Thursday, October 20, 2016

Antioch Speedway Weekend Preview, Plus Merced, Cedarville, Hayfork, More

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Seven Division Program Brings Curtain Down On Antioch Speedway Season

Antioch, CA...The 2016 season comes to a close at Antioch Speedway with a blowout seven division All Star Series program for the fans to enjoy. The final point event of the season will feature A Modifieds, DIRTCar Late Models, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. The program offers a little something for everybody. This is the longest a point season has ever gone as track management made an effort to make up two rain outs from earlier in the season.

Despite the makeup races, Carl Berendsen II has pretty much secured his second A Modified championship of the last three seasons. Carl will be there to try for his second win of the season and enjoy and the evening as the champion. Meanwhile, five time champion Scott Busby will clinch his third runner up point season just by starting the Main Event, but he's after something more. He drove to a thrilling $1500 victory in the John Soares Sr. Memorial two weeks ago, which was the 71st win for him at Antioch Speedway. If he can win this race, he will join J.D. Willis as Antioch Speedway's all time feature win leader.

The battle will continue between Sean O'Gara, Bobby Montalvo and Trent Wentworth for third in the standings. Second generation racer O'Gara currently holds third in the standings.  Montalvo surprised the field by winning his first heat race two weeks ago, though it didn't go so well after that.  He is still just 12 points behind O'Gara. Wentworth has been given the opportunity to drive one of the Slaney Racing Team cars to finish the season.  All three drivers are still searching for their first feature win of the season. The opportunity to give the race track one more run should get some hard chargers to the track, including three time winner Brian Cass, 2015 point runner up Bobby Motts Jr., 2004 champion Aaron Crowell, Mike Salazar, Anthony Slaney, Josh Combs and others.

Richard Papenhausen has pretty much wrapped up the 2016 DIRTcar Late Model championship after his third win of the season two weeks ago. That win paid him $1500 and put some distance between himself and 2015 champion Jeff Decker. Following his third place finish two weeks ago, it also appears as if Dennis Souza has secured third in the standings. Terry Kuntz is coming off a season best second place finish, and other drivers to watch for this week include Shawn DeForest, Rob Norris, Mike Hynes, Danny Malfati and Paul Guglielmoni.

Jim Perry Jr. is headed for his second Wingless Spec Sprint championship as he has won the last two races. In fact, nobody has won more Wingless Spec Sprint Main Events in division history than Perry, and his championship season comes as a surprise to nobody. Second year racer Marcus Smith should be very proud of the battle he gave. Smith had three future wins along the way, but he will need a good finish this week to hold off one time winner Roy Fisher for second in the standings.

Still in the hunt for second but more interested in getting his first feature win is Rick Panfili.  Unfortunately, Panfili has been in a bit of a slump in recent races after scoring two second place finishes. Other racers to watch for this week include fifth ranked Brandon Burd, hard charger Shannon Newton, Jimmy Perry III, Jeremy Newberry and two time champion Billy Macedo.

To say that the last month has been a little bit nerve racking for Trevor Clymens is an understatement. Clymens had the B Modified championship well in hand heading into the September 24th race when the announcement was made of the two makeup point races. Then, he watched as his closest rival, Al Johnson, won his first career Main Event that week. Trevor is a seven time winner this year, and he heads into this race knowing that he merely needs to take a Main Event green flag to secure his first career championship.

Clymens will be going for his eight win of the season, but it just may be that 2015 champion Fred Ryland, who won the $850 prize for his victory in the John Soares Sr. Memorial Race two weeks ago, will be in action this week. Brian Pearce is another driver who's been running strong and is looking for his second win. The Brown brothers, Ron, Kevin and Randy, are also anticipated this week. Third ranked Shane DeVolder is another driver to keep an eye on. it should be a good race as the marathon season for the B Modified division comes to a close.

87 year old Larry Damitz has pretty much wrapped up his fifth Limited Late Model championship in six years. With consistency and six Main Event wins, Damitz proved too much for rookie Kimo Oreta and Mark Garner to overcome. Garner enjoyed his best season at the track with five Main Event wins, but he may need another one this week to win the battle for second in the standings.

There is late word that the only driver to beat Damitz for the championship in the last six seasons, Jim Freethy, will be there this week. Like Damitz, Garner and two time champion Mike Gustafson, Freethy is a Main Event winner this season. Other drivers to watch for this week include Lori Brown, John Evans, Ryan Cherezian, John Keith and Billy Garner.

Guy Ahlwardt enters the season finale knowing that he is the 2016 Hobby Stock champion and "Rookie Of The Year" all in one. With five feature victories and six seconds, there was no match for Ahlwardt after Danny Jones parked in protest of an official decision. The battle is still on between rookie Lindsey Buirch and 2015 "Rookie Of The Year" Jordan Swank. However, Lindsey still carries a 26 point advantage into the race. Both drivers are looking for their first win of the season, and this is their last opportunity to get it.

It's not likely that Chris Sorensen thought he would even be in the Top 5 in the standings, but scheduling worked out where he was able to race most of the season. The 2010 champion should be there along with fifth ranked Michael Cooper. These two drivers should be joined by such hard chargers as Anthony Vigna, Frank Furtado, Cameron Swank and Chase Templeton. It is possible that two time champion Melissa Myers may be among the field this week. Meyers is a two time winner this year in only three starts.

Kevin Miraglio has already secured the 2016 Dwarf Car championship with consistency and two feature wins. Kevin's closest rival this year was one time winner Mike Corsaro. Corsaro needs to go out there and maintain his position with a decent finish or surprising rookie Buddy Kniss could take it up a notch from third to second in the standings. Kniss has had an impressive rookie season, and plans are already underway for the talented teen to run a B Modified next season. A strong ending to the season is anticipated this weekend as other drivers to watch for include feature winners Jenna Frazier and David Rosa. Brian Gray, Robert Coe, Josh Miller, Tim Reeder and David Michael Rosa should also be among the roster. Rumor has it that 2015 champion and current South Bay Dwarf Car champion David Teves may be there as well.

So, if you're looking to get your fix of dirt track racing, Antioch Speedway has you covered this Saturday night. This "kitchen sink" race will include A Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. Fans won't go long without a race as promoter John M. Soares has already announced the New Year's Bash for January 1st, featuring, A Modifieds, B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. In between that is the annual awards banquet on November 19th. For further information on these and other happenings, go to

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series Points

Winged 360 Sprints
Billy Aton 698
Art McCarthy 683
Dan Gonderman 430
Burt Foland Jr. 390
Shawn Arriaga 283
Matt Barber 220
Marissa Polizi 206
Jenna Frazer 203
Matt DeMartini 202
Rick Brophy 174

Wingless Spec Sprint
Jim Perry Jr. 576
Marcus Smith 510
Roy Fisher 498
Rick Panfili 490
Brandon Burd 422
Shannon Newton 298
Dan Gonderman 290
Adam Teves 251
Jack Clark 246
James East 244

A Modifieds
Carl Berendsen II 656
Scott Busby 595
Sean O'Gara 542
Bobby Montalvo 530
Trent Wentworth 514
Troy Foulger 433
Aaron Crowell 374
Norman Boeck 330
Brian Cass 306
Josh Combs 282

B Modifieds
Trevor Clymens 1040
Al Johnson 1008
Shane DeVolder 874
K.C. Keller 712
Danny Jones 636
Randy Brown 442
Chuck Golden 438
Brian Pearce 388
Anthony Giuliani 321
Mike Mates 304

Hobby Stock
Guy Ahlwardt 834
Lindsey Buirch 682
Jordan Swank 656
Chris Sorensen  625
Michael Cooper 622
Frank Furtado 567
Danny Jones 537
Anthony Vigna 490
Cameron Swank 456
Natalie Perry 453

Limited Late Model
Larry Damitz 730
Kimo Oreta 680
Mark Garner 678
Mike Gustafson 526
Lori Brown 455
John Evans 418
Jim Freethy 272
Billy Garner 120
Jeff Kendrick 132
Ryan Cherezian 99

DIRTcar Late Model
Richard Papenhausen 464
Jeff Decker 392
Dennis Souza 336
Mike Hynes 263
Andy Obertello 244
Rob Norris 198
Chester Kniss 171
Troy Foulger 167
Bobby Hogge IV 162
Paul Guglielmoni 160
David Newquist 139

Dwarf Car
Kevin Miraglio 524
Mike Corsaro 454
Buddy Kniss 432
Tim Reeder 412
David Michael Rosa 390
David Rosa Sr. 374
Charlie Correia 360
Timmy Ryan 266
Robert Coe 256
Jenna Frazer 254

Reichenbach, Joaquin John Fore Jr. Memorial Race Winners At Merced Speedway

Mered, CA..October 15...Taking the lead from Brian Pearce with a Turn 2 pass, Clint Reichenbach scored the $1500 victory in the 50 lap John Fore Jr. Memorial race for IMCA Sport Modifieds Saturday night at Merced Speedway.  Kevin Joaquin also grabbed the biggest win of his career with a $500 victory in the 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds ran six heat races that transferred three cars each into the Main Event, while the remaining four starting positions for the big race came from four transfers from the B Main.  Heat race winners Bill Egleston, Mike Drake, Brian Pearce, Matt Hagio, new track champion Rick Diaz and Clint Reichenbach earned starting spots in the first three rows with their heat race wins.  The last two rows came from an eventful B Main, won by past Street Stock champion Tim Ragsdale ahead of Anthony Giuliani and Paul Espino.  Dewayne Short won a good battle with Mark Squadrito for the fourth and final transfer spot.

Egleston was driving the car of 2015 track champion Josh Hensley and raced into the lead at the start.  Antioch competitor Pearce slipped past Egleston to lead some laps before Reichenbach made his Turn 2 pass to grab the lead.  Pearce limped to the pits at that point as Diaz battled Giuliani for second.  Giuliani had charged all the way to the front before spinning in Turn 2.  A third place battle between Santa Maria champion Matt Hagio and 2014 State champion Nick Spainhoward got ugly after contact sent Hagio spinning in Turn 4.  Unhappy about what happened, Hagio hit Spainhoward as he came around in Turn 4 under caution.  Reichenbach was setting a fast pace up front and led Bakersfield hard charger Lee Jenson on the restart.  Reichenbach proved unbeatable as he sped to the $1500 victory.  Jenson settled for a $750 second, while 2016 point runner up Drake drove the George Medeiros car to a third place finish.  15th stater Tim Elias held off Marysville star Jerry Bartlett for the fourth place finish as Darren Thomas, Diaz, Espino, Shane DeVolder and Mark Odgers rounded out the Top 10.

The Hobby Stocks also had a strong turnout, and they would transfer the Top 4 finishers from each heat race into the Main Event.  Heat winners Kodie Dean, Robbie Loquaci, multi time champion Raul Rodriguez, 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin and Marc Key started in the first five positions.  Past Antioch champion Brad Myers ran a patient race with a car that was having problems, but he won the B Main ahead of Austin Van Hoff and Kyle Singleton.  Only two cars were slated to transfer, and Myers caught a break when Dexter Long and Dave Smart tangled while battling for the lead.  Singleton transferred in third after Jason Pugh scratched from the Main Event.

Dean raced into the lead at the start of the Main Event before surrendering the lead to Loquaci.  Unfortunately, the race went badly for both drivers.  Loquaci blew a motor on the front stretch after getting lead lead from Dean.  Dean lost a wheel on the back stretch while running in the Top 10 late in the race.  Rodriguez saw his run come to an end when he was spun in Turn 1 and then hit in the driver's door moments later by Matt Pedroni.  Fourth generation racer Garret Corn took the lead with 2016 point runnerup Joaquin taking up chase until Corn got a flat tire, surrendered the lead and limped to the pits without a caution flag.  When Dean lost a tire on the back stretch, it gave back of the pack starter and multi time champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson a shot at victory.  However, with his grandfather back on the crew again, Joaquin sped to the $500 victory.  Nelson settled for a $300 second, while Mike Stockton was a $200 third.  New Placerville champion Nick Baldwin and past Merced champion Andrew Krumm rounded out the Top 5.  Ben Lewis II finished sixth ahead of new track champion Michael Shearer, Van Hoff, Key and Wally Kennedy. 

Abreu A Double Winner At Cotton Classic 
At Keller Auto Speedway

Hanford, CA...October 14-15...Rico Abreu wrapped up an impressive weekend with his 30 lap King Of The West 410 Sprint Car feature victory at Keller Auto Speedway Saturday night.  It was the final race of the two race, 31st Annual Cotton Classic weekend, and Abreu also scored the victory in the 30 lap King Of Kings Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event on Friday night.  Cody Laney collected victories in both the Friday and Saturday night IMCA Modified Main Events.  Blake Robertson continued his domination in the IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars with his 25 lap Main Event win on Saturday night, while Shawn Schwartzenberger won Friday night's 15 lap Mini Stock Main Event.

The King Of The West Sprint Car championship season is still underway, and 31 competitors signed in for Saturday night's show.  They ran four ten lap heat races, and Abreu got the night started by winning his heat ahead of Michael Kofoid.  Brent beat Tim in a battle of the Kaedings in Heat 2, while fourth generation racer Chase Johnson won his heat ahead of Justyn Cox.  D.J. Netto won the final heat ahead of Ryan Bernal.  Mitchell Faccinto won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Bud Kaeding, Landon Hurst, Bobby McMahan and Scott Parker.  Tim Kaeding raced into the early lead in the Main Event, and Netto took second from Brent Kaeding on lap three.  A lap six restart provided Netto with his opportunity to drive the #3c car past T. Kaeding for the lead.  Abreu made an appearance in fourth on lap seven and raced by Brent Kaeding for third a lap later.  Abreu's charge to the front continued as he took second from T. Kaeding on lap nine, and he put the moves on Netto for the lead on lap 14. Once in front, even two yellow flags couldn't stop Abreu from winning.  Abreu collected the checkered flag a straightaway ahead of Netto.  Cory Eliason settled for third ahead of T. Kaeding, Cox, Kofoid, Bernal, Terry McCarl, Faccinto and Bud Kaeding.

The Friday night King Of Kings 360 Sprint Cars had a 38 car field, and Ryan Bernal won his ten lap heat race ahead of Michael Kofoid.  Cory Eliason won the second heat race ahead of Rico Abreu, while Giovanni Scelzi won the next heat ahead of Joey Magaruh.  Colby Copeland held off D.J. Netto to win the final heat race.  Blake Robertson won the B Main ahead of Matthew Moles, Terry McCarl, Lucas Ashe and Cole Danell.  Bud Keding set the early Main Event pace ahead of Netto.  Abreu took third from Eliason on lap three, and Netto took the lead from Kaeding on a lap five restart.  Abreu finally slipped past Kaeding for second on lap 14.  Abreu found his opening on lap 21 as he raced past Netto for the lead.  Once in front, Abreu made it through two more restarts to score the well earned victory.  Netto still had a solid run in second ahead of McCarl, Bernal, Kaeding, Steven Tiner, Eliason, Kofoid, Mitchell Faccinto and Scelzi.

The Friday night turnout was light for the $750 to win IMCA Modified Main Event.  Cody Laney won the heat race ahead of the previous Friday night $1500 Bakersfield winner Ethan Dotson.   Laney took the lead from Billy Wilker on lap 2 and led the rest of the Main Event.  Dotson settled for second ahead of Wilker, Ricky Thatcter, Nick Bartels and Carla Laney.

The Saturday night IMCA Modified show saw the field increase to ten cars.  Cody Laney won his heat race ahead of Cody Burke, while 2015 Santa Maria champion Josh Vogt won the other heat ahead of Nick Bartels.  Laney had a front row start for the Main Event and seized on that opportunity to lead all the way for a $750 victory.  Vogt grabbed second early on before bringing out a lap nine yellow flag.  C. Burke was then second, but Wilker surprised him by making the move to grab that position on lap 11.  Wilker brought out a lap 17 yellow flag.  Laney continued to lead C. Burke on that restart, and they ran 1-2 to the checkered flag.  Vogt settled for third ahead of Bartels, Austin Burke, Wilker, Steve Streeter, Ricky Thatcher, Carla Laney and Troy Morris Jr.

The IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars have grown into a strong division, and they ran three eight lap heat races for their Saturday night show.  Jesse Mack won the first heat ahead of Eric Correia.  Cory Elison took the lead from Mike Schott on lap five and won the second heat ahead of Zane Blanchard.  Blake Robertson won the final heat ahead of Tanner Boul.  Blanchard set the early pace in the Main Event with Jared Faria settling into second on lap two.  Robertson was working his way up from the back of the pack as Jesse Mack settled into third on lap five with Chris Ennis now fourth.  Robertson finally made his way into the Top 5, and he followed Ennis past Mack on lap eight.  Blanchard flipped for a red flag after nine laps, and Faria was the new leader ahead of Ennis and Robertson on the restart.  Robertson raced into the lead on lap 12 as Eliason was now fourth.  Eliason took third from Mack on lap 14 and grabbed second on a lap 16 restart.  Robertson led the rest of the way for the win ahead of Eliason, Matthew Moles, Mack, Dalton Hill, Blaine Fergundes, Faria, Danell, Correia and George Tristao.

The Mini Stocks had an opportunity to race for $300 to win on Friday night and  produced a ten car field.  Shawn Schwartzenberger started the night with a heat race win over Clinton Massey.  Matt Herod won his heat race by a straightaway ahead of Ben Lickey.  Herod led the opening lap of the Main Event ahead of Andrew Boydstun.  Boydstun's bid for a win ended ugly as he lost a wheel and rolled twice coming out of Turn 4.  He was uninjured, but the car was severely damaged.  Schwartzenberger led the restart ahead of C. Massey.  Chris Rutledge settled into third with Jason Cook battling him for position.  Cook made the pass for third on lap nine. Schwartzenberger set a good pace up front and went on to victory ahead of C. Massey, Cook, Rutledge, Kit Murphy, Helder Santos, Lickey, Herod, Boydstun and Mary Massey.

Pro Stock Race Scheduled For 
Cedarville Speedway In 2017

Cedarville, CA...It's been a few years since they raced at Cedarville Speedway, but the Cedarville area has a tradition of racing going back to the 1960's.  In fact, neighboring Alturas had a race track in the 1970's.  Not including the recent Mud Bogs and Destruction Derbies that have been held during the Modoc County Fair, Cedarville Speedway has had Street Stocks, Dirt Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Late Models, among other divisions.  About 15 years ago, the track had a regular Street Stock show.

This is where Gordon Russell Jr. enters the picture.  Gordon is a leader of the Nevada Pro Stock Association, which is a six year old organization.  Things have been looking up for the group, and Russell recently announced that they already have sponsorship lined up for half of their 2017 races.  Normally, this doesn't happen until the beginning of the next season, but the group is riding a wave of momentum.

This leads Russell to his next goal, putting a special race on for his father at the track in which he raced for many years, Cedarville Speedway.  Gordon Jr. started racing at Cedarville as well.  The race he has in mind is the Gordon Russell Sr. Memorial race, and the date circled on the calender at the moment is June 3. 2017.  Gordon Jr. led a group of people to the fairgrounds in Cedarville last weekend to have a look around the facility and determine what needs to happen next.

The meeting went well, and it looks as if this race will happen.  It's still in the planning stages, but the hope will be that not only will this be a race the Nevada group will support but the Oregon Outlaw Pro Stock Association and possibly some California racers as well. 

It is clear when Gordon Jr. speaks of this track that he has a love of the heritage of the place.  His father is a past champion at the track.  However, Gordon Jr.  recalls other stars of the speedway who are no longer with us, including Paul Del Rosa, Bert McGowan, Milt Adkins and Albert Belding.  It is clear that the Gordon Russell Sr. Memorial race is important to Gordon Jr. for many reasons.  "There's a list of people who raced this track for years and are no longer with us, " he explained in a live broadcast from Cedarville Speedway.  "If we can pull this memorial race off, it won't just be for my dad, but for all the racers that ran this track and are no longer with us."

Russell revealed that all of the paper work is coming together and people will be donating time to make the race happen.  The track prep man was on site and mentioned that it won't take too much work to get the track whipped into shape for a race.  "We've got to work hard to pull this thing off, " Russell admitted, "but I think it's gonna work out just fine."

It's early yet, but this is shaping up to be perhaps the biggest Pro Stock race of the 2017 season.  And, who knows?  A successful running of this race could lead to a return of a more regular racing program for the track.  Stay tuned to the Nevada Pro Stock Association on Facebook for more information.

Hayfork Speedway Wraps Up 2016 Season, 
Looks Forward To 2017

Hayfork, CA...October 20...There was excitement in the air as Hayfork Speedway wrapped up the 2016 season with a special Fan Appreciation Night on October 8th.  Adding to the source of pride for the Trinity County Fairgrounds race track was the fact that Speedway Illustrated Journalist/Photographer Mike Adaskaveg was there to cover the event.  Fans were allowed to meet their favorite drivers on the front straightaway before the races, and this led to one of the biggest attendances of the season.  More recently, Hayfork was again the first track in the state to announce its schedule for next year.  The 2017 season will have 11 events.

Kevin Kasper took care of business in the finale by holding off Bill Kasper for the Hobby Stock feature victory.  Carl Roberts enjoyed his best finish of the season in third.  Kevin Kasper is the 2016 division champion.  Meanwhile, 2015 champion Burl Richardson was involved in a wreck and eliminated early in the race.  Richardson had finished third in the September 24th race.  That night was Russ "The Newmanator" Newman's night to shine as he scored his second win of the season ahead of Brian Young, who enjoyed one of his best efforts of the year.

In the Mini Stock division, Andy Blackburn had another great effort with his second Main Event and Trophy Dash winning effort of the year.  Blackburn had his hands full holding off new division champion Ross Vige and William Young for the win.  Vige is a past Mini Truck champion at Orland Raceway who has enjoyed making regular trips to compete at Hayfork Speedway this season.  W. Young is the 2015 Enduro champion.  At the September 24th race, Vige held off W. Young for the victory.

W. Young recently made his return to he wild and entertaining Enduro class, and he closed that division's season with a Main Event win ahead if J.D. Hudman and Eric Brown.  At the September 24th race, it was Joey Young winning a battle of the Youngs for the victory as William settled for second.  Brown picked up another third place finish.  When the points were calculated for the season, it was Tim Kasper bringing another championship home to the Kasper family, which boasts three generations currently competing at the track.

Tressan Smith had already clinched the inaugural Outlaw Pro Stock championship, but he left no doubts by winning the finale.  Josh Smith turned the wheel of the #4 car over to his father Wade Smith, who finished second.  The Quads have been a more recent addition to the program, and Timmy Tremayne won the last two races of the season.

The Hobby Stocks, Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pro Stocks, Enduro Cars and Quads are all going to be a part of the 2017 season, which starts on May 6 and continues with dates on May 20, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22, August 12 and 26, September 8 and 23 and October 7.  For further information, check out
Pit Stops

It's well into October and some tracks are still having their special races.  Marysville has had a long running end of the season tradition called the Gold Fever Race.  It's been split into two races with the Stock Car side getting the Taxi Cab Open this Saturday and the open wheel classes getting their race next Saturday.  Roseville's All American Speedway has the Vintage Classic this weekend, Ventura Raceway has a point race, as does Antioch Speedway this Saturday night.

A hot rumor out of Antioch that has been unconfirmed has Promoter John M. Soares being contacted by John Prentice of Prentice Motorsports group regarding possible race dates for some of his series, which includes King Of The West 410 Sprint Cars, Civil War 360 Sprint Cars, Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints and All Star Modifieds.  Reportedly, Soares was not pleased with Prentice using the All Star name on his Dirt Modified Tour.  About a decade ago, Soares switched to the All Star name in a dispute with brother Jim over the All Pro Series name.  A new name for the one year old Modified Series would be a simple matter as it is just being established.  Antioch's involvement in any of the series would be a huge plus for racers and fans.

It's not anticipated that there will be any changes in regards to the divisions competing at Antioch as A Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models, Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars should continue to find a home there.  The inclusion of any of the Prentice Series divisions on the schedule would make it easier for certain divisions to have nights off and even make a coupe of A Modified races bigger.  Antioch inclusion in the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series could be just what is needed to revive that series as Antioch is where that division started.  We'll just have to see what's to come and if Soares may announce scheduling plans at the November 19th Awards Banquet.

Next season will be the 20th for Soares and Oval Motorsports at Antioch Speedway.  His father ran the track for the first 20 years.  Perhaps in celebration of that fact, he has returned to the New Years race idea with the New Years Bash scheduled for January 1.  Soares made his first foray into New Years racing with the 2015 West Coast Nationals.  Oval Motorsports promoted Antioch, Merced and Chowchilla at the time with a January 1-4 event paying bigger money to the A and B Modifieds.  Despite Soares walking away from Chowchilla and selling Merced to Ed Parker, he entertained the idea of keeping the January 1 race at Antioch this year before abandoning the idea in mid November last year due to lack of time to prepare for it properly.

However, the New Years Bash will give the racers a chance to ring in the new year with a big race.  Other than the annual Marysville playday, there's nothing happening on any of the bigger tracks in Northern California on that day.  Therefore, A Modifieds, B Modifieds and Hobby Stocks have all been booked.  Unconfirmed reports say it will be $2017 to win for A Modifieds and $1000 for B Modifieds, though nothing has been officially announced.  All scheduling information will be forthcoming at

On the heels of the successful John Fore Jr. Memorial Race that saw some 60 competitors check in for a two division show at Merced Speedway, Ed Parker and his crew are preparing for their own awards banquet on November 19th.  By all accounts, this was a successful season for the track as a reasonable schedule for the five divisions (IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Valley Sportsman cars) helped further increase car count in all divisions.  All five divisions will be back in 2017, and the Mini Late Model class will be added.  All of the scheduling information will be forthcoming at

When the Merced banquet comes, Randy Brown (IMCA Modifieds), Rick Diaz (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Michael Shearer (Hobby Stocks), Chris Corder (Mini Stocks) and Kenny Birdsong (Valley Sportsman) will get to celebrate their championships.  Brown battled Bill Egleston and runneup Ramie Stone early before pulling away with a strong ending to his season.  For Diaz, it could have ended when he lost the ride he started the season with, but he came back even stronger to end the season in championship form.  He dedicated this one to his friend John Fore Jr.  Shearer had a strong start and was never really threatened as the season went on.  Chris Corder continues to be the man in Mini Stock competition, but he's becoming known for giving racers an opportunity to drive his other cars and is a true sportsman.  Kenny Birsdong is living the dream in his Rod Poor Tribute car and did a good job in holding off one of the members of original roster of the 1999 Sportsman revival, Mike Friesen, for that championship.

We're only touching on a few things in this column, but we'd like to note a few things that have caught our eye in the point battles, including Mike Drake in the Sport Modifieds.  Mike was a model of consistency all season long in the George Medeiros car, and that enabled him to hold off Tim Elias in the battle for second in points.  To illustrate how good these two are, they both gave a good accounting of themselves in the John Fore Jr. Memorial race last week.  Drake finished third, while Elias was fourth in the race won by Bakersfield area racer Clint Reichenbach.  The Hobby Stock win went to Kevin  Joaquin.  Kevin's season didn't start all that well, but he ended it well with a pair of victories, including the $500 win last week.  The 2015 Merced and Chowchilla champion ranked second this year with a strong late season effort.

It wasn't a big surprise to see two time champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson work his way up to second from 15th starting.  Any time Bubba gets behind the wheel of a Hobby Stock, he's a threat to win.  The 2016 IMCA Modified "Rookie Of The Year" has three Hobby Stock wins this season and finished a close second in last week's Main Event.  Another multi time champion and 2016 Main Event winner didn't do so well.  Raul Rodriguez Sr. figured to be a contender for the big win, but after being spun in Tun 1, he was hit hard by another car.  Fortunately, he wasn't injured, but his race was over.  We were happy to see another past champion, Andrew Krumm, back behind the wheel of the #555 car for a Top 5 finish.  We heard that Andrew was involved in a wreck during the week, but thankfully he was okay.  Hopefully, he can secure the sponsorship needed to be a regular next season.

Early in his career, Krumm competed at Chowchilla Speedway.  The Chowchilla Barnburner Series just kicked off last Saturday.  Sanders Motorsports continues to promote the successful event.  Sanders took a stab at promoting Kart races on a track cut in front of main grandstands last summer, meaning there have continued to be some kind of races happening at the track every year since Tom Sagmiller promoted events in 2000.  The big question is, will we ever see big cars on the big track in Chowchilla again?  It was hoped that the change in Fair Managers might lead to something happening again, but the economics of Chowchilla make it a big challenge.  As Merced Speedway gets stronger, could a bi monthly show happen here?  Might a show of Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks be the way to start?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Further north and into the "Jefferson" area comes news of Cedarville Speedway hosting a Nevada Pro Stock race in 2017 as we reported elsewhere.  Cedarville has hosted races on and off through the 1960's, and it was a somewhat regular occurrence at various times through the years.  Getting information on results is not so easy as, much like a few tracks these days, there doesn't appear to have been anybody reporting on things.  We are excited about racing coming back to Cedarville and can only hope that this race provides the spark needed to bring racing back on a more regular basis.

We've been hearing unconfirmed reports that there could be a change in  management at Chico Silver Dollar Speedway with people involved at Calistoga Speedway stepping up to run the track.  We don't know what to make of the rumors as it seems like the current team has done a good job promoting good shows at both Chico and Marysville these past two seasons.  Is change in the air, and would it be good for Chico?  The only thing we can tell from the rumors is that the people have a love for Sprint Car racing and might make a push for bigger things in that area.  However, that is just speculation. As long as racing continues in Chico, it's a good thing as far as we're concerned.  Marysville is in the midst of their big finish these next two weeks, and Sprint Car fans can  further rejoice that the Placerville Posse race will happen on October 28th before Marysville's big Sprint Car finale a night later.  More information can be found at and

Getting back to the Marysville Taxi Cab Open, they had a strong turnout last season, and what's interesting is they ran Main Events for Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks, Super Stocks and Limited Late Models separately last season, tough there is a bit of overlap in divisions.  Ryan McDaniel picked up the Limited Late Model win, while wins also went to Brent Lawrence (Super Stocks), Jerry Bartlett (Street Stocks) and 2016 Placerville champion Nick Baldwin (Hobby Stocks),  The Stock Cars are actually what the Gold Fever Race was founded on back in the 1980's, but through the years the event has grown to have a Stock Car night and an open wheel night.  These two events highlight a season that includes big races such as the Sherm & Loree Toller Memorial and Mel Hall Memorial as well.  While media outlets may only grab onto the bad things that have happened here in the past, racing fans know all about the good racing that happens here on a regular basis.

At Siskiyou Motor Speedway, they just held their SCMA Awards Banquet, crowning Marilyn Yawnick (McDonald's Mini Stocks), Garrett Hamilton (O'Reilly Auto Parts SCMA Sport Modifieds) and Duane Orsburn (SCMA Modifieds) as the champions.  IMCA championships were earned by Jimmy Lipke (Sport Modifieds) and Albert Gill (Modifieds).  There is some optimism in the air as the track has some talented young drivers competing, including Colton Cheffey, D.J. Bottoms, Colter Boswell and Ryder Boswell (IMCA Sport Modifieds) and Ethan Killingsworth (Mini Trucks).

Nominations have gone out to elect the new SCMA Board Members, and the time is now to start planning for the future.  They just improved the Outlaw Kart track, which is the launching pad for the next generation of racers to compete on the bigger track.  They also have to be mindful of the fact that the IMCA Modifieds are struggling while the IMCA Sport Modifieds and Mini Stocks are doing better.  Though the track has some visitation from SODCA Dwarf Cars and Outlaw Pro Stocks, it may be in their best interest to cultivate a new division under their own SCMA banner.  Hornets or Hobby Stocks would seem the best candidates for putting a division on the track capable of getting at least a decent heat race and Main Event in short time.  Any promoter will tell you that overall car count is a key in getting fans to come watch and ensuring the longevity of a race track.

Further up in the Jefferson area in Oregon, Douglas County Speedway just had their banquet and elected new board members for the PRA.  The Jefferson Racing News Blog will probably get into more of this in the future.  At Southern  Oregon Speedway, all is quiet.  Management is in contemplation mode regarding the 2017 season, though big changes to the divisions that competed this year are not anticipated.  It's all about bringing out better racing on both the big track and the Outlaw Kart track.  Good things are in the planning stages for the future, and some of it will come to light at the upcoming awards banquet.  The SODCA Dwarf Cars and Outlaw Pro Stock classes are set to have their banquets and are already in planning mode for the 2017 season.  There are reasons for both groups to be excited about the future as both figure to be a part of the new schedule at Southern Oregon Speedway.

Stability was an important goal in making the 2016 season happen a Southern Oregon Speedway.  Things have been declining at the track in recent seasons.  Running a consistent program and rebuilding car count was the priority, and for the most part, this was accomplished.  Though some things were slower to come around, other things performed above expectations.  What was learned this year will be applied towards making 2017 the best season in recent years.  This track has had some great seasons in the past, and it can happen again.  It starts when the awards banquet date is announced and we can celebrate the accomplishments of Mark Wauge (IMCA Modifieds), Mike Medel (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Bob Burkett (Mini Stocks), Lee Doty (Super 4's), Jake Wheeler (Pennzoil Winged Sprint Cars), Bob Dees (Open Stock) and Tim Hedges (Hornets) as track champions.