Just A Kid From The Grandstands: My Time In Auto Racing
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Waldrop Has Two Win Weekend In California Hardtops
One of the names Antioch Speedway fans know well, Rob Waldrop, won two California Hardtop Main Events last weekend in the Bill McLaughlin car. The California Hardtop Association competed at Chico Silver Dollar Speedway last Friday and Marysville Raceway a night later, and Waldrop won both events. Waldrop won at Placerville a couple weeks earlier and has a three race winning streak going into this Saturday's race at Placerville.
Waldrop began driving race cars in the Street Stock division at Antioch Speedway. Through the years, he has built up a reputation as somebody who knows how to make a race car go faster. In 1998, he won the Street Stock championship at Antioch Speedway. The Waldrop family enjoys racing, and Rob's daughter Natalie is currently third in Mini Stock points at Merced Speedway. His father, "Wild" Bill Waldrop, raced Hardtops at Antioch Speedway in the 1960's.
Dennis Armstrong #77 was second at Chico
Waldrop had a Top 5 finish in the McLaughlin car at Antioch last season, but the two have taken it up a notch of late. At Chico, Waldrop charged from the third row to win the Main Event after winning the heat race earlier. In both races, Placerville's Dennis Armstrong chased Waldrop across the finish line for second place finishes. Armstrong was one of the top Stock Car drivers at Placerville Speedway in years gone by, and he has taken a liking to the Hardtop division.
Steve Cloyes #25 supported Chico and Marysville last week
Dan Whitney grabbed the final podium position in third with a solid effort. Ron Ruiz got behind the wheel of the #7 car and piloted it to a fourth place finish ahead of John Turner, Dave Mackey and Steve Cloyes. Troy Hovey and the #34 car were Main Event scratches.
On Saturday night at Marsyville, a half dozen competitors made the call, but it was Waldrop grabbing double victories again in the heat race and Main Event. Ron Ruiz and Zach Frazer were double podium finishers. It was Frazer finishing second ahead of Ruiz in the heat race, but Ruiz was second in the Main Event ahead of Frazer. Dan Whitney, Steve Cloyes and Jason Clifford completed the finishing order.
The Hardtops are in Placerville this Saturday night, and among the drivers anticipated for this event will be Dennis Armstrong, Jason Armstrong, Steve Cloyes, John Turner, John Philbert and Dan Whitney. A double digit car count was in the pits for Placerville last time, and it's possible that could be the case again this week.
On Saturday, August 22, Mike McCann helped negotiate a race date for Antioch Speedway. McCann has been working closely with CHA leader Philbert in trying to boost the division and get dates at Antioch, which is a popular track with several of the racers. Dave Mackey, Tommy Thomson, Dan Williams, Rob Waldrop and Larry Damitz are some of the drivers expected for Antioch, and a double digit turnout is anticipated. It is believed that a successful Antioch race will lead to more opportunities to race at Antioch in 2016.
Stevens Battles Collins For Third Straight
Sacramento Valley Speedway Win
Paul Stevens leads Shannon Collins and Jeremy Langenderfer on the last lap
In one of the better battles of the season, Paul Stevens captured his third straight 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event victory Saturday night at Sacramento Valley Speedway in Orland. The win did not come easily as Shannon Collins battled him fiercely and even made an outside pass at one point to briefly gain the lead. However, it was Stevens winning the race with Collins and Jeremy Langenderfer right behind him. Point leader Steve Martin pitted from third and made a couple passes to finish fourth ahead of Leonard Burrows, Cody Bundy and Rich Hood. Stevens won the heat race, but he still trails Martin by 50 points in the championship battle.
A good field of 600 Mini Sprints were on hand to compete this week, and the 20 lap Main Event podium was filled by three first time visitors. Trophy Dash winner Dan Mognaga won the Main Event ahead of 360 Sprint Car star Koen Shaw and Brandt Hancock. Shaw was also a heat race winner. Point leader Jeromie Crismon won his heat race before finishing fourth in the Main Event, followed by previous feature winner Tony Alosi. Todd Zachary was sixth ahead of Marty Plumb, Kenny Wanderstadt, Kyra Michelet and Danny Carmack. Crismon continues to lead the point standings by 70 over Plumb.
The 250 Mini Sprints equaled their best turnout of the season, and Jackie Whitson Jr. won his second Main Event in as many appearances. Dave McKinnon made his first appearance and won his heat race before finishing second in the feature ahead of point leader Jesse Garland, Andrew Love, Jackie Whitson Sr. and Jerrid Carter. Garland holds a commanding 150 point lead over Love after four races.
Keith Ross made it four 20 lap Mini Truck Main Event wins in a row with his latest victory. Past champion and heat winner Ross Vige finished second ahead of Dan Webster, Jeremy Callen and William Fogle. Ross now holds a 120 point lead over Webster after six races, while Webster leads Vige by 15 points in a closer battle for second.
Nick Vidovich won his fifth 20 lap Mini Stock feature of the season. He has finished no lower than third in seven starts, and his latest win came with heat winner Tom Davis a close second. Kenny Britt finished third ahead of John Kirkpatrick. Vidovich leads defending champion Davis by 15 points in the closest championship battle at the track.
Racing resumes this Saturday night on the fast one-fifth mile dirt oval with Wingless Sprints, Hobby Stocks, Mini Trucks and Mini Stocks all on the card. For further information, check the official Sacramento Valley Speedway Website.