Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sprint Cars, A Modifieds Look For First Repeat Winner This Saturday Night At Antioch Speedway

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Sprint Cars, A Modifieds Look For First Repeat Winner 
This Saturday Night At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...There's an interesting streak happening in the All Star Series racing program at Antioch Speedway. In the A Modified division as well as the Winged 360 Sprint Cars, there has yet to be a repeat Main Event winner. Both divisions will be competing this Saturday night along with the B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. Coming off of last week's 70 plus car program, this should be another great show for the fans.

When promoter John M. Soares began his commitment to establishing a Winged 360 Sprint Car show on his fast three-eighths mile clay oval, he envisioned that some of the younger drivers would come out to get their first laps and some of the veterans would come out to give the younger racers a run for their money. This is exactly what has happened this season as veterans such as Art McCarthy and Bobby McMahon have battled wheel-to-wheel with Micro Sprint graduates Kaleb Montgomery, Giovanni Scelzi, Koen Shaw and others.

Another thing has happened in this division. In seven races, there have been no repeat Main Event winners. The division has seen a steady flow of different drivers coming out from race to race as the roster has reached into the 30 car territory. Leading the point standings right now is a past Antioch Speedway Wingless Spec Sprint champion, Billy Aton. Like his closest rival McCarthy, Billy is a Main Event winner. He is coming off of a strong second place finish last time behind second generation racer Brayden McMahon. For McMahon, that was his first win in car #18 in what was his 18th start. The numbers lined up for him.

While McCarthy and Aton battle for supremacy at the top of the point ladder, another second generation racer, Burt Foland Jr., has moved into third in the standings. Foland has raced Midgets and Sprint Cars throughout his career, and he could be in line to become the eighth different feature winner. The two drivers he is battling for third in the standings, Dan Gonderman and Rick Brophy, are two others who have gone winless so far this year. Gonderman is still licking his wounds following his flip three races ago.

There are some talented racers who come through the gates of Antioch Speedway, and you never know who will show up next. Other drivers to watch for this week include reigning champion Shawn Arriaga, 2014 titlist Chris Magoon, Ricky Brophy, Matt Barber and Tim Burcher.

In the A Modified division, there's a similar phenomenon. After nine races, there have been nine different Main Event winners. The most recent was Brian Cass two weeks ago. He held off a driver still looking for his first career feature win in this division, Carl Berendsen II. Berendsen switched to a new car a few weeks ago as he tries to take his championship season up a notch by winning some races. Second place in the most recent race was Carl's best feature finish. As Scott Busby, Raymond Lindeman and Trent Wentworth were all missing at the previous race, the door was left wide open for Carl to increase his championship lead.

Despite the fact that some drivers have come and gone during the course of the year, the A Modified division continues to keep up a respectable car count. And, there are some talented racers who could be next to win their first Main Event. Among those drivers are Anthony Slaney, Sean O'Gara, Bobby Montalvo and Norm Boeck. Of course, chances are that eventually this streak is going to end. You never really know who might show up from week to week, but if a hard charger such as Bobby Hogge IV, Josh Combs, Aaron Crowell, Busby or Oreste Gonella shows up, they might just get their second win of the season at the speedway.

Last week, Al Johnson was doing what he needed to do in the B Modified division,. Having won his heat race earlier in the evening, Al led the feature for several laps with his closest rival, Trevor Clymens, right behind him. However, Cymens has been fast all season long with three feature wins going into the night. Johnson was still looking for his first win, but Trevor denied that to him as he made the pass and scored the victory. The closest championship battle at the speedway is between these two, and though Johnson leads, his advantage at the moment is less than 10 points.

When you talk about drivers who could be in line for their first win, Johnson's name is certainly at the top of the list. Another driver to keep an eye on is the driver who crossed the line third last week, rookie Shane DeVolder. Shane is right there in contention as he has been scoring regular Top 5 finishes. Much like Johnson, Shane has finished as high as second, but the checkered flag has eluded him so far. Perhaps Saturday night will be his night to shine?

The are some good drivers in the field, and one of those drivers chased Clymens across the finish line last week for a second place finish. That would be two time feature winner Anthony Giuliani. Giuliani might be there again this week to go for win #3, and other drivers to watch for this week include Ron Brown, Randy Brown, Lonnie Leonard, Lloyd Cline, Chuck Golden and Paul Mulder.

In the Limited Late Model division, Mark Garner is not giving up on his quest to win the track championship. Following up on a very disappointing night in the results department two races ago, Mark did everything he needed to do to set his ship sailing in the right direction. After winning his heat race, Garner battled Kimo Oreta and Larry Damitz to win his third Main Event of the season. With Damitz finishing behind Garner, he didn't gain too much, but every point counts at this stage of the season.

These Top 3 drivers should be back out there this week, and Oreta is another driver who seems close to his first win in this division. The three time Hobby Stock champion led the Main Event for several laps last week before slipping back to third. Other drivers to watch for this week include ageless veteran Mike Gustafson, the steady John Evans, Lori Brown and John Keith.

Last week was a sentimental night for reigning Dwarf Car champion David Teves. Teves is setting up the #4 car for its new owner, and this is a car that was formerly owned by his good friend Brian Tillseth, who passed away suddenly while working on the car a few years ago. That car was actually driven by one of the division's all time greats, Ricardo Rivera. David followed Rivera's example as he won his second Main Event of the season last week. He is anticipated for this event, as is current point leader Kevin Moraglio.

Moraglio has been the model of consistency in the Dwarf Cars this year. Though he only has one Main Event win, it's not very often that you see his #40 car outside of a Top 5 finish. This has served him well in leading the standings ahead of Mike Corsaro in the biggest point lead at the track. The driver currently third in the standings, Tim Reeder, saw his luck from 2015 resurface as he flipped his car early in the Main Event last week. Hopefully, he will be ready to go this week.

There were several drivers ready to go in the Dwarf Cars last week as 18 competitors signed into the pits to compete. There are some good drivers looking for their first win at the speedway this year, and other drivers to watch for this week include rookie Buddy Kniss, Charlie Corriea, Brian Gray, David Rosa, Josh Miller and Jenna Frazier.

Danny Jones has been racing Stock Cars for many years, and he knows the fastest way around the speedway. This year, Danny is doing double duty as a Top 5 point runner in the B Modified division and a championship contender in the Hobby Stocks. Despite a rocky start, Danny has come on strong. He charged from tenth starting last week to score his second straight feature win and third of the season. In doing so, Jones has taken over the point lead in a bid to win his first championship.

Rookie Guy Ahlwardt has won four races and was the point leader coming into the most recent race. He was eliminated late in the race by a crash. Guy was on his way to the front when another driver decided to use him as a wall. His car sustained heavy damage, and though he has much work to do on the car to get it ready, he has confirmed that he is going to race this week.

Chris Sorensen has been a real joy to watch in his #00 car as he has earned four straight Top 5 feature finishes. Sorensen spun earli in last week's Main Event, but he still managed to charge back up to a third place finish behind another Chris, Chris Long. Long was a feature winner earlier this year, and he came within a whisker of doing it again last week before losing out in his battle with Jones. The Hobby Stock division has been very competitive all season long, and there are several drivers in the field capable of winning on any given week.

Other drivers to keep an eye on this week include veteran Rob Waldrop, who is rapidly climbing up the point ladder, Michael Cooper, Anthony Vigna, Lindsay Buirch, Jordan Swank, third ranked Cameron Swank and Natalie Perry.

There's a little bit of excitement in the air for fans of the old Vallejo Speedway. On September 10th, the California Hardtop Association will run the Chet Thomson Memorial Race. The effort to bring this race back after being gone since Vallejo Speedway closed in 1979 has been spearheaded by Hardtop racers Dave Mackey and Tommy Thomson. Tommy is the son of the Hardtop champion from the 1960's. In fact, the car that Tommy drives is the same car he drove in the late 1970's at Vallejo Speedway.

Details are still being hashed out, but sponsorship is being secured for this event. It's going to be just a little bit more special for the Hardtop drivers. Much like the August event that the division had at Antioch Speedway last year, car count is expected to reach into the teens as competitors such as Larry Damitz, Dan Williams, Ken Clifford, Jason Clifford, Dennis Armstrong, Jason Armstrong, Rob Waldrop, Ron Ruiz and John Turner are anticipated. You might want to mark this event on your calendar as the September 10th program is sure to be another stacked event with the Hardtops among the six divisions scheduled that night.

To recap, Saturday night will feature an exciting Winged 360 Sprint Car program at Antioch Speedway along with the high octane A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks. For further information, go to

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series

Winged 360 Sprint Cars

Billy Aton 322
Art McCarthy 293
Burt Foland Jr. 206
Dan Gonderman 180
Rick Brophy 174
Shawn Arriaga 141
Matt Barber 136
Chris Magoon 118
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100

A Modifieds
Carl Berendsen II 348
Scott Busby 281
Bobby Montalvo 274
Sean O'Gara 264
Trent Wentworth 248
Raymond Lindeman 236
Troy Foulger 226
John McDougall 194
Josh Combs 190
Norman Boeck 178

Hobby Stock
Danny Jones 435
Guy Ahlwardt 432
Cameron Swank 368
Lindsey Buirch 352
Michael Cooper 346
Chris Sorensen 333
Jordan Swank 322
Natalie Perry 321
Rob Waldrop 298
Anthony Vigna 242

B Modifieds
Al Johnson 594
Trevor Clymens 586
Shane DeVolder 554
Danny Jones 458
K.C. Keller 410
Randy Brown 292
Anthony Giulani 233
Lloyd Cline 226
Chuck Golden 210
Brian Pearce 176

Dwarf Car
Kevin Miraglio 374
Mike Corsaro 300
Tim Reeder 256
Buddy Kniss 232
Charlie Correia 210
Robert Coe 192
Josh Miller 182
David Michael Rosa 170
Tommy Ryan 168
Chuck Weir 163

Limited Late Model
Larry Damitz 408
Mark Garner 388
Kimo Oreta 386
John Evans 296
Mike Gustafson 282
Jim Freethy 272
Lori Brown 237
Paul Hanley  82
Steve Studebaker 54
John Keith 40

 All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars Return 
To Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car division returns to the fast 3/8 mile clay oval Antioch Speedway this Saturday night to headline a six division program.  Once again, $1200 is being offered up to the Main Event winner, and so far there have been seven different drivers claiming that paycheck in seven races.  As promoter John M. Soares builds his Sprint Car division, a group of young Micro Sprint graduates have been coming in from week to week and making a name for themselves at the speedway.

In the most recent event, it was Brayden McMahon playing the numbers to his advantage as the Main Event winner.  It was his 18th start in car #18 and he had to contend with.leader Billy Aton, who finished second.  Kaleb Montgomery returned to make a run for his second Main Event win, but the Micro Sprint star instead flipped spectacularly to end his race.  Aton gave it everything he had, but McMahon kept his cool for the big win.  Aton nonetheless did what he needed to do maintain his lead in the championship battle.

Art McCarthy finds himself forced to make up some ground after his failure to start the Main Event two races ago.  On this occasion, the past Antioch Speedway champion picked up a heat race win, but the best he could manage was sixth in the Main Event.  Aton managed to make a slight increase in his lead, but the past Wingless Spec Sprint champion would love to get another feature victory.  He and rival McCarthy are two of the seven different Main Event winners so far this year.

Back in third was Petaluma Speedway Sprint Car star Jeff Ensign.  Car owner Brett Lay made a last minute decision to come out and race, and he was happy he did after the team's good showing.  The Lay car was driven to a feature victory last year by third generation racer Alissa Geving.  Ensign is one of those multi talented Sprint Car competitors who can win with a wing and without a wing.

Another driver with both wingless and winged experience in Midgets and Sprint Cars was fourth place finisher Burt Foland Jr.  Foland used his fourth place feature finish to move into third in the standings as Dan Gonderman continues to repair his damaged Sprint Car from his flip three races ago.  Foland is getting things dialed in more, and he'll be hoping to become the eighth different winner this week.  Right on the heels of Foland last race was another newcomer, Dalton Hill.  This young up and coming competitor won his heat race before finishing fifth in the Main Event.

Stephen Gerris was credited with the seventh place finish ahead of Monte Ferreira, rookie Tim Burcher and Montgomery. The roster of drivers in this division so far has reached into the thirties, and you really never know who will show up on any given week.  Last time, several of the track's regulars weren't even in attendance, and visitation still kept the car count in double digits.

This week should be another good show, and some of the regulars who could be in action this week include reigning champion Shana Arriaga, 2014 champion Chris Magoon, Ricky Brophy, Rick Brophy, Matt Barber and Gonderman.  For further information on this and other happenings at Antioch Speedway, go to

2016 Antioch Winged 360 All Star Series Points

Billy Aton 322
Art McCarthy 293
Burt Foland Jr. 206
Dan Gonderman 180
Rick Brophy 174
Shawn Arriaga 141
Matt Barbber 136
Chris Magoon 118
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100

2016 All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule

July 30
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27
September 10
September 17
September 24

Past Champions

1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga

Last 25 Feature Winners

July 16,2016:  Brayden McMahan
June 25, 2016:  Kaleb Montgomery
June 18, 2014:  Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
May 16, 2015: Jake Haulot
April 25, 2015: Alissa Geving
March 7, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 2, 2014: Zack Lynskey
June 21 2014: Bradley Terrell
June 10, 2014: Chris Magoon
April 5, 2014: Kurt Nelson
May 4, 2013: Shawn Arriaga
April 13, 2014: Chris Martin
September 17, 2011: Billy Aton
July 30, 2011: Craig Smith
September 15, 2010: Jeremy Burt
August 25, 2010: Craig Smith
April 24, 2010: Craig Smith
March 27, 2010: Craig Smith
March 20, 2010: Ryan Risconi
September 26, 2009: Jeremy Burt
August 29, 2009: Jeremy Burt

Championship Battles Taking Shape At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...July 28...The second half of the season at Orland Raceway officially begins this Saturday night with round #6 of racing for the track's regular Hobby Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and Micro Sprint Car classes.

Considering the racing program had pretty much been written off for this year, promoter Rich Hood and his crew have done an amazing job of getting things going. With about a month left to prepare for the season when the contract was awarded in May, the hard working crew got things going in time for the season to open on June 4th.

The new management has been dedicated to keeping things family friendly, and they've already done a few things for the kids this year. One of the popular things has been the bike giveaways, which will continue as the season unfolds. At the most recent race, they had the local Girl Scout Troop selling sweets to raise money for their group. The little girls also served as trophy kids for all the Main Event winner's that night. 
Management continues to work at coming up with other ideas to keep things family friendly. They've also improved the racing surface with more clay to promote better racing on the one-fifth mile oval track. They've held five successful races and are already considering more races for the future in addition to the five events remaining.  With five races in the books, there are some close championship battles taking place.

In the Mini truck division, consistency has been the key to William Fogle leading the point battle over "Rollin" Olin Crane, 226-213. Crane is already a two time feature winner this year. Not to be left out of the mix is two time Main Event winner Dan Webster, who has 208 points and is only 18 points out of the lead despite the fact that he missed the season opener. Reigning champion Keith Ross has an eight point lead over past champion Ross Vige, 158.-150, in the race for fourth.

Consistency has also been key to Jeff Bennett leading past champion John Kirkpatrick in the Mini Stock point battle, 250-234. Neither of these drivers has yet to win a Main Event this season. One driver with a Main Event win is 2012 champion Robert Hunt, who finds himself third with 207 markers. Two time winner Tom Davis and Eric Hammond currently round out the top five, and Davis leads Hammond, 161-144 in the battle for fourth. Though not in the point battle, Donovan Chilton has two wins in his two appearances.

With a feature win to start the season off, past Hobby Stock champion Steve Martin currently has a 37 point lead over one time Main Event winner Jeremy Langenderfer, 245-208. Langendefer is not too comfortably ahead of Cody Bundy in the race for second, 208-184. Bundy is driving the #12 car previously driven by Hood, who finds himself too busy with promotional duties to get much racing time. Mel Beyers is holding a one point lead over Earl Adams, 137-136 in the race for fourth. With Brad Ray, Jason Armstrong and Shannon Collin also on the winner's list, we have yet to see a repeat winner in the competitive class.

While the Hobby Stock division is one of the stronger classes at the track, Micro Sprint racing is still trying to establish a car count this year. There is a nice battle going on between point leader Skyler Richter and reigning champion Jeromie Crismon in the 600 Micro Sprint division. Richter leads Crismon, 162-156. In the last few years, these two drivers have been battling for supremacy in this class. A feature winner last season, Tony Alosi runs third in the standings with a 108-103 margin over Dean Slinkard. Meanwhile, Andrew Love leads the 250 class by a wide margin over Dave McKinnon, 192-103. McKinnon finds himself leading Robert Baker by just two points, 103-101, and reigning champion Jessie Garland is only 8 points out of second

Considering that Rich Hood and his crew got a late start in getting everything ready, they've done a great job of getting Orland Raceway back up and running with five races in the books. Five more races remain on the schedule, but there is word that Hood is negotiating possible additional dates and also considering adding other divisions to the mix.

For now, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks and the two Micro Sprint Car classes are on the schedule for this Saturday night.  Gates open at 5:00 p.m with the first race to start at 7:00 p.m. General Admission is $7:00 with children 7-12 just $5.00.  Children six and under are free. For further information, go to