Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Antioch Speedway, Petaluma Speedway, Ocean Speedway, Orland Raceway, Merced Speedway, More

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Cornet, Chadwick, Fraser Win Antioch Speedway Races

Antioch, CA...May 25...Angelo Cornet scored the victory in the 20 lap All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event. Cornet is a young up-and-coming driver from the Outlaw Kart ranks, and he's been racing at Petaluma Speedway this year. This was his first career feature victory and it came with two of the speedway's best in close pursuit.

McCarthy led the first two laps ahead of Cornet, but he hit a rut in Turns 1 and 2 and fell back a few positions as Cornet took over. Ryon Nelson was second at that point and held the position until spinning in Turn 4 on lap 10. This gave second to Aton. A yellow flag with four laps to go gave Aton one more shot at Cornet, but Cornet drove a flawless race for the well-earned victory.  McCarthy settled for third. Emily Williams came from 10th starting to finish fourth as Roberto Kirby completed the Top 5.

Kellen Chadwick turned in an impressive performance in winning the 20 lap A Modified Main Event. In doing so, he becomes the fifth different winner in six races. Chadwick had a good battle early on with Petaluma star Michael Paul Jr. Paul led the first two laps, Chadwick passed him on lap three, Paul regained the first position a lap later and Chadwick appeared to gain the lead as they worked lap six. Unfortunately, a yellow flag negated the pass. Paul led the restart and would pull away just a little bit in the next few laps. When Paul caught slower traffic, Chadwick pulled right behind him on lap 12. An inside move in Turn 2 of the 13th lap put Chadwick into the lead. Chadwick led the remaining seven laps with Jeff Decker gaining second on a lap 15 restart to finish there. Danny Wagner made a last lap pass on Oreste Gonella to finish third as Paul settled for fifth.

Tommy Fraser picked up his third 20 lap B Modified feature win of the season. The drivers did an outstanding job in this race, which ran without a yellow flag. From his front row starting position, Fraser jumped into the lead at the waving of the green flag and would lead every lap. The early battle was for second between Watsonville point leader Austin Williams and Todd Gomez. Williams made a late challenge on Fraser, but Fraser would hold on for the win. Williams settled for second, followed by Gomez, Cameron Swank and Brent Curran.

Point leader Chris Sorensen won his third 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event of the season. Most of the race was a great battle between leader Breanna Troen and Sorensen with only one yellow flag on lap 10 slowing the pace. On the restart, Josh Leach joined the battle for the lead. As they went through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 18, Leach got a run on the outside of Sorensen, while Sorensen moved underneath Troen. Sorensen and Troen ran closely down the straightaway and through Turns 3 and 4 with Sorensen pulling ahead. Sorensen led the rest of the way for the victory with Leach making a lap 19 pass to finish second. Troen settled for third ahead of John Wacht and Will Buirch.

Kevin Miraglo won the 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event. Miraglio is the 2016 track champion, and he started back in eighth as Devan Kammermann led the first five laps from the pole.  Point leader Scott Dahlgren passed Kammermann on lap six, but he was passed by Miraglio two laps later. Miraglio led Dahlgren the rest of the way for the 1-2 finish. Kammermann settled for third, followed by Travis Dutra and Chuck Conover.

Next Saturday night will be the only appearance of the Civil War Winged 360 Sprint Car Series. Also competing will be the All Star Series B Modifieds and Dwarf Cars. For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results
All Star Series Antioch Speedway
Winged 360 Sprint Car
Heat Winners (6 laps)-Art McCarthy, Angelo Cornet. Main Event (20 laps)-Angelo Cornet, Billy Aton, Art McCarthy, Emily Williams, Roberto Kirby, Jacob Tuttle, Joel Myers Jr, John Clark, Ryon Nelson, Tim Burcher.

A Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 laps)-Oreste Gonella, Danny Wagner. Main Event (20 laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Jeff Decker, Danny Wagner, Oreste Gonella, Michael Paul Jr, Buddy Kniss, Frank Furtado, Carl Berendsen II, Sean Wilson, Bobby Montalvo.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 laps)-Todd Gomez, Tommy Clymens Jr.  Main Event (20 laps)-Tommy Fraser, Austin Williams, Todd Gomez, Cameron Swank, Brent Curran, Kevin Brown, Haley Gomez, Tommy Clymens Jr, Frank Cefalio, Joe Salvi.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (6 laps)-Josh Leach, Chris Sorensen. Main Event (20 laps)-Chris Sorensen, Josh Leach, Breanna Troen, John Wacht, Will Buirch, Ken Johns, Lori Brown, Luke Brignoli, Aiden Ponciano, Dalton Jewel.

Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (6 laps)-Zach Albers, Kevin Miraglo, David Rosa. Main Event (20 laps)-Kevin Miraglo, Scott Dahlgren, Devin Kammermann, Travis Dutra, Chuck Conover, David Michael Rosa, David Rosa, Troy Stevenson Jr, Mario Marques, Shawn McCoy.

Civil War Series Comes To Antioch With Future In Doubt

Antioch, CA...On Saturday night, the Civil War Sprint Car Series comes to Antioch Speedway. It's future appears to be in doubt as this is the third race of a reduced five-race series. Also on the card will be the All Star Series B Modifieds and the Dwarf Cars.

In 1991, John Padjen got together with various promoters and launched the series. It was thought that the Winged 360 Sprint Cars were the future for Sprint Car racing, and the numbers provided when a Civil War race was scheduled did nothing to dissuade that attitude. Everybody wanted to host one of these events as the series grew very quickly.

At one time, Padjen was the man in charge of not only the Civil War Series but the King Of The West Sprint Car Series and the successful North State Modified Series. The Modified series was short-lived in the 1990s, and Padjen sold his interest in the Civil War Series to Prentice Motorsports Group in 2013.

At that point, the series was still doing pretty well, but in recent years, controversy emerged. This led to the creation of the rival Sprint Car Challenge Tour, which had big sponsorship money coming in from Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards. Most of the top stars were lured away from the Civil War Series prior to last season, which raised speculation that it might be the end of the line.

Last season, Cole Macedo staked his claim on the series championship ahead of Dustin Freitas, and they were the only two drivers to compete in all nine scheduled events. Burt Foland Jr, Koen Shaw and Jarrett Soares made up the remainder of the Top 5.

When the series opened at Marysville for the annual Sherm and Loree Toller Memorial race, a disappointing five car field was all that appeared. Some speculated that the threatening skies over Marysville led to the low turnout. Whatever the case, the show went on as scheduled. Ten-time series champion Andy Forsberg had perhaps the easiest payday of his career as he won that race ahead of Shaw.

It's not known if any of the five competitors who were at that first race will be in Antioch, though there is a possibility that Shaw might be the exception. As Placerville Speedway is running a point race that night, it's likely that Blake Carrick and Forsberg will be there instead.

Last Sunday's scheduled Mel Hall Memorial Civil War race at Marysville was rained out after some heavy rains in the area late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. A big field was anticipated for that race. This makes the Antioch race the second event of the series now, while the Marysville show is being considered for a possible rescheduling later in the year.

Meanwhile, Antioch opened with a solid turnout of 14 racers last week, and Petaluma rookie Angelo Cornet led most of the way and held off 2016 Antioch champion Billy Aton for an impressive victory. 2017 title winner Art McCarthy won his heat race and placed third in the feature.

Emily Williams looked good coming from 10th to fourth. These four could be there this week, and others to watch for include hard charger Jacob Tuttle, John Clark, Jake Haulot, Tim Burcher and Watsonville championship container Kurt Nelson.

If the series lasts that long, next year would be their milestone 30th season. Forsberg leads the championship list with an impressive 10 titles. There are some top-notch drivers who have won the championship through the years. Sean Becker is a three-time champ, while Glen Boune, Kevin Urton and Mike Henry each have two titles to their credit. Brian Crockett and Roger Crockett are the only father and son duo to win series titles. By far, Forsberg is the all-time winner with 31 feature victories to his credit going into the season, 11 ahead of Becker. Roger Crockett has 15 wins to rank third on that list.

The future may be uncertain, but Promoter John M Soares decided to take a chance and book a Civil War race for this Saturday night. Antioch has been paying pretty well for their Winged 360 Sprint Car effort, but a Civil War victory is even more special as these races pay $2,500 to win. Some of the tracks, such as Petaluma and Marysville, are not running these Sprint Cars on Saturday, meeting there is a possibility that drivers will come to town and take a run at the increased prize money. This also means the locals have an opportunity earn a nice payday.

In the B modified division, the championship battle was shaken up when two-time reigning champion Trevor Clymens went in for surgery a couple of days prior to last Saturday's race and announced that he would be missing a couple of races while recovering. This opened the door for Tommy Fraser, Brent Curran and Cameron Swank to leave Clymens behind in the battle for this year's title.

Last week, Fraser offered further proof that he is a new force to be reckoned with in this class as he posted his third feature win. Fraser led all of the way, and the win put him two points ahead of Curran. Curran is a two-time winner, but if you think the battle might break off between these two drivers, the consistent Swank is there to remind everybody that he knows how to race for points. The 2017 Hobby Stock champion outran Curran to finish fourth last week and is only 10 points out of the lead.

Kevin Brown also remains in the hunt, 16 points behind. Like Swank, Brown is looking for his first win. Last week's race was a nonstop green flag affair, showing just how much better these drivers are getting. Tommy Clymens Jr picked up his first heat race win last time out, and he'll be looking for his first feature win this week. After his second-straight third place finish, Todd Gomez is another driver looking for the Winner's Circle. Other drivers to watch for this week include Haley Gomez, Frank Cafaliello and Joe Salvi.

After four races, the Dwarf Car division has four different winners. Last week, it was 2016 champion Kevin Miraglio returning and out running point leader Scott Dahlgren to get the win. Dahlgren continued to add to his advantage over David Rosa. Both drivers have one win to their credit so far, and Dahlgren is 34 points ahead. Rosa ended up seventh last week after picking up a heat race win earlier in the evening.

With an impressive third place finish, Devan Kammermann is only six points behind Rosa in a closer battle for second in the standings. Kammermann appears to be on the verge of his first win, and he also leads Troy Stevenson Jr by just six points in the standings. These four drivers are anticipated this week, and others to watch for include Travis Dutra, Chuck Conover, David Michael Rosa, Mario Marques and Chris Becker.

The lure of the Civil War purse money should give the Winged 360 Sprint Cars a boost in numbers on Saturday night. Add in the competitive B Modifieds and Dwarf Cars, and this should be a good show. For further information, go to

King Of The West Sprint Cars Come To Petaluma Speedway

Petaluma, CA...After a rain out and a week off for Memorial Day Weekend, racing returns to the 3/8 mile Adobe oval at Petaluma Speedway this Saturday night. This marks the first of two scheduled appearances for the popular NARC/King Of The West Fujitsu Winged 410 Sprint Car Series. The McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds, Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks and General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars will run in support.

This marks the 60th year for the Northern Auto Racing Club and the 35th consecutive season for the King Of The West Winged 410 Sprint Car Series. This is the only effort remaining in Northern California in which drivers can compete in a Winged 410 Sprint Car. it gives the fans a dose of the fastest vehicles that you're going to find on a dirt track anywhere on the West Coast.

The series is in the midst of a run that will take them to seven different venues before they finally make a return visit to one of the first seven. This is also the third race of the season. The highly competitive series has two different winners so far as Dominic Scelzi outran Shane Golobic and Chase Johnson to win the season opener at Kern County Raceway and Justin Sanders picked up the win in Chico ahead of Golobic and two-time champion Tim Kaeding. Last season, the series made a pair of visits to Petaluma with four-time champion Kyle Hirst and Shane Golobic getting the wins.

It's still very early in the season, and it's a close scramble at the top of the point list with several drivers in contention. DJ Netto might be a bit of a surprise at the top of the list. He leads Golobic by just one point and Ryan Bernal by eight. Third-generation star Bud Kaeding is nine points back, while 2017 Petaluma champion Geoff Ensign and Johnson are tied, 12 points out of the lead. A field of 18 to 25 of these fast race cars is anticipated for Saturday's show.

It's very difficult for the competition to break into the championship column when you have two heavy hitters like Michael Paul Jr and Oreste Gonella in the field. Last season, Gonella didn't even win a Main Event, but he used consistency to overtake Jeffrey Faulkner in the championship battle. Gonella is out to break his winless streak this year, and he looked good in the season-opener until misfortune struck.

The season opener gave the fans a thrilling conclusion when Super Stock champion Mitch Machado made a late move around Anthony Slaney to score what would be his first career win in this class. Machado will be out to make it two-in-a-row, but the competition won't be easy to beat. In addition to Gonella and Paul, Slaney will likely be back and hungry for victory. Other drivers to watch for in the battle include Tim Yeager, Justin Yeager, David Spriggs and Terry Kaiser.

With such a strong start in his midseason debut last year, there was speculation that Jeremy Tjensvold would be a championship contender in this year's Mini Stock point battle. He has shown the speculation to be right on the money with back-to-back feature victories to start his season. No driver has managed to repeat as champion in over a decade in this class. Reigning champion Tom Brown is hoping to change that and currently finds himself trailing Tjensvold by just six points. The consistent Roy Dearing is also in the hunt as he trails by eight points. All three drivers are the only ones with a pair of Top 5 finishes so far this year.

The Mini Stock division has graduated some good drivers up into the other divisions, and there are some newer drivers making things interesting this year. Among the drivers going for a shot of glory this week are Sophie Shelley, Connor Manzoni, Jason Grover and Roberta Broze. Darian Balestrini made a surprise visit at the last race, and last season's third-ranked competitor, Danny Manzoni, is hoping to jump start his season after a sluggish start.

The Redwood Dwarf Car competitors had to be a little bit disappointed when their show was claimed by rain two weeks ago. This wasn't an ordinary event as it was to pit the local contingent against the South Bay Dwarf Car competitors in a shootout race. It's a regular show this week, and a check of the records finds past champion Chad Matthias and Shawn Jones winning the first two races. The competition level is high in this group, and you know that at least half of the field has a legitimate shot at winning on any given week. Some of the racers to watch for this week include reigning champion Scooter Gomes, Marcus Hardina, Kevin Miraglio, Mark Hanson, Carroll Mendenhall, Brandon Gentry and Adam Freitas.

The King Of The West Sprint Cars alone are enough to get racing fans excited about being at Petaluma. Add the IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks and Dwarf Cars to the equation, and this will be a show you won't want to miss. For further information, go to

Taco Bravo Sprint Cars Return To Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...Racing returns to the Ocean Speedway quarter-mile clay oval this Friday night. After the one-week break for Memorial Day Weekend, the Ocean Sprints, presented by Taco Bravo, will headline a show that will also include the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and South Bay Dwarf Cars.

Five races into the season, the Taco Bravo Sprint Car championship race is starting to take shape. Jeremy Chisum is the only driver with all five Top 10 finishes so far along with two Top 5 efforts. He is still looking for his first win, while his closest challenger, Kurt Nelson has a win to his credit. At the moment, Chisum lead Nelson by 25 points. James Ringo, the only other driver with two Top 5 finishes, is just three points behind Nelson in a closer battle for second. Last season's runner-up, Koen Shaw, and Jason Chisum are both within 44 points of the lead.

The two drivers doing quite a bit of winning in recent seasons are three-time reigning champion Brad Furr and 2015 title winner Justin Sanders. Sanders has one win to his credit and is ninth in the standings as neither of these drivers are competing for points. Bud Kaeding has made three visits and won a pair of races behind the wheel of his father's famed #69 car. Fourth-generation racer Chase Johnson is the other winner.

Given the way things are looking in this class this year, now is a golden opportunity for some drivers to step up and claim their first-ever wins. Among the drivers to watch for this week include Jake Andreotti, Jayson Bright, Richard Fajardo, Kyler Shaw and reigning Civil War champion Cole Macedo.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds has a close battle at the top between Austin Williams and one-time winner Adriane Frost. Williams used his second Top 5 finish of the season last time out to gain a three point advantage over the two-time Four Banger champion Frost. Newcomer Max Baggett is now third in the standings, four ahead of Charlie Hunter and five in front of Jarrod Mounce, who got his first win in the Bill Egleston Memorial race. Some of the drivers to watch for this week include rookie Kelly Campanile, Randy Miller, Justin McPherson, Steven Allee and John Ferro. Plus, you never know when State championship contenders Guy Ahlwardt or Keith Brown Jr might make an appearance.

Though Rob Gallaher is off to an impressive start and leads the Hobby Stock point battle, the two-time champion knows it's too early to start picking the spot on the mantle for the championship trophy. Gallaher has picked up a pair of wins with all Top 5 finishes in the four races held so far. He lead his father Joe Gallaher by 18 points. Joe is still looking for his first win of the year as two-time winner JC Elrod is the only other driver with a feature victory so far.

Joe Gallaher has past division champion Wally Kennedy just six points behind him in a closer race for second. Wally is looking for his first win, and other drivers hot on the trail of victory include DJ Keldsen, Bobby Huckaby Sr, Tony Oliveira, Quentin Harris and Nick Triolo. Johnson and Huckaby are also running closely in the battle for third. Johnson trails Kennedy by 14 points as Huckaby is 18 points back.

Last season, the Four Banger division had the closest championship battle at the speedway. It's no surprise to see that trend continuing again this year as the Beardsley family continues to battle for supremacy. Reigning champion Kate Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley are tied for the lead with 2017 champion Bill Beardsley 24 points back. Kate and Nicole are the only drivers with all Top 5 efforts in their five starts, though both are looking for their first wins of the season.

Bill Beardsley is only 18 points ahead of one-time winner Ryan McClelland and 28 in front of two-time winner Dakota Keldsen, who continues to pilot the Lloyd Keldsen Special. McClelland had an apparent victory last time out taken away from him in post-race tech. John Grilli is only a point behind Keldsen and accounts for the other victory so far. Other drivers to watch for this week include DJ Harrington, Chuck Kessinger, Tony Gullo and Luke Babcock.

Although Gene "Punky" Pires is the reigning South Bay Dwarf Car champion, the star of the early portion of the season is past champion Mark Biscardi. Biscardi opened the season with a win ahead of multi-time champion Terre Rottweiler and Pires. He also won the other race ahead of Ryan Amlen and Eric Weisler. Chances are, we'll see these five drivers and other hard chargers, such as Barry Waddell, Eddy Claessen, Keith Costas and Dan Zuger.

The Sprint Car championship race is an intriguing one as new drivers emerge in the battle, and the chances of getting another first-time winner have never been better. With IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and Dwarf Cars also in the mix, Friday night at Watsonville will be the place to be. For further information, go to

Dwarf Cars, Hardtops Come To Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...Orland Raceway fans will be seeing a couple of special appearances this Saturday night. The NorCal Dwarf Car Association will be making their only visit of the season to the 1/5 mile dirt oval. The California Hardtops make their second of three scheduled visits. Also in action will be the regular Pure Stock, Mini Truck and Micro divisions.

It's been a few years since the Dwarf Cars have been at Orland Raceway. The NorCal Dwarf Car Association is the longest-running Dwarf Car group in the state. They tend to race mainly in Marysville, Placerville and Chico, but there's always been inquiries about the possibility of them coming to Orland. A date was finally secured for this Saturday night.

The group has fielded some of the biggest car counts of any Dwarf Car organization on the West Coast. The cars can be described as a scaled-down version of a Hardtop, but with 1200cc engines. The group has a reputation of having some of the best Dwarf Car racers around, and frequently it's a NorCal driver winning the bigger national events held at various venues throughout the year.

In three races, there have been three different winners. Most recently, Jeremy Blackshere was the winner in Marysville, and other wins have been earned by long time Dwarf Car competitor Spanky Grenert and Danny Wagner. Grenert is the only driver with three Top 3 finishes so far, while Ryan Winter has a pair of seconds. There are some good drivers in the group, including Ben Wiesz, Josh Wiesz, Mike Reeder, Kevin Bender and Buddy Olschowka.

The California Hardtop Association has proven to be very popular with the Orland fans. Last time out, it was Ron Ruiz driving his old Coup to a win ahead of local standout Mario Romano and Joe Hopp. These three are anticipated along with Ken Clifford, Joe Shenefield and Larry Wells. The most recent winners in Placerville were Bay Area competitors Dave Mackey and Ken Retzloff, and it's possible both will be here this week as well. The mixture of old Chevy and Ford Coups and Sedans from the 1930s and 1940s are a nice glimpse into the glory days when Hardtops ruled the speedways in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Pure Stock championship battle continues between Keith Ross and Phil Spencer. Both drivers are feature winners this year, but Wes Smock returned last time and picked up an impressive victory. Smock was a regular at Orland Raceway in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and he's just as fast now as he was then. Steve Martin continues to be in the championship hunt, and other drivers to watch for this week include John Camper, Jason Matlock and reigning champion Paul Stephens.

The Mini Truck division has been very competitive this year as Zack Webster, Kalvin Kvalvik and 2016 champ Dan Webster have picked up wins this season. Unfortunately, Zack Webster gave the people a little bit too much excitement a few weeks ago when he flipped his truck off of the second turn and into the pits. Fortunately he was not hurt, but he missed the most recent race. The drivers have been stepping things up a little bit, and drivers like William Fogle, Dan Libbee,  James Woodell, Beau Chandler and Justin Vance are all in the hunt for wins this season.

It's not often that the 600 and 250 Micro classes run on the same night, but that's the case this week. The 250s seem to be getting just a little bit better support this year as reigning champion Pax Gonzalez, Alex Fowler and Mike McCarthy run at the front of the pack in the championship chase. Past champion Jess Garland and Lester Elsey are other noteworthy competitors. The 600 Micro class is led by young gun Cody Gray, Jessica McManus and past champion Jeromie Chrismon.

Orland Raceway has been offering the fans a nice variety of different divisions this year, and Saturday night will be a chance to see some classes of cars that you don't get to see very often. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook Page.

Foulger, Champlin Win Second Merced Speedway Main Events

Merced, CA...May 25...Troy Foulger notched his second 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event victory Saturday night at Merced Speedway. Foulger is the point leader, and he became the first two-time winner of the season. The IMCA invert put Foulger back in 10th starting in the Bill Bowers owned Modified. He had Antioch Speedway champion Nick DeCarlo starting right behind him in the lineup, and the two drivers steadily worked their way to the front of the pack to challenge leader DJ Shannon, who was going for his second win. Foulger would make the winning pass and go on to the impressive victory. Shannon held on for second, followed by DeCarlo, Ryan Porter, Randy Brown, Ramie Stone, Anthony Giuliani, Josh Combs, Derek Nance and Jeff Streeter. There were three 10 lap heat races, and wins were recorded by Brown, Foulger and Shannon. Combs started last in the B Main and won ahead of Bob Williamson, Dylan Shriner and Monty Tomlinson.

Grant Champlin won the 20 lap IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Car Main Event. Champlin also won the group's first visit of the season back in April. Champlin started back in eighth and moved quickly through the field to challenge Michael Pombo and Rob Solomon. Once he got around the duo, Champlin went on to win ahead of Kyle Rasmussen. Solomon settled for third, followed by Pombo, Brendan Warmerdam, Jacob Pacheco, Brooklyn Holland, Rick Bray, Brandon Burd and Mauro Simone. Simone's race ended in a late crash into the fence. Holland had to make repairs following her flip in the first heat race, which was won by Rasmussen. Solomon won the other 10 lap heat.

Tim Crews remained perfect with his third 20 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event win. Crews started in the third row and battled his way to the front of the pack with Logan Clay, who was looking for his first win of the season. However, Clay settled for second behind the flying Crews. Kaylin Lopez looked good with a third place finish, followed by Ian Shearer, Jeremiah Enriquez, Kennzzie Brown, Riley Jeppesen and Carson Guthrie. Jeppesen won the eight lap heat race.

Reigning Valley Sportsman champion Jerry Cecil won his second 15 lap Main Event. Cecil started on the front row and battled Eric Seely for the 1-2 finish. Point leader Rick Elliott finished third ahead of heat race winner Chris Corder.

After learning that Lemoore Raceway had to cancel early in the week due to the rain, Merced Speedway General Manager Doug Lockwood took a poll on Wednesday to determine whether there was enough driver interest to add the Micro Sprint division to Saturday's show. He asked for a minimum of ten commitments for the Winged and Wingless Micro divisions to get races, and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that both groups were added to the show. Lockwood is interested in having more visits from both groups in the future, and the support shown on this occasion proves that racers want to run on the quarter-mile clay oval.

TJ Smith won the Wingless 600 Micro Main Event from his third starting position.  Delta Speedway championship contender Brandon Carey held off Tyler Hester for the second place finish. Brody Fuson, who is a championship contender at Lemoore Raceway, finished fourth, followed by Cameron Paul, Harlee Aguilera, Kyle Grissom, Justin Adiego, Ronnie Evans and Chris Silva. Gray and Watsonville Sprint Car racer Koen Shaw were the two eight lap heat race winners.

Jake Andreotti picked up the win in the 20 lap Super 600 Micro Sprint Main Event. Andreotti is a Sprint Car competitor at Ocean Speedway and currently is sixth in the point standings. Andreotti started on the pole and held off Cody Key for the win. Cody Christensen finished third, followed by Jake Hagopian, Koen Shaw, Dayna Hill, Keith Day Jr, Tyler Hester, Garrett Williams and Ronnie Evans. Hagopian and Brody Fuson were the eight lap heat race winners.

The speedway will be dark this Saturday night, but they return for their annual Merced County Fair race on June 5th. IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds will be competing that night. For further information, go to

IMCA Modifieds And Sport Modifieds To Run 
During Merced County Fair

Merced, CA...The IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds will get to race in front of the Merced County Fair crowd on Wednesday, June 5th. This continues a long tradition in which the speedway gets to be part of entertaining the fairgoers every year. With the quarter-mile clay oval in great shape these days, it's going to be an entertaining show.

The IMCA Modifieds are in the midst of a very exciting season. We are five races in, and the last program saw the first two-time winner in Troy Foulger. Foulger and car owner Billy Bowers decided to team up this season to make a run at the Merced honors, knowing that the competition level would be very high. The team has won some big events In recent years and is all about testing themselves against the best competition out there. Foulger outran DJ Shannon to win the most recent race.

The standings are still very close with Foulger leading two-time Merced champion Randy Brown by just nine points. Foulger is the only driver with all Top 5 finishes so far, while second-ranked Brown and third-ranked Ryan Porter have four each. Brown has a win, but Porter, who trails Foulger by 13 points, is still looking for his first victory of the season. Shannon is trying to make up for a couple of bad races. Despite a win and his recent second, he is 29 points out of the lead in fourth and three ahead of four-time Merced champion Ramie Stone.

After cousin Paul Stone skipped the most recent event, Ramie Stone moved into fifth in the standings. He's still not running as strong as hoped for and in search of his first win of the season. Perhaps it could happen at the fair race? Other drivers to watch for this week include Jesse James Burks, Ricky Thatcher, Anthony Giuliani and longtime Merced racer Bob Williamson.

The IMCA Sport Modified competitors have had just about enough of the rain outs. We are now in the month of June, and they have only managed to hold two of their scheduled six events this year. Both races came on the weekend of the Malicious Monster Truck Tour event with wins being recorded by Kelly Wilkinson and recent Marysville winner Andrew Peckham.

Nick Tucker has used his two Top 5 finishes to maintain a one point lead over the tied Wilkinson and Fred Ryland. It's unknown whether Ryland is chasing points this year, but the 2016 champion is a threat to win it again if he does. His wife, Patti Ryland, is just four points out of the lead, while perennial title contender Bruce "Bubba" Nelson is seven points back. These five drivers always put on a show, and other racers to watch for Include Tanner Thomas, Tim Elias, Danny Roe and Paul Espino. State championship contenders Guy Ahlwardt and Keith Brown Jr are also anticipated for this event.

The Wednesday fair race is also a tune-up for the big event coming on June 15th. This will be the second annual Ed Parker Memorial race for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. Extra money will be on the line for that show. For further information, go to

Daly Doubles At Santa Maria Raceway

Santa Maria, CA...May 25... Clay Daly scored the victory in the 25 lap Western Pro Stock Main Event at Santa Maria Raceway. This was the first night of the annual two-day Spring Nationals, but the Sunday portion was rained out. Earlier in the evening, Daly also picked up the win in the 25 lap IMCA Modified feature. In the Pro Stock race, Daly made a last-lap pass on Dave King Jr to win the race. The two wins were his 99th and 100th career victories.

Billy Simkins set the early pace in the Pro Stock feature ahead of King and Wayne Coffman. Justin Crockett took the third position from Coffman on a lap 11 restart. Daly settled into fifth on lap six and grabbed the fourth position from Coffman on lap 13. On lap 17, Daly made a big move around both Crockett and Simkins for second. King looked to be headed for the win when a yellow flag waved with one lap to go. Daly made his big move on the restart and brought it home to a well-earned victory. King settled for second, followed by Crockett, Ryan Smith, Billy Simkins, Frank Nyback, Coffman, Brady Bell, Chris Clinton and Tim Randolph.

Crockett was the fastest qualifier of 15 competitors with a lap of 16.698, beating the 16.837 of Daly. There were two eight lap heat races, and Simkins outran Crockett to win the first one. The second heat victory went to Ryan Smith in front of Daly.

Clay Daly won the 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event. Ventura star Trevor Fitzgibbon set the early pace ahead of Daly, but Fitzgibbon saw his race come to an end for a lap nine yellow flag. Daly led Bakersfield champion Brad Pounds and Austin Burke on the restart. However, Burke surrendered third to Ethan Dotson on a lap 13 restart. Daly began to pull away to about a half straightaway advantage, leaving the battle for second. Dotson slipped past Pounds for the second spot on lap 23 to finish there. Pounds settled for third, followed by Austin Burke, Ryan Daves, Chris Crompe, Clint Reichenbach, Jerry Flippo, Cody Burke and Troy Morris III. Eight lap heat race wins went to Drake, Daily and Dotson.

Multi-time Santa Maria champion Tom Grzincic went flag-to-flag to win the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Grzincic had a front row start and raced into the early lead ahead of Pat Fausel and Matt McEwan. The Top 3 ran in that order until past Watsonville champion Billy Nelson gained third on lap 13. The standings were shaken up on lap 18 as Grzincic led Nicholas Johnson and Nelson back to the yellow flag. Grzincic led the restart and the final two laps for the satisfying win. Johnson finished second, followed by Nelson, Scotty Preast, Fausel, McEwen, Sean Martin Sr, Tyler Bannister, Justin Gonzalez and Jerry Flippo. There were four eight lap heat races with wins going to Flippo, Preast, Taelor Janes and Fausel

Jonathan Henry won the 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event. Richie Abbott led for two laps before Henry made his move into the lead. Henry had built nearly a straightaway advantage over Abbott when a yellow flag waved on lap 15. On the restart, Jonathan Conley took second from Abbott and took up pursuit of Henry for the final laps. However, Henry again pulled away for the victory, followed by Jonathan Conley. Brandon Wiley was fifth when the yellow flag waved for the final time on lap 15. He took over fourth on the restart and made a last lap pass on Tommy Velazquez to gain a third place finish. Velasquez settled for fourth, followed by Nick Velasquez, Cody Cowan, Trent Morley, Tom Morley, Brian Barnhill and Tommy Velasquez III. The three eight lap heat race wins were earned by Jonathan Conley, Jonathan Henry and Trent Morley

Rich Denman won a thrilling 20 lap American Stock Main Event. Denman led two laps before being passed by Wayne Dotson. As Dotson led the way, Denman stayed close behind him. James Coots was an early third, but he surrendered the position to Justin Jackson on lap five. The only yellow flag of the race flew on lap nine, and Dotson continued to lead Denman and Jackson on the restart. Denman continued to keep the pressure on Dotson until making his winning move on the final lap to steal the victory. Dotson settled for second, followed by Jackson, Gary Rayburn Jr, Brock Crawford, Coots, Jimmy Salawa, Troy Thomas Jr, Cody Sly and Steven Amick. Rayburn and Denman won their respective eight lap heat races.

Racing returns on June 15th with the annual Ron Otto Memorial race. The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars will headline the show along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, American Stocks, Mini Stocks and NMRA TQ Midgets. For further information, go to

DJ Netto Wins Jimmy Sills Classic At The Stockton Dirt Track

Stockton, CA...May 25...DJ Netto won the Jimmy Sills Classic Saturday night at the Stockton Dirt Track. Netto took the lead from Shane Golobic on a lap 35 restart and brought it home to a $3,000 victory aboard the Netto Ag #88n Sprinter.

Netto outran Golobic to win the Trophy Dash, putting the two on the front row for the feature. With the outside front row start, Golobic charged into the lead at the waving of the green flag ahead of Netto and Kalib Henry. Tony Gualda took third from Henry on a lap seven restart, and there was a red flag on lap 10, ending the race for Gualda and Jake Haulot. Golobic continued to lead Netto on the restart as Henry regained third. Golobic led Netto through another restart on lap 16, but a final yellow flag on lap 34 changed everything. Netto would charge by Golobic for the lead on the lap 35 restart with Henry following into second. Netto was the happy winner ahead of Henry, Golobic, Willie Croft, Kyle Offill, Mitchell Moles, Cole Macedo, Blake Carrick, Tanner Carrick and Jesse Love.

The 18 competitors each ran two eight lap qualifying heat races. It was Croft outrunning Lucas Ashe to win the first heat, while Golobic picked up the second heat victory ahead of Offill. The third heat win went to Croft ahead of Gualda, and Netto picked up the final heat win over Henry. The six lap Trophy Dash win went to Netto ahead of Golobic.

Shane Golobic won the 20 lap BCRA/POWRi Midget Main Event. Golobic had the lead from the start ahead of reigning USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car champion Austin Liggett. Only one yellow flag slowed the race, and Golobic won by about half a straightaway ahead of Liggett, Michael Faccinto, Chase Johnson, Bo Lemire, Robert Carson and Mark Maliepaard. Marvin Mitchell was a feature scratch. The drivers got to run two heat races, and Golobic outran Liggett to win the first heat. Golobic then beat Faccinto to win the other eight lap race, making this a clean sweep effort.

The next race on the dirt track will happen during the San Joaquin County Fair on Friday, June 14th. B Modifieds will be back In action along with the Bombers and Basically 4 Cylinder cars. Open wheel racing returns on June 22nd with the NARC/King Of The West Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series and Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints. For further information, go to

RaveSaver Sprints, Mini Stocks Highlight Saturday Night 
Fair Racing At Keller Speedway

Hanford, CA...Drivers are gearing up for some racing at the Kings Fair in Hanford this Saturday night. Keller Auto Speedway will be featuring the IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars and the Central Valley Mini Stocks as part of an exciting three division lineup.

The Sprint Car and Stock Car classes have helped IMCA expand their brand into California, and the Hanford track was the first place to feature them both. On any given week, the IMCA RaceSaver Sprints will bring anywhere from a dozen to 20 race cars, and they have been putting on some exciting shows. The division has made visits to several different venues in the area, and most recently Grant Champlin picked up his second win in their visit to Merced.

Pretty Brooklyn Holland took a tumble in her heat race at Merced last week, but the crew got her back out on the track, where she picked up a Top 10 finish. In Hanford, Holland has been the woman to beat. She has two wins in four starts, and the Fresno leadfoot holds a two point lead over Champlin in the track championship battle. Champlin is the only driver with four Top 5 finishes so far, but he's hoping to repeat his Merced luck at his home track.

The Pombo's are one of the more respected racing families, and it's Michael Pombo carrying on the tradition. Michael has done well so far with two Top 5 finishes to rank third in the standings, seven behind Holland. One-time winner Kyle Rasmussen is just a point behind Pombo as the battle is close at the front. Other drivers to watch for this weekend include Brandon Emmett, Lance Jackson, Mauro Simone and Mike Schott. Simone may have a harder time getting ready for the show after a crash into the fence at Merced ended his race early.

The House Of JuJu Central Valley Mini Stock championship race has managed to get two races in the books so far. Jason Cook won their Hanford visit ahead of series regulars Dan Myrick, Randy Brown and Brian Blank. All four of these drivers are anticipated this Saturday. Darren Wilson won the opener at Lemoore ahead of Shawn DePriest and Blank. Unfortunately, the race they had scheduled there two weeks ago was rained out.

The drivers are competing for $5,000 in point fund money and a $1,000 championship. This means there should be a big field of cars in Hanford for the show. Last time they were in town, they had 24 competitors in an action packed race. Other drivers to watch for this week include reigning series champion Greg Baromian, 2017 title winner Danny Myrick, Randy Brown, Brent Myrick and Jeff Durant.

The IMCA Stock Cars may race at other venues, but the drivers enjoy coming to Hanford. Ron Hurt and Troy Patee have been two of the bigger stars and champions in recent years, and Brock Hamilton is the reigning track champion. Last time out, it was Chad Johnson out running Cody Johnson for a Bakersfield racer 1-2 finish. All five of these drivers are anticipated this week, and others to watch for include Larry Thompson, Preston Martin and Renn Bane.

The Keller Auto Speedway lineup should entertain the fair goers with some top notch racing. For further information, go to

Merced Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
IMCA Modifieds
Troy Foulger
D.J. Shannon
Nick DeCarlo
Ryan Porter
Randy Brown
Ramie Stone
Anthony Giuliani
Josh Combs
Ryan Larimer
Derek Nance
Dylan Schriner
Jeff Streeter
Bob Williamson
Bill Vieselmeyer
Ray Mayer
Mitch Enos
Monty Tomlinson
Jesse Burks

B Main
Josh Combs
Bob Williamson
Dylan Schriner
Monty Tomlinson
Ray Mayer
Bill Vieselmeyer
Bryant Desaire
Ricky Thatcher
John Osgood III
Garrett Williams
Justin Hart

Valley Sportsman
Jerry Cecil
Eric Seely
Rick Elliott
Chris Corder

IMCA 305 RaceSaver Sprint Cars
Grant Champlin
Kyle Rasmussen
Rob Soloman
Michael Pombo
Brendan Warmerdam
Jacob Pacheco
Brooklyn Holland
Rick Bray
Brandon Burd
Mauro Simone
Gordon Rodgers
Lance Jackson
Connor Danell
Cole Danell
Jake Baines
Phil Heynen

California Sharp Mini Late Models
Tim Crews
Logan Clay
Kaylin Lopez
Ian Shearer
Jeremiah Enriquez
Kennzzie Brown
Riley Jeppesen
Carson Guthrie

Wingless Micro Sprints
TJ Smith
Brandon Carey
Tyler Hester
Brody Fuson
Cameron Paul
Harlee Aguilera
Kyle Grissom
Justin Adiego
Ronnie Evans
Chris Silva
Ron Leonardini
Keith Nance
Koen Shaw
Cody Gray
Chuck Peevyhouse
Brandon Shaw

Micro Sprints Winged
Jake Andreotti
Cody Key
Cody Christensen
Jake Hagopian
Koen Shaw
Dayna Hill
Keith Day Jr
Tyler Hester
Garrett Williams
Ronnie Evans
Keith Nance
Brody Fuson

Bakersfield Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Michael Johnson
Garrett Jernagan
Chris McKellar
Brylon Holder
Gary Dutton
Guy Ahlwardt
Fred Ryland
Cale Kanke
Gavyn Manning
Matthew Mayo Jr
Kyle Wood
Patti Ryland
Tyler Blankenship
Jason Nation
Keith Brown Jr
Kevin Johnson
Robby Claborn
Jason Pugh
Daniel West
Brian Baker DNS

IMCA Stock Cars
Cody Johnson
Chad Johnson
Troy Patee
Jayden Schweitzer
Larry Thompson Jr
Preston Martin DNS

Mod Lites
JD Brown
Kaden Cochrun
Anthony Balcazar
Jeff Thompson
Jakob Carey
Deven Pearson
Candi Varney
Tristan Kanthack
Kenny Cochrun
Roy Maynard Jr
Tim Varney
Daniel West DNS

Mini Stocks
David Wolford Jr
Brandon Wolford
Clint Duncan
Mason Conway
Clinton Massey
Eric Loya Sr
Laren Meyers
Gary Anderson
Brian Williford
Parker Cherry
David Waller
Gene Glover DQ
David Wolford Sr DQ
Sherry Duncan DNS

Perris Auto Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
CRA/USAC Sprint Cars
Results are not official
1     #19 Hunter Scherenberg
2     #34AZ Jake Swanson
3     #10 Richard VanderWeerd
4     #37 Matt Mitchell
5     #51 RJ Johnson
6     #91R Brody Roa
7     #42 Danny Faria
8     #4G Chris Gansen
9     #28M Matt McCarthy
10     #92 Austin Williams
11     #4 Damon Gardner
12     #88 Jace VanderWeerd
13     #12 Stevie Sussex
14     #16 Mike Martin
15     #98 Verne Sweeney
16     #44 Cody Williams    
17     #21 AJ Bender
18     #90S Matt Stewart
19     #39 Jeff Dyer    
20     #12B Joel Rayborne    
21     #51T Eddy Tayfoya    
22     #52V Trent Williams    

B Main
Results are not official
1     #21 AJ Bender    
2     #90S Matt Stewart
3     #5X Tom Malcolm
4     #88 Jace VanderWeerd
5     #12 Stevie Sussex
6     #28M Matt McCarthy
7     #4G Chris Gansen
8     #51T Eddy Tayfora
9     #16 Mike Martin
10     #12B Joel Rayborne
11     #39 Jeff Dyer
12     #5 Blade Hildebrand        
13     #90 Randy Waitman

Santa Maria Raceway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
Sprint Nationals
IMCA Modifieds
Results are not official
1     #96A Clay Daly
2     #C9 Ethan Dotson
3     #15B Brad Pounds
4     #25 Austin Burke
5     #22D Ryan Daves
6     #7 Chris Crompe
7     #7c Clint Reichenbach
8     #13 Jerry Flippo
9     #20 Cody Burke
10     #07DEX Troy Morris III
11     #28 Trevor Fitz
12     #22M Mitch Macaedo
13     #25J Danny Cavanagh
14     #84X Jeff Elrod
15     #38T Dylan Thornton
16     #111 Logan Drake
17     #07X Troy Morris Jr

Western Pro Stocks
Results are not official
1     #11M Clay Daly    
2     #43K Dave King Jr
3     #21JT Justin Crockett
4     #250 Ryan Smith
5     #68S Billy Simkins
6     #5N Frank Nyback
7     #C5 Wayne Coffman
8     #54 Brady Bell
9     #87 Chris Clinton
10     #11x Tim Randolph    
11     #22 Paul Miller    
12     #4 Jerry Stewart
13     #31T Tom Smith    
14     #13 Jerry Flippo        
15     #3D Chris Smith    

Hobby Stocks
Results are not official
1     #8 Tom Grzincic        
2     #1n Nicholas Johnson
3     #11 Billy Nelson
4     #91 Scotty Preast
5     #19 Pat Fausel
6     #87 Matt McEwan
7     #5 Sean Martin Sr
8     #52 Tyler Bannister
9     #0 Justin Gonzalez
10     #52x Jerry Flippo
11     #31 Alyssa Smith
12     #3 Taelor Janes
13     #18A Aaron Bruce
14     #77 Chris Anderson
15     #5M Zack Martin
16     #74 Wayne Dotson    
17     #84 Hailey Wyand
18     #45 Greg Baker        
19     #51 Mike Keebler        
20     #7 Sheldon Bailey        
21     #44 Austin Van Hoff
22     #48x Austin Manzella    
23     #91x Michael Scruggs    
24     #5X Joe Baker        
25     #37 Dale Frye
26     #2 Kevin Irwin

Dwarf Cars
Results are not official
1     #63x Jonathan Henry    
2     #69 Jonathan Conley
3     #63xx Brandon Wylie
4     #14 Tommy Velasquez
5     #41 Nick Velasquez
6     #91 Kody Cowan
7     #88 Jeff Brink
8     #48 Trent Morley
9     #18 Tom Morley
10     #6B Brian Barnhill
11     #4x Thomas Velasquez
12     #4 Mitch Caldwell
13     #1xxx Richie Abbott    
14     #93 Jason Horton
15     #92N Jessica Swanson
16     #19K Kobe Kerns    
17     #2 Tony Margott
18     #28 Tony Pellegrino    
19     #00B Joe Barkett        
20     #45 Kory Cowan
21     #8 Danny Valdez

American Stocks
Results are not official
1     #114 Rich Denman        
2     #174 Wayne Dotson
3     #4J Justin Jackson
4     #11 Gary Rayburn Jr
5     #47 Brock Crawford
6     #38cc James Coots
7     #37 Jimmy Satlawa
8     #58T Troy Thomas Jr
9     #25 Cody Sly
10     #99 Steven Amick
11     #42 Kevin Pritchard    
12     #49c Colby Ward
13     #73 Robert Guess
14     #51 Nicholas Verbryke
15     #74 Miranda Scott        
16     #16 Ed Wyand        

Stockton Dirt Track Unofficial Race Results May 25
Jimmy Sills Classic
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
D.J. Netto
Kalib Henry
Shane Golobic
Willie Croft
Kyle Offill
Mitchel Moles
Cole Macedo
Blake Carrick
Tanner Carrick
Jesse Love
Ben Worth
Lucas Ashe
Andy Forsberg
Tony Gualda
Jake Haulot
Zane Blanchard

BCRA/POWRi Midgets
Shane Golobic
Austin Liggett
Michael Faccinto
Chase Johnson
Beau Lemire
Robert Carson
Mark Maliepaard
Marvin Mitchell DNS

Madera Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
Race #4 MAVTV
Nut Up Pro Late Models
Eric Holmes
Blaine Rocha
Dylan Zampa
Matt Erickson
Austin Herzog
Tanner Reif
Ross Strmiska
Ryan Hart
Eric Nascimento
Rick Thompson
Toni Breindenger
Jason Aguirre
Kyle Keller
Carlos Vieira
Howard Holden
Tim Furin
Joey Iest
Tim Skoglund
Erik Woods
Kolby Juarez
Glen Cook
Racin Vernon
Tyler Herzog

Jr Late Models
Tanner Reif
Tyler Reif
Joey Iest
Seth Wise
Kabe McClenny
Jake Bollman
Jay Juleson
Calvin Hegje
Kercie Jung
Lilly Mead
Kale McClenny
Robbie Kennealy
Brandon Connor
Jadan Walbridge
Olivia Manke
Kasey Kleyn

Ryan Reynolds
Kyle Labrie
John McCullum Jr
Bert Stephens
Rian Bowman
Patrick Geiger
Shaun Reynolds
Dennis Brannon

Hank Hall
Riley Massey
Nathaniel Edwards
Dylan Baptista
Ethan Nascimento
Trenton Eurto
Jordy Holbart
Aiden Phillips
Joey Kennealy 

Toyota Sedans
Sheldon Cooper
Jason Lawton
Damien Leininger
Greg Tyler
Andrew Parr
J.J Brandsen DNS

Irwindale Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 25, 2019
Night Of Destruction
Late Models/Spec Trucks
Kenny Smith
Jace Jones
Lucas McNeil
Andy Partridge
Todd Conrad
Dennis Arena
Troy Andersen
Andrew Porter
L.J. Billings
Jacob McNeil
Jagger Jones

Rodney Argo
Dewitt Jones
Bobby Ozman
Robert Rice
Brad Stellman
Bory Molina
Robert Rice Jr
Ian Rotundo
Joe Labrasciano
Joseph Bereiter
Rick Conti
James Bolinas
Mike McIntyre
Robbie Salcido
Cheryl Hyland
John La Brosciano
Joe Furlow
Grant Phillips
Todd Paperny
Austin Hoffman
Tiffany Ortega
Pete Ciulla
Kirk Kubik

Skid Plates
Robbie Salcido
Austin Lee
Wayne Lee
Mike McIntyre
Robert Rice
Cheryl Hyland
Ken Palmer
Ashley Rice
Joe Labrosciano
James Bolinas
Larry DeGregorio
John La Brosciano

Trailer Race
James Bolinas
Robert Rice
Ray Reyes
Robbie Salcido
88 ??
Cheryl Hyland
Shayla Mason
Robert "Fang" Organ
Steve Cook
Michael Avrick
Cody Pearlstein
Robert John Rice
Maida Barrios
Jason Jonasson
199 ??
Todd Paperny
Mike McIntyre
Bailey Maywald
Tom Ryan

Auto Soccer
Robert John Rice PYP
Robbie Salcido PYP
Robert Rice PYP
James Bolinas PYP
Jason Jonasson Jan's
Robert "Fang" Organ Jan's
Michael Avrick Jan's
Ray Reyes Jan's

Enduro Figure 8
Rodney Argo
Robert John Rice
James Bolinas
Robert Rice
Joe Labrosciano
Joseph Bereiter
Robbie Salcido
Cheryl Hyland
John La Brosciano
Rick Conti
Brad Stellman
Grant Phillips
Thomas Mohl
Tiffany Ortega
Austin Hoffman
Chris Voight
Dewitt Jones
Joe Furlow
Todd Paperny

Movieland Speedpark Chandler, Indiana Unofficial Race Results June 24, 2019
Cruiser/Street Stock
1. 15- Chase Estes
2. 65 - John Kercher
3. 12b - Erik Brantly
4. 8- James Dockery
5. 23H - Darrell Hutchison

Pure Stock
1. 24R - Robert Smith
2. 672- Jay Weiner
3. 12x- Brian Spinks
4. 8– James Dockery
5. 66- Jeff Christensen
6. 22- Roy Dennis
7. 21- David Sartore
8. 55- Scott Vandiver

Mini Stock
1. 50- Don Fulkerson
2. 21- Dalton Elliott
3. 5K- Jimmy Husk
4. 2- Ryan Ritchison
5. 5J- Jeremy Smith

UMP- Open Wheel Modifieds
1. 07- Dane Heilman
2. 14A- Dustin Golden
3. 33- Michael Hendrickson
4. 15- Brandon Justus
5. 188- Andy Elliott
6. 14J- BJ McCammon
7. 672- Chad Weiner
8. 78- Scott Maasberg
9. 91K- Jason Kibby
10. 22J- John Baker

The Editor's Viewpoint

I keep telling myself that I'm going to be more direct and to the point with this column. The long articles that I've been doing here take that much longer to edit. I don't want to do that this week, so I better get busy. I'm actually attempting to get an early start with a few observations that I noticed from last weekend. The rain is coming this weekend, but I'm hopeful that it won't wash out as much racing as it looks like it's going to.

The Civil War Series has a Sprint Car race at Antioch Speedway on June 1st. There was a time when this would be a big deal. This was the premiere Winged 360 Sprint Car show in California back when John Padjen organized the deal with a few promoters in 1991. It didn't take long for it to grow. When we finally had our first race at Antioch in 2000, I was the one who had the honor of getting to announce it. I remember being nervous about blowing it, and it was Ron Albright who sent me all of his notes to help get me up to speed.

I'm at a loss as to why John Soares would book this series knowing that it was in decline. The further proof came when they had the Sherm Toller Memorial at Marysville and only five drivers showed up earlier this year. Marysville has had some very bad luck with weather. Twice they got rained out when everybody was there and ready to go. On this occasion, there were gloomy skies, there had been rain and yet they were able to race. Did that keep people away? Probably.

In any event, it's obvious that nobody is really pursuing points. Furthermore, there aren't too many promoters that want to work with John Prentice and book a date. He only had a five race season scheduled for this year, and one of those dates happened to be at Antioch. It's interesting that John took the Civil War date and dropped the potentially bigger All Star Series Modified races.

I know John was irked about the fact that Prentice took the All Star Series name for that particular deal as Soares had been using it. I recall back in 2015 when Prentice made the announcement on Facebook. I was in the office with John, and he wasn't pleased about it. But what's interesting is when he had a discussion with Prentice about that name prior to 2017, Prentice agreed to change it if John would work with him. It looked like they had a deal, but John pulled out. There's a trend here. I'm not bashing as these two have had issues in the past, but Prentice did change the name for John. When John pulled out, Prentice returned it to the All Star Series brand. So, being unhappy about the name as it is now is kind of pointless.

One can only work with somebody else when they want to work with you. If it's a one-way street, all that's going to happen is you're going to get run over. Given the frosty relationship between the two, I wasn't surprised that Soares was going to drop the All Star Series races that were originally booked by Mikey Slaney and Jeremy Prince. I was, however, surprised that he would take a Civil War race when even last year you could see that nobody was really running for it.

I'm saddened that the Civil War Series appears to be fading. The creation of the Sprint Car Challenge Tour and more lucrative prize money in 2017 was the shot that may have killed it. Next year would be the 30th season for Civil War Series, and yet I don't think it will happen unless something changes. Unless a couple of promoters get involved and somehow Prentice can convince the racers to come back, it's probably over. As a person who loves tradition, I mourn the loss of this series. It only serves to remind you that just because things are going well doesn't mean they'll remain that way. Make a few missteps, and the racers will turn on you.

I have noticed AgriRacing happening at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds again. I am enamored with this concept. I will admit it. I've often thought that you don't need a big race track to put on good racing. I think Orland Raceway and Ventura Raceway are 1/5 mile ovals. I'll let Ventura speak for itself as to how awesome the show can be if you know how to configure a smaller track. I've often considered the possibility that were I ever to come into money and able to build a race track, I might go with that size for the track. It's just a thought as it's not likely to ever happen.

They've done the AgriRace in Salinas for the last four years as far as I know. This year, they had 23 entries. This track isn't even 1/8. Maybe 1/16? Not really sure, but it's small and tight. You can only start probably a dozen cars on that track, and then there's going to be rough and tumble racing. Fortunately, the racers and the fans expect that. First is liable to get dumped by second on occasion.

The other thing that makes that a possibility is the way they pay for this deal. They take the total purse, split it 50/50 with the Salinas Fair Heritage Foundation. The winner takes the other half. No money for second. So, if you're running in second place with a shot at first, and the only way for you to get the win is to take out the leader, what would you do? It's a nice little program, and I love the concept.

The Alameda County Fair has had a Rodeo Arena Figure 8 Race for the past few years. They pay the drivers pretty good money just to show up. You might win a trophy for winning the race, but I don't think there's a purse paid. Just show up money and access to the fair. This is enough to have several drivers from the Porterville area coming up to make the show for the past few years. This has gotten me thinking for a while now.

What if you were to start a Rodeo Arena Tour? Most of these arenas end up having Destruction Derbies during the fair, and as has been proven in Salinas, you can use that space to do Mini Stock racing. Actually, these are more like Hornet cars really, meaning they are more stock than a Mini Stock. You could go up and down highway 99, stopping at the fairs. Perhaps you run a six to eight race fair schedule?

Given the tight confines of the arena, if you even have eight dedicated racers willing to show up, you've got a show. Put the rules out enough, and every town you go to will have a few people willing to come in there and give it a shot. It's a nice little appetizer before the Derby, or even a show of its own. Picture cutting an X in the infield and having an oval and a Figure 8 event on the same night.

It's not that impossible to make something like this happen. Basically, you need somebody with some promotional skills to make the end roads at the various fairgrounds. Maybe you go to Los Banos, Turlock, Mariposa, Sonora, Dixon, Woodland, Angels Camp? There are lots of little fairgrounds spread throughout the state that don't have a regular racing program, and people would probably be interested in having a special show like this.

Who knows if something like this will ever happen, but I notice little shows like this popping up here and there. There is one fair down in Southern California that has a small size Figure 8. There are a couple of different places in Washington that run more of a rodeo arena style race. It could be that this trend grows in the future as a way to keep some style of motorsports happening at certain places.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Racing is an expensive habit, as any car owner will tell you. While Hornet racing may not be completely cheap, there isn't the investment in these cars that there is in the bigger cars. Just about anybody can become a race car driver for a reasonable budget, and just about anybody can make a plan to go racing a half-dozen times out of the year, even if they take their show on the road most of the time.

I suppose this is just something that comes up every year with me when I notice they've done the AgriRace or Rodeo Arena Figure 8 racing. I'd love to find a place to create a small venue somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. If there was one last thing that I could accomplish on my way out the door, it would be to help make racing happen someplace else in the Bay Area, between Contra Costa County, Alameda County or Santa Clara County. There has to be some place you could get away with sneaking something through before the naysayers get a chance to shoot you down. It's a nice dream anyways. The little track in my mind will exist there at least.

I'm sitting here on a Friday night adding a little bit extra to this column. Unfortunately, the rain is going to win again in Medford. We were watching long range forecasts calling for the rain on Saturday, and then it backed off and said we might be good. As of three days before the scheduled race, it was saying rain was coming and would hit right about the time our show was scheduled to start. It hasn't budged as of 7:30 on Friday night, and unless something changes dramatically, we will be canceling by 9 in the morning tomorrow.

Generally speaking, Mike likes to err on the side of caution and cancel early if the weather doesn't look good. In this case, he.decided that we should at least wait and see if anything breaks in the weather overnight. We do have people traveling to compete in the Street Stock show, but it's felt that as long as we're able to let them know by 9 in the morning, it should be allright. Nobody likes to cancel a race, but when bad weather strikes, you have no choice. We're just taking a wait-and-see attitude, but it's not looking like it will work out.

For me, this is very frustrating. For most of my life, when I've been at a race track, Street Stocks have been a part of the show. When my old home track Antioch Speedway sacrificed the Street Stock division in order to save the Limited Late Models, the Hobby Stock class was at least there as the heir apparent. Medford never really got behind a Street Stock division from the time the place opened, which is baffling to me. It's interesting to note that every other track in Oregon has the class except for this one.

I've voiced my frustrations and have done everything I could to light a fire under potential racers. Show us five or six cars, something to get going, and you'll get some dates. Unfortunately, it's just not there. Given the fact that we're already rotating nine divisions in the lineup now, I can see where Mike is coming from. It doesn't make a lot of sense to try to start a Street Stock class now when the track has committed to other things, such as growing the IMCA Sport Modifieds and cultivating Winged Sprint Cars and Late Models, which are two other divisions the previous management never bothered with in any serious effort.

The rotation of so many divisions makes a very key point. You need car count to keep a track going. Yes, promoters get some money out of the good numbers you might see in the pits, but fans won't come in any regular capacity if they don't see enough cars on the track. The way to keep car count up in all of your divisions is to not run them every week and rotate the classes. We might run five divisions per week, but they're usually not the same five. It's what has helped revive the program in Medford, even if we've still got more work to do. It's a heck of a lot better in 2019 than it was in 2015, right before we got here.

As I put yet a few more thoughts together on a late Monday night, Medford did cancel. In fact, none of the Oregon tracks scheduled to run on Saturday were able to do so. Three races did happen on Sunday, but those tracks also dropped plans to run on Monday as people had other plans for the holiday. Sometimes the Oregon promoters get creative, which really seemed to be the case in Cottage Grove. They had no business trying to run the Marvin Smith race in the conditions they had on Sunday, and yet they did. They actually pulled it off and had a decent show.

Being the hero is a double edge sword. They will love you when it works out. They will curse you when it fails. Dennis Gage failed twice to pull off races on gloomy Saturday nights at Marysville this year, and he didn't hesitate to cancel Sunday's Civil War race. The place was flooded, so there was just no way. When Medford cancelled, the closest neighbor to the south in Yreka opened their gates. In fact, they invited divisions that Medford was running to show up on Saturday.

Anybody could look at the forecast in Yreka and see there was no chance. They were hoping they would have a similar window to what they had the week before when they just managed to get it in before the rain. Problem was, the rain was coming earlier this time. They had over 40 cars, and I don't blame them for trying to take advantage of the situation that was made possible when Medford cancelled. Sometimes you win in these gambles, and sometimes you lose.

I hate to belabor the point, and I won't ramble on about it, but Yreka really does need to work on cultivating their own local classes. Simply calling the drivers down from Medford or making last minute invites when Medford cancels might seem like good moves, but it's like putting your finger over a hole in a bucket. You still need to build up your classes. Kevin inherited the two regular division program, so this is a situation that will take a little time to fix.

I do want to end this brief addition to the column with an observation that I didn't realize was even happening. Lakeport Speedway opened last Saturday night and had a head to head showdown with Ukiah Speedway. I knew about the board situation and everybody resigning. This meant that David Furia parted ways with Lakeport. He had been promoting the shows for the NCRA in recent years, and he took the big Upstate Bomber event with him on his way out the gate.

Ukiah did pretty good numbers for both the Bomber and Limited Modified classes. All and all, at least from a car count prospective, I'd have to say the show was a success. It was only going to be a one-day show, but Furia made it two-day event and ended up having both Upstate Bomber shows in Ukiah. However, his closest neighbor wasn't staying dark.

Considering all the turmoil in Lakeport, one may have thought it would take a little bit of time to get this thing back up and running. However, Bob and Nadine Strauss got involved. People will recall that this husband and wife duo had a successful reign as promoters of Lakeport Speedway for many years. I had speculated that maybe it would take them coming in there to right the ship, and that appears to be the case.

One might have thought that maybe they would wait to open the gates on a weekend when Ukiah wasn't running, but that didn't happen. Then again, when is the right time to open up your track when it's been negotiating rough waters? Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns. As Bob and Nadine have always been about community involvement, Lakeport Speedway and its racers were involved in the local parade that took place before the races were to happen.

I've seen the reports, and it appears as if they had a successful show. With the show going on in Ukiah, they still managed double digit car counts in both the Limited Modified and Bomber classes. It just goes to show you that the people in Lakeport want their race track and are rallying behind it. It'll still be hard work and one race at a time. However, they have a limited schedule booked, and I think they will be okay.

I like the idea that there was a working relationship between Lakeport and Ukiah, which I've always felt should be the case. You had Furia making this happen. There might be a fractured relationship between the two entities for now, but maybe that can change given some time? However, I have also come to understand something in my time in the sport, and it goes against the grand vision that so many of us have about track unity and working together.

In order for a race track to stay in business, you still have to think about your own best interests first. It sounds selfish, but if you're running a track and worrying about the other guys all the time, you're not taking care of your own business. That doesn't mean you make moves to screw over other places, but sometimes you're going to do something that might affect the other place in order to keep your own place going. If you don't run a strong program, there won't be anything there for other tracks to work with. I applaud the people at Lakeport Speedway for keeping the dream alive.

That's all for now. I almost accomplished my goal this week. I'm getting closer. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Orland Raceway, Antioch Speedway, Merced Speedway, Ventura Raceway, More

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Smock, Richards, Rodgers Win Orland Fair Time races

Orland, CA...May 17...Wes Smock won the 20 lap Pure Stock Main Event Friday night at Orland Raceway. Smock is a past Mini Stock champion at the speedway who hasn't competed in recent years. The races were part of the annual Glenn County Fair, and a big crowd was in attendance to watch the action-packed show on the 1/5 mile dirt oval.

Smock started in the second row of the Pure Stock feature behind reigning champion Paul Stephens and point leader Phil Spencer. Spencer led a pair of laps before Smock made an inside pass in Turn 4 to take the lead on lap three. Smock continued to lead as Keith Ross battled Spencer for second. Ross made an inside pass in Turn 2 of the eighth lap take second, and Spencer found himself restarting in the rear after a lap 10 tangle with Jason Matlock in Turn 2.

Smock continued to lead on the restart and over the remaining 10 laps for the impressive victory. Ross held on for second with Spencer, Stephens, Steve Martin and John Camper rounding out the Top 6. There were three 10 lap heat races, and Stephens won a good battle with Ross to win the first heat. Spencer and Smock where the other heat winners.

Tony Richards sped to his third twenty lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event victory of the season. Richards had the pole for the Main Event and charged into the lead from the drop of the green flag. Point leader Denny McNary was a race long second, but he finished a straightaway behind Richards at the checkered flag. Jeremy Langenderfer, RJ Baker, Ryan Owens and Cort Marchuk completed the Top 6. Richards and McNary won their respective 10 lap heat races.

Tyler Rodgers won a wild 20 lap B Modified Main Event. At the green flag, Rodgers raced between Jake Van Tol and Scott Savell to take the lead. Savell had second until being passed on the inside by Van Tol on lap four. Van Tol was in close pursuit of Rodgers as they worked slower traffic. Unfortunately, Savell spun in the fourth turn and collected the duo for a lap 15 yellow flag. This put Jimmy Ford into the lead for the restart, but Jason Ferguson charged ahead. Rodgers and third-place Richard Vander Ploeg got together with Vander Ploeg spinning on the front stretch as they were about to receive the white flag.

On the restart, Rodgers made a strong move on the inside behind Ford to gain second. Rodgers went low exiting Turn 4 and gained the lead as they took the white flag. As Rodgers went on to victory,
Ford beat Van Tol back to the line for second. Vander Ploeg, Savell, Ferguson and David Larabee completed the finishing order. 10 lap heat race wins went to Savell and Van Tol.

2016 Mini Truck champion Dan Webster returned and won the 20 lap Main Event. Webster led from the start with Hayfork visitor Ian Thulin enjoying a good battle with William Fogle for second during the early stages of the race. Unfortunately, Fogle and Kalvin Kvalvik tangled in Turn 2, putting them at the back of a lap eight restart. Webster continued to lead and scored the victory ahead of Thulin. Fogle rebounded for third, followed by Kvalvik and Beau Chandler. Webster and Fogle were the 10 lap heat race winners.

Reigning champion Tom Davis went flag-to-flag to win the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Barbara Crain held second for most of the race until a lap 19 restart enabled Jason Libbee to make a move for the position. Libbee took over second but could only chase Davis across the line. Crain settled for third, followed by many time Susanville champion Larry Whitebird and Bion Barr.

When racing resumes on June 1st, fans will be in for a treat as the NorCal Dwarf Car Association makes their first appearance at the speedway in years. The California Hardtops will be there along with the Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and the two Micro Sprint classes. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.

Race Results
Pure Stocks
Heat Winners (10 laps)-Paul Stephens, Phil Spencer, Wes Smock. Main Event (20 laps)-Wes Smock, Keith Ross, Phil Spencer, Paul Stephens, Steve Martin, John Camper, Jason Matlock, Maurice Merrill, James Taylor.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (10 laps)-Tony Richards, Denny McNary. Main Event (20 laps)-Tony Richards, Denny McNary, Jeremy Langenderfer, RJ Baker, Ryan Owens, Court Marchuk, Josh Jacobo NS, Cassandra Amore NS, Nathan Johnson NS.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (10 laps)-Jake Van Tol, Scott Savell. Main Event (20 laps)-Tyler Rodgers, Jimmy Ford, Jake Van Tol, Jason Ferguson, Scott Savell, Richard Vander Ploeg, David Larabee.

Mini Trucks
Heat Winners (10 laps)-James Woodell, Dan Webster. Main Event (20 laps)-Dan Webster, Ian Thulin, William Fogle, Kalvin Kvalvik, Beau Chandler, James Woodell, Justin Vance, Mike Chase, Dan Libbee.

Mini Stocks
Heat Winners (10 laps)-Tom Davis, Kevin Pendergras. Main Event (20 laps)-Tom Davis, Jason Libbee, Barbara Crain, Larry Whitebird, Bion Barr, Lori Langenderfer, John Kirkpatrick NS, Kevin Pendergras NS, Scott Camper NS.

Cody Burke Wins Bill Egleston Memorial At Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...May 17...Cody Burke scored the victory in the 25.lap IMCA Modified Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway. It was the Bill Egleston Memorial race, which honors the memory of the past Merced Speedway champion, who was killed in a crash at Perris Auto Speedway in February of 2018. The racers were competing for an increased purse, and Burke collected $2015 for his win.

Merced Speedway point leader Troy Foulger had a front row start and raced into the early lead over Austin Burke and Jim Pettit II. The lead three ran that way until fourth place Cody Burke slipped past both Pettit and Austin Burke for second on lap eight. Cody Burke quickly reeled in Foulger, and a side-by-side battle ensued. Burke passed Foulger for the lead on lap 16, but Foulger regained first a lap later. A yellow flag on lap 19 provided Cody Burke the opportunity to take the lead. When the green flag waved, Burke charge past Foulger to take over. Burke withstood one more restart to pick up the big win as Foulger settled for second. Ethan Dotson made a late pass on Pettit for third as Danny Wagner finished fifth, followed by Andy Obertello, Dylan Thornton, Austin Burke, Alex Wilson and Anthony Copeland.

There were 29 competitors, and the eight lap heat race wins were recorded by Foulger, Obertello, Austin Burke and Tim Balding. They needed a 12 lap B Main to fill out the remainder of the feature field, and Robert Marsh won that race ahead of Jeff Faulkner, Thornton and Harley Turner.

Jarrod Mounce won his first career 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event and pocketed $715 from the increased purse in the process. Mounce led from the start ahead of IMCA State point leader Guy Ahlwardt. The race had yellow flags on laps seven and 12, but each time Mounce maintained his lead over Ahlwardt. Bakersfield Speedway star Kevin Johnson slipped past Clay Daly for third on the lap 13 restart. The order remained the same to the checkered flag as Mounce was the happy winner ahead of Ahlwardt, Johnson, Daly, Austin Williams, Tanner Thomas, Robbie Claborn, Tim Elias, Keith Brown Jr and Matt Ruff. There were 21 competitors, and Mounce, Johnson and Ahlwardt won the eight lap heat races.

JC Elrod returned to action and won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. This was his first appearance since winning the opening night race, and it was worth $515 due to the increased purse for the special night. Bakersfield racer Nicholas Johnson set the early pace ahead of Quentin Harris. Elrod was in fifth on lap four, moved past Wally Kennedy for fourth a lap later and gained third from Bobby Huckaby Sr on lap seven. Elrod continued his momentum by passing Harris for second on lap eight and set his sights on Johnson. A lap 14 pass gained Elrod the lead, and the only yellow flag of the race flew moments later. Elrod maintained the lead on the restart and led the remaining laps for the impressive win. Johnson settled for second, followed by Kennedy, DJ Keldsen, Rob Gallaher, Huckaby, Joe Gallaher, TJ Etchison III, Tony Oliveira and Harris. Huckaby and Joe Gallaher were the eight lap heat race winners.

Ryan McClelland won his second 15 lap Four Banger Main Event. McClelland led at the start ahead of Dakota Keldsen and Lee Ragsdale. The lead three ran that way until Tony Gullo moved by Ragsdale to take over third on lap nine. Moments later, a caution flag waved for McClelland. Keldsen had rear end damage and headed to the pits for the officials to inspect his car. He was restored to the lead upon his return to the track and led the next three laps before his rear end finally broke, putting Ragsdale into the lead. Ragsdale led the restart, but the hard-charging McClelland passed him on the last lap to get the win. Ragsdale settled for second, followed by Kate Beardsley, Nicole Beardsley, Bill Beardsley, Keldsen, Tony Gullo, Shawn DePriest and Allen Kuykendall There were two eight lap heat races, won by McClelland and Keldsen.

Note: A late report revealed that McClelland was disqualified in post race tech, giving the win to Ragsdale.

John Hohmann won the 15 lap Police N Pursuit Main Event. He started on the front row along with Roy Iler, and the two ran first and second to the checkered flag. Hohman represents the Scotts Valley Police Department while Iler is from the San Benito Sheriff's Office. Justin Rhodes finished third ahead of Cliff Sloma, Dan Anderson, Nate Graham, Steven Fernandes, Mike Mount, Adam Rikalo and Tony Weir. Eight lap heat races were won by Iler and Hohmann.

The speedway will be dark for Memorial Day Weekend, but the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars return on May 31st along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and South Bay Dwarf Cars. For further information, go to

Sprint Cars Make Season Debut 
At Antioch Speedway Saturday Night

Antioch, CA...Finally, the Winged 360 Sprint Cars will be making their season debut as part of the five division lineup of All Star Series racing Saturday night Antioch Speedway. It's going to be a busy next few weeks for the Sprint Cars as they will be running a Civil War Series event on June 1st with another All Star Series event for the class on June 15th. Also in the lineup this Saturday night will be the A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

When last we left the Sprint Cars, Matt DeMartini was winning his first career championship ahead of previous champion Art McCarthy. The finale was quite dramatic as McCarthy led several laps after DeMartini flipped out of the event on the opening lap. Had McCarthy won the race, he might have managed to overtake DeMartini for the point lead, but his motor expired on him and ended his race as well.

McCarthy, who is a two-time champion at Antioch and Petaluma, is anticipated for this Saturday's show. Also expected to be on hand is two-time Dwarf Car champion and current A Modified title contender Danny Wagner. Wagner has landed a ride in the car owned by Dave Johnson. Other racers to watch for include Jacob Tuttle, Tim Burcher, David Dias and Burt Foland Jr. The other interesting thing about the Sprint Car show at Antioch is you never know what drivers will show up to run for the money. We've seen several drivers come to Antioch and get their first career wins in this class in the past few seasons.

The A Modified championship race is currently being led by third-generation racer Buddy Kniss. Kniss has been very consistent so far and also notched his first career feature win at the third event of the season. Most recently, Danny Wagner got the win, keeping him 20 points behind Kniss in the close battle. It's Buddy's father, Chester Kniss, who is tied with Nick DeCarlo for third in the standings. DeCarlo won the first two events of the season, but he has only run one race since. Kniss is also a feature winner this year.

Having competed in the Hobby Stock division for the past few seasons, Frank Furtato has made the move into Modifieds this season. He currently finds himself fifth in the standings after an eventful first five starts. His lead over Sean Wilson is only 21 points. Other drivers to watch for this week include Brian Pearce, past champion Kellen Chadwick, Greg Allen McElhaney and David Zeiter.

The B Modified point battle continues to be close after five races. Trevor Clymens managed to take the point lead from Cameron Swank after the most recent event. Swank had a solid effort going for the first four weeks, but he retired early from the most recent race and finished out of the running. The reigning champion Clymens is a one-time winner, but he has somebody not far behind him.

Brent Curran scored his second win in the last three races, which should move him into second in the standings. Curran had a nightmare start going for the first two weeks and had considered other options before deciding to give it another go. He may be glad that he did as he will continue his effort to join his father Brian Curran as an Antioch Speedway champion. Also very much in the championship hunt is two-time winner Tommy Fraser and the steady Kevin Brown, both of whom are ranked inside the Top 5 in the standings.

Reigning Limited Late Model champion Mark Garner got caught up in early tangles last time out and could only salvage a sixth place finish from of it. Another driver hoping to get a victory is past Street Stock title winner Todd Gomez, who placed third last time out behind the season debut of Kenny Shrader. There are some impressive rookies in the ranks this year, led by Keith Steinmetz, Tommy Clymens Jr, Dennis Gilcrease and Haley Gomez. You never know who might win this week in this very competitive field.

Reigning Hobby Stock champion Chris Sorensen continues to run well so far this season. Sorensen has two wins and has yet to finish outside the Top 3. Though he didn't win the most recent two events, he finished on the back bumper of Brad Myers and Bobby Motts Jr after their respective victories. The consistent Breanna Troen is doing well with five Top 5 finishes so far and holds down second in the standings ahead of season opener winner Josh Leach.

Making things interesting this year is the fact that several rookies have joined the field. Two of the top rookies are Will Buirch and Phillip Oreta, who are currently battling for fourth in the standings and the top rookie spot. Ken Johns and Dalton Jewel are others new to the class this year. The division continues to grow its ranks, and other racers to watch for this week include Luke Brignoli, Judy Allison Arth, Ricky Foster and John Wacht.

Rounding out the lineup this week will be the exciting Dwarf Car division. Right now, the battle is between Scott Dahlgren and David Rosa. Rosa won the most recent event to join Dahlgren and Danny Wagner on the Winner's List, but he is trailing in the standings after a disappointing second race of the season. There are some great competitors in this class, and others to watch for this week include Troy Stevenson, Devan Kammermann, Travis Dutra, Mario Marques, Jerry Doty and Travis Hensley.

This is the first race of the season to feature five divisions on the card, and that means the fans will be treated to lots of cars and lots of great racing. The Memorial Day offering at Antioch Speedway is something worth checking out. For further information, go to

Sprint Cars, Modifieds Headline Four Division 
Merced Speedway Program

Merced, CA...After last week's disappointing rainout, racing returns to the quarter-mile clay oval at Merced Speedway this Saturday night. Back for their second appearance will be the IMCA 305 RaceSaver Sprint Cars, along with the popular IMCA Modifieds. The Valley Sportsman and California Sharp Mini Late Models round out what should be an exciting program.

Last time we saw the RaceSaver Sprints, it was Grant Champlin picking up the win ahead of reigning series champion Grant Duinkerken and Kyle Rasmussen. Duinkerken is not one of the point competitors this year, but Champlin and Rasmussen are. However, there's a different name at the top of the point list after four events at Keller Auto Speedway. It's Brooklyn Holland. They call her Pretty Brooke, but they should call her pretty fast as she has won two Main Events in her four starts. Her lead in Hanford is just two ahead of Champlin and seven ahead of Michael Pombo. Rasmussen is eight points back.

IMCA's presence in the Sprint Car world is with their usual flair. They've always attempted to make divisions more economical for the racer, and the way they've in this case is with the 305 motor. It's gone over very well at Hanford and when they've visited other tracks, including Tulare, Santa Maria and Bakersfield. There could be a lineup of anywhere from a dozen to 20 racers, and other drivers to watch for this week include Brandon Emmett, Lance Jackson, Maura Simone, Mike Schott and Rob Solomon.

After four races, Troy Foulger finds himself leading the IMCA Modified championship battle, but it's anything but a comfortable lead. Foulger, who pilots the Bowers Racing Modified, is the only driver in the field with four Top 5 finishes, but that only gives him a five point advantage over two-time champion Randy Brown. Brown and multi-time champion Paul Stone are also feature winners this year. Stone won the most recent event and is only eight points out of the lead at this stage in the game.

The battle is still early, and there's lots of racing left to go. Fourth-generation competitor Ryan Porter is still looking for his first win, but he is only 10 points out of lead and 17 ahead a four-time champion Ramie Stone. DJ Shannon counts himself among the winners this year and will be looking for another victory this week. Other drivers to watch for include Jessie James Burks, Ricky Thatcher and Harley Turner.

The California Sharp Mini Late Model class is in their third season at the speedway, and nine competitors have registered points among the eight different vehicles that have competed so far. Reigning series champion Tim Crews has two victories so far and holds a 12 point advantage over Logan Clay. Only 15 points out of the lead is second-generation racer Riley Jeppesen, and he is just one point ahead of rookie Caitlyn Lopez. Kennzzie Brown has been spending her time racing Karts in recent years, and she is another of the new drivers in this class. She is only 28 points out of the lead as the championship battle looks to be between these five competitors. Other drivers to watch for this week include Rodger Guthrie, Bubba Nelson and Jeremiah Enriquez.

After three events, the Valley Sportsman division has seen three different feature winners. Most recently, it was Rick Elliott getting the win, which put him in the company of reigning champion Jerry Cecil and Chris Birdsong. Elliott actually finished second to Cecil in the standings last year and currently leads Chris Corder by 10 points in the title chase.

Corder had a few starts last year, but he purchased the Jeff Bristow 2017 championship car with the hopes of being more competitive and getting a win this season. He'll be out to make that happen this week, and other racers to watch for include two-time champion Mike Friesen, Eric Seely, Jeff West and Gary Hildebrand.

With Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds on the card, Saturday's show should be exciting. For further information, go to

Edwards, Lauer, Horton Win Ventura Raceway Main Events

Ventura, CA...May 18...Tyler Edwards won the 30 lap VRA Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. Edwards was able to gain the lead when Kyle Smith saw his run up front end with mechanical issues on lap 20.

Smith set the pace at the start ahead of Scott Farmer and Cody Majors. Majors slipped past Farmer for second on lap six, but St James gained the runner-up spot on lap 10 before a yellow flag waved for Farmer. Smith continued to lead St James and Majors on the restart, but Majors made the move into second on 16 with Edwards following into third. Smith suffered a mechanical issue on the 20th lap as Majors led at the caution flag. However, Edwards took the lead from Majors on the restart. St James gained second, but he would surrender the spot back to Majors on lap 28. Edwards led by a comfortable margin at the checkered flag, followed by Majors, St James, Rick Hendrix, Evan Jonker, Smith, Bruce Douglass, Farmer, Charlie Butcher and Ricky Lewis. Majors set the fast time of 12.224. Farmer won the first 10 lap heat race ahead of Majors, and Smith outran Douglass to win the other heat.

Ryan Lauer won the 20 lap IMCA Modified Main Event. Lauer took the lead on lap five when early leader Dennis Eckert pitted. Danny Lauer followed into second with Trevor Fitzgibbon running third. The lead trio ran closely until Danny Lauer's run came to an end for a lap 15 yellow flag. Ryan Lauer continued to lead Fitzgibbon on the restart, and they finished closely in that order. Austin Grabowski had a solid third place finish, followed by Terry Hershberger, Jack Parker, Scott Olsen, Dave Phipps, Andrew Greiman, Danny Lauer and Eckert. There were two eight lap heat races with Eckert winning the first one ahead of Danny Lauer. Kevin Hocking outran Fitzgibbon to win the other heat.

Jason Horton won the 20 lap VRA Dwarf Car Main Event. Horton led the first four laps before being passed by Tommy Velasquez III. Horton stayed closely behind him in second through a pair of yellow flags. On lap 16, Horton made the move around Velasquez to get the lead. Tim Conely passed Velasquez on lap 18 just before the final yellow flag flew. Horton led the restart and went on to the satisfying victory. Tommy Velasquez III made a last lap pass on Conley to finish second. Conley settled for third, followed by Trent Morley, Nick Velasquez, Tom Morley, Ridge Abbott, Tommy Velasquez, Ryan Parker and Danny Valdez.Tommy Velasquez III set the quickest lap of 13.528 and also won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Horton. Nick Velasquez outran Morley to win the other heat.

Bruce Douglass won the 20 lap VRA Senior Sprint Car Main Event. He charged out to lead at the start. Wally Pankratz settled into second on lap two and chased Douglass the rest of the way for a second place finish. Danny Parrish ran third until being passed by Chris Meredith on lap 14. Parrish settled for fourth ahead of Greg Andrews. Douglass set the fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 12.690. Meredith outran Pankratz to win the eight lap heat race.

Alyssa Smith won the 20 lap VRA Hobby Stock Main Event. Jeff Houghton led a lap before being passed by Ricky Lewis with Smith following closely behind. Lewis and Smith ran closely at the front of the pack with Tom Stephens Jr not far back in third. On the 13th lap, Smith finally made her winning pass around Lewis, and she pulled away to victory from there. Lewis settled for second, followed by Stephens, Ryan Changus and Houghton. Smith set the fastest time of 15.136 and then outran Stephens to win the eight lap heat race.

After a break for Memorial Day Weekend, racing resumes on June 1st with the second USAC/VRA Sprint Car Battle At The Beach event. Also competing will be the Dwarf Cars, Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprints and Hobby Stocks. For further information, go to

Pit Stops

Antioch Speedway will be expanding to a five division lineup this Saturday night as part of their Memorial Day Weekend offering. The track generally ran five divisions most of the time last season, but Promoter John M Soares adjusted it to a four division schedule for the start of the season to make sure the show could get done within the 10 pm.time frame that was agreed upon with the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds. This hasn't been a problem.

Now that the All.Star Series officials are establishing a rhythm and the program has been running smoothly, there will be five divisions of racing this Saturday night. There's also the added attraction that the two other Bay Area Race tracks, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville and Petaluma Speedway, are dark this weekend, meaning Antioch might see some different drivers coming to town this weekend.

Earlier this season, Antioch had a Winged 360 Sprint Car event scheduled, but Soares decided to remove it to allow drivers to go to the nearby Stockton Dirt Track. There was a very huge purse being offered to the racers, and as a gesture of good faith, Soares decided to let any of the local racers who wanted to head to Stockton try their luck. Though there is a race happening at Stockton again this weekend, the Winged 360 Sprint Cars remain on the schedule at Antioch. The locals are excited about getting back out there again.

Just over 10 years ago, Soares had the quarter-mile clay oval expanded a little bit in Turns 1 & 2. The reasoning behind this move was because he was hoping to attract more Sprint Car races and have bigger events, and that turned out to be the case in the years that immediately followed. Soares had a championship season for the Winged 360 Sprint Car division in 2010, won by "Cowboy" Craig Smith.

It took a few years to get everything lined up just right, and after a couple of events in 2013, the Winged Sprint Cars had enough races to crown Chris Magoon the 2014 champion. There hasn't been a repeat champion in the current five-year run of the class as Shawn Arriaga, Billy Aton, Art McCarthy and Matt DeMartini have won the championships in each season.

With experience that dates back to the old San Jose Speedway, the road to the championship generally goes through McCarthy. Art has finished no worse than third since Antioch restarted the championship effort for the Sprint Cars. In addition to his 2017 title, he also won the 2007 crown and is a two-time champion at Petaluma Speedway as well.

McCarthy struggled just a bit last season in his runner-up point effort, but he came out strong in the season finale by leading several laps before his motor gave up on him. He remains one of the drivers to beat in the Sprint Car show this weekend.

Car owner Dave Johnson has fielded competitive Winged 360 Sprint Cars out at Petaluma Speedway in recent years, but he has a good driver lined up to compete at Antioch this season. He's none other than "Captain Chaos" Danny Wagner. Wagner has driven Dwarf Cars, Mini Trucks and A Modifieds at Antioch and been victorious and all three disciplines. The Winged 360 Sprint Car may be his biggest challenge yet, but he has proven he knows how to get a car to the Winner's Circle. Wagner is also a two-time Dwarf Car champion at Antioch and currently in the battle for the A Modified title.

We were excited to see two-time Wingless Spec Sprint racer Dan Gonderman get back behind the wheel after a terrible work related accident over a year ago left him with two broken legs. Gonderman drove the Spec Sprint to a second place finish. However, in recent seasons, he has been competing in the Winged 360 Sprint Cars. We haven't heard whether Dan intends to field a car for this show, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him.

Tim Burcher was last season's top rookie in points and finished in the Top 5 in the standings. Though he has struggled at times, he's gained more confidence with each turn behind the wheel. Tim will be out to try and get better results this year. Competitors such as second-generation racer Burt Foland Jr, David Dias and 2017 "Rookie of the Year" Jacob Tuttle have been regulars in this class for the past couple of seasons, and another second-generation racer, Matt DeMartini, did a great job last season in winning two features on his way to the championship. Foland has been chasing a win for a few seasons and finally got his first Antioch victory last year as well.

You will often see drivers fresh out of the 600 Micro and Outlaw Kart ranks come to Antioch to take a shot at their first wins. Reigning USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car champion Austin Liggett, Kaleb Montgomery and Colby Johnson are three such drivers who have won their first Winged Sprint Car Main Events at Antioch Speedway in recent years, and you never know who might show up next. Also, it's possible that a few Petaluma stars may come to town as their track is dark this week.

The Wingless Spec Sprints are off this week, and last week's show was rained out. So far, nobody has been a match for Shannon Newton as he continues to pull away from Roy Fisher in the championship battle. Newton has driven the Richard Basden car to four consecutive victories, twice ahead of Fisher and once each ahead of Gonderman and Adam Teves.

Car count has been a bit down, but three drivers who have been at all events are division mainstay Rick Panfili, last year's top rookie Mackenzie Newton and rookie Jeff Scotto. We finally did get the first appearance of Alan Miranda last time out, and word is that two-time defending champion Bob Newberry is about ready to return to the action as well. That will certainly add another exciting element to the show.

While fans love their Sprint Cars, a staple at Antioch Speedway since 1990 is the A Modified division. The championship battle has taken on a different look this season as Nick DeCarlo has taken himself out of the battle and both past champion Bobby Motts Jr and Sean O'Gara have yet to race in this class this year. Third-generation racer Buddy Kniss and his father Chester Kniss have been competing this year, and Buddy finds himself leading the standings by just 20 points over Danny Wagner. Buddy scored a popular first career feature win at the third event of the season, and Wagner backed up his rich victory at Placerville with his first Antioch win the next week. It seems like the battle is on between these two drivers, and it's certainly going to be interesting to see what happens next.

Chester Kniss has not been known as somebody who's pursued points throughout his career, but he's driven several different classifications of cars, including Street Stocks, Limited Late Models, full Late Models and even Hardtops. Kniss finds himself in a tie with two-time winner Nick DeCarlo for third after five events. DeCarlo has missed a pair of races, but he's been dialing in a new car and is certainly a threat to win.

Past Top 10 Hobby Stock racer Frank Furtado currently finds himself ranked as the top rookie, just three points behind the third place battle. It's been a bit of an adventure for Frank, but he's done well so far. We've also seen the return of Greg Allen McElhaney and Sean Wilson, along with last year's top rookie in points, David Zeiter.

Two other drivers who have been showing up lately are past champion Kellen Chadwick and Brian Pearce. Pearce was a strong second in the standings at Merced Speedway last season. Chadwick wasn't necessarily chasing points last year in his limited schedule, but he still won five Main Events. He is looking for his first win of the season, and it's possible that it could happen on Saturday if he shows.

The B Modified division continues to be an interesting race at the front of the pack. Two-time reigning champion Trevor Clymens managed to move past Cameron Swank for the lead after the most recent event. Swank had all Top 5 finishes in his first four starts, but bad luck took him out of the most recent race early, allowing Clymens and two-time winner Brent Curran to assume the Top 2 positions in the standings.

Curran entered this season with high hopes of competing for the championship. Having watched his father Brian win a Modified championship some 15 years ago, it's a goal of Brent's to do the same. He started his career at Antioch by winning the Four Banger championship back in 2014, and he was also the top Hobby Stock rookie back in 2017 while ranking second in the standings.

Last season, Brent decided to gain some valuable experience on various different racing surfaces, meaning he traveled throughout California and even into Oregon, winning some races along the way. He did have one Antioch win to his credit, and he knew that should he come back to his home track full-time, he'd have a real shot at a championship.

This year couldn't have started out more disastrous for Brent as crashes took him out early in the first two races. He was even questioning whether he wanted to pursue this championship or start racing elsewhere again. However, Curran is not a quitter. He returned for the third event and promptly scored the victory. He also won the most recent race and is putting the pressure on Clymens.

Another driver not far out of the lead is two-time winner Tommy Fraser. Tommy is another racer who hasn't been afraid to go test his talent on the road, and it's made him a better driver. Though people might look at Clymens, Curran and Swank as the prime championship contenders, you shouldn't ignore Fraser as he is definitely a threat to win the title.

The competition is very tough in the B Modified division, and if you get a win, you've certainly earned it. Past Street Stock champion Todd Gomez won a pair of features two years ago in his "Rookie Of The Year" winning season, and he's getting closer to another win as his recent.third place finish behind Curran and Kenny Shrader would attest. There's also the steady Kevin Brown to consider. Kevin has had multiple Top 5 finishes and resides in the Top 5 in the standings after five events. A win might be just around the corner for Kevin.

Mark Garner parked his Limited Late Model after his successful championship run last year. He was a Top 5 driver with multiple wins in this class two years ago, and he's interested in his testing his talent against the competitive field. Though his season hasn't started off as well as he'd have liked, Garner could strike for a victory on any given week.

The B Modified division continues to be one of the fastest-growing classes at the speedway as racers like Dennis Gilcrease, Keith Steinmetz, Jason Womack and Frank Cafaliello join the ranks. Tommy Clymens Jr, who we last saw running Mini Trucks and Hobby Stocks, has returned in a B Modified and counts himself among the Top 10 in the standings, not far out of fifth. After a year in the Hobby Stocks, Haley Gomez has also moved up and is battling for a Top 10 point position.

In the Hobby Stock division, Chris Sorensen is attempting to match Kimo Oreta as a three-time champion. Sorensen is off to another strong start with two wins and and two seconds in his last four starts. Sorensen now holds a 36 point lead over Breanna Troen and seems to be pulling away from last season's top rookie. Troen his been very consistent this season with all Top 5 finishes, but she is still just four points ahead of Josh Leach in a closer battle for second. Leach opened the season with a Main Event victory and has looked good so far this year. It looks like the championship may come down to one of these three drivers, but Troen and Leach need to step up their game a little bit more to keep pace with the more experienced Sorensen.

There are several new drivers in the field this season, and fourth through sixth in the standings are all rookies. Will Burch has taken over the #7 car from past division runner-up Lindsey Buirch. Will and Philip Oreta are in a good battle for fourth in the standings with Buirch leading by 12 points. Oreta has had mostly Top 5 finishes, but he lost a wheel in the most recent race to end his night early. Running in sixth is another rookie, Ken Johns.

It seems like there continues to be new drivers joining the ranks of the Hobby Stock division every week, and this bodes well for the future of the class. Dalton Jewell holds down eighth in the standings, and the rookie is ranked behind past champion Brad Myers. Myers is usually working Turns 1 & 2 as an official, but he had a three-race span in which he raced to a pair of second place finishes and a victory.

Now in its 25th season, the Hobby Stocks are the spiritual successor to the old Street Stock division, which  was a staple class at the speedway for some 40 years. There are some eager drivers hoping to put their names in the record book as feature winners, but to do so, they'll have to get through Sorensen.

A couple of speedway veterans, Trevor Clymens and Bobby Motts Jr, have run this class in recent weeks. Clymens took over the old Anthony Welborn car, while Motts wheeled the car that will be driven by his daughter Madison Motts to the most recent Main Event win.

NorCal Dwarf Car star Scott Dahlgren has been racing at Antioch Speedway this year and appears to have his sights set on the Dwarf Car championship. After three races, Dahlgren has done very well. The one-time winner leads the most recent winner, David Rosa, by 26 points. Two-time Street Stock champion Rosa has looked good this year, but some bad luck in the second event cost him some ground to Dahlgren.

It's a rather crowded field in the battle for second as Rosa leads Troy Stevenson and Devan Kammermann. Kammermann competed with the NorCal Dwarf Car group last season to get more experience running at different venues, and the young racer is hoping that this will serve him well as he makes a run at the Antioch title. Much like the Hobby Stock division, the Dwarf Cars are generally fielding double-digit car counts and putting on some of the most exciting racing at the speedway.

It's a great lineup of racers that includes two-time champion Danny Wagner, 2010 title winner Jerry Doty, Chris Becker, Travis Dutra, Mario Marques and Chuck Conover, among others. After winning back-to-back championships, Mike Corsaro has elected to take it easy this season, but we'll be seeing him in action at times this year. He blew a motor at the most recent race, but he has a new one in the works.

While the Antioch Speedway program continues along, what's happening at Petaluma Speedway these days has the racing community talking. Promoter Rick Faeth has had some big events so far this year with strong car counts and a good fan attendance. At the most recent Shootout race, the four division program packed the pits with over 80 competitors. The standout division right now continues to be the Wingless Spec Sprints, and there were 28 racers at the last show.

Petaluma Speedway has a nice mixture of open-wheel classes such as the Winged and Wingless Sprint Cars, General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars and Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros, and Stock Car classes such as The Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks, McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds and Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. The Super Stocks are continuing a heritage at the speedway that goes back to the mid 1970s.

What's interesting about the Super Stock division is that some of the longtime racers continue to be on the roster to this day. This includes reigning champion Mitch Machado, two-time champions Steve Studebaker and Shawn McCoy and another past champion, Jim "Woody" Woodward. After three races, The Winner's Circle has been occupied by the same man, Machado. In fact, Machado has had to beat Studebaker to get his three wins as the same battle that took place last year is happening again this year. The only difference being that Machado is piloting the Baker Motorsports entry.

the Mini Stock division continues to graduate some good racers into the Super Stock class, including last year's winningest Mini Stock racer David Spindell, 2017 champion Austin Ohlinger and Snazzy Duckworth. Other racers, such as two-time champion Matt While, Manny Avila and Gary Adams are making the Super Stocks an exciting show to watch every week.

Moving back to the Wingless Spec Sprint class, the division has been averaging 19 cars per race after 4 events. It's still a very close battle at the top which finds the Top 4 drivers in the standings without a win so far. Only past Chico champion Angelique Bell has four Top 10 finishes, which not surprisingly gives her a four point advantage over Scott Chapeta. Hawaii native Boy Moniz is 15 points out of the lead on the strength of a pair of Top 5 finishes, while second generation racer Dennis Furia Jr is the only driver with three Top 5 efforts and is 20 points out of the lead.

Cody Fendley, past Winged Sprint Car champion Bradley Terrell and Jimmy Christian are the winners so far with Terrell picking up the first two wins of the season before taking off for two weeks. Fendley took last season off, but he now has the fifth position in the standings, 22 behind Bell and just two ahead of past champion Sparky Howard.

The Winged Sprint Car class finds John Clark leading after three events with a pair of Top 5 efforts. He's also the only driver with all Top 10 finishes so far, giving him a 34 point advantage over Joel Myers and a 36 point lead over fourth-generation racer Chase Johnson. Johnson has two victories, but it's not likely that he'll continue to pursue points at Petaluma. He will certainly be a threat to win anytime he's there. Chico regular Brent Bjork is the other feature winner, and he is currently fourth in the standings. The winged class doesn't have quite the car count the wingless class has, but they're certainly putting on some good racing so far.

The weather was not so kind to the Bay Area tracks last weekend as Petaluma and Antioch were both a washout, as was Merced Speedway. However, Ocean Speedway managed to get their Friday night offering into the record books. This was a special night of racing as it paid tribute to past Merced Speedway champion Bill Egleston. It highlighted that the Watsonville track also has big special events for the Stock Car classes in addition to the big show's they have for the Winged Sprint Car class.

The IMCA Modified division has four races in the record books, and after his $2015 victory last week, reigning champion Cody Burke moved into a four point lead over brother Austin Burke. Cody is now a two-time winner. The surprising Anthony Copeland is now third of the standings, 13 points out of the lead and one ahead of past division champion Jim Pettit II. Pettit and Bobby Hogge IV are the other feature winners this year.

The extra money Modified offering grew the car count to 28 competitors last week for what turned out to be a really good show all night. Burke may have gotten the win, but race long leader Troy Foulger certainly made him earn it. Foulger, who currently leads the standings at Merced Speedway, would settle for second ahead of Bakersfield star Ethan Dotson and Pettit. The Bill Egleston race serves as a reminder that anytime there is big money on the line, the stars all flock to the well-prepared Ocean Speedway dirt track.

The IMCA Sport Modified division appears to be a two-car battle between Austin Williams and two-time Four Banger champion Adriane Frost. Last Friday, however, it was Merced racer Jarrod Mounce notching his first career win to shock the house.  Mounce pocketed $715 for the win. With 21 of the best drivers in the state on hand, Williams managed a fifth place finish, while Frost could only get to 11th. This appears to be a battle that could stretch on throughout the season as both drivers are hard chargers.

Newcomer Max Baggett is third in the standings, four ahead of the steady Charlie Hunter. It's still early in the battle, and there's plenty of time for drivers to begin to make a move in the standings. One thing that can be said about the Ocean Speedway program is that drivers do want to support the Sport Modified effort there. In recent years, one of the things that has hurt the cause is the purse, which hasn't paid all the way through the field.

The big money show attracted the two drivers who are racing fiercely for the IMCA State championship. Both drivers, Guy Ahlwardt and Keith Brown Jr, hail from the Antioch area. As Antioch is not sanctioning their class, both are forced to race every weekend somewhere else in California. This leaves them traveling as far north as Susanville and as far south as Bakersfield to get their starts, and only a few points separated Ahlwardt from Brown heading into the weekend. Ahlwardt certainly helped his cause with a second place finish last Friday ahead of Bakersfield star Kevin Johnson and Late Model veteran Clay Daly, who was piloting the car run by last season's State title winner, Austin Manzella.

The Hobby Stock division finds two-time champion Rob Gallaher leading the way by 18 points ahead of father Joe Gallaher. JC Elrod seemed poised to make a serious run at the Hobby Stock championship after winning the opener, but he missed the next two races. Lest anybody think that Elrod is just going away, he returned and pocketed the $515 prize for his victory in Friday night's Main Event. To get that win, Elrod had to beat Bakersfield star Nicholas Johnson and past Watsonville champion Wally Kennedy. Kennedy managed to hold off DJ Keldsen for that finish, and he moved 14 points ahead of Keldsen in the race for third in the standings.

Another Keldsen, Dakota Keldsen, has been doing good things in the Lloyd Keldsen Jr Tribute Car in the Four Banger division. Dakota has a pair of wins, but his absence from a race has forced into play catch up in the standings. Lloyd's birthday would have been last week, and Dakota tried as hard as he could to get his third victory in his honor. Unfortunately, a busted rear end sent him to the pits as Merced racer Lee Ragsdale emerged with the win. Ragsdale had finished second in the standings at Merced last season after a heartbreaking season finale. The win on this occasion, however, came after apparent winner Ryan McClelland was disqualified in tech.

There is no truth to the rumor that the Four Banger division is going to be renamed the Beardsley division. Three of the staunchest supporters of this class in recent years are 2017 champion Bill Beardsley, 2018 champion Kate Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley. After five events, Kate and Nicole are tied for the lead with Bill 24 points out. It was Kate finishing second on Friday ahead of Nicole and Bill. Despite watching the finish from the sidelines, Keldsen still ended up fifth.

One of the most interesting things happening at Ocean Speedway this year is what's taking place in the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars. After five events, Jeremy Chisum has emerged as the unlikely point leader. Two of the heavy hitters in the class, three-time champion Brad Furr and 2015 title winner Justin Sanders, have bowed out of the point race, though they have been racing a little bit at the speedway. With five Top 10 finishes and two Top 5s, Jeremy Chisum leads one-time winner Kurt Nelson by 25 points and James Ringo by 28. Last season's point runner-up Koen Shaw and Jason Chisum also count themselves among the Top 5 in the standings. With the next driver 150 points behind Jason Chisum, it appears as if the matter of who will be the champion this year will be settled amongst the five leaders.

Ocean Speedway has jumped in to see if they can do something to stimulate the USAC Speed2 Western Midget division. Mike McCluney and John Prentice had discussions prior to the season about what could be done to get this division jump-started, and it was decided to establish the Ocean Midgets, which use the USAC Speed2 ruleset.

David Prickett, who also runs a full Midget, has won both Main Events, and a field of no less than six cars has been at both races so far. Randi Pankratz has made the trip from Bradley, California to support the Watsonville show. She's done well with two Top 3 finishes keeping her within 13 points of Prickett. Jackson Dukes is only 20 points out.

People in Northern California have lamented the fact that the Midget division has been struggling in recent years. Everybody agrees that something must be done to try and stimulate the car count and help bring this style of racing back to prominence. What is being done at Watsonville is seen as the next step in trying to generate interest. Not only is this a nice representation of Midget racing, it's also a way by which young drivers can move up from the Outlaw Kart and Micro ranks to go racing on the bigger tracks.

Merced Speedway is in its first season under the promotion of S&S Motorsports. Long time USAC official Doug Lockwood is the General Manager. Lockwood jumped at the opportunity to return to his old home track to guide the ship after the passing of popular Promoter Ed Parker. Lockwood has been involved with the community's younger racers with his Lockwood Race Prep business and has visited different venues to work with some of the future stars in their Kart racing efforts.

Prior to the season, the Merced Speedway racing surface received some new clay and was reshaped, and other improvements were made to the facility, including the pit bleachers and the pit concessions and restrooms. The racing surface has improved noticeably, and fans have been treated to some great side-by-side, and sometimes three-wide battles.

Drivers are definitely finding the quarter-mile clay oval to their liking that year. The competition level has been so high that in the track's regular divisions, only two drivers have picked up more than one win. They are Hobby Stock point leader Shannon Nelson and California Sharp Mini Late Model racer Timmy Crews, who each have two victories to their credit so far.

The IMCA Modified division continues to attract some top-notch talent, and it's a good battle at the top of the list again this year with Troy Foulger, Randy Brown and Paul Stone holding down the Top 3 positions, with only eight points separating them. All three drivers are multi-time division champions, and it's anyone's guess which one of these drivers may end up with the championship. With Ryan Porter and Ramie Stone lurking just outside of the Top 3, it's not a guarantee that one of these three drivers will win it all.

Last season, Brown took a break from point racing after posting back-to-back Merced championships. The Chowchilla resident also has one title to his credit at his old home track, and he has certainly picked up from where he left off this year. Paul Stone has usually taken his show on the road in recent years, having won multiple Merced and Hanford championships. People know that should he apply himself to racing for points at his home track, he's capable of winning it all once again.

The Bowers Racing Team started the year off on a sad note when family patriarch Bill Bowers passed away. Billy Bowers continues to carry on the family tradition by fielding one of the top Modified efforts in the state. After four consecutive championships in Antioch, Bowers and driver Troy Foulger have taken their show on the road in recent years and won some of the biggest events on the West Coast. This year, they've set their sights on Merced and are the only team with all Top 5 finishes so far.

Though some of the signature races Merced Speedway is known for are now absent from the schedule, there is a very special race coming up that will feature the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. It's the Second Annual Ed Parker Memorial race, and that race happens on June 15th. All of the Merced stars will be hoping to pick up the victory, but it's a good bet that there will be some top caliber talent from as far south as Bakersfield and as far north as Chico coming to town with the intent of winning the prize.

The Hobby Stock division continues to have some great racing through the pack. Shannon Nelson was the model of consistency last season as she matched champion Kodie Dean in the Top 5 category. Dean just happened to get more wins and still barely held her off for the title. Knowing that she needed to step up her game, Nelson has come out swinging with three Top 5 finishes and two victories, giving her a 21 point lead over teammate and 2016 champion Michael Shearer.

Austin Van Hoff figured to be a contender this year after a solid effort with two wins last season, but he stumbled out of the gate. Last time out, however, he finished on the rear bumper of Nelson with a strong second place finish. Van Hoff is only 44 points back despite his disappointing start, and there's plenty of season left for him to make up some ground.

Dexter Long has made visits to other tracks this year, but he also won the Merced season opener to keep just four points behind the surprising Domossie Scoggins for third in the standings. Scoggins is a newcomer to the class and finds himself leading last season's Mini Stock champion, Allen Neal, by six points in the rookie race. There's a good group of racers in the Hobby Stock class, and it's anybody's guess who might win from week to week.

FND Motorsports is the title sponsor for the Hobby Stock class and the biggest instigator for the establishing of the California Sharp Mini Late Model effort. Michael Shearer is the official car dealer in California. Seeing a need to get some of the young future stars out on the bigger track, Shearer convinced then promoter Ed Parker to add the class two years ago. Last season was their first championship race, and it was Timmy Crews winning the title.

Crews is also making his first starts in the Hobby Stock division this year, but he continues to be a force in the Mini Late Model class with his two victories. The division has welcomed newcomers Kaylin Lopez and Kennzzie Brown. Both racers have competed at the Chowchilla Barn Burner Series during the fall and winter months. Those two drivers hold down fourth and fifth in the standings as they look for their first win. Logan Clay and Riley Jeppesen are currently the closest contenders to Crews in the point race. Jeppesen is a past feature winner, but Clay is still looking for his first victory.

Merced Speedway is the first track in California to give these miniature versions of Late Models with 600cc motors a chance. There have been eight different vehicles to compete so far, making this the best year yet for the growing class. It is a great opportunity for the young teen racers to go racing at a bigger venue and gain valuable experience as they prepare to take their racing careers to the next level.

The Mini Stock division is the other entry point into the world of racing at Merced Speedway. It was initiated at the track roughly 15 years ago by then Promoter Chuck Griffin. Several drivers have made their first laps at the track via this division, but it's a familiar name at the top of the point list after three races. Three-time division champion Chris Corder and second-generation racer Lucy Falkenberg are winners so far this year, and Corder leads Falkenberg by just 10 points.

Last season, Lee Ragsdale gave it a valiant effort in his bid to beat Allen Neal for the championship, only to be taken out in the season finale and forced to settle for second. At the moment, Ragsdale is third in the standings, 11 behind Corder. He and Corder are the only drivers with three Top 5 finishes, while fourth-ranked Jennifer Rodgers is the other feature winner. New drivers continue to join the ranks, including Tyler Post and Shayla Gould, and the racing is always exciting in this class.

As with many of the other venues in California, the IMCA Sport Modifieds continue to attract new drivers to Merced Speedway every year. Only two events have been put into the books so far, and Andrew Peckham and Kelly Wilkinson were the winners. Second-generation racer Nick Tucker leads Wilkinson and 2016 Merced champion Fred Ryland by just one point in a good battle up front. Even Fred's wife Patti Ryland is in the hunt, four points back, while perennial championship contender Bruce Nelson, Peckham, Tanner Thomas and Tim Elias all count themselves within 10 points of the lead.

The talent level is high in the Sport Modified division at Merced as it is with most of the classes, and at least half of the field comes to town with a real shot at winning the Main Event that night. You also never know when the car count will be so big that he a B Main will be needed. The Sport Modifieds are yet another example of what's right with Merced Speedway in 2019.

Ocean Speedway Unofficial Race Results May 17, 2019
Bill Egleston Memorial Race & First Responders Appreciation Night
IMCA Modifieds
A Main
Cody Burke
Troy Foulger
Ethan Dotson
Jim Pettit II
Danny Wagner
Andy Obertello
Dylan Thornton
Austin Burke
Alex Wilson
Anthony Copeland
Nick DeCarlo
Robert Marsh
Jeff Faulkner
Anthony Giuliani
Buddy Kniss
Tim Balding
Raymond Keldsen Jr
Harley Turner
Brian Cass
Jeff Decker
Bobby Hogge IV
Chester Kniss

B Main
Robert Marsh
Jeff Faulkner
Dylan Thornton
Harley Turner
Nick DeCarlo
Jeff Decker
Buddy Kniss
Jeff McCoun
Todd Hermosillo
Kellen Chadwick
Freddie Ploudre III
Mitch Machado
James Alaga
David Spriggs DNS

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Jarrod Mounce
Guy Ahlwardt
Kevin Johnson
Clay Daly
Austin Williams
Tanner Thomas
Robby Claborn
Tim Elias
Keith Brown Jr
Matt Ruff
Adriane Frost
Justin McPherson
Billy Robertson
Paul Espino
Steven Allee
Max Baggett
Tyler Thomas
Fred Ryland
Andrew Peckham
Charlie Hunter
Dwayne Short DNS

Hobby Stocks
JC Elrod
Nicholas Johnson
Wally Kennedy
DJ Keldsen
Rob Gallaher
Bobby Huckaby Sr
Joe Gallaher
T.J. Etchinson III
Tony Oliveira
Quintin Harris
Bobby Huckaby Jr
Josh Hensley

Four Bangers
Lee Ragsdale
Kate Beardsley
Nicole Beardsley
Bill Beardsley
Dakota Keldsen
Tony Gullo
Shawn DePriest
Allan Kuykendall
Ryan McClelland DQ
John Grill DNS

Police n Pursuit
John Hohmann
Roy Iler
Justin Rhodes
Cliff Sloma
Dan Anderson
Nate Graham
Steven Fernandes
Mike Mount
Adam Rikalo
Tony Weir
Chris Murphy
Matt Cassaday

Tulare Thunderbowl Unofficial Race Results May 17, 2019
Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour Presented by Abreu Vineyards
Main Event
Rico Abreu
Dominic Scelzi
Kyle Hirst
D.J. Netto
Shane Golobic
Sean Becker
Colby Copeland
Kalib Henry
Steven Kent
Andy Forsberg
Mitchell Faccinto
Bud Kaeding
Willie Croft
Geoff Ensign
Tim Kaeding
Tucker Worth
Kyle Offill
Jared Faria
Ryan Bernal
Blake Carrick
Danny Faria Jr
Tony Gualda Jr
Landon Hurst
Justyn Cox

B Main
Kalib Henry
Blake Carrick
Danny Faria Jr
Geoff Ensign
Scott Parker
Mitchel Moles
Ben Worth
Luca Romanzzi
Kurt Nelson
Grant Duinkerken
Cole Macedo
Blake Robertson
Chelsea Blevins
Kaleb Montgomery

USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars
Austin Liggett
Ryan Bernal
Jace Vander Weerd
Richard Vander Weerd
Bruce St. James
Michael Faccinto
Ryan Timmons
Colby Copeland
T.J. Smith
Kyler Shaw
Tristan Guardino
Tanner Boul
Ricky Kirkbride
D.J. Johnson
Steve Hix
Koen Shaw
Hannah Mayhew
Austin Ervine
Danny Faria Jr 
Scotty Farmer
J.J. Ringo
Slater Helt

Ventura Raceway Unofficial Race Results May 18, 2019
VRA Sprint Car
Tyler Edwards
Cody Majors
Bruce St. James
Rick Hendrix
Evan Jonker
Kyle Smith
Bruce Douglass
Scott Farmer
Charlie Butcher
Ricky Lewis

IMCA Modified
Ryan Lauer
Trevor Fitzgibbon
Austin Grabowski
Terry Hershberger
Jack Parker
Scott Olsen
Dave Phipps
Andrew Greiman
Danny Lauer
Dennis Eckert
Kevin Hocking

VRA Dwarf Car
Jason Horton
Tommy Velasquez III
Tim Conley
Trent Morley
Nick Velasquez
Tom Morley
Ridge Abbott
Tommy Velasquez
Ryan Parker
Danny Valdez
Jeff Brink
Tony Margott
Tony Pellegrino

VRA Senior Sprints
Bruce Douglass
Wally Pankratz
Chris Meredith
Danny Parrish
Greg Andrews

Hobby Stocks
Alyssa Smith
Ricky Lewis
Tom Stephens Jr
Ryan Changus
Jeff Houghton

The Editor's Viewpoint

Nobody likes it when the rain falls during racing season. We've been putting up with it during the winter and early spring months, and then we have racing scheduled. Everybody wants to go out to the race track. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other ideas. There's not a lot you can do. I've often thought that up in Oregon somebody could make a lot of money if they invested in covering an entire race track. You have more of a chance of racing during racing season when these rainouts come, and they will come. Then again, that's probably a pipe dream. Too much money.

On Wednesday, I pretty much knew where Mike stood with the racing in Medford. It was going to get canceled. The weather forecast did not look promising. The only possible opening we had was on Friday, where there was going to be some sun and only a 20% chance of rain. However, we pretty much knew when we went to the track on Thursday that he was going to pull the plug on this race.

The frustrating feeling is knowing that it didn't rain a drop at that race track on Thursday. It rained quite a bit on the way down and in areas not far from the track, but not at the track. I don't even think it rained all that much on Friday, but the call was made. I am told that it downpoured at the race track right around 6 on Saturday. Was it a good call? You damn right. Two Cloud McCann wins again.

You can be a hero and fight for these races or you can do what's best for business. You already know that if it's gloomy and it's raining in the area around the track, your casual fans aren't coming. Even some of your regular fans won't come. Only the hardcore fans will show up along with your racers. There might even be a few racers who don't come because they think it's going to rain. But for those who are there, they will love you for the moment, if you get lucky and make the show happen without it raining on everybody during the night.

As a fan before I really understood the business workings, I used to get frustrated when races would get cancelled and you could still have run the damn thing. Then again, people have to understand that the promoter is the one investing the money. The promoter brings the appropriate payouts to the track and is prepared to pay everybody what was guaranteed. So, if they have a bad night and they're not taking enough money in, they still have to pay those guarantees. Mike is the kind of promoter who does not like sliding scales and does not back out on what he says he will pay. You'll get consistency from him. What he says is what he does.

So, I understand the business decision and I find no fault with it. I find no fault with a promoter doing whatever they want to do when weather looks threatening. It's their investment. If they want to be a hero and try to please the racers who will come out, they should do it. If they want to regroup and come back at it again when the weather is nicer, they should do that too. With Mike, you're going to get somebody who isn't going to try to run a race unless it looks like the chances are very good that the racing will happen. He may try to run a race when the weather is gloomy and cold provided the forecast isn't showing rain, but if it's showing rain, it ain't going to happen.

Mike was not alone in this. Roseburg canceled first.  Then St Helens. The Friday shows planned at Willamette and Cottage Grove were canceled on Thursday. The next day, both tracks canceled their Saturday shows. Coos Bay also canceled. Sunset wasn't scheduled. Willamette held out the longest, and believe me there was much complaining when they finally decided to cancel. I know there were people complaining about Southern Oregon Speedway when Mike finally canceled that. Only Hermiston and Madras were able to have races in Oregon

Everybody's unhappy when they see the cancellation, but when they get to race day and see the rain falling, they understand. A lot of people say some hateful things in the moment, but I don't think you see very many of them jump back on there and say they are sorry for saying what they said. I get it. Emotions run high. You want to go racing. You want to watch racing. Your track isn't making it happen, and they're the bad guys.

The weather system went all the way into California and took out most of the Saturday night action. It was kind of amazing to see as Stockton 99 Speedway closed first. One by one, Petaluma, Merced, Antioch, even Marysville. They canceled. I think Dennis Gage learned his lesson after attempting to run twice this year and having everybody there, only to have it rain on them during the night. So you pretty much figured Marysville would cancel. We lost the Peter Murphy classic in Tulare as well. Bakersfield Speedway gave it the old college try, but they pulled the plug on it on Saturday afternoon. This left Ventura, Barona and Orange Show all down south and Yreka up north.

Kevin Barba was committed to making the Mike Caveye Memorial Mini Stock Blowout happen. He looked at the weather forecast and saw that the rain was coming sometime after 9:00. He rolled the dice. Sometimes when you're a new promoter, you're looking for certain things like this that will get the people on your side. When you hold a race in threatening weather and make it happen, people will notice that and appreciate it. From a promoter's perspective, it's a long-term investment. Do this now, and even if you take some losses, people will remember what you did and come back.

Siskiyou Speedway is not on the most solid of ground. Kevin inherited a program that lets just say was on the down turn. So, he's the man charged with not only getting the racers to come back but overseeing the much-needed improvements to the facility. Every time a racing weekend comes up and you don't make it happen, it's a missed opportunity. Plus, he still has that disastrous season-opening effort that saw the fence get taken out and the rest of the races canceled. He is enthusiastically jumping in and doing everything he can to make it happen.

This race had the Mini Stocks headlining along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds and the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks. Kevin started looking at the program and thinking that maybe he could get some more cars there. On Thursday, he attempted to add an IMCA Modified race. Here's my thinking on this. Kevin knows that he needs to re-establish this class again. Not just a class that has special shows, but something more regular. In my opinion, he ought to take a look at the schedule right now and think about putting the division on there any time Medford isn't racing. He also needs to make a serious effort to contact any of the area racers who have cars and have not been seen in the last couple years to see why they aren't running and what can be done to get them back. Start locally. The Medford cars will come when they do.

In any event, on Thursday he reached out to IMCA with the hope that maybe he could add a race. If he successfully holds the ones he has scheduled, he will qualify for the minimum four races needed to make it an official point race in IMCA's eyes. But, there was the opportunity to try to get another race. Had Kevin reached out earlier in the week, he might have had a better chance. I think there's some sort of window that IMCA looks through. If you don't contact them within that time frame, they can't do anything for you. So, it was a no-go.

This is one of the things I don't like about IMCA in that a promoter knows what's best for their track. A promoter knows what cars they might have a chance to get. When you're dealing with IMCA, you have to go through them. They're all the way out in Iowa, and they're going to make the decision on what's best for your track? I understand they want to be careful when it comes scheduling so games are not played with their Regional and National point listings. That was not what was going on here. In fact, I seriously doubt anybody in those point races would be coming to Yreka. But, you have to play "Mother May I" with these guys. It also wreaks havoc with your schedule in September, which is one of the reasons Kevin doesn't have a date booked for the second weekend. I also know that if you didn't go with the sanctioning, there would be a racer mutiny most likely. So, you just take your lumps from IMCA and move on.

Kevin told the racers in the Modified class if they wanted to come, they could do practice laps. If they had enough cars show up, they could race. He was also contacted by people from the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and the Sprint Car classes, which were both scheduled for Medford only to lose out due to rain. He opened his gates to them. I don't know if either one of those classes raced, and I believe there were four Dwarf Cars. Sources said there would be three Sprint Cars, but I can only confirm two.

You do want to be very careful when you make moves like this as the neighboring track might not look kindly on the effort. This is particularly true with regards to the Sprint Car class, where high purses are being paid in an effort to build this class up. It's just an observation I'm making. I understand why a promoter who works hard to build their classes would look at it that way, and I also understand a promoter who is just trying to get as many cars as they can to come to their track.

I've worked with a promoter that some of the established guys called PT Barnum leading a three ring circus. His name is Tom Sagmiller. He opened the unlikely track in Chowchilla and ran that thing for over seven years. Tom did some good things, but he was unorthodox in the way he did them. He was going to get his race cars and fans anyway he could, and there were certain tracks that frowned on him. At the end of the day, he made it work. So, I do understand that promoters will do what they have to do for their business.

The other risk you take in putting other divisions out there to make the show is that you know there's weather coming. You know that at around 9 pm, you're going to see rain. I believe they had Trophy Dashes scheduled after the heat races and did away with them to move the program further along. So Kevin knew while they were in the moment that they'd better get going. Why invite more when you know you're going to have a challenge with the three scheduled divisions you have?

You want as full a pit as possible. The more cars you have in the pits, the better it is for business. It's not that promoters are giving up on the grandstands, quite the opposite. Promoters know that they have a certain bottom line that they have to reach, and it starts with getting as many cars as you can in the pits. Watsonville, for instance, beat the weather this last weekend. They had a packed pit area. However, the grandstands looked very sparse. Did John Prentice lose on that race? I tend to think he didn't after what was in the pits is added up, but it still might be close.

Kevin has made the commitment. He wants 500 people in the stands. This is something he said from the outset, and he is committed to giving away tickets in that endeavor. It's fine to have a goal, but I would bet they're not there yet. I would bet this will be a work-in-progress, and one of the things he understands is that getting people in the stands requires more cars in the pits. People want to watch race cars, and let's face it. Car count has not been good in Yreka in recent years, other than a few specials every year. So, if he thought he could add a few more cars to the pits as more things the fans can look at, he was going to go for it.

Everybody worked together to make this show happen. They beat the weather. The fans got to see some good racing all night long and that's what matters. Was it a little bit cold? Yes. It was definitely cold. My bet is that it certainly didn't help the attendance, but it helped the track in other ways. Kevin is going to gain points with the racers for trying. They added another race to the record books. And it's just overall more positive than negative for what's going on at Siskiyou Speedway this year.

I've been thinking the track is a little bit further along than they really are when I crunch the numbers. They still have to work at stimulating the local racer interest. Thanks to some surprise entrants, the Mini Stock and Sport Modified classes did reach double-digits. Left to the locals, this probably wasn't going to happen. The Pro Stocks continue to deliver a double digit car count, which is one of the positives. They know when they book this class, they're getting that. The fact that Medford and the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock Association couldn't quite come to terms was a blessing for Yreka.

Kevin still has to work to build up the brand. He was handed the keys to the gates of a place that was on the downturn. I certainly know the feeling, because I've been witnessing that in Medford for the last few years. Things were way down, and things are coming along. In that case, you have a promoter who has stayed very consistent in his game plan. He calls it Promoting 101, and you know what you're going to get from him. When you go to the pay window, whatever the car count is, you still know what you're going to get. That number doesn't fluctuate.

So Kevin has to establish himself as the promoter and give the racers a reason to want to come. It's a work-in-progress, but there are still more good things being said in Yreka than bad things. That's a positive. You're not going to get those numbers to big places overnight. That's just not the time we live in. It's a different world from what we would call the glory days. You get there by dedicated effort, week in and week out, and you never get over confident with the success or too down when a night doesn't go so well. You get back in there and try to learn what works and what doesn't. They will get there

I did happen to catch a note in my online searches to see how our media effort was going. It was a letter to the editor from Siskiyou County Motorsports Association President Ken White. The SCMA has promoted the Yreka track for several years, and Ken was voted in as president for this year. Interestingly enough, Kevin was the president of the association last year, and I think that opened his eyes to what was going on with the association and the race track in particular. Whatever the case, he began to distance himself from the association and work on the plans he had in mind for becoming the next promoter.

The association has been there to keep those gates open. When they were told that the place was going up for bid, they were also told by the fairgrounds to remove all their stuff or it would become the property of the next promoter. It was clear that the fairgrounds wanted to go another direction with the promoting. I have been aware of this fact for a couple of years as there was a prominent figure in the Yreka area who was asked if he would consider putting in a bid for the track a couple of years ago.

The association removed everything. I think they may not have expected that they would lose in the end. They've always been there because the established promoters tend to shun the place. I think a lot of the long time players see too many negatives and not enough positives, so the only chance the fairgrounds had in a new promoter was somebody eager enough to take on a new challenge who hadn't done it before.

When Kevin won, the association offered the use of their equipment for a fee, but he politely declined. He furthermore made it clear on social media that the association has nothing to do with that race track. He wanted a clean break from all of that. It's rather unfortunate, in my opinion, that the association is viewed in a negative light, but that's the way it seems to be.

The association has kept the gates open, as I've said. I will not point a finger of blame at them during their hard times. I do say that you have different promotional philosophies between a promoter and an association. A promoter is going to run it more like a business and look at the bottom line, while an association might look at what is needed just to keep the gates open and not really be forward-thinking when it comes to the future. That's just my observation.

What hurt the association was the treasurer embezzling money. They were left in a major hole going into the 2018 season, and they are lucky they were able to even get things started. This is not the first time this has happened with that association, and they overcame it the last time. What Ken pointed out in his letter to the editor was that they have worked to pay back $13,000 of the debt that they incurred thanks to the person who was convicted of embezzling the money from the association treasury.

At this point, one might ask why there's even an association at all. Ken points out that they are working to clear the debt. It is my guess that they are in a state of readiness. Should something happen and Kevin Barba fail in his endeavors, I think that there is the belief that the association will be there to save the day again. Kevin will be working hard to make sure that that day never comes. At any rate, I found the letter that Ken wrote to be an interesting read.

This coming weekend is another memorial event. Frankly, I like that Kevin took the three memorial races that were run together on Memorial Day Weekend in recent years and separated them. They made the Mike Caveye Memorial that much more special because it was there on its own. Mike's kids and grandkids were there to enjoy this special night remembering him. This weekend we'll have the Bo Hittson and the John Arnberg, but not on the same night.

Kevin made an adjustment to his Saturday night program when he saw that IMCA Modifieds are racing in Medford. This wasn't a special race for the class in Yreka anyways, so he just removed them. He added the Mini Stocks that night and the special Bo. Hittson race will be for the IMCA Sport Modifieds. The race started years ago as a Street Stock race. Though there are Sport Modifieds running in Medford, some drivers will probably come to Yreka for the extra money. They should do all right and have a good show, though It would always be better if there was a working relationship between the two tracks. We're not there yet, but maybe we can get there. Removing the Modifieds was a nice gesture, but probably a smart move as well as I don't think he was going to get any cars.

Sunday really has the potential to be big. The IMCA Modifieds are running for extra money in the John Arnberg, and the racers like to come to town for that. Yreka was also fortunate enough to be able to piggyback off of Medford's Iron Giant Street Stock race. Because all of the drivers are in Medford on Saturday, they just decided to add a race on Sunday in Yreka. It's just a tow over the hill, so why not? This means they should have a bunch of Street Stocks. The Sunday race has the potential to be big for the track. Kevin might very well be looking to see how many local drivers dig their Street Stocks out of mothballs to support this race, because you never know what could happen with that class in the future if there's interest.

It's my hope that Yreka continues to turn itself around and strengthen the program. It wasn't too many years ago that they had a much better car count and actually more divisions as well. I still feel like Kevin should be looking at adding some classes, because at the end of the day, the pressure is still on the Sport Modifieds and Mini Stocks as the core two classes. They really should have three or four in house classes minimum. Whether that's Street Stocks, Hornets, Jalopies or ultimately more IMCA Modifieds, this needs to happen in the long run. Then again, Kevin didn't get the keys to the gate until March 1st, and Rome wasn't built in a day. You've got to give it time, but the intent and the effort is clearly there.

The people expecting Movieland Speedpark to fail got another eye opener. Reno Fontana promoted his second race last Friday night at the Chandler, Indiana racing facility, and the car count increased over the previous race. I still haven't seen the results, but from video footage and shots of the somewhat small grandstands, it was a hit with the locals. It's kind of an interesting thing watching this track, because I don't believe the drama is over yet. We're in between the moments of drama, and that means that all they have to worry about is getting those gates open and having races.

They haven't done everything perfect. That's obvious. The cameraman on the track during practice was a miscue. No open concession stand for the first race. This place probably shouldn't have been opened. Reno has claimed bankruptcy, so there's no money to put into anything there. He's relying on people to help and volunteer to make things happen. The man has also humbled himself just a little bit. He's no longer talking about his grand plans for the property, though they may still be on his mind. He's simply talking about having this dirt track, getting the drag strip open and making a few improvements to both places.

One might ask, in light of all the negativity that's clearly been there, how are they doing so well in car count and people coming to watch? There is no secret or special answer to that. People want racing. People will rally behind anything if they're going to give them racing. The critics will ask whether the track has insurance, a permit to run the concession stand or whatever they may come up with next, but the fans just want to go to the race track. The only way they're going to worry about the permit to open the concession stands is if they get sick on the food there. The only way they're going to worry about the insurance on the track is if somebody gets seriously hurt. Let's hope neither of those things happen, especially if the proper paperwork hasn't been filed.

Make no mistake, Reno Fontana has to be smiling today. They told him he would never get this far. I'm one of those people who didn't think he would. He has now promoted two races. Reno, perhaps humbling himself some more, was quick to think Mark Van Winkle the track maintenance man and Summer Taylor the General Manager for their hard work. They've been the ones on the ground rallying the troops. He didn't even touch down in Chandler until a few weeks ago, so they've done whatever work they could do to get the track ready to actually open.

I still insist that Reno really has kind of flown by the seat of his pants. Let's just take away all of the nonsense promises he's made for the property itself and talk about that race track. In over a year's time, the man really hadn't mapped out a game plan. There was no serious promotional effort being put forth. Even now, you have to look around to find the results, if you're lucky. The webpage is a mess and the Facebook page doesn't get updated the way it should. That's the reality of Chandler right now.

Then again, the commitment now may be to add things and improve things a little bit at a time. As long as the courts say this property is his, they'll continue to race. And as long as they continue to race, I have to go by my usual saying and say there's a chance for good things to happen. People may not want Reno Fontana to be the promoter of this race track, but they have to brace themselves for the possibility that this will be the reality going forward. If racing continues, is that a bad thing?

I've dropped a hint that there was a big announcement to be made here, and I'm close to making it. What I'm considering right now is the removal of one of the tracks covered here as part of my media effort. The track would still remain covered on the blog, but it won't be covered by me in any media outlets. I will drop them. One might ask me why I would make that decision, but I have reasons that are personal to me. I'm not really wanting to make this move. In light of the fact that the powers that be continue to not reach out to me and talk about me in negative ways as if I am wronging them somehow, I am left in a position where I think I need to stand up for myself a little bit.

The effort that I'm doing is voluntary. Tracks haven't reached out and paid me anything, and I haven't asked. This one particular track, however, is a little bit different. I do believe I could have been offered some help somewhere along the way and haven't been. Therefore, it's time to re-evaluate what it is I'm doing and weather I should be doing it. The blog will go on as it has been, and you're still going to get the information you've been getting here.

So, if I make this announcement, nothing's going to change with regards to the blog. It's only going to change with respect to who gets stuff mailed for them to media outlets. I'm dreading this move, but I think it may be needed. My personal deadline comes on the day that this blog will be posted, so there is still time for something to change.

It still remains a bit of a struggle for me to keep up the pace then I'm on with the writing effort. Sometimes I feel like I'm being a bit dramatic when I talk about it, but be that as it may, it hasn't been easy. This particular week saw a lot of rain outs, and it was supposed to be an easy week. I was supposed to relax a little bit more. I still had 10 articles written and pretty much ready to go on Sunday evening.

As often happens to me when I have idle time, I start thinking I haven't done enough. Therefore, my Monday was spent writing Pit Stops articles for both this blog in the Jefferson blog and being my usual wordy self. I'm not enjoying the editing process, and it's a struggle to motivate myself to do that. It is a struggle to get motivated to do any of this lately. I wish I could say it was easier.

Nonetheless, I will continue to do my best to keep up the pace through the conclusion of the season. I've never been one who likes to give up once I get started. Being that this is a voluntary effort and support has been lacking this year, that makes it a little bit harder for me to motivate myself. So if you do like what's being done on these blogs to report on the racing scene, support us by throwing us a tip via The Tip Jar at the top of this post or share the links. Your support is very much appreciated.

On that note, I'll end this column. Until next time