Thursday, September 17, 2020

Antioch Speedway, Ocean Speedway, Madera Speedway, Petaluma Speedway, Siskiyou Golden Speedway, More

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Pit Stops

We head into the third racing weekend of September with some exciting racing offerings. A few championship battles are coming to a close, but several tracks are also making plans for big October and November events. This weekend will feature  IMCA championship night at Antioch Speedway. Petaluma Speedway will again try to have USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars, but Winged Sprint Car fans will have Placerville Speedway and Ocean Speedway to choose from on Saturday and Friday nights, respectively. Floracing.com will be broadcasting the latter three shows on internet pay-per-view, while Antioch Speedway will have their own in-house production going once again. This is just some of the excitement in store for the coming weekend.


Antioch Speedway

It's hard to believe that Antioch Speedway has managed to hold 11 IMCA Modified and IMCA Sport Modified races this year under these dreadful covid-19 guidelines. The Jay's Mobile Welding Hobby Stocks have had 12 events. It's championship Night for the two Modified classes on Saturday. We haven't officially heard if it's championship night for the Hobby Stocks as they aren't obligated to wrap up points by the end of September, but it could be that their point race is over as well. We do know that the quarter-mile clay oval will be broadcast on internet pay-per-view at antiochspeedway.tv

Troy Foulger is on his way to his fifth Antioch championship driving for Bowers Motorsports. He was the IMCA Modified champion at Merced Speedway last year as he won about half of the races he started. This year, Foulger has won twice and finished second twice. He's been so consistent that he's only missed the Top 5 once in 11 starts. With that working to his advantage, he carries a 28 point lead over one-time winner Jim Pettit II going into the night. Unless Foulger stumbles big time, the championship is his. However, there are still more State point races left to go, and Foulger only has a nine point lead over Pettit in that battle.

Kellen Chadwick has had an up and down season this year. He didn't finish the most recent race after working his way into the Top 5. When he's been on, he's picked up three Main Event victories, and that keeps him 13 points behind Pettit in a closer battle for second. Chadwick could gain the position, but he won't lose third as his lead is insurmountable for reigning champion Buddy Kniss to overcome. Kniss will hold on to fourth in the standings merely by making the start this week. Shane DeVolder is currently fifth in the standings, six ahead of Watsonville point leader JC Elrod. Most of these drivers could be there, and others to watch for include two-time winner and 2018 champion Nick DeCarlo, 2017 champion Bobby Motts Jr, 2004 champion Aaron Crowell, Kimo Oreta and Jeff Browne.

The battle is taking place in the IMCA Sport Modifieds. It's doubtful that 2018 Limited Late Model champion Mark Garner was making any grand predictions of a championship run, but he finds himself holding a slim three point advantage over two-time division champion Trevor Clymens. Garner isn't even having his best season with only a season best third as his lone Top 5 finish. Clymens has six Top 5 finishes and one victory, but some bad luck keeps him from leading going into this race. If Garner can stay in front of Clymens, that would be enough to clinch him the title, and he could do it without winning a Main Event all year. 

2017 champion KC Keller is 18 points out the lead. Mathematically, he's got a shot. However, the odds aren't so much in his favor. He has a win this year and matches Clymens, Kenny Shrader and Fred Ryland with a season-high six Top 5 finishes. If not for his absence on one occasion, he'd probably be leading. As it is, Keller holds a 15 point advantage over one-time winner Shrader in the race for third. Two-time winner Fred Ryland, who won the most recent Super Stock race, is 10 points behind Shrader. Others to watch for include the consistent Kevin Brown, Tommy Clymens Jr, recent winner Tommy Fraser, Andrew Pearce and Todd Gomez.

The last two Hobby Stock races have produced a car count in the 30s. It was Domossie Scoggins winning the most recent race after the disqualification of longtime Late Model competitor Mitch Enos. The bigger story was the fact that three-time winner Travis Dutra was a no-show and fell to just four points ahead of the consistent James Thomson in the championship battle. Thomson has finished second in four-straight races as he looks for his first win of the season. After Brianna Troen had a bad night, instead of assuming the point lead from Dutra, she fell 16 points out of the lead. Like Thomson, she has six Top 5 finishes. The championship battle is between these three racers.

Larry McKinzie also has six Top 5 finishes and has finished a season-high third four times. That includes the most recent race. He has a 22 point lead over Jake Bentancourt in the race for fourth. Some of the drivers to watch for this week include Gavin Griffitts, Gene Haney, Josh Leach, one-time winner Jason Robles, Nicholas Zapatero, Aiden Ponciano and McKayla Taylor.

The combination of the two Modified divisions and Hobby Stocks has been a winner for Antioch Speedway this year and this show should be no different. Though fans are not allowed in attendance just yet, www.antiochspeedway.tv will be offering the internet pay per view. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com or check out the Antioch Speedway Facebook page.


Petaluma Speedway

For different reasons, Petaluma Speedway was forced to cancel their previous two shows. This week, we will see another visit by the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars. Also competing on the 3/8 mile adobe oval will be the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars, Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks and the Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks.

About a month ago, the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars had their first race of the year at Petaluma. The field had more Northern California competitors than USAC regulars. 2018 USAC champion Austin Liggett picked up the victory on this occasion ahead of local stars Colby Johnson and Bradley Terrell. Past Antioch Winged 360 and Wingless Spec Sprint champion Billy Aton was a solid fourth ahead of series regular Danny Faria Jr.

Last season's championship runner-up Ryan Timmons was there, but the best he could manage was a seventh place finish. Several of last year's top West Coast Sprint Car regulars, including champion Tristan Gaurdino, third-ranked Koen Shaw, Hannah Mayhew and Jake Swanson, were not there. However, some of the Northern California competitors have been developing an appreciation for Wingless 360 racing. Some drivers from the area that could be here on Saturday night include past Wingless Spec Sprint champion Shayna Ensign, Matthew Haulot, Ricky Brophy, Kenny Drew, Norm Johns and past Petaluma and Antioch Winged the 360 Sprint champion Shawn Arriaga.

There is no stronger Dwarf Car effort on the West Coast than the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars at Petaluma Speedway. They've been delivering numbers in the 30s this year. That could be affected this week with another show happening in Placerville. In fact, that could entice reigning NorCal Dwarf Car champion Michael "Spanky" Grenert out of the field. With one win out of six Top 5 finishes, Grenert has a 72 point lead over reigning champion Chad Matthias. Matthias is 27 tallies ahead of Ryan Winter, who also has a win this year. Winter could also be absent from this show. Matt Hagemann is only 22 points behind Winter in the race for third and has a closer battle in his effort to hold on to fourth. He leads Zach Albers by six points and the tied Carroll Mendenhall and Garrett Brady by 17. Most of those drivers are anticipated this week along with past champion John Peters, Michael Affonso, rookie Joey Lingron and Danny Marsh.

We're anxious to see an update on the Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks point list. They competed as part of the IMCA Speedweek event in August and also ran head to head with the Tri State Pro Stock Series. The former race was won by two-time champion Steve Studebaker and the latter race was won by Richard Brace Jr. The success of that Tri State Pro Stock Series race has seen the group invited back for the Bob McCoy Memorial race as part of the Adobe Cup on September 26th. Reportedly, that race will pay at least $1,000 to win. 

As for this coming show, we know that both Studebaker and two-time champion Matt While have won a pair of races each. The point battle should be close, but the point sheet has not been updated recently. Justin Zwicker is probably ranked third in the standings, and other drivers to watch for this week include past champion Shawn McCoy, Roger Miller, Randy Miramontez and Gary Adams. Three-time reigning champion Mitch Machado is still at large, but we're not sure if he'll make an appearance or not.

The Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks haven't had a stellar year this year and seem to be holding on by a thread. After three races, 2018 champion Tom Brown leads rookie Jake Barretta by 24 points. Brown has won all three races, and these are the only two drivers who have made every event. Hopefully, they'll be joined by other competitors this week. Drivers to watch for include Roberta Broze, Cody Bolles, Casey Monahan and Austin Lodin.

The West Coast 360 Sprint Cars will probably have a mixture of touring drivers and locals removing their wings. The Dwarf Cars could have the biggest car count of the night, and it should be an enjoyable show on the 3/8 mile adobe oval. With spectators not allowed in the grandstands, you can tune in for all of the action on internet pay-per-view at floracing.com. For further information, go to www.petaluma-speedway.com or go to the Petaluma Speedway Facebook page.


Ocean Speedway

August was not a kind month to Ocean Speedway. Due to fires in the area and the fairgrounds being used as a place to relocate displaced families and animals, the last two races of the month were canceled. However, the track recently announced the addition of four race dates. This Friday will be one of them. They will also have races on October 9th, 17th and November 6th. The October 17th race will be the Johnny Key Classic. All four nights will feature the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Four Bangers.

With four races left to go, there's still the possibility that Bud Kaeding could be presented a challenge in the Taco Bravo Sprint Car battle. However, they will have to step it up a little bit. Kaeding has six Top 10 finishes in his seven starts, including three Top 5s. He has yet to get a win this season at Watsonville, though he does have a victory in Hanford. Kaeding holds a 97 point lead over Koen Shaw, who is at least trying to hold on to his career best second place ranking. Shaw leads reigning champion James Ringo by 24 points. The rapidly improving Joey Ancona is just 30 points behind Ringo in the race for third, eight ahead of the tied Blake Carrick and Jason Chisum. Carrick is one of six different winners along with Mitchell Faccinto, DJ Netto, Sean Becker, Shane Golobic and two-time winner Justin Sanders. A strong turnout that could reach into the 30s is anticipated for Friday night, and it's anybody's guess who might win in this competitive field.

With just two point racing weekends left to go, the IMCA Modifieds have a wide open battle. With four races in the books, Jim Pettit II is the only two-time winner with State point leader Troy Foulger and multi-time Watsonville champion Bobby Hogge IV the other winners. However, Pettit is trailing the tied Robert Marsh and JC Elrod by three markers in this tight race. Only 14 points out of the lead is past champion Cody Burke, who is tied with Todd Hermosillo for fourth. Others anticipated this weekend include Kyle Bryan, reigning champion Austin Burke, Gary Marsh and past champion Brian Cass.

Despite missing one race this year, Adrianne Frost has managed to work her way into a tie for the IMCA Sport Modified point lead with Gavin Espino. Frost has six Top 5 finishes in her seven starts as she looks for her first win. The steady Espino has three Top 5 efforts, and this duo leads second year competitor Kelly Campanile by just seven tallies. In a close battle for third, Steven Allee leads Max Baggett by four points and Charlie Hunter by eight. They've been getting good numbers in this class this year, and other feature winners include Brent Curran and Fred Ryland twice and Randy Miller, Andrew Peckham, past champion Jim DiGiovanni and Tanner Thomas each once.

In Hobby Stock competition, Joe Gallaher is trying to take the title from his three-time reigning champion son Rob Gallaher. With five Main Events in the record book, Joe Gallaher has two victories and all Top 5 finishes, giving him a 45 point lead over Steve Remde, who is the only other driver with all Top 10 finishes in the group. Multi-time champion Terry Campion is only six points behind Remde as the winner of the 40 lap race earlier this year. Campion is 17 points ahead of Jerry Skelton and 22 tallies over Rob Gallaher. Rob Gallaher has had mechanical issues this year as he looks for his first win. Others on the win list this year are Bakersfield racers Nick Johnson and Johnny Wood.

Past champion Ryan McClelland is in the hunt for his second Four Banger title. In six starts he has three victories, but he's being stalked by two-time division champion Kate Beardsley. Kate is the only driver with all top five finishes and trails McClelland by 18 points. She's also 13 ahead of one-time winner Nicole Beardsley. Tony Gullo is just 17 points out of third and still in the hunt for second. He is six points ahead of past champion Bill Beardsley in the race for fourth, while Richard Mitchell is 11 markers out of the fourth position. John Grilli and 2018 CVMS champion Greg Baronian are other winners this year, and Mark Fields, Jesse Gullings and Roy Iler are others anticipated this week.

There should be a good turnout across all five divisions for this show, and that's the good news. The bad news is fans are still not allowed in attendance, and this race is just part of the big agenda planned for the remainder of the season. You can still check out all the action on internet pay per view at floracing.com. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com or check out the Ocean Speedway Facebook page.


Placerville Speedway

This has been a less than ideal season, and there hasn't been nearly as much racing as Promoter Scott Russell would like to have at the Placerville Speedway quarter-mile oval. There are just two point races remaining on the schedule, and this Saturday night will be one of those shows. The Thompson's Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars are competing along with the Jay's Mobile Welding Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and the NorCal Dwarf Cars.

The Sprint Cars last competed at the Mark Forni Classic in July, and this was a big purse event. That's been challenging as the track has generally been running for 50% purses unless they can get sponsorship. It was Blake Carrick picking up the increased prize on that occasion with the win ahead of Andy Gregg and reigning champion Andy Forsberg. The division also had an increased purse at the end of June as part of the NorCal Posse Shootout. Reigning Chico champion Sean Becker beat Colby Copeland and Golobic on the opening night, but Golobic came back to win the bigger prize ahead of Copeland and Blake Carrick on the following evening

Placerville Speedway usually has one of the best supported Sprint Car programs in Northern California under regular circumstances. Other winners this year include Justyn Cox, Copeland and Kalib Henry. Looking at the standings as they are after the July event, three-time Marysville winner Ryan Robinson holds a 15.point advantage over Chase Majdic, who has been piloting a car for Demo Mittry this year. 22 points out a lead is the steady Shane Hopkins, 26 points back is Cox. Michael Sellers currently holds fifth in the standings, 19 points ahead of Greg "Bubba" DeCaries IV and 23 over Steven Ingraham.

The Jay's Mobile Welding Pure Stock division has been a wide open battle this year. John Ewing won the first two races with Jason Palmer and Les Friend winning the most recent events. Friend and two-time champion Nick Baldwin have been the most consistent. Baldwin is the only driver with all four Top 5 finishes. Like Clarence Holbrook, Friend has three of them. Friend, who scored an impressive victory at Antioch Speedway not long ago, holds a two-point advantage over Baldwin and a 16 point lead over Holbrook. Ryan Murphy is 30 points out of the lead, and Jason Leonard is 32 points back. The Pure Stocks at Placerville are very competitive, and this should be an interesting show to watch. 

All three of the Mini Truck Main Event wins have gone to Mike Miller, so his 19 point advantage over Kevin Tremblay is not much of a surprise. Tremblay and Howard Miller are the only other drivers with all Top 5 finishes, and Howard Miller trails Tremblay by eight markers. Other drivers to watch for this week include Michael Murphy, Jason Murphy and Brian Tremblay.

When the NorCal Dwarf Cars are in Placerville, they generally put on an exciting show. Their most recent race in Marysville was won by rising star Ben Wiesz. However, the NorCal stars have been burning up the circuit this year as hard chargers like Shawn Jones, Ryan Winter and reigning champion Michael "Spanky" Grenert have been winning at other venues. Jones has grabbed wins at Petaluma Antioch and Watsonville this year. The Dwarf Cars were part of the big June show on both nights. The Saturday night win went to Darren Brown, who wrestled the lead away from second place finisher Jones as Winter, Wiesz and Grenert rounded out the Top 5. The Friday night portion of the program also belonged to Brown as Wiesz finished second ahead of Jones, Shawn Whitney and Ventura star Tommy Velasquez III. The ranks of the NorCal Dwarf Car group continue to grow, and there are several rookies this year. They should put on another great show on this occasion.

It's the same old story when we talk about racing on the West Coast. Covid-19 guidelines mean fans can't be in the grandstands, but www.floracing.com will be offering internet pay-per-view for Saturday's action. It's definitely going to be an exciting program, just for the Sprint Car division alone  For further information, go to www.placerervillespeedway.com or check out the Placerville Speedway Facebook page.


Madera Speedway

There's another MavTV taped event happening at Madera Speedway this Saturday night. The Nut Up Pro Late Models are running an 80 lap race with $1,000 on the line to the winner. Also competing will be the 51fifty Energy Drink Junior Late Models, the Bandoleros vs the Mini Cups and the Challenge Cup Series. Though fans are not allowed in the grandstands, nutupindustries.com has ensured that the track can broadcast this event for free on their YouTube page.

Fans watching the live stream of the $5,000 to win Race 2B Drug Free Big3 show two weeks ago saw a different winner than was ultimately declared. The wild last restart saw Trevor Huddleston get the jump on Buddy Shepherd. Contact from Shepherd sent Huddleston spinning on the back straightaway, and Carlos Vieira and Jeremy Doss crashed further down the backstretch. The track's initial ruling was that the start didn't count and those four drivers would still be in the Top 5. However, Ryan Philpott made a successful protest and ultimately was declared the $5,000 winner. Rookie Joey Iest was a $3,000 second and Seth Wise was a $2,000 third as Eric Nascimento and Sheldon Cooper completed the Top 5 for that show.

Point leader Buddy Shepard went from what could have been his fourth win to a season worst 16th place finish. However, his lead is 48 points over new second place driver Philpott. Philpott's previous best finish of the year was a third, and his first win couldn't have come at a better time. After Ross Strmiska fell out of the race early, Philpott moved 14 points ahead of him in the race for second. Blaine Rocha is running fourth, 13 points ahead of rookie Dylan Zampa and 26 behind points behind Philpott. Jeremy Doss is the only other winner in the field, and the Top 10 in the standings is rounded out by Cooper, Joey Iest, Austin Herzog, Glen Cook and Matt Erickson. 

After scoring his third 51fifty Energy Drink Junior Late Model win of the season last time out, Bradley Erickson maintains a 57 point advantage over Cole Brown. Brown has a victory this year, and Seth Wise has two of them. Brown is just 18 points ahead of Jake Bollman after the most recent event. Bollman certainly helped his cause as he scored his second runner-up finish of the year. He's closing in quickly on his first win. Kercie Jung had a disastrous night that saw her get spun out of the Top 5 twice last time out, and that dropped her 21 points behind Brown in the race for second and three behind Bollman. Jung has finished as high as second once and has a pair of thirds. Brody Armtrout is currently holding fifth in the standings, followed by recent Madera Late Model winner Kabe McClenny, Cassidy Hinds, Wise, Kasey Kleyn and Kale McClenny.

The Bandoleros and the Mini Cups run in head to head competition with their own separate point battles. To date, Bandolero point leader Jeffrey Erickson has yet to be beat. He leads the charge with six victories, giving him an impressive 46 point lead over Caden Cordova and a 64 point advantage over Joey Kennealy. Cordova is coming off of three-straight runnerup finishes as he looks for his first win. Kennealy has finished as high as third four times to keep within 18 points of Cordova in a closer race for second. Nathaniel Edwards and Wyatt Sansum make up the balance of the Top 5 in the standings coming into the night.

It's been nice to see the support increasing for the Mini Cup class in recent weeks. The leader in the race continues to be Rebecca Dubie. She has five victories to her credit, with chief rival Harley Kennealy getting the other win. Kennealy has been logging more practice laps on Friday nights as she rapidly improves. She's only nine points out of the lead. Molly Laires and brother Evan Laires are tied in third, followed by fifth ranked Bella Thompson. The Mini Cups and Bandoleros have proven to be an excellent training ground for the young up-and-coming drivers. 

The track has added a Challenge Cup Series as another avenue for up-and-coming drivers to get valuable laps. This division runs similar rules to the ARCA West Series, but the idea is to give drivers a track to run that is closer to home. It's still in the growing stages. The race about a month ago was won by Junior Late Model Star Kyle Keller ahead of Thomas Martin, Jesse Burks, Vince Little, Chuck Becker Jr and Thomas Suarez. We're not sure who will be there for this show, but it probably starts with these six competitors.

It's an action-packed show this Saturday night at Madera Speedway, and you won't have to miss any of the action. Promoter Kenny Shepherd has had some great sponsorship from companies like Nut Up Industries, Mission Foods and 51fifty Energy Drink, and they can give away the broadcast for free on YouTube thanks to them. For further information, go to www.racemadera.com or check out the Madera Speedway Facebook page.


Siskiyou Golden Speedway

After taking the week off due to the fires in Southern Oregon, Siskiyou Golden Speedway is scheduled to resume action this Saturday night. The IMCA Sport Modifieds are back along with the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars, Mini Stocks and Jefferson State Jalopies. Fan attendance is still not approved at the track yet, and we're not sure what broadcast if any might be available. That information will likely be put up on the Siskiyou Golden Speedway Facebook page.

The track has yet to update their point standings following the Labor Day weekend. The IMCA website has not updated the points either, likely due to the fact that they just ran the big Nationals event in Boone, Iowa. Jorddon Braaten was leading the Yreka standings going into Labor Day weekend, but he headed to Boone to be a part of the Nationals. This opened the door for Mike Medel and Ethan Killingsworth to move by Braaten. Medel had a terrible Friday, but he recovered on Saturday for a better finish. However, reigning champion Ethan Killingsworth picked up his first and second wins of the year. When the standings are released, Medel will have a slim advantage over Killingsworth, but we're not sure how many points that will be.

Ryan Peery and past track champion Colt Boswell were locked in a close battle for fourth going into the big racing weekend. Peery led by just seven tallies. He had an apparent victory on Friday taken from him after post race tech. The rookie appeared to pass tech, but the tech man ended up going to his pits, checking his car and disqualifying him on the spot. Boswell will likely move past him for fourth in the standings, but it should still be close. These five competitors are anticipated, and others to watch for include two-time division point runner-up Ryder Boswell, Jace Wright, Randy Wright and Joby Shields.

The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars are coming off of another good performance at Coos Bay Speedway. Camden Robustelli picked up his second win there following a battle with two-time series champion Brock Peters. Robustelli was poised to get the win last time out at Yreka, but he had problems and four-time reigning champion Josh King used his outside front row start to pick up his second win of the year. King and Peters are also Coos Bay Speedway winners. Kalvin Morton charged from the fifth row to finish second in the most recent Yreka race and might have something for the competition this week. Randy Slater is coming off of a season best third at Coos Bay last week. Other drivers to watch for include the always fast Ryan Smith, Chad Cardoza, Brett James, Jason Robustelli and ageless veteran Fred Hay.

The Mini Stocks have had six races so far, but their championship standings reflect five of those contests. Two-time reigning Medford champion David Steele has five victories to his credit as he seeks his second Yreka title. The standings reflect him leading one-time winner Ashtin Hedges by 31 markers, but that is probably slightly bigger following the most recent race. Marilyn Yawnick is shown third ahead of teammate Mike Whitaker and Hunter Magnan. The challenge is the same every week. Who can beat David Steele? He is always fast and smooth on the track. Hedges has done it once. Some of the others to watch for this week are Terry Alford Sr and his team car, rookie Paige Boswell and Kassidy Wilkinson.

The Jefferson State Jalopies look forward to their third trip to the speedway. Division co-founder JJ Smith has won both heat races and both Main Events for the class so far, giving him the lead over reigning champion Marilyn Yawnick, Ron Morris and Karl Bernstein. Yawnick and Morris each have a second place finish, but can either of them knock Smith out of the winner's circle this week? Smith and division co-founder Bernstein have a fifth car in the works, and we hope to see it debut sometime next year as this class gathers some momentum. The battle between Smith and Morris last time out was close and entertaining.

Management is trying to make the best of a difficult situation in reopening the track. Without fans, it's difficult to accomplish. The track has endeavored to offer fans a peak at the action through the Siskiyou Golden Speedway Facebook page, and that might be the case again this week.


Cottage Grove Speedway

There's still some concern over the smoky conditions in the Cottage Grove area as we head into Saturday night. Management still plans to run the race, though a decision could be made not to run by Friday. They're currently getting input from their drivers. Scheduled to appear this Saturday night will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Limited Sprints, Late Models, Street Stocks and IMCA Sport Compacts. Fan attendance is not permitted due to covid-19 guidelines, but Dirt Oval TV will be broadcasting all of the action on internet pay-per-view.

An announcement was made prior to the season starting that the track would not be keeping any point listings. However, three of the track's featured divisions are IMCA sanctioned. The sanctioning body does keep points and crowns champions once a minimum of four races are held. Currently, all three classes have held eight events, so the track will indeed have a few champions this year. Management also announced intentions to race throughout October if weather permits. 

The IMCA point totals were not posted on their site, which is likely due to the fact that they just had the big IMCA Nationals in Boone, Iowa. There isn't likely to be too much of a battle at the top of the IMCA Modified list. Two-time winner John Campos carried an 18 point advantage over Steven Sturdevant into the double header Labor Day weekend. Campos did nothing to hurt his numbers with a runnerup finish, his third of the season. After picking up a pair of third place finishes, reigning champion and one-time winner Jake Mayden is likely to move into second when the next list is released. Other winners this year include Collen Winebarger, Curtis Towns, Eston Whistler and Jesse Williamson.

The IMCA Sport Modified division has had a close battle all season, but it took a terrible turn for Hunter Bloom after Labor Day weekend. Bloom led going into the double header on the strength of three feature wins, but he couldn't make it out of the B Main on Sunday night. Reigning champion David Schmidt earned one of his five Top 5 finishes on Saturday night. However, Doug Coffman should be leading by 19 points over Schmidt. Coffman is having an impressive season with a win and four additional Top 3 efforts at Cottage Grove, and he's also a feature winner at Coos Bay Speedway. Unofficially, Bloom would be four points behind Schmidt going into the final point race. Daniel Ray and Mike DeSilva were winners on Labor Day weekend, and other victories have gone to Art Hiatt and three-time reigning Medford champion Jorddon Braaten.

Management elected to bring the Hornets in under the IMCA Sport Compact banner this year, and they are also having a close battle. One-time winner Barry Cannon unofficially holds a six-point lead over Bradley Martin. After missing the most recent Sunday race, Colt Trissell has fallen out of contention. Remarkably, Martin has not earned a Top 5 finish in the eight races held so far. Ricky Ashley has picked picked up three wins this year, and Roseburg competitor Burnie Bryant has two victories. Trissell won the season opener, and Roseburg competitor Michael Kennerly is also a winner this year. Reigning champion Brad Moffett has a pair of second place finishes as he looks for his first win. Others top runners in the group include Jeremy DeGroot, Scarlett Drake and Kerry Cooper.

There are no points being kept for the Limited Sprints, who have competed seven times this year. The leaderboard finds Kinzer Cox as the only two-time winner in the group. Cox is the 2018 division champion. Reigning champion Shane Forte and 2017 champion Ricky Ashley are also winners this year along with reigning Interstate Sprint Car Series champion Tanner Holmes, Tyler Thompson and Kyle Alberding. 2016 Southern Oregon Speedway champion Jake Wheeler has a pair of seconds and a third this year. Southern Oregon rookie RJ McGahuey finished second to Ashley in the most recent race, followed by Tyrell Mead. Cottage Grove is the only game in town this weekend for Oregon racers looking to compete in Limited Sprints.

The Late Models have seen Jim Whistler rattle off three consecutive Main Event wins. It would be five in a row if not for the fact that Jim's son Eston Whistler also has a win. Chad Groves and 2018 Cottage Grove champion Preston Luckman are the other winners so far this year. Kyle Frick, Doug Elkins, McLain Beaudoin, Chuck Christian and Mark Wauge have finished as high as second once, and Wauge also has a pair of third place finishes. The Whistler car has been fast this year, so the question may be can anybody beat it this week.

It's a shame that the Street Stock division isn't keeping points this year. Creswell's Garrett Barth could very well be leading it. He's been a strong supporter of the Cottage Grove effort in recent years, and he picked up his first win in the class at Saturday's portion of the Labor Day weekend show. He also has a pair of seconds and a pair of thirds. Graig Osborne has been fast in his visits with two wins and a pair of seconds, but he's been racing at Coos Bay Speedway, where he has five triumphs. Rob McCombs, Dakota Goddard, Chris West and Colby Gray count themselves among the winners in the Street Stocks this year. Michael Hollingsworth, Justin Evans and Sean Cronk each have finished as high as second once, and Adam Applebee has a third.

The six division format has been exciting to watch at Cottage Grove this year. Dirt Oval TV has been bringing all the action to internet pay-per-view with Ben Deatherage on the microphone, making this worth viewing. For further information, go to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com or check out the Cottage Grove Speedway Facebook page.


Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series 

The Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series is in high demand this year as tracks scramble to bring in divisions that can deliver car count. Covid-19 guidelines don't allow fans in the stands at several venues, meaning that having divisions that can deliver you car counts is important. Under the guidance of Series Director Roy Bain, the Tri State Pro Stock Challenge has had eight races so far this year, and they haven't had less than 16 competitors.

Roy is in continual negotiations with potential series sponsors that can add purse money or contingency prizes to the coming events and is even in negotiation with potential point fund sponsors for the 2021 season. The Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series Facebook page has become Roy's vehicle of choice when it comes to keeping everybody informed on what's happening next. Roy made an announcement on Wednesday night that the series was partnering with Cory Penfield of Moxie Media and Promotions to help promote the Al Miller Memorial on October 31st at Antioch Speedway.

The Miller Memorial, which pays tribute to the father of Late Model and IMCA Modified star Robert Miller and Randy Miller, will be the biggest paying Pro Stock event on the West Coast this year. Before the group gets there, they will run the Bob McCoy Memorial race at Petaluma, which is part of the Adobe Cup race on September 26th. They will also compete at the Donna Soares/Larry Damitz Memorial Hall of Fame Night show at Antioch Speedway on October 10th. This Saturday morning, the series goes to Rattlesnake Speedway in Fallon, Nevada. It's a morning race that will pay $1,000 to win, and drivers can head to Fernley Raceway that night on their way home if they want to run a second race. That race will be unsanctioned, but will pay a purse.

Saturday morning's race will be the Anthony C Martin Memorial and offers another $1,000 to win price. Nevada supporters, such as Jesse Gonzalez, Bill Pearson, Matt Micheli and Donny Richardson will probably be at the front of the line when it comes to this race. Gonzalez kicked off the 2020 season with victories at Stockton in January and February. He appeared to have the fastest car in the field at the most recent Antioch and Petaluma races, but both nights didn't end as well as they started for him. Gonzalez will be hoping to turn it around as they race closer to home. The Gonzalez, Pearson and Micheli families were all supporters of the Nevada Late Model series that ran at several venues in the 1990s

Because of the covid-19 situation, points aren't being kept this year. However, the Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series is doing internet pay-per-view streaming as a means to help generate some point fund revenue for the 2021 season. Given the new relationships they are establishing at several venues this year, next season will be a banner year for the group as we hope that racing proceeds in a more normal fashion. Though there may not be points, we do have a leaderboard to look at as several drivers have had moments to brag about during the course of the season.

Three-time reigning Petaluma and one-time Antioch champion Mitch Machado hit Antioch like a hurricane by winning the races there in June and July. In Susanville, Bakersfield area competitor Ryan Smith notched a victory in June, and Promoter Jeff Olschowka held off Jay Sears to get the win there in August. The most recent weekend saw Sprint Car racer Richard Brace Jr pick up over $2,000 thanks to victories at both Antioch and Petaluma. The competition level is very high with the Tri State Challenge Series as it brings the best drivers together from various groups throughout the West Coast.

There are many talented racers capable of winning, and a few of them are knocking on the door. Ryan Cherezian enjoyed his best series performance in January at Stockton, though he recently won his first career Main Event at Antioch. Justin Crockett is the only driver with two runner-up finishes as two-time reigning Antioch champion Kimo Oreta, Chris Smith, Wayne Coffman and Machado each have one. When the series isn't running, the regulars of this group make their presence known at other venues. In addition to winning some Hobby Stock races in Nevada, Gonzalez won a race in Coos Bay back in August. Ryan Smith won his first ever Pro Stock race at Antioch Speedway in one of their regular shows, and reigning series champion Mike Learn also has an Antioch win to his credit.

Some of the best efforts of the year for other drivers include third place finishes for multi-time Watsonville Hobby Stock champion Matt Kile, reigning Silver Dollar Speedway Super Stock champion Matt Micheli and Jay Bryant. Micheli has a pair of thirds. Hard chargers like two-time Chico champion Phil Marino, Bill Pearson, Brent Lawrence, Donny Richardson and Mike Walko have earned Top 5 finishes at least once this year as the group has brought an exciting show to four different venues this year.

Saturday night is their maiden 2020 trip to the Fallon, Nevada racing facility, and it promises to be in an exciting show. Another double digit car count is anticipated, and some of those drivers might even head to Fernley for the non-sanctioned race. Where Saturday's race is concerned, the internet pay-per-view streaming service will be offered once again. You can find that and other news at the Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series Facebook page.
 

The Editor's Viewpoint

Racing fans in Contra Costa County started getting excited at the announcement that the county was going to put themselves in line with the current state covid-19 guidelines. Evidently, they've been a little tighter wit uph the rules when it comes reopening because of their concern over case numbers. The word was that race tracks could reopen. This was specifically listed. I know there were people immediately saying, "No, that's horse racing tracks." Excuse me while I call BS on that one. A race track is a race track, whether it's for automobiles or horses, so that clarification doesn't work.

When you look at the fine print, you'll find out that they say there are no live audiences allowed. Big stadiums are empty in California because of these guidelines, and you want to talk about a place that could actually do social distancing of some sort? If you've got a 60,000 seat arena, you can't tell me you couldn't have 5,000 people there. It isn't much, but you're telling me you couldn't open the door a crack and let somebody in? Like I said, these guidelines are about controlling the masses, not keeping us safe.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the announcement itself. You mean that up until the 16th of September, Contra Costa County couldn't technically open a race track? I seem to recall Antioch Speedway opening back in May, so that rule didn't get enforced. I'm glad it didn't, don't get me wrong. I just find it interesting that it's now officially acknowledged that they can hold races under these guidelines, but I still ask the question everybody else asks. What about the fans? This question was asked on the Antioch Speedway Days Of Old Facebook page, and management responded that they still can't have fans just yet.

I'm going to say this again, and I wish promoters would actually listen to this. If you're at the point where the phase system allows you to open a race track, you're included in this. If not, you should still agree because eventually you should be to that point. If they're going to allow so many people to be in the pits for a race to actually occur, there is an average base number assigned to that. If it's 250, 300 or whatever. Take that base and put them in the grandstands. If you can have 300 people in the pits, you can have 300 people in the grandstands.

It's high time management at tracks like Antioch, Petaluma, Watsonville, Madera or wherever they plan to race through October get together and make a proposal to the state. Tracks are able to open? Fine, tracks should be able to have a limited amount of people in the stands. Determine whatever the phase system needs to be. Make a pitch for 50% capacity as your big hope, or whatever you agree on. Bring it down to 300 or whatever your minimum is. There are fans willing to come out there, and there's some that still want to live in fear and not go anywhere. That's fine, but you'd sell out 300 tickets. If you can get approval, that's just more revenue in addition to your pay per view.

To clarify, race tracks can open, but they can't have fans yet. That's all that was said. I understand people getting excited about it, because they should. People should do more than get excited about it, they should start standing up for their rights. Sitting on your butt and hoping somebody else will do it for you won't change anything. People can protest for other reasons and that's their First Amendment right. I see no reason why fans couldn't protest outside the race track. On the other hand, I have a hunch that things may be happening behind the scenes. There could be good news when it comes to fans, but I won't say anymore. It would just be speculation at this point.

It was the middle of the week as I began working on this column, and there was still heavy smoke in the area. I know the people in Cottage Grove are hoping that they get a little bit of rain to help clear the air. The track announced that as of Monday Saturday's race was still on, and this would serve as the final point race for the IMCA sanctioned Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Sport Compacts as there is no racing planned on the 26th. The Limited Sprints, Late Models and Street Stocks round out that program. The track actually plans to have racing in October, if the weather will allow it. I know Dirt Oval TV broadcasts their stuff through internet pay-per-view, and the Cottage Grove Speedway Facebook page is the place you want to go to get more details.

Air quality is one of the problems these tracks are dealing with right now. I feel for the promoters because the fire season seems to be worse this year than I can recall and more places are being impacted. Of course, there's bigger issues at play than whether a track can have a race or not. People are losing their homes and their businesses. Then again, people's homes and businesses have been threatened due to this covid-19 lockdown situation we've been struggling through. I hate to say it, but as a promoter, I don't think I would have opened my gates this year. If I did, I might have tried to plan one big show, but I'm not even sure about that. I'll give the promoters credit for trying.

Petaluma Speedway had to cancel last weekend because the smoke and air quality was just that bad. I heard the word toxic being used by the media to describe the air quality, and Rick Faeth didn't want the racers being out there and exposed to that. Other tracks, such as Antioch Speedway and Madera Speedway, went ahead and rolled the dice. I'm not sure what the air was like at the track in Antioch that night, although people in the area were showing pictures of smoky and gloomy skies. At Madera, Kenny Shepherd pointed out how smokey it was and mentioned how it was even darker than usual. That could have been problematic as they would not have been able to go into the night due to electrical problems. They were counting on the daylight. It still worked out for them.

Petaluma Speedway has the West Coast 360 Sprint Cars this Saturday. That group has been used to seeing their races canceled this year, so losing last week wasn't a surprise to them. I'm not so sure there will be that many drivers who would normally follow the tour coming to Petaluma. What I do think is there are Winged 360 Sprint Car drivers who will remove their wings and race. Petaluma has a few drivers who enjoy that. I'll get into that here in just a second, but I would point out that the Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks, General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars and Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks will also be a part of this Saturday's show, which will be on internet pay-per-view at floracing.com. The Petaluma Speedway Facebook page will surely have more updates as they have some big races planned before the year is up.

As I know people are intent on taking the Wingless Spec Sprint division and turning it into Wingless 360s, I shake my head. These are the kind of things we had to deal with from the moment we started this class. The idea was simple, although it's lost on some people. It was Sprint Car racing for the Stock Car minded people. Sprint Car racing for the guy on a budget. Sprint Car elitists referred to this as a "bastard class", but we kept moving ahead. Other promoters realized that this "bastard class" produced car counts and good racing, so it grew and thrived. It's been 20 years down the line, and I'm prepared for the people who want to destroy the class to have their way.

I think what disappointed me the most was that Northern California clearly had Wingless 360 drivers interested in creating their own series. I'm saying, leave the Spec Sprint division alone and start your injected 360 division. I know that Shawn Arriaga and Ricky Brophy were working on doing that a few years ago. They nearly landed a date at Merced Speedway. It got postponed that year, and then Ed Parker passed away. After that, Shawn and Ricky didn't talk too much about doing anything, but they clearly support the idea. I still believe it would have worked. There was enough interest from tracks like Placerville, Watsonville and Petaluma that you easily could have had 6 to 10 races to start with, which would have been plenty. If you tell me you would do it that way rather than destroying the Spec Sprints, you'd have my 100% support on that idea. As it is, I'm less than thrilled with what's going on with the Spec Sprints.

USAC has their presence in Northern California, so what works best for them is just booking whatever dates in the area as USAC West Coast 360 Sprint races. I wouldn't question the formula, but I would say that if they were able to book six or seven races, having a USAC Northern California Series champion would be a good idea. In this way, you could actually build up the support more and turn it into something. There are more drivers than you realize who like the wingless racing. Give them enough dates, and they'll show you. Petaluma Speedway is certainly one of those tracks that loves Wingless Sprint Car racing.

Antioch Speedway has IMCA Modified and Sport Modified championship night this Saturday. It's been a nip and tuck battle in the IMCA Sport Modifieds, and it looks like it's between Mark Garner and Trevor Clymens with KC Keller still mathematically in the hunt. Troy Foulger basically needs to show up with the Bowers Motorsports Modified to claim that division's championship. The Hobby Stocks have been hitting it out of the ballpark lately, so this Saturday's show should be entertaining. It should also be featured on the track's own internet pay-per-view streaming service at antiochspeedway.tv.

The Bill Bowers Memorial race on October 1-3 appears to be headed for floracing.com, which is music to my ears. The paid subscription we were sponsored will assure that I'll be able to cover the show. It's $5,000 to win the IMCA Modifieds that Saturday and $2,000 to win the IMCA Sport Modifieds. Friday's show will be a regular purse for both classes and they even have the Thursday night cornhole tournament, barbecue and pit party. I have to admit, I like the philosophy behind what Chad Chadwick did in creating this race. He was definitely going for a George Steitz vibe, and I felt that in the pits last year. It's a damn shame I won't be down there for this one, but I'll be there in spirit.

I think it was a brilliant move by track management to add the IMCA Stock Cars to that weekend. It's not even just about giving the IMCA Stock Cars a show and knowing you're going to get cars. Obviously, that's important. It's also about previewing a division that will be on the Antioch Speedway roster in 2021. What better way to do that than with a good turnout? It's possible that we could see a car count in the 20s for this division, and it helps when you've got a company like 1 Hour Drain coming on board to sponsor them. These people have been sponsoring the Mike Cecil Memorial at Watsonville for several years now. Both the Friday and Saturday night IMCA Stock Car shows will pay $1,000 to win. How cool is that?
 
I also give the track kudos for making good use of the Facebook page by showing the entire Wednesday night practice for free. Anybody hearing the cars in the neighborhood could go to Facebook and see that live, not to mention the racing community that was aware that they were doing anything. It's more advertisement for the track. I like what they do with the new Facebook page, and they've shown what they're capable of there. My disappointment in them was only that they didn't deal with me respectfully so that we could have handed over the established Facebook page and they could have started with a bigger audience. But, they're growing their page pretty well. This kind of stuff will do it. Facebook is an important marketing tool that can make a business money if used properly.

Tuesday turned out to be an eventful day for promoters making deals. There had been some question about the Western swing for the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midgets. The rumor was the whole thing would get canceled, but that didn't turn out to be the case after all. The only event lost in the deal was the annual Turkey Classic at Ventura Raceway. Seeing that this was going to be the case, Merced Speedway General Manager Doug Lockwood once again sprang into action. He first asked the races publicly whether he could get Midgets and Sprint Cars for any kind of a show, but it evolved quickly from there. By mid-afternoon, a deal was struck.

Merced Speedway will host a $3,000 to win USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets program on Wednesday, November 25th. The track had already announced a show for Friday November 27th for the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modified, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars and California Sharp Mini Late Models. This is an added bonus. The 24th will see a practice session. Supporting the Midgets for the race will be Winged 360 Sprint Cars, which is a bit of a surprise. One might have anticipated a Wingless Sprint Car race, but there's no shortage of Winged Sprint Car competitors. The Wednesday practice will also include the Micro Sprints for a race of their own. Considering the abundance of Micro Sprints, this was an easy move to make.

It's another instance of Doug Lockwood stepping in and being a leader during a difficult time. It's not that he's been booking an abundance of races, but he has been making the dates that he books count. November, if the weather allows it, will be a big month for Merced with National Midgets and the IMCA Modifieds getting their own events.  Businesses interested in sponsoring these shows can contact Doug through the Merced Speedway Facebook page.. The other question was could Placerville Speedway Promoter Scott Russell salvage something out of this mess. He already lost a USAC West Coast 360 and Western Midget program in July, and he wasn't keen on giving up on his big event in November.

The good news is that Placerville Speedway won't be giving up on the race. After the National Midgets hit Bakersfield Speedway on November 17th, Placerville hosts a big money event on November 19th, 20th and 21st. A support division has yet to be announced for the show. Placerville established this race as the biggest paying Midget race on the West Coast. It's the Hangtown 100. The purse money hasn't been announced for the Saturday night finale, but it should be good. We also aren't sure what the announcement will be in regards to support divisions this year. It was the Northwest Focus Midgets who got the honors last year.

In the meantime, Russell is trying to wrap up the remainder of the season. So far, it's all systems go for Saturday night and the Winged 360 Sprint Cars, who will be supported by the Jay's Mobile Welding Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and NorCal Dwarf Cars. Big Trophy Night was moved to October 3rd, which is the point finale. The Sprint Cars and Pure Stocks will be joined by the Limited Late Models and the BCRA Midget Lites. The action will all be broadcast at floracing.com, and you are sure to get more updates as announcements are made via the Placerville Speedway Facebook page.

Jimmy Screeten of the BCRA Midget organization made a post regarding the October 3rd Race at Shasta Speedway. This is a race that will allow 200 spectators and will feature the North State Modified Series, Legends of the Pacific, Hornets and a race that will include the BCRA, WMRA and Focus Midgets. What he basically said is that it's time for the racers to put up or shut up. The people in the BCRA that want pavement races need to get their cars out to Shasta. No excuses. There's no reason why the BCRA couldn't at least produce eight cars, while the WMRA could do the same. I can't speak for the WMRA as I don't know their numbers, but he's right about the BCRA. 

What Jimmy is basically saying is that the BCRA's numbers are going down, and if they're not careful, they will lose pavement race date opportunities. A good turnout here could bode well for them possibly doing some more shootout races with other groups on the pavement. Maybe they could even fly solo if the numbers go up really well. Personally, I'm not in favor of the BCRA running on the pavement. I think it's diluting the product and lowering the numbers overall across the board. However, he does have the right idea in what he's saying.

I point to the date on September 26th at Antioch Speedway, which is a good dirt track opportunity for the BCRA. They need a dirt track to hang their hat on. They need something that they can call their own, and they've got the numbers on the dirt to be producing 15 or 16 car fields. Antioch used to be a place that they could do that, and there are still other tracks as well. Placerville comes to mind. I'm not talking BCRA versus USAC. I'm talking BCRA alone, and yes, they can do it. The question is, do they have it within them to pull it off? The only reason the gate opened for them at Antioch is because of the management change, and they laid an egg when they had their first opportunity last month.

They need to keep a good eye on what's going on with the Western Midgets, because the Ecotec Midgets will take over Northern California if these guys aren't careful. It's simple. Get those damn race cars ready. If the motor runs and the car can make a decent lap, get it out there. Deliver the numbers and show the potential of this group. Get Antioch management to want you to come back in 2021 and make it a BCRA race. I think it's sad that they have to run joint races with USAC in order to get dates in their own territory these days, but that's how much this group has deteriorated.

If I'm sounding negative towards the BCRA, this is not the intent. I am a tradition-minded person, and this organization has a history to it that they should be proud of. They sanctioned Hardtops back in the day and had one hell of a circuit there as well as with the Midgets. They have a Hall of Fame, which is almost fading away now because of the lack of club leadership focusing on priorities with this group. There's only one priority now. Get those cars to Antioch as if your club depends on it. It does. They aren't done after Antioch, but this is the next race. You can find out more by going to the bcraracing.com website.

There's good news to report on the NARC/King of the West Fujitsu Winged 410 Sprint Car Series front. We had hoped to hear a peep out of the group regarding the Gary Patterson Tribute race at Stockton in November, but we also speculated that we could hear something from Hanford before then. It turns out that we were right. Hanford originally wanted to run a race saluting the late Morrie Williams. Williams was a long time car owner for the group, most recently for Bud Kaeding. He passed away last year. This will be a special occasion on October 10th, paying $5,000 to win. That's a nice accomplishment, considering there are no fans allowed in the stands yet.

A look at the Keller Auto Speedway website shows a race on September 26th, featuring the King of Thunder Winged 360 Sprint Cars, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars and IMCA Stock Cars. On the big October weekend, they have a salute to Kenny Takeuchi, the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame announcer. The Legends of Kearney Bowl will be supporting the Sprint Cars that night. The next night, it's the NARC/King of the West Sprint Cars for the big money, joined by the RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars and House of JuJu Central Valley Mini Stocks. They should have the October action broadcast on floracing.com, and you can go to the Keller Auto Speedway Facebook page for any updates as they come.

I can't say I'm surprised to hear that the Mark Howard Memorial USAC/CRA Sprint Car event at Perris Auto Speedway was canceled. They made the announcement at the beginning of this month that they were hoping the September 26th race would happen, but it's been a bigger struggle in Southern California to get a track open. I pretty much knew when they said that they'd make an announcement within about 10 days of the show that the announcement would be another cancellation. It is what it is, but I can't imagine the staff down at Paris Auto Speedway is too thrilled. In the meantime, they continue to hold closed practices.

I'm excited about the Chet Thomson Memorial Hardtop race. I love the Hardtops. I am into the nostalgia thing of the Sportsman, Hardtop and Super Modified divisions. I will admit that I'm disappointed that the coverage is lacking for all three of these groups. You can't even find information when you need it a lot of the time. If it wasn't for Ken Clifford cluing me in on what was going on with the California Hardtops, I wouldn't know the little bit I know. I greatly appreciate him and the enthusiasm he brings to the Hardtop movement, but I do wish the CHA president would make better use of the Facebook page and post updates more often.

I feel like the Merced Sportsman division could be an endangered species if somebody doesn't step up and grab the reins. I don't think that management necessarily hates the class, but there's so much other stuff jockeying for a place on that roster that the Sportsman division will get lost in the shuffle. What it needs is somebody coordinating the group and keeping people in the loop. I can't state it enough how important it is to have somebody letting the racers know when the race is happening and helping get each other to the track. I still believe there is somewhere between 16 and 20 Sportsman cars in the Merced area, and I believe we had 10 of them run last year. It still has lots of potential to do better.

With the Legends of Kearney Bowl Super Modifieds, they have things pretty much the way they want them. They have some of the most beautiful race cars you'll see on the track, but they have next to nothing when it comes to publicity. They have Julie showing Facebook videos and getting pictures out there, which is at least something. What needs to happen is information on those cars. Who's driving them, which ones are originals that are restored and which ones are replicas. Then again, they seem to be happy where they are. Although I'd be tempted to do something for them, I hesitate for lack of the information that I need. This needs to be done right, and I fear I would miss the mark.

I have my eyes on the Sportsman division and the Hardtops. As I disengage from the current media effort, I want to do something. I just haven't put the pieces to the puzzle on this yet. The Hardtop division has an even greater potential right now than we are seeing, and they could have a better presence on the race track with proper guidance. Everybody who sees these cars loves them, but leadership has to step up and take more of a role in presentation and selling these cars to the people. The cars practically sell themselves, but you still need people beating the drums.

There's been next to nothing when it comes to talking about the 18th running of the Chet Thomson Memorial race. That comes to Antioch Speedway on September 26th, which is next week. There has been no post asking who is coming out to race. There have been no pictures of drivers planning to be there. There's been nothing. Tommy Thomson has been working on his car and making it nice and pretty for this event, and he was planning to be in Antioch making practice laps on Wednesday. The race is named after his father, who was a Vallejo Speedway champion. When Tommy first started running with this group, he was running the original car that he ran at Vallejo Speedway. It's been updated and changed, but the body began from a Vallejo car.

I have my ideas on presentation and things that can be done for this group. I just have to decide whether I want to jump in and to what degree. Going back to the time when this blog was created in 2007, you can find posts that I've made at various times on Hardtop races that happened. I am a supporter of this class, but there's something lacking that maybe I can help with. I don't want the Hardtops to get shoved to the side at certain race tracks, and my fear is that it will happen without better organization. What exactly can I do to help? That's what I'm thinking about.

In the meantime, September 26th will also be a special occasion at Ocean Speedway. It's the 10th running of the Pat And Jim Pettit Memorial Shootout race. I can't believe it's been a decade since we lost Pat Pettit. I liked that she was never shy when it came to speaking her mind and would debate me on certain topics. She would flat out tell me if she thought I was wrong on something. Jim, who we lost a couple years ago, had a different way of telling me when he thought I was doing the wrong thing. Both were supportive of me as I was getting started in racing media and I miss them.

We don't have a lot of moments here in racing to really be excited about. It's time for the big races to happen. These are the nights where the tracks are promoting bigger purses, and this event fell on the shoulders of Jim Pettit II and family to help organize and get sponsorship. It is the biggest IMCA Modified show at Ocean Speedway every year, and Pettit didn't want to drop the purse below what people saw last year. He won't be doing that. To win on Saturday, the IMCA Modifieds will get $3,006, the Sport Modifieds get $1,006 to win and the Hobby Stocks get $506 to win.

What has helped is that there have been sponsors that have come in and made various contributions. That could even continue leading up to the race. The Friday portion of the show will pay $1,003 for the Modifieds and $503 to win the Sport Modifieds. These are also point events, and Watsonville's got quite the championship battle going on right now in Modifieds between Robert Marsh, JC Elrod and Pettit. Others could still make a move with this weekend also having a show that will include the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds. For that matter, Adrianne Frost and Gavin Espino have a good battle going in the IMCA Sport Modifieds.

I wish I could be down there for this program. I consider Jimmy to be family. I've never been to one of these races, and I know that drivers in those three divisions will make it a point to be ready. The car count will increase, and I'm anticipating the numbers will go into the 100s for this. They do a kickoff barbecue party and car show on Thursday night, get into racing on Friday and wrap it up with the bigger show on Saturday. It goes from there to the big show at Antioch, the show at Bakersfield and then Merced's big shindig, all in October. As for Watsonville and their race this Friday and the coming Pettit Memorial, go to the Ocean Speedway Facebook page to get information. You can also watch it all on internet pay-per-view via floracing.com.

Chris Briggs has been hard at work trying to organize the Antioch Speedway Hall of Fame online presence. This was all stuff I had intended to do, but I admit I lagged on certain things. I'm still dealing with mixed emotions about walking away. I feel in some ways that I was forced to do that, but in other ways I feel it was the right thing to do. I was able to find somebody in Chris who cares about that race track and is ready to jump in and do more. This is exactly what was needed. The web presence is part of it, organizing the committee and putting some big plans in motion that will make this thing grow.

I don't know what's going on with respect to the Hall of Fame on October 10th. I'm out of the loop. Maybe that's for the best. I haven't been asked for my input, and I'm not going to force my way into any of that. The Antioch Speedway Hall of Fame has been created. I did my part, and now it goes on to somebody else. I'm not giving up on the notion that I can help start another Hall of Fame at another track. In fact, I'll do so if given the right opportunity. I'm proud of the fact that I've helped get the Antioch and Southern Oregon Racing Hall of Fame started. You can either talk about it or do it, but talking won't get it done.

One of the things that made the Hall of Fame happen for me was sponsorship. Back in the day, I wouldn't have hesitated to take what money I was making from the magazine or anything I might have been paid at the race track and put it right back into something like this. Sadly, I am just not making enough money at all. What little I get is spent immediately, so there is no saving. Therefore, when I pitched the Hall of Fame idea in 2018 and began working on the list of nominees, I didn't have the money to do a damn thing. That year, I had an anonymous sponsor come in and essentially pay for the whole thing and had additional support from JD Willis, Paul Gould and Mike Kord. Add Rick and Diana Panfili giving me a place to stay and helping me put other things together, and we pulled it off. I'm very proud of the first Hall of Fame year. I think we nailed it.

My biggest flaw in 2019 was acting like a kid in a candy store. I had a list, and people were offering other names. Rather than insist on no more than 10 inductees, I decided that for the 60th season I would go ahead and induct more. I shouldn't have done that. Therefore, there were people who didn't attend, and awards were unclaimed. It still wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for some great people sponsoring me. The initial sponsorship of Dennis Furia Jr and Billy Bowers was what made it possible to proceed, and there were others.

Here's the thing. Chris Briggs shouldn't be expected to foot the bill for this whole thing. He'll have to rattle the tin can and ask for some support. Thankfully, I had The Tip Jar to help me with some of this and others gave me money in person. The overall cost for just getting the awards and the display boards and other odds and ends, not to mention paying my way down there, was over $1,000 for both years. If not for the community getting behind me while we established this thing, it never would have happened. It would have simply been a post on the racing blog that talked about it. This is all about the racing community and preserving the great heritage of Antioch Speedway.

Chris and I have spoken of some ideas, and I think he has some good ones. He talked about the 50/50 drawing. Larry Adams and I spoke about that as something Antioch Speedway should get back into, and I support Larry's idea there. I've had the idea of an Antioch Speedway Alumni Association or something, and Chris seems receptive to that idea. This would be something that might be membership-driven. Membership might go towards the Hall of Fame or any special alumni night that might happen. I don't know, but this is a way to get some of the old veterans involved in the track in some capacity.

I actually envision a second night that could be special at the track. I love that Hall of Fame night is still joined with the Donna Soares/Larry Damitz Memorial, because I think it needs to be there. However, you could have a Legends Night earlier in the year. What Legends Night could be is a special race for people who aren't currently active. You might see some names show up that you haven't seen in a long time. Whether they get behind the wheel of Hobby Stocks or Four Bangers, you have a special race. It's one race a year, a trophy and bragging rights. It's also an opportunity for the track to play up the history and see some of the legends back on the track. Obviously, an alumni association could be a part of this.

I had an idea where my jumping off point would have been on nominees if the covid-19 shut down hadn't happened. That is to say, I had a short list. It would have been about 10 names, and that would have just started the discussion. Several of those names might have made it in, but others would have been added and subtracted as nominees came in. Or, had I gotten my butt in gear and got the committee started, that would have been my proposal and others would have made theirs. I thought about sharing that list and talking about why, but I'm going to refrain for now out of respect to what Chris is doing. It's up to him to guide things, and I'm here to support him. The important thing is that it continues.

I'm not privy to what he's doing and who, if anybody, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The night in question is October 10th, so it's coming up fast. Chris has just created the website and a Facebook page for the Antioch Speedway Hall of Fame. I haven't received any messages requesting input, and obviously I'm in favor of abbreviating the list this year. We can't have fans, it's going to be harder to get some people to show up on short notice and that means two to four people would be perfect for now. I have an idea on that, but I'll leave it there. As I said, I might share my thoughts in the next couple of weeks in this column.
 
Wednesday afternoon saw a bombshell dropped on the racing community in Lakeport. Apparently, the Lake County Fair Board decided to terminate the contract between them and the NCRA. I'm not privy to the actual reason why, and there has been lots of speculation that the original agreement had flaws in it and other such things. What the termination of the contract means is that they have to get a new contract. It also means that other potential bidders have a right to request an RFP and submit their own bids. Therefore, the NCRA could end up getting the track back, or somebody new could come in with a better proposal. What I'm reading suggests that they're not interested in terminating racing, but I'm just getting details at this point in time.

I'm sure this caught some people off guard. I've had praise for the way Bob and Nadine Strauss ran things at this track, especially when you go back to the 1990s. I got an opportunity to watch one of their October Classic Events back then, and they had a heck of a program. However, we're going 20 years in the past when we talk about that. The last 20 years have seen a steady decline in this program. I think there's people that want to put the blame at the feet of David Furia, to which I would have to respectfully disagree. The place was already suffering when David came in and tried to revive it. He did the right thing trying to cultivate a series between Ukiah and Lakeport, but eventually he was at odds with the NCRA. I'm not getting into that as I don't know all the details.

Here's what I think. Lakeport Speedway should become a dirt track. I might offend purists, but I would also point out that they were a dirt track in the past. I would further point out that Petaluma Speedway may not have that much longer of a life, and Lakeport as a dirt track would give the competitors another option as some of those racers aren't so keen about crossing the bridge and racing at Antioch Speedway. I might also add that at various times during the last 30 or so years promoters have looked at that place with an eye towards putting dirt on it. I know two of the promoters who have made that proposal, but the NCRA was able to repel the challenges. 

As far as how it was in the 1990s, nothing needed to change. It was working just fine. The program is so far down in the ground right now that a change like putting dirt on the track might just be the thing to do. I think it could revive the program, but that's just my opinion. I know there are racers who would disagree with me, and I'm sure that Nadine would strongly disagree with my opinion here. However, I'm looking ahead to the future of racing in the area and the fact that Ukiah Speedway is doing the pavement thing much better and has a pretty good relationship between themselves and Eureka. If Shasta gets their act together, I think there'd be a good relationship there as well, and there would still be a strong pavement racing presence in Northern California.

My opinion is that the NCRA will ultimately win the day, but if the right person puts in an RFP, it could change. The important thing to me is that racing continues at Lakeport Speedway, whether it's pavement or dirt. The tradition must live on. Personally, I'd like to see it become a dirt track and see if that could actually grow the interest a little bit more. You could start seeing things like dirt Sprint Cars coming to town and other things that might spark interest, and to me, that would be a good thing. I'm not sure what will happen next, but we'll be keeping an eye on it.

Roy Bain of the Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series has not been resting on his laurels. He did a couple of live streams this week to give us the status on things. They're racing at Fallon, Nevada this weekend, and it will be a morning race. This is so that the track can work with Fernley Raceway. The series will pay $1,000 to win at Fallon. Fernley will be welcoming the Pro Stocks, though that won't technically be a series race. This is for the drivers who might want to have two races in one night, which I see as a good thing.

In the stream earlier this week, Roy seemed to indicate that they didn't expect the Stockton Dirt Track to open for the races that are scheduled in November, which would also mean we'll lose the Gary Patterson Tribute race for the Sprint Cars if that holds true. Therefore, they get to participate in the Bob McCoy race at the Adobe Cup at Petaluma on September 26th. At least $1,000 will be on the line for the winner there. They are welcomed at the Larry Damitz Memorial at Antioch Speedway on October 10th, and then comes the Al Miller Memorial race on October 31st as part of what should be a big show for Antioch Speedway in general.

Roy referred to this as one of the biggest Pro Stock races on the West Coast, but it's the biggest. There are a ton of sponsors coming in and throwing money into this, and I'm sorry I didn't take notes on all of this. I believe Winning Attitude Motorsports and Lyle Hopper is behind it again in some regard. There are others. Roy had more good news on Thursday night. My colleague Cory Penfold has been noticeably absent over these past few months as far as his Moxie Media and Promotions operation is concerned. When they are in full swing, they are very good at what they do. However, Cory and wife Sandra have been busy cultivating their Outlaw Kart track, Marion Creek Speedway.

The good news is Roy has apparently worked out a deal to get Cory and his team involved for the Al Miller Memorial race, and that means Penfold will take a more active rule in media relations. Cory and his capable team, which includes the very talented Nina Bobina and Gary Gripp, will be in Antioch. They have somebody flying a drone for footage, Cory will surely take the microphone and do the Pro Stock broadcast and I don't see how this could be a bad thing for the effort. It will improve the quality of the presentation. It's certainly a good thing for the Pro Stocks.

Roy has made his foray into internet streaming, and I've spoken with Cory about the possibility of Moxie Media getting into the same thing. They do have a show on Speaker Radio called West Coast Wide Open, which has been on hiatus lately. I have a feeling that Cory and his team may fire that back up again very soon. I'm excited about that as I'm interested in their coverage for the Pro Stocks and what their take might be on some of the other happenings in the sport. As usual, you can go to the Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series Facebook page for regular updates, and also follow Moxie Media and Promotions on Facebook as I think they will probably start getting more active in the days ahead.

That's about the way I see it heading into the weekend. I'm thinking that we might do one more weekend preview post before we start to scale back a little bit, and that may be iffy as well. There are other things that need my attention, but race review articles will continue. There are too many big races not to cover. The racing season will still go on into November, if the weather allows it to happen. I was kind of hoping that after the election we might hear of more tracks that could have fans in the stands for those races, but I don't know. I guess that's something we'll find out in the weeks ahead.

I sincerely hope we don't end up creating a segment of fans who are comfortable sitting at home rather than going to the track. I do support tracks having streaming services even when they have grandstands open, because there's always going to be people who don't live by the track or whatever who might watch your show. It's more revenue to be made, but the grandstands revenue is where it's at. If you have live streams bringing you revenue, why wouldn't you do that? Right now, streaming services are the only way fans can watch, and we're certainly learning a few things about each track. Some places might need a little more help when it comes to their announcing, but that's the subject of another rant.

On that note, I'm going to end this column. Until next time...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Madera Speedway, Antioch Speedway, Dixon Speedway, Coos Bay Speedway, Lakeport Speedway, More

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Aguirre, Secord, Jacks Win Madera Raceway Club Show

Madera, CA...September 12...Jason Aguirre won the 40 lap Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Madera Speedway. This was a regular Club Race, and there have been no repeat winners in this Late Model Series so far this year. 

Aguirre had the front row and charged into lead over Sheldon Cooper and Tim Skoglund. Cooper was looking for his second win in the series as he also leads the overall track points. A Lap 16 yellow flag flew when Del McIntosh spun on the frontstretch after contact from incoming point leader Lily Mead. Aguirre continued to lead Skoglund and Cooper on the restart, but Cooper made an inside pass in Turn 1 on Lap 21 to regain second. Cooper began pressuring Aguirre for the lead, and he got a strong run on the inside as they headed towards Turn 1 on Lap 32. Aguirre cut off Cooper entering Turn 1, resulting in a Cooper spin. Cooper suffered damage and was eliminated in the incident. Aguirre led Skoglund and Aaron Mullins on the restart as championship contender Trevor Schlundt bolted into fourth. Mead and McIntosh again got together on the backstretch on Lap 36, resulting in both drivers spinning. Mead was sent to the infield for her part in the incident, which will likely result in a new point leader at the end of the night. Aguirre led Skoglund and Mullins on the restart, and they finished in that order at the checkered flag. Trevor Schlundt took the checkered flag in fourth, followed by Mike Shapiro, Mike Brumit, Eric Seely, McIntosh, Mead and Cooper. Cooper had the fast time on the 1/3 mile paved oval at 15.050, beating the 15.134 of Aguirre. Aguirre and Mullins were the eight lap race winners.

Eddie Secord won the 50 lap 602 Crate Modified Main event. The last time out, Secord led most of the race before being passed late and settling for second. On this occasion, he set a rapid pace and turned in a dominant performance in victory. Secord raced into the lead at the waving of the green flag ahead of Kayli Barker. Joe DeGuevara made an outside pass on the frontstretch on Lap 3 to take second from Barker, and.a yellow flag waved on Lap 6 for a Turn 4 tangle involving Scott Osborne and Ethan DeGuevara. Secord remained in command on the restart. Scott Hamm moved into second and Payton Bell settled into third. Previous winner Jaron Giannini slipped past Barker for the fourth position on Lap 9. Out front, Secord steadily pulled away from the rest of the pack and took the checkered flag a straightaway in front of Hamm as the rest of the race ran without incident. Hamm was a solid second, followed by Bell, Giannini and Barker. Secord set the fast time of 15.011, beating the 15.121 of Giannini. The eight lap heat race wins went to Hamm and Secord.

Ty Jacks won the 30 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Jacks raced into the lead at the start with Billy Maddox and point leader Manny Gonzales Jr quickly moving into second and third. A Lap 7 yellow flag flew when Gonzales and Maddox tangled in Turn 2. Jacks continued to lead the restart ahead of Nick Rowe and Tyler Rogers. A low pass in Turn 4 on Lap 13 gained Maddox third, and he went inside Rowe in Turn 1 on Lap 17 to claim second. Gonzales was battling Rogers for the fourth position before finally making a pass stick in Turn 1 on Lap 26. A Lap 27 yellow flag waved for Rogers, who exited the event from there. Jacks had Maddox and Gonzales pressuring him hard on the restart, but he stuck to the bottom line and managed to hold them off for the checkered flag. Maddox settled for second ahead of Gonzales, Rowe, Bakersfield Hardtop racer James Bradburn and Rogers. Gonzales set the fast time of 16.186, beating the 16.275 of Rogers. Maddox outran Jacks to win the eight lap heat race.

Ryan Reynolds won the 30 lap MST Main Event. This was his second win of the season as he keeps pace with brother Shaun Reynolds in the point battle and in the win column. Ryan Reynolds raced into the lead at the start ahead of Shaun Reynolds and Haley Bugg. For about 20 laps, the brothers had an intense, side-by-side battle. Ryan stuck with the outside, while Shaun handled the inside. They came up on the Toyota Sedans on multiple occasions to put them a lap down, but Ryan was relentless and refused to give up on the outside lane. He continued to beat Shaun back to the line each lap by a nose. Shaun made his move on the inside in Turn 2 on Lap 20 to briefly take the lead, but they were still running side-by-side. Ryan made an outside pass in Turn 4 on Lap 23 to regain first. They came up on traffic on Lap 28 and touched, resulting in Ryan Reynolds nudging ahead of Shaun Reynolds at the checkered flag. Bugg was a lead lap third. Thomas Magray was the lead Toyota and finished fourth overall in front of fellow Toyota racer Wyatt Cantrell. Ryan Reynolds had the fastest MST time of 16.603, while Magray was the fastest Toyota qualifier at 17.935. Ryan Reynolds outran Shaun Reynolds to win the eight lap heat race.

Next Saturday will be another MavTV Series televised race. The Nut Pro Late Models will be back for a $1,000 to win event. Also competing will be the 51fifty Energy Drink Junior Late Models, the California Challenge Cup Series and the Mini Cup vs the Bandolero Series. Thanks to nutupindustries.com, the event will be broadcast on the track's YouTube page for free. For further information, go to www.racemadera.com or check out the Madera Speedway Facebook page.
 
 
Jones A Double Winner At Antioch Speedway


Shawn Jones #24 scored the Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event victory. Photo by Paul Gould.
 
Antioch, CA...September 12...Shawn Jones won both the 25 lap Wingless Spec Sprint and 25 lap Delta Dwarf Car Main Events Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Jones is a past Watsonville and NorCal Dwarf Car champion, and he's also the 2018 Hunt Wingless Sprint Series champion. He becomes the sixth different Spec Sprint winner in seven races. He's also the fifth different winner in seven Delta Dwarf Car shows, while also winning the Pro division portion of the Dwarf Car Regionals at Antioch in July. Covid-19 guidelines meant that no fans could attend this race, but it was all broadcast on internet pay-per-view at antiochspeedway.tv.

There were 14 Wingless Spec Sprint competitors. Jones outran two-time Watsonville champion Jimmy Christian to win the first eight lap heat race, while point leader DJ Johnson outran two-time Antioch champ Bob Newberry to claim the victory in the second heat. Jones had the pole for the Main Event alongside Johnson, who was going for his third win of the season. Unfortunately, Johnson didn't finish and would lose some of his advantage in the standings over 14 year-old Dylan Bloomfield. Bloomfield came from the third row to second and chased Jones across the finish line. Past BCRA Midget champion Matt Streeter drove the Ted Finkenbinder car to a third place finish, followed by past Petaluma champion Ryon Siverling, Roy Fisher, Alan Miranda, Kevin Box, Tony Bernard, Jeff Scotto and Jimmy Christian.
 
Shawn Jones #80n won the Delta Dwarf Car Main Event. Photo by Paul Gould.
 
There were 21 Delta Dwarf Cars on hand for this show, and they ran three eight lap heat races with the wins going to two-time Antioch champion Danny Wagner, reigning NorCal Dwarf Car champion Michael "Spanky" Grenert and past NorCal champion Ryan Winter. Front row starter Wagner and Winter battled at the front of the pack as Jones quickly joined the fray from fifth starting. Jones managed to get past both drivers and would pick up the win. Winter settled for second, followed by Wagner, Sean Catucci, Garrett Brady, Dennis Gilcrease, Grenert, championship contender Devan Kammermann, John Williams and Joe Tardiff.
 
 Fred Ryland drove the Jim Freethy #99 car to a Main Event win. Photo by Paul Gould.

Fred Ryland won the 15 lap Super Stock Main Event. Ryland was subbing for Jim Freethy on this occasion and would also win the six lap heat race. Ryland turned in an impressive performance in victory with Jay Bryant chasing him in second, followed by Chris Long and John Evans.

Chris Corder #68 won the Four Banger Main Event. Photo by Paul Gould.

Chris Corder returned and won the 25 lap Valley Four Banger Main Event. Corder is a three-time Merced Speedway champion and won the Antioch season opener. The track offered a purse to the Top 5 finishers with Corder clamming the $100 first prize. Corder and Central Valley Mini Stock competitor Ryan Doglione won their respective eight last heat races. Both drivers started back in the fourth row as reigning CVMS champion Dan Myrick led early. Both Corder and Doglione managed to get by Myrick, and Corder held off Doglione for the victory. Myrick settled for third, followed by Clinton Massey, current CVMS point leader Jeff Durant, Trevor Jolley, 2018 Merced champion Allen Neal, current point leader Jess Paladino, Matt Herod and Shawn DePriest.

Next Saturday night is IMCA championship night, featuring the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. The racing will be broadcast on internet pay-per-view at www.antiochspeedway.tv. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
 

Collins Wins North State Modified Race At Lakeport Speedway

Lakeport, CA...September 12...Charlie Collins won the 60 lap North State Modified Series Main Event Saturday night at Lakeport Speedway. A restart with 15 laps to go provided Collins an opportunity to move past previous winner Kyle Tellstrom, and he surprised him by getting the lead that he would take all the way to the checkered flag. This was the final race of the season at Lakeport Speedway, and covid-19 guidelines meant that fans could not attend. However, the track broadcast the entire show for free on their Facebook page. 

Darrin Sullivan brought the pack to the green flag and raced into the early lead ahead of Ian Elliott and Collins. Jeremy Nowlin made an outside pass on Collins on the backstretch to take the third position on Lap 3. Tellstrom made an outside pass on Collins to take fourth on Lap 10, and a yellow flag flew for Richard Knight in Turn 2. Sullivan continued to lead the restart with Nowlin charging past Elliott for second. An outside pass on the backstretch on Lap 16 gained Nowlin the lead, and Tellstrom went to the outside of Elliott in Turn 4 on the same lap to grab third. Tellstrom made an outside pass on Sullivan for second on Lap 17 and began to pressure Nowlin for the lead. An outside pass in Turn 4 on Lap 23 gained Tellstrom the lead. Collins was back in the third position, and the lead three drivers ran closely at that point. Scott Winters made an outside pass in Turn 4 on Lap 31 to grab fifth from Sullivan, and he made a high pass in Turn 4 on Lap 39 to take fourth from Cody Braund. Nowlin was right on the rear bumper of Tellstrom and challenging him for the lead when he unexpectedly hit the wall in Turn 4 for a Lap 45 yellow flag. Tellstrom was working well on the outside and stayed with it for the restart, only to watch Collins get a good run on the inside to grab the lead. During the final 15 laps, Collins pulled away to about a straightaway advantage over Tellstrom in victory. Winters had taken the third position on the restart and finished there, followed by Braund, Darrin Sullivan, NCRA Limited Modified champion Mike Sullivan, Dustin DeRosier, Chris Salmina, Richard Knight and Noah McCormick.

Tellstrom was the fastest of 17 qualifiers on the quarter-mile paved oval at 12.414, beating the 12.437 of Winters. Darrin Sullivan outran Tellstrom to win the six lap Fast Dash. The Show Dash went to DeRosier ahead of Keith Bloom. Bloom headed to he pits just before the green flag waved on the Main Event to end his night early.

Simi Tour won the 30 lap Taco Bell Bombers Main Event. Jim Kollenborn led a lap before an inside pass in Turn 3 gained Tour the lead. Forrest Kuecker led Mikey Snider past Kollenborn for the second and third positions on Lap 4. However, Tour began to pull away from the competition in the non-stop event. New champion Donovan Cox settled into fourth on Lap 7. By the 20th lap, only the Top 4 competitors were on the lead lap. Tour won by a straightaway ahead of Kuecker, Snider, Cox, Kollenborn, Trevor Abella, Klinton Waite, Amber Portlock and Kasey Horat. Kuecker had the fastest lap of 13.812. Horat outran Kuecker to win the six lap Trophy Dash. Kollenborn won the first 10 lap heat race ahead of Abella. After Snider led the first seven laps of the next heat race, Kuecker went racing by to grab the lead and eventual victory.

Johnny Barker won the 30 lap Pro 4 Modified Main Event. This was his second win of the season. Barker charged into the early lead ahead of Ron Portlock and Mike Peterson. Peterson went high in Turn 2 on Lap 3 to take the third position from Portlock, but Barker pulled away from him rapidly. Barker lapped fourth place James Gard on Lap 15 and put a lap on Portlock  three laps later. Barker also managed to put a lap on Peterson as he won ahead of Peterson, Portlock and Gard. Will Robertson and Wade Eldrege were Main Event scratches. Barker was the fastest qualifier at 12.441 and outran Portlock to win the six lap Trophy Dash. Barker completed the clean sweep with the 10 lap heat race win ahead of Gard.

2019 champion Cody Winchell won the 30 lap Legend Car Main Event. For much of the race, it looked like Late Model star Jeremy Doss might pick up his second-straight win. Doss raced into the lead early on ahead of Winchell and new champion Kylie Daniels. Mark Burch was running a steady race in the fourth position. The leaders came up on slower traffic by Lap 10, but Doss continued to hold off Winchell. Burch was lapped on Lap 17, leaving just the Top 3 competitors on the lead lap. Working traffic on Lap 24, Winchell spun in Turn 1. On the restart, Doss appeared to have mechanical failure entering Turn 1, collecting Winchell. The race was over for Doss. Winchell led Kylie Daniels on the restart. Despite heavy pressure from Kylie Daniels the rest of the way, Winchell picked up the victory. Tom Summers was two laps down in third, followed by Burch, announcer Dan Camacho, Trey Daniels and Doss. Doss was the fastest qualifier at 13.736 and also outran Winchell to win the six lap Trophy Dash. Doss also outran Kylie Daniels to win the 10 lap heat race.

Noel McCormick won the 20 lap Late Model Main Event. There were only two competitors in the field, but they put on a good battle in their 20 lap combined Main Event and heat race. Late Model veteran Bill Binns set the pace for four laps before McCormick went by on the outside. Binns stayed with him from there until having mechanical issues on Lap 18 and pitting as McCormick picked up the victory. McCormick had the fast time of 12.250, beating the 12.288 of Binns.

Landyn Snider won the 15 Lap Bandolero Main Event. Scnider has more experience than the other competitors in the field. He lapped newcomer Braydon White on Lap 2 and put a lap on second place Courtney Portlock on Lap 4. Sinder would lap those two again on his way to victory as Portlock finished second ahead of White. Snider had the fast time of 14.942 and also won the six lap Trophy Dash.

For updates and news from the track, go to the NCRA Lakeport Speedway Facebook page.
 

Gray, Sharp, Bell, Davis Win On Exciting Night 
At Dixon Speedway

Dixon, CA...September 12...Cody Gray won the 25 lap Wingless 600 Micro Main Event Saturday night at Dixon Speedway. This was the second win of the season for Gray. Looking for his fourth win in the last six races, Austin Stone charged into the early lead ahead of Brandon Shaw and point leader Kelvin Lewis. Lewis moved by Shaw for the second position on Lap 7, but Shaw was back in front of him on Lap 8. A Lap 16 yellow flag slowed the pace, followed by a Lap 17 caution. Stone continued to lead Shaw on the Lap 18 restart as Gray moved past Lewis for third. Gray slipped by Shaw for second on Lap 20 and then put the moves on Stone to grab the lead on Lap 23. One more slow down occurred on lap 24. Stone gave it a shot on the final restart, but Gray was just too quick for him as he beat him back to the checkered flag. Shaw settled for third, followed by Lewis, Travis Sullivan, Chris Parmley, past Petaluma Dwarf Car champion Dave Mosier, reigning Super 600 champion Kyle Mentch, Nate Wait and Blake Parmley.

There were 30 competitors, and Mentch set the fast time on the 1/5 mile dirt oval at 11.001, beating the 11.037 of Stone. The four 10 lap heat race wins were earned by Blake Parmley, Shaw, Jeremy Chapman and Lewis. Stone outran Lewis to win the 10 lap Trophy Dash. JJ Loss won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Matthew Santana, Chuck Patterson, Danny Rozendahl and Harley Rose.

Izaak Sharp won the Super 600 Main Event. He becomes the seventh different winner in 12 races. Looking for her first win of the season, Hailey Wood charged into the early lead ahead of Devin Courtnier and Sharp. Sharp slipped past Courtnier for the second position on Lap 3, and a yellow flag waved on lap 11. Wood continued to lead Sharp and James Andrichuk on the restart. A fierce battle ensued between Sharp and Wood with Sharp grabbing the lead on Lap 16. Wood moved back around on Lap 17, but Sharp regained first on lap 19. Courtnier and Andrichuk both moved past Wood for second and third on Lap 22. Sharp led the rest of the way to win, followed by Courtnier, Andrichuk, Ricky Sanders, Wood, Blaine Baxter, Dennis Sherer, Jason Chapman, Pete Piantanida and Anthony Lewis. Courtnier had the fastest lap of 10.296, beating the 10.379 of Sharp. The 10 lap heat race wins went to Baxter and Sherer, while Wood outran Courtnier to win the six lap Trophy Dash

Bryant Bell won the 20 lap Restricted Main Event. This was the third win of the season for the current point leader. Matthew Tatoole raced into the early lead ahead of Brandon Riveira and Izaak Sharp. Following a Lap 2 yellow flag, Riveira took the lead from Tatoole on the restart as Bell settled into third. Riveira continued to lead through Lap 9 and Lap 10 yellow flags with Bell moving into the second position on Lap 11. Yellow flags waved on Lap 12 and 13, but Riveira led Bell and Tatoole on the restarts. Bell began pressuring Riveira hard and made the move for the lead on Lap 18. Bell led the rest of the way for the win, followed by Rivera, Tatoole, Colin Kirby, Sharp, AJ Nielson, Colton Key, Austin Wood, Jackson Kohler and Lucas Johnson. Riveira had the fast time of 10.933, beating the 10.998 of Wood. The 10 lap heat race wins went to Riveira and Kohler. Tatoole outran Sharp to win the six lap Trophy Dash.

Briggs Davis won the 20 lap Jr Sprint Main Event. In the process, he became the seventh different winner in 12 events. Davis had a front row start and charged into the early lead and over championship contender Kyle Fernandez and point leader Makayla Tatoole. There was a yellow flag after three laps. Davis continued to lead Fernandez on the restart as Kellen Harper moved into the third position. Another yellow flag slowed the pace on Lap 9, but Davis continued to run a great race up front as he led Fernandez and Harper. A Lap 18 yellow flag set up a potential duel to the finish. As Davis continued to lead the way, Harper surprised Fernandez by slipping past him for the second position. Davis went on to score his first win of the year. Harper was a season best second, followed by Fernandez, Tatoole, Vito Cancilla, Ryder Johnson, Jonathan Andrichuk, Austin Turner, Ryder Byrd and Reid Baxter. Harper had the fast time at 13.144, beating the 13.278 of Davis. Fernandez and Davis won the 10 lap heat races, and Davis completed the clean sweep with the six lap Trophy Dash win.

The next race on the schedule will be October 10th, featuring all of the regular Micro Sprint classes. That will be the final point race of the season, but the track will also run the 8th Annual Kaiser Memorial race on November 6th and 7th. For further information, go to www.dixonspeedway.net or go to the Dixon Speedway Facebook page.
 
 
Luckman, Dubisar, Beaudoin, Christensen Win 
On Championship Night At Coos Bay Speedway

Coos Bay, Oregon...September 12...Preston Luckman won the 25 lap America's Mattress Super Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Coos Bay Speedway. This was also NASCAR championship night. The reigning Coos Bay champion started in the second row and wasted little time getting past the front row of Deven Brown and Bruce Rayburn Jr. It was fourth row starters Braden Fugate and Brody Montgomery making a mad dash to the front of the pack as both were in championship contention. As Luckman picked up his fifth win, Fugate collected yet another second place finished. By virtue of his third place effort, Montgomery won his second Super Late Model championship in three years. Jason Johnson settled for fourth, followed by Brown, Rayburn, Mike Taylor and Hannah Robison. Fugate and Montgomery won their respective eight lap heat races.

Steve Dubisar won his third 20 lap Street Stock Main Event. However, his quest to repeat as champion was thwarted as Ken Fox used a fourth place finish to clinch the title. Both Dubisar and 2016 champion Daniel Land won their respective eight lap heat races. Dubisar started back in the fourth row, while Fox started in the sixth row. Peyton Reigard was hoping to use his pole position start to get the win, but he was unable to hold back the challenge of Dubisar and fourth row starter Leroy Rockwell, who grabbed the 1-2 finish. Don Croy managed to hold off Fox to finish third as Reigard settled for fifth, followed by Graig Osborne, Dyllan Siewell, Troy Chamberlain, Land and Dustin Hitner.

Ryan Emry won the 20 lap Sportsman Late Model Main Event. Despite the fact that he was a Main Event scratch, Trace Fugate still won the division championship. Fugate suffered mechanical issues on his way to an eight lap heat race win. Emry won the 20 lap feature race with Jim Crabtree a season best second, followed by Jared Simmons and Jim Van Loon.

Scott Beaudoin won the 20 lap Mini Outlaw Main Event. This was his fifth win of the season. Despite another disappointing effort in 11th, Brad Hicks nonetheless managed to win the division championship. Scott Beaudoin started in the fourth row and made his way to the front of the pack. Outside front row starter and eight lap heat race winner Jason Kellam led several laps with Jeff Thurman in pursuit. Scott Beaudoin managed to get around both drivers for the lead and would score the victory. Kellam settled for second ahead of Thurman, Matt Diller, Cole Newman, Mike Beaudoin, Greg Prewitt, Matthew Emry, Ty Whitney and Pam Beaudoin. Tahlen Rogers won the other heat race, but bad luck in the Main Event dropped him to third in the standings behind Scott Beaudoin.

Seth Christiansen won the 20 lap Hornet Main Event. Both Christiansen and Jeremy Degroot were the eight lap heat race winners. Christiansen started in the second row and battled Mike Bales early before getting the lead. Kris Parker started back in the 14th position and worked his way up to battle Christiansen before settling for second. Bales ended up third, followed by Kevin Rockwell, William Hitner, John Henry, Zach Hickman, Josh Muir, Ryder Johnson and Jet Nelson. Despite finishing out of the running in 14th, Isaac Stere won the division championship.

Griff Smith won the 15 lap Junior Stingers Main Event. This was his 11th win as he won his third-straight division championship. Smith had a rare bad finish in his eight lap heat race as James Shingleton collected that win. Alex Butler was back in competitive form with a heat race win of his own. Jordan Wheeler and Butler battled at of the front of the pack early in the race while Smith had to work his way up from the 14th starting position. Smith rapidly moved his way forward and overtook both Wheeler and Butler for the win. Wheeler settled for second, followed by Butler, Cameron Metzgus, Lily Metzgus, Shingleton, Teagen Montgomery, Max Haga, Eli Luckman and Heather Burton. 

Camden Robustelli won The 25 lap Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Main Event. This was the second win for Robustelli. Robustelli had a perfect evening after winning his six lap heat race and then picking up the pole position start by virtue of his five lap A Dash win over Randy Slater. Robustelli and two-time champion Brock Peters shared the front row after Peters won the B Dash. They battled at the front of the pack with Robustelli winning ahead of Peters. Slater had his best finish of the year in third, followed by Trevor Davis, Steve Walker, Chad Cardoza, Crystal Flath, Jason Robustelli, Fred Hay and Adam Chaffee. Peterson was the other six lap heat race winner.

The oval track will be dark this weekend, but the Winged Sprint Car Battle at the Bay is scheduled for September 26th. Joining the Sprint Cars will be the Street Stocks, Mini Outlaws, Hornets, Dirt Modifieds and B Modifieds. For further information, go to www.coosbayspeedway.us or check out the Coos Bay Speedway Facebook page.


Antioch Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
Delta Dwarf Car

Shawn Jones
Ryan Winter
Danny Wagner
Sean Catucci
Garrett Brady
Dennis Gilcrease
Mike Grenert
Devan Kammermann
John Williams
John Tardiff
Buddy Olschowka
Chance Russell
Travis Day
Scott Dahlgren
Joe Tardiff
gage meyers
Ellie Russo
Jeff Bentancourt
Michael Curry
David Rosa
David Michael Rosa

Super Stock
Fred Ryland
Jay Bryant
Chris Long
John Evans
    
Wingless Spec Sprint
Shawn Jones
Dylan Bloomfield
Matt Streeter
Ryon Siverling
Roy Fisher
Alan Miranda
Kevin Box
Tony Bernard
Jeff Scotto
Jimmy Christian
James Thomson
D.J. Johnson
Troy Ferry
Bob Newberry

Valley Four Banger
Chris Corder
Ryan Doglione
Dan Myrick
Clinton Massey
Jeff Durant
Trevor Jolley
Alan Neal
Jess Paladino
Matthew Herod
Shawn DePriest
Gene Glover
Leo Lotz
Wylie Wade


Coos Bay Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
America's Mattress Super Late Models

Preston Luckman
Braden Fugate
Brody Montgomery
Jason Johnson
Deven Brown
Bruce Rayburn Jr
Mike Taylor
Hannah Robinson

Sportsman Late Models
Ryan Emry
jim CRABTREE
Jared Simmons
Jim Van Loon
Trace Fugate DNS

Street Stocks
Steve Dubisar
Leroy Rockwell
Don Croy
Ken Fox
Peyton Reigard
Graig Osborne
Dyllan Siewell
Troy Chamberlain
Daniel Land
Dustin Hitner
danny eversole
Melissa Adams
Charlie Withers
Richard Davies

Mini Outlaws
Scott Beaudoin
Jason Kellam
Jeff Thurman
Matt Diller
Cole Newman
mike beaudoin
Greg Prewitt
Matthew Emry
Ty Whitnwey
pam beaudoin
Brad Hicks
Tahlan Rogers
Dan Daniels

Hornets
Seth Christensen
Kris Parker
Mike Bales
Kevin Rockwell
William Hitner
John Henry
Zach Hickman
josh muir
Ryder Johnson
Jet Nelson
Dusty Shingleton
George Wheeler
scott Lager
Isaac Stere
Blane Kernutt
Matt Diller DQ
jeremy degroot DQ

Jr Stingers
Griff Smith
Jordan Wheeler
Alex Butler
Cameron Metzgus
Lily Metzgus
James Shingleton
Teagan Montgomery
Max Haga
Eli Luckman
Heather Burton
Alexus Baker
Drake Vincent
riley rockwell
Nicole Emry

SODCA Dwarf Cars

Camden Robustelli
Brock Peters
Randy Slater
Trevor Davis
Steve Walker
Chad Cardoza
Crystal Flath
Jason Robustelli
Fred Hay
Adam Chaffee
MARK Terry
Tanner Curr


All American Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
NASCAR at Roseville Round #4
Late Model
Main Event #2

Randy Hedrick
Cole Moore
Michael Mitchell
Holley Hollan
Aidan Daniles
Angelina Dempsey
Matthew Wendt
Tyler Caturegli
JJ Ferguson

Main Event #2

Randy Hedrick
Cole Moore
Michael Mitchell
Kenna Mitchell
Holley Hollan
Angelina Dempsey
Matthew Wendt
Aidan Daniles

Jaws Gear Limited Modified
Jason Philpot
Sammy Nuno
Sierra Furia
Tyler Mullican
Josh Blackwood
Jon Yourd
Arnie Wentworth
Luke Caper

Super Stock
Andrew Peeler
Tim Walters
Jill Schmidt
Andrew Kemp
Blake Disomma
Harry Lambert
Chris Paulson
Branden Powers
Brian Skidmore
Phil Wilkins
Jeremy Fritts

F4

Ray Molina
Matthew Fuhs
Dennis Crook
Vic Theberge
Matthew Cockrum
Jerry Nunes
John Sproule
Steven Crook
Dan Cherry
Richard Innis

Jr. Late Model
Aidan Daniels
Kenna Mitchell
Lane Anderson

Mini Cup/Bandolero
Colten Nelson
Bella Thomsen


Madera Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
Club Race
Late Models

Jason Aguirre
Tim Skoglund
Aaron Mullins
Trevor Schlundt
Mike Shapiro
Mike Brumit
Eric Seely
Del McIntosh
Lilly Mead
Shelden Cooper
Calvin Hegje
Jon Schlundt

602 Spec Modified
Eddie Secord
Doug Hamm
Payton Bell
Jaron Giannini
Kayli Barker
Joe DeGuevara
Sam Jacks
Scott Osborne
Ethan DeGuevara

Hobby Stocks

Ty Jacks
Billy Maddox
Manny Gonzales Jr
Nick Rowe
James Bradburn
Tyler Rogers

MST's/Toyotas
Ryan Reynolds
Shaun Reynolds
Haley Bugg
Thomas Magray
Wyatt Cantrell
 

Dixon Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
Wingless 600
Main Event

Results are not official
1     #4G Cody Gray    
2     #29M Austin Stone
3     #0 Brandon Shaw
4     #87 Kelvin Lewis
5     #2 Travis Sullivan
6     #16C Chris Parmley
7     #23L Dave Mosier
8     #21K Kyle Mentch
9     #35W Nate Wait
10     #6B Blake Parmley
11     #686 Jared Byrd
12     #23 George Nielson
13     #37H Ryan Holden
14     #27D Don McLeister
15     #12S Matthew Santana
16     #444 Brandon Alvarado
17     #26C Jeremy Chapman
18     #7R Harley Rose
19     #67 JJ Loss
20     #48 DERRICK PATTERSON
21     #47 Danny Rozendahl    
22     #41 Chuck Patterson

Semi Main

Results are not official
1     #67 JJ Loss    
2     #12S Matthew Santana
3     #41 Chuck Patterson
4     #47 Danny Rozendahl
5     #7R Harley Rose
6     #17 Taylor DeCarlo
7     #31 Tyson Davis
8     #31X Sam Borland
9     #4X Shiloh Borland
10     #36Z Devin Osanna
11     #8R Rob Brown    
12     #8S Savannah Brown
13     #07 Travis Henry

Super 600
Results are not official
1     #24S Izaak Sharp        
2     #34 Devon Courtnier
3     #20 James Andrichuck
4     #17 Ricky Sanders
5     #2 Hailey Wood
6     #25B Blaine Baxter
7     #7W Dennis Scherer
8     #25 Jason Chapman
9     #96 Pete Piantanida
10     #17L Anthony Lewis
11     #4 Tony Alosi
12     #36 Jarrett Heimlich
13     #67 Christian Harris

Restricted

Results are not official
1     #72B Bryant Bell    
2     #05R Brandon Riveira
3     #88T Matthew Tatoole
4     #83K Colin Kirby
5     #24S Izaak Sharp
6     #09 AJ Neilson
7     #63 Colton Key
8     #2A Austin Wood    
9     #73J Jackson Kohler
10     #7 Lucas Johnson
11     #15K Kyle Cravotta
12     #23C Cierra Wullenwaber            

Jr. Sprints
Results are not official
1     #96 Briggs Davis        
2     #5 Kellan Harper
3     #77K Kyle Fernandez
4     #88M Makayla Tatoole
5     #4K Vito Cancilla
6     #17R Ryder Johnson
7     #20 Jonathan Andrichuk    
8     #5T Austin Turner
9     #686 Ryder Byrd        
10     #14 Reid Baxter        
11     #48 Aubry Patterson


Lakeport Speedway Unofficial Race Results September 12, 2020
North State Modified Series
Napa Lake Parts Main Event

Results are not official
1     #69 Charlie Collins        
2     #5k Kyle Tellstrom
3     #24 Scott Winters
4     #18 Cody Braund
5     #21 Darrin Sullivan
6     #5 Mike Sullivan
7     #12 Dustin DeRosier
8     #08 Chris Salmina
9     #15 Richard Knight
10     #2K Noel McCorrmick
11     #37 Robert Schmidt
12     #16 Rich Cobb
13     #02 Sal Lopez
14     #77 Jeremy Nowlin        
15     #20 Darrin Knight    
16     #27 Ian Elliott        
17     #96 Keith Bloom    

NCRA Bombers
Results are not official
1     #64 Semi Tour        
2     #79 Forrest Kuecker
3     #6k Mikey Snider
4     #13 Donovan Cox
5     #17 Jim Kollenborn
6     #51 Trevor Abella
7     #18 Kinton Waite
8     #75x Amber Portlock
9     #77kc Kasey Horat    

NCRA Legends Cars

Results are not official
1     #12c Cody Winchel            
2     #7 Kylie Daniels
3     #64 Tom Summers
4     #3m Marc Burch
5     #3 Trey Daniels    
6    #24c Dan Camacho
7     #75 Jeremy Doss        

Pro 4 Mods
Results are not official
1     #22 Johnny Barker        
2     #87 Mike Peterson
3     #29 Ron Portlock
4     #07 James Gard
5     #77z Wil Robertson


Marysville Raceway Unofficial Race Results September 9, 2020
Tribute to Gold Cup
Winged 360 Sprints
A Main

Ryan Robinson
Andy Forsberg
Tanner Carrick
Shane Golobic
Blake Carrick
Michael Wasina
Colby Copeland
Jake Haulot
Colby Wiesz
Alec Justeson
Justin Henry
Jimmy Steward
Caden Sarale
Billy Butler
Michael Sellers
Ashlyn Rodriguez
Nick Larsen
Michael Ing
Sean Becker
Bobby Butler

B Main

Michael Ing
Ashlyn Rodriguez
Michael Sellers
Jimmy Steward
Mike Monahan
Ben Wiesz
Pat Harvey Jr
Alex Fowler
Darren Johnson
Jayce Steinberg
Stephen Ingraham
John Sullivan
Steel Powell

Hobby Stocks

Jim Brookshire
Jesse Van Roekel
Kyle Cheney
Jacob Johnson
Hollis Thackeray
Jimmy Ford
Jason Clayton
Devin Koranda
David Caluya


Barona Raceway Unofficial Raceway September 5, 2020
IMCA Modifieds

Eric Evans
Matthew Hicks
Randy Thornell
Joseph Altig
Keith Altig
Karl Von Yokes
Dustin Stanley
Cole Dick
David Taft
Mike Lerwill
Blake Thornell

Lightning Sprints
Grant Sexton
AJ Bender
Brent Horn
Kevin Bates
Rudy Padilla
Chris Crowder
Wyatt Boczanowski
Dalton Sexton
Brandon Leedy
DeJay Dumas
Parker Dumas
Clint Newman
Brent Sexton DNS
Dale Gamer DNS

Street Stock
Mike Pridgeon
David Kilpela
Gary Rodriguez
Paul Dyke
Nick Braddy
Terry Adams Jr
Sunny Trent
Rod Robison
Dan Burakowski
Rick Eicksteadt
Perry Humphries
Jake Triska DNS

Pure Stocks
Rick Chavez
Jayson Aldridge
Patrick Hartley
Rick Schnereger
Eric Evans
Brandon Jesina
Nick Novak
Mike Rumbaugh
Jeff Grill
Nick Rounkles
Tiffany Crow
Cameron Veatch
Greg Perry
Dave Evangelou
Rusty Staley
Mike Burks
David Hunt
Curtis Reiter DNS
Lynn Davis DNS
Ken Rose DNS
Nicole Carlton DNS
Chris Evans DNS

Dwarf Cars
Darren Brown
Michael Tobiason
Tom Morley
Mikey Hall
Tyler Rodriguez
Devin Kelly
Parker Dumas
DeJay Dumas
Ryan Dumas
Scotty Preast
Steve Kapaun
Joseph Bohard
Kobe Kerns
Dan Varner
Ron Dunlap
Dewey Myers
Tommy Crow
Robert Peters DNS
Wesley Sexton DNS

Pony Stock
Lucas Vanderstaay
Dennis Taylor II
Eric Milczewski
Mark Barlow
Robert Minnick
Ray Klimas
Alan Milczewski
Tommy Schmal
Daniel Souto

Jr Sprints
Gage Baldwin
Landon Dalton
Taylin Baldwin
Noah Dalton
PJ Sexton
Caleb Scholl

Mini Dwarf Masters
Danielle Friel
Jacob Novak
Luis Fuentes Jr
Kellen O'Connor

Mini Dwarf Sportsman
Cam Baldwin
Brysen Byford
Sheldon Scott
Kaiden Johnson
Cash Sims
Zachary Dalton
Brody MacLean
 
 
The Editor's Viewpoint
 
I'm just doing the briefest of updates to this column on a Monday. I was hoping to get information for a couple more articles, but those particular tracks are lagging as usual. While trying to put everything else together, I had to do a double take when news came across my desk that Leroy Van Conettt had died. Actually, it's an easy mistake, but still a sad bit of news. It was actually his son, Roy Lee Van Conett, who passed away. Roy did share a love of race cars with his father, but I don't know much about his background in the sport. I can only relate the year that we crossed paths.

Paul Nelson was having a little bit of a battle with the city of Pittsburg, which is best left out of this column. Suffice it to say that Paul thought he was going to make some money and perhaps even take over the NCMA. His dream didn't turn out that way, but he did bring in Roy Lee Van Conett as his driver. This was at a time when the NCMA was trying to get some name recognition to gain more exposure. At that time, we even started seeing Ken Gandy, Del Quinn and Terry DeCarlo behind the wheel of NCMA Modifieds.

Roy had his moments in Paul's car, and that included a couple of Main Event wins. I don't know that Roy did that much racing after that, but I understand that he did go to the races. The people that knew him found him to be one of the nicest guys you would want to know. I don't know any of the details, but I offer my condolences to the Van Conett family.

Since I brought up the subject of the NCMA, the club announced that the races they were hoping to have at Madera and Ukiah this year have both been canceled. They will wait until 2021 to get back on the track. There may have been an issue regarding cars being ready to go, but I'm only speculating. They didn't really elaborate, but they haven't had the biggest of car counts in recent years. If one or two drivers aren't able to make those shows, you may end up with only a glorified match race. The NCMA certainly has work to do to rebuild the car count as they are pretty much just getting by on tracks taking pity on them. I still say they should consider a return to the dirt, but I'll leave it at that for now.

I admit to being in a grumpy mood lately, and that's not okay in regards to this racing blog. There are certain things I really don't want to talk about here. I've created other blogs for those topics. It is seeping into the racing stuff, but only because it affects the racing community. I really do hope that the people in the racing community take a look at the bigger picture of what's happening in their state, this country and around the world. I'm not telling anybody what they need to think, just that they need to think and ask themselves if this is normal and acceptable.

When the fires hit, I think it affected me a little bit more than it has in the last few years. I had started working on articles for the end of the week post, but I would hesitate. I wasn't feeling it. I was worried about friends that I have in the Medford area and friends that I have in California who might be affected. Suddenly, talking about racing didn't matter as much. It just isn't that important. This is just the latest thing on top of more things that we've been dealing with this year. At some point, don't you feel like it's enough? Don't you just want to unplug?

Old habits die hard. I have been approaching the racing thing the same way since I began doing magazines back in the 1980s. Once I start doing this stuff, I need to keep doing it every week until it's over. Taking a week off is unacceptable to me for some unknown reason. I haven't quite figured that out. As the rewards don't come my way for the effort made, I still have this annoying habit of feeling like I have to do the work anyway. It was Friday morning and I knew I had a few hours of work to do to put the weekend preview post up. We weren't having any races that I cover on Friday night, so I technically wasn't late.

I sort of stumbled through the day, slowly working on the post. This one didn't meet my standards 100%. I would say probably it reached 80%. Coupled with the fact that there isn't much else out there anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and finish the job, even though nothing got posted until around 7:30 in the evening. Who am I posting it for at that point? The readership is down. There are even fewer people listening to the audio show, but I did it for whoever was there. That's the only reason I did it. I could at least say that it was done, and then it's time to get ready for whatever racing activity happens on Saturday.

Between the fires happening in Oregon and California as well as the fact that these covid-19 guidelines are still screwing with tracks trying to get anything going, there was news. Air quality isn't going to be so good, and a few tracks figured that out. As I mentioned in the preview post, Willamette Speedway canceled their race in front of an empty grandstands that was going to happen that Saturday. Siskiyou Golden Speedway removed their scheduled race for Saturday and decided instead on a practice. They weren't going to have fans in the grandstands either, and I don't think they were going to get that much racer support as it was. The fires in Medford were going to lower that support even more.

On Friday, we found out that Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka and Petaluma Speedway were both canceling. It turns out that several people on the Eureka safety crew are also firefighters. They were needed desperately to help fight the fires in California, and the track decided to go ahead and cancel the Saturday afternoon offering and reschedule it. Again, they're not running in front of any fans in the stands, but they probably would have offered a free stream on their Facebook page. There is another race scheduled and the canceled race could be rescheduled. The Redwood Acres Raceway Facebook page would probably be the best place to check on that.

Petaluma Speedway had already canceled the previous race on orders of the mayor and the city manager. I don't know why that request was made, but I'm sure somebody complained about something and it has to do with these ridiculous 19 guidelines. See what I mean? I can't just say covid-19 guidelines at this point. I have to put the word ridiculous in front of it. I am over it, and honestly talking about racing right now is getting harder when I see freedoms possibly slipping away from people in this country. I know people are thinking that if the election goes a certain way, it's going to end. This feels different to me somehow, so I'm not sure. I hope it's that simple.

In any case, Petaluma Speedway canceled the race the previous week. The air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area is terrible. They say it's the worst it's been for quite some time. I've even heard the word toxic thrown around, but the media can spin things even harder when they need to. Regardless, Petaluma Speedway Promoter Rick Faeth decided it was best to cancel this race. 

It was to be a USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car race with Western Midgets, McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds and Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros in support. I'm not sure they were looking at such a good car count for this one anyway, but they canceled. It's a moot point. It'll be interesting to see what happens this next weekend as the USAC Sprint Cars are scheduled again. Will it happen? The best place to find out will be the Petaluma Speedway Facebook page.

One or two tracks that I was watching and thinking might cancel didn't. I'll admit, that's one of the reasons why I was dragging my ass when it came to putting the last post up. I had already written a preview for Petaluma Speedway, and I would have been previewing a cancellation. If a couple of the tracks that I planned on focusing on canceled, I probably wouldn't have even made the effort. I was almost hoping to hear that the races were canceled. Is it bad that I just admitted that? However, they didn't cancel, so I moved ahead.

We're in September, and we're still hearing crappy news concerning the virus shutting more racing down. I happened to check on Hermiston Raceway in Oregon, which was the second track to get a real fan attendance agreement with the covid-19 guidelines as a factor. I think that Coos Bay Speedway might have had an agreement, but Promoter Drake Nelson was simply going through the motions. He was going to run the races the way he saw fit, and that was just going to be that. You'll even hear comments on social media that admit from people who claim to have been speaking with the man that this was his protest. Is that true? I can't say 100% yes, but it sure seems like it.

The first honest agreement we had that got fans happened in Susanville. They got a socially distanced crowd and no concessions. It ended up being that the final two racing weekends they had would have no fans as the Lassen County Health Officials denied them. I was thinking that they might have otherwise gone into September for a race or two, but at this point it's okay to pull the plug. They managed to accomplish whatever they were hoping for. In Oregon, tracks were trying to figure out if they could classify two locations. That was the path that Hermiston Raceway used.

With Oregon saying that in Phase 2 you can only have 250 people gathering in a location, Hermiston went for and achieved two locations at their facility. 250 people in the pits and 250 people in the grandstands. Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg has done that as well with two events, and they plan another one on the 26th. Hermiston refined this idea pretty well. Two shows per night. Main Events only and hot laps. 250 people can watch each viewing. $20 a ticket. They were all sellouts and it amounted to $5,000 an event and $10,000 from the grandstands for the race night.

Bear in mind that this is still a crappy agreement. I believe the 250 person in the stands agreement should have been happening throughout the West Coast by July, and we should be talking about more people in the grandstands by now, even if it was not more than 50% capacity. What I believe and what's actually happening are two different things.

I don't know what promoters are asking for, and I honestly can't blame some of them if they're afraid to ask due to the risk of losing what they've gotten so far. However, is what they're getting so far really good enough? I don't know the official answer to that, but my time in the sport would lead me to believe it isn't really. Tracks might have one or two really good car count shows that work out financially, but overall I'd say no.

Umatilla County in Oregon was supposedly one of the areas with the biggest covid-19 numbers. Not a very highly populated county, but the numbers saw them get slapped back to Phase 1 a month ago. This is the same phase as Washington County, which has meant that Sunset Speedway couldn't even open if they wanted to. Management at Hermiston Raceway was hoping to get good news on 9/11, of all dates. Yeah, I know the symbology of it. When the day came, they were told that the numbers are still not good enough, and therefore the race on September 19th that they were hoping to have will not happen. The track may be done for the year, although I'm sure they'll try again.

Plaza Park in the Hanford area is another matter, and it kind of irked me when I read their Facebook page announcement that the races next weekend won't happen. This was a two-day show that I think they were going to try to make as special as possible. I think under normal circumstances, this would have been one of their bigger races. As it is, they're just trying to open the damn gates to anything, and they're still being told in September that they're going to negatively affect the virus numbers if they open. People can get together in the city, protest, loot and vandalize, and that's okay, but this isn't? Okay, I'm trying not to get political here.

What bothered me even more and sent me into a rant that I deleted from the Viewpoint column on Friday was a comment the track made on their Facebook page. They talked about not wanting to put too much out on Facebook for fear of the people who are against them using it to shut them down. It set me off because the fans are already being excluded, and now you don't even want to let them know that racing is happening and at least keep them informed of how things are going out there? You better pay attention to your damn fans, because your fans are the ones paying money to watch. You make them feel like they don't matter, and they'll take their money from you. That's the way it works.

My rant basically talked about claiming ownership of whatever it is you are doing at your race track. In other words, if you organize a race, put it out there. If you can't have fans, that's fine, but put that out there too. Let the fans know what they don't get to see. Then, set up your pay-per-view if you can or a free broadcast. If you're not letting your fans know anything, and you're still racing, you're part of the problem. You're not thinking ahead to the future. I'm sorry that it sounds like I'm being negative, but I'm really not. Some of the promoters that are opening their gates during this lousy time understand that. Then again, they're claiming ownership of what they do.

I like what Kenny Shepard does at Madera, David Furia at Ukiah, the NCRA at Lakeport and a few others. They are broadcasting for free on Facebook or through other platforms. I like what they're doing better than the tracks running pay-per-views, although I support the tracks running pay-per-views. At least they're giving the fans an option. Due to my own budgetary reasons, I can't afford the pay-per-views. I just don't have the money, but that's the thing. The tracks need whatever money they can get, so I support them doing that. I'm appreciative of the fact that we were sponsored a floracing.com subscription to keep us up to date at certain tracks. If not for that, we wouldn't be watching them either unless they had live scoring that we could monitor.

A track that doesn't have the infrastructure for pay-per-view and doesn't have the equipment to broadcast can still do something. I'm not going to signal out the tracks that haven't been, but we know who they are. You can still take pictures of the cars and post them to Facebook on race day. You can still give them little clips of video footage that can be put on the Facebook page. You can put up results. If you're worried about how people who hate the track might view what you do, there's a way to put it out there that doesn't look so bad. But if you're doing nothing, you're giving your fans the middle finger. How do you think they will react when they can come back?

I think I'm being nicer about it this time than I would have been on Friday. I went places that would upset certain promoters, because I called them on the sneaky things they were doing when they were reopening their tracks. They weren't claiming ownership. They were trying to sneak one past certain people who could have shut them down. I get it, but this is the way I feel about it. When I saw Plaza Park make this comment about not putting much on social media, it set me off. It's kind of a simple equation. Fans matter, but maybe we're forgetting that as tracks try to open during covid-19 guidelines.

You have a track. You need racers in your pits. A promoter promotes a show. Therefore, you have a show that you're putting out there to try to attract paying customers to spectate. You need the racers and enough of them to make people want to come out and watch the show. Then, you have to promote your show in a manner to get as many people to spectate as possible. The whole spectator equation is being lost, because so many tracks can't have them right now. However, you need to keep in mind that you have spectators under normal circumstances. Therefore, you need to keep them in the loop while you open with just the competitors.

It's my belief that Kenny Shepherd is losing money with what he's doing at Madera Speedway. He's got some good sponsors, and he works with the businesses that support him to spread their message. I'm not privy to how many dollars that is, and I'm not asking. I just know that it's not a winning financial proposition to do what he's doing right now. However, Kenny isn't planning to leave Madera Speedway after this year. I understand that he's in it for the long haul, and he's building something there that's very special. He's got good deals in place that make having races right now very important. He has a TV network deal that depends on the content that he gives them.

The forward thinking that Kenny is doing now is he's including his fans. He keeps them informed throughout the week on the track's Facebook page. He's got a great media guy in Steven Blakesley helping that cause. He proudly lets all of his fans know that they can watch what's going on at the track on any given week via the track's YouTube page, while pointing out that the great sponsorship of nutupindustries.com is supporting the effort. He wants those fans to know what's happening and he wants them to care. He wants them back when the gates can open. I hope he gets great support when they're able to open the grandstands again. He most definitely deserves it.

I'd say the same for Ukiah Speedway. Under normal circumstances, how many of us would even be paying attention to Ukiah Speedway? It's a shame to say that, because it's one of the best pavement tracks I've ever been to. The racing is good, but they don't blip on the radar the way other tracks do. By giving away the show for free on Facebook, they're at least introducing fans who may not know just what's going on at this venue. I hope a track like Ukiah, Lakeport, River City Speedway in St Helens, Oregon or wherever they're doing free Facebook broadcasts benefits when the fans can come back.

In any case, racing goes on. I have covered it as best I can, but it's frustrating at times. You never ask what more can go wrong these days, because I think karma or whatever will say, "Hold my beer." I document what's going on as best I can, but when things really annoy me, it's hard to hold back how I'm really feeling. I just don't want to go there too much in this column. I can see it starting to happen, and I'm not really okay with that. It's not even that I don't believe what I'm saying. I most certainly do. It's just that I'd rather talk about racing on the racing blog and talk about the other things elsewhere. People can find my thoughts on those subjects there, but they want to read about racing here.
 
There were some electrical issues that developed at Madera Speedway on Friday night, and this necessitated Promoter Kenny Shepard adjusting the schedule accordingly. Rather than do any racing under the lights, they started early. That actually wasn't such a bad idea after everything that took place the previous week. It was a Club Race, and that meant a more relaxed atmosphere, although some of the Late Model drivers might not have gotten the memo on that.

Speaking of the Late Models, Shepherd explained a little bit more of the situation that took place in the Nut Up Pro Late Model race the week before. As they were after curfew and still cleaning up the wreckage on the back straightaway, the track pretty much had to go with the finish that everybody witnessed on the live stream. The explanation at the time was that the last restart was going to get called back, and the lineup that the drivers were running at the time the green flag waved would be the one they would go with.

Of course, the track has a protest procedure and a committee that can look over the situation very carefully. Everybody probably had an opinion based on what they witnessed on Saturday night. Should the restart have counted? Did the explanation for not counting it seem plausible? The committee weighed all of the circumstances before reaching the conclusion that the first four cars in line on that restart were all involved in the melee in one way or the other. Therefore, they would have restarted at the back of the pack had curfew not ended the race.

When you're talking about a track that doesn't answer to a sanctioning body, it can be hit and miss as to what they end up doing with a call like this. Shepherd is a NASCAR guy, so the procedures might seem familiar to NASCAR. There is an appeals process, and Ryan Philpott was certainly thankful for that. Some non-sanctioned tracks would likely tell the racers that this is their final call and you have to live with it. Philpott's protest was given careful consideration. Whether it went in his favor or not, the argument was going to be heard.

Shepherd explained one of the things that has changed because of the incident that took place last week. There is a restart box where the flag man can call back the start if he's not happy with it. There will be no more callbacks on the restarts once the green flag waves. If you are deemed to have jumped the start, unless a yellow flag comes out for some other reason, you're going to be assessed a stop-and-go penalty. Otherwise, you would be put to the back of the pack. Management feels this will eliminate situations like the one we witnessed that night.

We were also made aware that several drivers were assessed penalties and some suspensions were also issued. Madera Speedway lists all of these penalties on their website and has been doing so for years. On one level, I'm not crazy about the idea of putting the racer's penalties on display like that. I don't remember tracks doing that back in the day, and fans were usually left to guess who might be suspended or not. If you didn't see the driver the next week, chances were they were suspended. Occasionally, they might make that announcement in the pre-race hype article in the newspaper.

I think one of the things that annoyed me about putting the penalties on the website was back when Joe Amadeo was rising up the ranks as the Chief Steward at Watsonville and Petaluma. This was a guy who had a good TV show that he basically used as his bully pulpit to ridicule other Chief Stewards until he got the job. This seemed like him flexing his authority and showing everybody who's boss when he put the stuff online. Honestly, I never liked seeing penalties listed on the website. That's between the track and the racers. I understand why Madera has been doing this for years, but it's not something I'm necessarily crazy about.

The regular Madera Late Model shows are supposed to be non-contact and not high pressure situations. These are races that are more for the newer drivers to get laps. Racers who prefer not to run the regular Nut Up Pro Late Model circuit have another option. There was a little bit of contact taking place between rookie Lily Mead and Del McIntosh. I think as she's getting more comfortable behind the wheel, Lily is trying to race differently, and it didn't work out for her so well on this occasion. She ended up being parked, which probably cost her the point lead to Trevor Schlundt. She was likely going to lose that lead anyway as the track does have a one race throwaway rule.

Jason Aguirre returned after being sidelined for health reasons, and he pretty much led the whole race. The rapidly improving Sheldon Cooper was challenging Aguirre for the lead. The track actually has three Late Model point races. There's the Madera Late Models, the Nut Up Pro Late Models and the overall race. Cooper now leads the overall race, and he's been running much quicker in recent weeks. He attempted to get underneath Aguirre as they raced into Turn 1, but Aguirre slammed the door shut. Rather than hit Aguirre, Sheldon spun himself out and suffered mechanical issues in the process.

Cooper was noticeably displeased by the situation, and this is not one of those deals that an official will usually call against the driver leading. It has happened in the past where they've called the leader for pinching down the driver in second, but this was deemed a racing deal. Aguirre didn't actually make contact with Cooper, but Cooper spun to avoid making that contact. He likely felt that a penalty should have been issued. He certainly could have pushed the case and taken both drivers out, but Cooper didn't want to wreck the cars. As Shepherd pointed out in the case of Mead and Cooper, there was enough time left that the drivers could have exercised a little bit more patience. Cooper was left to watch as Aguirre scored the victory.

The track is quite excited about being a part of the 602 Create Modified Series, which also takes place at the tracks in Irwindale and Havasu. The series features three races at each venue and is just getting started. With the experience advantage he carries into this deal, Eddie Secord pretty much dominated the show on this occasion. He had led most of the race last time out before Jaron Giannini got by for the lead and victory. Nobody came close to Secord in this race. These cars get around the 1/3 mile paved oval pretty quickly and put on a good show.

the Hobby Stocks haven't been getting great turnouts this year, but when enough cars show up, they have an interesting race. In this case, visitors Ty Jacks and Billy Maddox were on hand to score the 1-2 finish over point leader Manny Gonzales Jr. Though Gonzales leads the standings in this class, he is still getting more experience and learning the car a little bit more. His point lead is more due to the fact that there is nobody else trying to challenge him at this point. I don't know what the track has to do here, but I would love to see them get this car count up into the double digits. The racing would definitely be entertaining.

Likewise, the Toyota Sedans class used to be the entryway into the show at Madera. It still is, but they're not getting cars for whatever reason. They've been running a race within a race against the MST class. There were five cars on the track, but the show that MST stars Ryan Reynolds and Shaun Reynolds were putting on at the front of the pack was entertaining. They must have run at least 20 laps side by side before Ryan moved ahead and got the win.

It was a good show and a quick show for the track. Shepherd pretty much confirmed what I've been saying about promoters struggling to even get by while opening tracks during the covid-19 situation. I believe that promoters are either losing money or struggling to break even in most cases. It helps Shepherd that he's got good sponsors like nutupindustries.com and Mission Foods to help him out as they've been paying good purses this year. Nut Up has been sponsoring the free stream that we've been enjoying on the track's YouTube page. They're coming back with a MavTV Series event this weekend, and more details can be found by going to the Madera Speedway Facebook page.

Lakeport Speedway is in the midst of election season for the NCRA board members. They have done their best to make the best out of a lousy situation, and Saturday's show was the final race of the year. I think it's probably for the best that they halted here, rather than trying to put on one or two more shows as some tracks would do. As it turned out, this was probably them saving the best for last on the quarter-mile paved oval.

When the NCRA had the vote to even open the track at all this year, the initial agreement was that there wouldn't be a purse. Money would be sponsored, which happened from the first race on. I'm not going to claim any knowledge on what the purse situation was for this particular event. I suspect the track paid some purse money and there was some great sponsorship to help out with the rest. They brought in the North State Modified Series. Though Lakeport is one of their home tracks, I wouldn't expect 17 cars to turn out for a show that didn't have some sort of guaranteed purse. 

It seems to me that the strongest Modified support on the pavement in California is on the northern end at Lakeport and Ukiah. Unlike Ukiah, however, Lakeport has been able to book the impressive North State Modified Series. There was certainly some drama in this race. Kyle Tellstrom is probably the hottest driver with the group right now. He won the previous race in Lakeport a month ago and picked up $1,000 for the open show at Ukiah a week ago. He worked his way to the front, but this wasn't going to be his night. At one point, he was leading Jeremy Nowlin and Charlie Collins as the three were breaking away from the pack.

There is a bit of a different strategy you see in pavement racing, and sometimes patience plays along with it. Tellstrom and Nowlin pulled away a little bit from Collins, and it looked like they would settle it between the two of them. Unfortunately, Nowlin may have had something break as he headed into the Turn 4 wall with 15 laps to go. I remember thinking at that point that Tellstrom was going to win this one, and he probably thought the same thing as he picked the outside line on the restart. However, Collins got a good start and had the lead within a couple of laps as he went on to victory.

The North State Modifieds were the strength of the show, but there was a little bit of excitement to be had in the other classes. Late Model star Jeremy Doss won the Legend Car Main Event in somebody else's car at the previous race. This time, he had his own car and a new motor. He was doing his best to hold off Cody Winchell, and traffic came into play at times. Traffic is also what bit Winchell at one point, or so it appeared. There were only seven cars running on the track, so Winchell lined up in the second row for the restart. Something broke on Doss's car to end his night at that point, or I think he would have won it. Winchell led the last few laps and claimed the honors, while Kylie Daniels got the championship. She's been fast and consistent all year.

The Pro 4 Modifieds have been around for a while. It seems to me this was almost a pet project for Nadine Strauss back in the 1990s when she was at the helm as the promoter. At one point, she even created a series between Lakeport and Orland. She's still heavily involved in trying to build the track's program back up again, and this class still gets dates. These cars get around the track pretty well, but it seems like the racers have been plagued with mechanical issues all season long. For some reason, there might be six drivers that show up, but half the field is done by the time the Main Event comes. This time, there were four. Johnny Barker became the first two-time winner in the class.

Not to be negative, but the Pro 4 Modifieds, Bandoleros and Late Models were more or less just occupying track time before the divisions that brought some sort of car count could go racing. I think the Pro 4 Modified group has work to do in rebuilding their ranks, and I hope they do. It's a neat class. Nobody promised a ton of Late Models for this occasion, so two cars wasn't a surprise. It's not a cheap class to book. 

As for the Bandoleros, it was nice to see three cars, because usually there's just one car going around making hot laps. There was one Four Banger, so they didn't get a chance to race. I'm hoping Lakeport can build that class up because it needs to be a part of things. It's probably the easiest path for newcomers to get involved, and they used to have more four cylinder cars back in the day.

I always liked the name Taco Bell Bombers. The division is sponsored, and it sort of goes with this class. They have been right at the border of double digit car count all year, but they've had a few interesting moments. I don't think the Lakeport group is as exciting to watch as the Ukiah group, or at least they weren't this year. That's not to say they were bad, but it lacked for the excitement that you get at the other track. Simi Tour has been racing at Ukiah a little bit more this year, but he went to Lakeport and picked up the final win. The guy who won the season opener, Donovan Cox, ended up winning the championship.

It's a neat little track for what it is, and there is quite the heritage that goes back decades here. If I were to throw dirt on a pavement track, this is the one I would do it to. Don't let Nadine Strauss hear me saying that. What I like is that the fans who can't come out and watch at least got to watch all the action at the NCRA Lakeport Speedway Facebook page this year. It's a terrible situation where you can't have fans, and the association cared enough to include them for free. We're not talking high quality broadcast here, but the camera zoomed back and forth on the track and you could hear the announcer loud and clear. Announcer Dan Camacho stepped out of the booth briefly to run his Legend Car in the Main Event. He handled his duties adequately and didn't take away from the show. I think they had about 150 people watching for free at one point.

Since I brought up Dixon Speedway and broadcasts on Facebook, I can tell you that none was offered for Saturday night. They had just shy of 70 total cars in the pits for their four division offering on the 1/5 mile dirt oval. After the initial bump of the first few races that saw Dixon as the only place to be for California Micro Sprints, this has been about average for the car count. You'll get around 30 Wingless 600s, and the other divisions bring the rest. They don't include the fans on this, which to me is disappointing. I don't want to be a nitpicker on this whole subject, but the tracks that are doing nothing bother me more than the ones that are doing internet pay-per-view.

Obviously, internet pay-per-view makes the most sense as you can generate some revenue. Let's assume that the 150 people watching at Lakeport, for instance, paid even $15 to view that show. That's a flawed analogy, because there's a significant chunk of any audience that watches for free who will not end up paying for whatever reason. But let's assume they did that. That's revenue you can use to keep the gates open. It's only a drop in the bucket compared to what you get in the stands, but at least it's something. This way, the fans have an opportunity to keep up to date.

Lakeport is part of that group of tracks I like the best this year. They rightly understand that their fans need to be kept in the loop. They want their fans engaged and up to date on things so that they are enticed to come back when they can. Tracks like Lakeport, Ukiah, Madera, St Helens, Eureka and Yreka have at least done that much. Let the fans know. It's a crappy situation. Let's not make any bones about that. However, you're still marketing your race track and getting value from it in the long run. If you do it in darkness with no word on what's going on, what are you really gaining? You're preaching to the choir, racers who want to race. However, the fans are being left in the dark.

I don't know what kind of an attendance Dixon might get on a normal night, but it's been a media blackout for them other than what they've gotten from Fast Four Media. I really wish somebody would have gotten up in the bleachers and at least streamed something from the track's Facebook page. It's hard for me to believe that the media blackout is because they don't want certain busy bodies knowing so that they can't report on them. Dixon seems like it's the least likely location for that to happen, but maybe I'm wrong? As it was, you could watch scoring on Race Monitor and eventually the results make their way to MyLaps. The hardcore fans know that much, but the casuals might not.

It could be that Stockton 99 Speedway is employing the "keep everybody in darkness so we don't get shut down" method. They're having a hell of a time getting the Dirt Track open at the fairgrounds, and I'm not sure that we'll see the Gary Patterson Tribute race there in November. I don't know that this is what Tony Noceti is doing, but it wouldn't surprise me if that's why they're not saying much. I stand by my statement above where I say you can do a few things to keep the people informed. even if you don't want anybody to do the math and figure out how many people are there in the pits. 

You can still tell people the Top 5 in the Main Events and show a few pictures, even if not streaming live. You don't get any of that, and you might eventually see results posted somewhere. Stockton 99 Speedway is one of the biggest disappointments to me when it comes to opening right now under these conditions. If they weren't open, would anybody know the difference?

Dixon Speedway had some good racing, and a few of the finishes went down to the line with late race passes getting wins for Izaak Sharp in the Super 600s, Bryant Bell in the Restricted 600 class and Cody Gray in the Wingless class. Austin Stone has been the hottest driver in the Wingless group for the last half dozen races and looked like he was headed for victory until Gray made his move. I think all three races would have been entertaining to watch, and even the Junior Sprint class that saw Briggs Davis get his first win would have been enjoyable. It's definitely a good show at Dixon Speedway, and you get a good glimpse of the future in racing in California.

Several racers have started their racing career at Dixon Speedway, and they are making their moves up into Open Wheel race cars or other classes. The Stock Car path is not unheard of here either. Angelina Dempsey has run some races at All American Speedway in Roseville, while Junior Sprint driver Kyle Fernandez is about ready to make his Bandolero debut at Madera Speedway. Considering the program that they have at Madera, that's the perfect place for an aspiring young driver to go. Fernandez has looked very good in the Junior Sprints this year, and he could be the next driver we're hearing about a few years down the line in Late Models.

When you're running races during these difficult times, having a car count helps tremendously. I can't say that this weekend yielded the biggest of car counts at many of the tracks that ran, including Antioch Speedway. There were just over 50 total cars for their four division offering. In fact, Dan Myrick of the Central Valley Mini Stocks might be the MVP of the weekend. For whatever reason, the Super Stock division only drew four cars on this occasion, so it was up to the other three divisions to deliver the goods. The Four Bangers haven't been doing much of anything this year, so Myrick made an effort to change that.

A few weeks ago, he put it out there on social media that he was hoping to bring some support to Antioch for this race. A purse has been offered if the division can deliver at least five cars, so Myrick beat the drums. It's a longer trip for people in the Hanford area for this division, especially knowing that the purse won't be much. Six CVMS regulars showed up. There were also four drivers from Merced, one of which supports both groups whenever he can. This meant that the 13 Four Bangers that showed up would see a payout to the Top 5 finishers.

You don't tend to see a lot of chatter online from Chris Corder. He's been maybe the staunchest supporter of this class for the the past several seasons. At one time, he was fielding multiple cars and even giving new drivers an opportunity to go racing for the first time . I had a hunch he might show up at Antioch, but he wasn't going to announce his intentions. He let his racing do the talking as he won both his heat race and the $100 prize for the Main Event victory. I would assume management was pleased as the people viewing at home on antiochspeedway.tv got a glimpse of these cars and what they can do when enough of them show up. I think this was a bigger car count than the track had at any of its race dates for the class back in 2014 when it was last on the roster.

As I mentioned, I don't know where the Super Stock drivers went. The track has been getting their results up online, so updates and adjustments are still being made to their point listings. We went live with our weekend preview article assuming that Jim Freethy was the point leader in this class over Mike Walko, but another adjustment showed Walko leading Freethy. I didn't dig any deeper to find out why that happened to be the case, but I did find one thing interesting. Walko wasn't there for this race and Freethy decided to let his good friend Fred Ryland pilot his race car. Ryland responded by winning both the heat race and Main Event. He's one of those drivers who has now won over 50 Main Events at Antioch Speedway alone. He's in elite company.

Being a double Main Event winner is certainly something to be proud of. I think this might have first been accomplished at Antioch by Darryl Shirk in Figure 8 and Street Stocks, but I'd have to check that. Keith Brown did it in Late Models and Modifieds, and both Troy Foulger and Bobby Hogge IV have done the same. There are others I'm forgetting, but Shawn Jones was on deck to try to achieve the same task in both Wingless Spec Sprints and Delta Dwarf Cars. Given how fast he's been in both classes this year, I figured that he would win at least one of those races when I saw his name on the roster.

Anytime Jones brings his Dwarf Car to an event he becomes the guy to beat. He's just hit on that combination. He won the Pro division portion of the Regionals in Antioch this year, the Pro division in the Nationals at Petaluma and he's also won Main Events at Watsonville. Even with some fierce competition from Danny Wagner and Ryan Winter, both champions themselves, Jones picked up the win in the Dwarf Cars. He then strapped into his Sprint Car and picked up another victory ahead of 14-year-old phenom Dylan Bloomfield. Bloomfield is still in contention for the Wingless Spec Sprint championship. He might need DJ Johnson to have his second-straight bad night to accomplish the task.

The Spec Sprints will get another shot at the Chet Thomson Memorial on September 26th. That's the night of the big Hardtop race with Super Stocks and the BCRA Midgets on hand as well. I'm watching a few things at this show. I do think the Spec Sprints should deliver another solid turnout. The Tri State Pro Stock Series is welcome at any Antioch Super Stock event, but I couldn't tell you who might show up since it's going head-to-head with the Bob McCoy Memorial race at Petaluma Speedway. That's part of the annual Adobe Cup and pays a rather nice purse. Antioch might have a better shot at a good turnout in this class on October 10th as part of the Larry Damitz/Donna Soares Memorial.

The other thing I'm watching is the BCRA and wondering if these guys are going to lay another egg? BCRA is certainly capable of delivering double digits to the Bay Area dirt tracks, even without support from USAC. Antioch Speedway is the golden opportunity for these that guys to gain a foothold at a track that USAC has nothing to do with. Can they answer the call? At one time, Antioch Speedway was one of their home tracks in the early 1980s. If they could get the division at a reasonable deal, management might want to see if they could get in touch with Mike McCluney and get the Western Midgets for the show, but it might be a little too late for that.

The night is about the Hardtops, so I'm very curious what will happen. There's been almost no chatter on the internet from within the Hardtop community, so I can't even hazard a guess. With some Sportsman support, they delivered 10 cars to Antioch last time. It might not be a bad idea to invite the Merced Sportsman class since they won't get a date at their home track this year. I can't help but be disappointed at the lack of information or effort to drum up support from either the Bay Area or California Hardtop sides. I guess it will just come together, or it won't. I'm hoping for good things on the 26th from the Hardtops. To me, this is the biggest race of the year for the class in California.

The IMCA championships wrap up this coming Saturday night. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Troy Foulger will win the Modifieds title. He's leading comfortably and would have to miss the race for that not to happen. The question I have is whether Mark Garner has one more good race in him to hold off two-time champion Trevor Clymens in the Sport Modifieds, or will Clymens make his move? Also, might both drivers slip up enough for KC Keller to get by? Throw in the amazing Hobby Stocks, and this is a show worthy of viewing at www.antiochspeedway.tv. You can check out the Antioch Speedway Facebook page for updates as they are made.

In my grumpiness of watching the way this season has played out and the struggles to open the tracks, I haven't really given Drake Nelson the respect he deserves for defiantly standing up against the Oregon governor and doing what he wanted to do at Coos Bay Speedway. Like others, I was sitting here waiting for the hammer to fall on him. Surely, the Oregon governor wasn't going to let this guy get away with what he was doing, was she? After initially being slapped down in May, Drake picked himself up off the ground in June and has been going full speed ahead ever since. They took away his liquor license a few weeks ago, but even that didn't stop him from opening the gates and having fans.

Coos Bay Speedway has been the leader on the West Coast in racing under what is as close to normal circumstances as possible. If you had them as your pick for which track could do this, congratulations. You won the prize. For a while, Coos Bay was getting everybody in Oregon who wanted to race. Then, Cottage Grove started racing and Willamette Speedway followed suit. River City Speedway and Hermiston have had races, but they have little to no impact on Coos Bay. As we reported last week, Hermiston won't get to race on September 19th thanks to the governor and the covid-19 guidelines.

Willamette went dark this last weekend to give the racers a break. The fires up north have been devastating, so Loren Kruesi knew that running wasn't in the track's best interest. Since you're losing money anyway, why push it? I'm sure Willamette Speedway isn't done just yet, and Cottage Grove Speedway announced their intentions to race all the way into October. Oregon weather usually has something to say on the matter, so I expect that much of the October plans will be wiped out by the much-needed rain that we'll get. Coos Bay only tries to run up until the first weekend of October, and every other year that race seems to get rained out.

Even with the other tracks taking a bite out of their car count, the numbers have still been pretty good at Coos Bay. This time saw them check in with just under 90 total cars as they also invited the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars. The four cylinder classes delivered half of that turnout. It meant that they could close out the NASCAR championship portion of the 2020 season and crown some champions. Since they are running under the banner, their lead four divisions have point fund money being issued to the Top 5 drivers, and the Top 3 drivers in the Super Late Models also get money from the State point fund.

It could be said that the Super Late Model championship was won by Brody Montgomery a few races ago when incoming leader Jason Johnson failed to start the Main Event with mechanical issues. All Montgomery needed to do was not stumble and the championship was his. Not only did he not stumble, but he didn't miss a podium finish the rest of the season. His third place finish on Saturday ensured that he held off rookie Braden Fugate for the $3,500 championship prize. With the $2,000 State point fund money probably going his way as well, it's another banner year for Montgomery.

It was interesting watching the incoming point leader in both the Street Stocks and Junior Stingers having a bad heat race and having to start deeper in the Main Event field. For young Griff Smith in the Junior Stingers class, that wasn't an issue. His Hornet race car is as fast as any driver in the regular Hornet class, so he worked his way to the front of the pack and grabbed his 11th win from 14th starting. He is the champion and should be graduating from this class after dominating for the past three years. I assume he's going Hornet racing, but I guess we'll wait and see what his family has in mind.

With only 10 points separating incoming leader Ken Fox from reigning champion Steve Dubisar, the Street Stock championship battle was close. Fox started deeper in the pack, and Dubisar made it to the front. Fox did enough passing to finish fourth and cling to a four point advantage in the championship race. The Street Stocks enjoyed their best season at Coos Bay Speedway in years. Other than one oddball midweek race, this division never produced less than 10 cars for a show. It makes me happy to see traditional Street Stocks still thriving in Oregon.

The NASCAR check to Fox will be $700. The Hornet class gets $500 for their championship, which actually compares well to the IMCA offerings for a track championship in Modifieds. From Cottage Grove, Isaac Stere opted not to join the IMCA Sport Compact class at his home track and instead ran Coos Bay. Despite not finishing the last race, he still held on for the championship. Meanwhile, Trace Fugate had some terrible luck of his own. He missed the previous race and had mechanical issues after his heat race win sideline him for the final Main Event. He was so far in front of Jared Simmons that he still won the $1,000 championship. It kind of disappoints me to see such good point fund money being offered to a class that doesn't produce much driver support, but it is what it is.

The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars didn't get to race at their home track in Medford all season, and Coos Bay was their home track this year. They delivered about a dozen cars, and the track let them run their traditional program of two heat races, A and B Dashes and Main Event. Camden Robustelli was the class of the field as he battled two-time champion Brock Peters to pick up the Main Event win on this occasion. They like the Dwarf Cars at Coos Bay. Normally they only get a few shows as the group focuses primarily on Medford with visits to Yreka and nights off so drivers can support the various Regional and National events that happen.

I have to say that as the Western States Dwarf Car Association has thrown Oregon under the bus, I'm not sure why the three Oregon-based groups don't get together and form their own deal. The oldest Dwarf Car group on the West Coast is the PHRA and the new kid on the block is the Northwest Dwarf Car group. Every time these three groups decide to work together, they bring car counts in the 30s, and I see no reason why they couldn't plan out a three-way series in the future where they could have big events at Medford, Cottage Grove and wherever the third track might be. I admit I was disappointed when the Western States group pulled the Medford date as it had been a winner for them in the past. I'm guessing some of the California guys didn't like the heat, but they race at some hot tracks elsewhere.

As for Coos Bay, I'm sure Nelson will try to get the Dwarf Cars as many times as he can going forward. They have a Sprint Car race planned on September 26th. This would be an Interstate Sprint Car Series race, but I don't know if management has spoken with Brian Crockett about that date yet. The Interstate Series has been grounded except for the race earlier at Coos Bay that they acknowledged. They have Street Stocks and Hornets there and will try to have some Dirt Modifieds and B Modifieds as well. If the weather allows them, October 3rd will be the annual Prather family Lucas Oil open show for Late Models and other classes.

Nobody can fault any promoter for not opening or being very tentative due to the covid-19 guidelines. We have watched tracks get shut down and promoters get hit with big fines across the country when the governors were displeased with them. Nelson faced the same kind of thing at Coos Bay Speedway. For whatever reason, he managed to squeak by other than dealing with the OLCC revoking his liquor license. He's had several crowds of more than 250 people in the stands, and it's likely that the pits surpassed that number on several occasions as well. He did what he did and made it through the year. When we look back at promoters on the West Coast, Drake deserves acknowledgment for maintaining business as usual at Coos Bay Speedway.

I probably could have attempted to cover All American Speedway in Roseville this year as Promoter Bill MacAnally put together an abbreviated six-race NASCAR Whelen All American Series season. This meant his Late Models were getting the $3,500 championship prize, similar to what they get at Coos Bay Speedway. The State point fund money in California is actually bigger as Irwindale Speedway has been racing this year as well. MacAnally runs twin Late Model Main Events at his six shows, meeting the drivers compete in 12 Main Events in that class. They also have Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and other classes to fill out the program. 

I decided to stand back when I realized that Steven Blakesley was announcing there and writing the articles. They are in good hands. I see the car count numbers aren't necessarily spectacular so far. I think they were doing better numbers in the pits last year than they are this year, but this is one of those uncertain years. I think MacAnally just wanted to maintain the continuity, because I was told that it's a more expensive proposition for him to do what he's doing right now. I'm sure the racers there appreciate the efforts, and they also have their own in-house streaming service at allamericandpeedway.tv. You can check out the All American Speedway Facebook page for information.

We previewed the Orland Raceway and Mountain Valley Raceway events for this past weekend, but in doing so we knew we might not actually have full results by the time this post would go live.
We got some information on the Clyde Cordell Memorial race at Mountain Valley Raceway. On race night, we were hoping that there would be some streaming video of the action. Other than the fact that Koa Crane happened to show up and make some laps in his Sprint Car, we weren't getting any information at all. Considering this is supposed to be the signature race for the track and fans aren't allowed in the grandstands, I can't help but be a little bit disappointed in the lack of information from the crew at Hayfork.

By the time Monday rolled around, we found out that Freddie Leeper had moved up to the Hobby Stocks and made the Clyde Cordell Memorial win his first ever victory in the class. Tressen Smith, who had won the Modified portion of the program, was looking for the sweep after winning the heat race and Trophy Dash. Mechanical failure was about the only thing that could sideline him, and it struck on the final lap as Leeper was the jubilant winner. His name now goes on the perpetual trophy, and Smith is left looking forward to the 10th annual race and possibly getting the win on that occasion.

Ross Vige is a past Orland Raceway Mini Truck champion, but he bypassed his own home track to go to Hayfork, where he is also a champion. After winning both the heat race and Trophy Dash, he was hoping to get the feature win, but those hopes were thwarted as Destruction Derby competitor Ricky Berry claimed the glory.

Racing at Hayfork always concludes with the wild and exciting Enduro class. One of the original competitors in this division, JD Hudman, returned to his winning form as he negotiated the track very well and scored the victory. Larry Richardson finished second ahead of Kyle Thurman. We were hoping for a few more details on who was there, but at least we're able to pass along the information on who picked up the wins on what could be the only race the track has until the potential New Year's Eve Enduro. For information on scheduling and other news, go to the Mountain Valley Raceway Facebook page.

We're hopeful that the scoring team is getting more familiar with the MyLaps system at Orland Raceway so that we might get some results posted. I won't hazard a guess on what the car count was, but at least the Pure Stock division had double digit numbers. I counted seven B Modifieds, which isn't bad. As I mentioned last week, I think Orland Raceway could dip their toe in the IMCA water with a four-race series in the future and probably get support. With sanctioning, drivers might be more encouraged to come to town, even for one visit, if they are trying to get those State points. In any event, Tyler Rodgers got the win on this occasion as the track was supported by Marysville regulars.

It was more of the same in the Pure Stocks with reigning champion Phil Spencer winning that Main Event. Tony Richards remains undefeated in Wingless Spec Sprint competition with three-straight victories. Dustin Hills, a regular at Shasta Speedway, snapped the Tom Davis win streak in the Mini Stocks, while Dan Webster won the Mini Truck race again. It's good to see them getting decent support and keeping the show going, but I do wish Orland Raceway would make better use of social media and keep people in the loop. They are another one of the disappointments to me during this covid-19 situation when fans can't be there. In fairness, they don't do a good job of putting the results out under regular circumstances, but the Orland Raceway Facebook page could end up posting something.
 
Tracks are adding more races and going into November. We've done our best to maintain a media effort on the blog, but I want to begin to scale things back. That doesn't mean no coverage of racing to the end of the season, but I tend to go all in with what I'm doing. It occupies too much of my time during the week to maintain the media effort as I do it, and I want to start focusing on other things. The blog will take on a different look in 2021, and we will probably rebrand this as it was prior to 2015, Don's California Racing Recollections.

We might cover current things here and there, but unless I am offered a gig at a track that includes announcing duties, I think I am ready to walk away from that. There's a lot of nostalgia work that I need to do. I have amassed a great deal of information that I still have, and there are several books that I can create on the history of Bay Area racing. Dennis Mattish has done a marvelous job with his books, and Tom Motter has some good books as well. There's no reason why I can't start working on some racing history books after I get through with my follow-up to Just A Kid From The Grandstands.

On one hand, the sport is changing so much that I don't mind walking away. It seems like the right thing to do at the right time. On the other hand, I see some things that aren't being done that I personally believe matter. I'm not about promising the moon. I prefer to get in there and do what needs to be done and help a track earn results. I might be seen as a dinosaur when it comes to the sport in 2020, and I can accept that. In that case, I'll sit on the sidelines and observe, gather statistics and occasionally comment on stuff. I can work on my history stuff from there.

I'm contemplating a rebranding of the Jefferson Racing News blog and considering opening up another web page or two. I might even look at opening up a racing forum. These are all things I'm considering at this point. While I'm thinking about that, I also would like to write about things that aren't even racing related. I was doing quite a bit of that before I came back to the sport. Frankly, I feel like there are things in the world that are happening that I want to comment on. I feel like there are important things happening in the world that will ultimately affect the sport that we love. It won't be a place we can escape to if we don't deal with what's really going on.

I have multiple book ideas, but right now it's all in my mind . Once I start editing the next book, which is 98% written, my mind will start working. I'll let the muse take me to whatever book that might be. The problem that holds me back is being so engaged with the current racing product. The more I put into that, the less I want to do anything else. I burn out very easily. If I were to make this sort of commitment from now all the way to the end of November, I can almost guarantee you that there won't be a book. At least ways, I'll shut down for a few months. Therefore, it feels like it's about time to wrap up some of this stuff.

I want to cover some of the big events like the Pat and Jim Pettit Memorial Shootout, the Bill Bowers Memorial, the Adobe Cup and the John Fore Jr/Bob Smith Memorial. I think I've done a fairly decent job of covering what's been going on in the sport this year, and I didn't plan on doing any of it. At least ways, I wasn't going to go as far as I have. I'm glad I did, because this is just one of those times when the world is screwed up. You want to see how racing adapts to it, so I did my best to chronicle things.

Unless life leads me down a bad path, I'm not planning on going anywhere. The blog will still be here, but I might lay low and work on things. There are quite a few potentially exciting racing projects I can engage in, even if I'm only doing this from a nostalgia point. I know people are all about the computer now, and maybe books don't matter as much. Then again, there are people who appreciate the hard copy. The books I've put out aren't the best that I can do. I am extremely proud of Just A Kid From The Grandstands, but I find the other book to be lacking. It was simply my attempt to put anything together when I thought I'd lose all of my possessions. In that context, I did okay, but I can do better.

It's been a struggle to keep the blog going, and I am honest when I say I felt like giving up a month or two ago. It seems like times are changing and maybe there's not as much interest in the written word as there once was. The support that I've gotten from people like Michael Burch, Dan Myrick, Shannon Collins, Doug Braudrick and Dave and Belinda Duste has kept me going. I've had no money to work with otherwise, and it's been tough. There's equipment breaking down on me and things that I need and do without. Standard stuff. My dad always taught me to make do with what you've got, and so I have. If the equipment fails me, I'm just done for a while.

Anyway, that's where we stand after the first half of September. I see the finish line ahead, and I'm looking forward to it. It's been a heartbreaking year for me personally in some respects. Things didn't go the way I hoped, and part of me wanted to lash out at people who I feel did me wrong. But, what good would that do me? I made the decision to move on from it, and I stand by that. I did my best while I was involved, but things did not end nearly the way I had hoped they would. We can't always call the shots as we'd like to, so we do the best we can.

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