Friday, January 2, 2015

Chadwick, Nelson and Damitz Open 2015 Season With Antioch Wins

There is a special edition of The DCRR Racing Radio Show at the bottom of this post.

As always, you can get your official rundown of Antioch Speedway happenings at the track's Official Website.

For the first time ever, Antioch Speedway held a race on New Years Day.  It was the opening day of the four race West Coast Nationals that will span three tracks, and it was also the opening day of the point season.  In the IMCA Modified preliminary feature, Kellen Chadwick led most of the way to pocket the $500 first prize.  Bruce Nelson collected his first win in the Sport Mod preliminary feature for a $250 payday.  Meanwhile, racing octogenarian Larry Damitz kicked off the new year in style with a Limited Late Model feature win.

The 28 Dirt Modifieds ran four qualifying heat races that would transfer three each into the preliminary feature.  Past Antioch Limited Late Model Champion Mitch Machado, Shawn DeForest and Troy Foulger all won their heats from the pole, while Chadwick came from the third row to win his heat race.  Next up for the Dirt Modifieds were two B Mains that would transfer four cars each into the feature.  After just missing the cut in his heat race, 2014 Northern All Star Dirt Mod Champ Bobby Hogge IV won his B Main from the pole ahead of Kyle Wilson and Les Friend.  Nick DeCarlo had his work cut out for him, coming from sixth starting to win his B Main in front of Tom Berry Jr. and John MacDougall. 

Oregon long tow Bicen James and Jeremy Richey of Phoenix, Arizona led the IMCA Modified field to the green flag, but James spun for a lap one yellow flag.  Richey led a lap before Chadwick made an inside pass to take the lead.  Chadwick pulled away as many time Petaluma Champion Michael Paul Jr. moved in to battle Richey for second early.  After a lap six restart, 12th starting Foulger raced into fourth.   Back of the pack starter Hogge had worked his way into sixth by the time a lap nine yellow flag flew, and Foulger was third behind Chadwick and Rickey on the restart.

Hogge smacked the Turn 2 wall hard trying to make an outside move into the top five as the yellow flag flew again.  Foulger made a low pass on Rickey for second a lap later as Four time Antioch Champion Scott Busby was now riding fifth.  Busby made an outside pass on a lap 12 restart to take third from Richey and set his sites on fellow four time Antioch Champion Foulger.  Sixteenth starter DeCarlo was battling Richey for fourth when Busby began to slow a few laps later, allowing both drivers to move by.  DeCarlo passed Richey for third before the yellow flag flew for Busby.

Chadwick, meanwhile, was driving a flawless race up front and would pick up an impressive victory ahead of Foulger.  DeCarlo brought it up a solid third as Willamette Champion Collen Winebarger charged back to claim fourth ahead of Paul, Chris Clark, Friend, MacDougall, past Merced champion Jim Digiovanni and Kyle Wilson  

The 23 Sport Mods ran three qualifying heat races with 2013 Antioch Champion Jeremy Hoff winning his heat from the pole. Wayne Dotson and 2014 Chowchilla Champion Nick Spainhowrd were the other heat race winners.  Spainhoward won from sixth starting.  Multi division star Freddie Ryland and Jimmy Ford, who started racing at Antioch in Street Stocks back in the 1980's, shared the front row of the B Main.  Ford, who was actually one of the first drivers to race Sport Mods at Antioch, battled Ryand to claim the B Main victory.  Matt Mayo finished third.

Coming off a solid third place point season at Merced Speedway in 2014, Bruce Nelson drew a front row start for the Sport Mod Main Event next to Hoff.  The two drivers would go on to a 1-2 finish in what was Nelson's first win in the division.  Nelson is a two time Merced Speedway Hobby Stock Champion.  The ending wasn't pretty as Spainhoward tried a last lap, low move in Turns 1and 2 for the lead, resulting in contact with Nelson   Spainhoward slowed, allowing Nelson to get going and Hoff to move past for second.  Third generation racer Keith Brown Jr. turned in a solid effort, battling from the fifth row to finish third.   Spainhoward settled for fourth as Dotson rounded out the top five.

Richard Mueller, who came up through the ranks at Antioch in the 1990's driving Street Stocks and Late Models before becoming a front runner in Dirt Modifieds, is back in a Sport Mod.   He would drive to a sixth place finish.  Rounding out the top ten were, Megan Ponciano, Michael Shearer, Alan Furuta and Jason Ferguson.

Ten Limited Late Model drivers were on hand to start their 2015 point season. Two time Limited Late Model champion Mike Gustafson and Mark Garner collected the heat race wins.  Former top ten Street Stock racer John Keith drew the pole next to Damitz.  Mike Hynes immediately moved into second at the start and battled Damitz for the lead for a few laps before Damitz pulled away.  The lead duo ran comfortably up front as Garner, Jim Freethy and Keith battled fiercely for third.  Garner slipped underneath Freethy for fourth around lap six and finally grabbed the third spot from Keith just past the halfway point of the race.  Unfortunately, Garner stalled for a caution flag.  There was no stopping Damitz as he brought it home to victory ahead of Hynes and Keith.  Garner settled for fourth and Gustafson rounded out the top five.

Racing continues tonight at Antioch Speedway as IMCA Modifieds will race for a $2500 first prize, and $1750 is on the line for the IMCA Sport Mod feature winner.  The Late Models are also on the card and will race for $1500 to win (based on a $1500 car field).

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 2 by GenWhat