Saturday, October 8, 2016

Antioch Speedway Race On New Years 2017, Pit Stops, Watsonville, Bakersfield, Orland News

First of all...

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

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

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover


If You Like Reading Our Articles, Visit The Tip Jar at Go Fund Me to support our efforts

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

Antioch Speedway To Run New Years Bash On January 1, 2017

Promoter John M. Soares isn't content with 2017 being his 20th season as promoter of Antioch Speedway.  He's throwing a little party to kick off the new season.  It's the New Years Bash, happening on January 1st.  This will be the first race of the new year in the state of California.  On the card for this event will be the All Star Series A Modifieds, B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.  Details are still being put together at this time, but driver pit fees and grandstand admisision prices will be the regular prices.

Purse money details are still being worked out, but you can expect an increase in all divisions.  Soares' record of promoting big Modified events speaks for itself.   Earlier this year, he booked the Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race and paid $2,500 to the winner, Randy McDaniel.  A year before that, the track had two $2,500 to win Modified races.  The Summer Nationals was won by Troy Foulger, and the January 2nd West Coast Nationals, also won by Foulger.  We also can't forget the $2,000 to win 2015 season finale, won by Bobby Hogge IV.  Just about every year since Soares has promoted the track, the Modifieds have had at least one big race

With money on the line, you know some of the biggest names in the division will be looking to make a run for the big money.  The names of Troy Foulger, Kellen Chadwick, Bobby Hogge IV, Scott Busby, Ryan McDaniel and Randy McDaniel are just some of the stars that tend to come out when there's money on the line.  The New Years race will likely attract the big names once again.

When you add the stars of the B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks running for an increased purse as well, the New Years Bash will be a race you'll want to see.  The weather may be a little on the cool side, but the on track action is sure to be hot and exciting.  More details will be announced in the days ahead at

Editor's Note:  Speculation is that the A Modifieds may be racing for $2,000 to win that night, while the B Modifieds race for $1,000 to win.  As we say, official details will be forthcoming on purses for all three divisions.

Note:  Watsonville and Bakersfield articles are based on live scoring.  Results are unofficial, subject to computer error and official decisions.

Sanders Wins Wild King Of The West Race 
At Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...October 7...Justin Sanders won a wild 30 lap King Of The West Sprint Car Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway.  It was the final race of the season at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds based facility, and a good field of 24 Winged 410 Sprint Cars turned out to compete.  When the night was done, the King Of The West championship battle remained close between incoming point leader Kyle Hirst and Bud Kaeding.

The Sprint Cars ran three eight lap heat races, and the good turnout meant there would be a B Main as well.  Michael Kofoid won his heat race ahead of the 2015 Taco Bravo Sprint Car champion Sanders.  Justyn Cox won the second heat ahead of another past Watsonville Sprint Car champion, Shane Golobic.  The third heat win went to Tim Kaeding ahead of Colby Copeland.  Bud Kaeding earned the pole for the Main Event with his six lap Trophy Dash win ahead of Kofoid.  A 12 lap B Main was held to fill the rest of the field, and Hirst was in that race.  Chase Johnson won with Hirst punching his ticket into the feature in second.  Second generation racer Sean Watts was third ahead of Mitchell Faccinto and Adam McCarthy.

Bud Kaeding raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of Kofoid and D.J. Netto.  The race ran without a yellow flag for 22 laps, and Golobic took third from Netto on lap ten.  Sanders settled into fifth on lap 12, and Golobic slipped past Bud Kaeding for the lead on lap 17.  Kofoid grabbed second from Kaeding on lap 20, and the yellow flag was out on lap 22.  By that time, Hirst still hadn't made an appearance in the Top 10.  Sanders took over the lead on the restart as Kaeding fell back several spots.  Kofoid was still second ahead of Cory Eliason and Chase Johnson.  Sanders led through another restart, and then a tangle between Johnson and Kofoid resulted in a flip for a lap 28 red flag.  Sanders led the restart and held off Netto for the final two laps for the victory as Eliason brought it home third.  Hirst turned a potentially disastrous night into a point lead protecting fourth place finish ahead of Bud Kaeding and Justyn Cox.

Robert Gallaher wrapped up his American Stock championship season with a win in the 20 lap Main Event.  Gallaher won a heat race earlier in a good battle with Nick Triolo, while John Farrell held off Katie Briggs to win their eight lapper.  Gallaher actually set the pace for the first two laps of the Main Event before being passed by Triolo.  After the only caution flag on lap five, Gallaher raced past Triolo for the lead again, only to surrender the spot back to Triolo on lap seven.  Tony Oliveira was running third at that point, and Briggs pitted from fourth on lap nine.  Many time champion Sam Kennedy took third from Oliveira on lap 11, but by then, Triolo and Gallaher were a straightaway ahead of him.  Gallaher made his winning pass on lap 16 and went on to victory with Triolo settling for second.  Kennedy finished third ahead of Oliveira and Farrell.

Nick Squatritto fired an impressive shot in the SBDCA Dwarf Car championship battle with his victory in the 20 lap Main Event.  David Teves unofficially carried a two point lead into this race after throwaways.  Teves won his eight lap heat race ahead of Marty Weisler, while Squatritto kept pace in the battle with his heat win ahead of reigning champion Gene "Punky" Pires.  Pires set the early pace in the Main Event with Squatritto shadowing his every move.  Teves finally made a move into the Top 5 on lap nine, and the only yellow flag flew on lap 12.  Squatritto raced into the lead on the restart ahead of Justin Yanez.  Teves raced into third a lap later and made a lap 16 pass on Yanez for second.  Squatritto stayed smooth down the stretch and grabbed the checkered flag ahead of Teves, Yanez, Pires and Mark Biscardi.  With his second place finish, Teves emerged with the championship, just ahead of Squatritto.

D.J. Keldsen wrapped up an impressive championship season with another great drive for a 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event victory.  Keldsen got off to a great start with his eight lap heat race win ahead of Nicole Beardsley.  Lucy Falkenberg won her heat race ahead of Paul Lauretti.  Lauretti led the Main Event early ahead of Kate Beardsley and Falkenberg, but Falkenberg made a pit stop on lap three of the non stop event.  Keldsen settled into fourth behind Erik Moody.  Moody took second from K. Beardsley on lap ten with Keldsen following into third.  On lap 12, Moody raced past Lauretti for the lead, and Keldsen gained second a lap later.  Keldsen made his winning move around Moody on lap 17 as Moody fell back several positions.  Keldsen went on to win by over a straightaway with K. Beardsley finishing a solid second ahead of Nicolle Beardsley, Allen Bischoffberger and Lauretti.

Race Results
SBDCA Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-David Teves, Nick Squatritto.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Squatritto, Teves, Justin Yanez, Gene Pires Jr., Mark Biscardi, Kyle Jones, Eric Weisler, William Belefield, Marty Weisler.

American Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Robert Gallaher, John Farrell.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Gallaher, Nick Triolo, Sam Kennedy, Tony Oliveira, Farrell, Charlie Hunter, Jerry Skelton, Briggs, George Fernandez, Jeff Elrod.

Mini Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-D.J. Keldsen, Lucy Falkenberg.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Keldsen, Katie Beardsley, Nicole Beardsley, Allen Bishoffberger, Paul Lauretti, Erik Moody, Brian Bigiogni, Falkenberg, Bill Beardsley, Samatha Roberson.

KOW 410 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Michael Kofoid, Justyn Cox, Tim Kaeding.  Trophy Dash (6 Laps)-Bud Kaeding.  B Main (12 Laps)-Chase Johnson, Kyle Hirst, Sean Watts, Mitchell Faccinto, Adam McCarthy.  Main Event (30 Laps)-Justin Sanders, D.J. Netto, Cory Eliason, Hirst, Bud Kaeding, Cox, Jason Statler, Brent Kaeding, Billy Aton, Jarrett Soares.

Hogge, Dotson Star In Bud Nationals Opener 
At Bakersfield Speedway

Bakersfield, CA...October 7...Coming off of his 300th career victory in the Pat Pettit Memorial Shoot Out at Watsonville a week earlier, Bobby Hogge IV continued his winning ways with a $2,000 victory in the 30 lap Late Model Main Event Friday night at Bakersfield Speedway.  It was the opening night of the 31st Annual Budweiser Nationals Weekend, and Hogge also finished second in the $1,500 to win IMCA Modified race, which was won by Ethan Dotson.

The Late Models were hooked up on the fast one-third mile clay oval, and Tony Toste set the fast time of 14.033, beating Rob Sanders time of 14.094.  They ran three eight lap heat races, and Hogge won his by a straightaway ahead of Nick Bartels.  Oregon's Jeremy Shank won a heat race ahead of fellow Oregonian Bricen James.  Larry Childress won the third heat race ahead of Ethan Dotson.  Hogge continued to run strong by winning the six lap Trophy Dash ahead of Steve Drake.  That win put Hogge on the pole for the Main Event, and he raced into the lead at the start ahead of Drake and Shank.  Clay Daly was an early fourth ahead of Toste.  Toste and Sanders were fourth and fifth when the yellow flag flew on lap 20.  Hogge continued to lead Drake and Shank on the restart as the lead trio ran closely.  Hogge ran a flawless race and recorded the win, while Shank made a last lap pass on Drake to finish second.  Toste and Sanders rounded out the Top 5.

Ethan Dotson held off Hobby Hogge IV all the way to win the 40 lap IMCA Modified Main Event.  A strong turnout of 38 IMCA Modifieds ran four eight lap qualifying heat races, and Chris Crompe won the first heat ahead of Ethan Dotson.  Chaz Baca Jr. won the next heat ahead of Tony Toste.  Oregon long tow Mark Carrell won his heat in front of Chett Reeves, while Hogge won the final heat ahead of Josh Vogt.  The first 12 lap B Main saw Bakersfield champion Ricky Childress Jr. make a lap 10 pass on race long leader John Piker for the victory.  Piker settled for second ahead of Toste.  Rob Sanders won the second B Main ahead of Royce Mull and Kelsey Foley.  In the Main Event, Dotson had the lead from the start with Hogge a close second and Robby Sawyer third.  Sawyer briefly lost third to Logan Drake on lap 15, but he got it back by lap 17.  Despite a few yellow flag slowdowns during the last 20 laps, Dotson continued to hit his marks and lead the way with Hogge shadowing his every move.  Dotson drove it to a well earned victory.  Hogge settled for second ahead of Sawyer, Brad Pounds and Drake.

Jason Nation earned the pole for Saturday night's $1,500 to win IMCA Sport Modified Main Event with his 12 lap Preliminary Main Event victory.  The 32 IMCA Sport Modifieds ran four eight lap heat races, and Michael Johnson won the first heat ahead of Jordan Hagar.  Levi Kiefer won the next heat ahead of Wayne Dotson, and a battle of the Matt's found Matt Mayo winning the third heat ahead of Santa Maria champion Matt Hagio.  Merced champion Rick Diaz won the fourth heat race ahead of Brylon Holder.  Hagio had a front row start for the Preliminary Feature and raced into the lead ahead of Hagar and Nation.  Nation took second from Hagar on lap six and put the moves on Hagio for the lead a lap later.  A close second place battle saw Holder and Hagar drop Hagio back to fourth on lap ten.  Nation raced on to the victory ahead of Holder.  Hagio regained third from Hagar on the final lap as Johnson rounded out the Top 5.

Race Results
Late Models
FT-Tony Toste 14.033.  Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Bobby Hogge IV, Jeremy Shank, Larry Childress.  Trophy Dash-Hogge.  Main Event-Hogge, Shank, Steve Drake, Toste, Rob Sanders, Bricen James, Nick Bartels, Devin Crockett, Clay Daly, Childress.

IMCA Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Chris Crompe, Chaz Baca, Mark Carrell, Bobby Hogge IV.  B Main 1 (12 Laps)-Ricky Childress Jr., John Piker, Tony Toste, Daylon Coffey, Brian Clark.  B Main 2 (12 Laps)-Robert Sanders, Royce Mull, Kelsey Foley, Bill Bartels, Collen Winebarger.  Main Event (40 Laps)-Ethan Dotson, Hogge, Robby Sawyer, Brad Pounds, Logan Drake, Cody Laney, Carrell, Sanders, Mike Johnson, Winebarger.

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Michael Johnson, Levi Kiefer, Matt Mayo, Rick Diaz.  Preliminary Main (12 Laps)-Jason Nation, Brylon Holder, Matt Hagio, Jordan Hagar, Johnson, Billy Simkins, Diaz, Chris McKellar, Wayne Dotson, Clint Reichenbach.

Pit Stops
Low Car Counts While Rebuilding Your Program 
Are Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

One of the things we've been doing at The DCRR this year is lending a helping hand to some race tracks that have nobody writing about them.  I've dedicated this season to Gary Jacob, because this is exactly what he did for years in publications like Racing Wheels and The DCRR.  My belief is that even if these tracks do post results, having an article talking about those drivers, who might be having a season best effort and what it means to the point standings matters to the overall cause.

Last week, Watsonville once again gave us a glimpse into the past and what sort of car counts we used to have.  In three Stock Car classes (IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks), they produced about a 110 car field for two nights.  For those of us who were around when car counts looked like that quite often, it can be difficult to watch racing with five divisions that may hit 50 cars.  You know what the alternative is?  A closed track with no cars.

There are three tracks on my list that are low in cars, and I try to get the word out for them to the point of sending stuff to newspapers and news sites.  There's another track I'd be covering that doesn't put results out.  Car count shame?  There shouldn't be.  Let me name names to put it into context, not to put these tracks down.  I fully support them trying to make things better in a difficult time for the sport.

In the case of Hayfork Speedway, they are building a racing tradition where there was none.  I think this is the coolest thing, and like I said, I support them.  I know they don't get a lot of cars, but the best way to gain a new car or two as things go on is to put results out there, share some pictures and run that program as scheduled.  Hayfork has also been pretty good about posting some results and lots of pictures.

Not far from them is Shasta Speedway.  Now, they don't put results out there all the time, but I caught a disturbing thread on their Facebook site earlier this year.  Somebody wrote that they were so low on cars that they should have canceled.  Well, there's a problem with that scenario.  Let me spell it out for you.  If you book a date and cars show up, you have to run it.  It shows commitment.  If you start canceling because numbers don't go up to your expected level, drivers and fans will stay home all the time because they aren't sure if there's a race going on or not.

Back in 2001, I had an occasion to announce a new Stock Car program at Tulare.  It didn't go so well.  Maybe three or four Hobby Stocks, about the same Street Stocks and seven or eight Mini Stocks.  The show went on.  Sadly, this program didn't last, but the show went on that night.  It caused me to evaluate how I might run a program and do the format if car count numbers were lower than what you might need for a traditional program.  Maybe I'll get into that some other time.  In any case, the show has to go on.

Two other tracks that I cover are Orland Raceway and Rocky Hill Speedway.  Results aren't forthcoming at either track from the recent races there.  I have made requests to both tracks.  Rocky Hill went so far as to delete my request.  Why?  Was a request for results offensive?  Are they ashamed that car count was not where they wanted it to be?  Let me tell you something, if nobody knows what's happening there, they aren't going to come.  As it is, they have racers that go to Bakersfield when they can race there.  Maybe they thought I was saying something offensive just by asking for results?  Nope.  I just wanted to spread the word on the races happening there.  Maybe they don't want people to know?  Why?

I don't see how putting results up on Facebook is a difficult thing to do in 2016  You can snap a picture of a piece of paper with the names of the drivers and the finishing order on it.  Just snap and upload.  It's really that easy.  Maybe there is shame of the car count?  As I said, there shouldn't be.  Rocky Hill was closed for over a decade before coming back a few years ago.  These things take time.  Orland has gone through a succession of promoters, and racers may be reluctant to get on board.  Of course, you win them over with consistency.

I think shame of the car count is a concern at Orland.  There weren't great numbers this year.  Hobby Stocks popped a ten car count three times I think, which isn't bad.  Mini Stocks and Mini Trucks were five or six most nights.  Micros had their ups and downs.  But, you know what was cool in all of this?  Rich Hood and his crew scheduled a ten race point season and ran every damn race.  The show went on, and the core three class had Main Event winners each time.  I call that success.

You have to project confidence in what you are doing.  If there's just a 24 car show in five divisions, then you make it the best damn 24 car show the fans have ever seen.  You let everybody know you raced and who won and when the next race is.  You embrace your situation with a goal of making it better.  Anything less makes it that much more difficult to make it better in the future.  I want these places to thrive and prosper.  I'll take a night at the races in Orland over a damn soccer game any day of the week.  We're lucky we had a season there, and that's because Rich Hood wouldn't let it die.

With Orland, you've had a revolving door of promoters.  There was a year in which the track was dark after Paul & Carol Turner.  When it came back, there were no points for two seasons.  During that time, Chico Silver Dollar Speedway opened the door to Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks and Wingless Spec Sprints.  This created more of a challenge in building the program back up.  By the time Mike McCann came along in 2013, he had his work cut out for him trying to establish a traditional program again.

The regular classes did increase in car count and the track had a couple of big open wheel nights, but the obstacles in the way and an exhausted budget ended the 2014 season halfway through.  After another year with a new promoter, soccer seemed to be Orland's future.  The challenges seemed too difficult to overcome.  People have gotten out of the habit of attending a race, and more racers than ever have actually parked and are doing other things with their lives.  The track really was done when it closed in 2015.

Rich Hood stepping in was not something people saw coming.  As a supporter of the show in recent years, he didn't want to let racing die and felt like he had something he could offer.  This season had a modest 10 race schedule, but it was perfect for Orland.  Focus this year was on making these ten races pop and building a better relationship with the community.  One would have to consider it a success.  The only down side was the season probably should have been ended when the points were over.  This time might be better suited for planning 2017 and not using valuable resources on special shows that have no tradition.

The track's core divisions need to be grown, especially the four cylinder classes, and an effort needs to be made to get more of the area's parked cars back to the track in 2017.  The Micro Sprint effort might have potential, but the track could also look at the Wingless Spec Sprint class and potential visits from Street Stocks, B Modifieds, Dwarf Cars or Hardtops to give the fans something different and special to the area.  But overall, Hood's team has taken several steps in the right direction.

You can't help but smile when Orland has a gathering between the drivers and fans before a race and then has one of their best shows of the year, a show that followed a week in which they had special bike giveaways and bike races for the kids.  Meanwhile, Hayfork Speedway gives the fans races to enjoy during the Trinity County Fair with more cars in action and prepares for a special meet and greet for the fans and drivers to close the season.  There's an excitement in the air up there as they just received word of a Speedway Illustrated reporter coming to town to cover their humble race track. 

Rocky Hill Speedway is already making plans for their annual Veteran's Day race, which includes taking part in the local parade.  Drivers are already making commitments to be a part of the whole experience, because they understand that this is a community building opportunity.  On the pavement of Shasta, they just released results of their vintage show, and overall it was their biggest show of the year.  Progress for a track that has struggled in recent years.

What we would hope these tracks would understand, and we'll include Quincy in this, is that information needs to be put out there.  We live in an age where there is no reason to not have results, pictures and news on what is happening during the year.  You want people involved?  Engage them in the process.  Worried about how your car count will be perceived?  Don't be, just hype up what you have and make your racers want to be a part of it.  People want to be a part of a winner, and if you don't project that attitude, they aren't as likely to rally for the cause.  We want all of these tracks to grow and prosper in the future.

Orland Raceway Wraps Up 2016 Season On A Strong Note, Enters Postseason

Orland, CA...October 7...Orland Raceway's final race in September was also the tenth and final point race of the season.  It was a special fan appreciation night where the fans got to meet their favorite drivers and get their pictures taken with them before the races.  When the checkered flags were thrown that night, wins were scored by Brian Compton (Hobby Stocks), Jim Davis (Mini Stocks), Ross Vige (Mini Trucks), Jackie Whitson Jr. (250 Micros) and Jeromie Crismon (600 Micros).  The track also had their first post season race, and wins went to Donovan Chilton (Mini Stocks), Keith Ross (Mini Trucks), Jeremy Langenderfer (Hobby Stocks) and Jesse Garland (250 Micros).

Full results for these races haven't been posted as of today, but the final Hobby Stock point race had a ten car field.  Brian Compton wrapped up his third Hobby Stock championship at Chico Silver Dollar Speedway, and he won the Orland finale.  Compton was the top point earner for the night ahead of two time feature winner Jeremy Langenderfer.  Brad Ray was a one time winner this season and returned for the point finale to earn the third highest point total that night.  Fourth on the night's point earner's list was Todd Hemman ahead of new champion Steve Martin, Amanda Koop, three time winner Shannon Collins, Chris Barnett, Hayfork racer D.J. Case and Cody Bundy.

Newly crowned Hayfork Speedway champion and past Orland champion Ross Vige won the final Mini Truck Main Event of the point season.  New champion and three time feature winner Dan Webster matched Nate Skaggs for second in total points for the night.  William Fogle and Brent Allinger rounded out the night's top point earners.  With four wins in the previous five races, reigning champion Keith Ross was a no show.

Past champion Tom Davis won his sixth Mini Stock Main Event at the point season finale.  Having finished as high as second in the Main Event this year, John Kirkpatrick wrapped up his season championship with the second highest point total of the night.  Barbara Crain had the third highest point total of the night ahead of one time winner Robert Hunt and Stephen Speer.

The one 600 Micro of champion Jeromie Chrismon ran with the 250 Micros, and Jackie Whitson Jr. scored the win in their Main Event.  Troy Weiss made his first visit of the season and earned the second highest point total ahead of new track champion Andrew Love.  Ronnie Heyer had the fourth highest total ahead of Monica Aldrich, Dave McKinnon Jr. and 2015 champion Jesse Garland.

No results of any kind were released for the October post season race, but a video for the Donovan Chilton team showed  Chilton driving the Robert Hunt Mini Stock to victory.  New champion Kirkpatrick gave it a good run early on before Hunter Merritt came up on the outside to challenge Chilton.  A slower car on the outside late in the race blocked Merritt's path for just a moment, and Chilton won ahead of Merritt, Kirkpatrick and Barbara Crain.  Keith Ross returned to win his fifth Mini Truck Main Event, while Jeremy Langenderfer won his third Hobby Stock race and Jesse Garland won the 250's Micro Sprint Main Event.

Point Standings
Pure Stock
Steve Martin     489
Jeremy Langenderfer 363
Shannon Collins    345
Cody Bundy     338
Earl Adams     272
Amanda Koop     172
Jared Flower     139
Mel Byers     137
Chris Barnett    133
Brian Compton    108

250 Micros
Andrew Love     336
Dave McKinnon     194
Ronnie Heyer     191
Jess Garland    182
Jackie Whitson Jr. 165
Robert Baker    101
Rusty Hensley    91
Troy Weiss    53
Jackie Whitson Sr. 51
Monica Aldrich     46

600 Micros
Jeromie Crismon 417
Skyler Richter    294
Toni Alosi     156
Kyra Michelet     153
Rick Gutzke     106
Dean Slinkard     103
Rick Alonso     57
Kenny Wanderstadt 55
Christine Root     46
Robert Bernard    44

Mini Trucks
Dan Webster    464
William Fogle    405
Keith Ross     374
Ross Vige     301
Olin Crain    264
Nate Skaggs     234
Brent Allinger    216
Jeremy Callen     170
Jake Van Tol    52
Tony Peffer    50

Mini Stock
John Kirkpatrick 475
Robert Hunt     442
Tom Davis     379
Donovan Chilton    263
Jeff Bennett     250
Steve Spears     229
Eric Hammon     225
Barbara Crain     144
Seth Libbee     123
Hunter Merritt    107