Thursday, September 22, 2016

Antioch Speedway and Merced Speedway Weekend Previews

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Note:  The Antioch Speedway preview article has been revised due to the announcement that the October 8th and October 22nd races will now be point races.

Two Classes Of Sprint Cars, Modifieds 
Compete At Antioch Speedway Saturday Night

Antioch, CA...Antioch Speedway wraps up the month of September with both the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints as well as the A and B Modifieds on the schedule this Saturday night.  The six division program will be rounded out by the Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks.  Promoter John M. Soares threw his All Star Series competitors a curve ball when he announced on Thursday that the October 8th and October 22nd races that were recently added to the schedule will be point races. The possible exception to this is the rumored Winged 360 Sprint Car date that may be added on the 22nd.  That division will in fact conclude a very close point battle this Saturday night.

The October 8th John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Race is already slated to pay $1500 to win in both the DIRTcar Late Models and A Modifieds, while paying $850 to win in both the B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.  As of now, all four divisions will award points for the regular track competitors.  However, before they get to that race, there is this Saturday night's race to consider.

Only one point race remains on the Antioch Speedway All Star Series racing schedule this week as the track gets ready to crown six more champions. After this race is the special October 8th John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Race for extra prize money. This Saturday night, Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks are all on the schedule. Two divisions have already crowned their 2016 champions as Richard Papenhausen is the DIRTcar Late Model champion and Kevin Miraglio is the Dwarf Car champ.

In no division is the championship more uncertain than in the Winged 360 Sprint Cars as Billy Aton has been battling veteran Art McCarthy all season long. The 2009 Wingless Sprint Champion, Aton took a step towards the championship last week when he finished second in the Main Event. If not for a lost wheel in a Main Event that he was leading recently, he would likely have three wins now. As it is, the second place finish he earned last week was his sixth Top 3 finish in his last eight starts as he added just a little bit to his lead over three time winner Art McCarthy.

McCarthy wasn't far behind Aton with a fourth place finish as the veteran of many years of open wheel racing battles to overcome the night in which he failed to start the Main Event due to mechanical issues. The fact that McCarthy has gotten this close to Aton is an indication of just how good of a driver he really is. With the steady stream of up and coming young talent that comes to town each and every week, these two drivers have maintained a good championship battle all season long.

Last week, the other big storyline of the division continued as Colby Johnson won his first Main Event in only his second start in this division. Johnson is the great grandson of Pacheco Hardtop legend Johnny Franklin, and the Micro Sprint graduate drove a great race to score the victory. The fans generally see anywhere from 10-14 Sprint Cars on any given week, and other racers to watch for this week include third place point competitor Dan Gonderman, Burt Foland Jr, Shawn Arriaga, Aaron Miller, rookie Tim Burcher, Ricky Brophy, Chris Magoon and previous winner Matt Barber.

In all of the drama that went down in the previous Wingless Spec Sprint race, the championship seemingly belongs to open wheel veteran Jim Perry Jr. Perry recorded his third win of the season last time, adding to his division all time leading win total of over 40 victories. This would be his second championship in the division, and a bit of a heart breaker for Marcus Smith.

Smith was steadily gaining on Perry in the point race until he blew a motor in his heat race last time out. With the Richard Basden owned car done for the night, Smith hopped into his own car and drove to a second place finish, only to find out that he would receive no points in that car since Adam Teves qualified it with his heat race win. Because of that, Smith has his hands full trying to hold off division original Rick Panfili and Roy Fisher in the battle for second.

Smith is clinging to a 10 point lead over Panilli and a 20 point advantage over Fisher. While Smith and Fisher both have feature wins, Panfilli is still searching for his first career feature win since starting in this class when it began in 1999. Rick has finished as high as second in the Main Event this year and is hoping to come up with a big finish to claim his highest career point ranking in second. It will be interesting to see what happens here.

Despite some rough luck this year, past Chowchilla Speedway champion Branden Burd has a solid hold on fifth in the standings. Other drivers to watch for in the competitive division include likely "Rookie Of The Year" Adam Teves, Shannon Newton, James East, reigning champion Kyle Bakkie and feature winner Jeremy Newberry.

In the A Modified division, Carl Berendsen II has reason to celebrate. The second generation racer is seemingly on his way to a second division championship in three years. Prior to last week, he still hadn't won a Main Event. Carl is a multi time point runner up in Street Stocks and a winner back in those days. He debuted a new car during the season in hopes of getting his first win, and that mission was accomplished last Saturday night as he held off heavy hitters Duane Cleveland and Troy Foulger for his first career victory. In doing so, Carl took a major step towards his second division championship.

Trent Wentworth recorded another Top 5 finish and gained a few points on point runner up Scott Busby, but Busby has a good chance of holding down the position as long as he has a respectable showing in the Main Event this weekend. Wentworth may have a shot at second, but he also has to hold off second generation racer Sean O'Gara, who is within striking distance of third. Unlike two time feature winner Busby, Wentworth and O'Gara are still looking for their first Main Event victories.

What is further amazing is the fact that Troy Foulger is still without an Antioch feature win this year as the winner's list includes 11 drivers at this point. Will there be another new winner to add to the list this week? Other drivers to watch for this week include rookie Bobby Montalvo, Norman Boeck, Brian Cass, Aaron Crowell and Josh Combs.

Trevor Clymens is on the cusp of his first career track championship after coming close to that goal back in his days in the Pure Stock division. With seven B Modified Main Event wins this year, Trevor has had an amazing season. Unless he has a major misstep this week, Clymens will beat Al Johnson for the championship, while Johnson settles for his second straight runner up season. Clymens lost his battle with two time Petaluma Modified champion Nick DeCarlo and would settle for second in last week's Main Event.

As it looks like Johnson will come up short in his championship bid, he would still very much like to score his first career victory. Johnson has multiple second place finishes. The third place driver, Shane DeVolder, has six second place finishes, but the likely "Rookie Of The Year" did get his first win earlier this season. With two Main Event wins to his credit, K.C. Keller maintains a Top 5 point position.

Last weekend was a milestone evening for one of the track's three famous Brown families. Long time Speedway competitor and two time Limited Late Model champion Ron Brown returned and got a Top 5 finish. Chasing him across the line in the next two positions were his brothers, Randy Brown and Kevin Brown. It was the first time that the three brothers had competed in a race together. Randy Brown has competed in most of the races this year and is currently sixth in the standings, while Kevin  has a pair of fifth place finishes this year.  The B Modified drivers have been putting on some good shows this year, and other racers to watch for this week include Chuck Golden, Anthony Giuliani, Tim Hammett and Mike Mates.

It has been an amazing rookie season for Guy Ahlwardt in the Hobby Stock division. Guy picked up his fifth Main Event win of the season last week to apparently clinch the track championship. He has further announced that it looks like his car has been sold and he will be moving up to the B Modified division next season. As good as he has looked all season, most people would agree that he is ready for this move.

Fellow rookie Lindsey Buirch has done a good job of improving from week to week this season. The talented teen competitor drove to another Top 5 finish last week and would appear to be headed for a second place point season. Last season's point runner up and second generation racer Jordan Swank also grabbed a Top 5 finish last week to move up into third in the standings.

What has been interesting to observe in recent weeks is the rise of Frank Furtado as a competitor capable of winning. It wasn't that long ago that Frank picked up his first career Main Event victory. Last week, the Top 10 point runner drove his battle scarred #81 car to a heat race victory before finishing second in the Main Event. Also looking good in third last week was 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. Sorensen was reportedly done for the year, but his fellow competitors chipped in to make sure he returned. The Sorenson team has been instrumental in the bike giveaways for the kids that have been happening at Antioch Speedway in recent weeks.

It should be another competitive field this week as drivers battle to see who can win the point season finale. Other competitors to watch for include Anthony Vigna, Top 5 ranked Michael Cooper, Cameron Swank, Natalie Perry and Chris Long.

Once again, 87 year old Larry Damitz seems to headed for the Limited Late Model championship. With five Main Event wins to his credit, Larry will be the champion for the fifth time in six seasons. The question now is who will end up second? The battle is on between Kimo Oreta and five time winner Mark Garner. Oreta has a two point lead despite having no wins in the Main Event this year. Basically, when Garner isn't winning, he's usually not finishing, but Oreta usually finds his way to the checkered flag.

Last time out, Garner won one of the more exciting battles of the year by holding off the impressive Ryan Cherezian, who drives the only pickup truck in the field. It was Ryan's best finish of the season. It should be another good race, and other drivers to watch for this week include Mike Gustafson, Lori Brown, the steady John Evans, Jeff Kendrick and rookie Billy Garner.

The All Star Series point finale at Antioch Speedway should be a good one, and the program will feature Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Limited Late Models. For further information on this event and the coming John Soares Sr. Memorial Race, go to

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series Points

Winged 360 Sprints
Billy Aton 642
Art McCarthy 635
Dan Gonderman 392
Burt Foland Jr. 334
Shawn Arriaga 283
Matt Barber 220
Matt DeMartini 202
Marissa Polizi 201
Rick Brophy 174
Jenna Frazer 163

Wingless Spec Sprint
Jim Perry Jr. 526
Marcus Smith 464
Rick Panfili 454
Roy Fisher 444
Brandon Burd 411
Dan Gonderman 290
Adam Teves 251
Shannon Newton 248
James East 244
Kyle Bakkie 224

A Modifieds
Carl Berendsen II 566
Scott Busby 493
Trent Wentworth 472
Sean O'Gara 458
Bobby Montalvo 452
Troy Foulger 341
Norman Boeck 304
Aaron Crowell 284
Raymond Lindeman 274
Brian Cass 256

B Modifieds
Trevor Clymens 952
Al Johnson 910
Shane DeVolder 874
K.C. Keller 658
Danny Jones 636
Randy Brown 408
Chuck Golden 358
Brian Pearce 334
Anthony Giuliani 321
Lloyd Cline 271

Hobby Stock
Guy Ahlwardt 742
Lindsey Buirch 602
Jordan Swank 572
Michael Cooper 544
Danny Jones 537
Chris Sorensen  529
Frank Furtado 491
Cameron Swank 456
Anthony Vigna 454
Natalie Perry 379

Limited Late Model
Larry Damitz 674
Kimo Oreta 628
Mark Garner 626
Mike Gustafson 478
John Evans 418
Lori Brown 415
Jim Freethy 272
Jeff Kendrick 132
Billy Garner 120
Ryan Cherezian 99

Merced Speedway Closes Point Season With 
Matt Van Hoecke Memorial

Merced, CA...For years, there was a man at Merced Speedway who did many things to help the race track. He was a sponsor of race cars and races, he was somebody the racers went to for parts on race night and during the week and he was somebody who did anything he could to support the race track. When he died after a battle with Cancer, many in the racing community mourned his loss. He is still missed to this day. His name is Matt Van Hoecke. Saturday night, Merced Speedway closes its season with a memorial event in his honor, featuring IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.

In the IMCA Modifieds, Randy Brown is one checkered flag away from wrapping up his second career division championship. Last Saturday night, Randy had his worst finish in eight races, and it was still a third place finish. It seems like as the season got going, he just got faster, and nobody could keep up with him. Provided there are no major issues with his car, he will be the champion.

At one time, 2012 champion Bill Egleston was hoping he could win the title. He had a pretty good start to the season, which included a victory. Things took a turn for the worse in recent starts, but he came back strong last week for an impressive victory. It served as a reminder to the rest of the competition that he is still one of the top stars at the speedway.

Young D.J. Shannon is a star in the making, and his recent trips to other tracks have resulted in some good finishes for the second generation racer. On Saturday night, D.J. was the one chasing Egleston across the line in what would be a career best second place finish. It seems only a matter of time before he joins his championship winning father Chris as a Main Event winner at Merced Speedway. It could happen this Saturday night.

With his sixth place finish behind California Stock Car legend Jim Pettit II, multi time champion Ramie Stone may not win the championship, but he appears to be headed for second in the standings. He still has to be on his game to keep rookie  Bruce "Bubba" Nelson behind him. Nelson was again near the front of the pack as he finished fourth last week.

The amazing part in all of this is that the IMCA Modified division had 18 cars last week. Because Matt was such a beloved figure in the racing community, it is expected that there will be a good turnout this week as well, and other drivers to keep an eye out for this week include Top 5 point competitor Ricky Thatcher, Late Model veteran Derek Nance, rookie Ryan Larimer, Mike Villanueva, Ryan Porter and others. This Saturday night should be a good show as the division closes what has been a great season.

It seems like it's a rare week when Rick Diaz isn't winning in the IMCA Sport Modifieds these season.  To beat him, you have to be up on your game. It just so happens that last week there was such a driver as reigning State champion Fred Ryland scored his fourth Main Event victory of the season. It had been a while since Ryland scored a win in this class, but he won a Hobby Stock race the week before at Antioch Speedway. Despite his late start, Ryland is still battling for fifth in the point standings.

Rick Diaz isn't battling anybody as he enters the season finale having clinched the 2016 championship. This team has battled adversity this year to get to this point, and to know that they don't even have to be there this week to win the championship has to be a satisfying feeling. However, this is a special night of racing, and Diaz would love to end the championship season with another win. The race itself has special meaning, and it is also a tune up for the special John Fore Jr. Memorial Sport Modified Race that will be held next month.

Mike Drake had a solid effort last week that may be just what he needed to maintain his second place season in the George Medeiros owned car. Drake's 9th place finish keeps him ahead of sixth place finisher Gary Tucker and Tim Elias. Mike shouldn't lose second in the points if he doesn't encounter any major problems, but he is hoping that he can get his first win this week. People should not count out the 2015 Merced Dwarf Car champion as he has driven great all season.

Speaking of Dwarf Car competitors, the man Drake beat to win the Dwarf Car championship last year, Chuck Weir, had his best finish in the division in fourth. He chased second generation racer Tanner Thomas across the line as the 14 year old Thomas had his best finish ever in third. Earlier that evening, Tanner had his first career heat race win.

Despite his win, Ryland didn't gain too many points on fifth place Josh Hensley after Hensley had one of his best finishes of the year in fifth. Much like the IMCA Modified division, this field produced 19 cars last week and should have a similar turnout for the special race this week. Other competitors to look for this week include Chase Thomas, Paul Espino, Andy Welch, Dwayne Short and Patti Ryland.

Double points will be on the line for the Hobby Stock division this week. Despite that, Michael Shearer has clinched the championship with four second place finishes and a win among his best efforts. It has been a stellar season for Shearer and he has definitely earned it. The battle is on for second in the standings, and reigning champion Kevin Joaquin has had a good run with two second place finishes and three Top 5 finishes in his last four starts.

Joaquin only has a nine point lead over Robbie Loquaci, a 15 point advantage over Ted Stofle Classic winner Phillip Vaughn and a 16 point lead over Kristie Shearer. Loquaci actually won the most recent race and had a Top 5 finish the race before as he is hoping to stake his claim on his best season in this class in second. Robbie is a past Mini Stock champion out at Chowchilla Speedway. Second in the standings could change hands, and you also can't count out fourth generation racer Garrett Corn, who is just 24 points behind Joaquin in sixth. Corn is also a Main Event winner this year.

The competitive nature of the Hobby Stock division has led to several different winners including three for multi time champion Raul Rodriguez, who we haven't seen in recent races. It is just possible that Raul will be there in the race that honors Matt Van Hoecke. One time Main Event winner Darren Miguel is another driver who will be giving it a good run this week. Coming off of a third place finish last time out, Austin Van Hoff is hoping to collect his first win this week.

You also can't count out Dexter Long, who has a second and a win in his last two starts. This division should have a count in the high teens if not even bigger, and other drivers to look for this week include, John Hensley, Ben Lewis, Cody Parker and Jeff Lacy in his Dan Marino Miami Dolphins tribute car.

Though they are not on the schedule, a note of praise should go to Chris Corder, who won his seventh Mini Stock Main Event of the season last week to notch his second Merced championship in three seasons. Paul Lauetti will hold onto second in the standings after his impressive second place last week ahead of the rapidly improving Lucy Falkenberg. With her fourth place finish, rookie Destiny Carter finished third in the standings.

Kenny Birdsong won the 2016 Valley Sportsman championship after finishing third last week. Past division champion Mark Odgers came back and scored a Main Event victory. His second win of the season put him into fourth in the standings. Jeff Bristow gave it a good run with a second place finish, but he will end up in third in standings behind two time feature winner and two time champion Mike Friesen, who finished fourth last week.

Once again, The Matt Van Hoecke Memorial Race this week will feature IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and a double point race for the Hobby Stocks. For further information, go to

Merced Speedway Points

IMCA Modified
Randy Brown 438
Ramie Stone 407
Bruce Nelson 392
Ricky Thatcher 378
Bill Egleston 377
Jarod Fast 286
Mike Villanueva 251
Harley Turner 201
Paul Stone 188 
Mitch Enos 187 

IMCA Sport Modified
Rick Diaz 530
Mike Drake 477
Gary Tucker 467
Tim Elias 451
Josh Hensley 426
Fred Ryland 420
Chase Thomas 386
Tanner Thomas 353
Steve Stone 334
Dwayne Short 320

Hobby Stock
Michael Shearer 229
Kevin Joaquin 186
Robbie Loquaci 177
Phillip Vaughn 171
Kristie Shearer 170
Garrett Corn 162
Austin Van Hoff 158
Kodie Dean 152
Dexter Long 147
Cody Parker 131
Darren Miguel 131

Mini Stock
Chris Corder 205
Paul Lauretti 161
Destiny Carter 148
Tony Peffer 131
Curtis Thornhill 130
Lucy Falkenberg 115
Jennifer Corder 69
Joy Alger 66
James Stockton 59
Mike Germait 57

Valley Sportsman
Kenny Birdsong 183
Mike Friesen 167
Jeff Bristow 143 
Mark Odgers 98
Shannon Fry 90
Tim Prothro 88
Jerry Cecil 60
Jeff Amos 59
Jesse James Burks 50
Eric Seely 49

$3000 To Win Rod Restad Memorial Race Closes Season 
At Siskiyou Motor Speedway

Yreka, CA...Saturday night's race at Siskiyou Motor Speedway is an event that some of the best IMCA Modified racers mark on their calender.  This is the annual Rod Restad Memorial Race, paying tribute to the well known and respected Yreka racing promoter.  It's also a race that will pay $3000 to win, $2000 for second and $1000 for third.  Joining the IMCA Modifieds for this program will be the O'Reilly Auto Parts IMCA Sport Modifieds and McDonald's Mini Stocks.

The Rod Restad Memorial is one of the biggest paying races of the year in California for the IMCA Modifieds, and that draws some of the best drivers to make a run for the money.  It's anybody's guess who will win the big prize.  Only 2015 track champion Nick Trenchard has won this race twice in the last seven years.  It was Nevada leadfoot Jake Holland snapping Trenchard's two race winning streak last year as he held off 2010 winner Travis Peery and Monte Bischoff.

Other winners in recent years include Roger Lorenzini in 2012 and Brian Poppa, who won a thrilling battle with Kurt Lorenzini in 2011.  2009 and 2004 winner Scott Lenz is reportedly going to take the wheel of the Ray Kniffen Jr. car this week.  Lenz drove the Kniffen car to a third place finish at Medford last week.  Kniffen had been planning to drive before breaking his arm in the recent Lon Skinner Memorial race in Medford.  Knowing that he had a competitive car, Kniffen enlisted past Medford Pro Stock champion Lenz to take the wheel.

Trenchard, Lorenzini, Poppa, Lenz and Bischoff are only a few of the top drivers anticipated this Saturday.  Medford champion Mark Wauge will come to make a run at the money along with two time Medford champion Albert Gill, Susanville champion Chris Olexiewicz, Kyle Casson, Dan Thomas and Zach Fettinger.  A story within the story will take place as Duane Orsburn holds a slim five point lead over Gill in the championship battle.  The track has had eight different winners in eight races as Gill won the most recent race to position himself for a shot at Orsburn.

When young Kalvin Morton scored his first win in only his third start in an O'Reilly Auto Parts IMCA Sport Modified last week, it made him the 13th different winner of the season.  Colton Cheffey seemed ready for a clean sweep after winning his heat races and Trophy Dash, but he settled for second.  Though he is fifth in the points, Cheffey would have to be considered a favorite to win on Saturday and a driver to watch in the 2017 championship battle.  Despite a crash that left his car damaged, Jimmy Lipke hopes to be back this week to finish out his 2016 championship season.  He holds a good lead over Garrett Hamilton, who will win the SCMA championship.  Morton, Cheffey, Lipke and Hamilton should be joined by such hard chargers as Doug Franklin, Jack Waldon III, D.J. Bottoms, Randy Wright and reigning champion Colter Boswell.

Having been a staunch supporter of the McDonald's Mini Stocks through the years, "Big Mac" Marilyn Yawnick hopes to wrap up her first career championship following her fourth feature win last week.  Marilyn knew she took a big step towards her goal with that victory and emerged from her car quite jubilant.  Following a disappointing Main Event that ended early for him, past champion Terry Kendrick will probably settle for third behind young Ethan Killingswoth in the battle for second.  The three drivers are at the top of the list of contenders for this week's win along with 2014 champion  "Magic" Mike Whitaker, Mike Colson, Mike Frost, Dennis Jorgensen and last week's Trophy Dash winner, Aaron Jorgensen.

All three divisions should include some talented racers ready to do battle and put on a great show for the fans.  The big money is on the line for the IMCA Modifieds in the Rod Restad Memorial Race.  There is also a bike race on the night's schedule.  Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the fist race starting at 7:00 p.m.  Adult tickets are $12.00 with Seniors/Veterans $10.00 and children 6-12 $7.00.  children 5 and under are free.  For further information, go to

Siskiyou Motor Speedway Points

McDonalds's Mini Stocks
Marilyn Yawnick 708
Ethan Killingsworth 678
Terry Kendrick 650
David Steele 640
Mike Whitaker 626

O'Reilly Auto Parts 
IMCA Sport Modified
James Lipke 443
Garrett Hamilton 423
Doug Franklin 358
Jack III Waldon 350
Colton Cheffey 320

SCMA Sport Modified
Garrett Hamilton 457
Doug Franklin 396
Jack Waldon III 383
Colton Cheffey 359
Colter Boswell 312

IMCA Modified
Duane Orsburn 132
Albert Gill 127
Nick Trenchard 97
James Welshonse 68
Mark Wauge 67

Perry Joins Two Time Champions Club As Wingless Spec Sprint Season Draws To A Close At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The 18th season of the Wingless Spec Sprint division is reaching its conclusion at Antioch Speedway. One of the original drivers on the roster when the division first started in 1999 is prepared to win his second championship, putting him in the two time champions category along with Darrell Hanestad, Dan Gonderman and Billy Macedo. Jim Perry Jr. has won more than 40 Main Events in his Spec Sprint career, including three this season, and he doesn't even need to be there this week to win the title.

It's not a surprise that the open wheel racing veteran would be the champion. Jim has been racing open wheel cars since the 1970's and ranks high on the list of all time winners at the San Jose Fairgrounds Speedway in the Super Modified division. Perry had taken a break from the division for a few seasons, but he picked up right where he left off this year.

It all came down to a dramatic event in the previous race where Perry and his championship rival Marcus Smith had their drama in the same heat race. Perry was black flagged for excessive noise, while Smith blew a motor in the Richard Basden owned car to end the night for that team. Smith had been building a race car of his own when he landed the ride in the well respected car owner's #20 Sprinter. Marcus finished that car and had two time Wingless Spec Sprint champion Dan Gonderman racing it many times this year. In fact, Gonderman is a two time feature winner.

Smith, who was second in the points last year and the "Rookie Of The Year", had scored three Main Event wins this season and was slowly catching Perry when he had the motor problems. His second car that night was driven by young rookie Adam Teves to a heat race win. Seeing that Smith was without a ride, Teves let him attempt to get his Main Event points. While Perry was winning his third Main Event, Smith finished second to apparently keep the points close. Unfortunately, rules specify that Smith needed to start a heat race in that car to get his points for the night. Because he got no points, the championship race went in Perry's favor that night.

Second place is still up for grabs in the point finale, and Smith leads another driver from the original Spec Sprint roster, Rick Panfili, by just 10 points. Though he has finished as high as second in the Main Event this year and last season, Panfili has yet to win his first Main Event. He is coming off of back to back third place seasons and would definitely like to finish second this year if possible. Both drivers need to keep an eye behind them as ageless veteran Roy Fisher is just 20 points behind. Like Smith, Fisher is a Main Event winner this year.

As the promoter of the track that gave this division its start back in 1999, John M. Soares took a look around at what was happening to the division and acted in the interest of preserving the class. He drew some criticism from competitors after making rules adjustments a little over a month before last season.  The rule changes were designed to keep the cast down and promote more competitive racing. The drivers who supported last season ran closely and competitively all year.

Car count numbers rebounded this year as the division saw numbers reach into the high teens on occasion. Once again, there were several drivers who won Main Events. NFL football alumnus Jeremy Newberry and Jason McIntosh also count themselves among the winners this season.

Several different drivers have finished as high as second this season, including Panfili, Jimmy Perry III, Barry Pries Jr, Shannon Newton and Alan Miranda, and generally a good portion of the competitors on the track on any given week have a legitimate shot at winning the Main Event. This is not just a one car dominated Spec Sprint division.

A past Chowchilla Speedway Spec Sprint champion, Brandon Burd came out of retirement and is having a Top 5 point season despite some rough moments. This includes a night where he flipped out of the Turn 1 exit in his heat race. Other drivers who have competed this year on multiple occasions include Alan Miranda, James East, reigning Champion Kyle Bakkie, Jimmy Perry III, newcomer Kevin Box and Shannon Newton.

Drivers will be racing hard to see who can win the finale this week. The 19th season will happen in 2017 as this division continues at Antioch Speedway. For further information on this division and other happenings at the track, go to

All Star Series
Wingless Spec Sprints

Wingless Spec Sprint
Jim Perry Jr. 526
Marcus Smith 464
Rick Panfili 454
Roy Fisher 444
Brandon Burd 411
Dan Gonderman 290
Adam Teves 251
Shannon Newton 248
James East 244
Kyle Bakkie 224

Previous 30 Main Event Winners

August 27, 1016:  Jim Perry Jr.
August 13, 2016:  Marcus Smith
July 23, 2016:  Dan Gonderman
July 16, 2016:  Marcus Smith
July 9, 2016:  Roy Fisher
June 25, 2016:  Jeremy Newberry
June 18, 2016:  Jim Perry Jr.
June 11, 2016:  Jason McIntosh
May 14, 2016:  Jim Perry Jr.
April 30, 2016:  Marcus Smith
April 16, 2016:  Dan Gonderman
September 19, 2015:  Billy Macedo
August 29, 2015:  Kyle Bakkie
August 15, 2015:  Billy Macedo
August 1, 2015:  Jimmy Perry III
July 25, 2015:  Jeff Lee
July 18, 2015:  Jimmy Perry III
June 20, 2015:  James East
June 6, 2015:  Jimmy Perry III
May 16, 2015:  Kyle Bakkie
April 25, 2015:  Jimmy Perry III
April 18, 2015:  Kyle Bakkie
April 11, 2015:  Roy Fisher
March 21, 2015:  Kyle Bakkie
March 14, 2015:  Roy Fisher
March 7, 2015:  Jeff Lee
September 13, 2014:   Billy Macdedo
August 2, 2014:  Bob Newberry
July 26, 2014:  Jeff Banbury
June 28, 2014:  Chris Magoon

Past Wingless Spec Sprint Champions

1999-Dan Gonderman
2000-Travis Berryhill
2001-Terry Tarditi
2002-Darrell Hanestad
2003-Darrell Hanestad
2004-Bob Newberry
2005-Scott Merrell
2006-Jimmy Perry III
2007-Jim Perry Jr.
2008-Billy Macedo
2009-Billy Aton
2010-Tommy LaLiberte
2011-Dan Gonderman
2012-D.J. Johnson
2013-Gary Nelson Jr.
2014-Billy Macedo
2015-Kyle Bakkie
2016-Jim Perry Jr.

Sprint Car Series Season Finale 
At Antioch Speedway Saturday Night

Antioch, CA...There's been plenty of things to talk about in the All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car program at Antioch Speedway this season. This has been the most ambitious schedule for this division ever booked by promoter John M. Soares. It seems to have been a success. Drivers are lining up at the gates to come make a run at the $1,200 to win, and that includes several Micro Sprint graduates among the list of 11 different winners. This Saturday night will be the 15th and final race of the season.

Last week, another grandson of legendary Contra Costa Speedway racer Johnny Franklin made an appearance. It was Colby Johnson, who has spent several seasons racing in Micro Sprints. He was only making his second ever start in a Sprint Car and he had to battle the point leader to earn the victory. However, this young man was up to the challenge as he started the evening with a heat race win. In the Main Event, he had to contend with Billy Aton, but he showed great poise in holding him off to score his first career victory. Driving like that, you would have to believe there will be more wins where that came from.

After Art McCarthy closed the championship gap to within five points of Aton, Billy needed to come up with something big. The two time Main Event winner and 2009 Wingless Spec Sprint champion gave it everything he had in an effort to grab the victory, but his second place finish keeps him in the point lead with a 7 point advantage over McCarthy with just the final race to go. Is this a big enough lead to go into protection mode? Not exactly.

The veteran McCarthy has been battling back from a non start that he had midway through the season, and he has done everything he can in recent races to overtake Aton. Art had him in his sights last week, but there was a monkey wrench in his plans as another first time Antioch Speedway visitor, Cody Hodgson, was in his path. Hodgson ran a good race, forcing McCarthy to settle for fourth. McCarthy has three wins this season and five in the last two years. Everybody knows what Art is capable of doing. Aton will have to be on his toes or he will watch McCarthy win his second Antioch Speedway championship. It should be a good race this week.

When she's been able to, Jenna Frazier has been making Sprint Car starts this season. Jenna has been competing in the Dwarf Cars and has even had some impressive moments, including her first win at Antioch earlier this season. She also showed her toughness by coming back from a hard crash in a Dwarf Car at Marysville that left her with a concussion and some bruised ribs.  On Saturday night, Jenna brought it home to a fifth place finish ahead of Aaron Miller.

A regular with the Sprint Cars at Petaluma Speedway, Miller recently got an emotional first career Main Event victory out at Southern Oregon Speedway. In this race here, Miller also picked up a heat race win earlier in the evening.  Open Wheel veterans Wayne Katen made his second appearance of the season and finished seventh ahead of Craig Frandsen and Outlaw Kart veteran Jesse Calwell.

The championship will be on the line this Saturday night between McCarthy and Aton, and it's anybody's guess who will pull this one off. It has been the closest battle at the speedway all year. Other drivers to watch for this weekend include previous feature winner Matt Barber, Dan Gonderman, Burt Foland Jr., reigning champion Shawn Arriaga, Ricky Brophy and rookie Tim Burcher. You never know who will be coming in from out of town for a run at the $1200 prize. For further information on this and other happenings at the track, go to

2016 Antioch Winged 360 All Star Series Points

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series Points

Winged 360 Sprints
Billy Aton 642
Art McCarthy 635
Dan Gonderman 392
Burt Foland Jr. 334
Shawn Arriaga 283
Matt Barber 220
Matt DeMartini 202
Marissa Polizi 201
Rick Brophy 174
Jenna Frazer 163

Past Champions

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

Recent Feature Winners

September 17, 2016:  Colby Johnson
September 10, 2016:  Matt Barber
August 27, 2016;  Billy Aton
August 20, 2016:  Riley Matson
August 13, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 6, 2016:  Seth Nunes
July 30, 2016:  Art McCarthy
July 16, 2016:  Brayden McMahan
June 25, 2016:  Kaleb Montgomery
June 18, 2016:  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