Thursday, April 26, 2018

Antioch Speedway, Merced Speedway, Orland Raceway Previews, Central Valley Mini Stocks

First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
Stories of my time in auto racing from the beginning to 2003
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover


Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

A cool article about Wingless Spec Sprint Co-Founder Don O'Keefe Jr's newest racing endeavor HERE

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DCRR Racing Media And PR Consulting  HERE

The DCRR Racing Radio Show

Late Models, Sharp Shooter B Modified Tournament Highlight Saturday's Program At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...All Star Series racing action heated up last Saturday night with some great racing on a hooked up John M Soares prepared 3/8 mile clay oval at Antioch Speedway. This Saturday night, DIRTcar Late Models are back for their second event of the season. The All Star Series B Modifieds will compete, and there's the added bonus of the Sharp Shooter Tournament race for the top heat race finishers. Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Bay Area Hardtops highlight another great lineup of racing.

Last time, Richard Papenhausen looked impressive in winning the DIRTcar Late Model feature. During the past four seasons, The lion's share of the feature wins in this class have been gobbled up by the two-time champion Papenhausen and three-time reigning champion Jeff Decker. Decker settled for second in the opener.

Simply put, it's difficult for anybody else to get to get a victory with Papenhausen and Decker in the field. When you do win, you know you earned it. Two drivers to watch in the quest for victory are last season's point runner up, David Newquist, and longtime Late Model competitor Shawn DeForest. DeForest has had a storied racing career going back to Baylands Raceway, and he too is a past runner-up in Antioch Late Model points, earning the honors in 2007. Other drivers to watch include two-time Petaluma Speedway champion Paul Guglielmoni, Dennis Souza, Rob Norris and Kimo Oteta.

Sharp Shooter creator, Jay Banks, announced this week that 2014 IMCA State Sport Modified champion Nick Spainhoward was planning to come to Antioch for a shot at the tournament win and Main Event glory. The talent level in the B Modified division at Antioch continues to rise. Past A Modified champion Aaron Crowell just joined the field, and he finished second in the most recent race after a thrilling battle with 2016 champion Trevor Clymens.

You can talk about such hard chargers as reigning champion KC Keller and 2015 champion Fred Ryland, but the talk of the night last week was rookie Brent Curran. Curran went flag to flag for his first feature win. Remarkably, this was only his fifth start in this class, and he had finished third in a competitive field at Chico the night before. There are some fast competitors hoping to grab the Sharp Shooter and Main Event prizes, and others to watch for include Guy Ahlwardt, Tommy Fraser, Randy Brown and Ryan DeForest.

The Hobby Stock division is being filled with several talented new competitors, but at the top of the list, 2010 champion Chris Sorensen and Michael Cooper continue to do battle. Cooper now has two feature wins, while Sorensen has one. Neither driver has missed the Top 3 this season. One rookie who may be closing in on a Main Event win is John Wacht. The Wacht family is no stranger to Antioch Speedway. Steve Wacht owned some competitive Figure 8 cars back in the 1980s, while his wife Terrie Wacht is the very first Hobby Stock champion in 1995. Matt Wacht also competed during the first few seasons of the division.

Breanna Troen picked up an impressive heat race win last week, but her night ended on a sour note when she hit the back wall and rolled in the Main Event on lap 19. She'll be looking to change her fortune this week. Other drivers to watch for include Joey Ridgeway, Lindsey Buirch, Billy Garner, Jordan Swank, Frank Furtado, Erik Pitschner and reigning champion Cameron Swank.

During the off week, reigning Dwarf Car champion Mike Corsaro celebrated his birthday. But the real celebration for him is anytime he can get behind the wheel of his car and do some racing. Corsaro is hungry for a victory after his Top 3 finish in the season opener, and he's thinking this could be his week. Likely to be with him this week will be his teammate, Charlie "The Hammer" Correia. Charlie is currently the longest tenured Dwarf Car competitor in the state of California, racing regularly for nearly 25 years. He's won several Main Events along the way, but it's been a couple of years since he has had Antioch Speedway glory.

After a brutal flip in his heat race last time an out, word is that last year's Rookie Of The Year, Devan Kammermann, may be out for a while. However, we've also seen reports that the car has already been stripped down and is being repaired. Drivers we are looking for this week include David Rosa and son David Michael Rosa, Mario Marquez, Chuck Conover, Chris Becker and Brian Gray.

The Bay Area Hardtops are making their first of four scheduled appearances, and a couple of the regular competitors were in Placerville last week. Dave Mackey won his heat race, while Ken Retzloff finished second in the Main Event. These two are anticipated along with Doug Braudrick, Terry DeCarlo, Gene Haney and Kimo Oreta. Work is coming along swiftly on the Tommy Thomson car, but we haven't heard when he'll finally see the race track again. As the California Hardtop group also has a date booked elsewhere, it's uncertain who might represent them in Antioch this week.

With the Late Models back in town and the B Modifieds having their third Sharp Shooter Tournament race, Saturday will be a great night of racing. Add Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Bay Are Hardtops and you have a night you won't want to miss. For further information, go to

Modified divisions Back In Action At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...After a week off, the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds roar back into action this Saturday night at Merced Speedway. This will be somewhat of a tune-up race for one of the track's signature events on May 5th, the Ted Stofle Classic. Joining these two classes this Saturday night will be the Hobby Stocks ad Mini Stocks.

The community is still buzzing from the close to 40 IMCA Modifieds who came to compete for the $4,000 prize two weeks ago. In that event, it was multi-time Santa Maria champion Danny Lauer grabbing the win. The highest finishing Merced regular in the field was third-generation competitor Darrell Hughes II, who grabbed a third-place finish.

In fact, the competition was so fierce that night that Hughes and 10th place finisher Ryan Porter where the only track regulars to earn Top 10 finishes. As Merced tends to have two or three of these types of events on the schedule, they are very important for the track championship contenders. If you manage to get into the Main Event, you stand to gain good ground in the point race. Reigning champion Randy Brown had a rare bad night in 21st, but he's coming in off of his Top 5 finish at Kern Raceway last week. Other hard chargers to watch for this week include Jeff Streeter, Steven Hopf, Troy Stone, Justin Villanueva and Ricky Thatcher.

The competition in the recent IMCA Sport Modified feature was just as fierce. With $1,800 in the line, roughly 35 competitors came to town for a shot the big bucks. However, point leader Tim Elias represented very well with a third place finish, while Chris Falkenberg had his second Top 5 finish of the year in fifth. Right behind Falkenberg was the man who is second in the points, Danny Roe. So far, these three hard chargers are the top contenders in the championship chase.

However, it is still early in the season, and anything can happen. Tanner Thomas will be out to see if he can grab his second feature triumph of the season, joined by his brother Chase Thomas and fellow young gun Cody Parker. It's a competitive group at Merced Speedway, and it's likely that we will see several different feature winners by season's end. Other drivers to watch for this week include Andrew Odgers, Tim Ragsdale, Mark Condell and TJ Etchison III.

The consistent Shannon Nelson is off to a great start this year in the Hobby Stock division. The wife of two-time champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson has scored back-to-back runner-up finishes to start things off. Her second in the season opener was very impressive when you consider she came from 16th starting to do it. Last week, she was a race long second, and early point calculations show her leading Kristie Shearer by just six points. Shearer is no stranger to running well in points as a past runner-up in the standings, but it's been a couple of years since either of these talented lady racers has won the Main Event. It could be very soon that we'll see both of them in the Winner's Circle.

Reigning champion Kodie Dean reminded the competition last week that he is still the driver to beat when he won the Main Event. Dean's win keeps him within 11 points of the lead, one behind the surprising John Hensley. Dean and fellow Chowchilla resident Austin Van Hoff had a great battle in the Trophy Dash last week, won by Van Hoff. Unfortunately, Austin hurt his motor in the process to end his night. This week is a new opportunity, and other drivers to watch for include Mike Germait, Robbie Loquaci, young gun Kaleb Shelton and past champions Michael Shearer and Kevin Joaquin.

There's a rumor going around that Destiny Carter has sold her Mini Stock after back-to-back Top 3 finishes. Word is that she is heading for the Hobby Stock division. She gave it a valiant effort in these last two races, but there wasn't anybody on the track who could stop three-time reigning champion Chris Corder. Carter walks away just three points behind Corder in the championship battle, three ahead of her Corder Racing teammate Jennifer Corder.

It seems that between Corder and Dale Falkenberg, the two car owners are doing everything they can to build up this class. Falkenberg fielded four cars last time out and is enthusiastically supporting this entry level division. The numbers don't lie. Last time out, there was a record 22 car field, which is great news for Merced Speedway. Other drivers to watch for this week include Lucy Falkenberg, Lee Ragsdale, Allen Neal, Bryant Desaire, Tyler Jackson, Shawn DePriest and rookie Joe Terry.

It all adds up to a great night of racing with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. However, you'll want to mark the May 5th Ted Stofle Classic, presented by Shannon Pump Company, on your calendar. Honoring perhaps the greatest Stock Car driver of the 1970s that night will be IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. For further information, go to

Orland Raceway Season Opener This Saturday

Orland, CA...After two successful playdays on the 1/5 mile dirt oval, Orland Raceway is set for racing this Saturday night with an action-packed program. On the card this week will be the popular Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Wingless Gas Sprints and Micro Sprints.

In his third season as promoter, Rich Hood is stepping things up even more. Popular attractions such as Fan Appreciation Night in September and the Schmitke Race For A Cure in August will continue. The track will hold the big Battle Of The Axles events in October. There will also be visits from the popular California Hardtops and Sport Modifieds. Both groups were well-represented at the first playday, and the drivers we're all commenting about how much they are looking forward to coming back for their scheduled races.

In the meantime, the Pure Stock drivers are chomping at the bit to get back to racing again. Last season, the division ended things on a high note as 28 competitors filled the pits for the $1,000 to win Battle Of The Axles event, won by 2015 champion Paul Stevens. Jeremy Langenderfer is the reigning champion and is ready to see if he can defend the honors. The competition will be tough as last year's second and third place drivers, Shannon Collins and Steve Martin, will be back in action. Martin is the 2016 champion. Amanda Koop, John Camper and Brad Ray are among the other hard chargers to watch for this Saturday night.

Tom Davis set a dominant pace last season in winning the Mini Stock championship. When Sean Perry opened the season on a winning note, Davis appeared to be in for some tough competition. However, Tom continue to win and pulled way to the championship. He is a multi-time Orland champion and is set to give it another go this year. Two-time division champion John Kirkpatrick is also anticipated along with Jason Libbee, Barbra Crain and Dustin Hills.

It seems like the big four over the past few seasons in Mini Trucks has been reigning champion Keith Ross, 2016 champion Dan Webster, Olin Crain and another past champion, Ross Vige. It was an interesting battle on the track last season, though Ross did win the lion's share of the races. The competition is intensifying this season with a few new trucks in the works, and other drivers to watch for this week include William Fogle, Zach Baker and Jeremy Callen.

Last season, the Wingless Gas Sprints were attempting to re-establish their program after a year away. This division of carbureted and self-starting Sprint Cars began in Orland back in 2001, and one of the names on the roster back then is multi time champion Josh Jacobo. Jacobo continues to be a strong supporter of the racing effort and won multiple events last season. It is hoped that the car count will grow a little bit more this year, and other racers to watch for include Rob Worthington, Josh Tucker, Mario Romano, David Johnson and John Irwin.

The 250 Micro class will be running this week, and the reigning champion is Jackie Whitson Jr. Whitson dominated the show last year and won almost every point event of the season. His championship was not in doubt. One time winner Jamie Barnes was a solid second. The drivers are excited about putting these cars through their paces at Orland Raceway, and other drivers to watch for include Ronnie Heyer, Seth Libbee, past champion Jess Garland and Dave McKinnon Jr.

This is just the beginning. There are 16 exciting events scheduled at Orland Raceway this year, and Saturday night will be a show you won't want to miss. For further information, go to

Rod Baronian Battles Brother For 
Central Valley Mini Stock Win

Lemoore, CA...April 22...Rod Baronian opened the 2018 Central Valley Mini Stock season with a 30 lap Main Event win Sunday afternoon at Lemoore Raceway. Rod won a battle with his brother Greg Baronian late in the race as they were working lapped traffic. He gained the lead at that point and brought it home to a well earned victory.

Rod Baronian was the 2017 runner up in the championship standings and a feature winner along the way. He was surprised at the outcome of the race. "I didn't think I was going to get by him, said Rod. "He just bobbled a bit and I was able to get by. I was lucky."

For Greg Baronian, this was his first start with the group. After leading much of the race, he settled for second and was also the winner of the four lap Trophy Dash. 'I'd like it to have turned out a little better, " Greg admitted. "If I had to lose to anybody, I'd rather it be him."

Dan Myrick was a strong third ahead of Darren Wilson and Randy Brown Jr.  Chuck Doglione finished sixth, followed by Ben Davis, Ryan Blank,  James Smith and Dick Adams. Ten lap heat races were won by Rod Baronian, Greg Baronian and Wilson. Greg Baronian won the Trophy Dash. Reigning champion Danny Myrick won the 12 lap B Main ahead of Ryan Doglione and Smith.

Central Valley Mini Stocks return to Lemoore Raceway for their second event on Sunday, May 6th. For further information, go to or look them up on Facebook.

The Editor's Viewpoint

On the road to the race track on a Wednesday morning. We still have things to do, but Southern Oregon Speedway is on schedule to open. With Uncle Rich moving to Long Beach, I stepped in to mow The Grassy Knoll off of Turn 1 and the pits.  It needed it. It's so green out there after all the rains.  With all the bouncing around I was doing on the mower,  I'm still feeling a little sore today. And, I have more mowing to do.

One frustration I have is the forecast is now calling for rain. All the effort and we may be waiting another week. It changed from possible rain to likely rain. What is it with this miserable,  depressing Oregon weather? I won't miss this when I'm gone. We get a five month window for racing and it has to rain then too. A couple of weeks into October would be possible for racing, but it's hunting season. People take that very seriously up here.

The dilemma I have as Publicity Director is how to hype this with possible rain coming. Articles went out. We can push the Facebook marketing feature. I had planned to go after TV again. I got us on TV last year.  Problem is, it is a wasted effort if it rains. I am reviewing options, but I have to make a move tonight.

The season opener at any track is important. It sets a tempo. We had one of our best nights two years ago, but last year's opener was a gloomy skied,  cold disappointment. Low car count and dismal attendance. I feel this race is very important to us for several reasons. I just want to know that I did everything I could to make if pop. The rest is up to the drivers and fans.

At some point, people buy into what you're doing and it pops. I've seen this happen before at other tracks I've been involved with. We're two years into this deal now. Are they ready to get behind it? I don't know. I know we laid the foundation with some nice additions to our program last year. I think its a nice schedule that's not too demanding on any one division. It ought to be easier for racers to support.

That's the thing. You want fans? You need cars. I hear people talk all the time about car count, and it kind of disappoints me the way they compare us to the tracks doing really well. There aren't that many doing huge numbers, but there are a few. I would love every race track to be able to do that well, but this is 2018. We do what we can, but its up to the racers to come support it. So, when the fans wonder about car count, I don't know what to tell them. You put together the best schedule you can, which I think Mike for the most part has done, and then it's up to the drivers.

I hope we get the cars. We have a nice schedule this year and I think we put a lot of good things in place. If the racers come out, I think the fans will start coming in bigger numbers. More cars equals more fans. All we can do is the best we can do. Have we done everything that we can do? I see Mike working hard and thinking the same things. Is everything covered? The hope is that we can look back and see some success this year. We're laying the foundation for the future of a track, that wasn't doing so well in the four or five years prior to our arrival. We'll just see how it goes. I hope for sunny skies for our opener.

I said a good schedule for the most part. I'm not really happy that we didn't book more Calculated Comfort Pro Stock races. Mike has his reasons, and I understand. However, at a time when we're struggling for car count, we need all the cars we can get. Not having the Pro Stock division and their 12 -16 cars is not doing us any favors. In my view, we should have had them on the schedule seven or eight times at least, rather than the two times we have them.

When people ask or comment on the Pro Stock race date situation, I just let it pass. I did what I could, but I never had a chance. The die was cast last year,  and Mike was just trying to figure out if he could book a schedule that didn't have them often and could still produce reasonable numbers. He has done it from what I can tell. I'm disgusted by the whole story of the Pro Stock division, particularly the moves that created the situation that we inherited. It's a long story, and its one that will be covered in my next book. For now, I'll let this stand as my opinion and move on. We have a season of racing to oversee.

I probably ruffled a few feathers last year with my thoughts on the California Hardtop Association and its leadership, but they're still rocking and rolling. Despite issues I may have, I'm glad they have such a great following and schedule. However, I want to turn my attention to the Bay Area Hardtop leadership. There is a Bay Area Hardtop group. Dave Mackey laid the foundation for that prior to last season. The worry was that if they didn't get their act together, they could lose the very track that sparked the revival of the Hardtops, Antioch Speedway. Dave didn't want that to happen. I don't either.

I will say on the record that I support both groups. The California Hardtop Association is based out of the Placerville and Sacramento area, so the northern tracks are more of their target tracks. The Bay Area Hardtops, in my estimation, would encompass Antioch Speedway, Petaluma, Watsonville and Merced. Dave definitely wants the Bay Area movement to live, but he hasn't shown much leadership in organizing the group.

The biggest concern is you have probably 8 to 10 cars that would be considered Bay Area cars, but there is no effort to my knowledge to rally these guys to be ready for Antioch and to show that this Bay Area Hardtop deal is for real. In my communications with Dave, I have definitely put it out there that this needs to happen. Dave made the comment about how the Hardtop division should be at the Larry Damitz race, and I would add the John Soares Sr Top Dog Race as well. They would be a natural fit on both nights, but John is unlikely to add more dates unless he can get reasonable support at the dates he has booked.

What this really means is you need to know that you're bringing him at least eight cars, and I feel it's a reasonable expectation. This is before anybody from the California Hardtop Association decides to tow over the bridge and support. If you don't get that, don't be surprised if John pulls the plug. If you do get that, you're representing a group now. You have a seat at the table at Bay Area tracks, in my opinion.

Now, I'm not saying I want to divide the group. It's just that the Bay Area is a big enough area that there should be representation. Build the base in the Bay Area, the same way the Placerville and Sacramento area has built up its base. The car count base between the two groups could reach into the forties, making it possible to have some big blowout races between the two groups. Dave was the one that wanted to the Bay Area Hardtop group to exist. Well, if you're going to do that, you need leadership. You might complain about the California Hardtop leadership, but the Bay Area Hardtop leadership is non existent.

Now, it just so happens that this weekend has Hardtop races booked at Stockton and Antioch. Unfortunately, if you're going to have two different groups, this is going to happen with the schedule. The California Hardtops booked an ambitions 21 race schedule this year, so they're very busy. But, if you have a Bay Area Hardtop movement that has anything to it at all, delivering a half a dozen or eight cars this week should be possible. It only takes picking up the phone and calling the other Bay Area guys to let them know there is a race. Who wants to man the phones? I can guarantee you that John won't be doing it. Don't bring him cars, don't be looking to be on the schedule. Who wants to be the leader?

So, keeping with the Antioch Speedway theme, the Sharp Shooter series is happening this weekend. This one is the brain child of Jay Banks of Living Phat Promotions. Jay has come on board at Antioch Speedway during the last year and is learning under John. Jay saw something in the B Modified class that he really liked, so he is doing this special series. It takes the top two or three finishers from the heat races and puts them into a 12 lap dash with money and a plaque on the line for the winner. He's also keeping points for what is essentially a tournament, and there will be a Sharp Shooter Tournament champion at season's end. They have had two races so far, and there are seven more to go. The next one is this Saturday.

Jay reported earlier this week that Nick Spainhoward was coming in from Bakersfield. Nick is the 2014 IMCA State Sport Modified champion, and it's seldom that we see him at Antioch Speedway. Getting back to the Sharp Shooter idea, I think its a nice addition. Every little bit helps promote the program. Personally, I think Antioch ought to consider bringing Trophy Dashes back to the program. Trophy Dashes are a nice little touch, and I rather like what we do up at Southern Oregon Speedway.

You take the top four Main Event finishers from the previous week into the Trophy Dash. This means that you have a Trophy Dash line up on the board to start the night off, and you can start the night with your Trophy Dashes. They give the fans some races with stakes to them. The winners get trophies. Or, when Antioch was doing them, plaques. Start the show with Trophy Dashes, and you can have winners circle interviews after that and jump right into the heat races.

As I was on my way up to the track this morning, I happened to get a Wi-Fi signal and noticed that one of our articles has appeared in the Orland newspaper. It's always nice to be able to help these different race tracks get some recognition. Orland has their season opener this week. It's Rich Hood's third season as promoter, and I think what he's done so far is good. The main thing was keeping the program going, which he has done. This year, he's added some other little touches to the program, and I think the key is getting more confidence and getting a feel for what you've got. Orland Raceway is in good hands with Rich Hood. Personally, I'd love to make a trip down there on July 28th for the B Modified race. We'll just have to see if I can swing that.

Orland Raceway still has a Wingless Sprint Car class.  They run on gas, but I hope they reconsider that. I have a hunch they would get more cars if they did. On playday last week, one of them flipped. Not sure what the story was on that, but flipping is not good on any night,  much less a playday. You are there to work out the bugs. Hopefully,  damage was minimal and they will be ready to race this week.

The Winged 360 Sprints had a busy week last week,  and I was a bit disappointed to see Stockton 99 Dirt Speedway have a big $10,000 to win race with all of the other tracks holding regular races. The occasion was the Asparagus Festival in Stockton. I just wish there was a bit more cooperation among promoters for this, but I'm guessing Tony Noceti had some money to play with after one of his World Of Outlaws races was rained out. He had close to 40 cars without an SCCT or Civil War sanction. The latter group was in Tulane sharing the card with King Of The West/NARC Sprint Cars. Interesting to note the podium of Bud Kaeding, Kyle Hirst and Shane Golobic was identical for both groups that night.

Medford, Oregon area Sprint Car racers Jake Wheeler,  Garen Linder and Seth Nunes were in Chico on Friday, and Wheeler led half the race. Jake is the 2016 Southern Oregon Speedway champion, but the track's decision to go with a limited rules package in the interest of car count has him on the road with Linder. Linder scored what could be his biggest win ever. He battled JJ Hickle for several laps and won ahead of defending champion Andy Forsberg. Car count has been up at Chico, showing that replacing the 410 Sprints with 360s was the right move.

I'm very curious how this Outlaw Open Comp race is going to play out at Yreka this week. A few of the racers were asking for this because their cars don't quite fit the rules of the classes that they have there. The track does need something to get more cars. Is this the answer? I guess we'll find out, but I hope it works out for them.

I still wonder if a Hornet division would work. I also wonder if a Hobby Stock division might be something to look at for a date or two. Perhaps if they chose an off night for Orland? Russ Newman of Hayfork expressed an interest in racing in Yreka. I would bet they could have a couple races if booked right. Also, they have four Jalopies in a new group in the area. It might not be a bad idea to have some exhibition races.

The Central Valley Mini Stocks had a race last Sunday at Lemoore Raceway. It was the season opener for the group, and they produced a 17 car field. They ran a full program with qualifying on the clock, 10 lap heat races, four lap Trophy Dash, 12 lap B Main and 30 lap Main Event. The Top 5 in the Main Event was paid rather nicely, and the Trophy Dash winner even got paid. Joining them on the schedule was the Sportsman Micro class, but I have absolutely no information on what happened with them.

What I can tell you is they run a really nice program, and they are family-oriented. The drivers made plenty of time for a meet and greet with the fans, and the little ones even got to sit inside some of the race cars. I like seeing this type of stuff. Now, I know Dan Myrick was looking to expand their schedule to possible other race tracks. I see the merit in that, and what they do at Hanford in June will be interesting. However, I really think they have something special in Lemoore. I'm all for growing this effort where it started, because there's no telling how big it can get in this unique setting. Also, DCRR Racing Media is going to do a little bit extra and see if we can get some coverage for them down there. Looking forward to May 6th.

You can find the Central Valley Mini Stock group on Facebook. I see where a few Mini Stock racers did visit there from other tracks last year, but be advised that these guys are trying to keep it equal, fair and affordable. You're not allowed to do much with these cars, and I like that idea. Keep it cheap and affordable, and you'll get a bigger car count. Now, on Facebook, they do put videos up there sometimes. If you're sitting back on a Sunday and you can't get to Lemoore, this is the next best thing. I'd just like to be able to hear the announcer and for the announcer to show just a little bit more enthusiasm than what I'm hearing in the audio. I think he's a new guy, and I give him credit for getting out there and doing it.

I'm anxiously waiting to see if the weather is going to allow us to have the race this week. Really couldn't tell you at this point. I'll be ready if we're able to get going, or I'll be kicking back at the computer monitoring some of the other races going on. Either way, the rain can't keep on going forever, can it? I guess I shouldn't tempt fate.

That's all for now...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hogge, Miranda Win At Anioch Speedway, Cofer, Dean Wins At Merced Speedway, Petauma, Kern Raceway, Watsonville, More

First of all...

The DCRR Racing Media Books

Just A Kid From The Grandstands:  My Time In Auto Racing
Stories of my time in auto racing from the beginning to 2003
Available on Lulu in Paperback And Hard Cover


Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond
Racing History, Stories, Statistics And Pictures
Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

A cool article about Wingless Spec Sprint Co-Founder Don O'Keefe Jr's newest racing endeavor HERE

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The DCRR Racing Radio Show

Hogge Claims Bounty
Miranda, Curran Antioch Speedway Winners

Antioch, CA...April 21...Living Phat Promotions put a $100 bounty on the driver who could beat Nick DeCarlo to win the All Star Series A Modified Main Event Saturday night. The driver who came to claim the prize was perhaps the biggest name in California racing, Bobby Hogge IV. In scoring the win in the 25 lap Main Event, Hogge now has 71 career Antioch Speedway victories, one win behind Scott Busby and JD Willis on the all-time Antioch Speedway feature winner's list.

Hogge didn't come alone. 2016 IMCA Wild West Speedweek Tour champion Kellen Chadwick was there, and both drivers recorded wins and their eight lap heat races. Hogge started inside the third row of the Main Event, and reigning track champion Bobby Motts Jr set the early pace ahead of Mike Salazar. Hogge made the move into third by lap two and made a Turn 4 pass on Motts on lap six to gain lead. Chadwick made his move into second by lap eight. Though Chadwick kept up with him, he was unable to make the move as Hogge brought it home to the impressive victory. Motts settled for third, followed by tenth starter DeCarlo and Shawn DeForest. Raymond Lindeman was the other heat winner.

Alan Miranda finally scored his first career 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event victory. It was a wild night that featured two flips. The first occurred in the first heat race when ageless veteran Roy Fisher put his car on its lid. The second occurred when division mainstay Rick Panfili and another car got together on the back straightaway, resulting in Panfili flipping twice on the opening lap of the Main Event. Fortunately, neither driver was injured in their flips, and Fisher actually made it to start the Main Event.

Miranda had a front-row start, but tenth starter Bob Newberry methodically worked his way up to battle him for the lead. Just when Newberry appeared to have made the winning pass as they worked lap 17, a yellow flag negated it. Miranda led the next restart and would lead the remaining four tours for the satisfying win. Newberry settled for second ahead of James East, Fisher and Rich Otterstrom. Eight lap heat race wins went to Shannon Newton and Brandon Burd.

Brent Curran served notice to the B Modified competition that he's going to be every bit as tough to beat as he was in Four Bangers and Hobby Stocks. Curran won the 20 lap B Modified Main Event. Luck of the invert put Curran on the front row, but he had to deal with Guy Ahlwardt and the hard-charging duo of Aaron Crowell and Trevor Clymens at various times. Clymens and Crowell got a little bit too close for comfort late in the race in their battle for second, resulting in Clymens spinning. While that was going on, Curran sped home to victory ahead of Crowell, Todd Gomez, Tommy Fraser and Ryan DeForest. Gomez and Ahlwardt each won eight lap heat races.

Michael Cooper picked up his second Hobby Stock Main Event win of the season. Joey Ridgeway set a nice pace out front during the first half of the race. Cooper slipped past Billy Garner for second on lap six and made a high pass and Turn 4 on lap 13 to grab the lead from Ridgeway. Ridgeway spun and Chris Sorensen took up the chase of Cooper. However, Cooper was not to be denied as he won ahead of Sorensen, John Wacht, Luke Brignoli and Morgan Swank, who was subbing for Cameron Swank this week. Rookie Breanna Troen won her heat race, but she made contact with the back wall on lap 19 in the Main Event and rolled. Fortunately, she was not injured. Sorensen won the other eight lap heat race.

Mike Walko won a spirited dual with Mark Garner to claim the victory in the 20 lap Limited Late Model feature. Garner was coming off his big victory in the Larry Damitz Memorial Race, but Walko would not budge from the lead. Garner gave it a valiant effort, but the crafty veteran Walko was up to the challenge as he scored a hard fought victory ahead of Garner, heat race winner, Kimo Oteta and Ryan Cherezian.

Racing resumes next Saturday night with another exciting lineup of All Star Series racing. DIRTcar Late Models are back along with B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarf Cars and California Hardtops. This is also the third round of the Sharp Shooter Tournament for the B Modifieds. For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results
A Modified
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Kellen Chadwick, Bobby Hogge IV, Raymond Lindeman. Main Event (25 laps)-Hogge, Chadwick, Bobby Motts Jr, Nick DeCarlo, Shawn DeForest.

B Modified
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Todd Gomez, Guy Ahlwardt. Main Event (20 laps)-Brent Curran, Aaron Crowell, Gomez, Tommy Fraser, Ryan DeForest.

Wingless Spec Sprint
Heat winners (8 Laps)-Shannon Newton, Brandon Burd. Main Event (20 Laps)-Alan Miranda, Bob Newberry, James East, Roy Fisher, Rich Otterstrom.

Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 laps)-Breanna Troen, Chris Sorensen. Main Event (20 laps)-Michael Cooper, Sorensen, John Wacht, Luke Brignoli, Morgan Swank.

Limited Late Models
Heat Winner (8 Laps)-Kimo Oreta. Main Event (20 Laps)-Mike Walko, Mark Garner, Oreta, Ryan Cherezian.     

Cofer, Dean Win Merced Speedway Main Events

Merced, CA...April 21...Reigning Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets champion Maria Cofer scored the victory in the 30 lap Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. Cofer led from the start of the race ahead of Corey Elliott. Though Cofer set a good pace, Elliott wasn't too far behind her in second. Robert Dalby was running a strong third. The only slow down of the race occurred with a Lap 21 yellow flag. On the restart, Cofer continued to lead as Dalby began challenging Elliott for second. Dalby made the move into second on lap 24 and began to challenge Cofer for the lead. However, Cofer would not be denied as she won ahead of Dalby, Elliott, David Prickett, Marvin Mitchell, Jesse Love IV, Jackson Dukes, Rick Cook II, J R Williams and Michael Faccinto. Cofer set the fastest qualifying time with a lap of 14.181 around the Tim Ragsdale prepared quarter-mile. Elliott was second quick at 14.293. Dalby won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Love, and Prickett scored the win in the second heat ahead of Elliott. Prickett won a good battle with Elliott to win the four lap Trophy Dash.

Reigning Hobby Stock champion Kodie Dean led all the way to win the 30 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Shannon Nelson ran a strong second, but she was unable to use a lap 26 restart to make a move for the lead. Kristie Shearer finished third ahead of Mike Germait, Cody Brown, John Hensley, James Stockton, Kaleb Shelton and George Silva. Austin Van Hoff set the fast time of 17.660 to beat the lap of 17.839 of Dean. Van Hoff won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Nelson, and Dean won the second race ahead of Brown. Van Hoff beat Dean in a good battle to win the four lap Trophy Dash but suffered a mechanical failure to end his night.

IMCA Sport Modified competitor Chris Falkenberg drove the Jeff Bristow championship car to the victory in the 15 lap Valley Sportsman Main Event. Falkenberg led all the way with Watsonville Sportsman Legend Jerry Cecil a solid second ahead of Rick Elliott, Chris Corder and Jeff West. Elliott set the fast lap of 17.306, beating the 17.411 of two time division champion Mike Friesen. Falkenberg won the six lap heat race ahead of Elliott and outran Cecil to win the four lap Trophy Dash.

Next week, IMCA Modifieds return, along with IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. For further information, go to

The following articles are based on line scoring and are subject to computer errors and officials' decisions. They are there for unofficial.

Simpson, Faulkner, Matthias Win 
Petaluma Speedway Main Events

Petaluma, CA...April 21...Klint Simpson scored the victory in the 25 lap Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway. The race was led early on by Jake Haulot ahead of Lucas Ashe through three early yellow flags. On lap 14, Ashe led Simpson past Haulot for the Top 2 positions. Over the next few laps, Ashe and Simpson exchanged the lead on multiple occasions, but Simpson gained the lead for good on that 20. As Simpson led the remaining 5 laps for the victory, Haulot made a late move around Ashe to finish second. Ashe settled for third ahead of Brett Rollag, Bret Barney, Wayne Katen, David Lindt II, Jason Toft, Norm Johns and Nathan Schank. Johns set the fast time of 13.544, just barely beating the 13.547 of past division champion Bradley Terrell. John Clark won the first eight lap heat race ahead of Ashe, while Barney outran Terrell to win the second heat.

Jeff Faulkner picked up the win in the McLea's Tire IMCA Modified 25 lap Main Event. Multi-time champion Michael Paul raced out to the early lead with Falkner settling into second on lap two. Falkner raced past Paul for the lead on a lap six restart. Even with the pair of yellow flags midway through the race, Faulkner would not be denied the victory. Paul settled for second ahead of reigning champion Oreste Gonella, Duane Orsburn, Mike White, Mitch Machado, Justin Yeager, Anthony Slaney, Chris Sieweke and Terry Kaiser. Faulkner also won his eight lap heat race ahead of Paul, while Gonella dominated his race in outrunning Kaiser for the win.

Chad Mathias scored the victory in the 30 lap General Hydroponics Redwood Empire Dwarf Car Main Event. Matthias started on the front row and led all 30 laps in the non-stop event. Reigning champion Dave Mosier settled into an early second ahead of Adam Teves. As they hit slower traffic during the final 10 laps, Teves was able to gain on Mosier and make the pass for second on lap 25. Teves reeled in much of Matthias's lead, but Matthias still scored the impressive victory ahead of Teves. Moser settled for third ahead of Carroll Mendenhall, Scooter Gomes, John Peters, Barry Waddell, Tommy King, Danny Marsh and Michael Williams. Mosier won his eight lap heat race ahead of Mendenhall, while Teves won his ahead of Mike Alfonso.

Tom Brown scored the victory in the 20 lap Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stock Main Event. Brown took the lead from Roy Dearing on a lap two restart and led the rest of the way for the victory. Dearing held second until being passed by Richard Sklarski on lap four. Brown won by a straighaway, and Sklarski was a solid second ahead of Dearing. Sean Hale finished fourth, followed by Roberta Broze, Dan Manzoni, Sophie Shelly, Randy Miramontez and Antonio Miramontez. Brown won his eight lap heat race ahead of Dearing, while Hale outran Broze to win the other heat.

Next Saturday night, the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour, presented by Abreu Vineyards, will bring their exciting brand of Winged 360 Sprint Car racing to Petaluma Speedway. The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros are also on the schedule. For further information, go to

Hirst Makes Late Move For Ocean Speedway Victory

Watsonville, CA...April 20...Kyle Hirst scored the victory in the 30 lap King Of The West/NARC Sprint Car Main Event Friday night Ocean Speedway. Much of the race was led by Willie Croft with Hirst running second in front of Tanner Thorson. The second half of the race saw various spins and other misfires force several yellow flags. It was on a lap 26 restart when Hirst made his move around Croft for the lead. A lap 28 yellow flag allowed Shane Golobic to motor into second and take up pursuit Hirst. However, Hirst was up to the challenge as he posted the win ahead of Golibic, DJ Netto, Bud Kaeding, Dominic Scelzi, Justin Sanders, Mitchell Faccinto, Chase Johnson, Jason Statler and Jeremy Chishum.

Hirst outpaced the 25 car field in time trials with a lap of 11.450. Giovanni Scelzi was a close second at 11.455. Croft won the first 10 lap heat race ahead of Billy Aton. Netto outran Matthew Moles to win the second heat, and Golobic outran Dominic Scelzi for the third heat win. Moles won the six lap Trophy Dash ahead of Croft. A bad heat race put Giovanni Scelzi in the 12 lap B Main, which he won ahead of Jeremy Chisum, Sean Watts, Nathan Rolfe and long-time Sprint Car competitor Bobby McMahon.

Adrian Frost won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Frost took the lead at the start of the race with two-time reigning champion Matthew Hagio taking second from Mike Kofnovec on a lap four restart. Unfortunately for Hagio, his race came to an end on a lap 10 caution flag. Frost maintained her lead over 2015 champion Jim DiGiovanni on the restart and would lead the rest of the way for the satisfying victory. Merced point leader Tim Elias slipped past DiGiovanni for second on lap 13 to finish there as Anthony Giuliani also made a late move into third. DiGiovanni settled for fourth ahead of Paul Espino, Billy Robertson, Charlie Hunter, Austin Williams,  Hagio and Jack Aguiar. DiGiovanni won his eight lap heat race ahead of Kofnovec, while Jack Aguiar won his race by nearly a straight away ahead of Elias.

Matt Kile won the 20 lap American Stock Main Event. The past division champion grabbed the lead from the start and led the entire distance. The race was slow to get momentum with four yellow flags in the first four laps, and 2016 Mini Stock champion DJ Keldsen moved very quickly into second from the back of the pack. Keldsen held the spot until reigning champion Rob Gallaher moved by on lap 13. A lap 19 yellow flag gave Gallaher one more shot at Kile. However, Kile motored ahead on the restart and went on to victory. Gallaher settled for second ahead of Keldsen, John Farrell, Terry Traub, Jason Perkins, Terry Campion, Kyle Reeder, Mark Reist and JC Elrod. Campion outran Tony Oliveira to win the first eight lap heat race with Elrod holding off Farrell to win the other heat.

Gene "Punky" Pires scored a thrilling win in the 20 laps South Bay Dwarf Car Main Event. The past champion set the early pace with heat race winner Zach Price making a move into second on lap 4. Price slipped past Pires for the lead on lap 6 and led through a pair of yellow flags. During the final few laps, Pires began to close in on Price until making his move on the final lap for the victory. Price settled for second ahead of Justin Yanez, Eric Weisler, Doug Penny, Ryan Amlen, Brady Beck, Mark Biscardi, Chris White and Justin McKenna. Price won his heat race ahead of Biscardi, and Ryan Amlen won his eight lap race ahead of Pires.

Racing resumes next Friday night on Special Olympics Night At The Races. The Ocean Sprints, presented by Taco Bravo, return to action along with IMCA Modifieds, American Stocks, South Bay Dwarf Cars and Police N Pursuit. For further information, go to

Pounds, Ryland Win Kern Raceway Features

Bakersfield, CA...April 20...Second generation leadfoot Brad Pounds scored an impressive victory in the 30 lap A Modified Main Event Friday night at Kern Raceway. Rob Sanders set the early pace, but he surrendered to lead to Robbie Sawyer on a lap three restart as Steve Noland settled into second. Brett Bennett took over third on lap four, and a lap seven yellow flag slowed the pace. On the restart, Sanders took the lead from Sawyer, and Bennett settled into second on lap nine with Pounds quickly into third. The lead three cars were putting on a great battle as the race moved past the halfway point.  Pounds gained second on lap 19 and put the moves on Sanders for the lead a lap later. Bennett gained second Iap 25, but Pounds was not to be denied as he brought it home to a well-earned victory. Sanders settled for third ahead of Steve Noland, Shane DeVolder, reigning Merced Speedway champion Randy Brown, Chris Crompe, Karl Noland, Justin Villanueva and Andrew Berry. Brown won the first eight lap heat race just ahead of Sawyer. Sanders scored the win in his heat, followed by Kevin Irwin. The final heat race victory went to Roger Holder ahead of Pounds.

Reigning Merced Speedway champion Fred Ryland picked up the victory in the 25 lap B Modified Main Event. For much of the race, it looked like third generation racer Billy Simkins would be the winner. Simkins raced into the early lead ahead of Gary Dutton. Ryland settled into third on lap eight and took second from Dutton a lap later. Numerous yellow flags slowed the pace, but Simkins continued to hold Ryland off on each restart. However, Ryland was able to make his winning move on lap 23. From there, Ryland sped home to the win, followed by Simkins, Michael Johnson, Garrett Jernigan, Austin Manzella, Dutton, Kollin Hibdon, Austin Kiefer, Kyle Wood and Anthony Balcazar. Dutton battled Ryland to win the first heat race, and Johnson dominated the second eight lapper in front of Dylan Potter. Nick Spainhoward won the third heat ahead of Austin Frye, and the final heat race victory went to Austin Kiefer ahead of Matt Mayo.

Clinton Massey collected the win in the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Shawn Schwartzenberger led the opening five tours before Massey raced ahead. Liam Meyers followed Massey into the second position and watched as Massey steadily pulled away to a straight away advantage by the checkered flag. Meyers settled for second ahead of Andy Boydstun, James Coots, Kit Murphy, Schwartzenberger, Eric Loya, Michael Conway, Destiny Joplin, and Laren Meyers. Boydstun won the first heat race by slim margin ahead of Massey, and Schwartzenberger picked up the victory in the other eight lapper ahead of Coots.

Tom Dugan went flag-to-flag to win the 20 lap Bakersfield Hardtop Main Event. Dugan set the early pace ahead of Steve Sorenson and Marc McCaslin. Sorenson suffered a mechanical failure on lap nine to end his race. Even a pair of mid-race yellow flags wouldn't slow down Dugan as he brought it home to a satisfying win. McCaslin settled for second and Richard Souza won a good battle with James Bradburn for third. Justin Yadon finished fifth ahead of Josh Yadon, Jason Stanphill, Kelly Mason, Jennee Dugan and Darren Dadey. Souza won the first heat ahead of Tom Dugan, and Sorenson won the other eight laper, followed by Mark McCaslin.

Racing returns with another Friday night program on May 4th. A Modifieds will be back along with B Modifieds, Mini Modifieds and Mini Dwarfs. For further information, go to

Stockton 99 Speedway Unofficial Race Results April 21, 2018
Sprint Cars

A Main
James McFadden
Gio Scelzi
Tanner Thorson
Sean Becker
Tim Keading
Buudy Kofoid
JJ Hickle
Andy Gregg
Garen Linder
Dominic Scelzi
Geoff Ensign
Kalib Henry
Steven Kent
Willie Croft
Matt Peterson
John Carney
Ryan Burnel
Kyle Offill
Eric Humpherys
Cody Lamar
Justin Sanders
Shawn Conde

B Main
James McFadden
Garen Linder
Kalib Henry
Kyle Offill
Steven Kent
Cody Lamar
Mason Moore
Chris Masters
Devin Borden
Ryan Souza
Seth Nunez
Jake Wheeler  

Petaluma Speedway Unofficial Race Results April 21, 2018 Winged 360 Sprint Car

Results are not official
Klint Simpson
Jake Haulot
Lucas Ashe
Brett Rollag
Bret Barney
Wayne Katen
David Lindt II
Jason Toft
Norm Johns
Nathan Schank
Kenny Drew
Bill Cornwell
Ricky Brophy
Bradley Terrell
John Clark
Colby Johnson

McLea's Tire IMCA Modified
Results are not official
Jeff Faulkner
Michael Paul
Oreste Gonnella
Duane Orsburn
Mike White
Mitch Machado
Justin Yaeger
Anthony Slaney
Chris Sieweke
Terry Kaiser
David Spriggs
Tony Bernard

General Hydroponic Redwood Empire Dwarf Car

Results are not official
Chad Matthias
Adam Teves
Dave Mosier
Carroll Mendenhall
Scooter Gomes
John Peters
Barry Waddell
Tommy King
Danny Marsh
Michael Williams
Sam Borland
Michael Brian
Adam Johnson
Matt Hagemann
Mike Affonso

Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks
Results are not official
Tom Brown
Richard Sklarski
Roy Dearing
Sean Hale
Roberta Broze
Dan Manzoni
Sophie Shelley
Randy Miramontez
Antonio Miramontez
Kelly Campanile

Tulare Thunderbowl Unofficial Race Results April 21, 2018
King Of The West/NARC 410 Sprints

Results are not official
Bud Kaeding
Kyle Hirst
Shane Golobic
DJ Netto
Chase Johnson
Mitchell Faccinto
Jason Statler
Colby Copeland
Bobby McMahon
Craig Stidham
Sean Watts
Jarrett Soares
Dustin Golobic
Nathan Rolfe
Mark Barroso
Mathew Moles
Jenna Fraizer
Richard Brace

Civil War 360 Sprints

Results are not official
Bud Kaeding
Kyle Hirst
Shane Golobic
DJ Netto
Cole Macedo
Jace Vanderweerd
Jarrett Soares
Dustin Freitas
Chelsea Blevins
Cole Danell
Burt Forland Jr.
Gary Nelson Jr.
Koen Shaw
Tucker Worth
Zane Blanchard
Kaleb Montgomery
Tanner Boul

Santa Maria Raceway Unofficial Race Results April 14, 2018
IMCA Modifieds

Cody Burke
Austin Burke
Cody Laney
Randy Brown
Logan Drake
Clint Reichenbach
Shane DeVolder
Aaron Rodarte
Ryan Daves
Dylan Thornton
Andrew Berry
Austin Rodart
Danny Lauer
Ryan Lauer
Kenny Kirkpatrick
Carla Laney
Chad Weber
Trevor Fitz DNS

Western Pro Stocks
Devon Crockett
Dave King
Logan Drake
Rob Gilbertson
Chad Schaffer
Tim Randolph
Wanye Coffman
James Doolen
Billy Simkins
Justin Crockett
Frank Nyback
Bill Bartles
Chris Smith
Ryan Smith

Western RaceSavers Winged Sprints
Monty Ferriera
Albert Pombo
Vaughn Schott
George Tristao
Kyle Rasmussen
Jacob Pacheco
Brooklyn Holland
Rick Bray
Lance Jackson
Michael Pombo
Grant Duinkerken
Mauro Simone
Jacob Tuttle
Mike Stallings DNS
Chris Ennis DNS
Mike Schott DNS

American Stocks
Sean Martin Sr
Gary Rayburn Jr
Kris Broucaret
Justin Jackson
Jon Waterfiled
Jimmy Satlawa
Bronson Van Fleet
Ed Wyand
Taylor King
Kristina McGeary
Andrew Johnston
Joel Chavez
Steven Amick

Mini Stocks
Justin Jackson
Anthony Magaraci
Chris McElreath
David Kavanagh
Megan Burgett
Ryan Changus
Roy Degeer
Aaron Calvert

Dwarf Cars
Gage Cheek
Jessica Clark
Stephen Brunn
John Conley
Jason Horton
Kody Cowan
Brian Barnhill
Trent Morley
Jeff Hinz
Ira Henry
James Price
Tailer Morrison
Tom Morley
Kory Cowan
Mitch Caldwell
Dave Conley DNS

NMRA TQ Midgets
Jason Arnolde
Taelor Janes
West Evans
Ace Kale
Donald Brasher
Dave Lambert
Scott Niven
Kevin Kale
Paul Sanders
Anthony Lopiccolo

Sr Mini Dwarfs
Logan Miller
Trenton Rickel
Zach Chavez
Joshua Chambers
Seth Davis

Jr Mini Dwarfs
Bransyn Speer
Landon King
Tristen Harrington
Adam Nohl
TJ Claborn 

Kern Raceway Unofficial Race Results April 20, 2018
A- Modified (30 Laps)

Results are not official
1     #15B Brad Pounds            
2     #151 Brett Bennett
3     #11X Kyle Heckman
4     #17N Steve Noland
5     #44s Shane Devolder
6     #16B Randy Brown
7     #7 Chris Crompe Jr
8     #55 Karl Noland
9     #97 Justin Villanueva
10     #44 Andrew Berry
11     #08 Dave Phipps
12     #13 Jerry Flippo        
13     #24 Roger Holder    
14     #91 Michael Scruggs
15     #198 Robby Sawyer            
16     #11xx Rob Sanders        
17     #72 Kevin Irwin    

B Modified (25 Laps)
Results are not official    
1    #7j Fred Ryland   
2     #68S Billy Simkins
3     #22C Michael Johnson
4     #4 Garret Jernagan
5     #04M Austin Manzella     
6     #G6 Gary Dutton
7     #48K Kollin Hibdon
9     #21 KYLE WOOD
10     #4x Anthony Balcazar
11     #40 Nick Spainhoward
12     #7 Patti Ryland
13     #13M Matt Mayo    
14     #20S Kevin Johnson
15     #34 Robbie Claborn
16     #5 Jeremy Hoff        
17     #88C Joey Claborn    
18     #51v Vaughan Vondera
19     #3 Dylan Potter        
20     #5A Austin Frye            
21     #9 Charles Morrison    
22     #m13 Matthew Mayo

Hardtops  (20 Laps)
Results are not official        
2     #63 Marc McCaslin
3     #7 Richard Souza    
4     #3 James Bradburn
5     #68 Justin Yadon
6     #4 Josh Yadon
7     #14 Jason Stanphill        
8     #102 Kelly Mason
9     #32 Jenee Dugan
10     #84 Darren Dadey    
11     #5 Steve Sorenson            
12     #26 Brandon Stanphill
13     #9 Matt McCaslin        

Mini Stocks (20 Laps)
Results are not official
1     #777 Clinton Massey            
2     #86x Liam Meyers    
3     #15 Andy Boydstun    
4     #72 James Coots
5     #00 Kit Murphy    
6     #15s Shawn Schwartzenberger
7     #15L Eric Loya
8     #38cc Michael Conway
9     #33 Destiny Joplin
10     #86 Laren Meyers
11     #13M Trevor Miller            
12     #11 Ken Shugarts        
13     #2 Ronald Mercer
14     #23w David Waller

Unofficial Ocean Speedway Race Results April 20, 2018
King of the West/NARC Sprints

Main Event
Kyle Hirst
Shane Golobic
D.J. Netto
Bud Kaeding
Dominic Scelzi
Justin Sanders
Mitchell Faccinto
Chase Johnson
Jason Statler
Jeremy Chisum
Tanner Thorson
Colby Copeland
Dustin Golobic
Kurt Nelson
Bobby McMahan
Willie Croft
Sean Watts
Mark Barroso
Mathew Moles
Billy Aton
Giovanni Scelzi
Nathan Rolfe

B Main
Giovanni Scelzi
Jeremy Chisum
Sean Watts
Nathan Rolfe
Bobby McMahan
Dustin Golobic
Mark Barroso
Jarrett Soares
Richard Fajardo
Jenna Frazier

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Adriane Frost
Tim Elias
Anthony Giuliani
Jim DiGiovanni
Paul Espino
Billy Robertson
Charlie Hunter
Austin Williams
Matthew Hagio
Mike Kofnovec Sr
Jack Aguiar

American Stocks
Matt Kile
Rob Gallaher
DJ Keldsen
John Farrell
Terry Traub
Jason Perkins
Terry Campion
Kyle Reeder
Mark Reist
JC Elrod
Jerry Skelton
Chris Bennett
Tony Oliveira

South Bay Dwarf Cars

Gene Pires
Zach Price
Justin Yanez
Eric Weisler
Doug Penny
Ryan Amlen
Brady Beck
Mark Biscardi
Chris White
Justin McKenna  DNS
Eddy Claessen DNS

Ventura Raceway Unofficial Results April 14, 2018 

VRA Hobby Stocks
1 7 Mike Stanford 
2 3R Chris Fritz 
3 6 Heath Morton 
4 45 Christina Garvin
5 43 Sam Garvin

Focus Midgets
1 33 Mike Leach 
2 98 Phil Schack 
3 37 Randi Pankratz 
4 73 Jessica Clark 
5 11R Keoni Texeira
6 14k Gage Rucker 
7 26 Tim Foy

VRA Senior Sprints
1 15 Rick Hendrix
2 2 Wally Pankratz  
3 66 Chris Meredith
4 47 Ed Schwarz
5 27 Tyler Hatzikian 
6 87k Danny Parrish
7 5k Eddie Williams
8 3g Greg Andrews
9 16 Tom Stephens, Sr.
10 67 Russell Martin
11 5j Joe Bishop

IMCA Modifieds
1 21 Austin Rodarte
2 20 Aaron Rodarte
3 11 Andrew Greiman
4 55jr Jack Parker
5 28 Trevor Fitzgibbon
6 75 Brad Prows
7 27 Brandon Hoekstra 
8 08 Dave Phipps
9 09 Luis Espinoza
10 23 Jeff Long 
11 61 Donald Houghton

VRA Dwarf Cars
1 69 Johnny Conley
2 45 Korey Cowan
3 41 Nick Velasquez
4 93 Jason Horton 
5 14 Tommy Velasquez III
6 18 Tom Morley
7 48 Trent Morley
8 43 Kevin Calvo
9 12 Chase Lippert
10 91 Kody Cowan
11 22s Gage Cheek
12 4 Tommy Velasquez II 
13 00 Zach Curnel
14 55 Mike Long 
15 57 Jeff Hinz
16 28 Tony Pellegrino
17 38 April Banuelos
18 0 Brad Curnel

California Lightning Sprint Cars
1 21k Bobby Michnowicz
2 31 Bruce Douglass
3 4 Jeffrey Dyer
4 13x Aiden Lange
5 8g Eric Greco
6 44 Brent Sexton
7 37 Dominic Del Monte
8 44g Grant Sexton
9 14 Jarrett Kramer
10 86 Alex Grigoreas
11 90w Wyatt Downing
12 2r Robby Pelmear
13 17 Dale Gamer
14 17f Dan Foster
15 41b Wink Schweitzer
16 7 Pat Kelly
17 88 Michael Tobiason
18 06 Gage Cheek
19 45 Cody Nigh
20 71 John Nelson

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Antioch Speedway, Merced Speedway and Central Valley Mini Stock Weekend Previews

First of all...

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Spec Sprints Return, Bounty On DeCarlo At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series racing program is just getting into full swing at Antioch Speedway. Rain has claimed two of the four scheduled events, but the forecast calls for racing this Saturday night. On the schedule this weekend will be the Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks.

Since coming back last season, 2004 Wingless Spec Sprint Champion Bob Newberry has had the fastest car in the field. Newberry won five Main Events and finished second twice last year. If not for a late start, he likely would have been the champion. This season, Bob has hit the ground running and looked very impressive in winning the season opener. Could this be the year that he wins his second Antioch championship?

Winning isn't easy, just ask Alan Miranda and Shannon Newton. Over the past three seasons, both drivers have had several second place finishes, but they're looking for their first feature victory. Miranda led for several laps last week before surrendering the lead to Newberry and falling back to third behind Newton. If somebody is going to beat Newberry, it could be one of these two hard chargers. Other drivers you shouldn't count out this week are Spec Sprint division mainstay Rick Panfili, Roy Fisher, Brandon Burd and 2015 champion Kyle Bakkie.

Since nearly winning the Antioch Speedway championship back in 2010, Nick DeCarlo has gone on to test his skills against some of the best drivers in the state. He has two Petaluma championships and one Watsonville title to show for it. After winning the first two point races of the season, a bounty has been put on DeCarlo. Anybody who can beat him will receive an extra $100.

Word is that past Antioch Speedway champion, Kellen Chadwick, is planning to come to town. Chadwick won multiple Main Events last season. These days, Kellen likes to travel up and down the state for the big races and won the prestigious IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Tour championship in Oregon in 2016. Kellen may be DeCarlo's biggest contender, but five time champion Scott Busby is in pursuit of his historic 73rd career Antioch win. Other drivers to watch for include reigning champion Bobby Motts Jr, Sean O'Gara, Gary Hetrick and Buddy Kniss.

Mark Garner entered the 2018 season with a goal. He wants to win the Limited Late Model championship, a title he was hoping to win while his father Jerry was still alive. To that end, Mark has sold his B Modified to focus on the Limited Late Model. To show everybody that he was serious, Garner won his second straight Larry Damitz Memorial Race after a good battle with 2013 division champion Jim Freethy.

It's a long season, and there's much racing left to do. Reigning champion Kimo Oreta is still out there in the Sundrop Racing #15 car, made famous by Larry Damitz. Lori Brown ran strong last week as well. An intriguing  entrant in the Larry Damitz Race last week was 2017 Marysville point runner up Mike Walko. Wako scored a third place finish. Antioch is where he started his career, and if he's back, you would have to consider him a contender. Other drivers to watch for include Ryan's Cherezian, Chad Hammer and John Evans.

Trevor Clymens is having fun continuing a family tradition of racing at Antioch Speedway, much like his mother and father before him. Though Trevor likes to test his talent at the occasional race outside of town, the 2016 division champion enjoys racing with his friends close to home. Nowhere was that more evident than last week when Trevor won a late race duel with Guy Ahlwardt for the victory. During the last two seasons, nobody has won more Main Events in this division at Antioch than Trevor, making him the driver to beat in the battle so far.

Ahlwardt was disappointed, but he should be encouraged. In his second season in this division after winning the 2016 Hobby Stock championship, Guy has improved noticeably, and that win may be just around the corner. Other drivers to watch for this week include past A Modified champions Aaron Crowell & Kenny Neu, Randy Brown, Kevin Brown, Ryan DeForest, Todd Gomez and reigning champion KC Keller.

It appears as if the three drivers making the strongest bid in the Hobby Stock division so far are Chris Sorensen, Michael Cooper and reigning champion Cameron Swank. Sorensen scored the feature victory last week in his new car from the shops of Fred Baker. Cooper won the season opener. Swank, who has a new car as well, has a second and third place finish after two races. Will the battle be between these three drivers in this year's championship hunt?

The Hobby Stock division has a fresh new look to it. A lineup of rookies in this class includes Erik Pitschner and John Wacht, who both had Top 5 finishes last week. Second generation racer Haley Gomez, Travis Tabucchi, Anthony Wilborn and Brianna Troen are also rookies. It still goes well for the division that continues to produce some of the strongest numbers at the track. Other drivers to watch for this week include Chris Bennett, Chris Long, Frank Furtado, Billy Garner, Lindsey Buirch and Ricky Foster. Though the big three might be the favorites to win again this week, you know somebody else will get a shot at the Winner's Circle. It will likely be a first-time winner. The question is, who will that be?

To find out, you need to be at Antioch Speedway this Saturday night for an exciting five division All Star Series program. For further information, go to

Open Wheel Themed Night At Merced Speedway

Merced, CA...On the heels of what may have been the biggest car count in the history of Merced Speedway last week, it will be an open wheel themed night of racing this Saturday night. The racing community is still abuzz over what an exciting program it was as they remembered the late Bill Egleston. This Saturday night, the Bay Cities Racing Association will be headlining a program along with the Hobby Stocks,  USAC Speed 2 Midgets and the Valley Sportsman class. The Hobby Stocks were added to the program on Tuesday.

The oldest California-based auto racing sanctioning body is the BCRA. It was born back in the 1930s. At its height, the BCRA Midgets raced every night of the week, and there was also a BCRA Hardtop class. Bob Barkerhimer, who brought a group of tracks into NASCAR when he joined in the 1950s, got his start racing with the BCRA. There is a lot of pride that goes with being a member of this association.

When the BCRA came to Merced last season, everybody knew they were in for a show, but they didn't even know how good it was going to be. Roughly 20 competitors showed up and put on a race that left the crowd on the edge of their seats. When the checkered flag flew, it was Cory Elliott making a big move on Robert Dalby to score of the victory. Past BCRA champion Frankie Guerrini grabbed second as Dalby settled for third ahead of Danny Carroll and Michael Faccinto.

BCRA keeps championship points for dirt, pavement and combined, and this is their first dirt race of the season. After one race, Chad Nichols holds a two-point lead over Mark Malipaard as Scott Pierovich is 3 points out of the lead in third. Maria Cofer is one of the drivers anticipated for this race. Last season, she won the Overall championship and finished second to Elliott in the Dirt Series, beating Alex Schutte by just four points for second.

Wanting to add one more touch to this program, promoter Ed Parker decided to include Hobby Stocks on Tuesday. The division ran for $1,200 to win last week with three time Watsonville champion Billy Nelson claiming the victory.  Perhaps as big a story was Shannon Nelson's impressive drive from 16th starting to second. She made a late pass on FND Motorsports teammate and 2016 champion Michael Shearer. Shearer settled for third.

Past Ted Stofle Classic winner Syd Finn made a rare appearance last week and finished fourth ahead of reigning champion Kodie Dean. One of Chowchilla Speedway's original local Hobby Stock stars, Craig Tatum, lost a Top 5 finish in post race tech. 2015 champion Kevin Joaquin will be hoping to rebound from his bad luck of last week, and other drivers to watch for include Kristie Shearer, Robbie Loquaci,  Dexter Long, Mike Germait and Austin Van Hoff.

USAC introduced the Speed 2 Midgets to their roster as a means to get younger drivers involved in the sport. It's working. Two drivers making waves in the racing world now from the Speed2 effort are champion Jesse Love IV and Toni Breidinger. Breidinger is running six USAC Silver Crown races this season, while Love has made the most of his Late Model, Sprint Car and Midget opportunities. Love won the Overall title again last year and also beat Tom Patterson and Adam Lemke by just four points to win the Dirt title.

Last year, Patterson won both of the visits to Merced ahead of Lemke. Lemke won the Madera opener a few weeks ago, almost a straightaway ahead of Joey Iest and Blake Brannon. USAC has been rebuilding this group after some rules adjustments, and it seemed to be gathering momentum last season.

The Sportsman division is in the 20th season of the revival started by the promoter at the time, Chuck Griffin and Luis Miranda. Being a competitor in this division when it was dropped from the schedule back in 1980, Griffin always loved the class and wanted to see it come back. It has held races every year since, and only 2015 saw the division not have a championship point race.

Reigning champion Chris Birdsong won the season opener ahead of Sportsman division legend and Watsonville Speedway Hall Of Famer Jerry Cecil. Gary Hildebrand, a Chowchilla Speedway Sport Mod champion, made his return to the Sportsman class in third ahead of rookie Rick Elliott and three time Mini Stock champion Chris Corder. It is hoped that the class can maintain a car count in the 5-8 car area this year. Looking at this class will give fans a glimpse at what was the big thing back in the 1960s and 1970s at Merced Speedway. Two time champion Mike Friesen, past champion Mark Odgers, Tim Prothro and Eric Seely are among the other drivers at large with cars.

The open wheel themed night is presented by Blue Line Rentals. After the way the BCRA Midgets performed last year in their visit, the fans will be in for a treat on Saturday night. For further information, go to

Central Valley Mini Stock Season Kicks Off 
At Lemoore Raceway On Sunday

Lemoore, CA...The Central Valley Mini Stocks are just a few days away from beginning their second season. After completing an exciting first season, this Mini Stock effort appears to be growing and is set to have an even bigger season. The group is booked about once a month, and they will also make a visit to neighboring Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford this season. It was also announced that the Sportsman 600 Micro class will run in support of the Mini Stocks at Lemoore.

Last season, Dan Myrick and Danny Myrick had a good battle going for the championship, but mechanical issues in the B Main in the season finale ended Dan Myrick's championship hopes and forced him to settle for third. Danny Myrick enters the season as the reigning champion. Rod Baronian, who looked as fast as anybody in the pack, was a strong second in the standings.

A field of at least 14 to 16 competitors is anticipated, and several drivers have already committed to the show. Word is that the Integras are coming. The cars of Ben Davis, Chris Goldsmith, Scott Glenn and Dan Myrick are all ready to go. Darren Wilson, James Smith, Ryan Blank and Ryan Doglione have also said that they are ready to go racing this weekend.

CVMS officials have worked very hard to make an attractive purse for the group, and the Top 5 positions will be paid. It could be anywhere from $300 to $375 to win depending on car count, and even second place stands to do okay as they could get anywhere from $150 to $225, again depending on car count. At 25 cars, sixth place also gets paid, and the group will pay $50 to win the Trophy Dash. This could always go up as they are always looking for new sponsorship. You can contact them via the Central Valley Mini Stocks Facebook Page if interested.

If you haven't seen it, the Mini Stocks put on a very entertaining show on the one-fifth mile dirt oval at Lemoore Raceway. The track has been known for some exciting Micro Sprint racing through the years, but the Mini Stocks are proving just what a good show they can put on. As was the case last year, you can expect drivers to come in from the south and the north to test their ability against the Central Valley Mini Stock regulars. This is sure to be a good show, and it's only the beginning of a comfortable eight race season. For further information, go to

The Editor's Viewpoint

I sometimes feel like the sport of auto racing has passed me by. Sometimes I just don't recognize the sport anymore. Truthfully, I started seeing the signs of this change years ago. It's part of what led to my departure prior to the 2004 season. But it's more than just the sport, it's the world. And unfortunately, the world is affecting the sport. I don't think it's in a positive way either.

Witness what happened in Merced. Ed Parker booked the big Bill Egleston remembrance event last week. It was rained out when it was initially set to happen a few weeks ago. There were a lot of good sponsors who made this thing happen, and of course, Maria Egleston and family. Everybody wanted to be at this race, and they approached 140 cars for this event.

Now, I don't have all of the records of the track's history. I know in the modern era, they haven't had this many cars. I'm pretty darn sure if you go back to the 1970s and 1980s you won't find this type of car count. I want to say this was a track record car count. This is happening in a time in which the sport is in somewhat of a decline. Some might say that it's already bottomed out. Either way, the sport has seen its better days. Merced just had a record car count. Let that sink in.

It was special in the sense that they were remembering Bill. However, there was no special purse set for this race. The winners got a little more money, and there were slight adjustments in the positions immediately following. Not your traditional open type show that you expect to have these car counts. This was a point paying event with five divisions. Merced has had a couple other nights in the last two years that have hit the 100 car mark. This is 2018.

The night had everything you want in racing. It had a full pit area that overflowed into the parking lot. It had a much better attendance then a regular night. It had multiple B Mains. There could have even been one more B Main, but they ran everybody in the Main Event in that class. It had big money stakes to the winners. It was a show. Slight nit pick. They got done much later than curfew, but this happens sometimes. I don't think the fans were unhappy given the quality and quantity of the racers there.

I think as a promoter or somebody involved in putting that show on, the immediate days that followed should have been a time to celebrate and look back on this event with pride. Unfortunately, this isn't what happened. Ed looked at his schedule for this week's race and realized he needed something else there. He made the decision to add Hobby Stocks.

Immediately, he got hit with grief from people who were not happy. How could he do something like this? People had plans. Ed needed to put something on his program for the good of the race track. Simply put, he made an error on the schedule when he put it together. He is a busy man who also runs a business, so this one got by him. Hey, it was a mistake. The track just had its biggest turnout ever. I think a little leeway could be given, don't you?

I don't think the divisions on that night would offer a strong car count anyway. Ed was looking at a Wingless Sprint Car show, but upon looking at the surrounding schedule, he decided that there was too much else going on for him to draw a good enough car count. You don't know the half of it. There is a log jam of Sprint Car shows that weekend, but that's a subject that I'll let the recent audio show speak to. He needed something, and Hobby Stocks fit the bill. If I were to play arm chair promoter, which I will, I might have added the Hobby Stock and Mini Stock classes as non point events. You get a couple of divisions, maybe a dozen cars each, but it's enough to fill out the show.

As a promoter, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. There are always going to be people who thrive on the negativity. It's almost as if they like it when they bring you down with their bad attitudes. They're not willing to contribute to anything positive, but if they can disrupt your positive effort, its mission accomplished. Misery loves company. Ed had to deal with a few negative things that arose leading up to Bill's race as certain divisions were complaining about their purse. You're doing something good for the racers, but there's always those who will find the negativity in it.

To me, trying to book races and maintain a weekly program is an exercise in frustration. I've had my fill up here in Medford over these past two years. I was burnt out as it was, but it's all I can do sometimes to get motivated and come out here. Its not that there aren't many great people here, but some of the negative crap is just mind blowing. At some point, there will be some stories to tell, but now is not the time. Suffice it to say, we will roll with the punches and the show will go on. I know that's how Ed looks at it at Merced too. He certainly has more passion for all of this than I feel at the moment.

Am I doing this because I want to or because I have to? I don't even know. It's difficult to write articles for the sport these days. Particularly difficult when you're dealing with typing up something about the coming races. Who's showing up? You really don't know. Drivers aren't as willing or able to run every race at a track, even if you're only giving them 12 races. They still have other things to do or will go to another track. So, as a writer, what do you tell the fans? I give it my best guess. I'm never 100% right. Probably more in the 80% range, but putting the word out is important.

The article is designed to put the word out that there is a show going on at whatever track I happen to be writing about. I try my best to let the people know who it is that will be there, knowing I won't be 100% accurate. I do not intentionally mislead people. If I don't know somebody is going to be there, I won't include their name or will put it down as they may or may not be there. Honesty in my writing. If I make a mistake, I make a mistake, but I want to be honest. The article is there for those who are interested as a means to get the excitement going.

This Racing Media operation is now six tracks deep. 5 of those tracks have articles going out to various media outlets, and I will be adding to that list. Newspapers seem more interested now in taking articles, but I cannot give them my "Gary Jacob Style" stuff. You don't throw everything but the kitchen sink into that article. It's more of a Charlie Zeno style I am going for. Give people the basic facts, drop a few names and one or two interesting points about what's happening in each division. No more than two paragraphs per class in a hype article. Too much, and you're getting nothing in the paper.

That is why I try to be as quick and to the point as I can be in my race review articles. So far, I know that I have gotten four race tracks newspaper coverage this year, and I want to increase the track total by a few more tracks. I am searching for certain tracks that aren't getting it otherwise. The small town newspapers that may print once a week or so seem more receptive. Why newspapers? Why not? They still exist, and people still read them. Plus, they have web sites that attract traffic on the web. The more exposure you get a race track, the more potential for putting more butts in the seats.

Why care about getting more butts in the seats at race tracks? Why not care just about myself and how many clicks I get on my articles and how much money I get in my pocket? Mainly, I'm an idiot. I never made this about money, and I have suffered the consequences because of that. I made it about doing what I can for the sport. The goal in getting the word out is to try and help the sport, give those racers some recognition and all of that. Plus, I like the idea that once a newspaper prints one of my articles, the drivers named in it can cut them out and put them in their scrap books. Remember scrap books? Cool things. I have a bunch of them for Antioch Speedway.

I'm a dinosaur. I will go down with the ship. I will keep reaching out to newspapers. They are more interested in getting more content, but they aren't necessarily interested in sending you a paycheck. That's okay. Most newspapers don't even give you a by line, which is okay too, although a little recognition, if nothing else, wouldn't be a bad thing. I just remember as a kid reading those articles in the Antioch newspaper, and it made the drivers larger than life to me. So, if a newspaper wants an article I write about auto racing, they're going to get it.

I am particularly delighted with the Siskiyou Daily News. That paper has been very good to me in the articles that I have been writing for the track in Yreka. I see that we're getting front cover news in the Sports Section, I get by lines and they are also sharing the stories with sister newspapers. I've seen the articles in places I would not have expected. I wish more race tracks had newspapers so enthusiastic.

I know John takes a grim view of the newspapers down in Antioch. There is an interest in articles there, but John doesn't seem as if he cares about the media efforts so much. I think with a little trade out, you could get more space. Will it make a difference in attendance? The answer is yes and no. You see, what I have learned is that it isn't any one thing that's going to make it all pop. It is a combination of things and a relentless effort. You have to deal with the fact that you might get rejected in certain avenues, but if you've done the publicity work, put it out there. Eventually they use it.

You go anywhere you can get the recognition. Newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, the internet. Put it out everywhere. Work every avenue. You have to bust your rear and for every fan. There are some tracks doing better than others. Some places have a built in audience that is just loyal to that race track, and fans are coming unless it's rained out. Other tracks have to work for everything they get, so you'd better use every means at you're disposal.

Am I talking logic or rubbish? I'd like to think I know a few things, but maybe I don't? If I knew more, I might have my own place to live and be living in the town I'd like to be in right now. Maybe I know nothing. Maybe I know something that can help the sport? The Racing Media operation is just my attempt to use my knowledge to help the sport. I know there are other media people out there who do this and have their hands out. They do what they get paid for. What I learned a long time ago is if you hold your hand out, people turn you down, but if you give it to them, they take it. My hope was that one day there would be appreciation and I would be rewarded. Many years later, I'm still waiting. What is it my sister used to say? "As long as I owe you, you'll never be broke?" I miss my sister.

I don't do anything that I am doing with any expectations from any of the race tracks. If they feel that I am being of any help whatsoever, they can help me. The Tip Jar exists, and they can use it. It doesn't matter. I'll still do what I do. I made the commitment to get through the 2018 season, and damn it, I'm going to. I'm walking around on the little Southern Oregon Speedway track as I dictate my thoughts here, because I don't have clippers to trim the blackberry bushes. I wasn't really needed here for this trip, but I came here as moral support for Mike.

I did have a bit of an epiphany here today when I started thinking about the things we have done at this race track through the years. We? I've only been here since 2016. This is only my third season. However, I understand that I am a link in the chain here. What I do does help make some sort of difference in the history and legacy of this race track. It was here before I got here, and it will be here after I leave. However, I have had the good fortune to be given the opportunity to do something. I have. In some ways, it doesn't really feel very rewarding, and it's making me feel more run down. In other ways, damn, look at what we've done. Not bad at all. Maybe we can do a few more good things before we're done.

I've been a link in the chain at Antioch Speedway. Not just because I ran my magazine for all of those years, but because I was on the staff for three years doing many different things. Plus, I was there at the start with Don O'Keefe Jr when we put the Wingless Spec Sprint division together. What we did helped ensure that they had a chance to get things going and make it to what is their 20th year. Pretty cool. I've been a link in the chain at Merced Speedway. Worked there for a full season and was there for several races in the two years that followed. Chuck and Mary Lee thought I did enough that they were going to present me with a trophy at the banquet I unfortunately was unable to make once my ride cancelled. Still, I know the positives I was involved with. Two years at Chowchilla Speedway as well, the little track that could. Whoever thought that place would happen? I knew I had to be there helping Tom get it started. If they had a promoter with a clue last year, it might still be here.

What brought all of this out today? I don't really know. I'm not feeling 100%, and I haven't been really thrilled about things going into this season anyway. And, there are other personal things that I will not get into here that need to be addressed, probably away from racing. I'll never truly get to them as long as this sport is the center of my life. Problem is, it always demands that of me for me to do what I do. I like to have a personal life too. I learned that in my time away.

I watch people bitch and moan about the sport and how bad things are. The promoter is this or that. This promoter is a prick. That official is a jerk. Why are you there? If you hate it so much, why are you there? Racing is a passion. Racing is what we do for fun. When it starts becoming stressful and negative to you, you're doing the wrong thing. It's your own emotions and instincts telling you that you need to make a change in your life. Sitting around being negative about things all the time isn't doing you or the sport any good. Racing doesn't owe you anything. Bring a good attitude, and chances are you are going to have fun. If you're prepared to take the bad with the good, because there are bad nights, you'll do just fine.

It goes without saying that the sport has seen it's better days, but guess what? It's still here. Many, many tracks are still out there. There are people who would like to shut them down. They want to build a strip mall. They want to build houses. They just want the noise to go away. They'll come up with any reason to shut it down. Let that sink in. That track you love to hate may not be there for you to hate for long. We are damn lucky to have these places. Maybe we don't always have the car counts we used to, but at least there is some sort of show going on. There are always ways for you to be part of the solution to help make things better.

I suppose that is one of the things that keeps me going. I know I'm not going to better my own life here. I'm only buying time, or maybe putting things off until I get around to them, but those issues are still there waiting to be addressed. In the meantime, the things I do, I hope, will have a positive impact on the sport. If not, the one thing I can say is at least I tried.

I have higher hopes for what we're doing up here since I'm right in the middle of everything, and the frustrating and nerve racking part of the whole thing is I just don't know if it's going to work. Is anything that we're doing really sinking in? Opening day is April 28th, so we'll start finding out soon. Still thinking that this might be my last year, regardless of what the outcome is. I'd like it to be a good outcome. But then again, don't we all want to see success in our endeavors?

Last week, I wanted to start doing little feature articles for the blogs. I don't know how that's going to work out as I am getting very busy now. I don't have much time for anything, so doing other articles may not really be in the cards. I have a special article that I will run on the Jefferson Blog this year looking at some of the old tracks that were in Oregon and the possibility of finally getting a tenth outdoor oval track somewhere in the state. I have also begun working on an article about being a promoter in racing and some of the things these people have to deal with. As fans or competitors, you may go through the gate and think everything is just there. I guarantee you, there was a lot more that went into making it so seamless than you realize.

Look at it from this perspective. Whatever happens on race night is the center of your reality. As a promoter, that whole race track is your reality. One person or one racer's issue is only part of what the promoter experiences. While the person who feels wronged  somehow may think there was something intentional going on, the promoter is simply trying to run the show and make sure people are doing what needs to be done. They may not even realize you have an issue until you bring it to their attention. Perspective.

I don't know if any of this made sense, but I do know I've said enough. Until next time...