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Curran, Motts, Rosa Win At Antioch Speedway
Antioch, CA...May 11...Brent Curran won his second 25 lap All Star Series B Modified Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. The race had three yellow flags during the first four laps as Kenny Shrader set the early pace. An inside pass in Turn 4 of the fifth lap gained Curran the lead from Shrader. Curran continued to set the pace through a pair of yellow flags during the next 10 laps, and point leader Cameron Swank pitted on lap eight. As Curran pulled away to win by about a straightaway, Shrader won a good battle with Todd Gomez to finish second. Previous winner Tommy Fraser and reigning champion Trevor Clymens completed the Top 5.
Bobby Motts Jr won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Motts was driving the car that he built for his daughter Madison, who was riding passenger with him in this race. Motts raced into the lead at the start with point leader Chris Sorensen and Josh Leach running closely behind him. Second changed hands a couple of times after restarts on laps four and seven, but Motts continued to set the pace. The lead three cars ran closely until Sorensen and Leach hooked bumpers briefly in Turns 1 and 2 on the 15th lap. They broke free on their own, and Sorensen closed in on Motts on the final lap. However, Motts took the checkered flag ahead of Sorensen, Leach, Breanna Troen and Ken Johns.
David Rosa won the 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event. This was the 60th career feature win for the two-time Street Stock champion. Chuck Conover led early, and it wasn't long before David Michael Rosa and father David Rosa were running closely behind in a good battle for the lead. A low pass in Turn 2 of the 11th lap gained David Rosa second from his son, and he made an inside pass on the front stretch to take the lead from Conover on lap 14. Moments later, David Michael Rosa's race came to an end with a Turn 1 crash. David Rosa continued to lead the race as 10th starter Scott Dahlgren and Devan Kammermann settled into second and third. With Dahlgren pressuring him in the remaining laps, David Rosa kept his cool and scored a well-earned victory. Dahlgren settled for second, followed by Kammermann, Chuck Conover and Toby Brown.
Richard Papenhausen won his third-straight DIRTcar Late Model Main Event. Papenhausen ran second for one lap before leader Mike Hynes spun in Turn 4. Papenhausen led Rod Oliver and Danny Malfatti on the restart and would rapidly pull away from everybody. Malfatti and Kimo Oreta had a good battle going for third until Malfatti pitted on lap 13. Papenhausen lapped second place Oliver late and won the race easily. Oreta settled for third, followed by Malfatti and Hynes.
Next Saturday night, the Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars will run special races during the Contra Costa County Fair. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
Unofficial Race Results
Antioch Speedway All Star Series
B ModifiedsHeat Winners (6 Laps)-Tommy Fraser, Mark Garner. Main Event (25 Laps)-Brent Curran, Kenny Shrader, Todd Gomez, Tommy Fraser, Trevor Clymens, Mark Garner, Kevin Brown, Kelly Campanile, Dennis Gilcrease, Tommy Clymens Jr.
Hobby StocksHeat Winners (6 Laps)-John Wacht, Josh Leach. Main Event (20 Laps)-Bobby Motts Jr, Chris Sorensen, Josh Leach, Breanna Troen, Ken Johns, Jacob Mallett Jr, John Wacht, Will Buirch, Jeff Betancourt, Dalton Jewel.
Dwarf CarsHeat Winners (6 Laps)-Travis Dutra, Mario Marques, Toby Brown. Main Event (20 Laps)-David Rosa, Scott Dahlgren, Devin Kammermann, Chuck Conover, Toby Brown, Troy Stevenson, Jerry Doty, Travis Dutra, Giovanni Bertolli, Mario Marques.
DIRTcar Late ModelsHeat Winner (6 Laps)-Richard Papenhausen. Main Event (20 Laps)- Richard Papenhausen, Ron Oliver, Kimo Oreta, Danny Malfatti, Mike Hynes, John Soares.
Hobby Stocks, Wingless Spec Sprints To Run
During Fair Time At Antioch Speedway
Antioch, CA...There's something special about going to a race during the Annual Contra Costa County Fair. Maybe it's the rides and the exhibits. Maybe it's the smell of the food wafting through the air. Fans can come and enjoy the fair and then relax for a couple of hours during the evening while they watch some good old-fashioned All Star Series racing. This Saturday night, the Wingless Spec Sprints and Hobby Stocks will be there.
We are four races in, and so far nobody has come close to beating Shannon Newton for the Main Event glory in the Spec Sprint division. Roy Fisher is the closest championship contender, and he has finished second in the Main Event twice. Most recently, two-time champion Dan Gonderman returned and drove to a second place finish. These three drivers would appear to be the top contenders going into Saturday night.
However, word is that two-time reigning champion Bob Newberry is about ready to return. Newberry and Newton had some great battles at the front of the pack last season, which would make this race very interesting. Rick Panfili continues his quest for a first career feature victory as he holds third in points ahead of McKenzie Newton. These two should be there, and other drivers to watch for include Jeff Scotto, Adam Teves and Alan Miranda
The very consistent Chris Sorensen is showing why he is the two-time reigning Hobby Stock champion. Though he didn't win last week, winner Bobby Motts Jr knew that he was there. Sorensen has yet to finish worse than third in the Main Event so far this season. With two wins to his credit, he still comes into Saturday night as the point leader and the man to beat.
The consistent Breanna Troen has earned all Top 5 finishes in her five starts to hold down second ahead of Josh Leach in the standings. Leach won the season opener, but Troen is still searching for her first win of the season. Perhaps that could come Saturday night, but there should be a good group of racers hunting for the victory. Other drivers to watch for this week include rookies Will Buirch and Philip Oreta, Ricky Foster, Travis Tabucchi and Luke Brignoli.
The added bonus of the Fair Time race is that the two divisions will get a rare opportunity. Every year, track management allows for Trophy Dashes on this occasion, which will take the top heat race finishers and allow them to run for the extra hardware. Both divisions put on a good show, and this should be a fun evening to spend with family and friends at the speedway. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
Johnson, Christian Win Sprint Car Shootout
At Petaluma Speedway
Petaluma, CA...May 11th...Chase Johnson won the 30 lap PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway. This was a special shootout race with the division's title sponsor helping grow the first prize to $3,000 for the fourth-generation racer. Johnson shared the front row with Colby Copeland, but he sped out to a big lead after an early red flag flew for a crash. Sean Becker crashed into the front stretch fencing, ending his evening as the track crews repaired the fence for the race to continue. Johnson led comfortably when the race continued, leaving Copeland to battle Ryan Bernal and Geoff Ensign for the second position. Working lapped traffic as the race hit the stretch run, Copeland found a way around Bernal. There was a yellow flag on lap 27, giving Copeland a shot at Johnson. However, Johnson motored ahead when the green flag waved and brought it home to the impressive victory. Copeland settled for second, followed by Bernal, Ensign, previous feature winner Brant Bjork, John Clark, Brett Rollag, Angelo Cornett, reigning series champion Jake Haulot and Colby Johnson.
The 19 car field qualified on the three-eighth mile adobe oval, and Copeland set the fast time of 13.108. There were three ten lap qualifying heat races, Colby Johnson outran Copeland to win the first race. Chase Johnson outran Ensign to win the next heat race, and Bernal held off DJ Freitas to win the final heat.
Jimmy Christian won the 30 lap PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event. This was a special series event, and Christian was one of the 28 competitors on hand to try and claim some of the extra prize money being offered for the occasion. Christian had the pole for the Main Event, but reigning Hunt Series champion Shawn Jones sprinted into the early lead. Having won the Dwarf Car feature earlier, Jones was looking to be a double winner. Unfortunately, Jones made contact with the back wall for a lap four yellow flag. Jimmy Christian took the lead over three-time Hunt Series champion Terry Schank Jr and Sparky Howard on the restart. However, the driver making the move was previous feature winner Cody Fendley. After being stuck in the B Main, Fendley won that race and started 17th in the feature. He managed to work his way into the Top 5 by the halfway point of the race and got as high as second. However, a late restart offered Schank the opportunity he needed to regain the runner-up position. Nobody was stopping Jimmy Christian as he sped to victory, trailed by Schank, Fendley, Adam Christian, Dennis Furia Jr, Sparky Howard, Scott Chapeta, Angelique Bell, Bryan Grier and Adam Teves.
Jones got his night started off well by turning the fastest lap of 15.071. The 28 competitors were split into four eight lap qualifying heat races. Jones continued his momentum by outrunning Cody Spencer to win the first heat, while Howard outran Teves to win the next heat. Adam Christian won the third heat in front of Schank, and Ensign held off Keith Calvino to win the final heat. There was a 12 lap B Main, and Fendley won that race from the pole ahead of Angelique Bell, Ryon Siverling, Grier and Kami Moniz-Costa.
Mitch Machado continued his momentum by winning the 20 lap Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stock Main Event. This was the third straight win for the current point leader in the Baker Motorsports car. it was also an emotional occasion as Machado finally made a memorial lap for his wife Jane, who passed away prior to the season. Steve Studebaker was the early Main Event leader ahead of fellow two-time champion Matt While. Machado had to take evasive action to avoid an early crash, recovering several positions back in the pack. As Studebaker continued to lead While, Machado had worked his way back into contention in the third. A yellow flag with two laps to go set the stage for Machado's impressive move. Machado motored past While on the restart and set his sights on Studebaker. As they took the white flag, Machado made an inside move to take the lead. He held off Studebaker during the final lap for the victory. While settled for third, followed by Manny Avila, Danny Naron, Shawn McCoy, Paul Hanley, Kristen Hanley, Gary Adams and David Spindell. Machado and Avila each won an eight lap heat race.
Shawn Jones won the 20 lap General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Car Main Event. Jones had the pole for the feature and took the early lead. However, Marcus Hardina made it a good battle at the front of the pack during the first half of the race. When Jones finally settled the matter by reclaiming the lead, he set a rapid pace and won comfortably ahead of Hardina, Chad Matthias, Kevin Miraglio, John Peters, Scooter Gomes, Michael Affonso, Matt Hagermann, Tim Fitzpatrick and Michael Curry. There were 24 cars, and eight lap heat race wins went to Jones, Hardina and Hagermann.
Racing resumes next Saturday night with the first visit of the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars. The popular IMCA Modifieds will also be in action. The Redwood Dwarf Cars and South Bay Dwarf Cars are having a shootout event, and the 600 Micros will make this a four division racing program. For further information, go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.
USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars Invade Petaluma Speedway
Petaluma, CA...Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway is a special event. On the heels of the big open wheel event that drew over 80 cars last week, the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars come to town. Joining them on the card will be the McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds, the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars and the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros.
Fans of Wingless Sprint Car racing will want to be in Petaluma on Saturday night. The USAC Wingless 360 Sprint Cars bring plenty of excitement with their brand of injected Sprint Car racing. After five events, there are five different winners. The group will be coming in off of Night #1 of a doubleheader weekend in which they are at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway on the Friday prior to Petaluma. They generally bring a field of 18 to 22 cars, but it's anticipated that some of the local stars will take their wings off to compete and some of the Wingless Spec Sprint drivers may make an effort as well.
One of the feature winners is Tristan Guardino, and he finds himself leading by over 100 points over Jake Swanson and reigning USAC/VRA Battle At The Beach champion Ryan Timmons. Swanson is another of the feature winners, and he's joined in the win column by Brody Roa, reigning series champion Austin Liggett and Petaluma star Chase Johnson, who won at Bakersfield Speedway back in March. It's going to be an exciting show, and some of the other racers to watch for this week include Danny Faria Jr, Slater Helt, Kyle Edwards and Hannah Mayhew.
The last time the IMCA Modifieds competed, it was one of the most exciting finishes of the season. The two drivers you expect to see at the front of the pack, multi-time champions Oreste Gonella and Michael Paul Jr, looked like they would decide the outcome between themselves. But when problems struck both of them, an unlikely battle ensued between Anthony Slaney and Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stock champion Mitch Machado. When the checkered flag waved, it was Machado grabbing the win. He was a double winner that night as he won in the Super Stock class, but the IMCA Modified win was his first ever. These four drivers are anticipated, and others to watch for include Terry Kaiser, Justin Yeager, Tim Yeager and Gary Zwicker.
The Dwarf Car event will be something extra special. The fans already know they'll be seeing a bunch of cars when the Dwarf Car Nationals come to town next month, but there's been a yearly tradition in which the Redwood Dwarf Cars do battle with the South Bay Dwarf Cars from the Watsonville area. This night will see that happen again. Fans already saw a car count of 24 last time, and it's possible the numbers will increase for this race.
Last time out, multi-time Dwarf Car champion Shawn Jones emerged with the victory ahead of Marcus Hardina and past champion Chad Matthias. Jones is the reigning Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint champion, and Matthias won the first Dwarf Car race of the season. Other local stars to watch for include John Peters, Mark Hanson, reigning champion Scooter Gomes, Garrett Brady, Carroll Mendenhall and Adam Freitas. From the South Bay group, they don't come much better than reigning champion Gene "Punky" Pires, multi-time champion Terry Rothweiler and past champion Mark Biscardi, who's been on a bit of a roll this year. Others to watch for include Mack Aceves, Ryan Amlen, Eddie Claessen, Barry Waddell and Dan Zuger.
Rounding out the lineup will be the 600 Micro Sprint class. Kyle Grissom and Nick Robfogel count themselves as the winners after two events. It's Grissom leading the point battle by four talllies ahead of Justin Adiego and seven ahead of Robfogel. These three hard chargers are anticipated along with Brian Slubik, Sam Borland, Rob Brown and Carroll Mendenhall.
With USAC Wingless 360 Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds on the bill, and a blowout Dwarf Car event, Petaluma Speedway will be the place to be for some great racing action. For further information, go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.
Sanders Returns For Sprint Car Win At Ocean Speedway
Watsonville, CA...May 10...After missing the previous race, Justin Sanders returned to win the 30 lap Taco Bravo Sprint Car Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway. The 2015 champion, Sanders was practically unbeatable the whole night as only a second place finish in the Trophy Dash blemished an otherwise perfect evening.
Sanders started things off by setting the quick time on the Tom Sagmiller prepared quarter-mile clay oval with a lap of 12.219. Three-time reigning champion Brad Furr was second quick in the 14 car field with a lap of 12.240. Sanders continued things by outrunning point leader Jeremy Chisum to win their eight lap heat race. After a second place finish to James Ringo in the six lap Dash, Sanders had the outside front row for the Main Event. He led much of the race, and the driver putting on the show was championship contender Koen Shaw.
Shaw had a disastrous heat race as he finished last in the seven car field. This put him back in 12th starting, but he would work his way up through the pack. He passed two-time winner Bud Kaeding along the way and would finish second ahead of Kaeding. Ringo settled for a respectable fourth, followed by Furr, Jake Andreotti, previous feature winner Kurt Nelson, Jeremy Chisum, Kyler Shaw and Jayson Bright. Ringo held off Kaeding to win the other heat race.
David Prickett picked up the win in the 20 lap Ocean Midgets Main Event. This was his second straight win in the USAC sanctioned show. Prickett is one of the drivers competing at both Watsonville and Ventura Raceway in this class this season. He ran a smooth race and battled Ventura regular Randi Pankratz for the win. However, Prickett prevailed in the end. Pankratz settled for second, followed by Jackson Dukes, Ricky Sanders, Jessica Swanson and Greg Edenolm. Sanders, a past Street Stock competitor at Ocean Speedway, won the eight lap heat race ahead of Pankratz. Pankratz set the quickest lap of 14.715, just beating the 14.723 of Sanders and the 14.731 of Prickett in the evenly matched field.
Point leader Rob Gallaher picked up another win in the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. The two-time champion also had a bad Main Event starting position. He lined up on the outside of the sixth row and worked his way quickly through the pack. He battled his father, Joe Gallaher, past champion Wally Kennedy and Bobby Huckaby Sr to take the lead and secure the victory. Huckaby would finish second, followed by Joe Gallaher, Kennedy, Terry Traub, Bobby Huckaby Jr, Brady Muller, Mike Calhoun, Kevin Counterman and Nick Triolo. Quentin Harris won the first of two eight lap heat races ahead of Huckaby Sr, and Triolo outran and Joe Gallaher to win the other heat.
Dakota Keldsen picked up his second 15 lap Four Banger Main Event win aboard the Lloyd Keldsen Jr Special. Keldsen got a win in his eight ap heat race ahead of reigning champion Kate Beardsley. He then shared the front row of the Main Event with Nicole Beardsley, but he proved too tough for her to beat as she would settle for second behind the flying Keldsen. Kate Beardsley finished third ahead of Carlos Magana, Jeff Kessinger, Bill Beardsley, John Grilli and DJ Harrington. Incoming point leader Ryan McClelland's title hopes took a hit as he was disqualified in post-race tech. Nicole Beardsley outran McClelland to win their heat race.
Next Friday night is the special Bill Egleston Memorial race for the IMCA Modifieds and also First Responders Appreciation Night. Also competing will be the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and Police N Pursuit cars. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.
Modifieds Take Center Stage In Bill Egleston Memorial
At Ocean Speedway
Watsonville, CA...The Stock Car side of the Ocean Speedway program will be featured this Friday night at the quarter-mile clay oval. The IMCA Modifieds are back along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and Police N Pursuit cars. This is the second running of the Bill Egleston Memorial race.
The race was held last season at Merced Speedway, the track in which Egleston won his Modified championship. In a preseason event at Perris Auto Speedway in 2018, Egleston lost his life in a hard crash. The racing community in the Merced area was in morning at the loss of a man who was well-liked and respected by his peers.
After the schedule didn't include the Bill Egleston race at Merced, Bill's widow Maria Egleston looked for another place to hold the race. After negotiations with Ocean Speedway Promoter John Prentice, the race found a new home. The IMCA Modifieds will be running for an increased purse, and a big turnout is anticipated for this show. The winner's prize alone will pay $2,015, the 15 being significant as the car number Bill ran.
Friday's show will also be a championship point race. After three events, Austin Burke leads the IMCA Modified standings despite being winless so far. He is the only driver on the roster with three Top 5 finishes. Brother Cody Burke, who is the reigning champion, won the most recent race and trails by just three tallies. Past Ocean Speedway champion Brian Cass and highly decorated Late Model champion Jeff Decker are in a tie for third, five points back.
While the Top 4 drivers are anticipated, two other Ocean Speedway feature winners and past champions, Jim Pettit II and Bobby Hogge IV, are both expected to make a run for the money. Past Antioch Speedway champion Kellen Chadwick and current Merced Speedway point leader Troy Foulger are both likely to attend this race, and others to watch for include Anthony Copeland, past champion Robert Marsh, Raymond Keldsen Jr and Kyle Bryan.
The IMCA Sport Modifieds make their third appearance of the season, and two-time Four Banger champion Adriane Frost finds herself leading the race by three points ahead of Austin Williams. Frost and 2015 State champion Fred Ryland account for the two feature victories so far this year. The surprising Kelly Campanile, a rookie in the class this season, holds third in the standings, just eight points behind. Randy Miller is also in the hunt as he trails by nine points. Other drivers expected this week include John Farro, Charlie Hunter, Max Baggett and State championship contender Guy Ahlwardt. There's likely to be an increase in car count in the Sport Modifieds for this race.
Two-time Hobby Stock champion Rob Gallaher has looked unbeatable at times this season. His most recent victory last time out was his second of the season. Making things even more interesting is that his closest rival is his father, Joe Gallaher. Joe has two Top 5 finishes and trails by 19 points. The other feature winner this year is JC Elrod, who hasn't been seen after winning the season opener. Some of the drivers to look for this week include past champion Wally Kennedy, DJ Keldsen, Nick Triolo, Jerry Skelton and Bobby Huckaby Sr. Huckaby looked good last week in holding off Joe Gallaher for a season-best second.
The Four Banger division continues to be a close battle at the front of the pack. Consistency has served the Beardsley girls well. Reigning division champion Kate Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley are tied at the top, and the duo are the only drivers with all Top 5 finishes to their credit. Rookie John Grlli has a win this year and is only three points out of the lead. After being disqualified in the most recent race, one-time winner Ryan McClelland has dropped back to 20 points out of the lead, tied with 2017 champion Bill Beardsley. Dakota Keldsen drove The Lloyd Keldsen Jr Special to his second win of the season, but because he missed a race, he is 51 points out. Keldsen will still be tough to beat, and other drivers to watch for include DJ Harrington, Chuck Kessinger, Tony Gullo abd Carlos Magana.
Rounding out the program will be the second showing of the Police N Pursuit cars. Drivers representing several different law enforcement offices in the area compete against each other. The Capitola Police Department is represented by Cliff Sloma, who won the first race of the year. That happened to be Special Olympics Night at the races, and the group raised quite a bit of money for the cause. Other drivers to watch for this week include John Hohmann, Jessie Mueller, Austin Beymer and Roy Iler.
The fact that this event pays tribute to the late Bill Egleston makes this a special show that you will not want to miss. There should be a bigger car count than normal, meaning that the racing will be more exciting than usual. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.
IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks Highlight
Merced Speedway Show This Saturday Night
Merced, CA... After the one-week Mother's Day break, racing returns to Merced Speedway this Saturday night with a four division lineup on the quarter-mile clay oval. The IMCA Sport Modifieds are back for their third event of the season. Joining them will be the FND Motorsports Hobby Stocks, California Sharp Mini Late Models and the Valley Sportsman division.
We are two races into the season for the IMCA Sport Modifieds. The division got to run on both nights of the Dwarf Car Nationals a few weeks ago, and it was Kelly Wilkinson and Andrew Peckham picking up the wins. However, second-generation competitor Nick Tucker finds himself leading the standings with two Top 5 finishes. His lead is only one point in front of Wilkinson and 2017 champion Fred Ryland. Ryland recently visited Ocean Speedway and left with the victory. His wife Patti Ryland is only four points behind him in the fourth position.
Already, there have been 31 different drivers who have competed this year as the Sports Modified division is the fastest growing class in Merced and at many other venues as well. Tanner Thomas remains one of the top drivers in the class, and he's joined this year by his younger brother Tyler Thomas, who is one of the rookies in the field. Two-time Hobby Stock champion Kodie Dean has also started competing in the class this year. Other drivers to watch for this week include two-time Hobby Stock champion Bruce "Bubba" Nielsen, Tim Elias and Danny Roe.
It's another Nelson trying to capture championship glory in the Hobby Stock division. Bruce's wife, Shannon Nelson is hoping to improve on last season's runner-up ranking. After three races, she has a pair of feature victories and a second to lead 2016 title winner Michael Shearer by 21 points. Shannon has been very impressive this season and managed to withstand some serious pressure from Austin Van Hoff to get her most recent win. Van Hoff started the season with two disasterous finishes, but his second place finish last time out shows that he's getting things together and will be a threat this week.
Newcomer Domossie Scoggins is one of the surprises of the season, currently ranked third in the standings, eight behind Shearer. Season opener winner Dexter Long is currently fourth ahead of 2018 Mini Stock champion Allen Neal. The Hobby Stocks have been putting on some close and exciting races so far, and Saturday's show promises to be nothing less. Other drivers to watch for this week include Donnie Shearer, Kristie Shearer, Mike Germait and Race Shelton.
We've now seen eight different California Sharp Mini Late Models so far this year, but we're also seeing a familiar sight at the front of the pack. Reigning champion and two-time winner Timmy Crews is leading Logan Clay by 11 points in the championship battle. Clay and newcomer Kaylin Lopez are the only other drivers with two Top 5 finishes after two events.
Riley Jeppesen was a feature winner last year, and he'd love to get back there again. He currently trails Clay by three points in the race for second and leads Lopez by just one marker. Kennzzie Brown is the latest driver coming up from the Kart ranks into this division. She currently holds down fifth in the standings. Other drivers to watch for this week include Carson Guthrie and Jeremiah Enriquez.
Last time out, Rick Elliott became the third different Valley Sportsman feature winner. He joined reigning champion Jerry Cecil and Chris Birdsong on the list. Elliott finished second in his rookie season in the class last year and now leads Chris Corder by 10 points. Corder competed in this class a bit last season, but he's upped his game in the former Jeff Bristow car. Not only that, but the three-time Mini Stock champion currently leads the standings in that race, meaning he has a chance to be a double division champion this year. More importantly, Corder is hoping to get a win in this class.
Eric Seeley has a pair of Top 5 finishes as does two-time champion Mike Friesen. Both drivers could be there this week, and other drivers to watch for include Jeff West and Gary Hildebrand. Once upon a time, the Sportsman division was king at several venues in California in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s. The late Chuck Griffin brought the division back to the roster in 1999, making this the 20th anniversary season for the revival of this class.
Saturday night should offer another exciting program at Merced Speedway. The track is off to a good start this year, but they're just getting started. The racing should be top notch this week and in the weeks ahead. For further information, go to www.mercedspeedway.net.
LaCaze, Bower, Wood Share Dixon Speedway Spotlight
Dixon, CA...May 11...Tucker LaCaze won the 25 lap Wingless 600 Micro Sprint Main Event Saturday night at Dixon Speedway. LaCaze had a close race with Blake McGourty down the stretch, but he held him off for the well-earned victory. Isac Johnson finished third, just ahead of Blake Parmley, Chris Parmley, Jeremy Chapman, Derrick Patterson, Ryan Fernandez, Justin Adiego and Randy Sims.
The Wingless class had the biggest count of 26 competitors, and Brandon Shaw set the quickest lap on the 1/5 mile dirt oval of 12.376. Austin Stone was second quick at 12.395. McGourty was a double winner in preliminaries. He won the Trophy Dash ahead of Austin Rose and then won the first ten lap heat race ahead of Isac Johnson. Blake Parmley won a near photo finish with Norman Harley Rose to win their heat race, and the final heat race win went to LaCaze ahead of Jeremy Chapman. Danny Carroll won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Austin Torgerson and Adiego.
Blake Bower won the 25 lap Super 600 Micro Sprint Main Event. It was a close race at the front between Bower, reigning series champion Kyle Mentch and Cody Gray. Less than a second separated the three as they finished in that order. Ashton Torgerson finished fourth ahead of Colby Greig and previous winner Ricky Sanders in another close battle. Hayden Saich was a lap down in seventh, followed by Jason Chapman, Darrell Busby and Frank Camacho II.
Torgerson set the quickest lap of 10.850, beating the 10.908 of Bower. Bower won the six lap Trophy Dash ahead of Sanders. However, it was Mentch forcing Bower to settle for second in their 10 lap heat race. Gray outran Sanders to win the other heat.
Austin Wood won the 20 lap Restricted Micro Main Event. This season, Wood has moved up to the 600 class from the Outlaw Karts. Wood started outside the second row. He found himself in a battle with reigning division champion Brandon Riveira, but he scored the hard-fought victory. Austin's sister Hailey Wood finished a strong third, followed by Jeffrey Pahule, Brody Petrie, previous feature winner Ashton Torgerson, Logan Penman, Colin Kirby, Becca Clark and Izaac Sharp.
The Wood siblings were at the head of the qualifying pack with Austin setting the quick time of 11.695 to beat the 11.703 of Hailey. It was the brother beating the sister once again in the six lap Trophy Dash, and Austin Wood completed the sweep with his 10 lap heat race win ahead of Riveira. Matthew Tatoole outran Pahule to win their heat race.
Hayden Stepps won the 20 lap Junior Sprint Car Main Event. Stepps was trailed closely by Brody Rubio. Kellen Harper was the final lead-lap finisher as Cynric Vo and Makayla Tatoole rounded out the finishing order. Harper set the fastest time of 13.294, and Tatoole was the four lap Trophy Dash winner. The 10 lap heat race win also went to Tatoole ahead of Stepps.
the 600 Micro Sprint program continues at Dixon Speedway this Friday night. For further information, go to www.dixonspeedway.net.
Racing, Destruction Derby Highlight Two Nights Of
County Fair Action At Orland Raceway
Orland, CA...People may have assumed that the most recent race at Orland Raceway was a Destruction Derby. There was heavy attrition in both the Pure Stock and Mini Truck Main Events that night. However, the actual Destruction Derby happens this Saturday night as part of the Glenn County Fair event. On Friday night, a special racing program will include a visit from the B Modifieds. Also on the card will be the Wingless Spec Sprints, Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks and Mini Trucks.
With neighboring Silver Dollar Speedway not running this Friday night, it is hoped that some of their B Modified competitors will come to Orland. Last season, there were a dozen B Modifieds for their first visit, and most of the competitors came from the track in Chico. When the checkered flag waved, however, it was local star Jake Van Tol winning the race that night. The final appearance was a win for Chico and Marysville champion Philip Shelby. The B Modified class, called Sport Modifieds when run under IMCA sanctioning, are one of the fastest-growing classes on the West Coast.
The Pure Stock championship race took a hit last time out when incoming point leader and three-time winner Keith Ross spun while running near the front of the pack. His race only got worse from there. After picking up three-straight second place finishes, Phil Spencer moved into the point lead with his first feature victory of the year. Steve Martin seems to be getting the bugs worked out of his car and had a third place run going until contact from another car put an end to that. Martin will be back to see if he can find the Winner's Circle for the first time this season.
Shannon Collins and reigning champion Paul Stephens were second and third at the most recent race and are certainly threats to win any time they are there. Collins doesn't race Orland when the dates conflict with his title defense effort at Marysville, but Friday night offers him a chance to run in front of the bigger County Fair crowd. Stephens is likely to be competing in his Wingless Spec Sprint, but he could pull double division duty. Other drivers to watch for this week include John Camper, James Taylor, Cody Bundy and Jason Matlock.
The battle has been intense at the front of the pack between Tom Davis and Kevin Pendergrass in the Mini Stock division. Both drivers battled it out at the most recent race. Pendergrass led some laps, but it was reigning champion Davis holding him off for the win. These two are anticipated along with 2018 championship runner-up Barbara Crain, John Kirkpatrick and Scott Camper. Crain was a welcome return at the most recent event and finished third.
Past champion Ross Vige several laps of the most recent Mini Truck race before his event went downhill. It didn't get as bad as it did for incoming point leader Zack Webster. Webster actually contacted the Vige truck in Turn 2, drove off the track and rolled his truck into the pits. Fortunately, he wasn't injured, but he was out of the event. This opened the door for Kalvin Kvalvik. He collected his first career feature victory and established himself as a prime player in this year's point battle. It was also a best-ever effort for Anthony Esquoville, who finished second ahead of Dan Libbee. These three drivers are anticipated this week, and others to watch for include Beau Chandler and Thomas Woodell.
The Wingless Spec Sprint division at Orland has grown by leaps and bounds this year, and it's starting to get the attention of people outside the area. The point battle right now finds the consistent Denny McNary leading Paul Stephens in a close race. After failing to start the opener, past champion Tony Richards has shot all the way up to third on the strength of two wins in a row. He leads one-time winner Josh Tucker, who holds down fourth in points. These four drivers are anticipated this week, and others to watch for include RJ Baker, Cort Marchuk Jerry Douglas and Jeremy Langenderfer.
There's always something special about going to a race during the county fair. With Friday night racing on the 1/5 mile dirt oval and a Destruction Derby on Saturday, it's going to be a great weekend to go to Orland Raceway. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.
Central Valley Mini Stocks Return To
Lemoore Raceway Saturday Night
Lemoore, CA...The House of JuJu Central Valley Mini Stock Association makes their second of four scheduled appearances at Lemoore Raceway this Saturday night. They will be joined by the exciting California Mod Lites division for some great racing on the 1/5 mile dirt oval.
Through a lot of hard work, the CVMS Mini Stock program continues to grow. There are several people committed to building cars in an effort to get more drivers into this class. Family has been the key to the growth of this effort. On any given night, you'll find the father-son duo of Ryan Doglione and Chuck Doglione competing. There's also past Super Modified racer and 2017 champion Danny Myrick and his sons, Brent Myrick and Dan Myrick. Jeff Durant and Steve Durant make a brother team, and there's also Randy Brown Sr and Randy Jr. Most of these racers are anticipated for this Saturday night.
This week, reigning champion Greg Baronian is anticipated. He was part of a loaded 24 car field that competed in the CVMS race at Hanford in April. Local racer Jason Cook won that event, chased by a trio of CVMS regulars, Dan Myrick, Randy Brown and Ryan Blank. Blank also had a third place finish at the Lemoore opener in March. It was Darren Wilson winning that race ahead of Shawn DePriest.
The lure of the $5,000 in point fund money that is being offered by the House of JuJu of Clovis and Morro Bay is attracting several Mini Stock racers to this group, and a good turnout is anticipated this Saturday night. The champion will win $1,000, and all the way to 10th place will be paid point fund monies at the awards banquet.
If Mini Stocks aren't enough, the added bonus of seeing the California Mod Lites division come to town should get you revved up. Santa Maria Speedway once had the California Dirt Car division for over a decade. The Mod Lites are a scaled-down version with 1200cc motors, similar to the Dwarf Car division but with the Eastern Dirt Modified look.
Kaden Cochran was the most recent Mod Lites feature winner and Roy Maynard finished fourth two weeks ago at Bakersfield Speedway. The two are hoping to come to town and collect the hardware this weekend. Cochrun finished fifth at Lemoore last time. The winner was Zach Forster, who set a very rapid pace as only rising young star JD Brown kept anywhere near him in second. Both drivers are a force to be reckoned with anytime they are in town.
The House of JuJu Mini Stock and Mod Lites program on Saturday night will be a good show. General Admission is $10, Seniors and Military are $5 and children 12 and under are free. Racing will begin shortly after the opening ceremonies at 5 pm. For further information, go to www.centralvalleyministocks.com.
Movieland Speedpark Finally Opens For Business
Chandler, Indiana...May 10...The much talked-about opener for the newly-renamed Movieland Speedpark in Chandler, Indiana finally took place Friday night. Promoter Reno Fontana welcomed the UMP Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Mini Stocks to the beginning of a new era for the 3/8 mile dirt track at the historical racing venue.
Kylie James gave a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and Glenn Vandever carried the nation's colors. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to be a great racing night for Vandever. Just a lap into his Pure Stock heat race, he rolled on the back straightaway. Though he wasn't injured, his car suffered too much damage to continue for the night.
In the UMP Modified division, Christopher Cole was the class of the field. He won his heat race and charged into the Main Event lead at the drop of the green flag, leaving fellow heat race winner Andy Elliott and Mark Cole to battle it out for second. Unfortunately for Elliott, his race came to an end as he came down the front straightaway with too much speed and brushed the front wall. On the restart, Christopher Cole continued to lead with Mark Cole chasing him for a second place finish. Jason Kibby finished third, followed by Chad Weiner and Brandon Justice. Elliot settled for sixth ahead of Kurt Van Winkle and Scott Massberg.
Derrick Griffin won the inaugural Pure Stock Main Event of the season. Griffin sprinted out into the lead at the start. Jay Weiner had a heat race win earlier, but his night ended with a lost wheel on the front straightaway. Griffin assumed command on the restart and led the entire distance. Colton Dunn brought it home second ahead of Daniel Abell. Abell was second in Mini Stock points in 2017. John Kercher finished fourth, followed by Ivan Crowley and Weiner. Dunn was the other heat race winner.
Some of the most exciting racing for the evening was turned in by the Mini Stock division. Jamie Casteel led most of the race, and the battle behind him at times was three wide between 2017 champion Jimmy Waters, Austin Osterle and Cody Vogel. Osterele had problems midway through the race and would retire. Waters started back in the fourth row and methodically worked his way into contention. With a couple laps remaining, he had a shot at Casteel, but Casteel managed to beat him in a close race to the checkered flag. Vogel settled for third ahead of Taylor Jeffries, Thomas Sartore, Donald Vance and Osterle.
Kyle Helsley and Dalton Hayhurst had their Movieland Lightning Sprints there for the opener. Unfortunately, Hayhurst blew a motor in practice, but Helsley enjoyed the opportunity to make some practice laps before their next scheduled race.
That next race will be this Friday night and will include UMP Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. For further information, go to the Movieland Speedpark Facebook page.
Dixon Speedway Race Results May 11, 2019
Wingless 600 Micros
Norman Harley Rose
Taylor De Carlo
Harlee Aguilera DNF
Jamie Faulkner DNS
Clayton Harris DNS
600 Super Micros
Frank Camacho II
Jessica McMannus DNS
Vince Fernandes DNS
600 Restricted Micros
Jr Sprint Car
Petaluma Speedway Race Results May 11, 2019
PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Joel Myers Jr
PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprints
Terry Schank Jr
Dennis Furia Jr
Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks
General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars
Bakersfield Speedway Race Results May 11, 2019
CRA/USAC Sprint Cars
Results are not official
1 #4 Damion Gardner
2 #11 Troy Rutherford
3 #42 Jake Swanson
4 #44 Cody Williams
5 #13 Trent Carter
6 #51T Eddie Tafoya
7 #57 Steve Hix
8 #4G Chris Gansen
9 #5J James Herrera
10 #12B Joel Rayborne
11 #92 Austin Williams
12 #5x Tommy Malcolm
13 #87 Ricky Kirkbride
14 #91R Brody Roa
15 #28M Matt McCarthy
16 #21 AJ Bender
17 #51 Austin Ervine
IMCA Stock Cars
Raymond Noland Jr
Michael Scruggs DQ
Kern Raceway Race Results May 11, 2019
Sr Mini Dwarf Cars
Jr Mini Dwarf Cars
Madera Speedway Race Results May 10, 2019
Henk Gaalswyk Jr
Zachary Cook DNS
Manny Gonzales Jr
Kurt Davidson Jr
Keller Auto Speedway Hanford, CA May 11, 2019
IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars
Lance Jackson DNS
Mauro Simone DNS
Winged 360 Sprints
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Ocean Speedway Watsonville, CA Race Results May 10, 2019
Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo
Keith Day Jr
Bobby Huckaby Sr
Bobby Huckaby Jr
Ryan McClelland DQ
The Editor's Viewpoint
I really don't want to go long this week. I say that every week, but I mean it. Sometimes I don't know what to say here, and other times I don't know when to shut up and shouldn't say what I do say. Also, when I do start going on, it just leaves me more to edit and takes that much longer to get the post up.
I'm nobody special. I've never been comfortable bragging about what I do. Never went about promoting myself. Never did any of that. My standard answer to too much praise is that you can get a trained monkey to do what I do. If I made a difference, I'm happy. It's made a difference to me in the friends I've made through the years and the memories we've made together.
On the other hand, it's left me in a not so good place in my life. Because I've devoted everything I am to achieving whatever it is that I have achieved in the sport, my life has suffered in many ways. I didn't think about any of this while I was doing it to myself. It didn't seem to matter, because I had a low opinion of myself anyways. Who cares? At least I can make a difference here.
I have always been more comfortable diving in and getting the job done. Not talking about, "Hey look, see what I did." Not promoting The DCRR brand the way I probably should have if I wanted it to be rewarding. If it ever could have been rewarding in financial ways. I didn't walk around with the DCRR logo on my shirt or hat. Didn't do any of that. Just created magazines that I didn't even try hard to sell.
The funny thing about that was people would walk up to me and ask me if I did a magazine that week. That's how I sold them. I didn't hold magazines up in the air and say, "Here, I have these for sale." I was more comfortable going to the race track, talking to the racers and getting information for the next magazine. This is who I am. I'm am more comfortable writing and putting things together to help promote the racers. If not for my sister, the magazine probably wouldn't have taken off as it did for a time in the mid-to-late 1990s.
I've never had a high opinion of people who brag about how great they are and then don't deliver the goods. I know this guy who announced the NARC Sprint Cars. He had this entourage behind him. It was the most interesting thing. You would think this guy had some sort of ego. What was interesting was he was all business, but he liked his friends too. When he got on the microphone, he knocked it out of the ballpark. Wasn't too big of a surprise when you consider his father is a legend in announcing.
But I've seen others who have all the flash and none of the substance. Guys who came along with businesses they said would do souvenir programs for several tracks or had TV shows. They made it about themselves, not the sport. Not the racers. Racers will see right through you if you think you're going to make a dime off of them without giving back. They may be impressed by the flash at first, but that only goes so far. After a while, they just sort of ignore you until you go away.
I've been blessed by the fact that people are so good to me. They give me credit that I myself don't think I deserve sometimes. I'm just doing what I do. I give them the credit, because they are the ones who made me want to do any of this at all. I've been hearing that a lot in Medford, and it's the slap-in-the-face I needed. Sort of a, "Don't you see it, you moron? You're looking way down south, and look what's in front of you?"
I can't help looking down south, because it's where my personal life pretty much ended the day I had to leave. I retreated within racing, and I did everything that I could do. I'm so proud of the people here and the effort I've been able to make to help the track. Even despite the way I hurt inside, I look at that and it makes me smile. Maybe it's driving me to keep trying?
Last week, out of the blue, I had people saying they heard I was back in Antioch. I even had people message me asking me if I was back in Antioch. Where did this come from? I'm not entirely sure. There was talk about me being back, and I was listening. I was interested. Am I still interested? Are they interested? I'm left confused and just doing what I've been doing. Just get in there and write articles and try to help. Next week, start over again. My phone is not ringing. They have my number. I am up here, there's work to be done and so I do it.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I was touched that so many people seemed excited at the possibility that I might be back in Antioch. There is lots of work to be done. Lots of things that I could do to try to help. Lots of ideas I have in my mind on how to make a difference. I put my flare on a few things to try and help from a distance, but what this needs is something my friend Ken in California would say. This needs boots on the ground. I see that clearly.
The reason I jump in beyond my blog is because I want to make sure at least something gets done. That's why I've helped the other tracks. To those who were hoping to hear something concrete about my future in the sport, I just thank you for the love and support. Nothing regarding me is going to happen without me making an actual announcement. No secrecy and sudden appearance somewhere else.
If a change of venue were to happen, I owe it to everybody to explain what's going on. I would owe the people in Medford an explanation just as I would owe the people in Antioch. There's nothing to report at the present time. There was a phone conversation that took place a month ago that sounded promising. I was to hear an update by now. I've extended my waiting period just a little bit in the hopes that this update would come, but in the meantime, the season has opened here and I am still here. Of course, I have to earn the roof I have over my head. I need to get back to work. There's nothing to announce at the moment. There may not be other than what's coming up next weak.
I know the rumors going on in Antioch, and I could comment on all of it. I think there is validity to the rumors, and I think it will happen. However, the powers-that-be are working on things and don't need a bunch of speculation, even from somebody who has done that type of thing for several years. So, out of respect to the parties involved, I'll just leave it at "I've heard the rumors" for now. I'm sure others have heard the rumors too. But until the rumors become fact, they are just that. They are rumors.
Generally speaking, you don't pull things out of your rear end when it comes to racing. Successful promoters put some planning into what they do and cover all of their bases. I've sit back in amazement as I look from a distance at the track in Chandler, Indiana. This gentleman named Reno Fontana has actually done it. I know he's probably done it half-ass, but he has done it nonetheless. He opened his gates last Friday to an actual racing program.
His deal to purchase the track from Harold Baker was done in such a way that people question its validity. The way he speaks has the people questioning whether this guy really knows what he's doing. Records show that the guy is actually broke, or at least his promotional company is. So that has left a lot of people asking some serious questions that have not been answered. Reno gets very evasive. Even the way he's promoting his race track, if it is his race track, has been evasive. They have certainly not promoted that track in a way that most successful tracks do.
This has left people questioning. If he's broke, does he have insurance? What sort of equipment do they have to work on the track? What are they doing for concessions? So many questions, and so few answers. Reno just ducks and sidesteps the serious questions. That has the people who don't believe he should have anything to do with that track feeling very frustrated, and the true believers who just want to race are willing to support him, even if serious questions haven't really been answered.
I am utterly amazed that we have gotten to the point where a race actually happened at this place they now call Movieland Speedpark. Is it really Movieland Speedpark? They don't even have a sign in front of the place advertising that as Reno is bankrupt and can't afford a new sign. Will this track last very long with him as the so-called owner and promoter? Is it destined to be ended by the courts? Who knows?
I am utterly amazed that somebody could just fly by the seat of their pants and get away with this. I know promoters through the years have sort had a PT Barnum, step right up, approach. But, even those people had actual substance to what they were doing. Reno has had over a year to plan things, even though the actual purchase of the track wasn't documented in any sort of way until December of 2018. He has been talking about buying that track since December of 2017, or at least he made a public post on social media saying he was going to do that.
What's amazing is that he has not done anything to map out a real game plan for what's going to happen at that dirt oval or the drag strip. He has not really mapped out serious plans addressing what the track really needs. He has continued to post some of the most ridiculous things on social media and then been shocked when people have called him on it. Frequently, he points out that he's a Christian and quotes Bible verses. As in, you can't question him or attack him on his disregard for the truth, because he claims to be a man of God. How dare you.
My assessment of the guy at this point, based on the history that I've seen, is that he's a con artist. He has scammed people, and he has just sort of skated by through the years going from one thing to another. But, I believe there's always the possibility that somebody could throw something against the wall and it would stick. Is this race track going to be the thing that sticks for him? And if he ultimately is proven to be the guy who owns it, what is he really going to do to fix the place? That, I don't know. I keep looking at things every week, because I'm generally intrigued at what's going on now and how it ever got this far.
Can you imagine somebody coming in with questionable ties or connections and claiming to own Altamont Raceway Park? I just use that track as an example. They come in there, create a social media page, and then start talking about all the things they're going to do to reopen the place. How they're going to make it better. They're going to cover the grandstands. Maybe they're going to make a dirt track in the infield and keep the half mile oval for special events? They just come in there and talk, have a loose connection with somebody owning the property, but they have no money, no real plan mapped out and no legitimate claim of ownership. I shake my head.
Can one actually talk a race track into existence? It should be pointed out that Chandler Speedway would have probably come into 2018 with the people running it that had promoted the place in 2017. Then again, Harold Baker always had a knack for pulling the rug out from underneath the people who were leasing the place from him. This is why people generally didn't put any investments into improving the facility, drag strip or dirt oval. Why spend that kind of money when the man owning the property could kick you to the curb before you have a chance to recoup your investments? One of the reasons for the sorry state of that place is Harold Baker himself, and there are some people that say that if Reno ultimately scams him, he has it coming to him. I don't know, but it makes me sad to see families divided over this man and what he's done. I don't think a true man of God would do things in the way that he has, but that's my opinion.
Can somebody just talk a race track into existence? Reno seems to be attempting that. But, true promoters understand what it takes. You have to have a business plan of some sort. You have to have the money and resources. You have to be able to bring the right people together to do what needs to be done. I haven't seen much of that from the reports in Chandler. I have witnessed a man doing that now who has done it for the past 30 plus years. There are so many little things that need to be done to make things happen.
Working with Mike McCann has been educational. It's been an honor. I've learned a lot. I knew a lot going in, because I made it my business to know. I would study what promoters were doing and analyze them six ways to Sunday. More often than not, I had a true understanding of what was going on. And if I didn't at the time, I certainly learned. But this has been a bigger level of education for me. I've learned so much more from watching Mike do what he does.
He's always looking for little touches he can do for the track in Medford, and you'd be surprised at some of the big plans he's had. Things that I think would have been huge, but there's always been these roadblocks. No pool of people to draw from. Maybe the person being talked to ultimately just bails on the idea. Just different things that force Mike to abandon that idea and go on to something else. We've had our moments, but we've had our disappointments.
On Friday night, Mike made a move that I think was huge. A lot of Outlaw Kart racers are under the misconception that somehow he is ruining the little track. With all due respect, they couldn't be more wrong if they tried. What they don't understand is the state of racing at that track was already down before Mike got there. The state of Kart racing is not so good. If you can tell me the first Kart race of the year at Cottage Grove, which had 31 entries, was big, then you don't understand. That's not big. If somebody were running that track by itself, they'd be out of business soon. Because they happen to have that track as part of the bigger track, it manages to scrape by. The same holds true at Southern Oregon Speedway.
I understand about the field of dreams and these tracks being useful towards bringing new drivers in. I agree. But if they can't pull their own weight, they start going out of business. That's just what happens folks. The fact that Mike has continued to run any kind of races at all on that track, given the state of things, shows that he does care and he has tried. But the facts remain, if drivers are not going to support because they have an issue with him or whatever their reason may be for not coming, they are a part of the problem and the decline of the sport. Plain and simple.
Mike has looked at certain things, and none of them have panned out. Then, we started taking a look at the possibility of bringing Flat Track Motorcycles and Quads to the track. We discussed that, and my research found several people in the area who were part of the Motorcycle culture. I knew there was potential, and I knew the ways that it could happen. The timing wasn't quite right, but when Mike began the plan to have the MX track built on the property, as was discussed when he came here, he got the Leach family to start working their magic. Practice days have been very successful. The time was right.
Just a few days prior to our opener, Mike got word that there were going to be some Motorcycles, Quads and Trikes for Friday night. Because of that, we saw numbers we've never seen, and obviously there were some people in the Outlaw Kart community who were incredulous about the whole thing. How dare he put those vehicles on their track. I hate to tell you, but that is Southern Oregon Speedway's little race track, and to keep it open, they need to put as many vehicles as they can on it. Personally, I'd rather there be Karts. I didn't understand much about Motorcycles, and this was Mike's baby from the start. He has bigger plans than people realize, and I'll leave it at that until he's ready to say something.
All I could do was go into what I call Tom Cruise mode. You know the scene where he's being fired in the movie Jerry Maguire, and he's looking for anybody to come with him. I refer to that as rallying people behind the cause. I know there's Karts out there, and if they just get out there and support, good things will happen. I've been trying to rally the troops, but it's been an exercise in futility. So, I've just done what I can do to hype up the racers we have now. But if the drivers aren't coming out there in sufficient enough numbers, the track will look at other options to improve the numbers
The Outlaw Karts have two possibilities. They can either think they're exercising their strength and boycott en mass, thereby putting the actual existence of this track at risk, or they can support it and show that their form of racing is still alive. The numbers probably only need to go up another 15 or 20 Karts from where they've been to strengthen this enough to show that there's something to fight for.
In the absence of that, Motorcycles ran on that track for the first time. Some people weren't happy, but the track had its most successful show in years because of Motorcycles being a part of the overall program. The truth of the matter is, riders are interested in coming out there in bigger numbers. What happens if you see two or even three times as many riders showing up there as were out there for this last race? Do the math. The conclusion isn't that hard to come to.
These are the things promoters have to look at. If they don't come up with successful business plans for their tracks, their tracks close down. The big track has seen an increase in support in each year since Mike took over in 2016. It was so far down that there is still much more work to be done, but Southern Oregon Speedway isn't languishing at the bottom of the nine tracks in Oregon. It is competing now to be one of the Top 3 tracks in the state. That's called progress forks.
There are different things being tried on the big track that are working in some regards. Sometimes it's a miss. Frequently these changes involve the promoter investing money. That's why I say you can't talk something into existence. You have to back it up with substance, effort and sometimes good old-fashioned hard cash. I could go further into this and what's going on.
The fact is, when I walk away from the sport or if I end the season motivated enough, I want to finish the book that I began writing prior to my departure from California in 2016. There's a lot that will be covered in those pages, and I think in some regards it will be a better book than the first one. Some of it is autobiographical, and other parts of it are just observations about things I've witnessed and things I've been witnessing recently.
There is so much that can be told about what's gone on in Medford. Some people would walk away in disgust. There has certainly been a revolving door trail of General Managers in the seven or eight years leading up to Mike's arrival. Why? It didn't work out for any of them. Some failed in record time, and John Skinner had to bail the place out with his money.
That's what it came down to at times. Even those tracks where you don't think the promoter is so good, but they have money. It takes money to ultimately keep those gates open. If you only have a little bit of ability, but you have a lot of money, you can still wing it for a while. When the money runs out or you come to your senses and realize you are in over your head, that's when things change.
Mike's basic game plan has been what he's done at every track he's promoted. He calls it Promoting 101. Go back to the basics. Get the racers used to consistency in their program. These are the rules. This is the format. This is the purse. This is the kind of track you're going to get. Keep it that way. Don't deviate from it because your mood changes. If some of it doesn't happen one week because of other circumstances, that's one thing. But changing things on the fly out of impulse can be an issue. The fact is, that was part of the problem in Medford. Things changed, rules weren't consistent, there was favoritism, purses fluctuated and all of that. The numbers declined as a result.
Mike's game plan was implemented, which is something that has made the big difference in Medford. He offered stability. The stability he brought to this race track is why it's begun to have a turnaround, and there is resistance in some small groups. There are people who want to see it fail. There are people who simply don't like him, and because they don't like him, they don't want this thing to be successful. Overall, however, the people supporting the race track want it to be successful. Without it, where will they be? Medford has lost a race track before, and this track isn't guaranteed either.
You improve the potential future for a place by bringing in a sense of stability and being consistent. Southern Oregon Speedway has great potential for the future because of what's being done now. It's not as easy as opening the gates and taking their money. You have to have a plan, and Mike has had a plan. I've been amazed to watch him do this as I know he's winding down his career. Oftentimes, I have wondered why he took on this particular track. I've questioned whether I would have wanted to be involved if I'd have understood everything I was getting into.
When you come into a situation that either had no history at all or had recent history of a downturn and people getting mad, the only place you have to go is up. You can go up if you go back to the basics. If you put in an honest, sincere effort, you'll have people who are on your side and want to see it work. You'll have enough people there. It's gratifying to know that more people get it. It's further along because of the game plan that Mike implemented, and it's got a real chance to get that much closer to those glory years. The glory years are far removed, and I don't know that we'll ever see the kinds of numbers they had back then, but they can do better numbers than are being done now.
It comes back to the point I was making. You don't talk a race track into existence. Tracks that are flash and bs won't last long. It doesn't have to be the fanciest or best looking place. Give the racers a nice surface to run on, the fans a decent place to sit and decent food to eat, and they will come if you run the program properly. That's the bottom line. Southern Oregon Speedway has the look and feel of one of the top facilities on the West Coast, but some would say it was run like a Chinese fire drill. The effort is what's important, and people are seeing it now.
And here I was saying that I wasn't going to go on. I'm writing this down on an early Sunday morning, prior to me doing my media effort. I will go to bed and use whatever hours I can to get my stories done later. These are the ones that go to the media outlets and require me to meet a deadline. I should be sleeping now, but I had this on my mind and I wanted to put it down while I felt inspired.
I feel blessed to have been a part of the turn around at Southern Oregon Speedway, and honored that Mike has actually used my ideas in some cases or allowed me to use my creativity to help make a difference. He's a big believer in letting people do their jobs. As long as they are doing their jobs and getting results, he's okay with letting them be themselves. It's really the most rewarding and inspiring job I've had a race track. Even if every other aspect of my life is down, I suppose my involvement with this track and racing in general has in some respects kept me going a little bit at least.
I was going to try and leave this column where I left it early Sunday morning, but I interrupt the conclusion of the column with a brief remark. And yes, I'm going to try to be brief here. You know me, and you know that I usually say that and fail miserably. However, this time I'm sticking to my guns.
Something big is looming on the horizon at Antioch Speedway. You've probably heard rumblings of it. You're going to hear more than rumblings of it if things continue in the direction in which they are heading. This will ultimately be a good thing for the track. I'm not going to get any more specific than that other than to say, it's going to help lead things in a different direction. I think that in the long run, it's for the best.
What this means is that people wanting to see different things going on with the program and hoping to see some familiar faces back out there racing again will probably be seeing what they want. What names am I talking about? What sorts of different things am I talking about? That isn't for me to say. I don't have all the information in front of me to say much anyways. I'm simply saying, you will want to be at Antioch Speedway.
I know some people will be taking their shows on the road for now and doing what they do. However, I think that the fans in the Antioch area and the racers out there might just want to hang around and see what's about ready to happen. I don't believe they will be disappointed. Everybody wanting to see Antioch Speedway grow and thrive should consider being a part of the solution. When things start to happen, they will want to be part of the solution.
Aside from that, I think the racing has been really good out there for the past few weeks, especially. The track is looking in great shape, and I know that John has been putting his magic to it. Better racing conditions makes for better races and fewer torn-up race cars. This is one of the positive steps I'm talking about, but it's only a drop in the bucket to what is coming. So, pay attention. Don't go into hiding. Go to Antioch Speedway, and be ready. Things are about to get interesting.
On that note, I'm ending this column. Let me just say thank you for your support and thank you for reading.