Don's California Racing Recollections: Best Of The Blog And Beyond
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Davis, Armstrong, Webster Orland Raceway Winners
Orland, CA...June 4 & 12...Like The Phoenix, Orland Raceway has returned from the ashes under new promoter Rich Hood, a long time Hobby Stock competitor at the track who did not want to see racing come to an end. Two events have been held on the one-fifth mile dirt oval on June 4th and June 12th. Winners of the recent Sunday race included Jason Armstrong (Pure Stocks), Dan Webster (Mini Trucks), Tom Davis (Mini Stocks), Jeromie Crismon (600 Mini Sprints) and Rob Baker (250 Outlaw Karts). A week earlier, they opened the track with a Saturday night show that saw Steve Martin (Pure Stocks), Olin Crane (Mini Trucks), Tom Davis (Mini Stocks), Jackie Whitson Jr. (250 Outlaw Karts) and Robert Baker (600 Mini Sprints) collecting the victories.
The recent Sunday race saw Pure Stock car count double from the opener. Past Orland champion Steve Martin and current Top 5 Chico competitor Jeremy Langenderfer won their heat races. Martin had his sights set on repeating his season opening victory, but he was denied by Placerville Stock Car veteran Jason Armstrong. After winning the Hardtop race at Roseville in a clean sweep a night earlier, Armstrong jumped into his Pure Stock and won the Orland race ahead of Martin and newcomer Mel Byers. Chris Barnett brought it home fourth ahead of Cody Bundy, Earl Adams, Langenderfer and Doug Winegarden. At the Saturday opener, Martin swept the heat and Main Event. Bud Gilmore chased him across the line in second as Bundy and Langenderfer rounded out the field. Last season, the Hobby Stocks had a good field at Orland, and it looks like the car count will continue to rise as the season goes on.
Another of the stronger classes at the track is the Mini Trucks. Coming off of his win in the opener, "Rollin" Olin Crane won the heat race on Sunday, but his Main Event ended in a disappointing DNF. 2015 point runnerup Dan Webster was back in winning form as he held off past champion Ross Vige to win the Main Event. A Top 5 competitor last year, Nathan Skaggs finished third ahead of William Fogle, Mike Chase and defending champion Keith Ross. Ross won the heat race a week earler but again had bad luck in the Main Event. It was Crane holding off Skaggs to get the feature win that night. Fogle was third ahead of Ross and Jeremy Callan.
2014 Champion Tom Davis has thus far been the star of the Mini Stocks as the same five drivers have competed in both events. Davis won the most recent feature ahead of Jeff Bennett and Robert Hunt. Past champion John Kirkpatrick won the heat race and finished fourth ahead of Jeff Hammond in the main. Davis won both the heat race and Main Event at the opener ahead of Hunt. Bennett drove Olin Crane's #23 car to a third ahead of Hammond and Kirkpatrick.
While the track establishes car counts in the 250's and 600's, the two classes are running together in the Main Event. Rob Baker won the 250 heat race on Sunday and topped the Main Event ahead of Andrew Love, Ronnie Heyer and reigning champion Jess Garland. Reigning 600's champion Jeromie Crisman was his division's top feature finisher ahead of Chico Sprint Car racer Rowdy McClennon. The opener had a stronger Kart count as 2015 point runnerup Jackie Whitson Jr. and Jackie Whitson Sr. won heat races. The 600 heat went to Robert Baker. Whitson Jr. actually finished ahead of both classes for the 250 Main Event win. Dave McKinnon was second ahead of Whitson Sr., Robert Baker, Ronnie Heyer, Garland, Andrew Love and Rusty Hensley. The 600's feature went to Robert Baker ahead of McClennon and Marty Plumb.
The crew is using an off week to make more improvements to the track as things have been coming together steadily since Hood won the contract for the raceway back in mid May. On June 25th, racing continues with Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks, 600's and 250's all back in action. For further information, check out www.orlandraceway.org.
Armstrong Becomes Fourth Hardtop
Feature Winner At Roseville
Roseville, CA...June 11...After two rainouts on their scheduled pavement races, the California Hardtop Association finally ran their first pavement race Saturday night at All American Speedway in Roseville. At times it has been a challenge for the CHA to get racers to run the pavement, but eight competitors were in action at the quarter-mile oval. When the checkered flag flew on the 20 lap Main Event, it was second generation racer Jason Armstrong completing the clean sweep with his victory aboard his Eastern Hardtop.
The Hardops got a rare opportunity to qualify on the clock, and J. Armstrong's 16.066 bested his father Dennis Armstrong's 16.566 by about half a second. Bill McLaughlin timed in next at 16.672. The Armstrong's did battle in the four lap Trophy Dash with Jason just beating Dennis back to the line for the win. J. Armstrog followed that up with an eight lap heat race win ahead of McLaughlin. After a little bit of damage in a heat race tangle with John Turner, club president John Philbert got his car back together and had a good showing. However, J. Armstrong was just a bit quicker as he impressed with his 20 lap victory. Philbert enjoyed his season best effort in second, and recent Chico winner Ken Clifford grabbed the final podium finish in third. Turner managed to grab a checkerd flag in fourth ahead of D. Armstrong and McLaughlin. Ron Ruiz fell out of the feature early to finish last, and two time winner Jason Clifford scratched before the Main Event. Once again, Ken Clifford offered up trophies to the Top 3 drivers in the feature.
The Hardtops have some big races on the schedule, not the least of which is the Chet Thomson Memorial race on September 10th at Antioch. Antioch will be their next race on June 25th.
Race ResultsFT-Jason Armstrong 16.066. Trophy Dash-J. Armstrong, Dennis Armstrong, Ken Clifford. Heat-J. Armstrong, Bill McLaughlin, John Philbert. Main Event-J. Armstrong. Philbert, K. Clifford, John Turner, Dennis Armstrong, McLaughlin, Ron Ruiz, Jason Clifford (DNS).