Wasn't planning to do a story, but since JonKPest had his videos up and I said I would cover the point season, I did one. I do hope the track makes a better effort to get the word out next year, but we shall see. Congratulations to all of the drivers who helped give this track it's 50th consecutive point season. Technically, next year is the 50th Anniversary of the track, so we'll see how that's handled too. Anyway, results are unofficial and if I misspelled a name, I'm sorry. There were some new cars this week.
Four divisions competed Saturday night as Antioch Speedway wrapped up it's 50th consecutive season of point racing. Ageless veteran Larry Damitz did all that he could do in scoring his fourth Super Stock feature win of the season, but Mitch Machado used his top five finish to grab a well earned championship. Having been disqualified from a win earlier in the season, Jim Freethy finally earned his first Hobby Stock feature win of the season in the Team #99 car that he has shared with Jack Jonker this season. Meanwhile, Brad Myers used his top three finish to give the Team #33 car he shares with Melissa Hansen the division championship. With no points, but $1,000 on the line, Mike Salazar dominated in winning the Dirt Modified Main Event. With their race being run in reverse, Justin Silveira continued his strong late season effort with his second Four Banger feature win, while Patty Ryland won her second straight division title.
With 12 cars on hand, the Super Stocks ran two heat races. Damitz got his night started off right with a heat win ahead of Mikey Slaney. Lori Brown held off Machado to win her heat race, but Machado came back to win the Trophy Dash ahead of Damitz.
While Machado started deep in the pack, Damitz had a front row start for the feature and raced into the lead at the drop of the green flag ahead of Slaney and Brown. Fred Ryland and Machado were battling for fifth when they tangled in Turn 2 for a yellow flag. Damitz chose the outside for the restart and continued to lead as Mike Gustafson rode the high side around Slaney for second. Eric Berendsen had his hands full with Machado battling him for fifth as Brown was fourth. On lap 18, Berendsen, Daniel Mendes and Ryland crashed in Turn 4 for a caution flag. Damitz didn't let that stop him as he led the restart and cruised to victory ahead of Gustafson, Slaney, Brown, Machado, Jon Haney, the #8 car (Alan Beasy?), Berendsen, Mendes and Ryland.
There were 11 Hobby Stocks, and Wes Bentley won the first heat race ahead of Phillip Gibber. Myers won the second heat race ahead of previous feature winner Dave Lincoln. The division also got a Trophy Dash with Gibber collecting the win ahead of Lincoln. Randy Mentzler scratched after the heat races.
The top point earning driver in the Hobby Stocks this season, Chris Sorensen shared the front row of the Main Event with Freethy, but it was Freethy charging into the lead at the start ahead of Megan Ponciano and Myers. An outside move on the back stretch gained Lincoln third on lap two. A yellow flag flew on lap six when Gibber's strong night came to an abrupt end. Freethy remained in the lead on the restart, but a yellow flag flew a lap later as Bentley and Lincoln crashed in Turn 2. Bentley and Lincoln retired, and Freethy led Ponciano and Myers on the restart. With Sorensen running fourth, the lead four cars ran closely the rest of the way, and Freethy collected a well earned victory ahead of Ponciano, Myers, Sorensen, Chuck Templeman, Pat Gooding, Aaron Biels, Lincoln, Bentley and Gibber.
With Tulare also running a money race for Dirt Modifieds, ten cars showed for the $1,000 to win at Antioch. Petaluma champ Michael Paul Jr. won the first heat ahead of Chester Kniss. After Dan Gonderman and Troy Foulger crashed running 1-2, Salazar won the second heat with Foulger bouncing back for second.
Salazar had a front row start for the Dirt Modified feature and was not to be denied as he charged into the lead at the green flag ahead of Paul and Foulger. By lap five, Salazar was a straightaway in front and lapping slower cars. Foulger slowed in Turn 4 for a lap eight caution flag. Salazar maintained the lead on the restart as Derek Colvin slipped past Paul for second. Colvin was doing a great job of holding down second, but problems in traffic on lap 16 dropped him out of the top three as Paul and Gonderman raced past. Salazar had a huge lead at that point and cruised to a popular victory ahead of Paul, Gonderman, Colvin and Gene Haney.
Eight cars competed in the Four Banger division, and Ryland's point lead was not insurmountable until she won the heat race by a straightaway ahead of Dayna Andreesen. Track officials elected to run the Main Event in reverse to shake things up a bit, and newcomer Humberto Orezzo set the early pace ahead of Silveira and Ken Radabaugh. A back stretch pass on lap four gained Silveira the lead. Radabaugh was second by lap ten, but Silveira was not to be denied the victory as possibly the hottest driver in this division in the last four or five races. Radabaugh settled for second and will be the runnerup in points for the second straight season. Orezzo held off Ryland to finish third. Lynn Wilkerson was fifth as Andreesen, Mike Felt and Laura Crabtree completed the finishing order.
With point racing done, the season closes at Antioch Speedway with an open show for Dirt Modifieds, Super Stocks and Hobby Stocks this Saturday night.