Sunday, June 26, 2016

Montgomery Sixth New Winged Sprint Car Winner At Antioch Speedway

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Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

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Montgomery Sixth New Winged Sprint Car 
Winner At Antioch Speedway  
  Newberry, Crowell, Alhwardt Also Winners

Antioch, CA...June 25...With six races in the record books in the All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars at Antioch Speedway, there have been six different winners.  This time it was Watsonville competitor Kaleb Montgomery making his first appearance on the three-eighth mile clay oval and bringing home the victory in the 25 lap Main Event.  Montgomery becomes the third different driver to win a Winged Sprint Car race in his first 2016 visit to the Speedway.

Marty DeMartini raced many years in Midgets at Antioch and elsewhere, and son Matt DeMartini impressed with his second place finish in his first appearance of the season.  DeMartni held off young up and comer Giovanni Scelzi for the finish. Matt Barber finished fourth ahead of open wheel veteran Burt Foland Jr.  Incoming point leader Art McCarthy's championship bid took a hit with his mechanical problems prior to the start of the race

The Wingless Spec Spints gained their fifth different feature wnner in six races as Jeremy Newberry won the 20 lap race.  The NFL Alumni Newberry is usually among the front runners any time he races.  Point leader Jim Perry Jr. crashed early to end his bid for a third win.  Newberry held off Rick Panfili, who was determined to get his first career feature win.  Panfilli settled for his second career best runner up finish of the season as he tries to maintain second in the standings and take advantage of Perry's misfortune.  Third ranked Marcus Smith also kept in the title hunt with his heat race win and third place feature finish as Brandon Burd and James East finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Aaron Crowell won a caution filled B Modified Main Event.  After Anthony Giuliani crashed out the exit gate, the race was shortened to 15 laps.  Crowell blew a motor a month ago in his A Modified.  He's getting another one together, but he was offered a ride in the Paul Mulder car on Saturday night as a birthday present thanks to Brian Zachary.  Crowell responded with wins in his heat race and the Main Event. Despite spinning early in the race, Trevor Clymens still came back for a second place finish, but his point gain was minimized as point leader Al Johnson finished third.   Late Model veteran Joel Hannagan and Lloyd Cline completed the Top 5.

Mark Garner won a wild 20 lap Limited Late Model Main Event.  It was the second straight win for Garner, who should gain a little ground in his quest for the track championship.  Point leader Larry Damitz went pitside with six laps remaining.  Rookie Kimo Oreta spun while leading a lap later.  Garner was leading and second place Mike Gustafson spun on the last lap, collecting all but Garner and Steve Studebaker, who finished first and second.  Lori Brown brought it home third as Oreta and the steady John Evans were scored in fourth and fifth.

Point leader Guy Ahlwardt continues to roll in the Hobby Stock division.  The rookie started the night off with a heat race win and then won the 20 lap Main Event.  It was his third win of the season, and he had to battle 2010 champion Chris Sorensen to get it.  Sorensen was a strong second as Tony Jennings Sr. grabbed the final podium spot in third behind the wheel of the Jason Jennings car.  Second generation racer Chris Brown and Micheal Cooper rounded out the Top 5.

Dave Mackey scored his second straight CHA Hardtop 15 lap Main Event win.  Heat race winner Rob Waldrop was driving the Bill McLaughlin car impressively in the lead.  Waldrop won the heat race earlier in the evening, but he suffered a mechanical issue with four laps to go.  Mackey was there to seize the opportunity for the victory.  Jason Clifford finished second with his father Ken Clifford and Steve Cloyes rounding out the Top 4.

Racing continues on July 9th with the $2500 to win Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race for All Star A Modifieds.  Also on the card will be the Wingless Spec Sprints, Late Models, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks.  For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results, Saturday Night June 25

Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Kaleb Montgomery, Billy Aton.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Montgomery, Matt DeMartini, Govanni Scelzi, Burt Foland Jr. Matt Barber.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Adam Christian, Marcus Smith.   Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeremy Newberry, Rick Panfili, Smith, Brandon Burd, James East.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Aaron Crowell, Trevor Clymens.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Corwell, Clymens, Al Johnson, Joel Hannagan, Lloyd Cline.

Limited Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Steve Studebaker, Jim Freethy.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Mark Garner, Studebaker, Lori Brown, Kimo Oreta, John Evans.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Guy Ahlwardt, Danny Jones.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Ahlwardt, Chris Sorensen, Tony Jennings Sr., Chris Brown, Micheal Cooper.

CHA Hardtops
Heat Winner (8 Laps)-Rob Waldrop.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Dave Mackey, Jason Clifford, Ken Clifford, Steve Cloyes, Rob Waldrop.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Saturday Antioch Speedway Preview, Alameda Fair Figure 8 Preview

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

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Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

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DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

DCRR Racing Radio Show

Something For Everybody Saturday Night
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series Antioch Speedway racing season is almost at the half way point, and it has been very competitive in all of the divisions on the fast 3/8 mile clay oval. On Saturday night, six divisions will take their turns on the John M. Soares prepared track, including the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and California Hardtops.

A few drivers are licking there wounds after a Winged Sprint Car show last week that was just a little bit rough. At the start of be 25 lap Main Event, third place point runner Dan Gonderman ended up flipping in an incident that also eliminated second place point competitor Billy Aton. This was all good news to point leader Art McCarthy. McCarthy drove to a second place feature finish, which allowed him to stretch his point lead over Aton.

Meanwhile, it was yet another driver picking up a feature win last Saturday night as past Northern Auto Racing Club star Bobby McMahon drove the Jarrett Soares car to victory. With five races now in the record books, there are five different Main Event winners. Drivers seem to be coming from everywhere to take their turns on the fast racing service. McCarthy and Aton count themselves as track regulars with victories along with McMahon, Koen Shaw and Shawn Conde.

Partially because there was a Civil War Series race happening at Petaluma and King Of The West  race at Stockton last week, car count was down just a bit, but it is hoped that those numbers will pick up this week. Drivers with work to do on their cars, however, include reigning champions Shawn Arriaga and Gonderman. Art's son Adam McCarthy finished third last week.  Adam is anticipated this week along with Matt Barber, Rick Brophy and 2014 champion Chris Magoon.

The Wingless Spec Sprint drivers have work to do to keep up with point leader Jim Perry Jr. Perry became the first repeat winner in the division this season with his victory over Barry Pries Jr. last week. A close battle behind Perry finds five drivers within 12 points of each other as veteran Rick Panfili sits in second in the standings.

Panfili is hoping to win his first Main Event this season. Like Perry and occasional competitor Dan Gonderman, Panfili is an original from this division's roster back in 1999. Don't look now, but Marcus Smith is closing in fast on Panfili.  Despite a blown motor this year, Marcus is riding two points behind Panfili as the one time winner finished third last week.  Other hard chargers to watch for this week include Shannon Newton,  past Chowchilla champion Brandon Burd, James East, Roy Fisher, rookie Adam Teves and Alan Miranda.

The fact is, you never know who could be the next Main Event winner at the competitive speedway. To illustrate that point, second year B Modified racer K.C. Keller recorded his first Main Event win last week. Keller enjoyed an intense battle with three time winner Trevor Clymens at the prior race before mechanical issues sent him pitside. He knew he had a car capable of victory, and his first win came ahead of Ocean Speedway point leader Jim DiGiovanni and Clymens.

The reality is that the B Modifieds are in a year of transition. With Fred Ryland choosing to race elsewhere this year, the field seems very equal in the quest for victory. Point leader Al Johnson has earned his ranking through consistency as a three time second place finisher so far this year. With Clymens not very far behind him, Johnson knows he needs to get a win at some point this year. He will be after it this week along with Danny Jones, Randy Brown, Shane DeVolder and Loyd Cline.

Last season, third generation racer Mark Garner finally gave his family their first track championship at Merced. Mark's father, Jerry Garner, is the 1969 State Stock Car champion. Though Jerry raced for many seasons at Antioch Speedway and was Top 5 ranked on multiple occasions, a track championship eluded him. This season, Mark would like to bring an Antioch championship trophy back home to the family mantle place. To do that, he knows who he has to beat.

At this stage of the season, it is a three car battle for that championship, involving rookie Kimo Oreta and 87 year old veteran Larry Damitz. Damitz is the reigning four time division champion and point leader.  Garner won the last time, but Damitz wasn't far behind him. Still, it is a close battle in the standings between the three drivers. Oreta hasn't earned his first win yet, but the three time Hobby Stock champion has scored more feature wins than anybody else in the history of that division.

Two other drivers on the list of winners, in addition to Garner and Damitz, are Mike Gustafson and Jim Freethy. Freethy is next in line in the standings back in fourth, but some bad luck has hindered his efforts. The division has had a few new competitors debut, and others we are looking for this week include Lori Brown, the steady John Evans, Calvin Louis and John Keith.

The Hobby Stock division at Antioch Speedway has been exciting to watch all season long with five different winners in six races. At the top of the heap in the overall standings and rookie points is Guy Ahlwardt. Ahlwardt won the most recent race, which was his second win of the season. He has a big advantage in the standings over another feature winner, Stock Car veteran Danny Jones. Jones is doing double duty as he is also racing B Modifieds.

Other than Ahlwardt and Jones, nobody else in the Top 10 in the standings has made it into the winner's column just yet. Natalie Perry is one of those drivers, and she is not far behind second ranked Jones in the standings as 19 points separate second through sixth.  Third ranked Cameron Swank, Michael Cooper, Jason Jennings, Steven Rogers, Lindsay Buirch and Russell Shearer are other drivers to watch this week.  We also saw the return of Robert Niven at the most recent race as he finished in the Top 5.  One time winner Chris Long is said to be preparing for a return this week.

The California Hardtop Association is also part of the program this week. Recently, it was announced that the group would hold the Chet Thomson Memorial Race at the speedway on September 10th, a week following their big show at Calistoga. Chet is a champion in Hardtops at the old Vallejo Speedway, who passed away in 1967. Vallejo Speedway ran a memorial race for him there until it closed at the end of the 1979 season.

The Hardtop division has enjoyed parody this year with 4 different winners in 5 races. This includes the father and son team of Ken and Jason Clifford. Recent Roseville winner Jason Armstrong and Dave Mackey are other drivers on the list. Mickey was the competitor who won the most recent Antioch race. He's also the one who has pushed for the race for Chet Thomson

There are some fast competitors who have yet to win in a Main Event this season, including Chet's son Tommy Thomson, long time in Antioch competitor Rob Waldrop and Dan Williams. Thomson competes in a car in which he won Main Events with at Vallejo Speedway.

The Hardtops are a neat division and put on a good show every time they are at the speedway. Antioch played a crucial role in establishing the California Hardtop Association nearly a decade ago. Drivers we anticipate this week include John Turner, John Philbert, Joe Hopp, Ron Ruiz and Stock Car veteran Dennis Armstrong.

The one thing Antioch Speedway is known for is hosting exciting racing programs every Saturday night. This Saturday night should be no different. With Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and California Hardtops on the program, this will be an entertaining show to watch. For further information, check out

All Star Series Antioch Speedway Point Standings

Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Art McCarthy 248
Billy Aton 230
Dan Gonderman 178
Rick Brophy 134
Shawn Arriaga 137
Chris Magoon 126
Burt Foland Jr. 114
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100
Matt Barber 90

Wingless Spec Sprints
Jim Perry Jr. 240
Rick Panfili 206
Marcus Smith 204
James East 202
Shannon Newton 196
Brandon Burd 194
Alan Miranda 174
Roy Fisher 174
Kyle Bakkie 158
Adam Teves 158

B Modified
Al Johnson    414
Trevor Clymens     380
Shane DeVolder    364
Danny Jones    334
K.C. Keller    280
Lloyd Cline    184
Randy Brown    182
Brian Pearce    176
Fred Ryland    164
Lonnie Leonard    148

Limited Late Models
Larry Damitz    208
Mark Garner    196
Kimo Oreta    194
Jim Freethy    182
John Evans    168
Mike Gustafson    138
Lori Brown    95
Paul Hanley    40
John Keith    40
Donny Richardson 16

Hobby Stocks
Guy Ahlwardt    298
Danny Jones    227
Cameron Swank    224
Michael Cooper    216
Natalie Perry    215
Lindsey Buirch    208
Jordon Swank    178
Chris Sorensen     141
Rob Waldrop    128
Russell Shearer    120

Porterville, Merced Mini Stock Drivers Set To Invade The Alameda County Fair

Alameda, CA...Sunnyside Promotions is known for their Destruction Debies throughout the West Coast.  From compact cars all the way to RV's, they put them into the rodeo arenas and unleash the carnage to the delight of the crowds.  At the Alameda County Fair last year, they put out a call for Mini Stock drivers to sign up for all three days of Figure 8 racing, and they paid them handsomely for putting on a show.

Four drivers answered the call to put their cars onto a little Figure 8 track that was cut inside the rodeo arena.  It wasn't big enough for the cars to go too fast and do major damage, but it was small enough to keep the cars close and put the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats.  It made for an entertaining show.  Last year, Andy "The Dirt Dogg" Boydstun, Mat Schlessinger, Brian Widdowson and Chris Corder made the trip.

The four drivers played up to the crowd.  One night saw Widdowson and good friend Schlessinger beating on each others cars in every corner with Boydstun mixing it up for good measure.  The reaction of the crowd was obvious.  The Figure 8's have great potential to become a Fair Time Tour under the right promotion.  And, the great thing is that the arena is so tight that a six car field is a full field.

At Hoagland Park in Indiana, they have a similar type of show.  There is an arena built specifically for what has become a very popular Destruction Derby.  They run compact and big car divisions, and they have added the twist of Figure 8 programs for each class.  It has become very popular there.

The Alameda show got the four drivers talking, and they spread the word.  At last report, there were eight drivers planning to make the trip to the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton for the three day event (July 1-3).  Boydstun and his teammate Shawn Schwartzenberger top the list.  Shawn leads Andy in the points at Bakersfield Speedway this year, and Andy was second in points last season at his home track in Porterville. 

It doesn't stop there.  Clinton Massey is one of this year's Top Portervile Mini Stock racers and was third last year.  He's planning to tow up along with Steven Scott and the truck of Justin Moore.  It's not a serious event, but more about laughs and having fun.  However, there is a trophy for the winners, and Boydstun brought one home last year.

Corder Racing knows all about bringing home trophies.  Merced point leader Chris Corder has won six races this year between Merced and Watsonville, is the 2015 Chowchilla champion and 2014 Merced champ.  He's digging the #505 car out of mothballs for this event, which is the car he won the big West Coast Nationals event at Chowchilla with in 2015.  Also making the trip is second generation racer Lucy Falkenberg, who recently picked up her best finish in third at Watsonville.

There's an interesting thing happening with these arena Figure 8's and it has caught the attention of racers looking to make things more interesting.  In a little under two weeks, the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton will have it's  second event.  Indications are that it will be bigger and better than last year.

Racing Continues Saturday Night At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...The gates will open for Round #3 of racing at Orland Raceway this Saturday night at the Glenn County Fairgrounds.  Divisions offered on the schedule include the Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and 600 and 250 Micro Sprints.  Track management is also offering up a bike and helmet raffle for the kids thanks to Penner's Auto Center and Mini Stock racer Robert Hunt.

Due to the short amount of time that Promoter Rich Hood and his crew had to get the one-fifth mile clay oval ready before opening day, they've been working hard trying to make things even better.  During the off week, they added more new clay to the track in preparation for Saturday's race.

Two races into the season, past champion Steve Martin is doing his best to stake a claim on the Pure Stock championship.  Martin opened the season with a win and finished second to Placerville visitor Jason Armstrong in the next race.  Cody Bundy, Top 5 Chico competitor Jeremy Langenderfer and Earl Adams are among the others anticipated as car count continues to improve in the popular division.

The Mini Trucks continue to be a featured attraction at the track, and the first two wins of the season have gone to division mainstays "Rollin" Olin Crane and Dan Webster.  Webster had his work cut out for him as he battled past champion Ross Vige to win his race.  With other hard chargers such as reigning champion Keith Ross, William Fogle and Nate Skaggs in the field, Saturday's race should be good.

2014 champion Tom Davis has been the man to beat in Mini Stocks.  When the division takes to the track on Saturday, he will be going for his third straight victory.  With a pair of Top 3 finishes so far, Jeff Bennett seeks to grab his first win as past champion John Kirkpatrick, Eric Hammond and Robert Hunt are others to watch for.

The 600 and 250 Micro Sprints will both be racing, and they've been running together as car count gets established.  It also makes for a bigger field as Jackie Whitson Jr. and Rob Baker count themselves as 250 Micro winners and reigning champion Jeromie Crisman and Robert Baker have the 600 wins.  Sprint Car ace Rowdy McLennon, Ronnie Heyer, Marty Plumb and Reigning 250's champion Jess Garland are others to watch for this week

The management is working on other giveaways for the night.  Orland Raceway also has one of the lowest ticket prices in the state at $7.00 for general admission, $5.00 for kids 7-12 and children 6 and under free. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race starting at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  For Further Information, check out

McCarthy-Aton Battle Continues In 
Antioch Speedway Sprint Cars This Week

Antioch, CA...June 22...Two big storylines continue in the Antioch Speedway All Star Winged Sprint Cars Series this season.  For starters, Art McCarthy and Billy Aton are locked in a tight championship battle after five races.  The other story is the fact that the there are five winners in the five races held so far.  Last week, Bobby McMahon was the latest driver to add his name to the list.

When Jarrett Soares went to Stockton to compete in the King Of The West 410 Sprint Car event, Bobby was more than happy to step in as a substitute in the #12 car.  If the name sounds familiar, it should.  Bobby was one of the stars of the old NARC Sprint Car Series of the 1980's and 1990's, a past Speedweek champion and Top 5 driver in the series.  He has won his share of Sprint Car races through the years.  Last Saturday, Bobby joined Shawn Conde, Koen Shaw, Aton and McCarthy on the winner's list.

The win didn't come without a fight from current point leader and 2007 Antioch champion Art McCarthy.  McCarthy has been racing Super Modifieds and Sprint Cars since the late 1960's.  All these years later, he's still one of the stars of Antioch Speedway.  Though he came up just short last week, she still earned a strong second place finish.  Art was anticipating a challenge from Aton or 2015 champion Shawn Arriaga this week, but it never came.

Arriaga was out early with mechanical issues.  He didn't even get to make a lap in the heat race.  Aton was hoping for another strong run in the Main Event, but he was eliminated in a back stretch crash that saw third place point runner Dan Gonderman flipping.  Gonderman was okay, but his car wasn't as fortunate.  As it turned out, Art was joined by his son Adam McCarthy on the podium last week.  Adam had his best finish since coming out of retirement with that third place finish, and he added a second place finish to McMahan in his heat race as well.

Matt Barber decidced to come back after his Top 5 finish a week earlier, and despite a rough start, he still managed a fourth place finish ahead of Jenna Frazier.  Frazier had been running Dwarf Cars in recent seasons, but she has moved up to the #18 Sprint Car that Bobby's son Robby McMahan had driven last season. 

Antioch is establishing their own class, and other local competitors on the roster include 2014 champion Chris Magoon, Rick Brophy, Ricky Brophy, Tim Burcher and Burt Foland Jr.  Given the nature of the division and the fact that there is a good purse, different drivers tend to show up for visits every week.  You never know who might be there next.  Saturday, June 25th is the next race.  For further information, check out

2016 Antioch All Star Winged 360 Sprint Points

Art McCarthy 248
Billy Aton 230
Dan Gonderman 178
Rick Brophy 134
Shawn Arriaga 137
Chris Magoon 126
Burt Foland Jr. 114
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100
Matt Barber 90
Jarrett Soares 88

2016 Antioch All Stars
Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule

June 25
July 16
July 30
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27
September 10
September 17
September 24

Past Champions

1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga

Last 30 Feature Winners

June 11, 2016:  Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
May 16, 2015: Jake Haulot
April 25, 2015: Alissa Geving
March 7, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 2, 2014: Zack Lynskey
June 21 2014: Bradley Terrell
June 10, 2014: Chris Magoon
April 5, 2014: Kurt Nelson
May 4, 2013: Shawn Arriaga
April 13, 2014: Chris Martin
September 17, 2011: Billy Aton
July 30, 2011: Craig Smith
September 15, 2010: Jeremy Burt
August 25, 2010: Craig Smith
April 24, 2010: Craig Smith
March 27, 2010: Craig Smith
March 20, 2010: Ryan Risconi
September 26, 2009: Jeremy Burt
August 29, 2009: Jeremy Burt

Perry Leads The Way In Spec Sprints At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...June 22...It seems like the 18th Wingless Spec Sprint season is heating up with the summer at Antioch Speedway.  Antioch is the place where the Spec Sprints started back in 1999, and almost 20 years later, the two names at the top of the point list were on the point list back then.  Second generation racer Jim Perry Jr. and Rick Panfili are a contrast in racing accomplishments.

Perry's mantle is lined with trophies from Main Events he's won in his Super Modified and Wingless Spec Sprinter through the years.  Nobody has won more Spec Sprint Main Events at Antioch than Perry, who is a past champion and the current point leader.  Panfili got his start in the NCMA back in the mid 1990's and has raced every season in the Spec Sprints without a feature victory.  This year saw him earn a career best second place finish, and he's having the most success he's ever had, coming off of back to back third place point seasons.  He's in second now, and he's 34 points behind "Jammin Jim" in the championship battle.

The Perry family name goes back to the 1960's at Vallejo Speedway.  Jim's dad and uncle (Jim Sr. and Earl) raced Hardtops and Super Modifieds there, so he was born with racing in his blood and has passed it on to his son, Jimmy Perry III.  Jim got his second win last week, and it came ahead of another Vallejo Speedway Hardtop name, Barry Pries Jr.  Barry's dad, Barry Pries Sr., holds the honor of winning the final Hardtop championship at the track in 1978.  Pries, who got his start racing Karts at Delta Speedway back in the 1990's, was making his first Antioch start and did well in second.

Perry III, meanwhile, suffered a motor problem in winning his heat race.  Though the division's #3 all time winner and past champion had three wins last year, Perry III is still looking for his first win of the season.  The younger Perry has fallen out of the title chase, but 2015 "Rookie Of The Year" and (yet another) second generation racer Marcus Smith is climbing the ladder fast after a bad start.  Marcus had a blown motor earlier this season, but he also has a feature win.  Last week's third place finish, back behind the wheel of his own #28 car, moved him to within a couple points of Panfili in a close battle.

The record will show that second ranked Panfili leads Smith by two points, James East by four, Shannon Newton by eight and past Chowchilla champion Brandon Burd by 12 in one of the closest battles at the track.  Burd had a fifth place finish last week behind Alan Miranda as he continues to dial in his #56 Sprinter.  Panfili just missed a Top 5 finish in sixth ahead of Steven Grier.  Grier has only raced occasionally since Ocean Speedway dropped the division as a regular class at the end of the 2014 season.

Meanwhile, Adam Teves continues to improve in the "Lloyd Beard Special" #42 Sprint Car, owned by his grandfather Dana Craig and Cameron Beard.  Craig brings a wealth of knowledge about race cars from his years with the Perry Racing Team.  Adam has been racing since before he was old enough to legally drive, starting with Outlaw Karts and moving into Dwarf Cars. After winning multiple Main Events last year on his way to a second place season in Dwarf Cars, Adam has moved up to Spec Sprinters.  His eighth place finish last week came ahead of East and Newton.  Adam is currently ninth in the standings as the leading rookie in the field.

The racing in the Wingless Spec Sprint division has been competitive all season as two time champion Dan Gonderman and Jason McIntosh join Perry and Smith as feature winners. Perry is the only one with multiple wins.  As the division  returns to Antioch this Saturday night for Round #6, it will be a good battle to see if anybody can add their names to the win column.  It should be a good show.  For further information, check out

Wingless Spec Sprint Top 10 Points

Jim Perry Jr. 240
Rick Panfili 206
Marcus Smith 204
James East 202
Shannon Newton 196
Brandon Burd 194
Alan Miranda 174
Roy Fisher 174
Kyle Bakkie 158
Adam Teves 158

Wingless Spec Sprint Schedule

June 18
June 25
July 16
July 23
August 13
August 27
September 3
September 24

Past Wingless Spec Sprint Champions

1988-Mike Johnson *
1989-Scott Holloway *
1997-Stan Cargo *
1998-Scott Holloway *
1999-Dan Gonderman
2000-Travis Berryhill
2001-Terry Tarditi
2002-Darrell Hanestad
2003-Darrell Hanestad
2004-Bob Newberry
2005-Scot Merrell
2006-Jimmy Perry III
2007-Jim Perry Jr.
2008-Billy Macedo
2009-Billy Aton
2010-Tommy LaLiberte
2011-Dan Gonderman
2012-D.J. Johnson
2013-Gary Nelson Jr.
2014-Billy Macedo
2015-Kyle Bakkie
* NCMA Antioch

Previous 30 Winners

June 11, 2016: Jason McIntosh
May 15, 2016: Jim Perry Jr.
May 2, 2016: Marcus Smith
April 16, 2016: Dan Gonderman
September 19, 2015: Billy Macedo
August 29, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
August 15, 2015: Billy Macedo
August 1, 2015: Jimmy Perry III
July 5, 2015: Jeff Lee
June 20, 2015: James East
June 6, 2915: Jimmy Perry III
May 17, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
April 26, 2015: Jimmy Perry III
April 19, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
April 12, 2015: Roy Fisher
March 21, 2015: Kyke Bakkie
March 14, 2015: Roy Fisher
March 7, 2015: Jeff Lee
September 13, 2014: Billy Macedo
August 2, 2014: Bob Newberry
July 26 2014: Jeff Banbury
June 28 2014: Chris Magoon
June 14, 2014: Billy Macedo
April 26, 2014: Billy Macedo
April 5, 2014: Rowdy McClennon
March 22, 2014: Gary Nelson Jr.
March 15, 2014: Billy Macedo
October 5, 2013: Zack Lynsky
September 28, 2013: Zack Lynsky
September 14, 2013: D.J. Johnson

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race Anounced, Chet Thomson Memorial Hardtop Race

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover

On Sale At Reduced Price

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback


If You Like Reading Our Articles, Visit The Tip Jar at Go Fund Me to support our efforts

DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

DCRR Racing Radio Show

DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 85 by GenWhat

Hetrick To Be Remembered With $2500 To Win Modified Race At Antioch Speedway

In the late 1970's, he sped around the quarter-mile clay oval at Antioch Speedway in his fast #9a Gremlin bodied Sportsman.  He wasn't a high dollar competitor, but he was fast.  His name was Jerry Hetrick, and he was a Top 5 point competitor, feature winner and track qualifying record holder in the popular Sportsman division. Anybody who knew him through the years had nothing but good things to say about him.

In the years that followed Jerry's retirement from racing, his son Gary started racing in Street Stocks and A Modifieds.  Jerry got to enjoy watching his son race and pitted for him as well.  The community was saddened by the news of his passing earlier this year.  Promoter John M. Soares raced against him and had respect for what he was able to do with the equipment he had.  John wanted to honor him.

Therefore, Soares and Oval Motorsports has announced the Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race on July 9th.  Throughout the almost 19 seasons that Soares has been promoting Antioch Speedway, he has held some of the biggest paying Modified races on the West Coast.  It has been confirmed that it will be the standard entry fee.  We're still awaiting details on purse breakdown, but the A Modified race will pay $2500 to win and will probably pay in the area of $1000 to $1500 for second. Soares knows how to do these races up right, and a field reaching into the 30's is very possible.

After scoring one of the biggest Antioch victories of his career last week against NASCAR racer Kenny Schrader, Scott Busby is hungry for victory.  Nobody has won more Modified races at Antioch Speedway than the five time champion  Busby.  He is fast approaching another Sportsman legend, J.D. Willis, as the track's all time win leader.  Though he has won some big money races throughout the West Coast, the big win at Antioch has been elusive.  His $1500 triumph on Preliminary Day of last year's Summer Nationals was his biggest paycheck at the track.  Scott has more incentive to win this race.  He raced against Hetrick early in his career as he had just moved up to the Sportsman division in 1980.

Another name people will need to watch for is Bobby Hogge IV.  Everybody knows what a legend Bobby's father is, but only Willis and Busby have more wins than him at Antioch Speedway.  Hogge is also a three time Antioch champion with Late Model and Modified feature wins at the track this year.  The $2,500 first prize is sure to grab Hogge's attention, and he probably won't come alone.

Another talented racer to watch for will be second generation superstar Kellen Chadwick.  Kellen is a past Antioch champion, but he just accomplished an impressive feat of winning four races in seven days to capture the 2016 Wild West Speedweek Series championship.  Like Hogge, Kellen is known for going where they pay the big money, and he's claimed his share of winner's prizes through the years.

It's difficult to say who might show up to make a run for the money, but one local champion who will hopefully have a motor together in time to compete will be Aaron Crowell.  Aaron is a feature winner at Antioch this season.  Point leader Carl Berendsen II is another driver we anticipate as he goes for his first win in the division on the biggest stage of them all.

Third generation racer Darrell Hughes II is developing a reputation for showing up anywhere they pay the big purses and running very competitively.  He had a strong second place showing in the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race at Southern Oregon Speedway and recently got a win at Antioch.  You can believe that Antioch will be well represented by racers like Raymond Lindeman, Trent Wentworth, Sean O'Gara, Mikey Slaney, Anthony Slaney and John MacDougall, and there is sure to be a host of top talent from other tracks looking to pay Antioch a visit.

Details are still being put together, and we will have more information in the days ahead.  You can also keep track of the latest announcements via

On The Subject Of Conflicting Modified Races

The Editior's Viewpoint

It's always interesting to see what will go wrong next when I'm working on something here. The winner again this week, audio show. The word is out on Antioch Speedway's Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race for the A Modifieds. $2500 to win, and no extra fee to get in. Run for some extra money and pay tribute to one of the track's Sportsman greats of the past. Jerry was fast. He set a track qualifying record back in the mid 1970's. I'll have an article up shortly.

Now, I know people will talk about the fact that the man who "borrowed" the All Star Series tag from John has a big Modified race for his tour at Petaluma that night. It's very simple. Go run there if you want. Or come to Antioch. You have two choices. Antioch just happens go pay a little better. Here's he deal. The Modified racers are going to run where the money is. They are looking at their own big picture, which differs from a race track's big picture.

Antioch has taken a dent in car count when the other series has run. Racers went where the money was and chose not to support the regular show. Hey, it happens. When car count goes too far down, you have a situation where the class gets dropped at Chico, might as well be dropped at Yreka and is on life support at Petaluma. It is what it is. The Sport Mods are nipping at the heels of the Modifieds, just as I predicted they would in my rant a few years ago. They didn't solve the problem when they added that class, just avoided solving the problem. It will come full circle as it always does

Now a promoter has to do what they think is best for their track, and in this case, John has gone back to the old reliable well he's drawn from since he took over Antioch Speedway. Offer the money for the A Modifieds. I don't believe he was ever offered a seat at the table by the other guy, and that's fine. So, he has to look out for the best interest of Antioch Speedway. I know what I'd do in this spot. If going to the other guy and working it out is not an option, you can either sit and watch, or you can make something happen.

I see an opportunity for something big to happen, and I'm not spelling it out here. It would be a good thing for racing, and the drivers would love it. I've heard John elude to it in the past, and I'd recommend doing it. Not gonna say what it is though. Time and a place and all of that. John doesn't have a big dealership behind him or any of that. He risks his own money, and falls and rises based on his decisions. the Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race has win written all over it.

It's not just about the money, although money is why many of them will race. It's about honoring the history of that track, and paying tribute to a good man who we lost this year. Antioch Speedway needs more of this. If I were there this year, as nearly happened, this is the kind if thing I'd have been helping John make happen, You think he really doesn't care, but he does. He's a frustrating man at times, but he cares about the sport and keeping things going. I support John just as I did his father.

So, the debate on July 9th is not much different than it was when most of the Top 5 at Antioch abandoned the point race to go chase a little more money in that new series. Go race where you want to race and above all else, have fun. Rather than be upset, be happy you have options. Be happy you have a division to run and a race tack on which to run it. Ultimately, the decisions made by the drivers will shape what happens next, for better or worse.
Hardtop Group To Bring Back 
Chet Thomson Memorial Race At Antioch Speedway

In the 1960's there was a driver who drove a fast Hardtop for BCRA Hall Of Famer Bob Thomas. His name was Chet Thompson. They called him "Charging Chet" and he was one of the best racers out there. When you're winning a championship in a field that has drivers like Phil Pedlar, Leroy Geving, Larry Damitz and Gene Dudley, you have to be good. 

Sadly, Chet passed away not long after his championship season. The racing community mourned the loss of one of its more popular drivers. To keep his memory alive, they started the Chet Thomson Memorial race in 1967. The winner's list reads like a who's who of the best drivers to ever race at Vallejo Speedway.

At 100 laps9inthose early years, these races were marathon runs. The very first win went to Julian "Catch Em" Castro. Jim Kaiser won the next one and then Super Modified legend "Big" John Viel. Phil "Bang Bang" Pedlar won the first of two consecutive races in 1970 and 1971. In 1972, the legendary Leroy Geving came out of retirement and won the race.

1973 saw the win go to "The Sun Drop Kid" Larry Damitz. Think about that one. It's 43 years later, and Damitz is the Limited Late Model champion at Antioch Speedway and also runs a Modified Hardtop with the Hardtop group. Larry just had his 87th birthday. Speaking of Hardtop champions, Larry Hall won the 1974 race. If this writer may make it an observation, I'm staring right at the car that Larry drove to the track championship, currently owned by Mike McCann.

Lanny Westbrook won his first of two in a row in 1975. Then, it was a bittersweet moment for the son of Chet Thompson. "The Green Hornet" Tommy Thomson picked up his win in 1977. It is interesting to note that Tommy competes with the Hardtops these days, and he's driving the car that he won that race with.  Augie Fonseca won the final Chet Thomson Memorial Race as it switched to Super Modifeds, but Stan Cargo won the Hardtop part of the program that night.  Skip Brown won the Super Modified Chet Thomson Memorial race in 1979.

Bringing back the Chet Thomson Memorial was the brainstorm of a man who loves his Hartops, Dave Mackey. With the help of Jim Perry Jr., Mackey has put together a beautiful tribute car to the Dudley Family. He drove that car to the most recent Antioch Speedway win, and he had to make a couple of big passes to get that win. Dave is also co owner of another car and with Pete Paulsen. You know the colors, red white and blue #66, reminiscent of Pete's House of Wheels Special.

But, Dave's not doing this because he expects to win. Dave is doing it because he sees a tradition that needs to be honored. Some forty years ago, he was out at Vallejo Speedway watching these guys race, dreaming about the opportunity he might have to drive one of these cars one day. It wasn't until he hooked up with Perry Racing that he was able to finally live out that dream.

Now, Mackey sees the need for the Hardtop group to be promoted a little bit better. Dave approached Antioch Speedway promoter John M. Soares about the possibility of having a special date for September 10th. The group was already on the schedule. Soares knows the Hardtops well. The first race cars that John ever drove were Hardtops back in the 1960s, and his father, the legendary John "Pops" Soares, won two BCRA Hardtop championships.  When Conrad Cavallero started this group nearly a decade ago, John was the first promoter to give them dates.

So, the date is set for September 10th. It will be that Chet Thompson Memorial race. Mackey is working on securing the trophy and other contingency sponsors. It is likely that he'll find another ally in "The Rocket Man" Ken Clifford. A one time winner himself this year, Ken picked up trophies to hand out to the top three finishers for five races. Ken's first set of trophies went to the top three finishers at Antioch Speedway last time out.

It is likely that you will see him, and his two time feature winning son Jason Clifford competing in this race. Mackey's hopes are that the car count can get brought up well over 10 cars. It is known that the Hardtop roster in the Northern California area reaches into the thirties, but contact will have to be made with some of the racers.

Drivers currently active in the group that we anticipate seeing at this race include both Clifford cars, Mackey, Tommy Thomson, Dan Williams, Rob Waldrop, John Turner, Ron Ruiz, Jason Armstrong, Dennis Armstrong, Ken Ratzloff, Doug Broderick and Damitz.

The key information in all of this is that an effort is being made to promote Hardtop racing once again. It's obvious that there has been a lack of leadership in this group as it has struggled through the last couple of years. Some have said that the car count languishes because no effort has been made to bring the cars back to the race track. No effort has been made to inform the racers of when the races are.

Racers like Mackey and Clifford are people who want to see this division continue to grow and prosper. To do that, the racers have to be included in the process. The Chet Thomson Memorial Race is important first step in building a future for this division. It is also a good idea to link the Hardtops with the legacy of the Vallejo and Pacheco race tracks.

It has been said that these are not Vallejo Speedway Hardtop by certain people. That may be true to an extent, but there are a couple of Hardtops that came from Vallejo that still exist. There are also cars that were built paying tribute to Vallejo Speedway, and many of the people who open their eyes and take notice of this division first are people who were at  Vallejo Speedway in the 1970's. It's not a bad idea for the group to tap into that.

Details are still being finalized about what will be happening next with this race date. When we get more details, will pass them along here. The meantime, the hardtops have a race date coming up at Antioch Speedway on June 25th. The good news is the legacy of Hardtop racing will continue.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Busby Beats Schrader At Antioch Speedway, Merced Racing News

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Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

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Busby Beats Schrader In Exciting Night Of Racing 
At Antioch Speedway

Left promoter John Soares and right Ken Schrader have a post race conversation.  The two actually raced against each other a few times years ago in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 
Photo By Paul Gould Photography

Antioch, CA...June  18..NASCAR Star Kenny Schrader made a special visit to Antioch Speedway to compete with the local Late Model and A Modified racers Saturday night.  Schrader's impressive career highlights include four NASCAR Sprint Cup wins and a 4th place ranking in 1994.  He's also won 17 ARCA Series races.  These days, Kenny is doing a "barn storming" tour across the country in his Federated Auto Parts Modified.

Within the last week, Schrader won a race at the track in Idaho Falls and then towed west to Sunset Speedway in Banks, Oregon, where he finished second Friday night to past Antioch Speedway champion Kellen Chadwick. Chadwick just wrapped up the Wild West Modified Speedweek championship with four wins in six starts.  Schrader's schedule sent him to Antioch Speedway, where a ride in the Oval Motorsports Late Model was waiting for him.  Though luck was not with him in the Late Model, the Modified show went differently.

Left Ken Schrader and right Scott Busby discuss their exciting Modified Main Event battle. 
Photo By Paul Gould Photography

The fans were treated to a show in the Northern All Stars A Modified division as the track's most decorated star in  this division, Scott Busby, moved in to do battle with Scharder.  With over 60 wins and five championships at Antioch in this division, Busby is one of the best ever, but his luck has been terrible this year.  Earlier this season, the defending champion lost a win to Jeff Decker late in the race.  This time, Busby had to battle Schrader, who came well prepared for the race.  The two delighted the crowd with a great race up front, but it was Busby prevailing in the end.  Busby gained little ground on point leader Carl Berendsen II, who finished third after winning his heat race.  Trent Wentworth notched another good finish in fourth as six time Petaluma Speedway champion Michael Paul Jr. completed the Top 5.  

Rookie Bobby Montalvo provided some cosmetic damage to the fence in turns 3 and four with his heat race crash.  Photo By Paul Gould Photography

Reigning DIRTcar Late Model champion Jeff Decker and 2014 champion Richard Papenhausen battled at the front of the Late Model Main Event.  Some people tend to forget just how good Decker really is, but he reminded them as he beat Papenhausen back to the line to become the fourth different winner in four races.  Decker is now a winner in Late Model and Dirt Modified competition this year, joining the elite company of Bobby Hogge IV.  Papenhausen settled for his second runner up finish of the year.  Dennis Souza had his best finish of the season in third as Rob Norris and Mike Hynes rounded out the Top 5.  Chester Kniss joined the "Rollover Club" when his brakes stuck entering Turn 3.  Fortunately he was not injured.

The Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event win went to Bobby McMahan.  A lap wasn't even in the books before a tangle on the back strech, involving Matt Barber and title hopefuls Billy Aton and Dan Gonderman.  The incident sent Gonderman  flipping.  Once that was cleaned up, point leader Art McCarthy and his son Adam McCarthy had hopes of battling for the lead.  However, McMahan had other ideas as he was piloting the #12 car normally driven by Jarrett Soares, who was racing in Stockton.  A championship winning Sprint Car driver with many wins through the years, McMahan would not be denied as he held off the elder McCarthy for the victory.  Art's son Adam McCarthy was third as Matt Barber and Jenna Frazier rounded out the Top 5.

Having been awarded a special "Rookie Of The Year" plaque for his improvement throughout last season, K.C. Keller was a B Modified driver people picked to win a Main Event this year.  Keller looked strong last week in a battle with Trevor Clymens before falling out.  This time, however, he would not be denied.  Keller prevailed ahead of current Watsonville point leader Jim DiGiovanni.  Clymens won his heat race, but he settled for third in the feature ahead of point leader and fellow heat winner Al Johnson and Shane DeVolder.

Second generation superstar Jim Perry Jr. won for the second time this year in the 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event.  The current point leader was chased across the line by another second generation racer with family ties going back to the old Vallejo Speedway.  In this case, it was Barry Pries Jr.  Pries settled for second ahead of 2015 "Rookie Of The Year" Marcus Smith.  Alan Miranda  and past
Chowchilla champion Brandon Burd completed the Top 5.

Kevin Miraglio finally got the monkey off his back by winning his first 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event at Antioch.  The point leader has been consistently finishing second and third, but this one belonged to him.  Miraglio outdueled his closest point rival Mike Corsaro for the victory.  Josh Miller was a solid third with David Rosa having his best finish of the year in fourth.  Tim Reeder rounded out the Top 5 finishers.

Racing continues next week with Winged 360 Sprints, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and CHA Hardtops.  For further information, check out

Unofficial Race Results, Saturday Night June 18

A Modified
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Carl Berendsen II, Nick Viscusi III.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Scott Busby, Ken Schrader, Berendsen, Trent Wentworth, Michael Paul Jr.
Winged 360 Sprints
Heat Winner (8 Laps)-Bobby McMahan.  Main Event (25 Laps)-McMahan, Art McCarthy, Adam McCarthy, Matt Barber, Jenna Frazier.

DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Richard Papenhausen, Jeff Decker.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Decker, Papenhausen, Dennis Souza, Rob  Norris, Mike Hynes.

B Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Al Johnson, Trevor Clymens.  Main Event (20 Laps)-K.C. Keller, Jim DiGiovani, Clymens, Johnson, Shane DeVolder.

Wingless Spec Sprints
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Jimmy Perry III, Alan Miranda.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Jim Perry Jr., Barry Pries Jr., Marcus Smith, Miranda, Brandon Burd.

Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Mike Corsaro, Lionel Francis.   Main Event (20 Laps)-Kevin Miraglio, Corsaro, Josh Miller, David Rosa, Tim Reeder.

Ryland, Nelson, Odgers, Corder Merced Speedway Winners

Merced, CA...June 18...Fred Ryland returned to Merced Speedway Saturday night and was glad that he did. The reigning IMCA Sport Modified State champion won the 20 lap Main Event ahead of veteran Gary Tucker. Two time Merced Hobby Stock champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson drove one of the Shearer Racing Team cars to his second 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event win of the season. Past Sportsman champion Mark Odgers returned and beat the biggest field of Sportsman drivers this year with his 20 lap feature triumph. Despite an invasion of stars from Bakersfield and Porterville, the "Corder Train" kept rolling as point leader Chis Corder won his fourth 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event in five starts.

After title contender Mike Drake, Andy Welch and G. Tucker won nine lap IMCA Sport Modified heat races, the race was on for Main Event glory. Fred Ryland and G. Tucker were in a race to see which of the two could get to the front from the third row first. Tucker won multiple Main Events last season, but the veteran of over 20 years of racing at Merced has been shut out thus far. Second was Tucker's best finish so far this year, but F. Ryland continued his string of impressive finishes with his latest triumph. Ryland had a double win weekend last week up north. Past IMCA State champion Nick Spainhoward charged from tenth to third as Patti Ryland, point leader Steve Stone and reigning champion Josh Hensley rounded out the top 6. Having parted ways with car owner Randy Brown during the week, incoming point leader Rick Diaz scrambled to get the ride in the #74 car while he awaits his new car. Diaz managed a seventh place finish ahead of Paul Espino, Andy Welch and Drake.

The lowest Hobby Stock count of the year still produced a 17 car field, and heat race wins went to Raulie Rodriguez, Ben Lewis and point leader Michael Shearer. Starting back in the eighth spot, Bubba Nelson made a charge to the front and mixed it up with front row starters Lewis and M. Shearer. However, Nelson passed them both and scored the well earned victory. Lewis settled for second with M. Shearer maintaining his point lead in third. Kodie Dean continued his strong season with a fourth place finish ahead of John Hensley. Kristie Shearer regained second in the standings with her seventh place finish as Kyle Singleton, Rodriguez and rookie Darren Miguel made up the remainder of the Top 10.

After winning the heat race in his "Mr. Dirt" Vern Willhoite tribute car, past Sportsman champion Mark Odgers scored an impressive feature victory. Car count was higher than it's been in about two years, and Odgers had to contend with two time champion Mike Friesen, who settled for second. Sportsman point leader Kenny Birdsong was third in the Rod Poor tribute car as Watsonville's all time Sportsman win leader and "Hall Of Famer" Jerry Cecil was fourth. Jeff Bristow completed the Top 5. Division newcomers Jeff Amos and Shannon Fry were sixth and seventh as Eric Sealy completed the finishing order.

When Jennifer Corder sold her Hobby Stock, she really didn't want to get out of racing, so she orchestrated a trade to get her back into a Mini Stock. Jennifer joined her point leading brother Chris Corder as heat winners on the night. She gave it a good run in the Main Event, but Chris was just a bit too fast. Jennifer settled for a strong second place finish to complete the Corder domination of the night. Bakersfield title contender Andy "The Dirt Dog" Boydstun was third ahead of Porterville regular Clinton Massey and Justin Moore. Tony Peffer drove his truck to a sixth place finish as Kit Murphy, Paul Laoretti and Curtis Thornhill made up the rest of the field. Bakersfield point leader Shawn Schwartzenberger scratched from the Main Event.

Merced Speedway goes flat track racing this week, but The Tommy Post Memorial Race returns on July 2nd. The night features IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks as well as a Fireworks Display. To make it even better, it is free admission for the fans. For further information, go to

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Chadwick Wins At Banks, Furr Wins At Watsonville

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

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Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

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Some Friday night news from Banks, Watsonville and more...

Chadwick Scores Impressive Victory At Sunset Speedway

Banks, Oregon...June 17...Kellen Chadwick won his third Wild West Shoot Out IMCA Modified Main Event in five starts in the 35 lap race at Sunset Speedway Friday night.  Chadwick came into the night as the point leader in the series and did nothing to hurt that as he started on the pole and led all 35 laps for the impressive victory aboard his Pro Motorsports/Antioch Muffler sponsored Rage Chassis.  That was Kellen's third $1,000 victory this week as he competes for the lion's share of the $3,500 point fund for the series championship.  NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader picked up a $600 second place finish aboard his Federated Auto Parts Modified.

Only Bricen James of the incoming Top 5 point runners missed the Main Event as Chadwick, 2014 champion Alex Stanford, Collen Winebarger and Mark Wauge made the show.  Chadwick and Schrader shared the front row, and Chadwick raced into the early lead.  Within about ten laps, Chadwick already had a straightaway advantage over Schrader as Rob Ireland ran third.  Mark Carroll and Stanford were fourth and fifth at the lap ten mark as Tripp Gaylord and John Campos ran right behind Stanford in a good battle.  Carroll moved by Stanford for fifth on lap 11, and the first yellow didn't come until lap 18 for debris on the track.  Chadwick continued to lead Schrader on the restart as Carroll moved into third.  Schrader was enjoying a good battle with Carroll for second.  Another yellow flag flew for debris on lap 26, and Wauge tangled with B.J. Wild for a lap 28 caution flag.  There was a bit of contact with Schrader and Chadwick on the restart, but Chadwick continued to lead Schrader and Carroll.  T. Gaylord made a late move around Carroll for third.  There was no stopping Chadwick as he drove to a well earned victory.  Schrader settled for second ahead of T. Gaylord, Carroll and Ryan Scott Gaylord.

Chadwick was a bit concerned about the initial start.  "I was a little bit worried about what Ken would do, " he admitted.  "I knew it was gonna be hard to get around Kenny."

That didn't turn out to be a problem for the second generation racer as he had the lead by the time they exited the first turn.  However, there was another concern on his mind.  "As small as this track is, I was a little worried about what it would be like in traffic, " Kellen explained.  "There's not a lot of room out there, so I was worried how that would be.  You don't want to be seeing a bunch of yellow flags in a race, but they came out at the right time for me."

Kellen hasn't been to Elma in a while, though he had one of his biggest wins up there earlier in his career.  He knows what he's hoping for.  "I don't know what the track is gonna be like, " said Chadwick.  "I hope it's gonna be slick and black, because that's what we've been good on all week."

As for Schrader, he knew early on that this wasn't gonna be his race without some bad luck for Chadwick.  "We weren't even in the same zip code, " joked Kenny, who spent the day before giving kids rides in his race car.  "He was way faster than me. We did some changes, and they didn't work.  I still think we made the right call."

The deciding race for the series championship will take place tomorrow night at Greys Harbor Speedway in Elma, Washington.

Furr, Falkenberg Win At Ocean Speedway

Watsonville, CA...June 17..Brad Furr drove to victory in the 30 lap Taco Bravo Sprint Car Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway.  Other winners on the night included Chris Falkenberg (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Robert Gallaher (American Stocks) and Jason Womack (Mini Stocks).

Brad Furr grabbed the victory in the 30 lap Taco Bravo Sprint Car Main Event.  There were 21 Sprint Cars, and Furr set a quick time of 11.623.  Furr then won his heat race ahead of Jerry Bonnema  Anthony Simone was a heat race winner ahead of Logan Seavy, and Kurt Nelson won the final heat race over multi time champion Tommy Tarlton.  Seavy also won the Trophy Dash ahead of Nelson.  Nelson set the early Main Event pace ahead of Seavy and Kaleb Montgomery.  Seavy and Nelson began a thrilling duel on lap five that lasted for the next few laps.  They traded the lead each lap with Nelson leading Seavy and new third place runner Furr on a lap nine yellow flag.  Nelson's race came to an abrupt end on lap ten.  Seavy had the lead, but he soon surrendered the spot to Furr.  Jeremy Chisum made a charge to the second  position as Seavy still held third at the lap 20 mark.  Furr brought it home to victory with Chisum a strong second. Seavy faded late as Scott Parker was third ahead of Chris Markle, Koen Shaw, Tarlton, Seavy, Buddy Kofoid, Dustin Golobic and Cole Macedo.

Chris Falkenberg returned to Ocean Speedway and drove to an impressive victory in the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.  Falkenberg took the lead from Adrian DeSousa on a lap 10 restart and would lead the rest of the way with a winning margin of about a straightaway.  After winning the heat race ahead of Justin McPherson, Dennis Simonovich made a lap 18 pass on DeSousa to pick up a second place feature finish.  DeSousa settled for third ahead of McPherson, point leader Jim DiGiovanni, Anthony Giuliani, Paul Mulder and Shane DeVolder.

Robert Gallaher won the 20 lap American Stock Main Event after earlier holding off Katie Briggs to win the heat race.  Tony Olivera led a few early laps before Gallaher raced by for the lead.  William Kennedy took third from Briggs on lap seven, but his race ended a lap later with mechanical issues.  Gallaher led the restart and would go on stretch his lead to over a straightaway on Olivera.  Briggs finished third ahead of George Fernandez, John Farrell and Kennedy.

Manteca visitor Jason Womack made a last lap pass on Dennis Keldsen Jr to win the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  Womack had earlier won the heat race ahead of point leader Kate Beardsley.  Keldsen led most of the way, but Womack ran close behind him for most of the distance before making his move late.  Keldsen lost the lead on the last lap a week ago to Chris Corder. This time it was Womack making the winning move.  Womack would win with Keldsen a disappointed second.  Lucy Falkenberg was a career best third ahead of Corder, K. Beardsley, Mark Fields, Bill Beardsley and Paul Laoretti.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Antioch Speedway And Merced Speedway Weekend Previews

First of all...

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing

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Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

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DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

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Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models Headline 
Six Division Show At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The solid start to the 2016 season at Antioch Speedway continues. The track is coming off of back to back 70 plus car fields, and promoter John M. Soares has another good program lined up for this Saturday night. Headlining the event will be the exciting DIRTcar Late Models and Winged 360 Sprint Cars along with Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds and Dwarf Cars. It is sure to be another show the fans won't want to miss.

The Late Models are coming off of a strong turnout last time that saw Clay Daly make a rare appearance and come home with another victory. Daly is currently in the Pacific Northwest assuming the Crew Chief duties for the two car Jenner Racing Team in the Wild West Modified Series. It is anticipated that defending champion Jeff Decker and 2014 champion Richard Papenhausen will be among the competitors this week. Papenhausen holds a slight advantage over Decker in the latest point standings.

Another team likely to be there will be the two car team of Paul Guglielmoni and Terry Kuntz. Paul actually owns a few different race cars and is known for bringing at least two of them to the shows that he supports. Also expected this week will be Top 5 competitor Chester Kniss, who is very much in the hunt for his first Late Model feature win. Recently married David Newquist currently sits third in the standings and is anticipated this week along with Dennis Sousa, Danny Malfatti, Mike Hynes and others.

The Winged Sprint Car division has been wide open, and you never know who might show up for a race on any given week. There are four different winners in four races, and while point championship contenders Billy Aton and Art McCarthy are two of those winners, other wins have been one earned by Koen Show and Shawn Conde. The lure of a good purse and a fast racetrack is bringing Sprint Car drivers from several different tracks to the John Soares prepared three-eighths mile clay oval.

There were 14 competitors in action last time out, and hard chargers like Dan Gonderman and Rick Brophy have been strong supporters for the season so far. Other drivers to watch for this week include reigning champion Shawn Arriaga, Sprint Car and open wheel veteran Burt Foland Jr., Ricky Brophy, Adam McCarthy and newcomer Tim Burcher.

Not surprisingly, Jim Perry Jr continues to pace the field in the Wingless Spec Sprint division. It may be difficult keeping this open wheel veteran from winning his second division championship. He has already won over 40 Main Events in this division in his career to put him at the top of the all time win list. Perry is coming off of a Top 3 finish last time out in a race won by Jason McIntosh. Joining these two drivers on the winner's list are two time champion Dan Gonderman and title hopeful Marcus Smith.

Smith had to get back behind the wheel of his #28 car for the most recent race and was a heat race winner. There is a good battle in the standings as longtime division competitor Rick Panfili, Shannon Newton, defending champion Kyle Bakkie and James East are others in the championship hunt. Though not in the hunt for the points right now, third generation racer Jimmy Perry III should not be counted out in the quest for victory.

The A Modified division has been a very intriguing contest. We know that we have three drivers who are trying to win the championship at this moment. There is the five time champion Scott Busby, who many might think is the guy to beat, but 2014 champion Carl Berendsen II is the point leader and Raymond Lindeman is also very much in the hunt. Berendsen has more reason to come out fast this week in his new car as he is still looking for his first career victory in this division. Carl has been a hard charger through the years and was a feature winner and two time point runner up in Street Stocks before getting into the Modified.

Because drivers will drift in and out as they are also competing for All Star Modified Tour points, you never know who might show up next, but rookie Bobby Montalvo, Sean O'Gara, John McDougall and Norman Boeck are among the drivers you might see this week. Trent Wentworth is coming off of another strong Top 5 finish last time out and is another driver to keep an eye on in the race for victory.

Victory is something that B Modified point leader Al Johnson would very much like. He had a Top 5 finish last week and has three second place finishes so far this year, but he can feel the presence of three time feature winner Trevor Clymens climbing up the point ladder. Trevor is coming off of another feature win on a night in which his suspension was hurt from a crash in the heat race that he won earlier that evening. Clymens may be the driver to beat this week, but after his second runner up finish last week, rookie Shane DeVolder will be hoping to get his first win.

Double division racer Danny Jones enjoyed a solid fourth place effort and is also not far behind DeVolder in a good race for third in the standings. K.C. Keller gave it a good run and battled Clymens for several laps early in last week's feature. He was also a heat race winner. Lonnie Leonard, Lloyd Cline, Randy Brown and Ron Brown are other drivers you might see this week, and you never know when reigning champion Fred Ryland may show up for another chance at a win. Ryland recently picked up wins at Southern Oregon Speedway and Siskiyou Motor Speedway.

Not to be forgotten in the mix is the always exciting Dwarf Car division. Kevin Miraglio has yet to win, and yet he has stretched his point advantage over one time feature winner Mike Corsaro to 40 points. It's still very early in the game, and Kevin hasn't had his dose of bad luck yet. He is hoping he can get his first Antioch feature win before that ever happens. Another driver looking for a feature win who may just get it is third place point runner Tim Reeder. Reader had a year last year in which a lot of things went wrong, but he always came back enthusiastically and gave it his best. He seems poised for that big moment to happen this year.  Third generation racer Buddy Kniss is balancing a  baseball career with Dwarf Car racing, and he currently has 78 year old Charlie Correia just two points behind him in the battle for fourth. Consider that Buddy is a teenager in high school and Correia has been racing for many years. Charlie is one of the longest running Dwarf Car drivers in the state of California and raced a Super Modified for years before that.

Though there are drivers who have come and gone in this division, the support of past Hobby Stock champion Robert Coe, Josh Miller, open wheel veteran Brian Gray and David Michael Rosa has helped keep the car count in double digits this year. Wade Humphrey is recovering from a broken leg suffered in a flip in the last Main Event, which was won by Thomas Leiby. As for Humphrey, it appears as if he will get back behind the wheel of his car once he is able to.

The racing is sure to be exciting at Antioch Speedway this Saturday night, and the divisions will include the Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Late Models, Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds and Dwarf Cars. For further information on this and other happenings at the speedway, go to

Antioch Speedway
Northern All Stars
Point Standings

Winged 360 Sprint Cars

Art McCarthy 194
Billy Aton 190
Dan Gonderman 140
Rick Brophy 134
Shawn Arriaga 132
Chris Magoon 126
Burt Foland Jr. 114
Koen Shaw  100
Jarrett Soares 88
Ricky Brophy 64

DIRTcar Late Model
Richard Papenhausen  156
Jeff Decker 144
David Newquist 134
Chester Kniss 126
Bobby Hogge IV 106
Dennis Souza 78
Mike Hynes 69
Danny Malfatti 66
Troy Foulger 52
Clay Daly 50

Wingless Spec Sprints
Jim Perry Jr. 190
Roy Fisher 174
James East 168
Rick Panfili 164
Shannon Newton 160
Kyle Bakkie 158
Marcus Smith 156
Brandon Burd 148
Alan Miranda 124
Adam Teves 122

A Modified
Carl Berendsen II 242
Raymond Lindeman 226
Scott Busby 211
Trent Wentworth 186
Troy Foulger 182
Bobby Montalvo 172
Sean O'Gara  168
John MacDougall 150
Aaron Crowell 146
Josh Combs 106

B Modifieds
Al Johnson 364
Trevor Clymens 328
Shane DeVolder 318
Danny Jones  296
K.C. Keller 226
Brian Pearce 176
Fred Ryland 164
Randy Brown 150
Lonnie Leonard 148
Lloyd Cline 144

Dwarf Cars
Kevin Miraglio 266
Mike Corsaro 226
Tom Reeder 192
Buddy Kniss 174
Charlie Correia 172
Robert Coe 162
Timmy Ryan 148
Josh Miller 134
Brian Gray 131
Wade Humphrey 122

Saturday Night Racing Returns To Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...The fair time break is over, and Saturday night racing returns to Merced Speedway with an exciting four division program that will be headlined by the IMCA Sport Modified division along with the Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and the Valley Sportsman division. Considering the car counts being offered up by Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks this season, it should be another great show.

A check of the point standings in the IMCA Sport Modified ranks shows that just 19 points separate point leader Rick Diaz from Steve Stone, Mike Drake, defending champion Josh Hensley and Tim Elias. Diaz is the only one of the group with more than one feature victory. In fact, only Stone has a feature victory of the remaining Top 5 drivers in the standings. Stone is just one point behind Diaz while two time Top 3 finisher Drake is just seven points out of the lead in the George Medeiros car.

The racing has been fast in this division all year long, and there are some tough competitors such as sixth ranked Gary Tucker and Chris Falkenberg who could score a victory at any point this season. Alex Odishoo has been quietly creeping up the point ladder and should not be counted out. After his Top 3 season last year, Dwayne Short holds on to a Top 10 ranking and is another driver hoping to get his first feature win this year.

Of the young guns in the division, second generation racer Tanner Thomas is doing the best. Tanner is just six points out of the Top 10 right now in 11th and currently tops the rookies in this division. More importantly, under the guidance of his Street Stock championship winning father Darren Thomas, Tanner is learning the ropes and doing a good job. A full field of Sport Modifieds is expected for this race, and you never know who may show up next. Diaz may be the man to beat, but there are several drivers out there nipping at his heels.

The Hobby Stock division has been an interesting affair. At this point, we've had five different winners in six races.  The only repeat winner is multi time division champion Raul Rodriguez Sr., who is not really chasing points this year. Dexter Long has finished as high as second in his sophomore season, and he finds himself 13 points behind one time feature winner Michael Shearer, who has been running strong most of the season. Last week was a speed bump for Shearer as he had his worst night of the season.

Kristie Shearer took a night off during the fair, and IMCA Modified veteran Tommy Bostic handled the driving duties well in his top five finish. Robbie Loquaci did equally well as the past Chowchilla Mini Stock champion finished third in the Main Event and holds down on fourth in the points by just three tallies over Cody Dean.

Being on the winner's list is something the drivers are shooting for, and that list grew to over a dozen drivers last season. On the list so far in addition to M. Shearer and Rodriguez is Ben Louis II, Ted Stofle Classic winner Phil Vaughn and two time Watsonville champion Terry Campion. Long seems poised to finally get his first win, but hard chargers such as K. Shearer, Loquaci, Dean, Garrett Corn, reigning champion Kevin Joaquin and Austin Van Hoff are others you'll have to keep an eye on.

The Mini Stock division has a dominant force in its midst with 2014 champion Chris Corder. Corder has taken the off time as an opportunity to go down to Watsonville Speedway and pick up a pair of feature wins. He opened the season with three feature victories this year, but it was Jason Lewis snapping his win streak last time out. Remarkably, Corder only holds a three point lead over Joy Alger in the battle for the championship, and one of the drivers we tabbed as a driver who could be a threat to Corder this year, James Stockton, is only 10 points out of the lead. Stockton had a runner up finish last time out, and he leads his teammate Mike Germait by just two points in the battle for third.

Rookie Destiny Carter has done a good job of ranking fifth in the standings, but the teenager is taking a vacation that will take her out of the action for a few weeks. This is the opportunity for Paul Laoretti to try and climb back into the Top 5. Laoretti has a pair of Top 5 feature finishes this year. The Mini Stock division continues to do okay this season, and several drivers have taken this division as an opportunity to get into racing at Merced Speedway. Having sold her Hobby Stock, Jennifer Corder managed to make a trade and get back into the division in which she ranked second in the standings back in 2014. She should not be counted out along with teammate Alger in the quest to join her brother Chris Corder on the winner's list.

In the Valley Sportsman division, Kenny Birdsong has won a pair of Main Events. Birdsong is driving the Rod Poor tribute car. A recent tabulation of cars in the area finds over a dozen cars are ready or close to ready, and that means that seeing an increase in car count is a possibility. At the moment, Birdsong leads season opener winner Jeff  Bristow by just four points. Mike Friesen, Eric Seeley, Tim Prothro and Mike Palmberg are other racers that we've seen so far this year, and we've heard that Jeannie Canepa-Reveal may be next to debut her car. The more cars the merrier as this division is a fun division to watch.

To recap, racing comes back this Saturday night at Merced Speedway with a four division show that will be headlined by the IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. These two divisions alone could have enough of a car count to require B Mains in both classes. Add the Mini Stock and Sportsman divisions to the mix, and you have a show that you won't want to miss. For further information on this and other happenings at Merced Speedway, go to

Merced Speedway Points

IMCA Sport Modifieds

Rick Diaz 185
Steve Stone 184
Mike Drake 178
Josh Hensley 168
Tim Elias 166
Gary Tucker 149
Alex Odishoo 139
Chris Falkenberg 133
Dwayne Short 129
Andy Welch 117

Hobby Stock
Michael Shearer 121
Dexter Long 108
Kristie Shearer 101
Robbie Loquaci 98
Kodie Dean 95
Garrett Corn 92
Phillip Vaughn 88
Kevin Joaquin 84
Austin Van Hoff 83
Andrew Krumm 70

Mini Stock
Chris Corder 69
Joy Alger 66
James Stockton 59
Mike Germait 57
Destiny Carter 56
Paul Lauretti 46
Dennis Copus 44
Curtis Thornhill 39
Jason Lewis 39
Lucy Falkenberg 32

Valley Sportsman
Kenny Birdsong 59
Jeff Bristow 55
Eric Seely 36
Mike Friesen 36
Tim Prothro 18
Mike Palmberg 17