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Sprint Cars, Modifieds Headline Antioch Speedway Show
Antioch CA...People are still talking about the 58 car Sprint Car Challenge event that opened the 2017 season at Antioch Speedway. After a rainout, followed by a break for Easter, six divisions will be featured this Saturday night on the fast three-eighth mile clay oval. The Winged 360 Sprint Cars will be headlining the show along with A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Bay Area Hardtops.
The Winged Sprint Cars will be competing in their fourth consecutive championship season. One of the drivers we'll be watching for is a driver who has won Sprint Car championships at both Antioch and Petaluma, Art McCarthy. McCarthy has been a good supporter of Sprint Car racing at Antioch since Oval Motorsports began promoting races here in 1998. Art finished a close second to Billy Aton in points last season after winning three Main Events. He also finished second in points in 2015.
Winning the 2015 championship was third generation racer Shawn Arriaga. Arriaga impressed at the Sprint Car Challenge race a few weeks ago by winning his heat race and then finishing tenth in a talent loaded Main Event. After his best season yet in the class with a third place ranking last season, Dan Gonderman will be back to try for his first win in the class. Jenna Frazier was last season's "Rookie Of The Year" winner, and she will be doing double duty in Sprint Cars and Dwarf Cars. Several others are anticipated, and Antioch will likely see several young up and coming racers make visits in the quest for their first wins.
Leading the charge for the A Modifieds is likely to be five time champion Scott Busby. Busby's big win in last year's John Soares Sr, Memorial Race moved him to within two wins of J.D. Willis for the track's all time win record. Busby could very well be the driver to beat in his quest for an unprecedented sixth division championship, but there are some good drivers lining up for a shot. Of course, Carl Berendsen II has said he's not planning to run for points after winning his second championship, but he'll probably be there this week.
Last year's "Rookie Of The Year" winner, Bobby Montalvo, has his car ready for a new season, and another of last year's Top 5 stars, Trent Wentworth, is also ready to go. Wentworth came very close to winning on several occasions, and it won't be a surprise to see him score a victory this year. The fact is that this division has several drivers capable of winning on any given week, including two past Top 3 point earners, Mike Salazar and Sean O'Gara. Other drivers to watch for include hard charger Brian Cass, Nick Viscusi III, Shawn DeForest and 2015 point runnerup Bobby Motts Jr. Brian Pearce is back in an A Modified after his Top 10 season in a B Modified.
Trevor Clymens comes into the season as the defending B Modified champion who won seven times. The third generation racer will be hard to beat, but this week he may face some competition in another third generation star, Mark Garner. K.C. Keller is stepping up his program and could be another driver to watch in the championship battle. Speaking of champions, we have past Street Stock champion Todd Gomez and 2016 Hobby Stock champion Guy Ahlwardt in B Modifieds this year. Other drivers to watch for from the growing roster include Danny Jones, Mike Mates, Kevin Brown, Chuck Golden and more.
Hobby Stocks will be an interesting division to watch as we will probably be crowning another first time champion in the division. Veteran Stock Car racer Danny Jones might be the driver to beat if car owner Ryan Thomason decides to make a run. Chris Long would seem to be another serious contender after his New Year's Bash victory. However, this roster has several racers capable of getting to the front. Following his second straight Top 3 season, Jordon Swank could be a major player in the battle. After notching his first career win last season, Frank Furtado may also be ready for a title run.
Michael Cooper was also a winner for the first time last year and was once again a top 5 point runner. If he makes every show, he's almost certain to be in the title hunt. Past Limited Late Model champion Lori Brown is coming to the Hobby Stocks, and rookies such as fourth generation racer Billy Garner, past Mini Stock champion Brent Curran and Chris Bennett are also joining the class. This season, Steve Perry is getting a car ready so that he can race his wife, Natalie Perry. The two Perry's will be joined by such hard chargers as 2016 point runner up Lindsey Buirch, Robert Niven, Cameron Swank, Chuck Templeton, Russell Shearer and Anthony Vigna. 2010 champion Chris Sorensen just confirmed that he will be there this week.
Dwarf Cars never fail to put on an exciting show, and that shouldn't change when they kick off their 20th championship season this week. Reigning champion Kevin Miraglio leads another talented roster of drivers that includes 2016 runnerup Mike Corsaro, Josh Miller, Tim Reeder, David Rosa, Brian Gray, Jenna Frazier and Wade Humphrey. Devan Kammermann will be making his debut in the class with a few other newcomers, and past Hobby Stock champion Robert Coe reportedly has a new car in the hopes of stepping up his program and making a run for some wins.
Some of the local Hardtop racers have made the commitment to Antioch Speedway this year and were given five dates. Dave Mackey won multiple times last year and leads the charge. Kimo Oreta takes the wheel of the #100 Larry Damitz car, while Gene Haney has purchased a car from Bill McLaughlin. Due to another group scheduling a date on top of Antioch, car count will be effected. Hardtop star Tommy Thomson will be out for a while as he recovers from surgery. Long time Hardtop supporter Dan Williams, Steve Cloyes and Doug Braudrick are others who could be there. The local roster is about a dozen cars, and 5-8 cars are anticipated for this race.
The six division show this Saturday night at Antioch Speedway should be a good one. All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars lead the charge. The A Modifieds will bring more excitement along with the B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Bay Area Hardtops. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
BCRA Midgets, IMCA Sport Modified Headline
Merced Speedway Show Saturday Night
Merced, CA...On the heels of one of the biggest car counts in the history of Merced Speedway last week, racing returns this Saturday night with another four division show. The oldest California based racing organization, the Bay Cities Racing Association, makes a visit with their "Mighty" Midgets. IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Valley Sportsman cars will also be in action.
Back in 1942, the Bay Cities Racing Association began sanctioning Midget racing in the San Francisco Bay Area. After taking two years off during the war, they returned in 1945 and have been sanctioning Midget racing every year since. No track was off limits for the high powered race cars. They ran small indoor tracks and tracks as big as a mile through the years. In 1949, BCRA added the Hardtop division to its ranks and was sanctioning races for both classes every day of the week throughout the 1950's. By the mid 1960's, they abandoned Hardtop racing to focus on the Midgets. These days, Midget Lites, which come to Merced twice this year, and Vintage Midgets fall under the BCRA umbrella.
Shannon McQueen has announced that she will be there for this race. The three of the past four champions, Floyd Alvis, Frankie Guerreni and Bobby Wilson, are anticipated for this race. The other two champions had to beat ageless veteran Alvis to win their championships. Alvis is a BCRA Hall Of Fame member and nine time champion. The BCRA has a Dirt Track Championship, and Brian Gard won that title with only 24 points separating Gard from Cory Elliott and Taylor Wilson last year. All three should be there along with other notables hard chargers such as Maria Cofer, J.R. Williams and Alex Schutte. USAC is not scheduled, meaning some of it's drivers may also compete and grow the car count.
We were expecting Rick Diaz and Fred Ryland to be at the front of the IMCA Sport Modified pack this season, but there's one driver that may be surprising everybody. He's Chuck Weir. Weir has spent recent seasons competing in the Dwarf Car division, but he got a Sport Modified and joined the action at Merced late last season. Last Saturday, Weir shocked a star studded 30 car field with his first career win in the division. He ran a great race with Jeremy Hoff closing in fast. Hoff, a past Antioch Speedway champion, was last a feature winner at Merced in 2015. Hoff had a fourth place finish in the season opener. Driving the way he did last week, you have to believe his next win is just around the corner.
2015 IMCA State champion "Fast" Freddy Ryland has been consistent with a second and a third place finish putting him on top of the point list after two races. Just being up front isn't good enough for a guy like Ryland. He's won over 30 Main Events in the last two years alone, and it's just a matter of time before he adds to that. Season opener winner Rick Diaz got caught in traffic last week and could only muster an eighth place finish. Chase Thomas also has a pair of Top 10 finishes, while T.J. Etchison and Tim Elias have a Top 5 each. The roster has a slightly different look this season, but a field 20 or more cars is anticipated this week, including other stars such as Paul Espino, Tanner Thomas, 2015 champion Josh Hensley, Chris Falkenberg, Cody Parker, Anthony Giuliani and Dwayne Short.
Kodie Dean had three time Watsonville champion Billy Nelson chasing him last week, and despite that, he scored his first Merced Hobby Stock feature win of the year. Dean lost a heart breaker in Chowchilla a week earlier after being passed in the final turn. During that race, Dean enjoyed a nice battle with reigning Merced champion Michael Shearer. Shearer shows no signs of slowing down this year after a third at Chowchilla and a fourth last week at Merced. He could still prove to be the man to beat. The Shearer cars are all competitive and driven well. Michael's wife Kristie Shearer and Shannon Nelson both had Top 10 finishes last week, and both ladies want to return to the winner's circle after winning back in 2015.
Two drivers up from the Mini Stocks this year are James Stockton and Mike Gemait. Stockton also had a Top 10 finish last week. Robbie Loquaci came close to the Top 5 last week before ending up sixth. He'll be another driver to watch in the battle for victory. The fact is, there are some very talented racers in the Merced Hobby Stock division, including 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin, Darren Miguel, Jerry Tubbs and rookie Tony Peffer. Austin Van Hoff and Garrett Corn both had nights they'd rather forget last week, but both should rebound. The duo are both feature winners previous to this season.
Only three drivers made the call for the season opening Valley Sportsman race a few weeks ago. Chris Birdsong was the winner that night ahead of Shannon Fry and two time champion Mike Friesen. We should be seeing others this week, but who those will be remains to be seen. Jeff West and Jeff Bristow are a couple other other names to watch for. We would like to send our best wishes to 2016 champion Kenny Birdsong as he is dealing with an illness. Kenny has been a strong supporter of this class for the psst few seasons.
The BCRA Midgets get around the track at a rapid pace and put on a good show wherever they go. With IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Valley Sportsman cars also on the lineup, this will be a show you'll want to see. For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.
Six Division Racing Program
At Siskiyou Speedway Saturday Night
Yreka, CA...After a rainout and a break for Easter Sunday, racing season kicks off in a big way at Suskiyou Motor Speedway this Saturday night. If you like racing and want to see a bunch of race cars, this is the night to come enjoy a big show. The track's regular IMCA Modifieds, O'Reilly Auto Parts IMCA Sport Modifieds and McDonald's Mini Stocks classes are all on the card, but it doesn't stop there. The Outlaw Pro Stocks make their first of eight scheduled appearances at their home track for 2017, the SODCA Dwarf Cars are in town for their first of three visits and the new Hornets class makes their Yreka debut.
There are good things happening with the O'Reilly Auto Parts Sport Modifieds. They get a chance to race for $500 to win once car count reaches 13, and there's a good chance that this could happen this week. The track's past two IMCA champions, Colter Boswell and Jimmy Lipke, should be on hand along with the past two SCMA Association champions, Doug Franklin and Garrett Hamilton. These four are no strangers to the winner's circle. Boswell's winning ways stretch back to Mini Stocks, where he also won a championship.
The new talent coming into this class is a good thing for the future of the race track. Second generation racer Colton Cheffey showed his ability last year with several Main Event and Trophy Dash wins. Some are speculating that this young man could be the driver to beat this year. Ryder Boswell, D.J. Bottoms and Jack Waldon III are some of the other "young guns" to keep an eye on. With Mike Colson adding his name to the growing roster, it's believed there could be over a dozen cars on Saturday, and that's not counting potential visitors coming in from Medford.
Mini Stocks always offer up plenty of excitement when they are on the race track. Ethan Killingsworth is the rising young star everybody is talking about as a potential champion. He was a close second to Mini Stock veteran "Big Mac" Marilyn Yawnick last season. Yawnick joined fellow Mini Stock competitors Terry "The Holy Terror" Kendrick, "Magic" Mike Whitaker and David Steele on the champions list. Whitaker is hoping to put the bad luck of last year behind him. More good news in the family is that we should be seeing more of past Top 3 racer Anthony Whitacker this year, along with hard chargers like Brian Jorgensen, Mike Frost and Amber Waldon.
The Outlaw Pro Stocks have a strong contingent of Klamath Falls based competitors planning to be here for what is a tuneup race for the May 6th Billy Geyer Memorial 50 lap race. Steve "The Bullett" Borror won most of the races here last year, including the Geyer. Not surprisingly, Borror won the championship, but he had to get through veteran Scott Flowers to do it. Scott's son James barely lost a battle with Matt Harlow for third in points last year, and both drivers are anticipated this week along with 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" Julia Flowers, Roy Bain, Scott Bennett, John Bowers, NASCAR veteran Rocky Nash and more.
When the SODCA Dwarf Cars pull into town, "Fast" Freddy Hay will be among the group. The popular 70 something year old leadfoot missed most of last year after he flipped in a race at Chico and broke his neck. Hay was seen in Yreka a few weeks ago making practice laps. The Dwarf Cars bring a talented roster of racers, including 2016 champion Brock Peters, two time champion Josh King, two time point runnerup Camden Robustelli, Kalvin Morton, Chad Cardoza, Ryan Smith and Randy Slater. Young guns Ashley Strain and Cody Peters are also anticipated for the Dwarf Car season opener.
The challenge has been issued to the IMCA Modified racers. Who has what it takes to handle Siskiyou Motor Speedway? Many great racers have come to town over the years in the battle for glory. Last season, it was Albert Gill writing his name on the list as a two time track champion. He snatched that championship from Duane Orsburn on the final night as Orsburn settled for second. Word is we could be seeing Ray Kniffen Jr. and possibly others from the Medford area, and Klamath Falls based racers such as 2015 champion Nick Trenchard, Zach Fettinger and Jeremy Ohlde. Local stars such as John "Pudge" Toolanen, Stan Gunderson and Roger Lorenzini Jr. still have cars and may be there as well. It will be interesting to see who is up to the challenge.
The Hornets division is featured at just about every track in Oregon and also at Shasta Speedway. SCMA officials asked racers if they were interested in starting this class, and a few Medford based competitors answered in the affirmative. It is hoped that a field of at least four cars will be there for the first race, and word is that Joby Shields and Gabe Nelson may be among those on hand. Shields is a four time winner and ranked third in Medford last year. We've heard reports of Yreka racers building cars, and this is the perfect entry level class to introduce new racers to the sport.
Saturday night is a show you won't want to miss. IMCA Modifieds, O'Reilly Auto Parts IMCA Sport Modifieds, McDonald's Mini Stocks, Outlaw Pro Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars and Hornets are all on the schedule, meaning the pits will be much fuller than usual. For further information, go to www.siskiyoumotorspeedway.com.
Chowchilla Speedway Announces Eight Race Summer Schedule
Chowchilla, CA...Starting with this Sunday's races, Chowchilla Speedway has just announced an eight race Summer Schedule for the A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and 600 Micro Sprints. Promoter Joe Diaz Jr. and Kris Koontz announced an ambitious schedule to start the season. After analyzing the data from three races, it was concluded that building the program up with these four classes was the best course of action.
Chowchilla Speedway has a long history with the Modified and Hobby Stock classes, which were part of the program when the place opened in 2000. Not included at this time are the Mini Stocks. When Diaz opened the track, he proudly proclaimed the speedway to be a family friendly place to race. However, the actions of certain competitors two weeks ago gave cause for concern. Though the decision to not include them could change in the future, the divisions for now are as announced.
The A Modifieds have put on some memorable shows from the very first season, when racers like Paul Stone, Mike Johnson, Mark Hamblin, Marcus Aue, Fred Lind and Steven Williams battled at the front of the pack. This trend continues this year as evidenced by the season opening battle through traffic between eventual winner Ryan McDaniel and Cody Laney. Last time out, Bruce "Bubba" Nelson won a battle with Ryan Porter and past Chowchlla champion Randy Brown. The A Modifieds are a popular class with the fans.
Chowchilla Speedway is noteworthy as one of the two tracks (Victorville being the other) that spurred the B Modified craze in California. Both tracks managed to get over ten cars for the first time in 2011, and the B Modifieds temporarily supplanted the A Modifieds as the top Modified class at the track. Gary Hildebrand wrote his name in the books as a champion in the class that year. Last week, two time Merced champion Shawn Bryant, one of the first drivers in the state with a B Modified, was a part of the B Modified roster along with Mark Condell. Condell is noteworthy as an original Chowchilla Speedway investor and the only driver last time out to have competed at the track back in 2000.
You still get some hard chargers in the B Modifieds. They don't come any faster than two time Merced champion Rick Diaz and 2015 IMCA State champion Fred Ryland. Diaz won the opener ahead of Chowchilla's Tim Elias and young gun Gavin Espino. Last time out, Ryland beat his 2015 rival Keith Brown Jr. for the victory. Newcomers like Espino, Jack Aguiar and Kalin Lopez demonstrate just what a growing class this is.
Tom Sagmiller's decision in 2000 to buck the Merced Pure Stock rules and allow Camaros into his Hobby Stock class led to a revolution in the valley. Cars started coming from everywhere to battle local stars "Rebel" Red Williams and Jerry "Hood Pins" O'Hagan for wins, and B Mains became a regular thing in 2001. The most recent race offered an example of what could be when 16 drivers came to compete. Nick Baldwin won with a last lap pass on Kodie Dean as Merced Champion Michael Shearer and 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin followed. There's a Chowchilla connection here with Dean, 2015 point runnerup Austin Van Hoff and rookie Troy Tatum hailing from there.
Sprint Car fans are left scratching their heads in wonder of where they fit in. Adding the popular winged class was a gamble, but the fact is that this division requires a hefty purse. Even at half the purse ($600 to win), it's not cheap to run. The bad news is there were up and coming drivers and some RaceSaver Sprint racers looking to come race. The good news is management hasn't ruled out putting them back in the future. They are in a tough position as they have to pay the bills or nothing will race there. The Wingless Spec Sprints are also a casualty of this decision. However, Micro 600 Sprints will continue to be included as the belief is that this class will grow if given a chance.
Getting back to Mini Stocks and again hearkening back to the beginning, Sagmiller fine tuned this class for a few years, but it was always believed that this class had a place on the card. At one time, the track offered three different types of Mini Stocks, but the basic class has been a part of things since the beginning. Local area residents have built cars, and there are still people building cars. It's because of that fact that the Mini Stocks will probably be brought back once things are put back in order. Local racers means more locals will come out to watch. Local fan support is desperately needed if this track is to survive long term.
The first two races belonged to the Corder family. Chris Corder won the first race ahead of Paul Lauretti while sister Jennifer Corder won the next race ahead of Cody Keldsen. More noteworthy was the spectacular six time rollover by C. Corder in the heat race that ended his night and may have retired the red, white and blue #48 car. Newcomers such as Helena Guzman, Devin "The Ghost Rider" Belton and Tyler Jackson were in the field last time. Belton finished third after a good battle with Jackson, who was back after a heat race rollover. Guzman hit the wall in her first ever heat race, but this tough young lady came back and finished fifth in the Main Event. Don't count Mini Stocks out just yet. It's likely that they will be back.
In the meantime, Chowchilla Speedway will be back this Sunday afternoon with a show featuring the A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and 600 Micros. For further information, go to https://chowtown58.wixsite.com/chowchillaspeedway.
2017 Chowchilla Summer Schedule
A Modified, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and 600 Micros
All Star Series Sprint Car Opener Saturday Night
At Antioch Speedway
Antioch , CA...Oval Motorsports will present the first race of the 11 race All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car season this Saturday night. Promoter John M. Soares remains committed to building up an injected, Winged 360 Sprint Car class alongside the Wingless Spec Sprint class that he started back in 1999. There are an additional three winged races as the King Of The West/NARC Sprint Cars have dates on June 3rd and August 5th. Antioch also hosted the first Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Series event on April 1st. Cory Eliason won that race as a track record 58 cars competed. The Sprint Car Challenge returns on June 17th.
The 11 race All Star Series will again crown a track champion. The last three champions are Chris Magoon, Shawn Arriaga and Billy Aton. The common denominator in all three seasons is the fact that the champion had to beat 2007 champion Art McCarthy for the prize. McCarthy and Aton battled closely last season, and both were three time feature winners. Aton used his win in the final race to seal the deal, adding that championship to his 2009 Wingless Spec Sprint crown. McCarthy has already made a couple starts this season, and the two time Petaluma Speedway champion is ready to go.
With a growing car count in the 10-14 range, Soares is offering up a $1200 to win first prize. Last year, that led to various different up and coming racers coming to town and leaving with the money. We've seen fourth generation racer Chase Johnson looking impressive in Winged Sprint Cars, but in the first September race of last year, Colby Johnson brought home the winner's prize. Brayden McMahan, Kaleb Montgomery, Riley Matson, Shawn Conde, Koen Shaw, Matt Barber, Seth Nunes and Sprint Car veteran Bobby McMahan all paid visits at various times and were part of the list of ten drivers to win Main Events in the 14 races. Really, you never knew who was going to show up or who would win, but is was usually very entertaining.
McCarthy is ready, and Dan Gonderman will be back to see if he can improve on his third place ranking of last season. Gonderman has been racing at Antioch Speedway since the late 1980's. In addition to being a two time Wingless Spec Sprint champion, Gonderman has won Main Events in Spec Sprints, A Modifieds and Street Stocks. Gonderman is hoping to add a Main Event win in this division to his resume. His father, 1970 Sportsman champion Ken Gonderman, remains an important part of the crew. Third generation racer Shawn Arriaga has said that he plans to run the Sprint Car Challenge Series, but being based in Antioch, we will likely see the 2015 champion in action for some regular shows, possibly including this week.
Having won "Rookie Of The Year" honors as one of the Top 10 drivers last season, Jenna Frazier will be back behind the wheel of the Jimmy Paniagua owned Sprinter this season. Jenna will be doing double duty as she also pilots a Dwarf Car. Last season, she displayed her toughness. After a crash at another track in her Dwarf Car left her with a concussion, Jenna came back and won a Dwarf Car Main Event at Antioch. As she gets more comfortable in a Sprint Car, Jenna will be mixing it up at the front of the pack. Another talented lady who was ranked among the Top 10 last season was Marissa Polizzi.
After finishing fourth in points last season, Burt Foland Jr is among the anticipated drivers for this week along with Ricky Brophy and Tim Burcher. The Sprint Cars are coming to Antioch Speedway this Saturday night, and it should be a good show. It's also a great opportunity for newer racers to get some good seat time and compete for a good purse. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
All Star Series Sprint Car Schedule
June 3 King Of The West
June 17 Sprint Car Challenge
August 5 King Of The West
2016 Antioch Winged 360 All Star Series Points
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
Recent Feature Winners
April 1, 2017: Cory Eliason
September 31, 2016: Billy Aton
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
Dwarf Cars Enter 20th Championship Season
At Antioch Speedway
Antioch, CA...Some people my be surprised by the fact that the second longest continued yearly presence at Antioch Speedway is the Dwarf Car division. They were added to the All Star Series roster by Promoter John M. Soares back in 1998, the year that he became the promoter. Prior to that, they had nearly monthly visits at the track for five years under the Pacific Coast Dwarf Car Association banner. Some of the racers expressed interest in racing more at Antioch, which led to the class being added to the track's own roster.
In the PCDCA days, you had some impressive competitors. There were hard chargers like Billy Wright, Rick Rogers, Mark Chaves, Bill Baughman, Jim Saitone, Ray Etherton, Jim Barton, Jim Diffenderfer, Shawn O'Leary and long time division booster Jim Soares. Even John Soares competed and won with the group. Most notable were the head to head races the PCDCA had with the stars of the NCDCA that produced 30 car fields. Those events helped put Dwarf Car racing on the map in Northern California as NCDCA stars like Frank Munroe, Michael "Spanky" Grenert, Howie Ross and Charlie Correia competed. There was also a rising young star named Damion Gardiner, who experienced both victory and being put into the wall by a member of the rival PCDCA club.
John Anderson became the first champion at Antioch in 1998. PCDCA stars Rogers, Chaves and Jim Barton won the prize. Barton was a two time champion, but it was his teammate, Ricardo Rivera, who rewrote the Antioch Dwarf Car record book with over 50 victories and five championships in a six year span, punctuated by Ed Johnson's championship of 2007. Jerry Doty won a good battle with Rivera and Nick Squatritto in 2010, and Squatritto, who is also a Watsonville champion, won the 2011 title. Nick Davis followed before Mini Truck star "Captain Chaos" Danny Wagner rolled to back to back championships. David Teves enjoyed the 2015 championship and Watsonville title last year, while his teammate Kevin Miraglio won the most recent Antioch championship.
This is where we are now. Only Rivera, Barton and Wagner have multiple championships, but Miraglio is poised to join this elite group as we enter the 20th championship campaign. Miraglio was a model of consistency last season, rarely finishing outside the Top 3. Mike Corsaro enjoyed his best season to date, but he came up short in second. Corsaro is expected this season and would have to be considered a threat to Miraglio's repeat effort. There's another driver who is very familiar to winning at Antioch. His name is David Rosa. Rosa has won about 60 times at his home track through the years. He's been struggling to figure out the Dwarf Car, but he won his first feature in the class last season. He's not the only family member in the division as son David Michael Rosa was fifth in points last season.
Tim Reeder is coming off of a strong Top 5 season that could have ended in third had the track not booked over a pair of WSCDA events that he attended. His brother, Josh Miller, collected his first win last season, and both are anticipated this week. Another driver entering the winner's circle for the first time last year was the talented Jenna Frazier, who also drives a Sprint Car. There will be new drivers such as Devan Kammermann this season, and returning stars like Robert Coe, Brian Gray Charlie Correia and Wade Humphrey.
A good turnout is anticipated for the opener, which will set the pace for what is sure to be an exciting season of Dwarf Car racing at Antioch Speedway. Who will take their place at the top of the 20th championship point ladder? We'll be watching to see how this goes. For further information about the Dwarf Cars and other happenings at the track, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
2016 Dwarf Car Points
Kevin Miraglio 580
Mike Corsaro 508
Buddy Kniss 472
David Michael Rosa 434
Tim Reeder 412
David Rosa Sr. 408
Charlie Correia 398
Timmy Ryan 298
Josh Miller 288
Robert Coe 261
Dwarf Car Champions