I didn't see a lot of talk about the playdays on the official Oval Motorsports Website, but perhaps that is coming in the next day or two. In the meantime, I decided to throw a little something together, including another edition of the DCRR Racing Radio Show. See the show at the bottom of this article.
Just A Kid From The Grandstands: My Time In Auto Racing
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover
Don's California Racing Recollections: Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback
Short Track History Project at Gofundme http://www.gofundme.com/lbbgr4
The weather rose into the 70's Saturday afternoon, making it a beautiful day for practice at Antioch Speedway. Just a week earlier, the rain came and washed away the weekend of practice, so this was the last opportunity to get some practice in.
A glimpse of Ron Brown's #3 new Sport Mod... Photo from Ron Brown Racing
From the reports I've seen, there were over 30 cars taking advantage of the situation to shake out the bugs of their cars, and several divisions were represented. One of the things that has come out on social media is that Ron Brown has a Sport Mod.
Ron and his family have been a part of the Speedway since the 1970's when he was racing Stock Cars. He also raced Sportsmans and then Stock Cars again and was top 20 ranked in both classes before earning the respect of many for his willingness to help out racers in the pits every week. Ron did Street Stock, Figure 8 and Dirt Modified racing before his wife Lori got her first Street Stock.
Lori is racing Limited Late Models these days, and I think she was making laps at playday Saturday. After becoming at Top 10 driver in Street Stocks, she joined her husband as a Limited Late Model champion. Look for Lori and Ron to compete in their respective divisions this year.
Lori will be racing against another driver whose family has been a part of the racing scene for years, Mark Garner. Mark's father Jerry is a past Stock Car State Champion, and Mark is coming off of another top five season in Limited Late Models. I understand he was making some laps on Saturday and was in the corner of a new Dirt Modified racer, Tim Hemmett. Hemmett made some good laps and is looking forward to his rookie season.
Another Modified racer, Chester Kniss, was getting some laps in his Dirt Modified. Chet seems poised to have another top five season or maybe even contend for the title, but he also has a Late Model. Chet has been racing for years and is a Limited Late Model and Dirt Modified feature winner, and it's nice to see that he is still making his presence known in his Delta Transmission sponsored cars.
Steven Rogers #25 and Megan Ponciano #22 get ready for practice
Photo from Ponciano Racing
"Mean" Megan Ponciano and her father Dan McCown were both making laps this week. Both are past Hobby Stock champions at Antioch Speedway. While Dan is racing Hobby Stocks and could be a contender for the championship if that is in his plans, Megan continues to race Sport Mods. She is a past feature winner in the class and should not be counted out. Also making laps in a pretty green #25 car was Steven Rogers.
I don't have a lot of information to go on,but all accounts I've heard are that Antioch Speedway had a successful playday for all involved. If this is any indication, it should be a great season ahead. Next up at Antioch will be the 17th Annual Oval Motorsports Awards Banquet on February 28th.
I have even less to go on at Merced, but it looks like they had a decent turnout for their Sunday practice. A past Mini Truck champion, Kevin Lockerby, has built a Mini Stock, and Sandy will be driving it. She was clocked in the mid 17's in practice, so the team feels pretty good about the car. They will be racing it at Madera this year, and this was an opportunity to shake out the bugs.
We got word that second generation racer Lucy Falkenberg's Mini Stock is ready to go when she is ready to race. Her father Dale Falkenberg is a past Hobby Stock racer at Merced and Chowchilla, and this Mini Stock looks nice. The track is hoping for an increase in cars in Mini Stocks, helped by Antioch racers coming to Merced now that the class has been dropped there.
There were at least three Dwarf Cars and there is footage of them making laps Sunday at Merced. One of those drivers is a rookie named Mike Drake, who I believe is the son of open wheel racer Danny Drake. Mike indicated that he had some help from another Dwarf Car competitor, Scott Dahlgren.
As I mentioned, I don't have a lot of information to go on, but indications are that it was a successful practice at Merced Spedway. Still haven't heard who the GM is at that track, but hopefully they can continue the positive things that were happening last season. Next up is the Merced Speedway awards banquet next Saturday, and there are some beautiful trophies to be handed out. The opener is on March 7th, and in between that is a Chowchilla playday on the 22nd and that track's season opener on Sunday, March 1st.
As always, check the Oval Motorsports Website for official updates at Antioch, Merced and Chowchilla Speedway.
DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 12 by GenWhat
For some reason, it won't let me put it up on the page anymore, but the link takes you to the show.