Monday, August 15, 2016

McCarthy, DeVolder Win At Antioch, Legends Night At Merced, Hardtops At Petaluma

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McCarthy, Smith Three Time Winners, 
DeVolder Gets First Win At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...August 13...Art McCarthy won for the third time this season in the All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  McCarthy had a double win night as he started things off with an eight lap heat race victory ahead of Dan Gonderman.  McCarthy seems to have hit his stride as he won a few weeks ago as well.

McCarthy had a good battle with Winged Sprint Car point leader Billy Aton, but his third win came after a rather dramatic ending after contact with another car sent Gonderman flipping for the second time this season for a lap 22 red flag.  Gonderman was okay, but the race was called at that point.  McCarthy was happy to take the win as point leader Aton finished second to prevent much change at the top of the standings.  Petaluma racer Jake Haulot finished third ahead of Marissa Polizzi.  Gonderman was scored fifth for his third straight Top 5 finish despite the flip.

Point leader Richard Papenhausen returned to the winner's circle with his second 25 lap DIRTcar Late Model Main Event victory.  Papenhausen won his heat race and then set a rapid pace to win the feature in impressive fashion.  He lapped all but the second and third place finishers.  Past champion Andy Obertello was back to make a run at his second win, but he settled for second ahead of reigning champion Jeff Decker.  Paul Guglielmoni and Mike Hynes completed the Top 5.

Shane DeVolder won his first career 20 lap B Modified Main Event.  A championship contender in his rookie season, DeVolder had five second place finishes at the track prior to his impressive victory.  He led every lap of the race.  Hobby Stock point leader Danny Jones kept heat race winner Brian Pearce at bay for a season best second place finish in the B Modified division.  Point leader Trevor Clymens won his heat race and finished fourth in the feature as Al Johnson was fifth.

Making a big statement that he is a serious championship contender, Marcus Smith won his third Wingless Spec Sprint 20 lap Main Event of the season in the Richard Basden owned car.  Smith also won his heat race, which had a red flag when Brandon Burd flipped out the exit gate.  Smith had pressure from past champion Jimmy Perry III, but he prevailed in the end.  Point leader Jim Perry Jr. won his heat race earlier in evening and battled Brian Grier to earn a third place finish.  Rick Panfili completed the Top 5.

Two time Limited Late Model champion Mike Gustafson won his second 20 lap Main Event.  Heat race winner Larry Damitz came from the back to challenge Gustafson, but Gustafson scored a well earned victory.  Rookie Kimo Oreta scored a solid third place finish as Jeff Kendrick made his first start of the season in fourth.  Larry Damitz and Lori Brown spun in Turn 3 on lap 14, but Damitz came back to pass Oreta for the second place finish.  John Evans finished fifth.  Title hopeful Mark Garner won his heat race, but he was out of the feature before the second half of the race.

Coming off of a good run in the Dwarf Car Nationals last week, NCDCA invader Buddy Olschowka won the 20 lap Dwarf Car Main event.  Olschowka started on the front row and ran a good race to collect the win in front of fellow NorCal invader, Chuck Connover, and another solid effort by championship contender Mike Corsaro in third.  David Rosa continued his recent string of good finishes as he finished fourth ahead of point leader and heat winner Kevin Miraglio.

Next up for Antioch Speedway will be another six division program, featuring Winged 360 Sprint Cars, BCRA Midget Lites, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Hardtops.  For further information, check out

Unofficial Race Results August 13
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Zack Lynsky, Art McCarthy.  Main Event (25 Laps)-McCarthy, Billy Aton, Jake Haulot, Marissa Polizzi, Dan Gonderman.

DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winner (8 Laps)-Richard Papenhausen.  Main Event (25 Laps)-Papenhausen, Andy Obertello, Jeff Decker, Paul Guglielmoni, Mike Hynes.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Jim Perry Jr., Marcus Smith.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Smith, Jimmy Perry III, Perry Jr., Brian Grier, Rick Panfili.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Brian Pearce, Trevor Clymens.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Shane DeVolder, Danny Jones, Pearce, Clymens, Al Johnson.

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

Dwarf Car
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Kevin Miraglio, David Teves.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Buddy Olschowka, Chuck Connover, Mike Corsaro, David Rosa, Kevin Miraglio.

Jason Armstrong Wins Soares Classic CHA Hardtop Race 
At Petaluma Speedway

Petaluma, CA...August 13...Jason Armstrong made his second start in his new car a winning performance in the 15 lap California Hardtop Association Main Event Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway.  The event pays tribute to long time promoter and two time BCRA Hardtop champion John P. Soares.  The second generation racer Armstrong had a second place finish in his first start in his new car at his home track in Placerville last week.  He won the 15 lap race by a comfortable margin

"The Green Hornet" Tommy Thomson made his first start of the season and returned to the track at which he flipped his car a few seasons ago.  He was glad that he returned as finished second ahead of past track Dwarf Car champion Dan Williams.  Stock Car veteran Dennis Armstrong wheeled his car to a fourth place finish ahead of Dave Reed in the former John Philbert car.  One of the founders of what became the CHA, past Placerville Pure Stock champion Mike McClure made his first start of the season and drove the Leroy Geving Tribute car to a sixth place finish ahead of Ken Clifford, Russ Kraft, Joe Hopp, Steve Cloyes and a newcomer named Spenser Nice in the #92 car.  The race featured a parade lap led by open wheel champion Sparky Howard in a Vintage Midget.

The Hardtops are in Antioch on August 20th before the big weekend at Calistoga as part of the Louie Vermeil Classic on September 2-3.  On September 10th, it's back to Antioch for the return of the Chet Thomson Memorial Race.

Diaz, Nelson, Friesen, Corder Win On Legends Night 
At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...August 13...Even after a two week break, Rick Diaz continued his march towards a second IMCA Sport Modified track championship at Merced Speedway Saturday night.  The occasion was Jerry Holzer "Legends Of Merced Speedway" night, and the competition was no match for Diaz.  The 2014 track champion increased his point lead with his division leading fifth win of the season.  Perhaps as big a story was the performance of second generation racer Chase Thomas.  After his career best third place finish last time out, Chase did even better as he drove another great race to finish a strong second.  Still in the hunt for second in the standings, veteran Tim Elias pursued Thomas before settling for third ahead of reigning IMCA State champion Fred Ryland.  Second ranked Mike Drake drove the George Medeiros owned entry to another Top 5 finish as current IMCA State point leader Brian Cooper finished sixth ahead of Jerry Bartlett, Patti Ryland, Gary Tucker and Chase's younger brother Tanner Thomas.  F. Ryland won his heat race ahead of Bartlett.  Elias held off C. Thomas to grab his nine lap victory before Diaz won his heat in front of Andy Welch.

The Shearer Racing Team was well represented once again in Hobby Stocks by two time division champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson.  Nelson was making his fourth start of the season as he continues to maintain a Top 5 point effort in his rookie season in IMCA Modifieds.  The night marked the return of Dexter Long, who has second place finishes in two big races, the Ted Stofle Classic and the Mike Cecil Memorial Race, which was held at Watsonville last week.  Long was hoping to get his first career win, but he was no match for Nelson.  Bubba held command for his third win of the season, forcing Long to settle for his third second place finish at Merced.  Ted Stofle Classic winner Phil Vaughn grabbed the final podium position as John Hensley and Austin Van Hoff rounded out the Top 5.  Reigning champion Kevin Joaquin settled for sixth in the 19 car field as Ben Lewis, Joe Salvi, Jeff Lacy and point leader Michael Shearer made up the remainder of the Top 10.  Mike Stokton returned and won his nine lap heat race ahead of Long.  Nelson outran Vaughn for a heat win, while Van Hoff got his win in front of Robbie Loquaci.

The Valley Sportsman division had their biggest turnout in over two years, and veteran Mike Friesen used it as an opportunity to collect another 20 lap Main Event victory.  Friesen won the first two championships of this division's revival in 1999 and 2000, and he had to contend with 2008 champion Mark Odgers to get this win.  Odgers was making his second start of the season in his Vern Willhoite Tribute car, and he won in his previous start.  However, Friesen would prevail this time ahead of long time Merced Speedway competitor Odgers.  Tim Prothro had another good run as he scored his third Top 3 finish in third.  Jesse James Burks made his debut in fourth ahead of point leader Kenny Birdsong in his Rod Poor Tribute car.  Jeff Amos, Shannon Fry, Sportsman division legend Jerry Cecil and newcomer Jeff West rounded out the finishing order.  Jeff Bristow was en route to this race to make it a ten car field but his tow vehicle broke down on the highway.  Birdsong won the heat race ahead of Odgers.

Chris Corder debuted yet another new car, but it ended with the same results in the Mini Stock division.  The current point leader collected his sixth feature victory in eight races.  Watsonville star D.J. Keldsen was coming off of another win at his home track and returned to Merced to see if he could make it a two win weekend.  However, Corder ran just as strong as ever in victory, forcing Keldsen to settle for second.  Tony Peffer drove his truck to a third place finish head of Jennifer Corder, second ranked Paul Lauretti, Nick Lawrence in another Corder car, Destiny Carter and Lucy Falkenberg.  C. Corder held off Falkenberg to win the heat race.

The Legends Of Kearney Bowl made another foray onto the dirt with their beautiful Super Modifieds and fit in perfectly with the theme of the night.  John Sorensen won the Main Event ahead of Tony Pereira, Mike James, Craig Yockey and Jack Heinrich.  Lisa Stumphouser was sixth ahead of Larry Nix, Phil Morandian and Wayne Klaustian.  Nix won a heat race ahead of Yockey, while Mike James won the other heat ahead of Pereira.

The night featured a visit from 1968 Sportsman champion Jerry Holzer and several other greats from the past as part of Legends Night.  Some of these past greats got behind the wheel of the Sportsman cars for a couple laps before being interviewed in front of the stands.  Among them were past champions Dennis Moomjean, Duane Noe and Jerry Cecil.  Sportsman star Rod Poor, long time promoter Chuck Griffin and legendary announcer Johnny Sass were also part of this event.  Nice trophies were awarded to the Main Event winners in all classes.  Next up for Merced Speedway will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks next Saturday night.  For further information, check out

The following article is based on live scoring and is subject to bad computing and official calls.  It is therefore unofficial...

Vanderweerd Wins USAC West Coast Sprint Car Feature 
At Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...August 12.... Jace Vanderweerd won the 33 lap USAC West Coast Sprint Car Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway.  The night was billed as 63 laps of green flag racing in honor of Bryan Clauson, who died of injuries sustained in a Sprint Car crash at Bellville last weekend.  Ten of the green flag laps were run as a memorial to Clauson as Ryan Timmons led the group.

Timmons would lead eight laps of the Main Event before disater struck as he flipped.  At that point, Geoff Ensign gained the lead with Jace Vanderweerd and Stevie Sussex in close pursuit.  As the laps counted down under ten, it was a good battle up front.  J. Vanderweerd made his winning move on lap 29 and sped on to a well earned victory.  Ensign settled for second ahead of Sussex, Austin Liggett, Brody Roa, Max Adams, Colton Slack, D.J. Johnson, Kyler Shaw and Richard Vanderweerd.  Ensign set the quick time of 13.150.  Kyler Shaw won a ten lap heat race ahead of Ensign, while the other heat went to J. Vanderweerd ahead of Timmons.

Chico point leader Todd Cooper won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.  Todd led all 20 laps with his brother, Marysville point leader Brian Coopper, in close pursuit.  The lead trio ran within a second of each other at the checkered flag as T. Cooper collected the victory ahead of B. Cooper, Dennis Simunovich, Shane DeVolder, Justin McPherson, reigning champion  Matt Hagio, point leader Jim DiGiovanni, Charlie Hunter, Billy Robertson and Adrian Frost.  T. Cooper also won the eight lap heat race ahead of B. Cooper and Simunovich.

Justin Yanez won the 20 lap SBDCA Dwarf Car Main Event.  Much like the Sport Modified feature, the Dwarf Car race only had one yellow flag on lap two.  Nick Squartitto led the first two laps before the yellow flag flew. Yanez grabbed the lead on the restart as recent Medford Dwarf Car Nationals winner Shawn Jones worked his way from the back.  By the time Jones gained second on lap eight, Yanez held a two second advantage.  Jones managed to chip away at the lead a little bit, but he couldn't close in enough to make a challenge.  Yanez scored the impressive win ahead of S. Jones, Squatritto, point leader David Teves, Marty Weisler, reigning champion Gene Pires, Mark Biscardi, Joey Dale, Kyle Jones and Ventura visitor Douglas Lebow.  Teves made a lap seven pass on second place finisher Biscardi to win his eight lap heat race, while Squatritto held off Yanez to win his heat race.

Katie Briggs scored her first career Hobby Stock feature win of the season.  The past Chowchilla Mini Stock champion was riding along in second when the yellow flag flew on a five.  Past champion William Kennedy led five laps, but he surrendered the lead to Briggs.  Robert Gallaher gained third at that point, and the race would have one more yellow flag on lap 13.  Briggs maintained her lead on the restart and drove a great race to score the victory.  Gallaher made a last lap pass on Kennedy to finish second as George Fernandez, Terry Traub and Jared Avant completed the finishing order.  Gallaher won the eight lap heat race ahead of Kennedy and Briggs.

Dennis Keldsen Jr. won the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  Keldsen led all 20 laps and took checkered flag by nearly half a lap ahead of Mini Stock veteran Ray Bunn.  Erik Moody made a lap 11 pass on Kate Beardsley to finish a lead lap third.  K. Beardsley was a lap down in fourth ahead of Bill Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley.  Paul Laoretti won the eight lap heat race ahead of Keldsen and Kelly Campanile, but Laoretti and Campanile were Main Event scratches.