Thursday, June 8, 2017

Antioch Speedway Preview, DeVolder, Corn Win At Merced, More

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Sprint Cars Headline Five Division Show At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series returns to action this Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.  In the midst of "Sprint Car Month" at the track, the track's regular Winged 360 Sprint Cars will headline this Saturday night's program.  It's an opportunity for the competitors to get a final tune up race in before the big June 17th Sprint Car Challenge Tour event.  Joining the Sprint Cars this week on the fast three-eighth mile clay oval will be B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

The Winged 360 Sprint Cars have had three races so so far.  Point leader Kyle Offill and Tyler Seavey are the two feature winners so far.  Offill had his work cut out for him in winning the most recent race.  While attempting a pass on Aaron Miller for second, the two cars got together and crashed into the infield off the back stretch.  Miller suffered too much damage to continue.  Offill restarted at the back and rapidly worked his way to the front.  When he got to second, he found surprising newcomer Jacob Tuttle in the lead.  The Outlaw Kart graduate Tuttle had led from the start in his first Antioch start, but Offill made a last turn pass to gain the lead.

Offill figured to be a contender for "Rookie Of The Year" honors following an impressive Top 3 season with the BCRA Midget Lites last season.  However, he's become the favorite to win the championship and the driver to beat this week.  His closest rival is Marissa Polizzi, and she is 18 points back in second.  In the recent race, Polizzi gave it a valiant effort in trying to overtake heat race winner Steve Jaquith, but Steve held her off for a career best third place finish.  The race for second finds Marissa leading last year's "Rookie Of The Year"  Jenna Frazier by six points and Miller by eight.  Miller has made the commitment to come from Grants Pass, Oregon to race for points.

The three second place contenders may be looking over their shoulders at the guy who has ranked second these past two seasons, ageless veteran Art McCarthy.  Art is a multi time Sprint Car champion with several feature wins at Antioch and Petaluma to his credit.  His effort this year got off on the wrong foot after he had a mechanical problem in the season opener keep him from starting the Main Event.  Art's #19 Sprinter is sure to be in the hunt along with other such hard chargers as Burt Foland Jr., Bryan Grier and Jason Paniagua.  Plus, you never know who will show up at Antioch for a run at the $1,200 Main Event prize as promoter John M. Soares remains committed to building this division as part of his All Star Series program.

B Modifieds at Antioch Speedway are just as competitive as ever,  They make their lone June appearance this week with K.C. Keller leading defending champion Trevor Clymens by just four points.  Clymens has two Main Event wins this year and won the rare Trophy Dash that was offered up to the class during he recent Contra County Fair race.  Keller won the Main Event that night to clearly declare himself as the top driver to attempt to dethrone Clymens.  These two drivers seem to be the ones to beat, but there are others in the field capable of getting the job done.

Chuck Golden was a Top 5 driver in points two years ago and a past Main Event winner.  He's off to a good start so far as he ranks third in the standings, only 22 points out of the lead.  He should not be counted out.  Likewise, Randy Brown has been doing well so far, eight points behind Golden.  He's a heat race winner this season, but Randy has a Main Event win in his sights.  Randy has raced off and on through the years since the 1970's, but he's been more active during the past year.  Don't be surprised to see the #1 car winning a Main Event.  Past Hobby Stock champion Megan Ponciano, Kevin Brown, Mike Mates and Tim Hammett are other drivers to watch for, and you never know who else night come to race.

Another B Modified star in the hunt, 32 points out of the lead, is also the Limited Late Model point leader.  He's third generation racer Mark Garner.  Though he is a heat winner in B Modifieds, Garner's luck has been luke warm at best in the Main Event.  However, he's very much a threat every week in the Limited Late Models.  Mark brought home the big trophy with an impressive drive to victory in the Larry Damitz Memorial Race recently.  He out-dueled Jim Freethy for that win.  A Limited Late Model championship is the goal for Mark.  Another goal is to join such notables at Keith Brown Sr. and Bobby Hogge IV as a double division Main Event winner on the same night.  Getting a Limited Late Model win is no gimme.

Chasing Garner in points, six behind him, is Mike Gustafson.  Gustafson is already a Main Event winner this year and is at nearly 50 wins in his Limited Late Model career.  Gustafson is also a two time division champion and has racked up nearly 100 wins just between Antioch and Petaluma.  Eight points behind Garner is Freethy, who has the distinction of being the only driver to beat Larry Damitz for a Limited Late Model championship in his last six years of racing.  Even 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" Kimo Oreta is in the hunt in the old Damitz car, ten points back.  The battle for victory will be good, and you can't count out past champion Lori Brown, Chad Hammer, John Evans or rookie Buddy Kniss.

Uncle Bob was smiling down on Chris Long as he piloted the black #99 car to victory last week in the Hobby Stock Main Event.  Chris is driving the last car of the late Bob Ackerman, and his car number is in honor of his Figure 8 hero, Brian Holden.  Holden was back at Antioch recently to watch Chris race, and long time speedway fans were happy to see that.  Chris has raced Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks and Limited Late Models through the years, but this is the first time he's raced for points since the 1990's.  He's hoping to win the championship if his racing budget will last, but he knows it won't be easy.

At the moment, only about 20 points separate Long, rookie Brent Curran and Cameron Swank in a close battle.  Long's win matches past Mini Stock champion Curran with two feature victories.  Swank finished second last week, which is his career best effort.  He seems poised to be the next first career winner, perhaps this week,  2017 feature winners Chris Sorensen and Michael Cooper were Top 5 ranked going into last week, but rookie Chris Bennett may have gained some ground following his sixth place finish.

The Hobby Stocks are perhaps the strongest class at Antioch at the moment.  They produced a 16 car field last week, which included a beautiful new car for Robert Niven.  Niven's night ended early with transmission problems.  There are some other drivers capable of grabbing the spotlight, and a few competitors to watch this week include 2016 runnnerup Lindsey Buirch, Joey Ridgeway, Billy Garner, Rick Foster, Jordan Swank, Anthony Vigna and Frank Furtado.  Furtado had his first Top 5 finish in his new car last week.

The Dwarf Car battle is now three races old, and defending champion Kevin Miraglio holds a 12 point advantage over last year's point runnerup, Mike Corsaro.  Miraglio has a win, while Corsaro has finished as high as second.  To get a win, these are the two drivers you need to beat.  However, the elder statesman of California Dwarf Car racing is off to a good start.  Charlie "The Hammer" Correia is only 14 points out of the lead and two behind teammate Corsaro.  Correia recently celebrated his 78th birthday, and he might be looking to earn a winner's plaque as a present.  Nobody has competed in this division in California longer than Charlie.

The Dwarf Car field has some new competitors this year, such as Chris Becker, rookie Devan Kammermann, Roberto Monroy, Brandon Anderson and David Corsaro.  This bodes well for the division as it keeps the car count up.  Of course, two time Street Stock champion David Rosa, past Hobby Stock champion Robert Coe, Chuck Connover, Jenna Frazier, David Michael Rosa and Brian Gray are back this year as well.

All Star Series racing action at Antioch Speedway this week will be exiting to watch with Winged 360 Sprint Cars, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars on the card.  For further information, go to

DeVolder, Corn Win Merced Speedway County Fair Races

Merced, CA...June 7...Taking the lead on a lap 22 restart, Shane DeVolder won the 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event Wednesday night at Merced Speedway.  DeVolder is the current IMCA State point leader, and the mid week Merced County Fair race gave him an opportunity to pay the track a visit.  Young Cody Parker set the pace at the start of the Main Event ahead of Patti Ryland and Tim Elias.  P. Ryland gained the lead on a lap six restart with DeVolder moving into second ahead of point leader Fred Ryland.  Anthony Giuliani made his first appearance in the Top 5 on lap 13 and took third from F. Ryland on lap 15.  The flying Giuliani raced past P. Ryland and DeVolder for first on lap 16, and DeVolder and F. Ryland gained second and third a lap later.  Giuliani's bid for victory ended on lap 22, and DeVolder grabbed the lead.  DeVolder brought it home a happy winner with F. Ryland holding off wife P. Ryland for second.  Parker rebounded with a fourth place finish as Elias, Gavin Espino, B Main winner Tim Ragsdale, Chase Thomas, Rick Diaz and Jeremy Hoff rounded out the Top 10.  The 27 car field ran four eight lap heat races with wins going to Giuliani, DeVolder, Hoff and Diaz.  Ragsdale won the 12 lap B Main ahead of past champion Shawn Bryant and Paul Espino.

Third generation racer Garrett Corn collected his third 20 lap Hobby Stock feature win of the season.  Corn followed Robbie Loquaci early on before taking the lead on a lap two restart.  Corn was never able to shake Loquaci off of his rear bumper.  Despite two yellow flags in the last ten laps and a spun car in the leader's path as he entered the back stretch on the final lap, Corn held on for a well earned victory.  Loquaci and point leader Kodie Dean trailed closely in second and third.  2015 champion  Kevin Joaquin was a strong fourth, followed by Mike Stockton, Antioch Speedway visitor Chris Bennett, Kristie Shearer, Shannon Nelson, B Main winner Austin Van Hoff and John Hensley.  The 23 competitors ran three eight lap heat races with wins going to Loquaci, Donnie Shearer and Corn.  Van Hoff won the 12 lap B Main ahead of D.J. Shannon and Cody Smiley.

Racing resumes on June 16th and 17th with the WCDCA Dwarf Car Nationals.  This is one of the biggest Dwarf Car events anywhere on the West Coast and should have a car count approaching 60 or more.  California Sharp Mini Late Models will be on the card on the 16th, while Hobby Stocks, Valley Sportsman and Super Mini Stocks will be there on the 17th.  For further information, go to

Race Results
IMCA Sport Modified
Heat 1-Anthony Giuliani, Chase Thomas, Josh Hensley.  Heat 2-Jeremy Hoff, Tanner Thomas, Cody Brown.  Heat 3-Shane DeVolder, Fred Ryland, Cody Parker.  Heat 4-Rick Diaz, Patti Ryland, Tim Elias.  B Main-Tim Ragsdale, Shawn Bryant, Paul Espino, Mark Condell, Dwayne Short.  A Main-Shane DeVolder, Fred Ryland, Patti Ryland, Cody Parker, Tim Elias, Gavin Espino, Tim Ragsdale, Chase Thomas, Rick Diaz, Jeremy Hoff.

Hobby Stock
Heat 1-Robbie Loquaci, Shannon Nelson, John Hensley.  Heat 2-Donnie Shearer, Chris Bennett, Kevin Joaquin.  Heat 3-Garrett Corn, Kodie Dean, Michael Shearer.  B Main-Austin Van Hoff, D.J. Shannon, Cody Smiley, Nick Lawrence, James Stockton.  A Main-Garrett Corn, Robbie Loquaci, Kodie Dean, Kevin Joaquin, Mike Stockton, Chris Bennett, Kristie Shearer, Shannon Nelson, Austin Van Hoff, John Hensley.

All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars Back 
At Antioch Speedway This Saturday

Antioch, CA...All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars return to Antioch Speedway for their fourth race of the season this Saturday night.  When last we saw the division on May 13th, the fans were treated to an exciting finish in the 25 lap feature.  A young outlaw Kart graduate named Jacob Tuttle made his first appearance at the track, and he shocked the house as he charged into the lead from the start. 

Point leader Kyle Offill's race nearly ended early when he tangled with Aaron Miller on the back stretch for a red flag.  Grant Pass, Oregon's Miller was done at that point, but Offill restarted at the back.  Offill steadily worked his way back to the front and caught Tittle on the last lap.  Offill made his winning pass in the last turn and scored his second $1,200 win. 

Tuttle settled for a still respectable second, and the talented teen will be somebody to watch in the future.  Offill won his heat race.  Meanwhile, fellow heat winner Steve Jaquith had a battle of his own on the last lap, but he held off Marissa Polizzi for a third place finish, while 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" Jenna Frazier completed the Top 5.  When the points were added, Offill emerged with an 18 point lead over Polizzi as Frazier is 24 points back and Miller is 26 points out of the lead.

Jason Paniagua finished sixth ahead of Art McCarthy and Miller in the most recent race.  Matt DeMartini flipped in his heat race to end his night.  McCarthy is trying to make up for the fact that he missed starting the opening Main Event.  He's 43 points from second in the standings, a position he's held at Antioch for the past two seasons.

With a good purse being offered by Promoter John M. Soares as the track is building up this division, you never know who will come to town to make a run at the $1,200 prize.  Often times, it's young drivers looking for their first wins who make surprise visits.  Drivers like Burt Foland Jr., 2015 champion Shawn Arriaga and Bryan Grier are others who could be there.  For further information, go to

Antioch Speedway Points
All Star Series
Kyle Offill    150
Marissa Polizzi    132
Jenna Frazier    126
Aaron Miller    124
Burt Foland Jr.    96
Art McCarthy    89
Jason Paniagua    78
Tyler Seavey    56
Shawn Arriaga    54
Bryan Grier    53

Antioch Speedway
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule
June 10
June 17 Sprint Car Challenge
June 24
July 29
August 5 King Of The West
August 19
August 26
September 9
September 16
September  23

Past Champions
1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga
2016-Billy Aton

Recent Feature Winners
May 13, 2017:  Kyle Offill
May 6, 2017:  Tyler Seavey
April 22, 2017:  Kyle Offill
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

Mini Stocks At Lemoore And Other Interesting Places

Lemoore, CA...The first race of the Central Valley Mini Stock Association's season happened over a month ago on the one-fifth mile Lemoore Raceway.  There was a good turnout for the Sunday afternoon event, and another good turnout is anticipated this Sunday when they hold their second race.  There have been reports of other new cars being prepared for this race.  When the racers return this week, the driver to beat will be Rod Baronian.  Baronian won both the Trophy Dash and the 30 lap Main Event last time out.

Baronian had to work his way from the back as Logan Doglion set the early pace.  Matt Peterson moved by Ben Davis on the inside in Turn 4 to take second on lap five with Danny Myrick also getting by for third.  Myrick took over second on a lap eight restart as Baronian had worked his way up to fourth.  Dan Myrick spun on the front stretch for a lap nine caution flag.  L. Doglion led Baronian on the restart, but Davis got past Baronian for second on a lap 12 restart.  Baronian kept the pressure on B. Davis before making an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 15th lap for second.  Dan Myrick and Davis got together in Turn 2 for a lap 17 yellow flag.  When the race resumed, Baronian battled past Doglion and scored the well earned victory.  L. Doglion settled for second ahead of Wayne McLaughlin, last starter Samantha Robison, Dan Myrick, Davis, Danny Mryrick, Chris Goldsmith, Ryan Dolgion and Peterson.

Dan Myrick entered a very competitive argri-race in a rodeo arena at the May Salinas Fair.  There were 24 competitors for this invitational race, and he won his heat race after setting fast time.  Mitch Moss, Cody Young and Joe Panizeira were other heat winners.  Only eight spots were available in the Main Event on the small oval, and Myrick did take a checkered flag in the race that raised over $3,000 for the Salinas Heritage Foundation and paid over $3,000 in purse money.   Former IMCA Modified competitor Greg Lazarini beat Joe Paniziera in a near photo finish for the victory. 

Paniziera and Cody Young fought for the lead for most of the 20 lap race.  A late restart saw Paniziera knocked sideways in Turn 2, and Young took him all the way around.  Paniziera regrouped and made a final charge.  Moments after taking the white flag, Paniziera charged hard into Turn 1 and used Young as a wall exiting Turn 2.  Young spun, and Lazarini raced into the lead.  Panizeira made a final move on the inside out of Turn 4 , but he lost to Lazarini by inches.  Young settled for third, followed by Louie Ray and Alan Paniziera.  Shelly Ray won a special seven car Powder Puff Race.  This was the second annual event and by all accounts was very successful and entertaining to watch.

This is an early Orland Raceway preview for the June 17th show.

Family Fun, Close Racing At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...There's something special about a night at the race track with your family.  It's a sport where you can cheer on your favorite driver and then go meet them after the races.  In the most recent race at Orland Raceway, the young fans got to race their bicycles on the track, and trophies were awarded to the winner's in three age groups. The track also had a bike giveaway to a lucky young fan.  On September 16th, Fan Appreciation Night will be an opportunity for fans to meet their favorite drivers before the races.

This Saturday night (June 17th), Promoter Rich Hood is offering a full slate of racing on the one-fifth mile dirt oval.  Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Micro Sprints and Wingless Gas Sprints are all on the schedule.  There have already been three exciting shows this year, and the championship battles are getting interesting.

In Pure Stocks, Jeremy Langenderfer won the most recent race.  It was his second win of the season as Keith Ross and reigning champion Steve Martin also finished in the Top 3.  Ross in racing in two classes this year and is getting closer to a double win night as he gets his Pure Stock dialed in.  Langenderfer leads Ross by seven points so far, while Martin is 11 points back in third.  For Langenderfer, this would be his first championship, while Ross has won the Mini Truck title before.  These three are at the head of the pack when is comes to battling for Main Event wins.  However, you can't count out Shannon Collins, Kody Lesch, Earl Adams and Brad Ray.

While Ross is still looking for his first Pure Stock win, he has three in a row in Mini Trucks.  The 2015 champion won the latest race with reigning champion Dan Webster and William Fogle also earning Top 3 finishes.  Not surprisingly, Ross holds an 11 point lead over Webster as Fogle is 18 points back.  After back to back Top 3 finishes, 2013 champion Ross Vige missed the last race, but long time Orland racer Olin Crain returned.  Both drivers should be in the field when racing resumes this week. 

The closest point battle is happening in Mini Stocks.  After Sean Perry won the opener, past champion Tom Davis has won back to back Main Events.  Perry kept it close as he and Shasta Speedway racer Dustin Hills also finished on the podium in the recent race.  Perry and Davis are now tied for the point lead with reigning champion John Kirkpatrick 14 points out and the steady Barbara Crain just 13 points behind Kirkpatrick in the race for third.  Davis has been known to get on a roll, so the pressure will be on Perry to keep up the pace.

Jackie Whitson Jr. has been a on a roll in Wingless Micro 250 Sprints.  His win ahead of James Barnes and Jared Carter last time out gives him three in a row.  The question is, can anybody stop him?  Barnes trails Whitson by 18 points as past champion Jess Garland is 13 points behind Barnes in third.  Whitson has won his share of races in the past few seasons, but this is the first year that he appears to be chasing an Orland championship.  Ronnie Heyer and Monica Aldrich are other drivers to watch this week.

Three of the big 600 Micro Sprint stars in recent seasons, past champion Jeromie Crismon, Skyler Richter and Tony Alosi, have been missing this season.  However, Alosi returned last time out and won ahead of Rowdy McClennon and Maril Michelet.  The track's Wingless Gas Sprints will return this week as well.  Last time out, multi time champion Josh Jacobo won the race ahead of David Johnson and Josh Tucker.  Promoter Rich Hood brought this class back after a year off, and they are hoping the simple and more affordable engine rules package will grow the class.

It should be a great night of racing this Saturday with these divisions all competing.  Gates open at 5 PM with the first race to start at 7 PM.  General Admission is $8 with Juniors (Ages 7-12) and Seniors are $5 and Children 6 and under free.  For further information, go to