Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Merced and Antioch Speedway Weekend Previews, Pit Stops, Orland News

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme 

Additional info on the Short Track History Project  HERE

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Bako Motorsports Power Hour Previews this week';s races and Bakersfield Speedway and looks back at last week HERE

Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks Main Event from Petaluma Speedway last week can be viewed HERE

Jake's Larsen Racing Product's Dwarf Cars Main Event from Petaluma Speedway last week can be viewed HERE

DCRR Racing Radio Show
Weekend Preview Edition

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 51 by GenWhat

Both IMCA Modified Classes Headline 
Saturday's Antioch Speedway Program

IMCA Modifieds were slated to headline the Antioch Speedway event this Saturday night, and Oval Motorsports has decided to add IMCA Sport Modifieds to the card.  This five division program will also include Wingless Spec Sprints, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

The competitive IMCA Modified division has had 12 races and seven different winners so far.  Only four time champions Scott Busby and Troy Foulger have won more than once this season as Busby has four wins to three for Foulger.  Busby is hot on the trail of his fifth division championship and leads one time winner Bobby Motts Jr. by 29 points.  Motts is coming off of a Top 5 finish last time out, but he'll need a big break to make a move on Busby.

At the Sumner Nationals, Carl Berendsen II's car was wrecked bad enough that he only barely got it together in time to run the most recent race.  Even with that bit of bad luck, the 2014 champion still has a huge advantage over Kyle Wilson and his brother Alex in the battle for third,  Kyle has one win at Antioch this year and was second last time out, and both Wilson's are fast everywhere they go.  Shawn DeForest won the non stop 20 lap feature last time and is anticipated this week along with Dustin Himes, Chris Elby and Josh Combs.

With six wins this season, Fred Ryland has a such a big IMCA Sport Mod point lead that even his failure to finish last week barely effected it.  Ryland hurt his car in his move around eventual winner Anthony Giuliani for the lead last week.  One time winner Paul Mulder and Al Johnson have a good battle going for second, and Mulder leads by just three points.

Patti Ryland had a strong second place finish last week, and that came with a broken foot.  Patti did win a Main Event earlier this season and is the top rookie in the field.  Chuck Golden, Ron Brown and Trevor Clymens have finished as high as second this season, and all three could contend for a win this week.  K.C. Keller was back after a hard crash in June and had a season best fifth place finish last week.  Others to watch for include Mark Garner, Al Sotomayor and the eagerly anticipated return of Keith Brown Jr.

A season high car count supported last week's Wingless Spec Sprint race, and that included Jeff Lee.  Lee won the season opener and damaged a motor in the process.  He returned for the first time since then and won again.  Finishing a close second was point leader Kyle Bakkie, who got his title run back on track with that finish.  Bakkie now leads Rick Panfili by 42 points.

Panfili had just made a move into fifth in last week's Main Event, but he suffered some damage in the process and coasted to a stop just in front of the finish line.  Panfili leads rookie Marcus Smith by 26 points in the battle for second with Alan Miranda 34 points back.  Like Bakkie, Jimmy Perry III is a three time winner.  Perry just moved into fifth in the standings and should be there along with Jeremy Newberry, Chase Wood Jr. and newcomer Peter Carlotto.  Carlotto made his Antioch debut with a fifth place finish last week.

Kimo Oreta holds a commanding lead in Hobby Stocks, and that didn't change after his dominating performance last week.  The six time winner and two time champion is making plans for a move up to Limited Late Models.  Jordan Swank impressed with a season best second place finish last week ahead of three drivers who battled right behind him.  Danny Jones appeared to have a sixth second place finish in hand last week before mechanical woes sidelined him once again.  Jones trails Swank by 13 points.

Only 23 points out of second is Michael Cooper.  Cooper had second before Jones did, but he too was a victim of mechanical gremlins.  Cooper was still in a celebratory mood as he married Jordan's sister Tayler Swank last Sunday.  Calvin Louis Jr. is closing in on the Top 10 in points again after his latest third place finish.  Other drivers we'll be watching for this week include Natalie Perry, Frank Furtado, Cameron Swank and Robert Niven.

David Teves broke the Dwarf Car point race wide open with his fourth Main Event win last week.  He now leads his son, teen sensation Adam Teves, by 66 points.  Adam has two wins of his own this season and has moved 20 points ahead of two time champion Danny Wagner.  Wagner paid Petaluma a visit last week and left with the winner's trophy.

Speaking of winners, Mike Corsaro and Kevin Miarglio have both won on the Dwarf Car circuit this season and rank fourth and fifth, respectively, at Antioch.  Pat Urdahl impressed with a second place finish last week.  We're anticipating Pat this week along with Miranda Chappa, Jerry Doty, Tim Reeder and Curtis Kraig.

The racing should be exciting from flag to flag this week.  Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.

Antioch Speedway Top 5 At A Glance

IMCA Modified

Scott Busby     397
Bobby Motts     368
Carl Berendsen     314
Kyle Wilson     254
Alex Wilson     250

IMCA Sport Mod

Fred Ryland     385
Paul Mulder     334
Al Johnson     331
Chuck Golden     306
Patti Ryland     283

Hobby Stock

Kimo Oreta     836
Jordan Swank     591
Dan Jones     578
Michael Cooper    568
Frank Furtado     538

Wingless Spec Sprints

Kyle Bakkie     534
Rick Panfili    492
Marcus Smith    466
Alan Miranda    458
Jim Perry III    338

Dwarf Cars

David Teves    616
Adam Teves    550
Danny Wagner    530
Mike Corsaro    460
Kevin Miraglio    454

IMCA Modifieds, Unpredictable Hobby Stocks 
Part Of Sunday's Merced Speedway Program

Close competition and unpredictability are two things that define Mecred Speedway this season.  This Sunday's five division program will include the crowd pleasing IMCA Modifieds, the wild and unpredictable IMCA Sport Mods, the highly competitive Hobby Stocks, the resurgent Mini Stocks and a special Dwarf Car race.  It promises to be an exciting night of racing on the quarter-mile dirt oval.

Paul Stone returned last week, and the 2014 IMCA Modified champion grabbed his second win of the season in Jack Mounce's car.  It was a dominating performance, but that's not a surprise when you consider Paul's resume as a champion at Merced and elsewhere.  Topping the winner's list this season is Kyle Wilson with three, while Ryan Porter has equaled Stone's 2015 win total.  Two drivers yet to win are the ones battling for the championship.

Alex Wilson holds a 19 point led over Bill Egleston following Wilson's third place finish last week.  Wilson did get a win in Santa Maria last Saturday, which was the first of the season for the 2015 State point leader.  Two time champion Bob Williamson was back with a vengeance last week with a season best second place finish, but he still trails Ricky Thatcher by two points in the race for third in the standings.    Most of these hard chargers are anticipated this week.

Mark Odgers wrote his name into the books as the eighth different IMCA Sport Mod feature winner last week after a good battle with Dwayne Short for the lead.  Odgers trails Short by just 14 points in the battle for second, while one time winner Josh Hensley holds a commanding point lead.  Hensley made a late pass on Short last week for the second place finish.  These three drivers seem to have offered the most loyal support to the track this season and have had some good battles all season long.

The IMCA Sport Mod roster seems to vary from week to week, and multi time winners Bruce Nelson, Fred Ryland, Rick Diaz and Jeremy Hoff show up when personal scheduling permits.  Nelson actually won two races ago, and Diaz won three races ago.  Unfortunately, a hard crash two races ago left Diaz with some chassis damage to repair.  Drivers we hope to see this week include Gary Tucker, Darren Thomas, John Fore Jr. and Tim Cecil.

The Hobby Stocks have been so competitive that we've had 12 different winners in 16 races.  Austin Van Hoff was the latest winner, and he used that win to move into fifth in the standings.  Three time winner Kevin Joaquin might have had a chance had he not lost a lap in a tangle with another car during the race.  He unlapped himself and finished fourth behind the season best third place finish of second ranked Jennifer Corder.

Speaking of season bests, we hadn't seen Dexter Long in several weeks as the rookie has had terrible luck.  Last Sunday, he enjoyed a season best second place finish.  He may just be ready to try for that win this week.  Kristie Shearer was off on vacation last week, but she should be back this week to try for her fourth win.  Other drivers we're anticipating this week include George Silva, Bobby Williams and Shannon Nelson.

With the debut of a couple new cars and the return of a couple more drivers, Mini Stock car count has gone up slightly.  The big news last week was Chris Corder's win.  The 2014 champion was winning his first Main Event of the season after a battle with Kelly Campanile, who finished second for the third time this season.  Second generation racer Campanile may just be in line for her first win this week.  After a rare DNF last week, point leader and ten time winner Darren Miguel will be looking to rebound.  Miguel leads Corder by just 18 points in the championship battle.

After a fourth place finish last week, Natalie Waldrop gained another spot in the standings.  The third generation racer now trails Dennis Copus for third by just 12 points.  Campanile moved past Kevin Lockerby by just one point for fifth, and the one time winner Lockerby is hinting at a return soon.  Other drivers we're hoping to see this week include the debut of the daughter of Andrew Krumm, Brian Widdowson and the second Chris Corder car.  Joy Alger had a third place finish in that car last week as she celebrated her birthday.

The Dwarf Cars were added to this program two weeks ago as a cancellation forced the need for an addition.  The track would like to have Dwarf Cars more often and is trying to put the word out.  Merced's Mike Drake has one win this season and currently tops the point list after three races.  Other winners include Danny Wagner and Shawn Jones  It's difficult to speculate on who might come, but track management is hoping for a half dozen or more cars this week.

It should be an exciting night of racing in Merced.  Merced Speedway is located inside the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Merced, Calif. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $8 for children 6-12. A family four-pack of tickets admits two children and two adults for $32. Racing begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The grandstand opens at 4:30 p.m.

Merced Speedway Top 5 At A Glance

IMCA Modified

Alex Wilson     431
Bill Egleston     412
Ricky Thatcher     335
Robert Williamson 333
John MacDougall 321

IMCA Sport Mod

Josh Hensley     578
Dwayne Short     412
Mark Odgers     398
Bruce Nelson     333
Fred Ryland     329

Hobby Stock

Kevin Joaquin     684
Jennifer Corder 556
Kristie Shearer 461
Shannon Nelson     452
Austin Van Hoff 380

Mini Stocks

Darren Miguel     680
Chris Corder     662
Dennis Copus     318
Natalie Waldrop 306
Kelly Campanile 284

 Pit Stops

The Pit Stop reporter decided to do one more column before we close down shop on the current situation.  The DCRR Blog will continue as long as we are able to keep the page up.

At Merced Speedway, the Mini Stock division seems to be awakening from their slumber.  Car count had gotten so bad that there were just three cars showing up sometimes.  The Sunday move has given us two six car fields and an eight car field, and it's not just point leader Darren Miguel dominating the field.  Some good competition has been provided by both Kelly Campanile and Chris Corder.

For Miguel's part, he's been happy with the way his red #86 car has been running.  With ten wins at Merced, two at Chowchilla and a $1200 weekend at Porterville, he's pretty much proved himself to be a tough competitor.  In fact, Darren revealed last week that the plans are for him to make a move up to a Hobby Stock next season.

Chris Corder has a Hobby Stock, but he blew a motor in his debut earlier this season.  Motors have been a major issue for Chris recently as he's taken over the #48 car of Alex Odishoo.  Chris is such a strong supporter of Mini Stocks that he frequently brings two of his cars to the races.  Last week, he put Joy Alger behind the wheel of his #68c car, and the birthday celebrant finished third.  It was nice to see Joy back at the track as she's been gone since blowing a motor in her car.

Corder inherited the same issue Alex Odishoo had with the #48 car.  With about five laps to go, the motor starts missing.  Alex did finally get a Chowchilla win with that car before moving on.  He plans to get back in a Sport Mod again.  Corder was running strong two weeks ago and leading before that miss took the lead from him with three laps to go.  Again he watched as Miguel drove by.

The frustrating part is that Corder may be the 2014 champion, but he hadn't won a Main Event at Merced yet this season.  He had three at Chowchilla.  During the week, he fixed the computer, the valves and a few things in hopes that the problem was solved.  He had to work for this one as Kelly Campanile led some laps, but it was Corder scoring the much needed victory.  With all the effort that went into this win, you know that it meant a lot to Corder.

Campanile's Ford Pinto has been fast at Merced, and it just may be the second generation racer who is next in line for a feature win.  She gave Miguel all he could handle in finishing a close second three weeks ago and fought Corder pretty hard before getting her third second place finish last week.  A week before that, she was one of the victims of a driver who forgot where the break pedal was.  Earlier that night, she found her brake pedal by accident, causing her to get sideways on the front stretch and lose a sure heat race win.

Campanile will be somebody to keep an eye on as will third generation racer Natalie Waldrop.  Natalie enjoyed a good battle with Alger for third last week before losing the spot at the end.  You can see that she is getting comfortable in the white #0 car, and she could surprise some people before the year is up.  Her father, Rob Waldrop, revealed recently that he plans to put her in a Hobby Stock next.

In the meantime, Natalie is closing in on Dennis Copus for third in the standings with Campanile not far behind.  Copus really wanted the spot and revealed his frustration recently that he has to watch his points slip away.  Due to work, Dennis can't make it to the Sunday races at Merced.  We did notice that 1999 Mini Truck champion Kevin Lockerby has hinted at a return to Merced for a race soon.  Lockerby does have a feature win this year, and he'd love to take his trusted white #54 car "Sandy" to the winner's circle again.

Jeff Amos, Lucy Falkenberg and Andew Krumm were all in action last week.  Amos had wrecked his old car and put this new car together for a debut two weeks ago.  That didn't go so well, but he was back last week.  Falkenberg was visiting from Texas and had her father Dale and brother Chris in the pits with her as she finished sixth.  Krumm put this car together for his daughter, but she's still getting comfortable with shifting.  So, he put the car through its paces last week for a fifth place finish.  It's nice to see the Mini Stocks doing a little better at Merced, and hopefully this is a trend that will continue.

Speaking of doing better, the Dwarf Cars had 17 cars in action at Antioch Speedway.  One driver not in the field was Danny Wagner, who went to Petaluma and won.  The absence of the two time Antioch champion may not have made a difference anyway as point leader David Teves won for the fourth time from tenth starting.  David's son Adam moved into second in points after a third place finish.  The Three Nuts Racing Team has been supporting this Dwarf Car class pretty strongly.

They are wanting to see tougher competition and have helped racers like Pat Urdahl, Kevin Miraglio and Mike Corsaro.  Urdahl had a pretty hard bout with the wall last time out in his Top 5 finish.  With a new rear end in his #67 car, Pat led about half of the latest race and still finished a season best second.  Corsaro had a new power steering system put in his car like the one D. Teves has.  He was battling for a Top 5 position early on before mechanical gremlins struck.

Tim Reeder has been involved in racing for several years.  He finally got behind the wheel of his Dwarf Car, but he crewed for Sprint Car racer Greg Rule back in the mid 1980's.  The team was getting ready to field a second car that would have been driven by Tim when Greg passed away.  Getting into the Dwarf Car has been lots of fun for Tim, though he has definitely had his share of struggles and bad luck in his #5n car.  He's made several chassis adjustments and changes with the shocks, and at times it's gotten better.  He didn't do great last week, but he took a lead lap checkered flag in 12th.

Chester Kniss Jr. has raced the 500 Mini Sprints out at Dixon Speedway, but the 14 year old was making his first start in a Dwarf Car.  Though he did get lapped, the third generation racer still took a checkered flag.  Further up, Josh Miller ran a good race and finished fourth ahead of Kevin Miraglio, Chris Kenner and Chuck Weir.  Miranda Chappa was eighth and nearly won her second heat race earlier that night as this talented young lady continues to improve with each start.  Her father, Danny Chappa, has taken her to other places to get more seat time, including the recent Dwarf Car Regionals in Watsonville.

Merced Speedway is having a Dwarf Car race this Sunday, but we haven't heard who will be showing for this race as Antioch races a night earlier.  We've heard it was at least $200 to win and drivers like one time winner Mike Drake, Chuck Weir, Tim Reeder and Thomas Leiby live reasonably close.  Last time out, Drake, Toby Brown and Chris Kenner showed up and Danny Wagner won, but it's anybody's guess who might show up for this race.  The track seems perfect for Dwarf Cars, and there is a desire by management to have more Dwarf Car races there in the future.

The nostalgia weekend is coming on August 22 and 23 at Antioch and then Merced.  Car owner Dave Mackey waited over 40 years to finally get his dream ride in a Hardtop.  Mackey and Jim Perry Jr. built a car that Perry competed in last year.  This new car is the #1 Dudley Racing tribute car in honor of Vallejo legends, "The Napa Flyer" Gene Dudley and Darrell Dudley.  He ran the car for the first time in Placerville and is looking forward to the Antioch race.

Dave joins racers like "The Green Hornet" Tommy Thomson, Dan Williams and Rob Waldrop in looking forward to the August Antioch race.  Dave also revealed a couple of things.  Though he is a supporter of what Mike McCann is doing in working with John Philbert to get the Hardtop movement back on track with races at Antioch, he and others were prepared to go to Oval Motorsports on their own if McCann hadn't stepped in to try and reestablish a relationship with Antioch.  He also said that the former Terry DeCarlo Hardtop has a new owner, and we could be seeing that car soon.  Hardtops are in Chico this Friday and Marysville on Saturday.

Kenny Birdsong reported to us that the Valley Sportsman division is back for Legend's Night at Merced on August 23.  Kenny is the biggest supporter of the cause this season as his car hadn't missed a race.  Kenny claims that we will be seeing some cars we haven't seen in a while, and that has this reporter daring to hope that we might see Mike or Shane Hausmann or even Mike Henault.  All three drivers are division champions.  The goal is just to get the cars out there to save the class, but it gets better.

Kenny further reports that Watsonville Speedway legend Jerry Cecil will be driving a car in the Legend's race and an effort is being made to bring out a legend of Mecred, "Rapid" Rod Poor.  Poor won many races throughout the late 1960's and 1970's as the top winner from 1968-78 at Merced, and he was part of the Sportsman revival in 1999.  We've even heard that Dennis Moomjean will be driving the pace car.  Antioch and Petaluma legend John Soares Jr. has shown an interest in running the Legend's Race if he can get a ride, and legendary announcer Johnny Sass is available to announce if called upon.  Were it this reporter's call, Johnny would be there in the booth where he belongs.

Mark Odgers is a past Sportsman division champion and would love to be a part of this show.  However, he is trying to keep the Vern Willhoite tribute body on his car in one piece and was a little alarmed by the damage it took when he supported the show earlier this season.  Odgers has been a front runner in several divisions in his career and was Top 3 ranked in Street Stocks, Sportsman, Limited Late Models and Modifieds.  At the moment, he's third and closing in on Dwayne Short for second in IMCA Sport Mods at Merced.

What's interesting is Mark wasn't really worried about points, but as the season has progressed and he's found himself with a chance of getting second, he wouldn't mind making that happen.  Last week, Mark had even more reason to smile.  His daughter, Top 5 Chowchilla driver Marisa Odgers, was there racing her Sport Mod, and this was the first time these two have raced Sport Mods together.  It got even better than that.

Odgers had the bottom groove dialed in come Main Event time and made a couple of passes to take the lead from the impressive Short.  Short was also looking for his first win of the season and grabbed the lead on a restart following Marisa's spin.  Mark passed him a couple laps later and would go on to win after a lap 18 single file restart.  Short was not happy about the single file restart as he felt he had a chance to win, but this is general procedure at Oval Motorsports tracks to go single file with three laps to go.  Odgers was a happy winner and Short settled for third after Josh Hesley passed him.

Michael Aldrich and Eric Rose both felt they had something for the field as they started on the front row.  Unfortunately, the two got together at the start with Rose hitting the back wall.  Rose was done for the night.  We hadn't seen Mark Squadrito for a while, and his crew was taping the number on his new body for this race.  He took a checkered flag in fifth behind Marisa Odgers.

Mark Garner was all smiles coming into the weekend.  He won a Limited Late Model feature at Antioch a week earlier with his father, Jerry "The Maverick" Garner, proudly watching from the grandstands.  Last week, Tim Hammett had him driving his #33h Sport Mod at Antioch, and he even had Mark's slogan put on the roof of the car, "All For A Reason".  Mark is dedicating this season to his ailing father, and Hammett has let him drive his Sport Mod.  That means Mark is racing at Antioch about every week now.

Hammett struggled out the gate this year and was frustrated enough to want to walk away.  Garner was one of those people who insisted that Tim keep at it.  Tim wanted some advice on the chassis, so Mark has given him plenty.  Major changes have been made, and Mark led a feature for half the distance before something broke heading into Turn 3.  Mark finished a lead lap eighth last time out.  He revealed that Hammett will have him driving a Sport Mod in Las Vegas in early November.  What's not known yet is whether it will be this car or a new car.  The good news is that Tim is not giving up and at some point will be driving again.

Mark also went to Merced on Sunday and held off Roy Hart Jr. to win his sixth Limited Late Model Main Event.  Hart nearly spun trying to make a late pass, but he did snap Mark's heat race win streak at seven.  These two were joined by Buddy Thatcher as the Limited Late Models continue to have their struggles at Merced.  The good news for Garner is he appears headed for his first championship, while Thatcher will move into second with the absence of Scott Van Gelder, who was still recovering from his heat race crash two weeks earlier.

Back in Antioch, the Sport Mods were given the news that Brentwood Auto Parts has come on board as a title sponsor for four added races this season.  Extra money will be added to the first five positions, and the first race is this Saturday.  This was not necessarily the news Fred Ryland wanted to hear.  It's not that he's worried about losing his Antioch lead, but the extra dates could hurt the point average for his IMCA National effort if car count goes down.  After Saturday, Fred's absence from Merced may have signaled that he figures to only be second or third in The Nation when it's all done.

The flying Ryland charged through the pack and grabbed the lead from Watsonville point leader Anthony Giuliani, only to drift up in Turn 3.  We hadn't heard, but it's possible something may have broken on his suspension.  Fred ended up joining early leader and heat winner Ron Brown on the sidelines, but the Ryland name was still riding high.  In this case, it was Patti Ryland with a much needed second place finish.  She drove a good race, and she did it with a broken foot.  Patti actually missed the race a couple weeks ago and turned the wheel over to the always ready Brian Zachary, so this was a nice comeback for the two time Four Banger champion.

F. Ryland was the point leader at Watsonville, but he abandoned the lead over concern about the low car count not being useful to his National effort as well as concerns over the purse.  Anthony Giuliani was all too ready to step in and take over in his "Batmobile" #15 car.  Anthony was a happy winner Saturday at Antioch, but he's also leading a close three car battle with two time winner Matt Hagio and the steady Al Sotomayor.  Any of these three could win that championship, which will make the Watsonville battle interesting to watch.  Sotomayor would love to get a win at Antioch.  He finished fourth last week behind one time winner and second ranked Paul Mulder.  After the hard crash he had in the Summer Nationals in June, K.C. Keller came back with a vengeance on Saturday with a season best fifth place finish.

Of course, Antioch Speedway had DIRTcar Late Models Saturday night, and once again they had 12 cars despite the absence of a few drivers we thought might be there.  In 12 of 15 races held so far, only two shows have had less than ten cars.  Jeff Decker came into the night with the point lead and eight Top 3 finishes.  However, he doesn't want to get into talk of running for points.  He is out there trying to win, which is why he debuted the new car with the different suspension a couple months ago.  He admits it's different to drive, but it is faster.

One of the things about point racing is that Jeff admits it takes the fun out of it.  During the mid part of the last decade, Jeff found himself running for points about every season.  His first point run in a Late Model at Watsonville found him missing the season opener as he found issues with the steering that couldn't be fixed in time.  Even after missing that race, he managed to come back and take the point lead on the final night of the season.

Jeff has won championships at Watsonville, Petaluma and Antioch, but he also says the cost and the stress of maintaining points takes the fun out of it.  Plus, you're not getting much of a reward at the end of the season.  For instance, he had less point fund money for his second Petaluma title than he did his first.  The cost of these cars means fun has to be the priority over the points.  If points line up that way, he'll take it, but he's not really paying attention to it.  Of course, The DCRR always looks at such things as there is a reason they have kept points all these years.

Decker had a throwaway night the week leading up to the Summer Nationals.  He DNF'ed in 11th.  A week later, he used a fifth place finish to get the lead back from Richard Papenhausen, who suffered a back injury and had to miss that race.  On Saturday, Papenhausen was doing what he does best.  The 2014 champion won his heat race and the Main Event, while Decker finished fourth.  The way the points broke down, Decker is now just 14 points ahead with three races left to go.  It seems like six time winner Papenhausen will overtake him, but you never know what will happen.

A crate Late Model could actually win a Main Event by season's end.  Anthony Restad runs a crate Late Model and won a race at Plaverville this season.  He recently had a third at Marysville.  Saturday night, he led early before Papenhausen passed him.  Restad had his hands full with previous winner Troy Foulger and Decker right behind him, but he managed to grab his second runner up finish of the season.  Foulger, meanwhile, slipped by seventh place finisher Chester Kniss by one point to claim fifth in the standings.

One driver not worried about points is rookie Travis Meyerhoff.  Travis bought this car from past Petaluma Super Stock champion Dean Devolder and jumped into Late Models with no experience at all.  He joins Terry Kuntz on the roster as a driver making a Late Model his first race car.  Travis is just out there trying to learn the car and stay out of people's way, and he took a checkered flag in eighth.  Danny Malfatti made a late pass on Chester Kniss for a sixth place finish.  With David Newquist's DNF, Malfatti is now ten points out of third in another close point battle.

John Soares Jr. is only out there to have a little fun and remind himself of how fun it can be as a race car driver, but his fifth place finish wrote the track's #3 all time Sportsman feature winner into the record books yet again.  John is the only driver with Top 5 finishes in the 1960's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and 10's.  It seems like only J.D. Willis and Dean Cline would be capable of joining him on that list were they to come back, but even they couldn't match John should he make the next big accomplishment.  Were he to win, he'd be the only driver with a feature win in every decade.  John has a Hobby Stock in the works.  He's won in Late Models, Dwarf Cars and the Sportsman division through the years at Antioch.

The Wingless Spec Sprints had a 13 car field at Antioch as a few new faces joined the fray and a familiar name was back in "Rallying" Roy Fisher.  Fisher had reportedly sold his Winged 360 Sprinter, but he revealed that the guy decided not to buy the car after paying his deposit.  Roy will race it again before season's end and also run the Spec Sprint in a quest for Win #3.  He still has something coming up that will make him miss a race, but he will be back.  Roy had a Top 3 run going last week when he lost a muffler on the track to end his race.

The last time we saw Jeff Lee at Antioch Speedway, he was winning the season opening Main Event.  In doing so, he blew a motor and was out for a while.  However, Jeff brought his car back within the last couple of months and let other drivers have a go.  In the recent Hunt Series race at Petaluma, Jonathon Henry drove it to a second in what was a wild race.  Saturday night, Jeff had a front row start and led every lap to win his second race in impressive fashion.

It wasn't a win, but the second place finish Kyle Bakkie had was much needed.  He had been struggling in the two races following his hard crash.  The team worked on the left front of the chassis to get it back up to speed, and the result was the second place finish he had with the hard charging Jimmy Perry III right behind him.  Both drivers now have three feature wins this season.

Perry was coming off of his third win and nearly saw it end before it started in a tangle with James East.  The key pass was made for third before the leader, Keith Shipherd, crashed avoiding a spun car.  Jimmy was trying to go low for the pass for third, but Alan Miranda protected that groove and forced him to make the high pass.  Leader Rick Panfili tried the same thing, but he momentarily gave up the bottom coming out of Turn 2 on lap 16.  That was all Perry needed to get the lead.  Perry's third place finish last week gained him fifth in the standings.

Kyle Standley and David Dias made their returns to Antioch, and we also saw the Antioch debuts of Kevin Sarginson, Steve Demelo and Peter Carlotto.  Sarginson's debut ended in a brush with the front wall as Demelo and Dias also fell out.  Standley and Carlotto battled Panfili for fifth, and Panfili got together with Standley in his pass for the position.  Not long after that, Panfili lost power, and Carlotto would finish fifth ahead of Marysville/Chico racer Standley.

Carlotto has road racing experience, and this was his first Antioch start in the class after pitting for some racers, including Keith Shipherd.  He was happy with the top 5 finish behind Alan Miranda.  Miranda is quietly creeping back up on Marcus Smith and Panfili, meaning the battle for second in the standings is not over yet.

Back at Merced Speedway, the Wilson brothers were doing what they do every week.  They got to the race track early and had the cars up on jack stands as they changed gears and adjusted the suspension.  The two brothers are as dedicated as they come.  It's no wonder Kyle Wilson has three wins and brother Alex leads the Merced and State battles.  Alex finally got his first win a night earlier in Santa Maria, and he's been feeling pretty good about how his #36 car is running lately.

Both brothers crashed early in Sunday's race, and Kyle made a pit stop with a flat tire.  Soon, they were both in the Top 5, but they were greeted by a surprise in the form of two time champion "Bullet" Bob Williamson in the red and white #19 car.  Alex settled for third to increase his Merced point lead, while Kyle closes in on fifth in points with a fourth place finish.

However, second belonged to Williamson.  Bob got his start at Merced some 43 years ago racing in Stock Cars and then the Sportsman division.  Since then, it was Late Models and then the IMCA Modifieds that he's spent over 20 years driving.  When he's serious about points, Bob is a mainstay in the top 5, and he's won his share of races.  He admits he's working on getting the setup just right for him in the corners, but it looked a,little better on Sunday.

Paul Stone has won his share of championships and races at Merced and Hanford.  After his 2014 championship, he decided that he'd use his new car for big events out of the state, but long time supporter Jack Mounce didn't want Paul to completely avoid Merced.  That meant he would be driving the black #44 car.  On Sunday, Paul drive it again, and he drove it to a convincing Main Event victory.  that makes two wins on the season for Stone.

Joel Myers was back, but this time he brought his #202 car instead of #46.  Often you'll find him running near the front at Petaluma Speedway, and he recently had a second place finish battling with Robert Miller in Fernley, Nevada.  He enjoys visiting Merced from time to time, and on this occasion he picked up a fifth place finish ahead of Shawn DeForest and Tim Gagnon,  DeForest and car owner Jim Reid missed the setup this time and did what they could.  Gagnon normally races in Nevada in his gold #53 car, but he did okay in his first Merced visit with a lead lap seventh.  Not doing so well was title hopeful Bill Egleston, who had a DNF in tenth to lose more ground to A. Wilson.

While Stone was riding high in Modifieds, the Northern All Stars Hobby Stocks had a wild and exciting Main Event at Merced despite a lower car count.  That count got even lower as the Josh Henley car, Steve Torres and Steve Rodgers were on the trailer with mechanical woes before the heat races.  Rodgers hadn't been at Merced in his yellow Ford Mustang in several months.  It clearly looked as if Ted Stofle Classic winner Michael Shearer might get his second win in the fast #72 car that came from the Irwin Racing Team in Bakersfield.  Or, previous winner Cody Parker or point leader and three time winner Kevin Joaquin might win.

Joaquin revealed that his neck was still a little sore, but he was feeling better.  He was also not bearing any grudge over the call to put him to the back after the Raul Rodriguez spin last time out.  He just charged back to a third place finish and left it at that.  The Parker team was riding high after 15 year old Cody's win last time out, but it was also revealed that he probably wouldn't make all the races as they just don't have to money to race that much.  So on this night, one of those three figured to win.  Things would get crazy and unpredictable.

The first indication came when Parker and Joaquin got together with Joaquin spinning into the Turn 2 infield.  Kevin got it going, though he was lapped by the smoking Shearer.  Parker fell behind Austin Van Hoff before receiving a black flag.  Moments later, Shearer's motor gave up on him.  Suddenly, 2015 Chowchilla point runner up Van Hoff had the lead, and he was not letting go of it.  Van Hoff became the 12th different winner in 16 races and passed George Silva for fifth in the standings.

Behind him, Dexter Long was having a blast in the former Eric Sealy #911 car.  Long has had one bad break after another, but the rookie got it to the finish line for a career best second place finish.  Meanwhile, top rookie and second place point runner Jennifer Corder held down third until the hard charging Joaquin made a pass at the while flag.  When he spun in Turn 2, Corder happily brought it home to a season best third place finish.  The Hobby Stocks at Merced are anything but boring.

At Antioch, Kimo Oreta brings vast experience to the table, and it's hard to beat that experience when you start that blue #03 car on the front row.  Kimo is working hard to get his Limited Late Model ready for a move up, and unconfirmed reports say that he could make that first start by season's end.  In the meantime, he drove a smooth race and dominated the competition for his sixth feature win of the season.  With a lead of roughly 250 points now, that third consecutive championship appears likely as long as he makes no big mistakes.

Second is a rather interesting battle in points, and that was reflected in the Main Event.  A night later, Michael Cooper and Jordan's sister Tayler Swank were getting married, so the two celebrated with Michael's best run yet in second.  He looked like he might get that when mechanical woes interfered.  That gave second to Danny Jones, and you can guess what happened next.  The five time feature runner up had more problems and fell out once again.  Hopefully, there wasn't too much damage to the motor, but this put Jordan Swank in second.  All three of these drivers now have second place finishes, but who will be the first to win a Main Event?

Swank didn't have an easy go of it.  Calvin Louis Jr., Chris Long and heat winner Joey Ridgeway were right there looking for that moment to make a pass.  Jordan wasn't giving up the spot, and he maintained second in points with that career best effort.  With Jones and Cooper still not far behind him, it's a battle that may go down to the wire.  Louis, meanwhile, used his season best third place effort to climb back into the Top 10 in points, which is where two time winner and 2010 champion Chris Sorensen currently is.  Unfortunately, Chris broke a transmission leading his heat race.  Chris has indicated that he may be out for the season as he has already exhausted his racing funds for the year.  That is a shame as he really brings a pleasant attitude to the track and is one of the nicer racers to be around.

Natalie Perry got the "Mean Kitty" back together after missing a race repairing front end damage following her tangle with Brent Curran.  Natalie had last minute problems nearly sideline her last week, but she made it back.  Unfortunately, a bad radiator took her out of this Main Event.  Making her first start in the #7 car that Jim Robbins impressively drive to a second place finish a week earlier was Lindsey Buirch.  She got this car as a 15th birthday present, and she was doing her best to stay low and out of the way.  She did okay in taking a checkered flag in sixth.

Oval Motorsports race tracks return to action this week.  This reporter wants to say it's been a pleasure to cover all of this season and the past, but it looks like our efforts to do a weekly thing have come to an end.  However, The DCRR Blog will remain as long as we can keep it.  As for Saturday night, Antioch Speedway has IMCA Modifieds. IMCA Sport Mods, Northern All Stars Hobby Stocks, Wingless Spec Sprints and Dwarf CarsMerced Speedway will roar to life with the sound of race cars on Sunday with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Northern All Stars Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Dwarf Cars.  For all of the official information, check the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Stevens, Ross Win Third In A Row 
At Sacramento Valley Speedway

Sacramento Valley Speedway in Orland held it's first of three consecutive Saturday night races with a five division program.  Second place point runner Paul Stevens scored his third straight Hobby Stock Main Event victory.  Mini Truck point leader Keith Ross followed suit with his third straight Mini Truck feature victory.  Point leader Nick Vidovich won his third Mini Stock feature in the last four races.  It was Tony Alosi winning his season debut in the 600 Mini Sprint Main Event, while point leader Jesse Garland won the 250 Mini Sprint feature.

The Hobby Stocks ran two heat races, and Paul Stevens and Brad Ray collected the victories.  Despite missing the first race of the season, Stevens moved into second in the point standings with his third consecutive Main Event triumph.  Stevens moved by a past champion, Rich Hood, for second in the standings, but it's still close as Hood finished second in the feature.  Point leader and defending champion Steve Martin settled for third ahead of Paul Newman, Bill Hampton, Jeremy Langenderfer, Ray and Cody Bundy.  Martin is now 75 points ahead of Stevens and 80 in front of Hood as Shannon Collins skipped the race and dropped from second to fourth in points.

Keith Ross won the Mini Truck heat race to make it five heat wins in six starts.  The point leader then impressed with his third straight feature victory.  Past champion Ross Vige had his best finish since he won the season opener as he placed second ahead of Dan Webster.  Willie Tanson, Jeremy Callen, and William Fogle rounded out the finishing order.  With Tyler Pebley skipping the race, Ross now holds a 110 point lead over Webster as Vige is 30 points out of second.

Nick Vidovich won his third Mini Stock feature in the last four races ahead of the season debut of Jared Flower.  With a heat race win and third in the feature, Tom Davis didn't lose any ground to Vidovich in the championship battle.  Past champion John Kirkpatrick settled for fourth ahead of Kenny Britt and "Rollin" Olin Crain.  Vidovich still holds just a 20 point lead over past champion Davis in the championship race.

Jeromie Crismon won his third straight 600 Mini Sprint heat race, but his night took a turn for the worse with a last place Main Event finish.  It was Tony Alosi winning the Main Event in his season debut.  Skyler Richter was second for the second time this season ahead of Marty Plumb, Kyra Michelet, Christine Root and Crismon.  Crismon now holds a 25 point lead over Richter.

Jesse Garland won his heat race and his second 250 Mini Sprint Main Event in three starts.  Double division racer Jeromie Crismon was second ahead of Andrew Love and Rusty Hensley.  Garland leads Crismon by 125 points in the standings.

Racing resumes next Saturday night with Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, 600 Mini Sprints and 250 Mini Sprints all in action.  For further information, check out the track's Official Website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Papenhausen, Giuliani Win At Antioch, Stone, Odgers Merced Winners

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme 

Additional info on the Short Track History Project  HERE

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

The DCRR Racing Radio Show
Weekend Review edition

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 50 by GenWhat

Petaluma Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event can be viewed HERE

Petaluma Speedway Wingless Spec Sprint 360 Main Event can be viewed HERE

Petaluma Speedway Lumberjack's Restaurant Super Stocks Main Event can be viewed HERE

Ricky Childress flips his IMCA Sport Mod on the back stretch at Bakersfield Speedway HERE
Papenhausen Speeds To Sixth DIRTcar Late Model Win 
At Antioch Speedway

Grabbing the lead early in the race, Richard Papenhausen went on to win his sixth DIRTcal Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  The win came aboard the Papenhausen Construction/Mohawk Trading Co. Late Model.  Anthony Restad enjoyed his second runner up finish of the season.

The Late Models ran two heat races, and Papenhausen won the first six lapper ahead of Restad.  Troy Foulger took the lead from Danny Malfatti on lap five and won the second head race ahead of point leader Jeff Decker.  Restad started outside second row row for the Main Event and charged into the early lead ahead of David Newqust.  Newquist had a brush with the front wall for a lap two caution flag.  Restad chose the outside and continued to lead the restart ahead of Papenhausen.  A low move in Turn 4 of the fourth lap gained Papenhausen the lead, and he started to pull away as the rest of the race ran caution free.  Restad had his hands full holding of previous winner Foulger and Decker for the lead as Chester Kniss settled into fifth.  Rob Norris pitted on lap eight, and Kniss spun from fifth on lap 12, handing the position to John Soares Jr.  Papenhausen  had a straightaway lead by lap 15, and Restad was doing a great job of keeping the persistent Foulger behind him.  Papenhausen scored  an impressive victory ahead of Restad, Foulger, Decker, Soares, Malfatti, Kniss, Travis Meyerhoff, Norris and Williy Mcmillan.

Racing resumes next Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with a five division show that will include IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, check out the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Giuliani, Lee Grab Antioch Speedway Victories

Holding off a late race challenge from point leader Fred Ryland, Anthony Giuliano won his first 20 lap IMCA Sport Mod Main Event of the season at Antioch Speedway.  Giuliani is the current point leader at Watsonville.  Leading all the way from his front row starting spot, Jeff Lee captured his second 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event victory of the season.

Ron Brown won the first IMCA Sport Mod six lap heat race ahead of Al Sotomayor.  Trevor Clymens held off Ryland to win the other heat race.  Brown had the front row for the Main Event and settled into the early lead over Clymens and Giuliani.  Lloyd Cline spun in Turn 4 for a lap three caution flag.  Brown had the outside for the restart and continued to lead, and Giuliani slipped past Clymens for second.  The lead three cars had a good battle, and a low move in Turn 2 of the seventh lap gained Giuliani the lead from Brown.  Brown suffered some suspension damage and lost second to a Turn 4 pass by Ryland on lap eight.  Clymens followed closely into third.  Clymens spun from third for a lap 13 caution flag.  Giuliani chose the outside and continued to lead F. Ryland and Patti Ryland on the restart.  K.C. Keller spun in Turn 4 for a lap 15 caution flag.  Giuliani again stayed with the outside for the restart, but F. Ryland made a challenge, taking the lead with an inside back stretch pass.  Ryland pushed in Turn 3, and lost the lead to Giuliani.  Ryland fell back to fourth as P. Ryland and Paul Mulder were second and third.    Giuliani would lead the rest of the way as P. Ryland earned second while driving with a broken foot.  Mulder was third ahead of Sotomayor, Keller, Al Johnson, Chuck Golden, Mark Garner, F. Ryland and Brown.

The Wingless Sperc Sprints ran two heat races with Marcus Smith winning the first eight lapper ahead of Jimmy Perry III.  Point leader Kyle Bakkie won the other heat race ahead of Lee.  Lee drew the front row for the Main Event and charged into the lead ahead of Bakkie and Roy Fisher.  Lee had a pretty good lead before a yellow flag flew on lap seven for David Dias.  The first restart attempt was botched when the muffler from the Fisher car fell onto the track.  Fisher was black flagged.  Lee led Bakkie and Perry on the restart as Alan Miranda settled into fourth.  Steve DeMelo hit the front wall for a lap 13 caution flag and Kevin Sarginson joined him in the pits.  Lee continued to lead the restart with Bakkie and Perry running closely behind him.  Rick Panflili made a couple passes for fifth, but contact with Kyle Standley left him with damage as he coasted to a stop just before the checkered flag.  Lee won, just ahead of the resurgent Bakkie, Perry, Miranda, Peter Carlotto, Standley, Panfili, DeMelo, Sarginson and Fisher.

Racing resumes next Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with a five division show that will include IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, check out the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Point Leaders Teves, Oreta 
Win Antioch Speedway Main Events

Making a charge from tenth starting as the winner of the previous Main Event, David Teves won the 20 lap Northern All Stars Dwarf Car Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  It was the fourth win of the season for the current point leader.  Hobby Stock point leader Kimo Oreta cruised to his sixth 20 lap feature win of the season.

The Dwarf Cars needed three heat races, and Josh Miller won the first heat ahead of Chris Kenner.  Jerry Doty won the next six lapper ahead of Pat Urdahl and D. Teves passed Miranda Chappa to win the third heat.  Second row starter Urdahl raced into the lead at the start of the Dwarf Car Main Event as Kenner settled into second.  Josh Miller made a back stretch pass on Doty for third on lap three.  D. Teves made his move from tenth into fifth by lap four.  D. Teves was fourth a lap later and used a low move in Turn 2 of the seventh lap to take third from Miller.  An inside move in Turn 4 of the eighth lap gained D. Teves second, but his lap ten pass for the lead was negated as Robert Coe spun in Turn 2 for a yellow flag.  Urdahl chose the outside for the restart, but D. Teves beat him through Turns 1 and 2 for the lead.  Miller settled into third on the restart .  D. Teves had a good lead with Urdahl running strong in second.  An inside pass in Turn 4 of the 15th lap gained Adam Teves third from Miller.  D. Teves drove a flawless race in scoring another victory ahead of Urdahl, A. Teves, Miller, Kevin Miraglio, Kenner, Chuck Weir, Chappa, Doty and Brian Gray.

The Hobby Stocks ran two heat races with Chris Sorensen breaking a transmission while leading the first heat race to end his night.  Joey Ridgeway got that win ahead of Chris Long.  Cameron Swank won the second heat race ahead of Danny Jones.  Oreta had a front row start for the Main Event and held command at the start ahead of Michael Cooper and Calvin Louis Jr.  Ridgeway spun for a lap five caution flag.  Oreta chose the outside and continued to lead Cooper as Jones settled into third.  Contact send Louis spinning in Turn 4 for a lap eight caution flag, and Long was put to the back for his part in the incident.  Oreta maintained command on the restart from the outside, and Cooper suffered a mechanical failure to end his race.  Jones was now second, but his car was smoking slightly.  Jones fell out on lap 12 as Jordan Swank gained second ahead of Louis.  Oreta won the race by a half lap, and J. Swank held off three persistent drivers for a career best second place finish.  Louis was a close third ahead of Long, Ridgeway, Lindsey Buirch, Jones, Cooper, C. Swank and Natalie Perry.

Racing resumes next Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with a five division show that will include IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, check out the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Odgers, Corder Win Their First Merced Features Of The Year

Running a smooth race on the bottom groove, Mark Odgers won his first 20 lap IMCA Sport Mod Main Event of the season Sunday night at Merced Speedway.  Odgers had to battle Dwayne Short for the win, and the two drivers are currently battling for second in the standings, held by Short.  Though he is the 2014 champion, Chris Corder has gone winless in Mini Stock Main Events at Merced this season.  On Sunday night, Corder won an early duel with Kelly Campanile to capture a much needed 20 lap win.

Josh Hensley won the first IMCA Sport Mod heat race ahead of Eric Rose, while Dwayne Short won the other heat race ahead of Marisa Odgers.   The Main Event had to be restarted when Michael Aldrich got into Eric Rose on the back stretch as Rose hit the back wall.  Rose was out of the event and Aldrich restarted in the rear after pitting.  Short set the early pace ahead of Josh Hensley and Mark Odgers.  Odgers made an inside pass in Turn 2 of the seventh lap for second.  A low move in Turn 3 of the eighth lap gained Odgers the lead from Short.  Odgers built a lead of several car lengths before his daughter, Marisa Odgers, spun for a lap 12 caution flag. Mark Odgers chose the inside, only to be surprised by Short’s outside pass for the lead.  Odgers stayed persistent and made a low pass in Turn 2 of the 16th lap to regain the lead.   Mark Odgers led the rest of the way for a well earned victory.  Hensley made a last lap pass on Short to finish second as Short settled for third.  Marisa Odgers finished fourth ahead of Mark Squadrito, Aldrich and Rose.

Darren Miguel won the first six lap Mini Stock heat race ahead of Kelly Campanile.  Chris Corder won the other heat ahead of Jeff Amos.  Corder and Miguel shared the front row for the Main Event with Corder charging into the lead ahead of Miguel and Campanile.  Miguel had a flat tire and stalled in Turn 4 for a lap two caution flag.  Corder chose the inside for the restart, but Campanile raced by for the lead as birthday celebrant Joy Alger settled into third.  Miguel moved into fourth and was challenging Alger for third when they made contact in Turn 4.  Miguel spun to avoid taking her out and ended up on top of a tractor tire.  Miguel was eliminated from the event.  Campanile chose the inside, only to lose the lead back to Corder.  Natalie Waldrop slipped past Alger for third on the restart.  Corder battled briefly with Campanile before pulling ahead by a few car lengths for the satisfying victory.  Campanile settled for her third second place finish of the season.  Alger made an inside pass on Waldrop to regain third on lap 18.  Waldrop crossed the line in fourth ahead of Andrew Krumm, Lucy Falkenberg, Miguel and Jeff Amos.

Racing continues next Sunday at Merced Speedway with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Northern All Stars Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Dwarf Cars.  For further information, check out the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Stone Wins Second Merced Feature, 
Van Hoff 12th Different Hobby Stock Winner

Grabbing the lead early in the 20 lap IMCA Modified Main Event, Paul Stone pulled away by a wide margin to grab his second win of the season Sunday night at Merced Speedway,  The win came aboard the Jack Mounce owned #44 car as his own car is being used for special events this season.  Gaining the lead when Michael Shearer blew a motor on lap 12, Austin Van Hoff won his first 20 lap Northern All Stars Hobby Stock feature.  Van Hoff became the 12th different winner in 16 races.  Point leader Mark Garner won his sixth 12 lap Limited Late Model Main Event of the season.

Joel Myers won the first IMCA Modified heat race ahead of Bill Egleston.  Kyle Wilson held off brother Alex Wilson to win the other six lapper.  Ricky Thatcher led the first Main Event lap from the pole before a high move in Turn 4 of the second lap gained Bob Williamson the lead.  Thatcher got sideways in front of A. Wilson in Turn 4 with K. Wilson also involved in the lap three caution flag.  K. Wilson pitted with a flat tire.  Williamson chose the inside, only to watch as Paul Stone raced by for the lead.  Stone began to pull away to a straightaway advantage over Williamson.  A. Wilson made an inside pass on the front stretch of the seventh lap to take third from Dereck Colvin, and a lap eight caution flag flew for debris..  Stone went with the inside for this restart and continued to hold command over Williamson and A. Wilson.  Stone had it dialed in on the bottom groove and pulled away, leaving the battle for second.  Williamson had his hands full defending second from A. Wilson, Thatcher and K. Wilson.  Williamson protected his line and rebuffed A. Wilson’s advances.  K. Wilson finally made his move around Thatcher for fourth on lap 18.  However, P. Stone won by a wide margin.  Williamson was a season best second ahead of A. Wilson, K Wilson, Joel Myers, Shawn DeForest, Tim Gagnon, Thatcher, Steve Streeter and Egleston.

The Hobby Stocks ran two heat races with Austin Van Hoff winning his heat race ahead of Kevin Joaquin.  Cody Parker won the other six lap heat race ahead of Michael Shearer.  Pole sitter Shearer raced into the lead at the start with Parker and Joaquin in close pursuit.  Jennifer Corder spun in Turn 2 for a lap six caution flag.  Shearer chose the outside on the restart .  Contact between second place contenders Joaquin and Parker in Turn 2 saw Joaquin spin into the Turn 2 infield as Parker fell behind Austin Van Hoff.  Joaquin got going just ahead of the smoking Shearer, and he ended up being lapped.  However, Shearer’s motor gave up on him as he crossed the line to complete lap 12.  Shearer limped to the pits as Van Hoff led rookies Dexter Long and Jennifer Corder.  Van Hoff won by a half lap as Long had a career best second place finish.  Joaquin caught and passed Corder as they took the white flag, but Joaquin spun in Turn 2.  Corder finished third ahead of Joaquin.  Shearer was scored fifth ahead of Parker as Josh Hensley, Steve Torres and Steve Rodgers were Main Event scratches.

Roy Hart Jr. snapped Mark Garner’s streak of winning every heat race he's been in this season as he won the six lapper.  Garner raced into the lead at the start of the Main Event, and Hart spun in Turn 2 for a lap one caution flag.  Garner opted for the outside on the restart and continued to set the pace.  Hart made an inside pass on the back stretch of the fourth lap to take second from Thatcher, and a lap five caution flag flew for debris on the race track.  Garner again went with the outside and continued to lead Hart on the restart.  Hart took a couple of looks to the inside of Garner and nearly spun at one point in Turn 2.  However, Garner hit all his marks for a well earned victory.  Hart settled for second ahead of Thatcher.

Racing continues next Sunday at Merced Speedway with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Northern All Stars Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Dwarf Cars.  For further information, check out the official Oval Motorsports Website.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stone Grabs Second Merced Speedway Main Event Victory

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme 

Additional info on the Short Track History Project  HERE

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Stone Grabs Second Merced Speedway Main Event Victory

Paul Stone impressed with a dominating effort that earned him a victory in the 20 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Sunday night at Merced Speedway.  The win was the second of the season for Stone aboard the Jack Mounce owned Modified.  Stone won by a full straightaway at the checkered flag.

A veteran of racing at Merced Speedway for over 40 years, Bob Williamson led the first three laps before being passed by Stone.  However, Williamson drove to a season best second place finish.  Point leader Alex Wilson was involved in that first yellow flag, but he charged from the back to a third place finish.

Mark Odgers won his first 20 lap IMCA Sport Mod Main Event of the season.  Dwayne Short led the first seven laps before Odgers made a pass in Turn 3 for the lead.  However, Odgers lost the lead back to Short on a lap 12 restart.  He remained persistent and made a low pass exiting Turn 2 on lap 16 to regain the lead.  From there, Odgers brought it home to a satisfying victory.  Point leader Josh Hensley made a last lap pass on Short to finish second.

Austin Van Hoff became the 12th different 20 lap Hobby Stock feature winner of the season.  Luck was on his side.  A tangle between second place runners Kevin Joaquin and Cody Parker gained Van Hoff second behind a heavily smoking Michael Shearer.  When Shearer’s motor finally gave up on him on lap 12, Van Hoff would gain the lead and win by a comfortable margin. Rookier Dexter Long was a career best second place finisher ahead of Jennifer Corder.

Chris Corder finally won his first 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event of the season.  He beat point leader Darren Miguel at the start, but Kelly Campanile actually took the lead from him on a lap three restart.  A yellow on lap eight provided Corder with the restart he would use to regain the lead.  From there, Corder drove a good race and was rewarded with a much needed victory.  Campanile earned her third second place finish of the season ahead of Joy Alger.

Mark Garner led all the way to win his sixth 12 lap Limited Late Model Main Event of the season.  Garner held off the late challenge of second place finisher Roy Hart Jr.  Buddy Thatcher finished third.

Racing resumes at Merced Speedway next Sunday night with a five division show that will feature IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks.

Sunday July 26, 2015
Race Results

IMCA Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Joel Myers, Kyle Wilson.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Paul Stone, Bob Williamson, Alex Wilson, K. Wilson, Myers.

IMCA Sport Mods
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Josh Hensley, Dwayne Short.   Main Event (20 Laps)-Mark Odgers, Hensley, Short, Marisa Odgers, Mark Squardrito.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Austin Van Hoff, Cody Parker.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Van Hoff, Dexter Long, Jennifer Corder, Kevin Joaquin, Shearer

Mini Stocks
Heat Winners (6 Laps)- Darren Miguel, Chris Corder.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Corder, Kelly Campanile, Joy Alger, Natalie Waldrop, Andrew Krumm.

Limited Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Roy Hart Jr.  Main Event (12 Laps)-Mark Garner, Hart, Buddy Thatcher.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Papenhausen Scores Sixth Late Model Feature Win At Antioch Speedway

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme 

Additional info on the Short Track History Project  HERE

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Papenhausen Scores Sixth Late Mode Feature Win At Antioch Speedway

Wasting little time grabbing the lead, Richard Papenhausen won the 20 lap DIRTcar Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  Papenhausen grabbed the lead from Anthony Restad with a Turn 4 pass on lap four and set sail for his sixth feature win of the season.  He won by over a straightaway, leaving the battle for second.

Restad had his hands full with previous winner Troy Foulger making several attempts to get by him.  However, Restad ran a good race and held off Foulger’s every advances for his second runner up finish of the season.  Foulger settled for third with point leader Jeff Decker right behind him in fourth.

Anthony Giuliani won his second 20 lap Sport Mod Main Event of the season.  Giuliani grabbed the lead from Ron Brown with a Turn 2 pass on lap seven.  Fifth row starter Fred Ryland worked his way into second and briefly grabbed the lead on lap 16 before drifting up in Turn 3 and falling back to fourth.  Guiliani led the rest of the way for a well earned victory ahead of Patti Ryland and Paul Mulder.

Jeff Lee returned for the first time since the season opener and won the 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event.  Lee led all 20 laps for the victory.  During the final 10 laps, Lee had point leader Kyle Bakkie and Jimmy Perry III right behind him.  Perry tried several times to slip by Bakkie on the inside, but it was Bakkie grabbing the runner up finish.  Perry settled for third.

David Teves picked up his fourth 20 lap Main Event win of the season to increase his Dwarf Car point lead.  Teves rapidly worked his way up to the front from tenth starting and grabbed the lead from Pat Urdahl on a lap nine restart.  Urdahl had led from the start and settled for a season best second place finish ahead of Adam Teves.  The race had just one caution flag, and the lead five cars ran in close formation at the end as Josh Miller and Kevin Miraglio rounded out the Top 5.

Kimo Oreta grabbed his sixth 20 lap Hobby Stock feature win of the season.  The current point leader Oreta started on the front row and led the entire distance for the victory.  After Michael Cooper and then Danny Jones had mechanical issues while running second, Jordan Swank held off Calvin Louis Jr. and Chris Long in a close battle for a career best second place finish.

Racing resumes next Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with a five division show that will include IMCA Modifieds, MCA Sport Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.

Race Results
Saturday Night, July 25, 2015

DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Richard Papenhausen, Troy Foulger.  Main Event (20 laps)-Papenhausen, Anthony Restad, Foulger, Jeff Decker, John Soares Jr.

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Ron Brown, Trevor Clymens.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Anthony Giuliani, Patti Ryland, Paul Mulder, Al Sotomayor, K.C. Keller.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Marcus Smith, Kyle Bakkie. Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Lee, Bakkie, Jimmy Perry III, Alan Miranda, Pete Carlotto.

Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Josh Miller, Jerry Doty, David Teves.  Main Event (20 Laps)-D. Teves, Pat Urdahl, Adam Teves, Miller, Kevin Miraglio.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (6 Laps)- Joey Ridgeway, Cameron Swank.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Oreta, Jordan Swank, Calvin Louis Jr., Chris Long, Ridgeway.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Late Models At Antioch, IMCA Modifieds At Merced And Pit Stops

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Also, what could be a series of informative books...

Short Track History Project at Gofundme 

Additional info on the Short Track History Project  HERE

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

The DCRR Racing Radio Show
Weekend Preview Edition

The Hunt Series Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event from Petaluma Speedway can be viewed HERE

BCRA/USAC Midgets Main Event from Petaluma Speedway can be viewed HERE

Controversial IMCA Stock Car finish from Bakersfield Speedway can be viewed HERE

Part 1 of the Bakersfield Speedway portion of the Bako Motorsports Power Hour can be viewed HERE

Part 1 of the Bakersfield Speedway portion of the Bako Motorsports Power Hour can be viewed HERE

Tony Karis filed his Ocean Speedway report with the Register-Pajaronian HERE

Late Models Headline Five Division Show 
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch Speedway is in the midst of its busiest Late Model schedule since 1993.  On Saturday night, they will hold their 11th of 14 scheduled events, and the championship battle is still close.  Also on the card will be the IMCA Sport Modifeds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.

Jeff Decker has been the model of consistency.  A past Antioch Late Model champion, Decker drove to a second place finish last time out.  His eighth Top 3 finish in 11 starts gives him a 22 point lead over defending champion Richard Papenhausen.  Papenhausen missed the Summer Nationals with a back injury, and the five time feature winner seemed to be moving around slowly in the pits last time out.  He still managed a third place finish that night.

Papenhausen had his hands full that night as Chester Kniss finished right behind him in fourth.  That finish moved Kniss five points ahead of Rob Norris for fifth in the standings.  Chester will be joined by his 14 year old son, Chester Kniss Jr., who makes his Dwarf Car debut this week.  The battle for third in Late Model points remains close as David Newquist holds a 22 point advantage over Danny Malfatti.

The Top 6 drivers are anticipated for this event.  The division is good for 10-12 drivers most nights, but who will make up the rest of the field changes from week to week.  Troy Foulger won his second feature last time out, but it remains to be seen if he will show.  The track's house car will be there and other possibilities include Anthony Restad, Mike Hynes and Dennis Souza.  One or two cars from  one time winner Paul Guglielmoni's team is a possibility as well.

Fred Ryland needs wins to bring home that coveted IMCA National Sport Mod championship.  Last week, Ryland pulled down a pair of seconds at Marysville and Merced.  He has over 20 wins on the circuit, including six at Antioch, but he has fallen to second in the National championship hunt.  His Antioch and State point leads are well in hand at the moment.

The battle for second is a tie between Al Johnson and Paul Mulder.  Mulder has a win this year, but Johnson is coming off of a sold fourth place finish.  Only three points behind Keith Brown Jr., Chuck Golden appears ready to make a move on fourth.  Trevor Clymens is coming off of a strong second place finish and is anticipated this week.  Ron Brown recently celebrated his 65th birthday and has a pair of seconds this year.  Other drivers we are anticipating this week include Patti Ryland, Al Sotomayor and Megan Ponciano.

Point leader Kyle Bakkie seems to be struggling in his Wingless Spec Sprinter after the crash a month ago, and the team actually had a backup car last week just in case.  He struggled to a sixth place finish, while Rick Panfili earned a career best second place finish.  Bakkie's lead over Panfili is now 26 points.  Marcus Smith is only 24 points behind Panfili after his third place finish last week, but he's also just 16 points in front of Alan Miranda in the battle for third.

Rookie Chase Wood Jr. finally moved into fifth in the standings, and the Top 5 drivers are anticipated for this race.  However, Wood may have a hard time holding off Jimmy Perry III for that spot as the three time winner is just 16 points back. Just who will show up is still the question, but we anticipate Jeremy Newberry and one time winner James East may be among the field.

The tide seems to have turned in Dwarf Cars as the division returns from about a month off.  Three time winner David Teves leads two time winner Danny Wagner by 30 points, but Wagner has picked up a pair of wins at other tracks since then.  Can the two time champion get an Antioch win this week?  David isn't the only Teves who has won this season.  His talented son Adam has two wins of his own and is only 26 points behind Wagner in the race for second.

Fourth ranked Mike Corsaro and fifth place Kevin Miraglio are anticipated for what should be a 12-16 car field this week.  Miraglio and fellow Antioch regular Thomas Leiby both had wins at the recent Dwarf Car Regionals event in Watsonville for their first wins of the season.  Sixth ranked Miranda Chappa is getting faster lately, and she should be there this week along with Tim Reeder, Brian Gray and the return of one time winner Jack Haverty.

Point leader Kimo Oreta revealed last week that he's ready to move up from Hobby Stocks to Limited Late Models after this season.  With five wins this year, Oreta is leaving the battle for second.  Danny Jones blew a motor in a second place heat race finish last week, allowing rookie Jordan Swank to move into second in the standings.   Swank leads Jones by seven points.  Michael Cooper's fourth place finish last week has him 11 points out of second while the steady Frank Furtado is 33 points out of second. 

Jones has five second place finishes and may be the fastest of the four, but there's a question of whether he will have a motor ready in time for this race.  Swank's team was hard at work on a motor on Sunday to have them ready this week.  With two wins and two seconds, eighth raked Chris Sorensen will be starting no better than tenth this week.  Other drivers we'll be watching for include Natalie Perry, hard charger Cameron Swank, recent winner Chase Templeton and Russell Shearer.

The racing should be exciting from flag to flag.  Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.

Antioch Speedway Top 5 At A Glance

DirtCar Late Models

Jeff Decker    498
Richard Papenhausen 476
Dave Newquist     410
Danny Malfatti    388
Chester Kniss     320

IMCA Sport Mod

Fred Ryland     353
Paul Mulder     296
Al Johnson     296
Keith Brown Jr. 275
Chuck Golden     272

Wingless Spec Sprints

Kyle Bakkie    480
Rick Panfili     454
Marcus Smith    430
Alan Miranda    414
Chase Wood Jr.    304

Hobby Stocks

Kimo Oreta     786
Jordan Swank    543
Danny Jones     536
Michael Cooper    532
Frank Furtado     510

Dwarf Cars

David Teves     560
Danny Wagner    530
Adam Teves    504
Mike Corsaro    440
Kevin Miraglio    410

IMCA Modifieds Headline Sunday Night Program 
At Merced Speedway

There are some exciting things happening at Merced Speedway.  The IMCA Modifieds, which headline this Sunday night's show, has a close championship battle.  A rookie is poised to win the IMCA Sport Modified division championship.  The Hobby Stocks have had 11 different winners in 15 races.  A driver with 10 wins has a Mini Stock championship in his sights.  Add Limited Late Models to the mix, and you have a five division show that should be entertaining.

The Wilson brothers, Alex and Kyle, seem to make the IMCA Modifieds interesting wherever they go.  They've run six different tracks in their last eight appearances, and Alex leads the State race ahead of Kyle.  Kyle won it last year and has three Merced feature wins after last Sunday.  Alex led a lap late before falling back to fourth  However, Alex is now 12 points ahead of Bill Egleston in a close Merced championship battle.

With John MacDougall recently bowing out of the championship battle due to his Petaluma wreck. Ricky Thatcher and Bob Williamson's season long battle will be for third.  Thatcher had a fifth place finish last week to gain a seven point advantage  over Williamson.  K. Wilson is slowly closing in on them after a late start to his season.

The Sunday scheduling means you never know who will show up.  Last Sunday, two champions from elsewhere, Troy Foulger and Jimmy Reeves, came to town.  Foulger would finish second ahead of a strong third place finish for Dereck Colvin.  Colvin could be there this week.  Others to watch for include, Karl Rose, Jeff Streeter and Paul Stone.

Josh Hensley is maintaining a huge advantage in the IMCA Sport Mod ranks as he chases a championship and "Rookie Of The Year" award in the same season.  The battle for second finds Dwanye Short still holding on after another Top 10 finish.  His advantage over recent fifth place finisher Mark Odgers in just 16 points.  After his second win in three races, Bruce Nelson is 41 points out of second and just four points ahead of Antioch point leader Fred Ryland. All five drivers are anticipated this week.

A veteran of Street Stocks and the Sportsman division at Merced, Gary Tucker impressed with a third place finish last week.  Tucker does have one win this year.  He currently sits sixth in the standings.  With three wins at Merced and a recent win at Watsonville, Rick Diaz could be another driver to watch this week.  The Sunday scheduling has helped bring in cars from out of town, and car count has been up these last two weeks.

The Hobby Stocks are so unpredictable that you just don't know who will win from week to week.  Case in point, 15 year old Cody Parker made his first start at Merced a winning effort.  He's the 11th different winner this season.  He gained the lead after 2014 champion Raul Rodriguez spun in Turn 3 and point leader Kevin Joaquin was put to the back by track officials for contact that took him the rest of the way around.  Three time feature winner Joaquin still managed a third place finish.

Another three time winner, Kristie Shearer, finished second to maintain a 12 point lead over Shannon Nelson in the battle for third.  In fact, Shearer is within striking distance of Jennifer Corder, 49 points behind the second place point runner.   Fifth and seventh place drivers George Silva and Bobby Williams were out making repairs to their cars, but both are anticipated this week.  Austin Van Hoff, the Michael Shearer car, Phil Vaughn and Ty Shelton are others to watch for.

Darren Miguel's point lead over Chris Corder is now 30 points in the Mini Stocks following Miguel's 10th win of the season.  Corder had the win in hand aboard the Alex Odishoo car, but his motor began misfiring with four laps to go.  He's still winless this season as he settled for second.  At this point, getting a win may be more important than the championship for Corder.

Natalie Waldrop and Kelly Campanile have made consecutive appearances at Merced, and both have been competitive.  Campanile had a strong second place finish two weeks ago, and Waldrop used her third place finish last week to settle into fifth in the standings.  Others we're watching for this week include Matt Shlessinger, Brian Widdowson and newcomer Jeff Amos.   We've also been informed that second generation racer Lucy Falkenberg is visiting from Texas and will make her Mini Stock debut on Sunday,

The last time the Limited Late Models raced at Merced, Buddy Thatcher and Scott Van Gelder crashed in a heat race to end the night for both.  Van Gelder leads their second place battle by 32 points, but it is five time winner Mark Garner holding a commanding lead in the championship battle.  Who will be there this week is still a question, but the last Main Event was won by 2013-14 champion Roy Hart Jr.

It should be an exciting night of racing in Merced.  Merced Speedway is located inside the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Merced, Calif. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $8 for children 6-12. A family four-pack of tickets admits two children and two adults for $32. Racing begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The grandstand opens at 4:30 p.m.

Merced Speedway Top 5 At A Glance

IMCA Modified

Alex Wilson     393
Bill Egleston     381
John MacDougall 321
Ricky Thatcher     302
Bob Williamson     295

IMCA Sport Mod

Josh Hensley     539
Dwayne Short     374
Mark Odgers     358
Bruce Nelson     333
Fred Ryland     329

Hobby Stock

Kevin Joaquin     636
Jennifer Corder 510
Kristie Shearer 461
Shannon Nelson     452
George Silva     334

Mini Stocks

Darren Miguel     636
Chris Corder     606
Dennis Copus     318
Kevin Lockerby     283
Natalie Waldrop 262

Limited Late Model

Mark Garner     332
Scott Van Gelder 184
Buddy Thatcher     152
Peggy Sue Jarred 144
Roy Hart     140

 Pit Stops

We just happened to be looking at the West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame page when we noticed that John Cardinale has just been inducted this year.  It happened just a few weeks ago.  Sadly, John passed away back in 2013, so he didn't get to enjoy the honor.  John spent over a decade as the Publicity Director at Sears Point Raceway.

He actually got started in motorsports with the Contra Costa Times and Antioch Ledger after Charlie Zeno retired.  It's at that point where this reporter got to meet him and give him advice on the racing scene at Antioch Speedway.  He was a quick study and wrote some great articles.

We were thinking of two others that the West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame could induct.  There's John Soares Jr. and Gary Jacob.  John's history includes the 1969 Sportsman State championship, among other championships, a win on the NASCAR circuit, a reputation as a builder of winning race cars, Lobak Mufflers, a Stock Car promoter in Australia and State champion in Queensland and 18 years as a promoter.

That's a sampling of John's accomplishments.  Now, his father was inducted along with Bob Barkhimer and others the first year the Hall Of Fame was opened.  The problem is that this can be a political deal.  With Ken Clapp involved, John may not stand a chance due to personal feelings, but he would be deserving.  That's a shame, but we all know how politics goes.

There's no such hold up on Gary Jacob.  One might hold the fact that he didn't officially work for a race track against him, but that just shouldn't be.  Gary did quite a bit to help promote Stock Car racing by writing articles for Racing Wheels and other publications for over 30 years.  He had a passion for Late Model racing and could make or break a show with his efforts to get the word out.

The Hall Of Fame at Antioch Speedway and Merced Speedway is an idea who's time has come.  Antioch Speedway is 55 years old and Merced is 65, and many legendary racers have passed through those gates through the years.  Last Saturday, BCRA continued their tradition of The London Bash Hall Of Fame picnic.  After inductions and a good lunch, everybody headed over to the track to watch as BCRA Midgets, Midget Lites and Vintage Midgets competed on the same night for the only time this season.

In case you were wondering, this year's BCRA Hall Of Fame inductees included Bill Lindsey (Midget owner), Richard Walsh (Midget driver), John Riley Sr. (Midget Lites owner), Pete Bray (Vintage owner/driver), Rosemarie Bray (Vintage owner) and Sammy Belfiore (Friend Of BCRA).

BCRA has Midget Lites races at Antioch and Merced, but no Midget races.  The club and Oval Motorsports can't come to an agreement on numbers that both sides are happy with.  For a couple years at the beginning of the 1980's, Antioch was the home track for the BCRA Midgets.  Perhaps some day a deal can be worked out to get the Midgets back at Antioch?  One can only hope.

The Midget Lites had a date at Merced for August 1st, but the move from Saturday to Sunday at Merced meant they would have to race on the 2nd.  The Midget Lites drivers decided that wasn't good for them and canceled.  They cited a Monday work date as reason, leaving Oval Motrsports to scramble for a replacement.  It looks as if the Dwarf Cars may be added on that date.

While there is a desire to add Dwarf Cars at Merced, more effort needs to be made to get drivers on board.  Merced Speedway is an ideal track for these cars, and some 20 years ago, this was the first home track for the NCDCA.  It might not hurt to give NCDCA or SBDCA a call and either get them on board for a club race or get their blessing in sending a few drivers to race.

On Sunday, the Dwarf Cars were on the card at Merced, and there was a question as to who might race.  Two time Antioch champion Danny Wagner made the trip.  Merced's Mike Drake was there early, hoping others would show.  Chris Kenner came in from NCDCA and Toby Brown also competed.  The last time they had a date scheduled, the GM canceled the show during the week.

Wagner easily won this race by a half lap over the man listed as the point leader after three races, Drake.  Kenner was right behind Drake at the line.  Management is looking to establish something here, and if the right phone calls are made, something could happen.  Because the two clubs have busy schedules as it is and not many Antioch or Petaluma racers will make the trip, you have to make an effort to get the cars.  Six to ten cars are possible, or more, depending on the race dates and the promotional effort.

Natalie Waldrop would love to get a Dwarf Car next season, but the Mini Stock competitor will probably be in a Hobby Stock next season according to her father, Rob Waldrop.  Natalie has raced at Madera, Chowchilla and Merced this season, and she is Top 5 ranked at Merced.  In fact, she has a shot at third if she continues to race.  Kevin Lockerby has apparently moved on and third ranked Dennis Copus says work will keep him from racing on Sundays.

Waldrop finished third on Sunday in the seven car field, which was her best finish yet.  Jeff Amos made his return in a new car after the old car suffered heavy damage in a crash.  The return of the same six drivers from a week earlier made it a seven car field.  It was a debut he'd rather forget as he spun Matt Shlessinger sideways into the front wall in an incident that left Brian Widdowson and Kelly Campanile with damaged race cars.  He ended up black flagged while only Shlessinger was able to continue.

Campanile was feeling pretty good after her second place finish in the previous race.  Even winner Darren Miguel admitted he had to work hard for the win he got that night.  Campanile had a heat win seemingly in hand at the recent race before slipping up on the front stretch and falling to third.  Miguel seemed destined for second in the recent Main Event as Chris Corder led in the Alex Odishoo #48 car.  Then, that persistent motor problem returned with a few laps to go, dropping him to second.  Nothing they have done to that car so far seems to have worked, and Corder has to be wondering what he has to do to get a Merced win.

A conversation with fourth place finisher Shlessinger revealed that he and Widdowson are considering a Rodeo Arena Figure 8 Fair Tour after their recent fun in Alameda.  They are even talking about throwing a few more cars together.  This isn't really a bad idea, but Oval Motorsports has said that these races are not likely to happen at their tracks due to insurance rates.

Getting back to Rob Waldrop for a moment, the second generation racer got to drive a Hardtop Saturday night for Bill McLaughlin at Placerville Speedway.  There were reportedly 15 cars on hand for this race, and Waldrop picked up the win ahead of John Philbert.  There was some side by side racing throughout the pack, and the #3 and #27 (Ken Clifford) cars finished ahead of fifth place finisher Tommy Thomson.  Local leadfoot Dennis Armstrong and John Turner rounded out the Top 7.

Mike McCann was down from Oregon and actually sold one of his cars that night,  McCann got the consent of John Philbert to poll the racers on a few subjects, including how many dates they want, thoughts on pavement and dirt racing and that sort of thing.  The results were interesting and will go a long way towards deciding where things go from here.  The Hardtop effort seems to have renewed interest these days, and an August 22nd date has been booked for Antioch.  A roster we compiled back in 2013 showed 25 cars available in the Northern California area.  For those wondering, Hardtops race at Chico on July 31st, Marysville August 1st and Placerville August 8th before the Antioch date.

The IMCA Modifieds took center stage at both Merced and Antioch last weekend, and it seemed to be that Shawn DeForest and Kyle Wilson were the stars shining the brightest.  At Antioch, DeForest has teamed with respected car owner Jim Reid to form a potent combination.  You may have heard of Jim's brother, "Black" Bart Reid, a Street Stock and Dirt Modified champion through the years with many feature wins along the way.  Jim was the man behind the scenes helping make Bart's #12 car all it could be.

Since Bart stepped away, Jim put together a new #72 Modified.  It's interesting that Bart has a standing offer to come race, but Jim has another talented racer behind the wheel in Shawn DeForest.  Shawn has driven American Stocks and Late Models and has wins in both classes.  To prove that he still has it, Shawn led from flag to flag in a non stop race at Antioch on Saturday night.  They are trying different setup things on this car to apply to a new car that Jim is slowly putting together.

Kyle Wilson made a last turn traffic pass on six time Petaluma champion Michael Paul Jr. for the second place finish that moved him into fourth in Antioch points.  The 2014 State champion wasn't done there.  He headed to Merced on Sunday and grabbed his third victory.  Once he got the lead from Dereck Colvin, he only briefly lost the lead to his Merced and State point leading brother Alex Wilson before collecting his third win.

After starting late, Kyle is closing in fast on fifth in points and has a realistic shot at third in Merced points to go with his second place State ranking.  The Wilson boys are willing to race anywhere and everywhere they can.  In the last month, they've raced at Merced, Antioch, Petaluma, Watsonville, Santa Maria, Chowchilla and Chico.  In a time when others take breaks, these two can't seem to get enough racing, and they are fast wherever they go.

Speaking of fast wherever he goes, Troy Foulger pulled his usual surprises last weekend.  He's been hot lately at Antioch, where he has four championships.  Of course, that meant Bowers Racing towed to Bakersfield for more dry slick racing setup practice.  After an eighth place finish there, he showed up late at Merced and made a late pass on A. Wilson to finish second.  Wilson wasn't very happy about the Turn 2 pass as he fell to fourth, but he doubled his track point lead to 12 over Bill Egleston, who was just lucky to be there racing.  Bill only got out of the hospital an hour before showing up and obviously wasn't at his best.

Another surprise in the field was many time Hanford and Santa Maria champion Jimmy Reeves in his pretty blue and pink #0 car.  Jimmy isn't getting enough races at Hanford this year, so he hits other races and was a recent winner at Perris Auto Speedway.  He had mechanical issues take him out of the running early in the Main Event on Sunday night.

Josh Combs put a new body and black and white paint job on his #12 Modified.  The IMCA Modified rookie made good laps at Antioch and was a lead lap eighth before taking a checkered in seventh the next night at Merced.  This had to be a little encouraging to the former pavement Stock Car racer that things are coming together.  Finishing fifth was Ricky Thatcher, and that finish gained him fourth in points from Bob Williamson, who was absent.  Both drivers are poised to finally pass John MacDougall, who had to bow out of the point race after badly damaging his race car at Petaluma.

At Antioch, Bobby Motts Jr. is feeling the effects of the failure to qualify for the Friday night feature during the Summer Nationals.  He entered the night trailing Scott Busby by 30 points and beat him to the finish line for the fourth place feature finish.  Busby was right behind him and would only lose one point.  It seems like a long shot now for Motts to pass Busby, but you never know what can happen in racing.

Carl Berendsen II had the body off of his car right up until Saturday morning as he was still repairing the damage to his car caused by a hard crash in the Summer Nationals.  Another Antioch regular, Mike Salazar had to miss the show fixing his car after his crash in the Summer Nationals and may be out for a while.  Carl didn't want to give up on his season just yet, so he got it together and came back.  It seemed okay for a while as he dueled with K. Wilson for third, but more problems with the handling dropped him back to a seventh place finish.  The good news is the 2014 champion has a good hold on third in the standings.

Speaking of recovering from a crash, Antioch Wingless Spec Sprint point leader Kyle Bakkie is still trying to get his car back to where it was after his flip to end the feature two races ago.  The team brought the back up car last time and had it loaded and ready to go last week.  Kyle made the best of it with a sixth place finish, but it was a night in which he lost some of his point lead to Rick Panfili.

Panfili may not have been able to say this too many times in his career, but he really could have won Saturday's Main Event.  The race actually belonged to Keith Shipherd, who has had major motor issues in his two attempts to race this season.  Celebrating his 65th birthday, Keith returned to Antioch and led 13 laps of the Main Event.  Just when it looked like he had it in the bag, a spun lapped car caused a crash that ended his race with heavy damage.

Panfili had the lead, but any time you have past champion Jimmy Perry III right behind you, you know what's coming next.  Perry struggled earlier this season to get his motor running right, but it's there now.  He made the pass on lap 16 and won for the third time this season.  He's now within striking distance of Chase Wood Jr. for fifth in the standings.  Just two points ahead of Perry in sixth is two time winner Roy Fisher, so this is a three car battle.  Jimmy's father, Jim Perry Jr., revealed that he won't have his Spec Sprint ready for this season, but he may be driving a Hardtop for Dave Mackey at Antioch on August 22nd.  '

As for Fisher, unconfirmed reports are that he sold his Winged 360 Sprint Car but still has his Spec Sprinter.  No word on whether Roy might be back out there this week, but it's hoped that he is.  Looking at the championship battle, Panfili cut Bakkie's point lead to 26.  It's the end of July, and Panfili is still very much in the championship conversation.  He may still need that win to have a real shot, but he's looking like he can do it now.  Bakkie is struggling, but his team has the resources to get that situated.  Panfili's budget is such that one bad break could take him out of the action, making him the underdog in this battle.

Should Panfili falter just a little bit, rookie Marcus Smith is ready to pounce.  Smith and Alan Miranda were engaged in a side by side battle for third right behind him last week.  Panfili got the career best second place finish as Smith beat Miranda back to the line for third.  All three drivers have finished as high as second this year, but they have yet to win.  Smith is 24 points behind Panfili and just 16 points ahead of Miranda.  If three time winner Bakkie continues to struggle, the championship battle could get very interesting.

We were just commenting on potential race tracks out there, and it turns out there may be one opening its gates. Spec Sprints might be a part of it.  That would be Sacramento Raceway next to the drag strip.  A group interested in running Spec Sprints is investigating the possibilities.  This was the track that launched the CSRA Spec Sprints in 2003, the same year they ran Hardtops. Interestingly enough, there is a group looking into bringing Hardtops there too if the track does open.  Other possibilities as divisions that have raced there in the last decade or so are Mini Stocks and 600 Mini Sprints.  Will something come of this rumor?  Stay tuned...

The car count numbers have been looking pretty good in Merced IMCA Sport Mods, and Bruce "Bubba" Nelson has been on fire lately.  He has won two of the last three races and was second in the race he didn't win.  Sunday may have been the two time Hobby Stock champion's best run yet.  He had National championship contender Fred Ryland right behind him and desperate to make the pass for the win.  Bubba made his #4 car very wide coming out of Turn 4, and even Ryland's inside pass attempt on the final lap fell short.  Nelson is now Top 5 in the points, but he has revealed that his car is up for sale.  He plans to get into an IMCA Modified.

Danny Roe was back in action and hoping to improve on the previous Sunday's fifth place finish.  Danny has been making trips to tracks that he feels can help him with setup ideas when he goes to the big National event in Boone, Iowa in September.  This has included Marysville, Merced and Antioch, where he was Top 10 in his recent start there.  Unfortunately, he got caught up in a hard crash in Turn 4 on Sunday after a lapped car spun in front of second place John Fore Jr.

Fore was part of a three car Merced invasion at Watsonville on Friday.  It was Rick Diaz winning that race as Fore finished third and Eric Rose was fourth.  Diaz had won the previous race at Merced, but the 2014 champion was also eliminated in the early goings of Sunday's race.  The race was in danger of a yellow checkered finish by lap ten, but the final ten laps proved to be non stop and very entertaining.  Gary Tucker had a strong third place finish, and Mark Odgers continued his creep towards second in the standings with a fifth place finish after an earlier spin.

Getting back to Ryland, he has already clinched the Chowchilla championship, holds a commanding lead at Antioch and in the State point race but he's in for a fight in the National battle.  After Ryland's win at Antioch and a DNF at Merced a week earlier, Tyler Frye moved into the lead by five points. Ryland is just eight points ahead of Nick Meyer for second.  He knew going into the latest weekend that he needed wins.  He may gain a couple points for his second place finishes at Marysville and Merced, but he has his work cut out for him in his bid to regain the National point lead.

Speaking of point leaders, Merced Hobby Stock point leader Kevin Joaquin was back in action after missing the Ted Stofle Classic to be in a wedding.  He was nursing a sore neck and was unsure if he would run a full Main Event or not.  After winning his heat race, he decided to go for it and nearly won the Main Event.  Raul Rodriguez was back and driving the Shearer Racing #72 car.  When he began to spin in front of Joaquin, Kevin tried to slow but hit him and took him around.  Joaquin was penalized to the back of the pack and managed to charge back to third.

Jeff Lacy and Phil Vaughn were making their season debuts at Merced.  Vaughn hadn't raced in five years as he was debuting the Hiser Racing #76k car.  He last raced at Chowchilla Speedway, and he was sixth in Hobby Stock points in 2009..  Lacy had a Nova the last time he raced, but he had a new car painted in Miami Dolphins colors with the #13 in honor of Dan Marino.  It's a rather nice looking car, and Jeff took a checkered flag in seventh.  Vaughn started having problems late in the race and ended up with an eighth place finish.

When Cody Parker made his first career start at Chowchilla in early June, he seemed to be just a bit nervous.  He barely made the call for his heat race but ended up a respectable fifth in the Main Event.  He had recently turned 15 and got behind the wheel of Jack Chapman's #33 car.  He was only making his first start at Merced, and he had a third place run going when Rodriguez and Joaquin got together.  Suddenly, he had the lead.  He led the rest of the way, but with third ranked Kristie Shearer right behind him, that win didn't come easy.  He became the 11th different winner in 15 races.

Back at Antioch Speedway, Kimo Oreta was in for a pleasant surprise.  The two time defending champion and runaway point leader is diverting some funds towards his Limited Late Model for next year and his Hobby Stock tires were looking a little bit worn out.  This is where Jim Thompson stepped in and sponsored four new tires for Oreta.  Jim has been helping several racers as well as being one of the sponsors of the Hot Wheel giveaways the track does every week.  Oreta won his heat race and then finished a close third in the Main Event.  While Joaquin is hinting that he'll be coming to Antioch soon, Oreta says he'll try to make a Merced race in September.

Oreta had the best seat in the house to watch 2010 champion Chris Sorensen battle 2013 Super Hobby Stock champion Jim Robbins for the win .  Robbins was giving the #7 car a shakedown run before a new driver takes over.  He drove a great race in second, but Sorensen was flawless in the lead.  Sorensen won for the second time this season, while Robbins was right there with him in second.  Oreta was working so hard to get underneath Robbins at one point that he got sideways in Turn 4 and lost ground.  He ran right with the leaders for a close third at the checkered flag.

Rookie Cameron Swank is already looking like a veteran driver out there.  In the previous race, he suffered heavy right front damage after a sideways car hit him.  The driveline was banging underneath the car and his right wheel was leaning, but the second generation racer still got it to the line with a heat win.  He repeated that last week with his third heat win of the season, though he settled for eighth in the feature, one position behind cousin and rookie leader Jordan Swank.  Jordan had some engine damage as he was smoking down the stretch, but that finish gained him second in points.  Danny Jones had that position, but he blew a motor finishing second in his heat race and didn't start the Main Event.

We hadn't seen Calvin Louis Jr. in quite some time.  When he was last there, his strung together a few Top 5 finishes and seemed to be on the verge of a win.  Sadly, his family suffered a loss with the passing of his sister after a lengthy illness.  Calvin had problems last week and ended up 11th.  His father, Late Model and American Stock veteran Calvin Louis Sr., revealed that he should have his Limited Late Model soon and hopes to debut it as soon as possible.

The Garner family has been rocked by bad news of their own with the declining heath of family patriarch Jerry "The Maverick" Garner.  Jerry had several Top 5 point seasons at Antioch through the years and won the 1969 State championship.  His son, third generation racer Mark Garner, has been driving hard to try and get a win for his dad.  That resulted in a rollover on the opening lap a few weeks ago.  He led ten laps of a Sport Mod feature two weeks ago before something broke in the suspension and he crashed.  Last week, Mark battled Jim Freethy early and held off the late challenge of point leader Larry Damitz.  However, Mark won his second Limited Late Model feature of the season.  It was an emotional win for Mark and family, and Jerry is very proud of his son.

Jeff Kendrick made an impressive Limited Late Model debut at Merced and finished second in the six car field about two months ago.  Kendrick is driving the former Jeff Silva championship car, but he's had a few problems since then as he gets comfortable with the car.  It didn't get much better for him last week as he hit the back wall and ended up crashing out the Turn 1 exit gate as all was not well with his car. 

Jeff wasn't planning a return to Merced, but Buddy Thatcher should be there.  Buddy's car was at Antioch Saturday night, and his three time Street Stock championship winning son Ricky was beating Mike Hynes back to the line for a fourth place finish.  Hynes had earlier won his heat race to keep the three car battle between he, Mike Gustafson and Garner close for second in points.  Gustafson finished third in the Main Event.

Racing returns to Antioch Speedway on Saturday night with a five division show featuring DIRTcar Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. IMCA Modifieds and Sport Mods headline at Merced Speedway along with Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Limited Late Models.  For further information, check the official Oval Motorsports Website.