Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plenty Of Excitement And Drama At Antioch Speedway

The official results aren't up, so finishes here are unofficial. Just trying to put something out to spread the word a little. Once again, JonKPest has come through with some nice videos of the action from what looks like another good night of racing. Jon has done a great job with the videos and helping spread the word of the good racing going on out there.

Points are not posted as there is an audit being done on the Wingless Spec Sprints. This is standard procedure when you have a close race like that. It could change, or it may not. As long as the points are as accurate as possible, I don't care. It's a sign of a good point race when you have a battle go down to the final race, and they had two last week.

There was plenty of excitement and drama on tap at Antioch Speedway Saturday night as three point races concluded for the season with two of them going down to the last checkered flag. Tommy LaLiberte seemed to be on his way to the front again in wingless Spec Sprints, but when mechanical problems sent him pit side, the point lead appeared to shift in favor of David Press. Points are being audited as of this writing to confirm a champion. Meanwhile, Nick Squatritto was locked in a battle with Ricardo Rivera in the Dwarf Car feature before a flat tire sent him to the pits. The result of Squatritto's misfortune was Jerry Doty winning the championship. Feature wins for the night went to Chico competitor Braedon Enos (Wingless Spec Sprints), Ricardo Rivera (Dwarf Cars), Travis Dutra (Mini Trucks) and Patty Ryland (Four Bangers).

With 14 Spec Sprints in action, two heats were staged. Nick Larsen won the first heat ahead of Dan Gonderman as incoming point leader Tommy LaLiberte claimed third place points. David Press gained some ground on the lead by holding off Jim Perry Jr. to win the second heat, but no Trophy Dash was held to offer further point gain opportunity heading into to the feature.

Jeff Lee had a front row start for the Main Event and raced into the early lead ahead of Gary Nelson and Trevor Press. A lap two caution flag flew for Gonderman, and LaLiberte settled into fourth on the restart. LaLiberte made a move for third in Turn 2 of the sixth lap, resulting in slight contact as both continued. Working lap nine, LaLiberte and Nelson made contact in the battle for second. Both continued with LaLiberte in second and pressuring Lee. Moments later, the final caution flag fell for a two car tangle in Turn 4. LaLiberte headed to the pits for repairs and did not return. Lee led Nelson and Chuck Bradshaw on the restart. Very quickly, Braedon Enos, Perry and D. Press made this a close six car battle up front that went on for several laps until Enos made his move. Working lap 14, a high move in Turn 2 gained Enos third from Bradshaw. A lap later, Enos passed Nelson on the outside in Turn 2 and made a high pass in Turn 4 of the same late to take the lead from Lee. As Enos pulled away, Perry made his move. A low pass in Turn 4 of the 16th lap put Perry into third, and he made a high move in Turn 2 of the 17th lap to take second from Lee. The close battle continued for third, with Nelson taking over that spot on lap 20. Enos held a comfortable lead all the way to the checkered flag with Perry never threatened in picking up yet another runner up finish. Nelson was a season best third, and D. Press may have gained enough points in fourth to win the championship by a slim margin. Gonderman was fifth, followed by Lee, Bradshaw, T. Press, Roy Fisher and Larsen, all unofficial as official results were not available.

With 19 cars, the Dwarf Cars ran three heat races. Incoming point leader Nick Squatritto started his night off right with a heat win ahead of Michael Crommie. The second heat win went to rookie Tom Brown ahead of Tony Carmignani. Five time champion Ricardo Rivera was back in prime form with a heat win ahead of the persistent Jerry Doty. Though not as flashy as Rivera and Squatritto, Doty has been consistent all season long, and that would pay off in the end.

The feature started off well for Squatritto, who set the early pace ahead of Brown and Rivera. As Squatritto had nearly a straightaway advantage, Rivera made a low pass in Turn 4 of the seventh lap to take second from Brown. Squatritto caught traffic by lap ten, allowing Rivera to close the gap quickly. A back stretch pass on lap 12 gained Rivera the lead, and moments later, Squatritto slowed with a flat tire. A caution flag flew for a crash, and Squatritto retired to the pits. Rivera led Brown and Johnny Tevis on the restart. Tony Carmignani made his move into third place on lap 18, and at the checkered flag, it was Rivera with an impressive win, followed by Brown, Carmignani, Russ Sieber and Curt Jordan. Doty took the checkered flag in sixth to clinch the championship as the top ten was unofficially rounded out by Nick Davis, Chuck Connover, Sam Westhorpe and John Davis.

For the first time since early in the season, there were ten Mini Trucks, and they had two heat races. Having already clinched the championship two races ago, Travis Dutra won his heat race ahead of Dean Cline. Second ranked Dan Wagner won the other heat ahead of last week's feature winner Mike Harmon.

While Pete Paulsen and 2009 champion Gene Haney shared the front row for the feature, Dutra and Harmon were in the last row. Paulsen led the early goings ahead of Greg Williams and Wagner. A high move in Turn 2 of the third lap gained Williams the lead, and Wagner and hard charging Dutra both got past a sideways Paulsen on lap 4. A low move in Turn 4 of the seventh lap moved Dutra into second, and he made a back stretch pass on Williams for the lead on lap nine. However, a surprising mistake by Dutra saw him get out of shape exiting Turn 4 to complete the 11th lap. Both Williams and Wagner raced past him in Turn 1 for first and second in a good battle up front. A yellow flag flew moments later, and Dutra raced back into the lead on the restart. Williams pitted to move Wagner into second, but Dutra would hold a straightaway lead by lap 16. Paulsen gained second on lap 17 as a yellow flag flew for Wagner. The restart saw Harmon take over second, but there was no stopping the hard charging Dutra from claiming the victory. Paulsen settled for third ahead of Haney and Ron Mayberry.

The eight Four Bangers ran one heat race, and the night started with 2009 champ Patty Ryland and 2009 point runner up Ken Radabaugh in a tie for the point lead. Ryland emerged with the lead going into the feature after her heat win ahead of Justin Silveira and Radabaugh.

As luck would have it, Ryland started on the front row of the Main Event and led every lap. Hoping to keep the point damage to a minimum, Radabaugh raced into second ahead of Dayna Andreesen, but Andreesen made a back stretch pass on lap five to take over second. A low move in Turn 4 of the ninth lap moved Silveira into third, and moments later, Radabaugh received a j mechanical black flag. As Andreesen faded late, Silveira and Mike Felt found themselves in second and third, and Ryland would cruise to the victory. Brad Myers finished fourth ahead of Andreesen.

The final point race of the season this Saturday night will feature Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Four Bangers.