 13th lap. This moved Gonderman into the lead over second ranked Jeff Thomas. A spin in Turn 3 forced a lap 16 caution flag, and Thomas raced past Gonderman to collect the lead he would take to his first victory of the season. Gonderman settled for second as Busby managed to get back up to third. Sean O'Gara and Gene Haney rounded out the top five.

The Winged 360 Sprint Cars produced a ten car field, and rookie Ryan Rusconi scored his third straight heat race win. Second generation racer and past Sprint Car champion at other tracks Brent Dothage won his heat race. The feature started with about ten minutes on the clock before curfew and didn't look good after Burt Foland Jr. ran over the wheel of another car at the end of the front stretch and flipped. However, no yellow flag flew after that. Jeremy Burt, a past Marysville champion and two time feature winner at Antioch last season, charged into the lead and would go all the way for an impressive victory. Past champion Art McCarthy and Petaluma racer Roberto Kirby ran 2-3 early in the race, while Rusconi was mounting a charge from deep in the pack. Rusconi took over third on lap eight and made a low pass in Turn 3 on the 19th lap to take second from McCarthy. At the finish, it was Burt with the impressive win ahead of an equally impressive Rusconi, McCarthy, incoming point leader Craig Smith and Kirby.

The 14 Hobby Stocks ran two heat races, and despite trouble with a slower car in Turn 4 of the final lap that nearly saw him spin, Dan McCown won his heat race ahead of Jim Ftreethy. Chris Sorensen won the other heat race ahead of Brad Myers. The Main Event start was an ugly affair that requred four starts to get it right. Despite not having a front row start originally, various spins by others allowed Dave Lincoln to lead the pack to the single file restart that finally put a lap into the books. Collected in one of the early incidents, McCown gained second from Pat Gooding on lap two. Lincoln ran a smooth race and was rewarded with victory as McCown again settled for second. Myers came back from a first lap spin to finish third ahead of Wes Bentley, Gooding and Mike Rydman.

The Dwarf Cars fielded 16 cars, and Ricardo Rivera won his heat race ahead of point leader Nick Squatrito. Meanwhile, Chuck Golden held off title hopeful Jerry Doty to win his first heat race. With some impressive Main Event efforts in recent races, Tony Carmignani has been coming closer and closer to victory, and he finally picked one up with two of the track's top drivers in hot pursuit. Not much will change heading into the season finale as point leader Squatritto was second ahead of third ranked Doty.

The seven Mini Trucks ran one heat race, and Dean Cline cruised to victory ahead of new champion Travis Dutra. Jerry Carpanello scratched from the feature, and Cline spun without a yellow early in the race. Mike Harmon raced into the lead at the start ahead of Dan Wagner. Dutra made a low pass in Turn 1 of the tenth lap to take second from Wagner. However, Harmon was not to be denied as he sped to victory ahead of Dutra, Gene Haney and Ron Mayberry.

Just two point races remain, and this Saturday night's event is headlined by the season finale for Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Mini Trucks with the Four Bangers running their second to last race as part of a four duivision program./