Monday, April 3, 2017

News From Antioch, Merced, Petaluma, Marysville and Chowchilla Speedways

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Eliason Wins Sprint Car Challenge Opener 
At Antioch Speedway 

The Sprint Car podium.  Shane Golobic (left), Cory Eliason (middle) and Sean Becker (right).  After other award bonuses, Eliason won $3,000 for his victory.  Photo by Paul Gould

Antioch, CA...April 1...Cory Eliason won the inaugural 30 lap Sprint Car Challenge Tour Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  The new Sprint Car Tour, sponsored by Abreu Vineyards and Elk Grove Ford, was expected to draw a big car count, but it exceeded expectations when 58 teams showed up to race.  Unofficially, this is a record car count for a Sprint Car race at Antioch Speedway.

Eliason breezed through the preliminaries by winning his heat race and Dash 1.  This gave him the pole for the Main Event next to Dash 2 winner Shane Golobic.  Eliason charged into the lead at the start ahead of two time Watsonville champion Golobic and reigning Chico champion Sean Becker.  The race grinded to a halt on lap seven as Kenny Allen flipped.  Despite a pair of mid race yellow flags for Petaluma champion Bradley Terrell and D.J. Netto, Eliason continued to lead the way.  Though Golobic stayed not too far behind him, Eliason set a rapid pace.  In addition to winning the Metal Works Fastest Lap Award, Eliason scored the Main Event victory ahead of Golobic, Becker, Willie Croft and Mitchell Faccinto.

Local leadfoot Shawn Arriaga with his award after beating rising Sprint Car star Ryan Bernal to win his heat race.  Photo by Arriaga Racing.

The car count was so big and the competition was so stacked that nine time Civil War Series Sprint Car champion Andy Forsberg had to win the 12 Lap Finley Farms B Main to earn his feature start.  He won that race ahead of King Of the West Series champion Kyle Hirst and Justin Sanders.  There were two C Mains that transferred cars to the B Main.  Justyn Cox won the first C Main ahead of Kurt Nelson, and Tony Gualda won the second one ahead of recent Chowchilla winner Ryan Robinson.  2015 Antioch champion Shawn Arriaga gave the home crowd something to cheer for by holding off rising star Ryan Bernal to win his heat race.  Eliason's heat win came ahead of Geoff Ensign.  Faccinto won his heat ahead of Colton Slack, Becker beat Croft in their heat race and Terrell won his ten lapper in front of Kaleb Henry.

Young Hunter Kinney collected his first career 15 lap BCRA Midget Lites Main Event victory.  After a lap four tangle eliminated Roy Moody and Steve Roza, Kenny found was way into the lead and set a blistering pace from there.  He took the checkered flag a full straightaway ahead of Dakota Albright.  Danika Jo Parker settled for third ahead of Craig Holsted and reigning champion Craig Dillard.

All Star Series racing action continues next week with DIRTcar Late Models, A Modifieds, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks all in action on the fast three-eighth mile clay oval.  For further information, go to

Race Results 
Sprint Car Challenge Series
Heat 1-Mitchell Faccinto, Colton Slack, D.J. Netto.  Heat 2-Cory Eliason, Geoff Ensign, Shane Golobic.  Heat 3-Shawn Arriaga, Ryan Bernal, Andy Gregg.  Heat 4-Bradley Terrell, Kalib Henry, Kenny Allen.  Heat 5-Sean Becker, Willie Croft, Dominic Scelzi.  Dash 1-Eliason, Faccinto.  Dash 2-Golobic, Becker.  C Main 1-Justyn Cox, Kurt Nelson, Matt Perterson.  C Main 2-Tony Gualda, Ryan Robinson, Chase Johnson.  B Main-Andy Forsberg, Kyle Hirst, Justin Sanders, Buddy Kofoid, Steven Tiner.  Main Event-Eliason, Golobic, Becker, Croft, Faccinto, Bernal, Hirst, Forsberg, Sanders, Arriaga.
BCRA Midget Lites
Main Event-Hunter Kinney, Dakota Albright, Danika Jo Parker, Craig Holsted, Craig Dillard, Scott Kenny, Steve Roza, Roy Moody.

Mack, Diaz, Keldsen Win Merced Speedway Features

Merced, CA...April 1...Jesse Mack won the 25 lap IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway.  The event was presented by Quality Scaffold and was the first appearance at the track for this particular group.  Mack is the 2015 division champion at Hanford, and he set the pace from the start ahead of Grant Duinkerken and reigning champion Blake Robertson.  Tanner Boul made a charge into second by lap five as Robertson fell back a few spots.  Boul took over second on lap seven before a yellow flag flew.  A couple more yellow flags allowed Robertson to move into third behind Boul by lap 12 as Mack continued to lead.  Robertson put the moves on Boul for second on lap 13, and he kept it close.  Despite having the reigning champion behind him, Mack sped home to an impressive victory ahead of Robertson, Boul, Duinkerken and George Tristao.  There were 17 cars in action, and Mike Stallings, Vaughn Schott and Robertson each won heat races.

Reigning two time IMCA Sport Modified champion Rick Diaz ran a patient race, and he was rewarded with a well earned 25 lap Main Event victory.  Jarred Tickel led early ahead of Chuck Weir and past Antioch champion Jeremy Hoff.  Rookie Guy Ahlwardt moved in to battle Tickel for the lead, but the battle between the two ended with a Tickel spin that collected Ahlwardt on lap 10.  Weir found himself leading 2015 State champion Fred Ryland and Diaz at that point, but he fell back a few spots on lap 14 as Ryland had the lead.  However, Diaz made his winning move on lap 18 and sped home to the victory from there.  Ryland settled for second ahead of Tim Elias, Hoff and Andrew Peckham.  Anthony Giuliani, Trevor Clymens and Weir won heat races.

Watsonville champion D.J. Keldsen came to town and won the 15 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  After holding off her brother and reigning champion Chris Corder for a heat race win, Jennifer Corder had the pole for the feature and raced into the early lead ahead of heat winner Shawn Schwartzenberger and C. Corder.  Keldsen was fourth when a lap five yellow flag flew.  Keldsen made a big move on the outside on the restart as Schwartzenberger was also working on a way around J. Corder.  J. Corder spun in Turn 3, collecting C. Corder.  Keldsen led the restart with Schwartzenberger right there with him in second.  C. Corder found his way back to third on a lap 12 restart.  Keldsen set a good pace up front and collected the victory ahead of Schwartzenberger, C. Corder, J. Corder and Andy Boydstun.

Racing continues next Saturday night when Blue Line Rentals Presents the IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Mini Late Models.  For further information, go to
Race Results 
RaceSaver Sprints
Heat 1-Mike Stallings, George Tristao.   Heat 2-Blake Robertson, Nathan Rolfe.  Heat 3-Vaughn Schott, Jesse Mack.  Main Event-Mack, Robertson, Tanner Boul, Grant Duinkerken, Tristao, Chris Ennis, Rolfe, Matt DeMartini, Jacob Tuttle, Monty Ferreira.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1-Chuck Weir, T.J. Etchison.   Heat 2-Anthony Giuliani, Fred Ryland.  Heat 3-Trevor Clymens, Tim Elias.  Main Event-Rick Diaz, Ryland, Elias, Jeremy Hoff, Andrew Peckham, Chase Thomas, Josh Hensley, Paul Espino, Tanner Thomas, Clymens.
Mini Stocks
Heat 1-Jennifer Corder.  Heat 2-Shawn Schwartzenberger.  Main Event-D.J. Keldsen, Schwartzenberger, Chris Corder, J. Corder, Andy Boydstun, Jason Womack, Lucy Falkenberg.

Simpson Wins Hunt Series Race At Petaluma
While, Cass, Dutra, Ohlinger Grab Wins
Petaluma, CA...April 1...Klint Simpson made a late race pass on Austin Liggett to win the third round of the C&H Veteran's Services Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series Saturday night as Petaluma Speedway opened their season.  Liggett won the previous series race in clean sweep fashion at Chico, and he looked to be headed for his second win.  The incoming point leader, Liggett grabbed the lead from Trophy Dash winner Jimmy Christian on a lap two restart.  Reigning series and track champion Simpson settled into second.  Liggett seemed to have things in hand, but Simpson found his groove during the last half-dozen laps.  On the 24th lap, Simpson made his winning pass and wrote his name into the books as the third different winner in three races.  Liggett settled for second ahead of Troy DeGaton, heat winner Max Adams and three time series champion Terry Schank Jr.  All 25 drivers started the Main Event.  Simpson and Christian were the other heat winners.

Reigning Lumberjack's Restaurant Super Stock champion Matt While kicked off his title defense with an impressive 25 lap Main Event victory.  Brent Lawrence led the opening lap, but While led two time champion Shawn McCoy around Lawrence for the top two positions on lap two.  Mitch Machado shuffled McCoy back to third on lap four, but Machado fell out with problems on lap 10 as multi time champion Steve Studebaker settled into second.  Placerville champion Dan Smith moved into third not long after that.  While drove a great race and earned the victory with Studebaker a solid second ahead of Smith, Gary Adams and Paul Hanley.  Machado and Studebaker each won heat races.

Brian Cass came to town and left with the victory in the 25 lap McLea's Tires IMCA Modified Main Event.  A past Hanford and Watsonville champion, Cass won his heat race earlier, and he led the Main Event from the start ahead of reigning champion Oreste Gonella, who won the other heat race.  Multi time champion Michael Paul Jr. was an early third, but he was passed by five time Antioch champion Scott Busby for the position around lap ten.  Unfortunately for Busby, his race ended.  There was no stopping Cass as he sped home to victory ahead of Gonella, Michael Paul Jr., Michelle Paul and Busby.

Past General Hydroponics Dwarf Car champion Travis Dutra scored the victory in that division's 20 lap Main Event.  Dutra led from the start ahead of reigning Antioch champion Kevin Miraglio and Matt Haggerman.  Unfortunately, Miraglio's run up front ended on a lap five yellow flag.  Dutra continued to lead, and reigning champion Chad Matthias slipped into second.  Marcus Hardina took third from Haggerman on lap eight, but he surrendered the spot to multi time champion Dave Mosier on lap 16.  However, there was no stopping Dutra as he brought it home to a well earned victory ahead of Matthias, Mosier, Hardina and Scooter Gomes.  There were 20 cars in action, and heat wins went to Dutra, Matthias and Miraglio.

Austin Ohlinger served notice to the competition that he will be tough to beat in the Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock championship battle by winning the 20 lap Main Event.  Ohlinger won the heat race earlier and led the Main Event from the start of the race.  Kelly Campanile ran an early second, but she surrendered that spot to Scott Hale. However, Hale brought out a lap five yellow flag to end his race.  Ohlinger was never really threatened from there and he cruised to the victory.  Mike "Squirrely" Curley gained second when Campanile spun with three laps to go.  Campanile, Simone Chrisman and Hale rounded out the Top 5.

Racing continues next week as the Shoot Out Series opens for both the Winged 360 Sprints and Wingless Spec Sprints.  The West Coast Sport Mod Tour and General Hydroponics Dwarf Cars are also on the card for this exciting evening of racing.  For further information, go to

Race Results 
Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat 1-Klint Simpson, Shayna Sylvia.  Heat 2-May Adams, Adam Christian.  Heat 3-Jimmy Christian, Terry Schank Jr.  Trophy Dash-J. Christian, Simpson.  Main Event-Simpson, Liggett, Troy DeGaton, Adams, Schank, Zack Kavert, J. Christian, Sylvia, Casey McClain, Chris Kerr.
McLea's Tires IMCA Modifieds
Heat 1-Brian Cass, Scott Busby.  Heat 2-Oreste Gonella, Michael Paul Jr.  Main Event-Cass, Gonella, Michael Paul Jr., Michelle Paul, Busby, Anthony Slaney, Joel Myers, David Spriggs, Chris Compton.
Lumberjack's Restaurant Super Stocks
Heat 1-Mitch Machado, Matt While.  Heat 2-Steve Studebaker, Dan Smith.  Main Event-While, Studebaker, Smith, Gary Adams, Paul Hanley, Shawn McCoy, Terry DeCarlo, Manny Avilla, Loren Chitwood, Brent Lawrence.
General Hydroponics Dwarf Cars
Heat 1-Chad Matthias, Matt Haggerman.  Heat 2-Travis Dutra, Scooter Gomes.  Heat 3-Kevin Miraglio, Mark Hanson.  Main Event-Dutra, Matthias, Dave Mosier, Marcus Hardina, Gomes, Miranda Chappa, Ryan Klein, Barry Waddell, John Peters, Robert Coe.
Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks
Heat-Austin Ohlinger, Kelly Campanile.  Main Event-Ohlinger, Mike Curley, Campanile, Simone Chrisman, Sean Hale, Dave Spindell.

Wiesz, Shelby, Wagner, Compton Win At Marysville Raceway

Marysville, CA...April 1...Multi time champion Colby Wiesz stayed cool under pressure to win the 25 lap Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Marysville Raceway.  Wiesz actually led from the start, but the race had several yellow flags during the mid point.  Wiesz kept his cool on each restart and would not be denied a well earned victory.  Wiesz actually led a trio of #21 cars as Michael Ing and Jeremy Hawes finished second and third, respectively.  Brad Bumgarner and Korey Lovell rounded out the Top 5.  There were 17 cars, and Ing and D.J. Fetas each won their heat races.

A couple of weeks ago, Phillip Shelby had a sure IMCA Sport Modified victory slip through his hands with a mechanical failure on lap 17.  This time around, he would not be denied the victory in the 20 lap Main Event.  Willie Horn Jr. led early ahead of Shelby.  2015 champion Howard Law settled into third on lap four, and Horn's run up front came to an abrupt end on lap ten.  Shelby led Law and Friday night Chico winner Todd Cooper on the restart, but Cooper made his move into second on lap 16.  However, all Cooper could do was play follow the leader as Shelby was a happy winner ahead of Cooper, Law, Keith Brown Jr. and Jeff Bye Jr.   Shelby and Shane DeVolder won heat races.

Danny Wagner led a parade of champions at the front for a 20 lap NCDCA Dwarf Car Main Event win.  The Dwarf Cars had an impressive 27 car field, and two time SODCA champion Josh King set the early pace ahead of Jeremy Blackshere.  However, Wagner quickly struck to second and began pressuring King for the lead.  Wagner made his winning move near the mid point of the race as another champion, Shawn Jones, also slipped past King.  Yet another past Dwarf Car champion, Matt Sargent, put King back to fourth on lap 18.  Even with the talented racers behind him, the two time Antioch champion Wagner stayed smooth and grabbed the victory.  Sargent made a last lap pass on Jones for second as Jones settled for third ahead of King and veteran Michael "Spanky" Grenert.  Jack Haverty, Buddy Olschowka, Mike Reeder and Ryan "Ice Chip" Winter were the heat winners, while Bud Wiesz won the B main ahead of Johnny Reeves and rookie Devan Kammerman.

Three time Chico champion Brian Compton rolled to his second straight Hobby Stock feature triumph.  Matt Magenheimer paced two laps before Compton and Mel Byers raced by.  Past Orland Mini Truck champion Keith Ross settled into third and grabbed second from Byers on lap five.  A lap eight yellow flag didn't make much difference as Compton pulled away and won by a half lap ahead of Ross, Byers, Troy Leonard and Cy Cooper.  Leonard and Ross won heat races as 14 cars competed in another good showing for the class.

Adam Ermolenko won the 10 lap Winged Ecomomy Sprint Car Main Event.  Ermolenko turned the tables on Jeff Macedo, who beat him in the heat race.  Ermolenko led Macedo all the way for the 1-2 feature finish.  Cameron Haney made a late pass on Jaylon Deas for third as Jeff Rommel rounded out the Top 5.

Race Results 
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat 1-Michael Ing, Jeremy Hawes.  Heat 2-D.J. Freitas, Emily Williams.  Main Event-Colby Wiesz, Ing, Hawes, Brad Bumgarner, Korey Lovell, Tyler Seavey, Pat Harvey Jr., Williams, Koen Shaw, Mike Monohan.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1-Shane DeVolder, Willie Horn Jr.  Heat 2-Phillip Shelby, Keith Brown Jr.  Main Event-Shelby, Todd Cooper, Howard Law, Brown, Jeff Bye Jr., Damian Merritt, Mike Smith, Anthony Doubleedee, Ryan Svensson, Horn.

NCDCA Dwarf Cars
Heat 1-Jack Haverty, Shawn Jones.  Heat 2-Mike Reeder, Danny Wagner.  Heat 3-Buddy Olschowka, Jeremy Blackshere.  Heat 4-Ryan Winter, Josh King.  B Main-Ben Wiesz, Johnny Reeves, Devan Kammerman, Josh Wiesz, Thomas Reich.  A Main-Wagner, Matt Sargent, Jones, King, Michael Grenert, Olschowka, Blackshere, Scott Dahlgren, Toby Brown, J. Wiesz.
Hobby Stocks
Heat 1-Troy Leonard, Cy Cooper.  Heat 2-Keith Ross, Brian Compton.  Main Event-Compton, Ross, Mel Byers, Leonard, Cooper, Anthony Doubledee, Davey Stone, Eric Hansard, Tom Haxell, Darren Ballentine.

Winged Economy Sprint Cars
Heat-Jeff Macedo, Adam Ermolenko.  Main Event-Ermolenko, Macedo, Cameron Haney Jr., Jaylon Deas, Jeff Rommel. 

Racing returns This Sunday To Chowchilla Speedway

Chowchilla, CA...Chowchilla Speedway has a race track at the fairgrounds.  This is actually the 18th consecutive year that we've had at least one event in front of the main grandstand.  Tom Sagmiller opened the track back in 2000, and Joe Diaz Jr. and Kris Koontz reopened it last month.  Actually, racing history goes back several decades, and one race of note was the Chowchilla Open in 1951.  That race was won by the legendary Red Mullican.  It's been a year since Red passed away, but he would surely be happy to see racing still continues in Chowchilla.

The fast Winged Sprint Cars opened the track on March 12th, and Ryan Robinson collected the win ahead of 2013 NCMA Sprint Car champion Eric Humphries and Shawn Conde.  It was definitely an exciting and fast paced event with about a dozen drivers battling for position that day.  When the A Modifieds got their turn a week later, past Chico Modified champion Ryan McDaniel held off the persistent Cody Laney for a thrilling victory, while two time Merced champion Rick Diaz won the B Modified race ahead of Tim Elias that day.

All three divisions will be on this Sunday's card, along with Wingless Spec Sprints, 600 Micro Sprints, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks.  Diaz and Koontz thought it would be better to combine the track's Open Wheel and Stock Car races into one show featuring all divisions.   It was hoped when this track was opened in 2000 that the racing tradition would continue, and management is excited about the opportunity to build it back up to where it once was and beyond.

It's worth noting that two of the track champions from 2015, Chris Corder (Mini Stocks) and Kevin Joaquin (Hobby Stocks) competed on March 19th and won their respective events.  Both are anticipated on Sunday along with a pair of Spec Sprint rookies, Benjamin Catron and Eric Pilson.  The fans will get a look at a variety of divisions that have different looking cars and run at varying speeds.

The Sunday racing program was scheduled this year so as not to run head to head against any of the more established Friday or Saturday night racing venues that aren't too far from Chowchilla.  This gives racers an opportunity to come out and compete without missing races at their home tracks.  It also means racing fans don't have to choose between two tracks.  They can do both.

The grandstands for the seven division program open at 10:00 AM with racing to begin at about 1:30 PM.  General Admission is $10, Seniors and Military is $7 and children 6-12 are $5.00.  It should be a fun afternoon of racing at Chowchilla Speedway this Sunday.  For more information, you can go to their Facebook page at