Sunday, May 15, 2016

Decker, Perry Antioch Wnners, Merced And Petaluma Race Reviews

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

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DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 76 by GenWhat

Decker, Perry, Clymens Share Antioch Winner's Circle

Antioch, CA...Saturday night at Antioch Speedway featured another action packed event that entertained the crowd and concluded at a reasonable time.  When the checkered flag flew on the five Main Events, it was Jeff Decker (A Modifieds), Jim Perry Jr. (Wingless Spec Sprints), Trevor Clymens (B Modifieds), Mark Biscardi (Dwarf Cars) and Melissa Hansen (Hobby Stocks), collecting the victories.

All last season, while he was winning the Late Model championship, Jeff Decker was working on his A Modified.  It's ready now, and he has begun racing in this division as well.  With a few of the name drivers not at the track tonight, defending champion Scott Busby was hoping he might add to his all time division leading win total.  Unfortunately, he ran into to an obstacle in Decker's #84 car.  Decker drove a good race and chased down the flying Busby.  Busby led most of the way until Decker made a nice pass for the lead on lap 17, forcing Busby to settle for second.  Trent Wentworth enjoyed one of his best efforts in a while as he won his heat race and finished third in the feature.  The other heat race winner, 2014 champion Carl Berendsen II, was fourth as Norm Boeck rounded out the Top 5.

After back to back third place finishes in Wingless Spec Sprint competition, Jim Perry Jr. decided he had enough of that.  The all time winner in Spec Sprint racing with over 40 feature triumphs, Perry Jr. grabbed the lead and set sail for his first win of the season.  Only one early yellow slowed the pace, and Perry Jr. would leave the pack behind from there.  He was chased across the line by his son, Jimmy Perry III.  The father and son are both past division champions.  After winning his heat race, Roy Fisher collected a respectable third ahead of defending champion Kyle Bakkie and heat winner James East.

Last time the Dwarf Cars were in action, Bay Area Dwarf Car competitor Mark Biscardi paid the track a visit and brought home the victory.  He liked it so much that he returned and impressed with another feature win.  Biscardi's win came ahead of title contender Kevin Miraglio, who is still searching for his first win.  This second place finish was Miraglio's third Top 3 finish of the season.  Miraglio was also a heat race winner.  Tim Reeder enjoyed his best career finish in third, while heat race winner Chuck Weir was fourth.  Teammates Mike Corsaro and Charlie Correia were fifth and sixth, respectively.  Corsaro came into the night as the point leader ahead of Miraglio.

The Hobby Stocks produced a solid 17 car field, and point leader Guy Ahlwardt was a heat winner along with Danny Jones and two time division champion Melissa Myers.  The Main Event was a fast paced, non stop affair that saw Myers grab the lead.  Once she had it, she would not relinquish it as she became the fifth different feature winner in five races.  Ahlwardt gave a it a good effort before settling for second.  After rolling his daughter's car in his season debut last time out, past Street Stock champion Rob Waldrop was just happy to keep his car on four wheels.  He did better than that as he grabbed the final podium position in third.  Cameron Swank continues to compete with fifth ranked Natalie Perry for a Top 5 point ranking, and that won't change after he finish fourth ahead of the hard charging Perry in this race.

Trevor Clyemens is on a roll in B Modifieds and will creep back up the point leader if this continues.  The second generation leadfoot collected his second straight Main Event victory.  If not for missing a race, Clymens might very well be leading the standings now.  Clymens had to work for this one after starting back in the fifth row.  He steadily worked his way to the front to battle with Brian Pearce for the lead as they hit lapped traffic down the stretch.  Clymens would use traffic to get the win.  Pearce wasn't as lucky as contact with one of the slower cars sent him into the front wall.  Meanwhile, rookie Shane DeVolder would grab his second runner up finish of the season.  DeVolder came into the night second in points and will gain a little on incoming point leader Al Johnson, who missed the top five this time.  Heat winner Lloyd Cline grabbed a season best third ahead of K.C. Keller and double division racer Danny Jones.  Paul Mulder was the other heat race winner.

Racing resumes next Saturday night at Antioch Speedway with a six division program that features Winged 360 Sprint Cars, A Modifieds, Limited Late Models, B Modifieds, Dwarf Cars and California Hardtops.  For further information, check out the official website at

Unofficial Race Results, Saturday Night May 14

A Modified
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Carl Berendsen II, Trent Wentworth.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Decker, Scott Busby, Trent Wentworth, Carl Berendsen II, Norm Boeck.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Ray Fisher, James East.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jim Perry Jr., Jimmy Perry III, Fisher, Kyle Bakkie, East.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Guy Ahlwardt, Danny Jones, Melissa Myers.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Myers, Ahlwardt, Rob Waldrop, Cameron Swank, Natalie Perry.

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

Dwarf Car
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Chuck Weir, Kevin Miraglio.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Mark Biscardi, Miraglio, Tim Reeder, Weir, Mike Corsaro, Charlie Correia.

Diaz, Nelson Merced Speedway Winners

Saturday night at Merced Speedway offered a little something for everybody last week.  There was the pre race Sweet 16 Birthday celebration for Destiny Carter and Zoe Sandoval.  There was a candy toss at intermission for the kids.  Then, there was plenty of great racing on the quarter-mile dirt oval.  When respected flag man Doug Laidlaw waved the checkered flag on the Main Events, it was Rick Diaz grabbing the victory in IMCA Sport Modifieds, Bruce "Bubba" Nelson getting the win in Hobby Stocks, Jason Lewis emerging victorious in Mini Stocks and Kenny Birdsong getting his first win in the Valley Sportsman class.

With two wins already this year and a front row start, 2014 IMCA Sport Modified champion Rick Diaz seemed like the likely winner of that division's feature.  However, Watsonville Friday night winner Anthony Giuliani was lined up on the outside to make things interesting.  Giuliani already has wins at three different tracks and was looking for his fourth track.  However, Diaz was not to be denied as he prevailed for the third time this year to keep the point battle close.  Giuliani settled for second with veteran Gary Tucker third.  Tim Elias was forth and Chris Falekenerg rounded out the Top 5.  Dave Gibson finished sixth ahead of incoming point leader Steve Stone, 2015 point runner up Mark Odgers, Mike Drake and defending champion Josh Hensley.

In the midst of his potential "Rookie Of The Year" season in IMCA Modifieds, Bruce Nelson got the chance to drive one of the Shearer Racing Team Hobby Stocks.  The two time Hobby Stock champion would get a front row start and used it for the Main Event win.  However, Dexter Long has been knocking on the door to his first career win.  The second year racer briefly took the lead from Nelson, but he couldn't quite pull it off.  Nelson won with Long settling for an apparent third straight second place finish.  Ben Lewis crossed the line third ahead of recent Ted Stofle Classic winner Phil Vaughn, Ben Lewis II, Kodie Dean and Garrett Corn.  Post race tech shuffled the order with Nelson still winning and Vaughn the new second place finisher ahead of Ben Lewis, Dean and Corn.  The B Main was a battle between 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin and George Silva.

The Mini Stock race would not go to point leader Chris Corder this time as he failed to finish.  It was Jason Lewis and James Stockton up at the front, and Lewis notched his first career victory.  Stockton was a season best second ahead of a second straight third place finishing position for Joy Alger.  Lucy Falenkeberg was fourth ahead of rookie Destiny Carter, Jennifer Corder, Mike Germait, Brian Widdowson and Chris Corder.

One of the biggest boosters out there trying to drum up support for the Sportsman division is Kenny Birdsong.  On Saturday night, it was Kenny's time to shine.  He drove a good race in the Rod Poor tribute car and would win his first Main Event.  Eric Seely was second ahead of the season debut of two time champion Mike Freisen's newly painted car.  Mike Palmberg and Jeff Bristow rounded out the Top 5.

Racing continues next Saturday night with the track hosting the second round of the All Star IMCA Modified series.  Hobby Stocks, Honda HPD Midgets and Valley Sportsman cars are also a part of the program.  For further information, check out

Johnson, Schank Win 
Six Shooter Series Races At Petaluma Speedway

It was the second round of the four race Six Shooter Series for Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints on the fast, 3/8th mile Petaluma Speedway adobe oval.  When the checkers fell on the Sprint Car races, it was Chase Johnson (Winged 360 Sprints) and Terry Schank Jr. (Wingless Spec Sprints) grabbing the wins.  Other wins were collected by Oreste Gonella (IMCA Modifieds), Matt Hagerman (Dwarf Cars) and Darien Balestrini (Mini Stocks).

A strong showing of Winged 360 Sprint Cars saw Seth Nunes win a heat race ahead of D.J. Freitas.  Kurt Nelson won his heat ahead of Roberto Kirby, while Riley Matson won his heat over Geoff Ensign.  Nelson had a front row start for the Main Event and was an early leader ahead of division veteran Andy Forsberg and Nunes.  Johnson settled into an early fourth.  Nelson fell out on Lap eight as Forsberg took command ahead of Nunes and Johnson.  Johnson slipped past Nunes for third on lap ten and would eventually overtake Forsberg by lap 20.  Once he got the lead, Johnson stayed smooth and brought it home to a well earned victory.  Forsberg settled for second ahead of Ensign, Kenny Drew, Klint Simpson, Kirby, Bradley Terrell, John Clarke, Anthony Restad and Aaron Miller.

The Wingless Spec Sprint feature had all the makings of another Klint Simpson flag to flag romp to victory.  The 2015 champion grabbed the lead early on and seemed like a good bet to win. However, many time Spec Sprint champion Terry Schank Jr. had other ideas.  A heat winner earlier in the evening, Schank grabbed third from Barry Pries Jr. on lap three and took second from rookie Matthew Haulot not long after that.  Simpson led the way for several laps, but Schank wasn't far behind.  On lap 21, Schank finally made his winning move around Simpson.  Schank went on to victory.  Problems on the last lap dropped Simpson back several positions.  Recent winner Shayna Sylvia crossed the line second ahead of Haulot, Troy DeGaton and a disappointed Simpson.  Brian Grier was sixth ahead of Bruno Bianchi, Ryon Siverling, Keith Covino and Rick Holbrook.  Pries won a heat over Simpson, while Schank held off DeGaton to win his heat.

Defending General Hydroponics Dwarf Car Champion Dave Mosier is already off to a great start this year, but a rare non Top 10 finish left the door open for others to make a big gain.  Second and third ranked John Peters and Carroll Mendenhall were up to the challenge.  Mendenhall won his heat race ahead of Miranda Chappa, while Peters grabbed a heat win in front of Scooter Gomes.  Gomes was the early Main Event leader while Matt Hagermann worked his way past Mendenhall for second.  Just past the midway point of the race, Gomes saw his great run up front come to an end.  Hagermann took over at that point and would lead the rest of the way in victory.  Peters was a strong second while Chappa was a career best third.  Mendenhall settled for fourth ahead of Tommy King, Chad Mathias, Zack Albers, Zack Atcheson, Danny Naron and Brandon Gentry, all on the lead lap.

Past champion and second generation racer Oreste Gonella came into the night tied with six time champion Michael Paul Jr. for the McLea's Tires IMCA Modified point lead.  After winning his heat race ahead of Mitch Machado, Gonella grabbed the Main Event lead early on and was never really threatened as he scored the impressive victory.  Paul Jr. had a good battle with Machado for second that saw them change positions a few times before Paul Jr. made it stick on lap ten.  Machado settled for third ahead of Nick Viscusi III, veteran Mike Karinen, Joel Myers and Michael Paul Sr.

Only eight points separated William Fatu, defending champion Eden McCormick and Darien Balestrini in a close Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock point race.  Balestrini was hoping to make a big gain after holding off rookie Austin Ohlinger to win his heat race.  Balestrini followed that up with an impressive flag to flag run in his Main Event victory.  Fatu won his heat race ahead of Kelly Campanile and seemed on his way to second in the Main Event before Campanile made a move down the stretch to grab the position.  Fatu settled for third ahead of Ohlinger.  Sid Hess and Snazzy Duckworth rounded out the lead lap finishers.  Mike Curley and Justin Whisman rounded out the Top 8.