Sunday, May 22, 2016

Antioch, Merced, Petaluma, Porterville Race Review Articles

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


If You Like Reading Our Articles, Visit The Tip Jar at Go Fund Me to support our efforts

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

The DCRR Racing Radio Show

Shaw, Ryland, Freethy Win At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...It rained all around Antioch Saturday morning, but Antioch Speedway avoided the weather.  The result was a show with more than 70 race cars in competition and some exciting racing on the three-eighth mile clay oval.  Feature winners for the evening were Koen Shaw (Winged 360 Sprint Cars), Oreste Gonella (A Modifieds), Fred Ryland (B Modifieds), Jim Freethy (Limited Late Models), Thomas Leiby (Dwarf Cars) and Dave Mackey (California Hardtops).

The Winged 360 Sprint Cars had a nice 12 car turnout with Koen Shaw and teammate Logan Seavey making the trip to the speedway.. Koen was coming off a strong Top 3 finish last time out, which was good enough to get Seavey to come out and give the track a try this week.  Though there were a few bumps in the other classes, the Sprint Car Main Event was destined to go 25 laps without a yellow flag.  It was Koen Shaw impressing with the Main Event victory.  Koen made all the right moves in traffic, and he would prevail ahead of his Seavey.  Marysville ace Colby Wiesz grabbed a third place finish ahead of, 2015 champion Shawn Arriaga, Billy Aton and point leader Art McCarthy.  Seavey and Wiesz were the heat race winners.

With a night off from battling for the point lead at Petaluma Speedway, Oreste Gonella returned to Antioch Speedway to make a run for the money.  The past Petaluma champion ran strong and would hold off 2015 "Rookie Of The Year" Nick Viscusi III for the victory.  Heat race winner John MacDougall spun late for a yellow and checkered flag finish as Trent Wentworth finished third ahead of Anthony Slaney and title hopeful Carl Berendsen II.  Raymond Lindeman was the other heat race winner.

Fred Ryland has been racing at different tracks this season as the 2015 champion tests his skill level against the best in the state.  He returned to his home track and promptly won his third B Modified Main Event of the season.  Ryland was chased across the line by point leader Al Johnson, who was collecting his third second place finish of the season.  Rookie Shane DeVolder was running third before he spun and collected two time Marysville Mini Stock champion Jimmy Ford.  This handed Danny Jones his best B Modified finish of the season in third.  Lloyd Cline and K.C. Keller rounded out the Top 5.  Heat winners on the evening were Trevor Clymens and Paul Mulder, who both finished out of the running in the Main Event.

Jim Freethy has had everything happen to him this season, including having his car catch on fire.  On Saturday night, he saw the reward for his perseverance as he won the Limited Late Model Main Event.  There was heavy attrition in the race, which was started off by Paul Hanley and John Keith spinning.  The field dwindled down to four cars after Mark Garner spun, collecting "Rookie Of The Year" hopeful Kimo Oreta.  The slowdowns would not keep Freethy from the winner's circle as he won ahead of point leader Larry Damitz, who was celebrating his 87th birthday.  Garner settled for third ahead of the steady John Evans and Oreta.  Division veterans Damitz and Mike Gustafson were the heat race winners.

The Dwarf Car Main Event was marred by a hard rollover crash that involved Toby Brown and Wade Humphrey.  Humphrey suffered a leg injury in the red flag incident.  When racing finally got going, Thomas Leiby led the way ahead of point leader Kevin Miraglio.  The time limit ended the race at ten laps with Leiby recording the win and Miraglio settling for another second place finish.  Chuck Weir was third ahead of two time champion Danny Wagner and Mike Corsaro.  Corsaro, Miraglio and Jeff Fitch were the heat race winners.

Rob Waldrop was going for a sweep in the Bill McLaughlin owned #36 Hardtop, but he ran into a challenge from the surprising Dave Mackey.  As Waldrop led the way, Mackey was trying hard to find a way by in his Dudley Racing Tribute #1 Hardtop.  Finally, Mackey made his move in Turn 4 and went on to a satisfying victory.  Waldrop settled for second ahead of Ron Ruiz and last week's feature winner at Chico, Ken Clifford.

For further information on scheduling and rules, check out the official website at

Unofficial Race Results, Saturday Night May 21

A Modified
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-John MacDougall, Raymond Lindeman.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Oreste Gonella, Nick Viscusi III, Trent Wentworth, Anthony Slaney, Carl Berendsen II.

Winged 360 Sprints
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Colby Wiesz, Logan Seavey. Main Event (25 Laps)-Koen Shaw, Logan Seavey, Wiesz, Shawn Arriaga, Billy Aton, Art McCarthy

Limited Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Larry Damitz, Mike Gustafson.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jim Freethy, Larry Damitz, Mark Garner, John Evans, Kimo Oreta.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Paul Mulder, Trevor Clymens.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Fred Ryland, Al Johnson, Danny Jones, Lloyd Cline, K.C. Keller.

Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Kevin Miraglio, Mike Corsaro, Jeff Fitch.  Main Event (10 Laps)-Thomas Leiby, Miraglio, Chuck Weir, Danny Wagner, Corsaro.

California Hardtops
Heat Winner (6 Laps)-Rob Waldrop.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Dave Mackey, Rob Waldrop, Ron Ruiz, Ken Clifford, Jason Clifford.

Ramie Stone Back With Big Win In All Star Series,
Rodriguez Wins Funkhouser Memorial Race

Merced, CA...The All Star Modified Series ran their second race of the season with a visit to Merced Speedway on Saturday night.  The track also paid tribute to Hobby Stock champion Mark Funkhouser, who passed away this week, by running a 30 lap Hobby Stock race in his memory.  When the checkered flag flew, the wins were collected by Ramie Stone (All Star IMCA Modified Series), Raul Rodriguez Sr. (Hobby Stocks) and Kenny Birdsong (Valley Sportsman).

As a champion in three different divisions at Merced Speedway during the last 20 years, Ramie Stone has already racked up an impressive resume.  The multi time IMCA Modified champion has struggled a bit to get things dialed in this season.  However, Ramie figured it out in the All Star IMCA Modified Series race by staging one of his patented high groove efforts for the impressive victory.  Past Chico champion Ryan McDaniel made Stone work for it with a close second ahead of Austin Burke.  Riley Simmons finished fourth as Jeff Streeter completed the Top 5.  Track point leader Bill Egleston finished sixth ahead of another past Chico champion, Duane Cleveland, multi time Merced champion Paul Stone, Nick DeCarlo and Josh Combs.

When Mark Funkhouser passed away during the week, good friend Marshall Weaver and the Funkhouser family wanted to do something special to remember him.  Mark was part of the successful wave of new Hobby Stock drivers at Chowchilla Speedway in 2001 that led to the addition of the class at Merced, where he won his championship.  Over $1000 in additional prize money was donated to the Hobby Stock purse, and the race was increased to 30 laps.

A multi time Hobby Stock champion himself, Raul Rodriguez Sr. got a win earlier this season, but he got it when the apparent winner was disqualified.  This time out, the man they call "Showtime" Rodriguez put on a show in holding off point leader Michael Shearer for an impressive victory.  Defending track champion Kevin Joaquin earned his best finish of the season in third ahead of Top 5 point competitor Dexter Long and Robbie Loquaci.  John Hensley brought it home in sixth as Phil Vaughn, Austin Van Hoff, Gary Hildebrand and Kodie Dean completed the Top 10.

On the heels of his first career win in the Rod Poor Tribute #25m Valley Sportsman, Kenny Birdsong backed it up with another victory.  This time, Birdsong held off Jeff Bristow to get that win.  Heat race winner and two time division champion Mike Friesen finished third ahead of Eric Sealy.

Racing is off this week, but the track returns on June i8th during the Merced County Fair with IMCA Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, check the website at

Note that these finishes are based on the live scoring displayed on Race Monitor and may not be reflective of the official finishes due to scoring loop errors or post race disqualifications.

Forsberg, While, Biscardi Petaluma Speedway Winners

Petaluma, CA...The threatening skies cleared up and allowed a great night of racing to take pace Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway.  A full field of Winged Sprint Cars saw the win in their 25 lap Main Event go to Andy Forsberg.  Steve Studebaker won the 25 lap Lumberjack's Restaraunt Street Stock feature.  A battle between the General Hydroponics Dwarf Cars and the visiting South Bay Dwarf Cars resulted in South Bay competitor Mark Biscardi getting the 20 lap feature win, while William Fatu won the 20 lap Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock Main Event.

Andy Forsberg scored the win in the 25 lap Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event.  Second generation racer Shane Myhre led a few early laps, but it wasn't long before Forsberg and Bradley Terrell found themselves in first and second.  Gradually, Forsberg began to pull away from Terrell, and he would win by nearly a straightaway.  Terrell settled for second ahead of Mike Benson, Billy Butler, Riley Matson, Buddy Kofoid, Zack Lynsky, Kirt Organ, Roberto Kirby and Jake Haulot.  Myhre won his heat race earlier in the evening ahead of Matson, while Terrell won his heat in front of Geoff Ensign.  David Lindt II was also a heat winner ahead of Kofoid.

The Lumberjack's Restaurant Super Stock championship battle was reflected in their 25 lap Main Event as point leader Matt While battled with two time division champion Steve Studebaker.  While set the pace at the start ahead of Studebaker, and the two cars pulled away to leave Gary Adams to battle with Mitch Machado and past champion Jim "Woody" Woodward for third.  Woodward grabbed third on lap five, but he soon surrendered the spot to Adams.  As While and Studebaker ran out front, Woodward and Garrett Brady passed Adams for third and fourth by lap 12.  A yellow flag flew on lap 15.  Studebaker used the restart as his opportunity to grab the lead from While.  Brady took third from Woodward on lap 20.  Studebaker stayed smooth down the stretch and grabbed a checkered flag just ahead of While.  Brady finished third ahead of Woodward, Ryan Cherezian, former Dirt Modified racer Dean Stocker, division iron man Shawn McCoy, Roger Miller, Many Avilla and Adams.  While grabbed a heat race win ahead of Mitch Machado, and Studebaker won his heat ahead of Adams.

Petaluma's General Hydroponics Dwarf Cars hosted the visiting South Bay Dwarf Cars, and the result was a close finish in their 20 lap race.  Coming off of back to back wins at Antioch Speedway, Mark Biscardi set the pace from the start ahead of Justin Yanez and defending champion Dave Mosier.  Forced to earn his start with a B Main win, 2015 Antioch champion David Teves was up to fourth by lap 10.  Teves made quick work of Mosier on lap 11 and began to reel in Yanez.  Leader Bicardi's pace was slowed just a bit in the latter stages as Teves caught Yanez.  The lead trio ran within a second of each other.  Teves made a last lap pass on Yanez, but he was unable to pass the flying Biscardi.  Biscardi was a happy winner ahead of Teves, Yanez, Mosier, Gene "Punky" Pires, Nick Squatritto, Eric Weisler, Carroll Mendenhall, Chad Matthias and Jack Haverty.  The group ran four heat races with wins going to Pires, Matt Hagerman, Mosier and E. Weisler.  Teves won the 10 lap B Main ahead of Zack Albers and Bill Delfield.

William Fatu enhanced his Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock championship hopes by winning their 20 lap Main Event.   However, much of the night belonged to Darien Balestrini.  Balestrini started the night off with a heat win.  Balestrini was looking to back up his win from last week with another victory, and he led much of the Main Event.  He never quite shook the tenacious Fatu, who ran not too far behind him.  When mechanical issues arose for Balestrini after 17 laps, Fatu seized the moment to get the lead and bring it home to victory.  Austin Ohlinger was second ahead of Snazzy Duckworth, Steve Studebaker, Mike "Squirelly" Curley, Balestrini and Sid Hess.

Noland, Schwartzenberger Win Rocky Hill Features

Porterville, CA...Back in the 1990's, Rocky Hill Speedway ran on Friday nights, and management decided to have a Friday night show this week.  It was a special $12 per car load night at the races, and the fans watched as Raymond Noland Jr. won the Hobby Stock Main Event, Shawn Schwartzenberger won the Mini Stock feature, Roy Atchison won the Super 4's race and Brian Childress was the American Stock winner.

Some competitive racers started another action packed Hobby Stock feature.  It took four races, but defending champion Raymond Noland Jr. added his name to the 2016 feature winner's list.  Colby Quinton settled for his second runner up finish of the season with last week's winner, Bakersfield champion Kevin Collier, finishing third.  Jake Peters grabbed a fourth place finish ahead of Merced visitor Dexter Long.  A competitor at Bakersfield and Porterville going back to the 1990's, Lloyd Wren returned for a sixth place finish as Gene Glover, Merced visitor George Silva, Karl Noland and 2014 Mini Stock champion Joe Robinson made up the remainder of the Top 10.

Two track regulars who were missing in action last week returned this week and grabbed the Top 2 positions in the Mini Stock feature.  Shawn Schwartzenberger is the Bakersfield point leader, and he returned to Rocky Hill for the Main Event victory.  Andy Boydstun won the Main Event at Bakersfield last week and ranks fourth in the standings there.  He returned to Rocky Hill for his third second place finish.  Chris Rutledge followed up last week's second with a third ahead of Lance Gonzalez and Clinton Massey.  Wade Moore was sixth as Jose Rosales, Candy Noland-Soares and Merced racer Curtis Thornhill followed.  Two time winner Jason Cook fell out early in the ten car field and was last.

Roy Atchison continued his perfect season with another Super 4's win ahead of Kit Murphy and double division racer Wade Moore.  Bakersfield racer Brian Childress won the American Stock feature ahead of Bob Ellis and defending champion Jeff Lloyd.

Racing returns to Rocky Hill Speedway this Saturday night to end the month of May with Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Super 4's and American Stocks.

Hobby Stocks

5 Raymond Noland Jr.
4 Colby Quinton
18 Kevin Collier
19 Jake Peters
911 Dexter Long
87w Lloyd Wren
9 Gene Glover
8 George Silva
55 Karl Noland
199 Joe Robinson
1 Jared Plumlee
25 Karl Noland Jr.
91 Michael Scruggs***DNS

Mini Stock
15 Shawn Schwartzenberger
6 Andy Boydston
66 Chris Rutledge
18 Lance Gonzales
88 Clint Massey
13 Wade Moore
13X Jose Rosales
5 Candy Noland Soares
80 Curtis Thornhill
46 Steven Scott
32X Jason Cook
13L Paul Lauretti **DNS

American Stocks
44 Brian Childress
19 Bob Ellis
29 Jeff Lloyd

Super 4s
24 Roy Atchinson
00 Kit Murphy
13 Wade Moore