Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Antioch Speedway, Petaluma Speedway, Orland Raceway, Ventura Raceway, More

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Antioch Speedway Ready For Season Opening Action 
Saturday Night

Antioch, CA...The 22nd season of All Star Series sanctioned racing at Antioch Speedway and the 59th consecutive year of operation for the facility kicks off this Saturday night. Promoter John M Soares of Oval Motorsports has mapped out an exciting season schedule that offers 27 events with the possibility of an addition or two.

The event that got people talking was the announcement that October 11th and 12th will feature a $12,000 to win A Modified show with an increased purse also being offered for the B Modifieds. This will be the biggest paying Modified show not just in California, but on the West Coast. More details will be forthcoming.

Fans of the Modified division won't have to wait that long to see them put their cars on the Soares prepared 3/8 mile clay oval. This Saturday night, the All Star Series A Modifieds and B Modifieds will be competing along with the always exciting Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars in what should be an action-packed program.

This will also be the 30th season of continuous championship racing for the A Modified division, while the B Modifieds enter their eighth season. Last year, it was Nick DeCarlo turning in a sometimes dominant performance with eight feature wins and the A Modified championship to show for it. He beat the consistent Bobby Motts Jr, who has had two runner-up seasons and a championship in recent years in this division. The Motts family will be busy this year as Madison Motts, the 16 year old daughter of Bobby, makes her debut in the Hobby Stock division.

The recent practice saw over a dozen cars from the two Modified classes make laps, and some of the A Modified drivers anticipated for this show include Top 5 ranked Sean O'Gara, last season's top rookie David Zeiter, the father-and-son team of Chester and Buddy Kniss, Ron Brown and rookie Frank Furtado.

Meanwhile, the Clymens brothers will be reunited in the B Modified division this year. The last time two-time reigning champion Trevor Clymens and brother Tommy Clymens Jr raced together, they were competing in the Hobby Stock division some 20 years ago. Tommy has returned this year to race with his brother once again. They will see several of last year's top racers return, including Chuck Golden, Ryan DeForest, Kevin Brown, Randy Brown and Brent Curran. 2017 Hobby Stock champion Cameron Swank will be entering his rookie season in this division.

The Hobby Stock division will be interesting to watch as three of last year's top drivers are now entering their second season. Last season's top rookie Breanna Troen, Anthony Welborn and Josh Leach were not only Main Event winners, all ranked inside the Top 5. They promise to be even faster this year, which will make two-time reigning champion Chris Sorensen's task of defending his title that much more of a challenge. Jake Mercieca will be wheeling the former Cameron Swank car, and perennial title contender Michael Cooper is anticipated this season along with a slew of other talented racers.

Fans know that when the Dwarf Cars are in town they get plenty of great racing action. They enter their 22nd season at the speedway as Mike Corsaro attempts to match division legend Ricardo Rivera with three consecutive championships. Corsaro knows that he will get a serious challenge from second-generation leadfoot David Michael Rosa as well as Street Stock legend David Rosa. There are some great racers piloting these small, but fast cars, including Mario Marques, Thomas Leiby, Giovanni Bertolli, Jerry Doty and Troy Stevenson.

There's been much work done at the speedway to get it ready for this season. If the weather allows it to happen, the season will begin this Saturday night with a great lineup of All Star Series divisions. For further information, go to the track's Facebook page or check out

Orland Raceway Scheduled For Season Opener Saturday Night

Orland, CA...On the heels of the successful playday two weeks ago, Orland Raceway is prepared to kick off the 2019 season this Saturday night. Promoter Rich Hood and his crew have everything ready to go, and barring any bad weather, the Saturday night program will offer five divisions of racing for the fans to enjoy on the 1/5 mile dirt oval.

Headlining the show will be the popular Pure Stock division, along with Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Wingless Sprints and 600 Micro Sprints. When Hood, a longtime Pure Stock competitor at the speedway, stepped in at very late notice to promote the 2016 season, there may have been people who were skeptical about how the show was going to go. However, Hood stuck to a simple game plan, offering the fans the divisions that they were used to seeing, and the show went on.

As Orland Raceway has continued to gather momentum with new improvements in each of the past three seasons, more drivers are coming back to race again. Last season was easily the most successful year for Hood as promoter so far. This being his fourth season at the helm of the speedway, Hood becomes the longest-tenured promoter of the speedway since Paul and Carol Turner ended their decade-long run at the end of the 2007 season.

Last season, Paul Stephens added another Orland Raceway Pure Stock championship trophy to his mantle. He engaged in a thrilling season long battle with 2017 titleholder Jeremy Langenderfer. Though Langenderfer won more Main Events than anybody in the class, Stephens usually finished second and wasn't outside the Top 5 very often. This season, Langenderfer not only has a Pure Stock, he also has a Mini Mini Stock.

There are some new drivers on the Pure Stock roster this season, including Danny LaBonte and Toby Merrifield, but the fans can also look forward to seeing stars such as past Orland champion Steve Martin, Marysville champion Shannon Collins, Amanda McAbel, John Camper and Brad Ray. Multi-time Mini Truck champion Keith Ross also has a Camaro as he returns to the Pure Stock division.

Langenderfer behind the wheel of a Mini Stock promises to shake up that division as Barbara Crain will not be racing and is selling her car. Three-time reigning Mini Stock champion Tom Davis had to work hard last year to beat Crain by just 10 points. Langenderfer in the field won't be his only threat. Past champion John Kirkpatrick is back this year along with such hard chargers as Jason Libbee, Scott Camper and Sean Perry. Furthermore, 2016 Mini Truck champion Dan Webster now has a Mini Stock.

Webster and Ross have been the drivers to beat in Mini Truck competition in recent years. William Fogle, who has ranked near the top of the point list for the past few seasons, is hoping to take a bigger step and make a run for the title and feature victories. Zach Webster, who has been competing in Micro Sprints in recent seasons, also has a truck. Much like the Mini Stocks, the trucks give the fans a good field of vehicles to watch with some exciting racing as well.

The Wingless Sprint Car division has been a part of things at Orland Raceway going back to the 2002 season. Ralph Jacobo had been fielding a pair of cars that would make practice laps during intermission in 2001. Son Josh Jacobo and Rob Worthington were two drivers who got behind the wheel early on. Jacobo is a multi-time champion, but the reigning champion heading into the season is Tanner Thomson. Thomson beat RJ Baker by just one point in the closest battle at the speedway. One driver looking to do battle as he tries to make a run for his second Orland championship is multi-time Chico champion Tony Richards. There is word that the displaced Silver Dollar Speedway drivers may start coming to Orland, which would certainly make the Wingless Sprint Cars an exciting show for the fans to enjoy.

Fans and drivers have been chomping at the bit to see the gates open at Orland Raceway once again. If the weather allows it, Saturday night should be an exciting show from start to finish. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.

Antioch Speedway Beats Weather To Hold Successful Playday

Antioch, CA...March 23...Despite rain the day before and in the early morning hours, Antioch Speedway managed to hold one more playday ahead of the March 30th season opener. During the week leading up to event, the weather wasn't so bad, and promoter John M Soares was confident that he could make it happen. Though he kept an eye on how much rainfall there was on Friday, he left the speedway that evening still confident that the practice would go on.

On Saturday morning, Soares roamed the facility and contemplated whether it would be a wise decision or not. Other race tracks in the area had already canceled, meaning there were other racers looking for a place to get one more practice in. There were puddles on the straightaways that could be handled easily enough with water pumps. The bigger question was, could the pits hold up, and would the teams be able to get their trailers in and out okay?

The decision was made to proceed with the scheduled practice. Though a few teams had some difficulty maneuvering in the pits, the sun hovering over the still green pits dried things out enough, and practice went on. Roughly 40 teams checked in from various divisions, and everything went off as scheduled.

With the All Star Series A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars all booked for the season opener next week, there were several drivers in those classes who took advantage of the final practice. One noteworthy Modified visitor was Petaluma champion Oreste Gonella. He was part of a combined total of about 14 A and B Modifieds making laps on the Soares prepared 3/8 mile clay oval.

Young gun Buddy Kniss and rookie Frank Furtado were also on hand with their A Modifieds. From the B Modified ranks, there were several drivers on hand. Reigning champion Trevor Clymens and his brother Tommy Clymens Jr were there. Possibly the top contender to bump Trevor from the top spot, Brent Curran, was a surprise arrival. Rookies Kelly Campanile and Cameron Swank were also making laps.

Three of last season's top Hobby Stock rookies, Breanna Troen, Anthony Welborn and John Wacht, were making laps. Troen, who was the top rookie last season, had made it to the practice the week before. Two of this year's potential Dwarf Car championship contenders, David Michael Rosa and his father David Rosa, were there for practice. The beautiful green #0 car of Giovanni Bertolli was back, and Travis Dutra, a past Mini Truck champion who has raced more at Petaluma than Antioch in recent years, had his car there for practice. NorCal Dwarf Car star Danny Wagner got to make laps behind the wheel.

Having been more active at the speedway in recent years doing track maintenance, past Antioch Figure 8 and Super Hobby Stock champion Jimmy Robbins finally got his Limited Late Model together and made an appearance for a shakedown run. Fellow Limited Late Model racers Ryan Cherezian and John Evans were also there. Another past Super Hobby Stock champion, Gene Haney, was making laps in his Hardtop. Spec Sprint racers Doc Brophy and Jeff Lee were also there. Brophy was one of the original Spec Sprint competitors in 1999, and Lee has won multiple features at Antioch in the past.

This wraps up practice, and the next time the cars are back at Antioch Speedway it will be time to begin championship point racing. The scheduled program for next Saturday night will include All Star Series A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. Unless the weather gets out of hand, the season will get started. For further information, go to

Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series Scheduled To Kick Off Saturday At Petaluma Speedway

Petaluma, CA...Weather has not been kind to Petaluma Speedway so far this month. Promoter Rick Faeth has been forced to cancel the two playdays leading up to this Saturday's scheduled season opener. Headlining the program will be the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series in a shootout event that will also include the local regulars. Also on the card will be the popular Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks, Jake Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks and the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros.

The Hunt Series began in 2010, which will make this the tenth championship season for the series that brings together the best Spec Sprint drivers in the state. In reality, the concept began earlier than that with the NCMA holding Select Series events and crowning champions during the five seasons leading up to the launch of the Hunt Series. When the NCMA decided to focus primarily on the pavement in 2010, the Hunt Series took it from there.

Terry Shank Jr was so impressive during the first five seasons that he either won the title or the driver winning it had to hold him off to secure the championship. Shank won three of the first four with Taylor Simas and Tommy LaLiberte the other two champions. During the past four seasons, Gary Nelson Jr, Klint Simpson, Austin Liggett and Shawn Jones have won the championships. Liggett moved on to win the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car title last season.

Jones has won just about everything he can as one of the biggest stars of Dwarf Car racing for the past decade-plus. Last season, the occasional Spec Sprint racer focused his primary attention on winning the series title. With an impressive seven Top 5  finishes and one win out of ten starts, Jones held off Troy DeGaton and Ryon Siverling to secure the championship.

Siverling is the grandson of longtime NCMA racer Burt Siverling, and he won the Petaluma championship in 2017. Last season, it was Shayna Sylvia using her two feature wins to score the impressive Wingless Spec Sprint championship. Past Winged 360 Sprint Car titleist Bradley Terrell had three wins to edge past Siverling for second in the standings. Local stars such as Scott Chapeta, Eden McCormick, Dennis Furia Jr and Bob Davis are looking forward to battling the Hunt Spec Sprint racers this Saturday night.

There is no division at Petaluma Speedway with a longer heritage at the track than the Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks. This division was founded back in the 1970s and has held over 40 championship seasons. Division "Iron Man" Shawn McCoy was recently seen at Antioch Speedway making practice laps last week. McCoy is a two-time Petaluma title holder who finished third in points last season ahead of two-time champion Matt While.

However, the battle for the division crown went the distance between long time competitors Mitch Machado and Steve Studebaker. Studebaker had come within a few points of winning the title the year before, and despite winning two Main Events, he settled for second again last season. This is because Machado racked up seven feature wins to secure the championship. Studebaker is a multi-time division champion and a definite threat to win again. Other drivers to watch for include past champion Jim "Woody" Woodward, Manny Avila, Snazzy Duckworth and Sean Cook.

The Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks remain the cheapest way for racers to get involved in racing at Petaluma Speedway. Parody is such that the last 14 seasons have seen 14 different drivers win the division championship. Last season, the consistent Tom Brown outran five-time winner Dave Spindell to claim the championship. Other stars of the division include Danny Manzoni, Roy Dearing, Roberta Broze, Sophie Shelley, Antonio Miramontez and Jeremy Tjensvold.

Rounding out the lineup will be Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micro Sprints. The division was added to the roster a few years back to give the fans another open wheel class to enjoy, while also giving drivers from the Kart level a way into racing on the three-eight mile adobe oval. David Engstrom is the reigning champion after a close race with Cody Gray. Engstrom picked up three feature wins, while the young gun Gray had one victory. Other stars to watch for include George Nielsen, Dale Grissom, Brian Slubik, Justin Adiego and Jenna Perkins.

Weather permitting, Saturday's lineup Is the perfect way to kick-off what should be an exciting season at Petaluma Speedway. This is the 58th consecutive championship season at the track which also staged several seasons of racing back in the 1950s. For further information, check out the Facebook page or

Sawyer Opens Triple Crown Series With Victory 
At Kern Raceway

Bakersfield, CA...March 22...Robby Sawyer made an impressive late charge to win the opening round of the Triple Crown Series Friday night at Kern Raceway. The win paid Sawyer $1,500 in the series that is being sponsored by Holder's Heating And Air Conditioning. He scored his win by making a move around Steve Drake on lap 21.

Brad Pounds jumped into the lead after the race was restarted due to a crash in Turn 2. There would be just one yellow flag after that, and Pounds was the early leader ahead of Danny Lauer and Steve Drake. Drake slipped past Lauer for second on lap nine and then raced by Pounds to gain the lead on lap ten. Moments later, the yellow flag slowed the pace. Drake continued to lead Pounds and Sawyer on the restart. The Top 3 ran closely with Sawyer finally taking second from Pounds on lap 19. Two laps later, Sawyer put the moves on Drake to take the lead, and he began to pull away from there. Sawyer won by nearly a straightaway. In a good battle for second, Ryan Daves and Logan Drake moved into the place and show positions on the final lap as Pounds fell off the pace. Sawyer won ahead of Daves, Logan Drake, Steve Drake, Clint Reichenbach, Danny Lauer, Jerry Flippo, Kollin Hibdon, Danny Cavanagh and Pounds.

The 17 car field ran a pair of eight lap qualifying heat races, and Karl Noland outran Steve Noland to win the first one. Drake picked up the second heat victory ahead of Ryan Lauer.

Kevin Johnson turned in a stellar performance in going flag-to-flag for the 20 lap B Modified Main Event win. Johnson had a perfect evening as he also scored a win in his eight lap heat race. The Main Event was destined to go all 20 laps without a yellow flag, and Johnson bolted into the lead from the start. Amazingly, the Top 5 in the race ran in the same order throughout the entire distance with Kevin Johnson winning ahead of Jason Nation, Gary Dutton, Gavyn Manning and Matthew Mayo Jr. Garrett Jernagan settled for sixth, followed by Michael Johnson, Chris McKellar, Nick Spainhoward and Austin Ruskauff. Kevin Johnson outran Mayo to win his heat race. Jernagan was the other heat race winner in front of Manning.

Santa Maria Raceway competitor Scotty Preast collected the victory in the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Preast charged into the lead at the start ahead of Don Mead and Wayne Dotson. Dotson took second from Mead on lap six before a yellow flag slowed the pace. Preast continued to lead the way over Dotson with Nicholas Johnson taking third from Mead on lap ten. Johnson grabbed second from Dotson on lap 13, and a lap 15 yellow flag bunched the field again. Preast led Johnson on the restart with Mead taking third from Dotson. Preast held off the pressure of Johnson for the well-earned victory. Mead was a strong third, followed by Dotson, Trevor Baker, Kevin Irwin, Dale Frye, Justin Gonzales, Jacky Roberts and Joe Gallaher. Dotson won the first of two eight lap heat races ahead of Irwin, while Kyle Wood held off Johnson to win the second heat.

Riley Clem scored the victory in the 20 lap QRC Kart Main Event. Clem powered into the lead at the start ahead of Karson Sylvester. Following a lap four yellow flag for Kyle Griffith, Gerald McKellar motored past Sylvester for second as Clem continued to lead the way. Clem would lead McKellar through another yellow flag, but a lap 17 caution flag set up one last opportunity for anybody to get past Clem. Levi Smith took second from McKellar on the restart, but the best he could do was chase the flying winner Clem for the second place finish. McKellar settled for third, followed by Sylvester, Tailer Morrison, Larry Moody, Robert Gordon, Kevin Wageman, Wyatt Moody and Kyle Griffith. Clem won the first of two six lap heat races ahead of Wageman, while McKellar outran Sylvester for the victory in the second heat.

Jett Yantis won the 15 lap Sr Mini Dwarf Main Event. Yantis also outran Seth Hanson to win the six lap heat race, making this a clean sweep effort. Yantis led the race from the start ahead of Adam Nohl, who had scratched from the heat race. By lap eight, Yantis held a straightaway advantage over Nohl, but traffic cost him half of that lead on lap eleven. Undaunted, Yantis still pulled away to a straightaway advantage over Nohl by the checkered flag. Joshua Chambers grabbed third from fourth place finisher Eric Vences on lap 13. Ethan Johnson and Hanson completed the finishing order.

Landon King outdueled Khloe Cotton to win the 12 lap Jr Mini Dwarf Main Event. Cotton was going for the sweep after a dominant victory in the six lap heat race. King set the early pace on the 1/8 mile dirt oval ahead of Cotton and Watson. Cotton charged past King for the lead on lap three, but she surrendered the lead back to King in traffic on lap six. By then, even third place Watson was down a lap. Cotton moved in behind King for one last challenge with two laps to go, but King stayed cool for the victory. Watson settled for third, followed by Hayden Joplin, Paislee Hughes and Travis Varney.

Racing on the dirt at Kern Raceway resumes on April 6th with the return of the NARC/King Of The West Fujitsu 410 Winged Sprint Car Series. Joining them on the card will be the Bakersfield Hardtops. For further information, go to

Gaurdino Wins USAC/VRA Wingless 360 Sprint Car 
Battle Of The Beach At Ventura Raceway

Ventura, CA...March 23...Tristan Guardino won the 30 lap Wingless 360 Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. This was a Battle Of The Beach event where the VRA locals took on the visiting USAC group In the first of a series of races for the season. Gaurdino enjoyed a nip-and-tuck battle with Jake Swanson during the early stages of the event, but in the waning laps, he pulled away to an impressive victory.

It was Cody Majors racing into the early lead over Swanson. Gaurdino settled into third on a lap two restart. Swanson led Guardino past Majors on lap six, and an intense duel ensued between Swanson and Guardino. During the next five circuits, The two exchanged the lead several times each lap, but Gaurdeno was in front on lap 10 moments before the yellow flag waved. Gaurdino continued to lead on the restart, and only Swanson was keeping pace with him during the next half dozen laps. However, Gaurdino got into the groove and steadily pulled away to about a straightaway advantage by the time the checkered flag waved. Swanson held on for second. In another good late race battle for third, both Troy Rutherford and Carson Macedo shuffled Majors back to fifth on the last lap. Kyle Edwards finished sixth, followed by reigning series champion Ryan Timmons, Slater Helt, Steve Hix and Jeff Fillingame. The 19 car field ran three 10 lap qualifying heat races with the wins going to Macedo, Timmons and Majors.

Jerry Kramer was a surprise winner in the 20 lap California Lightning Sprint Main Event. Dan Hillberg set the pace from the start ahead of Dominic Del Monte, and they ran that way through two yellow flags. The complexion of the race changed on lap 18 when the lead two cars tangled for a yellow flag. This put Jerrett Kramer into the lead, and he led the final two circuits for the surprising victory. Eric Greco made a last-lap bid to overtake Kramer, only to come up just inches short at the checkered flag. Cody Nigh finished third, followed by Jeff Dyer, Bobby Michnowicz, AJ Bender, Grant Sexton, Bruce Douglass, James Turnbull and Pat Kelley.

A strong turnout of Lightning Sprints saw the need for a 10 lap B Main, won by Aiden Lange ahead of Turnbull and Sexton. Eight lap heat race wins were recorded by Bender, Michnowicz and Kyle Dodd. Nigh bested the 26 car field in qualifying with a fast lap of 12.412, edging the 12.602 of Dodd.

Chris Meredith won the 20 lap VRA Senior Sprint Car Main Event. Greg Andrews set the early pace ahead of Meredith and Danny Parrish. Wally Pankratz slipped into third on lap six, and Meredith led Pankratz around Andrews for the first two positions on lap 10. Parrish regained third on lap 11, and the only yellow flag of the race flew on lap 17. Meredith continued to lead on the restart and led the final three circuits for the win, followed by Pankratz, Parrish, Tyler Hatziken, Tom Stephens Sr, Andrews, Paul Mircic and Mark Shepard. Eight lap heat race wins went to Pankratz and Parrish.

Jason Horton won a caution plagued 20 lap VRA Dwarf Car Main Event. Horton led from the outset with Tommy Velasquez III in close pursuit. Despite six yellow flags, Horton maintained his advantage over Velasquez on each restart. A final caution flag waved on lap 14, but Horton pulled ahead on the ensuing restart and led the remaining six circuits for the victory with Velasquez a close second. Tom Morley raced past Johnny Conley for third or lap 11 and would finish there, followed by Nick Velazquez, Michael Tobiason, Jeff Brink, Tony Margott, Korey Cowan, Conley and Trent Morley. There were 18 cars for the Dwarf Car show, and the three eight lap heat race wins went to Conley, Tommy Velasquez III and Trent Morley.

After back-to-back weeks off, VRA sanctioned racing continues on April 13th with Sprint Cars, Senior Sprints, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks, Focus Midgets and IMCA Modifieds. For further information, go to

Management has made the decision to cancel this race on Monday due to the weather forecast and the amount of work still required to get the racing surface up to their standards. They will try again on May 6th with a program consisting of IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks and the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go to the Facebook page or

Pit Stops

As there wasn't a lot of information available for a Jefferson Racing News post, we brought some Jefferson Pit Stops to this blog.

The people of Cottage Grove had high hopes that their season might kick off last Saturday night, but it can be a big gamble trying to do any racing in Oregon in March. The race was rained out, but there was oval track racing to be had in Oregon a little bit down the road in Roseburg.

Douglas County Speedway likes to kick off each new season with the annual 200 lap Enduro and chili cook-off. Over 20 racers came to do battle in the sometimes wild and crazy long-distance race. Half of the field managed to take the checkered flag, led by the popular Batmobile of Mike Batman. Batman is one of the stars of the PRA Hardtop division, and he held off Hornet star Bob Vancil, Jimmy Smith, Mike Kennerly and Bryan Lane. As advertised, there was also a chili cook-off before the race, and Valerie West was awarded with the best chili honors.

On Saturday, May 4th, the speedway kicks off with Rumble On The River. This will be a loaded program, and it starts on Friday May 3rd with a special kickoff party and barbecue social. It's an opportunity to meet the drivers and sponsors. The track is charging $5 for spectators and crew. The Saturday race will pay tribute to long-time PRA member Bruce Latta. The new Winchester Pub And Grill PRA Sport Modifieds will be battling with $1,000 going to the winner. Also in the lineup will be the PRA Hardtops, Hornets, Mini Stocks, Super Stocks and the J Class. For further information, check out the track's Facebook page or go to

Coos Bay Speedway held a successful Mud Drag program on Saturday, but the oval track had several drivers taking advantage of practice on Sunday. The NASCAR Whelen All American Series season kicks off on April 13th, but some of the racers were chomping at the bit to make practice laps. From The Late Model side of things, Toby McIntyre, Wayne Butler and Richard Wallace were among the drivers making practice laps. At press time, we didn't have a lot of information as to who else was practicing, but we did see the Tom Elam Modified there. Elam was driving a Late Model at Coos Bay last season, purchased from Mike George, and this may have been the Modified that he ran at Roseburg. You can find out more on what's happening at Coos Bay Speedway by going to their Facebook page or

We were contacted by one of the representatives at Mountain Valley Raceway in Hayfork, California regarding getting us information, so we're hoping that maybe we'll be able to do some updates from there during the course of the season. They had a practice scheduled for last Saturday night, but the weather was not in favor of that. As is the case with tracks up in Northern California, it can be difficult getting anything in this early in the year. The season opener is scheduled for April 13th, and everybody has their fingers crossed. You can go to Mountain Valley Raceway on Facebook to get more information.

Kevin Barba and his crew have been working hard at Siskiyou Golden Speedway to get the race track up and operational. They had hopes that last Sunday would be an opportunity to make practice laps, but the weather was anything but cooperative. The speedway was represented at the Sportsman Expo on both Saturday and Sunday, and it was actually hailing and raining on Saturday.

Though there was no opportunity to practice, there was an opportunity for several race car drivers to show off their vehicles while Barba and officials were handing out schedules and the newly designed bumper stickers to the fans. Fans even got an opportunity to get pictures with the race cars and in some cases could even buckle in and see what it's like to sit behind the wheel of the cars that will be competing when the Yreka track opens for its first race of the season on April 13th.

We noticed a pair of Mini Stocks were there. There was the #85 car, which has been up for sale and was last owned by the Jorgensen team. There was a #99 car, which we have no driver information on. Rising young star Darek Alford also displayed his car at the Expo. The Jefferson State Jalopy Association had one of the cars from the shops of Karl Bernstein and JJ Smith on display. A pair of IMCA Modifieds were there. The 2018 "Rookie Of The Year" from Southern Oregon Speedway, Branden Wilson was there, and Jeremy Ohlde received the "Best In Show" award for his #21 IMCA Modified.
Not to be left out, there were several Outlaw Karts on display. Jim Berry has secured the contract to run the smaller track at The Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, and he plans to run at least 11 shows this year. A lineup of at least a dozen cars were parked side-by-side, and kids had opportunities to sit in the cars. This is certainly the best opportunity young, would be racers have to get involved in the world of auto racing.

Among the cars on display were those of Cale Cunial, Cole Cunial, Drew Berry, Logan McKnight, Nick Perrin, Josh Steinhoff, Brandon Steinhoff and Dallin Dagata. Berry has put a lot of passion into his efforts to help promote Kart Racing in recent years and is looking forward to trying to grow the support for the fledgling program. You can find out more by going to the Yreka Outlaw Kart Facebook page. You can find out more about Siskiyou Golden Speedway by checking them out on Facebook or going to

When a promoter gambles on the weather, sometimes they come out ahead and get the show in, and other times they fail. Oftentimes, even if the show runs, there's low attendance because fans will stay home if the weather looks bad. Chico Silver Dollar Speedway and Placerville Speedway both threw in the towel on Thursday, but Marysville Raceway Promoter Dennis Gage was intent on having another race. Weather has not been kind to Marysville, and the Sherm Toller Memorial race had just five cars for the $2,500 to win Civil War race a couple of weeks ago.

On this occasion, it rained the night before and at various points during the day. Management still made the decision to let people sign into the pits, but they held the fans out in the parking lot until it looked like they might be able to get away with the race. They had crews working the track to try and get it back into shape, but it was just too much. After three hours of trying to do something, they admitted defeat and canceled the program.

Obviously, this is the negative side of trying to run a race when the weather is not being cooperative. There were people who were very understanding about the situation, but others criticized the track for trying when it didn't look good. Sometimes, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. In any case, Marysville Raceway will try again this Saturday night with the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Super Stocks being joined by the NorCal Dwarf Cars. Further information can be found at the Marysville Raceway Facebook page or at

Weather keeps abusing Silver Dollar Speedway as well, and they were unable to get a race in last week. This Friday night, they will try again with the Winged 360 Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Street Stocks all in the lineup. When management made the decision to drop the Winged 410 Sprint Car class in favor of 360 Sprints last season, car count increased as a result. They're hoping for good things when racing begins this Friday night. For further information, go to the Silver Dollar Speedway Facebook page or

The People Of Chandler Just Want A Race Track

Chandler, Indiana...Many people regard the state of Indiana as racing country. There is plenty of great Midget and Sprint Car racing to be found in that state, and people know about the Terre Haute Action Track, Bloomington and Kokomo, for example. People know about the legendary Indianapolis Speedway. You have racers moving to Indiana because they have more opportunities to do what they love. There seems to be more appreciation for the sport in Indiana than in many of the other states in the country.

Quietly, the race track in Chandler, Indiana has been doing its thing for nearly 50 years. Harold Baker, who is now in his 90s, was the owner of the property. The speedway has had an interesting past under his ownership. Promoters seem to come and go. They might get things running really well at the 3/8 mile dirt oval or the 1/8 mile dragstrip, and suddenly they will have the rug pulled out from underneath them. Somebody else will come in and run the place until Harold gets bored with them, there's a difference in philosophy or the business goes under.

The one theme in all of this is that racing has continued with new people running the race track. The people of Chandler aren't really asking for much. The speedway is more about Stock Car racing than open wheel racing, not that they don't get races from various open wheel groups. They run what you would call local, "weekend warrior" divisions there. That is to say, they run divisions that the local racers can afford to run.

Things seemed to be okay in 2017. The dragstrip was still going and having big events. The oval track was up and running as well. By all accounts, the people managing the two tracks were doing a good enough job. Was it the biggest stage in racing in the state? No. It probably doesn't even rank near the Top 5, but in the hearts and minds of the people of Chandler, it was still racing. Families came to watch and race, and you better believe that it meant something to them.

Enter Reno Fontana. Fontana is a Californian who has claimed some sort of tie to the town of Chandler. To listen to him, it's like he has always wanted to run that race track for years, and he was just looking for the opportunity to do it. We could easily dig up history on Mr Fontana, but that's not what this article is about. A simple search on the web will find plenty of information for somebody to make their own informed opinion on who Reno Fontana really is.

Who he was to the town of Chandler, however, was the guy who threw a monkey wrench into the racing program. It's likely that if the people running the drag strip and oval track were allowed to continue, the 2018 season would have happened. They would be making plans to get things started this year as well. Reno, however, had other ideas. He had a grand vision of a place called Movieland Speedpark.

It's important to note that the people of Chandler were not asking for what Reno was offering. A chapel on the property, a giant swimming pool in the shape of a guitar, a movie theater and on and on. For starters, the race track is in a flood zone and ends up under water during the winter months. Secondly, and this is important, the people of Chandler simply want a race track. That's all. Nothing fancy, just Saturday night racing.

The speedway was being run by Kevin Baesel Jr and Mark Van Winkle. They completed the 2017 season on the both tracks. Baesel's expertise was focused primarily on the drag strip, but when he was asked to keep the dirt track going, he enlisted Mark Van Winkle to keep that facility alive. What you had was people from the area who genuinely cared about that race track and the people involved. Even if it wasn't perfect, the intentions were always good.

A look at what was going on at Chandler Speedway in 2017 finds that the core divisions were UMP Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Mini Stocks. You're not talking about high-dollar divisions here. This is what the locals could afford. Lest you think an effort wasn't made to make things special, one only needs to look at the final point race of the 2017 season to find that the Pure Stock and Mini Stock Main Events paid $1,000 to win. The Street Stocks had a race during the season to remember one of Chandler's own, Mike Burch.

There were special attractions sprinkled throughout the season. They brought in the Indiana Late Model Series as well as Wingless Sprint Cars. They had Vintage Stock Cars and Sprint Cars. They featured the Ohio Valley Lightning Sprints on ten occasions that final season. By the way, Mr Fontana acquired the rights to the Lightning Sprint Association and renamed them the Movieland Lightning Sprints. Will there be a season for them this year? Will the drivers regroup under another name, as is their right?

The final event held at the oval track in 2017 was a good old-fashioned Enduro and Destruction Derby. They ran three different classifications of Enduro and ended it all with a crowd-pleasing Derby. By all accounts, the night went well. There was no reason to think that there wouldn't be a 2018 season. The people who continue to support racing in Chandler were looking forward to it.

It's just Saturday night dirt track racing, but it's special to the community. Special occasions might include Power Wheel racing for the little ones to live out their fantasies of being race car drivers like their heroes. There was a bike giveaway night for the kids where 20 bikes were given away on the night the Late Models came to town. There was even a night where the first 200 entries to the grandstands received a free hot dog and a Coke at the concession stand.

Chandler Speedway did what good race tracks do. They held races. All across the country, there are those tracks that nobody outside of that particular area knows about that are doing their thing on any given weekend. Chandler was one of those places that you probably never heard of until Reno Fontana entered the picture with his grand vision of Movieland Speedpark. Nobody in Chandler was asking for the big vision, but he was offering it to them nonetheless. He certainly talked big.

When the news came that there would be no 2018 season because Reno had entered the picture with his grand plans, the community became divided. True believers of Reno's vision spoke up in defensive of him. The other side recognized that they might be getting sold a bill of goods and came out against Fontana. Families, in some instances, we're divided. It was not a pretty situation, and Fontana seemed to take joy in stirring the pot and getting people talking. He appears to be one of those people who believes there is no such thing as bad press. Drivers were left with a choice of either parking their cars because they didn't want to tow or making longer trips to go racing.

As 2018 came and went, more people were beginning to wonder. Are we going to have a race track again? Forget the other plans, will we be racing? Reno seemed to indicate that this would be the case as he started speaking of rules for the 2019 season and even released a schedule. But then, word came out that there was a lien against the track for owed money for improvements made to the drag strip. There was also the matter of two years of property taxes owed by the Baker family. The property was going to be seized by the bank and put up for auction.

In December, Fontana and Baker worked an end around in which Fontana appeared to buy the property. This has been done in the past at race tracks, but there are those who question the authenticity of this particular sale. When it was announced that the race track would go up for auction and a sign was posted at the front at the facility, Fontana confidently proclaimed that there would be no auction.

Nonetheless, the auction company had two open houses in which people were allowed to tour the facility to see what work needed to be done and what they might be willing to bid at auction. Word came that there were people with money intent on buying the property and keeping a race track alive. Through it all, Fontana insisted that it would never go up for auction. Early in the morning hours of the day of the auction, Fontana made good on his promise and stopped it.

How could he do that? Did he really own the property? There are people who still question his ownership and whether a legitimate sale was actually made. But, Fontana had enough of a claim to make the move that he did. He filed for bankruptcy. This is also a questionable move. How can your business already be bankrupt when you never actually opened up the gates to do any business? Bankruptcy protection is a legitimate option for people to attempt to restructure their debts and keep their businesses going.

Where it gets interesting is that Fontana never held races at the facility. In fact, if you ask people in Chandler if they've even seen the guy, they will tell you no. A look through the list posted online as to who has been named as people Fontana admits he owes money to includes people that he has been doing business with since he stepped into the picture and claimed he was buying the race track. You can be sure that Fontana will be claiming that he's been doing business for Chandler Speedway or Movieland Speedpark despite the fact that no races have been held under his leadership to date.

This is where we are now. The race track sits dormant and in need of work. Obviously, if you get the right equipment out at the dirt track, earth can be moved and the track can be in whipped into racing shape in relatively easy fashion. More work will need to be done at the drag strip to get it up and operational. But then again, when you're bankrupt, how can you afford to pay anybody money to do any of these things?

At this point, you have people asking if the track will really be open for racing in April. Fontana has remained consistent that there will be racing this year, and the fact that he stopped the auction will have the true believers looking towards the gates in anticipation that racing will resume. It's in the hands of the courts at this stage, and nobody really knows how this chapter in the story that is Chandler Speedway is going to end. Baker is in legal hot water over his actions, but interesting enough, Fontana could still come out of this thing smelling like a rose, even if he never opens the race track.

The lives that were affected are those within the racing community in Chandler that simply want to go racing again. When Todd Riley (UMP Modifieds), Wes Smith (Street Stocks), Kyle Kelly (Pure Stocks) and Jimmy Waters (Mini Stocks) were crowned champions at the end of the 2017 season, it's likely that none of those drivers thought that they were winning the last championships at the speedway. This is where we are now, waiting to see if there will be new champions. If so, will it happen this year?

The last four seasons at Chandler Speedway saw four different champions in each of the four respective divisions. This means it was very a competitive field of racers where nobody was necessarily dominating. Just good old-fashioned, local dirt track racing. And that's what the people in Chandler want. They just want to go racing and make more happy memories. The sad fact is that nobody knows what the future holds for this track. Time will tell.

2017 UMP Modifieds Final Points Standings Top 10

1. Todd Riley 256
2. Lee Hobbs 190
3. Christopher Cole 189
4. Dustin Golden 187
5. Tyler Weiss 176
6. Chad Weiner 150
7. Dustin Beck 149
8. Alan Bowling 138
9. Mark Cole 124
10. Lance Foreman 103

2017 Street Stock Final Points Standings Top 10

1. Wes Smith 206
2. Brandon Beckort 157
3. Darrel Hutchison Jr 107
4. Chase Estes 96
5. Tim Asbell 62
6. Kassidi Gibbs 57
7. Darrel Hutchison III 44
8. J.R. Mason 39
9. Levi Bell 32
10. Dennis Vincent 29

2017 Pure Stock Final Points Standings Top 10

1. Kyle Kelley 237
2. Chris Sparks 180
3. Pat Kaelin 178
4. Darrin Meece 142
5. David Sartore 137
6. Dane Heilman 120
7. T.J. Meece 119
8. Jay Weiner 116
9. Kurt VanWinkle 91
10. Joey James 87

2017 Mini Stock Final Points Standings Top 10

1. Jimmy Waters 221
2. Daniel Abell 187
3. Devon Cravens 125
4. Don Fulkerson 91
5. James McCulley 86
6. Ashley Hayes 70
7. Madison Roberts 60
8. Adam Roberts 49
9. Ronnie Skaggs 46
10. Tommy Wilson 45

Recent  Chandler Speedway Champions
UMP Modifieds
2017  Todd Reilly
2016  Dustin Beck
2015  Blaze Melton
2014  David Mitchell
2012  Robert Taylor

2011  Stan Beadles

Street Stocks
2017  Wes Smith
2016  Brandon Beckort
2015  Greg Dedrick Jr.
2014  Mark Van Winkle 
2012  Danny Ashby
2011  Blake Myers

Pure Stocks
2017  Kyle Kelley
2016  Darrin Meece 
2015  Bruce Curl
2014  Marshall Jones
2012  Chad Weiner
2011  John Lane

Mini Stocks

2017  Jimmy Waters
2016  Madison Roberts
2015  Rickie Rush
2014  Katlyn Minks
2012  Nick Seibert
2011  Blayne Ellis

Management has made the decision to cancel this race on Monday due to the weather forecast and the amount of work still required to get the racing surface up to their standards. They will try again on May 6th with a program consisting of IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks and the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go to the Facebook page or

Merced Speedway Prepares For Season Opener 
This Saturday Night -- Canceled

Merced, CA...Since assuming control of Merced Speedway in January, track General Manager Doug Lockwood of S&S Motorsports has had his share of challenges. One thing that was certainly not helpful was the rainy weather. While it has been needed in California, rain is not the friend of a dirt track racing facility.

The race track, located at the Merced County Fairgrounds, has been in operation since 1950. Though it is one of the cleanest facilities in the state, there were some improvements needed. Among the things that S&S Motorsports is bringing to the speedway are upgrades to both the grandstand and pit concessions, improvement to the fencing on the back straightaway and off of Turns 3&4, a reshaping of the quarter-mile clay oval and many truckloads of new clay to make for a better racing surface.

Because of the rains and the fact that improvements couldn't even begin on the racing surface due to the saturation of water, both planned practice days and the originally scheduled season-opening event on March 23rd were all canceled. This is because the crew was just a bit behind schedule in the repairs they were making. As of press time, the March 30th season opener is a go.

Lockwood announced a schedule with lots of surprises and excitement for the fans to enjoy throughout the season. There will be Monster Truck shows, special appearances from various Sprint Car associations, the return of the Dwarf Car Nationals and all of the regular local divisions the fans have been enjoying in recent seasons. It will also be capped by the 4th Annual John Fore Jr Memorial Dirt Nationals show in October.

On Saturday night, the IMCA Modifieds will headline an event that will also include the Hobby Stocks, the Valley Sportsman division and the California Sharp Mini Late Models. The Modifieds enter the season as the longest continuously running championship series at the speedway, having their first season back in 1991. This will be the 29th season for the fastest regular division on the card.

The open wheel Stock Car series is sanctioned by the longest running Stock Car sanctioning body in dirt track racing, the International Motor Contest Association, or IMCA for short. Last season, Darrell Hughes II turned in the best performance of his career in holding off Brian Pearce and multi-time champion Ramie Stone to win the Modified championship. The lineup of great competitors at the speedway includes such notables as Ryan Porter, Justin Villanueva, DJ Shannon and Jarod Fast.

The Hobby Stock division is known for fast, slam-bang competition. This division held its first championship season in 2003, making it 15 years in which they have been a part of the speedway. However, the Hobby Stocks are pretty much a continuation of the Pure Stock division that ran at the speedway since 1990. It was Kodie Dean turning in a dominant performance in terms of feature wins, but he still needed to get the win in last season's finale to hold off the consistent Shannon Nelson for his second straight championship. The Hobby Stock division includes such hard chargers as past champion Michael Shearer, Kristie Shearer, Austin Van Hoff, Robbie Loquaci and Kalob Shelton.

For the long time fans of the speedway, watching the Valley Sportsman division will bring back happy memories. The Sportsman division was featured at the speedway from the mid 1960s through 1979. 20 years later, then track Promoter Chuck Griffin revived the division in 1999. This is the 20th anniversary season since the revival of the class. You will find different makes of race cars in this class, which also runs wings and bigger tires. It's the most unique race car featured at the speedway, and Watsonville Hall of famer Jerry Cecil claimed the championship last year after a close race with Rick Elliott. Other stars include Chris Birdsong, Chris Corder, Eric Seeley, Jeff West and Mark Odgers.

Last, but certainly not least on Saturday's bill will be the California Sharp Mini Late Models. This is a scaled-down version of a Late Model, running a 600cc motorcycle engine. Michael Shearer is the authorized car dealer in California, and this division seems to be attracting the young Outlaw Kart racers in the area onro the bigger quarter-mile oval. Last season, it was Tim Crews winning the title ahead of Carson Guthrie. Other stars of the division include Riley Jeppesen, Ian Shearer and Logan Clay.

Lockwood and his crew have put in plenty of hard work at the facility to get things ready for Saturday's show. This four division lineup will offer plenty of excitement for everybody, and it's just the beginning. Racing will continue for championship points from then through September, and there will be a wide variety of different divisions offered for the fans to enjoy. For further information, check out the Merced Speedway Facebook page or go to

Bakersfield Speedway Unofficial Race Results March 23, 2019
IMCA Modifieds Main

Robby Sawyer
Logan Drake
Cody Laney
Brad Pounds
Kollin Hibdon
Ryan Daves
Anthony Slaney
Roger Holder
Dylan Thorton
Steve Drake
Jake Pike
Chris Crompe
Karl Noland Sr
Trevor Fitz
Justin Dunn
Clint Reichenbach DNS
Justin Schweitzer DNS
Stephen Streeter DNS
Jerry Flippo DNS

Mod Lites
Zack Forster
Roy Maynard Jr
Kaden Cochrun
Tim Varney
JD Brown
Candi Varney
Tristan Kanthack
Jakob Carey
Deven Pearson
Seth Poncetta
Cheyenne Flippo
Kenny Cochrun
Anthony Balcazar DNS
Kyleigh Forster DNS

Hobby Stocks
Michael Scruggs
Don Mead
Nicholas Johnson
Raymond Noland Jr
Trevor Baker
Kyle Wood
Wayne Dotson
Justin Gonzalez
Kevin Kollier
Dale Frye
Jacky Roberts
Kasey Kollier
Stephen Johnson
Kevin Irwin
Tyler Bannister
Scotty Preast DNS
Jerry Flippo DNS

Rich Souza
Kelly Mason
James Bradburn
Jason Denman
Jason Stanphill
Tyler Weeks
Jesse Dobbins
Brandon Stanphill
Tom Dugan

Outlaw Karts
Riley Clem
Tyler Blankenship
Chris McKellar
Tim Randolph
Levi Smith
Bryce Cooper
Kevin Wageman
Bryan Watson
Gavyn Manning
Tailer Morrison
John West
Robert Gordon
Scott West
Larry Moody
Kyle Griffith
Gerald McKellar
Josiah Ribeiro
Tony Banks ncg
William Holmes DNS
Tommy Rosenberger DNS
Wyatt Moody DNS
Rowdy Sneed DNS

Taylor Whitefield
Jett Yantis
Kennedy Cotton

Box Stock
Jett Yantis
Kinser Bell
John McKinley III
Wyatt Webb
Trenton Rickel
Brayton Roberts
Connor Bell
Seth Hanson

Beginner Box Stock
Khloe Cotton
Emma McKellar

Irwindale Raceway Unofficial Race Results March 23, 2019 
Southwest Tour Series
Preston Peltier

Jeff Bischofberger
Craig Raudman
Jeremy Doss
Dylan Lupton
Jacob Gomes
Jace Hansen
Tyler Fabozzi
Bobby Hodges
Derek Thorn
John Moore
Blaine Rocha
Eric Nascimento Jr
Cale Kanke
Cole Moore
Kyle Neveau
Jack Wood
Linny White
Eric Schmidt
Andy Allen
Bob Lyon
Jesse Love
Carlos Vieira
Brandon Loverock
Joe Farre
Bear Rzesnowiecky
Trevor Huddleston
MK Kanke
Cody Dempster
Dennis Furden
Matthew Meech
Scott Sanchez
Barry Conoyer

Lucas Oil Modifieds
Trevor Cristiani
Dylan Cappello
Jeremy Kay
Ryan Schartau
Justin Johnson
Jason Irwin
Cody Kay
Ryan Partridge
Hunter Corbitt
Travis McCullough
Kyle Keller
Jeff Longman
William Guevara
Douglas Carpenter
Ken Hoobery
Jerry Toporek

Madera Speedway Unofficial Race Results March 23, 2019
Smokey Hanoin Classic

Late Models
Tyler Herzog
Jason Aguirre
Matt Erickson
Jay Juleson
Mike Shapiro
Eloy Bazan
Joey Brasil
Kent Cam
Kabe McClenny
Calvin Hegje
Henk Gaalswyk Jr
Del McIntosh

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

Toyota Sedans
Jason Lawton
Greg Tyler
Andrew Davidson
Kurt Davidson Jr
J.J Brandsen
Andrew Parr
Thomas Magray

Jr Late Models
Calvin Hegje
Kale McClenny

Hobby Stocks
Steve Schermerhorn
Triston Hansen
Manny Gonzales Jr

Ventura Raceway Unofficial Race Results March 23, 2018
USAC/VRA Sprint Cars "Battle Of The Beach"

1     #15T Tristan Guardino        
2     #73 Jake Swanson
3     #11 Troy Rutherford
4     #21 Carson Macedo
5     #81 Cody Majors
6     #39E Kyle Edwards
7     #29t Ryan Timmons
8     #81X Slater Helt
9     #57 Steve Hix    
10     #17R Jeff Fillingame
11     #88K Koen Shaw
12     #96 Charlie Butcher
13     #15 Rick Hendrix
14     #7K Darren Vanderly
15     #14 Tom Hendricks
16     #21K Tyler Williams
17     #87K Gage Rucker            
18     #51 Austin Ervine            
19     #2 J. J. Ringo

Senior Sprints

1     #66 Chris Meredith    
2     #2 Wally Pankratz
3     #1K Danny Parrish
4     #27 Tyler Hatzikian
5     #16 Tom Stephens Sr
6     #3G Greg Andrews
7     #5K Paul Mircik
8     #2K Mark Shepard

California Lightning Sprints
A Main

1     #1 Jarrett Kramer        
2     #8g Eric Greco
3     #45 Cody Nigh
4     #4 Jeff Dyer
5     #21x Bobby Michnowicz
6     #91 A. J. Bender
7     #3 Grant Sexton
8     #31 Bruce Douglass
9     #2j James Turnbull
10     #03 Pat Kelly
11     #18 Dalton Sexton
12     #73X Aiden Lange
13     #22s Gage Cheek
14     #17 Dale Gamer
15     #7f Frank Ditmar
16     #10 Dan Hillberg            
17     #37 Dominic Del Monte
18     #42d Kyle Dodd        
19     #7 Doug Nunes            
20     #69x Jonathon Conley

B Main
1     #73X Aiden Lange            
2     #2j James Turnbull
3     #3 Grant Sexton
4     #18 Dalton Sexton
5     #22s Gage Cheek
6     #03 Pat Kelly
7     #17 Dale Gamer
8     #7f Frank Ditmar
9     #56d Bill Dodd
10     #02 Jason Arnolde
11     #24 Chase Gaal
12     #2r Robb Pelmear        
13     #74 Shane Sexton
14     #42 Jon Robertson    

VRA Pro Dwarf Cars
1     #93 Jason Horton        
2     #14 Tommy Velasquez III
3     #18 Tom Morley
4     #4 Nick Velasquez
5     #8c Michael Tobiason    
6     #88 Jeff Brink
7     #2 Tony Margott
8     #45 Korey Cowan        
9     #69 Johnny Conley            
10     #48 Trent Morley        
11     #0 Brad Curnel            
12     #58 Tim Morse
13     #11 Zach Curnel
14     #91 Cody Cowen        
15     #25 Bill Vint Jr
16     #6 Tommy Velasquez    

Kern Raceway Unofficial Race Results March 23, 2019
A Modifieds

1     #198 Robby Sawyer        
2     #22D Ryan Daves
3     #111 Logan Drake
4     #96A Steve Drake
5     #C9 Clint Reichenbach
6     #41 Danny Lauer
7     #13 Jerry Flippo
8     #48K Kollin Hibdon
9     #25J Danny Cavanagh
10     #15B Brad Pounds        
11     #91 Michael Scruggs
12     #17N Steve Noland        
13     #3 Ryan Lauer
14     #2H Bobby Hogge IV
15     #55 Karl Noland
16     #28 Trevor Fitz
17     #38T Dylan Thornton

B Modifieds 
1     #20S Kevin Johnson        
2     #83 Jason Nation
3     #16 Gary Dutton
4     #51G Gavyn Manning
5     #M13 Matthew Mayo Jr
6     #4 Garret Jernagan
7     #22C Michael Johnson
8     #18C Chris McKellar
9     #40 Nick Spainhoward
10     #88C Austin Ruskauff    
11     #68S Billy Simkins
12     #74 Wayne Dotson
13     #17B Tyler Blankenship    
14     #43 Braydon Gladd            
15     #34 Robbie Claborn        

Hpbby Stocks
1     #91 Scotty Preast        
2     #1N Nicholas Johnson
3     #99 Don Mead
4     #74 Wayne Dotson
5     #10 Trevor Baker
6     #2 Kevin Irwin
7     #5X Dale Frye
8     #0 Justin Gonzales
9     #71 Jacky Roberts
10     #1 Joe Gallaher    
11     #52 Tyler Bannister        
12     #14 Kyle Wood            
13     #26s Stephen Johnson            
14     #52x Jerry Flippo    

1     #9 Riley Clem            
2     #8S Levi Smith    
3     #12 Gerald McKellar
4     #14 Karson Sylvester    
5     #60 Tailer Morrison
6     #11M Larry Moody    
7     #17G Robert Gordon        
8     #49 Kevin Wageman            
8     #12M Wyatt Moody            
9     #84G Kyle Griffith            
10     #3K William Holmes            
11     #67 Zach Hanes
13     #4 Joey Yantis

Sr Mini Dwarfs
1     #1 Jett Yantis            
2     #12N Adam Nohl    
3     #32 Joshua Chambers    
4     #86P Eric Vences            
5     #26S Ethan Johnson
6     #21H Seth Hanson    

Jr Mini Dwarfs
1     #43K Landon King            
2     #4c Khloe Cotton
3     #60 Blake Watsonm    
4     #5 Hayden Joplin        
5     #H21 Paislee Hughes    
6     #17 Travis Varney

The Editor's Viewpoint

I'm in the early process of putting together the latest post for the main blog. It's Friday night, and a lot of stuff has gotten rained out. I actually wanted to take some time to focus on my non racing-related stuff, but when my mind won't focus, there's not much I can do. Racing keeps pulling me back into it, even when there's nothing pressing that I have to do on this particular day. The next thing you know, races are happening elsewhere and I'm in front of the computer watching live scoring. In this case, it's Kern Raceway.

I noticed I had a critic of one of my articles again. It's really not a big deal, because I know you can't make everybody happy. It's the idea that I put as many hours as I did, for free last week as I didn't get paid and there were no tips, and in a matter of how how many seconds, somebody made themselves feel good by putting down my effort. On the bright side, there's going to come a point when they won't have my articles to put down. Not yet, but eventually.

Spelling mistakes have always happened. I am admittedly not the best editor. I would type my articles and proofread them twice, and mistakes would still get by. Back in those days, as I've mentioned in my book, I got to the point where I didn't look at my magazines anymore. That moment where I felt good because the work was finished and the magazines went out to the customers was ruined the minute I saw a spelling mistake. The facts were pretty sound. There might be mistakes, but 95% or more were spelling mistakes. That's a little comforting, I guess.

What I've discovered these days is that I don't have to be stuck in front of my computer typing out articles. Since I don't get to take the walks I so dearly want to take these days, the next best thing I can do is start dictating into my phone while I pace the room back and forth. Hey, at least it's some exercise. Sometimes I'll record audio shows while I jog in place. It really gets me revved up, and anything to help me lose weight is a plus.

It really doesn't get me done that much quicker to dictate into the phone. The phone doesn't always hear you correctly. Then there is the issue with names that it doesn't know how to spell no matter how many times you correct it. I still have to go through the story and clean the text up and proofread it twice, and even then, the mistakes get by me. I do like being able to keep moving at least a little bit. Plus, I tend to be rough on keyboards just because I kind of peck away at the keys pretty hard. I never learned the traditional way to type, but even though my two-key method goes quickly, it can be sloppy sometimes.

I actually discovered the effectiveness of dictating into the phone when I used to be able to get out and take long walks. Of course then, I had phone service, which is required since for some reason the speech to text program needs to be interfacing with the internet. Otherwise, it tends to come out more gibberish and takes even longer to clean up. Since I really don't have enough money to pay for a phone service, the phone is only good when I'm around Wi-Fi signals. It's still invaluable.

When I'm doing my thing for the race track, having Wi-Fi is a necessity. I'll get up on the roof of the tower or wherever and shoot a quick video letting everybody know what we're doing that day before anybody shows up. It's an easy upload from there. I will run around the pits taking pictures of cars so the fans know who's there. Whatever. I don't have to go run to the laptop and peck away to get something up on social media. I can do it from the phone and it's a snap. It is interesting the way technology has advanced, though it's scary when you realize where it's leading us.

What the internet, from the laptop to the phone, has done is changed the way we spread the word. The traditional means aren't always effective. Printed media will still be viewed by the older audience, but the younger audience more and more has their faces buried in their smartphones. If they happen to be looking in your direction on social media, this is where you get the word out to them.

But anyway, I find that the cell phone is useful to me in the media effort. Using it as a writing tool has become part of the job. Interacting with people on social media or just seeing what the latest news is is also invaluable. I say I'm tired of social media, and I really am, but you can't deny the information that is out there. You have to be paying attention, because it goes down the memory hole very quickly, but it's there as a tool to help provide color to the articles I do in some cases. It helps me write. Unfortunately, it's not perfect. Spelling mistakes will still get past me, but I think people know what the intent is.

Moving on, I'm still in a holding pattern at the moment. I continue this on Saturday morning, and I'm not at a race track. I actually thought that would not be the case. However, it is. I don't know what that means for the future. I don't know exactly what that means to me personally. I'm going to end up being at a race track this year regardless of if it's not the one I thought I would be, so I'll file things in my memory and try to resist the temptation to get too stressed out about it. There's that whole social media thing. Nope, I won't be airing it there either. As my good friend is fond of saying to me, there's always a time and a place. 

What I've been trying to convey since I set foot back at a race track about this time four years ago is that I've needed help. I felt and still feel as if what I can bring to a race track helps. At least ways, I've heard that from Mike McCann on numerous occasions. I don't seek that kind of praise. I do what I do, because it has to be done. I do what I do because it's what is keeping a roof over my head. I think I've proven that I'm pretty good at it too, and I've helped make a positive differenace here too. I may not be building things up for the future, but I'm maintaining the things I need to get by in the here and now. I still don't know what the future holds for me.

Ready or not, racing season is coming. I've been working the routine that I've done for the past few years. Admittedly, it's been more of a challenge for me to get up for things, but at times I manage to get myself back where I need to be mentally to do this stuff right. I can see a day coming when I'm not doing this at all. The biggest reason I ever walked away was because I realized that too much work went into what I do without things coming back my way. Look at it as your job. Would you keep doing the job you do if you couldn't pay the bills? It really doesn't do it for me now since I returned four years ago, but it has provided one important one thing. I have a roof over my head. No building my personal future, but maintaining my current situation. As tough as that is for me to really deal with, I'm left with the thought that it's better than nothing and it could be worse.

So, the negative mood that I'm in right now is starting to seep out, meaning I need to change the subject. It doesn't really do me a lot of good to dwell on that stuff. I understand the world owes you nothing. You can't assign things to certain people because you believe in them and that they care about you. If they've never expressed that, it's just you living in your mind. You have to deal with what reality is and make the best of your situation. This is what I intend to do. Because I am going to be involved in racing at a race track, and because the situation is such that I can continue to do what I've done, the racing media effort will continue through the 2019 season. I may make adjustments, but I'll still be doing quite a bit.  I'll do my best, even if I make make some mistakes along the way.  I will say more on certain things when there is more to say.

One of the things that has caught my eyes is the continuing saga of Chandler Speedway in Indiana. I've been watching this story unfold during the past year or so because it was brought to my attention by Mike. The man is always looking at what's going on in racing and looking for the next opportunity. I see him continuing that endeavor long after he's walked away from the sport. He's one of those guys that will look at a vacant race track and start thinking about what he could do and what it needs and all that. And in this case, he was looking on in disbelief as a man named Reno Fontana began talking about a place called Movieland Speedpark, better known as Chandler Motor Speedway to the people in that neck of the woods.

I sat down to write an article the other day about the track. Yes, there is drama, but I wanted to convey that at the heart of the matter is a race track. The racers want to go racing again. The fans want to go spectate. This race track may be in the shadows of the bigger tracks in the state, but it means something to the people who are there. The track did a lot of special things within the community, and even if it wasn't the perfect place, it was still the people's place. It mattered to them.

You didn't have a perfect situation in 2017 with Kevin and Mark. They were a couple of guys who stepped forward to maintain a drag strip ànd an oval track. If they weren't out there doing what they did, it's just possible that the track would have sat dormant two years more. They didn't want that to happen. In fact, when I've listened to the live Facebook broadcasts that Kevin has done, even with the health situation that he has been through, I have no doubt that he would have continued his efforts in 2018. But, this is where Reno came into the picture making big promises.

Set aside what Reno Fontana has been saying, and if you look at his posts on Facebook you're going to be amazed. Reading his posts and the comments below is more entertaining than most of the crap you'll find on TV these days. I really don't want to get too much into him here. The saga continues on, because the latest chapter finds that the track was going to go up for auction. Reno stepped up at the very last minute and stopped the auction due to his filing for bankruptcy. People are wondering, how exactly are you bankrupt when you never even opened the gates for one night of business? How are you bankrupt when you were never officially acknowledged as the owner of the place until a questionable transaction was made in December of 2018?

The man I wonder about is Harold Baker. He's the one who opened the place. I don't hear a lot of good things about the old man, but I suppose one nice thing to say is that at one time he thought the property would make for a good oval track and drag strip. However, people have come and gone. That is to say, promoters have come and gone, giving people hope and races to go to and then been shown the door. Baker remained the constant. I'm sure people didn't like him all that much, but the fact that he would let the next person try earned him a pass.

I don't know the man's mental capacity at 90 years old. There are some people at that age that are as sharp as a tack. Is he one of them? Is he one of those people who didn't see Reno coming? Is he one of those people who put himself in a bad position by not paying taxes and bought into what Reno was saying? I really don't know. He's put himself in a very precarious position, because legally, he stands to be in deeper trouble than Reno might be if things are exposed. The old man could end up in jail, so I have to wonder what the hell he was thinking. I can't imagine the guy is so broke that he couldn't pay his taxes and save the place and his only option was to make an end around deal with Reno.

And there's the other thing. Reno has a checkered past. The man is an Elvis impersonator. Just look him up and you'll be amazed that he's even able to do what he did here. He is a very slick talker, and I suppose the only thing that being exposed through the years has done is improved his line of BS for the next time. I don't know. Crazy as it sounds, Summer Taylor, the General Manager of the place, is organizing a work party today as they still claim that April 19th will see the gates open for more racing. In the back of my mind I wonder, if this is some sort of scam that Reno is pulling, what is he going to do if he does end up with this race track?

As for Baker, didn't the man ever bother to look at the past of the man he was dealing with? Weren't there red lights going off above his head warning him that doing business with him wasn't the smartest thing he could do? Reno didn't come into the negotiation with money. The man doesn't have much money to speak of. He wants to play with other people's money. The big dream he spoke of for what he wanted Movieland Speedpark to be revolved around the idea that he would get a government grant. That is who Reno Fontana is. The man who had a GoFundMe page setup to raise money for his fictitious track, or at the very least wild dream of a track?

Yet, when it was all said and done on that day in December, Harold Baker signed a deal making Reno Fontana the owner of that track. The thing is, they could have some private agreement worked out behind the scenes. Reno could be assuring him that he will take care of him in the end, but once he's free and clear and the owner of the track, will he take care of the old man? Something tells me that he won't, because the guy is already filing for bankruptcy and he hasn't even done any real business at this race track yet.

The other thing is that there is a pecking order of race tracks when it comes to Indiana. Yes, the racing scene in Indiana is the envy of racers from other states. You can talk about Terre Haute, Bloomington, Kokomo, Montpelier and on and on. You can speak of Indianapolis Speedway. This little track in Chandler doesn't rate among the Top 5. In fact, it probably rates at the bottom of the Top 10, if there. I don't say that to belittle this race track, because I know what it means to the people there. I merely want to put things into perspective.

You have a grandstands that fits probably a thousand or so people. Reno is telling people that 5000 fans will be showing up at these races, but that wasn't the case before. Maybe, if you really work hard and do the right things, five years down the line or so, you'll book such an event that 5000 fans will come, provided you have the seating capacity to accommodate them. Maybe. But that's not reality at the moment. That's a fantasy in somebody's head. You have to deal with reality, and reality tells us that if you get it up and running, you're maybe selling a thousand tickets on a good night. Give or take a hundred. That's not bad, folks. But it's not what Reno is promising.

If you are bringing that many fans to the show, that's the money you have to work with. That's the money you have to pay the drivers with, pay your employees with, pay the other necessary costs to run the place and then pay your debts. So, it's not a windfall of money. Getting a government grant to do what it is he says he's going to do is a pipe dream. It's not going to happen. I know the guy has a great line of BS, but there are limits. His line of BS may ultimately leave him with a race track, though some people say it's only a delay until it goes up for auction again.

It's just been a fascinating story to watch. You sometimes will read a comment made by Reno and wonder if he even believes his own BS. People have used the terms flim-flam man or snake oil salesman to describe people like this. I understand that the racing scene has had some colorful promoters through the years, but this man takes the cake. I'm getting ahead of myself, because he has not yet proven himself to be a race track promoter. That is unless you add wannabe at the end of that title.

This brings me back to the real losers in this whole scenario. That would be the racers and the fans. Another Saturday night where they don't get to race. Another Saturday night where they don't have that fundraiser like they've done in the past. The fun little Power Wheel races they had for the kids. The special shows they had for their various divisions. A fun night for father and son to go to the races together and watch those Saturday night heroes. That Saturday opportunity for the working man to get behind the wheel of a race car and be a hero for a night. Gone. For now at least, it's not happening. What will happen next?

The one thing about Reno is he loves being the center of attention. He really is one of those guys that doesn't believe there is any such thing as bad press. He might look at it that way, but half of that racing community is against him. You've literally got family members fighting each other and exposing their dirty laundry on social media in this heated argument. That is what Reno has brought to Chandler so far. Not racing, but divisiveness. I'm sure he's got some idea in the back of his mind for what he's going to do next, and it might be entertaining for us to watch. Unfortunately, it's reality for those who are right in the middle of it.

Being that it is March and the rainy season isn't completely over with, there was another batch of rainouts taking away practice opportunities and racing opportunities at various venues this past weekend. Some years you can start in March and everything is fine, but other years It takes a little bit longer to get going. Such is the nature of the beast. It wasn't too many years ago when you started racing in April and ended in early September, because weather would really mess with you more back in those days. Weather patterns have changed a little bit in the past 30 or so years, opening up windows to go racing from March through October. So much for a lengthy offseason.

Of course in Oregon, we have a different set of circumstances to deal with. You might talk about racing in March, which is the case for Cottage Grove Speedway, but the weather will put you in your place most of the time. Heather booked two races in March, and the first one has been claimed by the weather. The second one? Everything they have booked from now through April will still be 50/50. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. One way of thinking of it is why bother when chances are you're going to get rained out? Then again, if you schedule something and the weather gives you a break, you get to race.

Oregonians are pretty much used to the fact that they'll start racing in mid April at the earliest, and if they're lucky races will be scheduled through the end of September. They don't get to do it in March, and they don't get to do it in October. There's not the rush of tracks up here trying to schedule their big October specials, because you just don't know if it's going to get rained out of not. Plus, the nature of Oregon weather makes it less attractive for people to come from out of state for any big October shows that might be booked.

We've been dealing with the situation In Medford where the window was open to run through about mid October, though you're dealing with colder weather at night. The best window you have is racing from May through about mid September, and even then Oregon weather is going to claim the victory in some of those races.

Californians have it a lot better in that regard. Especially when you venture down to the Southern California area. I still think you spread the racers too thin and that has something to do with dwindling car counts. There are just too many demands on people's money these days, and something has to give. What is giving? You end up with lower car counts at many venues and lower than desired attendance figures. You soldier on and hope for the best next time, but they continue to make schedules where they're trying to start things as early as February and will go all the way through the end of October. If Rocky Hill Speedway in Porterville comes to life again, you can count on them attempting some November races as well.

Antioch Speedway will go live for their first scheduled race, weather permitting, on March 30th. John kind of hit one out of the ballpark with his playday on March 16th. Weather was not looking good in February or early March, but he saw the window open wide for the seven days leading up to that playday. There was a lot of work to be done, but he and the crew worked hard. It also should be pointed out that several members within the racing community volunteered their time during the week to help with the efforts. I have mentioned that if you can get the community on board with this track, you can start seeing a turnaround in numbers. But will they be onboard?

Playday got rained out in Petaluma, and Antioch got hit with rain as well. The difference was, Rick decided not to try for the playday. He'll open for racing season in Petaluma on March 30th. John wasn't going to call this playday until he was absolutely sure it was hopeless. It rained hard on Friday. Not being down there in person, I haven't looked at the facilities, but a brief video shot revealed water on the back straightaway at about 10:30 on Saturday morning. I can only speculate that John would not be thrilled to know that that picture made it into the public eye.

When you go back to November of 2017, John planned a playday at the last minute. I'm not exactly sure why that was the case, but he scheduled one. They got hit with rain, and there were puddles to deal with. However, he had the track in good enough shape to practice. There are differences between playday conditions and racing conditions. There's a little bit more leeway you can have when you're just trying to practice. As long as the water is drained to the point where it's closer to the infield and the drivers have room on the track, it is workable.

The biggest reason you do a practice for the drivers is because they get to test their equipment. You put your foot to the floor on the straightaways, and how it does the motor sound? You go through the turns, and how is the car handling? They are testing their cars. The promoter's reasons for opening the gates are multiple. Obviously, the top of the list is that you're making money. Remember folks, it's a business. Also, the promoters have various expenses that come up during the year, so that little bit of money they may make for having a playday or two will be spent by the time the season is even a month or two in. You're also trying to test various things at the track, see that you can get your crew on the same page and all of that.

John looked over the facilities before this practice and determined that he could do it. The pits weren't so bad that they couldn't handle cars, and the sun was shining overhead. It would dry out more. Secondly, even if the track wasn't looking as good as it did the week before, John knew he could get the water off and be able to put cars on the track. So, he was going for it. There were too many reasons why, and they outnumbered the reasons why not.

The last part I want to add is the special remembrance ceremony for Donna Soares. This was happening on Sunday, and I had thought that I might be there by then. I do not like going to these type of occasions. I've been dealing with enough loss in my life that I've had enough. I'd rather keep the special memories of the people I love in my mind and my heart and not go someplace where I'm just sitting there being sad. However, I would have been there for Donna.

Aside from the fact that Donna has always been good to me and we always got along pretty well, she also got along well with my sister. She cared about my sister and I appreciate that she did try to look out for her. I'm still sad that we've lost her. I'm still sad for John that he's lost part of himself. What do you do when somebody you've been together with for over 50 years is no longer in your life? It's tough. He keeps her in his heart and in his thoughts always, and that will just be the way it is for John.

Regardless of where things go in my life, I care about John and Donna and that's just the way it's going to be. I miss Donna and will always remember her. I also wish John nothing but the best. I know what he's been through, even if I don't completely know and understand, if you know what I mean. That's sort of something you have to live through to completely understand. John's also been given an opportunity with Antioch Speedway this year, and I certainly hope things work out not just for him but for the racers as well. In whatever my capacity is to make a difference, I will continue to do my best.

On that note, I'm ending this column. Until next time...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Antioch Speedway, Orland Raceway, Lemoore Raceway, Petaluma Speedway More

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Racing Season Just Around The Corner At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The 59th season of championship auto racing is set to begin at Antioch Speedway on March 30th. Weather permitting, the 3/8 mile clay oval at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds will offer up an exciting lineup that features All Star Series A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. Promoter John M Soares has several exciting nights sprinkled throughout the season, including memorial races for Larry Damitz (May 27th), Jerry Hetrick (June 8th), Chet Thomson (September 21st) and Donna Soares (October 5th). The Firecracker 50 on July 6th will pay the A Modifieds $1,000 to win.

As if that's not enough, the speedway will pay $12,000 to win in a special A Modified event scheduled for October 11th and 12th. Several of the top drivers from throughout the West Coast are anticipated for this show, which will also include the B Modifieds for an increased purse. More details for this event will be forthcoming.

With all of the heavy rains that hit Antioch in February and early March, Soares and his crew were joined by several within the racing community in helping make the track ready for a practice day last Saturday afternoon. This turned out to be one of the most successful practices in Speedway history as over 50 drivers checked in.

This year's lineup will see Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, A  Modifieds, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Limited Late Models, DIRTcar Late Models, Dwarf Cars and Bay Area Hardtops competing at various times. Drivers from all of those divisions took advantage of sunny skies to participate in the practice event.

Soares is making various improvements at the speedway this year and promises that this will be the most exciting season the fans have seen in several years. There are plenty of great things being planned for throughout this season. Information can be found at the track's Facebook page or

Antioch Speedway Holds Successful Practice Day

Antioch, CA...March 16...As the month of March began, Antioch was hit pretty hard by the rains, which left Promoter John M Soares and his crew at Antioch Speedway working. The crew found themselves dealing with various clean up efforts along with planned improvements being made. When Soares took a look at the weather forecast leading up to last Saturday night, he made the commitment to have the scheduled practice day.

This meant that John and his staff would have to work overtime doing the necessary things to make the track and pit area usable. Thanks to their efforts along with the support of many within the racing community who wanted to see this happen, the practice went on as scheduled. What came next was one of the most successful practice days in the history of the speedway.

Over 50 competitors in various divisions came to take their turns around the 3/8 mile clay oval. For most of the drivers, this was their opportunity to test new equipment, work out the bugs and in some cases make their first laps behind the wheel of new race cars.

Most of the the track's All Star Series divisions were represented, and there were particularly strong turnouts among the Modified, Hobby Stock, Sprint Car and Dwarf Car divisions. The sun was shining overhead, the pits were a nice shade of green from the grass that had grown there during the winter and the track was nicely prepped and ready for the cars. It was a perfect opportunity for friends to reconnect and get back into racing mode once again.

Word from the Clymens Racing Team was that Tommy Clymens Jr would be returning, and he confirmed that by bringing his new B Modified for some practice laps. It has been a while since we've seen the second-generation racer and brother of two-time reigning champion Trevor Clemens. It didn't take long before Tommy shook off the cobwebs and was looking like he hadn't been away at all. Word is that younger brother Todd Clymens could return at some point this season as well.

Reigning Limited Late Model champion Mark Garner had his B Modified on hand to make some laps along with 2013 champion Jeremy Hoff, Tommy Fraser and rookie Cameron Swank. Swank made his division debut in the season finale last year. He is the 2017 Hobby Stock champion and is looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge that this division brings.

The father-and-son duo of Chester and Buddy Kniss had their A Modifieds on hand. The division will be welcoming Frank Furtado and Anthony Giuliani this year. Furtado is a past Top 10 ranked Hobby Stock driver who has competed in a couple of Modified shows in Stockton this year, while Giuliani has been one of the frontrunners in B Modifieds in recent years and finished second at Watsonville last season.

Reigning Dwarf Car champion Mike Corsaro was back to put the famed "Meat Wagon" through its paces along with teammate Giovanni Bertolli and Mario Marques, among others.  Limited Late Model teammates Ryan Cherezian and John Evans were getting their cars ready for their April 6th season opener as was Jeff Kendrick. Cherezian had a season worthy of Most Improved Driver honors last year and is hoping to grab his first feature victory this season.

The Hobby Stock division saw several cars making practice, including last season's top rookie, Breanna Troen in her beautifully wrapped Camaro. One of the first ladies to race in the Street Stock division back in the early 1980s, Judy Allison Arth, got to get behind the wheel for the first time in years. Allison let Bob Brown drive her car in several races, including Figure 8 events, back in the late 1980s. Brown was returning the favor by letting her drive his #11 Hobby Stock.

You'll hear about family at Antioch Speedway, because it's very a important ingredient in the track's longevity. Bobby Motts Jr is a champion in both the Street Stocks and more recently A Modifieds at Antioch Speedway. This year, he has a Hobby Stock prepared for his 16 year old daughter, Madison Motts, and she made her first appearance on Saturday.

There's plenty of excitement in the air at Antioch Speedway. People are excited about the 59th season of racing that will happen at the famed 3/8 mile clay oval located at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds. Weather permitting, Soares and the crew will be offering up another practice day opportunity for the racers on the 23rd before the March 30th season opener. It's going to be a great season. For further information, go to

Orland Raceway Has Successful Practice Day

Orland, CA...March 16...Orland Raceway held a successful practice day for the racers Saturday afternoon under sunny skies. The previous attempt two weeks earlier was rained out, and over 30 racers took advantage of the opportunity to make practice laps on the 1/5 mile dirt oval.

Drivers with Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Wingless Sprints and Micro Sprints all took their turns testing their cars. With special B Modified races scheduled on May 17th and July 20th, Zac Potts even showed up to turn some laps.

2017 Pure Stock champion Jeremy Langenderfer and that year's point runner-up, Shannon Collins, took advantage of the opportunity to dial the bugs out of their race cars. Langenderfer picked up the championship at Silver Dollar Speedway last season, while Collins went to Marysville and won the title there.

Reigning Mini Truck champion Keith Ross was making laps in his new Camaro. Cody Bundy and newcomers Toby Merrifield and Danny LaBonte we're among the other Pure Stock drivers putting their cars through their paces.

Langenderfer also had a Mini Stock and was at one point enjoying some side by side laps with past Mini Stock champion John Kirkpatrick. Reigning champion Tom Davis, Scott Camper, Dan Webster and Jason Libbee were among the other drivers on hand for practice. Mini Truck participants included William Fogle, Zach Webster and Dan Libbee.

Several Wingless Sprint and Micro Sprint competitors jumped at the chance to test their race cars, and this included Hunt Wingless Sprint Car champion Shawn Jones and one of last season's top local stars, Josh Tucker. Micro Sprint champion Pax Gonzalez and Jess Garland were also making laps.

Rich Hood has put together an exciting schedule. The Pure Stock racer turned promoter is at the helm of the speedway for his fourth season, and it promises to be an exciting year for the fans. Marquee events continue to be the Glenn County Fair race on May 17th, the Thomas Schmitke Race For A Cure on June 8th, the popular Fan Appreciation Night on September 14th and the big Battle Of The Axles open show on October 12th.

As if that's not enough, the track's core divisions won't be the only ones featured throughout the season. There will be three visits for the California Hardtops, two visits each for the Winged Crate Sprints and B Modifieds and one Dwarf Car appearance. The season kicks off on March 30th with a lineup featuring Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Wingless Sprints and 600 Micro Sprints. More information can be found at the Orland Raceway Facebook page.

Johnson, Liggett Open Kern Raceway Dirt Track Season 
With Wins

Bakersfield, CA...March 15...Chase Johnson scored the victory in the 25 lap Main Event for the BCRA/POWRi Midgets Friday night at the Kern County Raceway dirt track.  The BCRA and POWRi merged this year with the hopes of strengthening the car count for the Midget division. Johnson, who is a 4th generation racer in his family, scored his victory ahead of Jake Swanson and 2017 BCRA champion Maria Cofer. The night's fast timer and winner of the Wingless 360 Sprint Car Main Event, Austin Liggett, finished a solid fourth ahead of Robert Dalby, Shannon McQueen, Ben Worth, Terry Nichols, Troy Morris III and Kyle Beilman as the Top 12 finishers in the 16 car field finished on the lead lap.

Liggett set the fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 15.233, beating me 15.311 of Johnson and the 15.331 of Cofer. They ran three eight lap heat races with Liggett battling Swanson to win the first heat. Corey Elliot drove to a solid victory ahead of Johnson in the second heat race with Cofer outrunning McQueen for the victory in the third heat.

Austin Liggett prevented Chase Johnson from being a double winner on the evening with his win in a 30 lap Wingless 360 Sprint Car Main Event. Liggett is the reigning West Coast 360 Sprint Car champion with USAC, but the Friday night event was an unsanctioned race. Liggett pocketed $1,500 for his victory with Johnson settling for a $1,000 second. Following the lead duo, Danny Faria Jr outran Jake Swanson in a good battle to finish third. Tristan Guardino completed the Top 5, followed by Ricky Kirkbride, Ryan Timmons, Koen Shaw, Slater Helt and James Herrera.

Liggett set the fast time in the 19 car field with a lap of 14.943, beating the 15.114 effort of Chase Johnson and the 15.215 lap of Faria. Liggett won the first of three eight lap heat races by a wide margin ahead of Swanson, while Timmons just managed to beat Johnson back to the line to win the second heat. The final heat race win went to Faria ahead of TJ Smith.

The Bakersfield Hardtops completed the show, and it was Richard Souza winning their 20 lap Main Event by a straightaway in front of Kelly Mason. About another straightaway behind in third was Jason Stanphill, just ahead of Tyler Weeks and final lead-lap finisher James Bradburn. Jason Dobbins, Jason Denman and Brandon Stanphill completed the finishing order. It was Denman winning the first eight lap heat race in impressive fashion ahead of Mason, while Souza outran Jason Stanphill to win the other heat.

Next Friday night, racing returns to the dirt track with the Triple Crown event. The Triple Crown is a three-race series offering an increase purse, sponsored by Holder's Heating And Air Conditioning. The A Modifieds will be racing for $1,500 to win with other increases in the purse anticipated as well. B Modifieds, Hobby Stock, QRC Outlaw Karts and Mini Dwarfs will also competing. For further information, go to

Wilson Opens Central Valley Mini Stock Season With Win 
At Lemoore Raceway

Lemoore, CA...March 16...Darren Wilson opened the new season for the Central Valley Mini Stocks with an impressive 25 lap Main Event win Saturday night at Lemoore Raceway. This is the biggest season yet for the Mini Stock group, which is now sponsored by House Of JuJu in Clovis. The Top 10 drivers in championship points will divide $5,000 in point fund money with the champion looking to win $1,000 at the end of the 10 race season.

Wilson raced into the Main Event lead at the drop of the green flag. The race would have no yellow flag slowdowns, and Ben Davis was running a strong second right behind Wilson until problems encountered on lap nine dropped him out of the race. Shawn DePriest gained second at that point but was nearly a straightaway behind the leader. DePriest had his hands full with Jeff Durant moving up to battle him for second.

As Wilson slowly pulled away, Durant slipped past DePriest for second on lap 16. Wilson took the checkered flag a half-lap in front of second place, and the finishing order was shaken up on the final lap as both DePriest and Ryan Blank slipped past Jeff Durant to finish second and third, respectively. Durant settled for fourth, followed by Scott Glenn, Dan Myrick, Clinton Massey,  Steve Durant, Brent Myrick and Lindsey Myrick.

Wilson had a flawless evening, starting with the fast time on the 1/5 mile dirt oval of 14.892, beating the 15.056 effort of DePriest. Wilson then won the four lap Trophy Dash ahead of Davis.  The most active 10 lap heat race was the first one, where Levi Burgett led the first two laps before flipping to end his evening. Wilson took over from there to win ahead of Dan Myrick. Massey outran Jeff Durant to win the second heat with Davis holding off Steve Durant to claim the third heat race victory.

Ryan Amlen won the 25 lap South Bay Dwarf Car Main Event. Reigning SBDCA champion Gene "Punky" Pires set the fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 14.000 and then held off Mark Biscardi to win the 10 lap heat race. Pires was working on a clean sweep as he set the early pace in the Main Event that was destined to go without a caution flag. However, Amlen stayed close behind him and made his move into the lead on lap 12. Amlen steadily pulled away to what would be a nearly straightaway advantage over Pires at the checkered flag. Biscardi settled for third ahead of Eddy Claessen. Tailer Morrison and Doug Penny were Main Event scratches.

The House Of Juju Central Valley Mini Stocks will be back in action on April 20th at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford. They join a program that will also include the King Of Thunder Winged 360 Sprint Cars, IMCA Western RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars and IMCA Stock Cars. For further information, go to of

Play Day Scheduled For Saturday Night 
At Petaluma Speedway

Petaluma, CA...The 58th consecutive season of championship racing at Petaluma Speedway is just over a week away from launching, but in the interim is this Saturday night's playday. It's an opportunity for the drivers to test their machines before putting them out there in actual racing conditions. Due to heavy rains, the March 16th playday was unable to happen.

Promoter Rick Faeth continues to guide the show behind the scenes and has done his usual exemplary job of bringing sponsorship to the table. Again, all of the track's regular divisions are sponsored. has come on board once again as the title sponsor for both the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints. This means there will be special races with increased purses during the year, and the Winged 360 Sprint Cars will headline the October 5th Adobe Cup event with $5,000 on the line to the winner. is a great company that supports racing, and drivers are recommended to go to their website for their racing needs.

Lumberjacks Restaurant will continue their relationship as the title sponsor for the Super Stock division this year. This also includes the big Bob McCoy Memorial race that will take place on October 5th, paying $2,000 to the winner. Further important news was released as of press time that Cabinets Plus of Santa Rosa will sponsor additional purse money for the Super Stock Main Events. The Top 3 payout will now be $300 to win, $175 for second and $125 for third. Starting money also increases to $60 minimum to take the green flag. There's plenty of reasons to be excited as this division continues to be supported by some of the longest supportive racers at the speedway, including reigning champion Mitch Machado and past champions Shawn McCoy, Jim "Woody" Woodward and Steve Studebaker.

The McLea's Tire Service IMCA Modifieds continue to be a staple at the speedway. This division has been holding championship seasons at the track since 1989. Two of the best supporting drivers in the field continue to be multi-time champion Michael Paul Jr and reigning champion Oreste Gonella. The Modifieds will run the special Top Dog Race on August 10th, paying $1,500 to win.

The speedway will also have the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars. There will be some special Dwarf Car events sprinkled throughout the season, including the Dwarf Car Nationals on June 14th and 15th, the South Bay/Redwood Dwarf Car Shootout on May 18th and the Twin 25s race on October 12th, which will also be supported by South Bay. Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks and Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros will be there as well as some special appearances by the NARC/King Of The West Fujitsu Winged 410 Sprint Car Series, the Elk Grove Ford.Sprint Car Challenge Tour, Presented by Abreu Vineyards, and some special USAC/BCRA Midget shows.

Frankly, it's a loaded program of great racing scheduled throughout the season. The season opener will include the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints, which have other visits planned, including the annual Johnny Soares Classic on August 17th. Joining the Hunt Series at the March 30th opener will be The Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stocks, Jake's Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks and Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros.

The first order of business is playday on Saturday. Drivers are chomping at the bit to get back on the track, and it's hoped that things will be ready to go and the weather will cooperate. For further information, look up the Petaluma Speedway Facebook page or go to

Modifieds Enter 30th Season At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series offers eight regular divisions for the fans at Antioch Speedway. Many people consider the A Modified division to be the cornerstone class in the lineup. This is because Modifieds are often times given the biggest race of the year, and this year will be no exception with the announcement of the October 11th and 12th event that will pay $12,000 to the winner.

Some may not be aware that the Soares family were the ones who introduced the Dirt Modified division to the West Coast at Petaluma Speedway in 1987. John Pershing Soares, who is a member of several racing Hall Of Fames, got the inspiration after making visits to the Midwest, and the first races for this class were held at his track in Petaluma in 1987. Son John Michael Soares, the current promoter of Antioch Speedway, was among the first drivers to compete in this class.

When word got out to Antioch about this division, there was much enthusiasm. Some regarded the Modified division to be the spiritual successor of the popular Sportsman division of the 1970's, but getting management interested in adding this division was the challenge. At the end of the 1987 season, then General Manager Bert Moreland made a gentleman's agreement with car owner John Procopio to book several dates at the track in 1988. Unfortunately, Moreland was removed by Barkhimer And Associates and replaced with management who went in a different direction.

As the Modified division continued to gather momentum at Petaluma and with IMCA sanctioning in Hanford, Antioch management finally added this division in 1990. Two of the greats of Stock Car racing, Bruce "The Phantom" Curl and "Rapid" Richard Johnson were on the ground floor with race cars. Curl, Tony Pato and the crew were building the first cars at his Curl Racing shop. Before the season ended, however, past Street Stock and Sportsman racer Scott Busby made his return in a Harris Modified.

Busby became an overnight success as he was not only winning races at Antioch, but he won and set track records just about everywhere he went. After Johnson won the initial championship in a close battle with Curl, Busby rattled off three successive championships. During that span, car count grew so big that the division needed B Mains on a regular basis. It was at this point that most of the frontrunners were running Harris chassis from Busby Motorsports, and Scott had his eyes on a bigger prize.

Seeing the momentum in the Modified's favor and the decline of the Late Models, Busby began to push West Coast Speedways to elevate the Modified division to headline status. He employed a few tactics, but his most effective was the introduction of the West Coast Nationals at the end of the 1993 season. With Busby spearheading this effort, the race that paid $3,000 to win attracted 83 racers, which is still a record at Antioch Speedway to this day.

Coupled with the fact that Antioch Speedway had booked a Late Model race on top of the prestigious Meselli & Son race at Petaluma that year that resulted in an extremely low turnout at Antioch, West Coast Speedways cited declining Late Model count as a reason to completely drop the division and elevate the Modifieds to headline status. This meant that the division would compete for prestigious NASCAR Regional points, which was something Busby was looking forward to. What he didn't count on in 1994 was a consistent Tim Stratmeyer, who used his frequent Top 5 Main Event finishes and preliminary event success to ace Busby out of the track championship.

From there, it only got more challenging when third generation racer Bobby Hogge IV hit the scene. The two drivers enjoyed many great battles on the track, but it was Hogge who won back-to-back titles and also was a Regional champion. Busby holds the distinction of being the final NASCAR sanctioned Modified champion at Antioch Speedway in 1997. By then, the Modified division was attracting 30 or more cars at most races. Despite frequent carnage in the Main Event, the drivers came back every week.

Another thing that changed in the final couple of seasons under NASCAR was the fact that other options were becoming more available for racing chassis. Cline Racing came in with Dirt Works and Larkins chassis, West Coast Motorsports came in with the Cobra chassis, Pro Motorsports was dealing Pro chassis and Joe Carr at Petaluma was dealing his own designed Carr chassis.

The speedway entered the All Star/All Pro Series era under John M Soares and Oval Motorsports in 1998. The first few championships offered some of the biggest paying local point funds the speedway had ever had, and it was Don Shelton winning his first of three titles in 1998. Bart Reid and Chad Chadwick tied for the title in 1999 with Reid winning it on a tiebreaker. Bert Elworthy, a past Street Stock champion and Late Model star at the speedway, also claimed a championship.

Though Antioch Speedway added other divisions, the Modifieds remained very popular and were still capable of attracting fields in excess of 60 cars for the sometimes $5,000 to win events that Soares was booking. Brian Curran and speedway legend JD Willis won championships. Willis was going for two in a row in 2004 when he lost a heartbreaker to Aaron Crowell. Kellen Chadwick and Rob Norris are other champions that followed.

The Willis return to the spotlight also included the return of Bowers Racing. JD Willis and the late Bill Bowers were a formidable duo when they teamed up through the years. Billy Bowers continues the tradition of his father. As the first decade of the 2000s came to a close, the Bowers team produced two more championships with Kenny Neu behind the wheel before teaming up with Troy Foulger. Foulger went on to win four championships in a row, an accomplishment that has never been matched in Speedway history.

During the past five seasons, championships have been won by Carl Berendsen II twice, Scott Busby for an unprecedented fifth time, Bobby Motts Jr and most recently Nick DeCarlo. Antioch Speedway also played a part in the All Star Series Tour in 2014 with a championship going to Bobby Hogge IV. The A Modifieds continue to go strong, but there's another division in the mix that ensures the continuation of this division for years to come.

Through the years, there have been many Modified chassis that have sort of out lived their usefulness in that division. This has necessitated the need for the B Modified division, and Antioch finally jumped on that bandwagon in 2012. This has enabled drivers who might not otherwise have been able to afford to run an A Modified the chance to get involved in this style of racing. It has also allowed some teams to scale back and run with the B Modifieds instead.

Enduro star Phil Indihar was the first champion in 2012, and he was followed by last season's Merced champion Jeremy Hoff, Watsonville Hobby Stock star Rob Gallaher and 2015 State champion Fred Ryland. The only two-time champion in the mix is second generation racer Trevor Clymens, who won last year's title in dominant fashion. In between his two title runs was KC Keller. The B Modifieds are the fastest growing division at the speedway and will have a few occasions to run for extra money, including the October 11th and 12th season ender.

The Modifieds are an important part of the Antioch Speedway roster, and you'll be seeing one or both divisions on any given Saturday night from the season opener on March 30th that will have both classes all the way to the big show in October. This will be the 30th championship season for the A Modifieds and the 8th championship year for the B Modifieds.

Some of the A Modified drivers to look for this season include DeCarlo, Motts, Busby, Kellen Chadwick, Sean O'Gara, David Zeiter, Chester Kniss, Buddy Kniss, Anthony Slaney, Ron Brown, Frank Furtado and Anthony Giuliani. The B Modifieds figure to be strong again this year, and drivers to look for include Trevor Clymens and brother Tommy Clymens Jr making his return, Kevin Brown, Randy Brown, Chuck Golden, Ryan DeForest, Todd Gomez, Mark Garner, Cameron Swank and Doff Cooksey. It promises to be a great season for both divisions. For further information, go to

More Racing Coming To Cedarville in 2019

Cedarville, CA...Within the last month, we've been hearing little tidbits that suggests there could be more racing in Cedarville then the Third Annual Gordon Russell Sr Memorial event that will feature Pro Stocks and Hobby Stocks on June 29th. Gordon Russell Jr has never made secret his intentions that the big race that he has created to remember his dad and other Cedarville racing legends was also intended to spark interest in bringing more racing to the town of Cedarville.

In his most recent video blog, Russell suggested that one of the things that came from the February meeting to finalize plans for this year's race was the announcement that there is a group of Hobby Stock drivers trying to put together an association to race more often in Cedarville. Recently, one of the drivers who intends to race at Cedarville also indicated that there was some movement at the Lakeville, Oregon Fairgrounds that could even see Hobby Stocks racing there, though we have not been able to verify that any talks are actually underway.

However, we can verify that things are happening in Cedarville. John Wisser just made a big announcement regarding Modoc Speedway in Cedarville. In addition to the Gordon Russell Sr Memorial race on June 29th, he announced that there are four other race dates scheduled for the Pro Stocks and the Hobby Stocks in Cedarville. These events, being sponsored by the Desert Rose Casino, will be on July 27th, August 24th, September 28th and October 26th.

At this point, details are still coming in. We know that Aaron Flournoy has already shared pictures of the cars that he and his father will be racing in the Hobby Stock division, and Dale Sanders also commented in a discussion at another race track's Facebook page that he will be supporting the Hobby Stocks. We can assume that the Pro Stock support would be coming from drivers who compete in the Nevada and Oregon Pro Stock groups, though at this point they would not be sanctioned races for either group.

Racing in Cedarville is nothing new. There have been races at the track in years past as competitors even ran at the old Alturas track not far from there. Satellite pictures still show the outline of that track. There was a thriving Street Stock division in Cedarville at one time, but more recent years have also seen visits from the Modifieds and the Late Models. As results have shown with the Gordon Russell Sr Memorial, there is interest in Cedarville when it comes to bringing racing back to that town again.

We've suggested that as they work to strengthen a show in Cedarville, it might be a good idea to take a look at some sort of 4 Cylinder class, possibly Hornets. This sort of division, especially if there is somebody putting cages into these vehicles, has potential to grow quickly. It's the lesser expensive divisions that can help get you cars on the race track in a shorter amount of time. As we are fond of saying, as long as the gates continue to open, there's a chance for good things to happen at the race track. We'll be monitoring the situation to see what other news comes, but it's always good to hear of another race track opening again.

In Memory Of Cecil Henry

I got the news about the passing of former Antioch Speedway racer Cecil Henry. Apparently, he had a heart attack. It's been a crazy last few days here, and I've been trying to keep to the schedule and get things done as I get up for another season. It's hard enough as it is, and then I learned about another person that I knew at the race track being taken away from us way before his time.

I don't think I'd spoken with Cecil in person since just before I walked away from things years ago. We communicated a little bit on social media, but even that had been a couple of years ago.

Cecil was actually a pioneer of sorts at Antioch Speedway if you go back to the mid 1990s. As happens in racing, we get evolution. The Street Stocks had evolved from being the entry-level class to an intermediate class, and there were people wanting something new to get into the sport. Cecil and his brother were two of the first to have cars for what became the Hobby Stock division. It was another year before the division was officially added.

Cecil gave it a heck of a run that year, and I think he won more features than anybody. I'd have to look, but he ended up a very close second in the standings. He wasn't somebody who ran on a big budget, as I recall. But, he wanted to go faster. He wanted to move up in divisions.

A personal happy memory that I have is when I arranged the Mel Maupin Encouragement Race at the first Mel Maupin Memorial Race. I selected drivers who hadn't won any races. These guys in most cases didn't have the best of equipment, but they ran hard with what they had. I sponsored plaques for the Top 3 finishers in that race, and what I remember from that as I was announcing was how hard these guys were racing.

I know the night was really about the big Main Event and the stars fighting over the win in Mel's race, but in this moment, the low buck guys got to race for it. Cecil finished second after a battle with John McDougall and Joe Rush. When he got out of his car, he and McDougall high-fived. That made my night to see how happy these guys were just to have such a fun race and finish where they did.

I think that's the point. Win, lose or draw, Cecil had fun racing. He didn't run the Modifieds very long before going to Limited to Late Models and becoming one of our Top 5 drivers there. What I remember about him was that he was a nice guy and always took time to talk with me about whatever the topic was that week, and just chit-chat. Just a really cool guy.

It never gets easy for me to write these things. I don't like writing these, because it means we lost somebody else. I don't like being the one in the position to do this, but I have to be. It is an honor to know people like Cecil. It's what I wanted to do when I was a the kid in the grandstands cheering these racers on. And, I just realized something that I think Cecil would probably get a kick out of.

He was The Wild Irishman. He passed away on St Patrick's Day. I know that he'd probably get a kick out of that. He was still taken away from us too soon. It ain't just the big stars that make racing what it is. It's everybody. It's people like Cecil Henry who made friends and fans during his time. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Bakersfield Speedway Race Results March 16, 2019
USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars

Chase Johnson
Austin Liggett
Danny Faria Jr
JJ Ringo
Tristan Guardino
Ryan Bernal
Ryan Timmons
Trent Carter
Tom Hendricks
Ricky Kirkbride
Koen Shaw
Hannah Mayhew
Steve Hix
James Herrera
Brent Owens
Shawn Arriaga
Austin Ervine
Troy Rutherford
Ryan Stolz
Shannon McQueen
Michael Faccinto
Slater Helt

IMCA Stock Cars
Wayne Dotson 
Cody Johnson
Chad Johnson
Larry Thompson
Troy Patee
Josh Nichols
Jayden Schweitzer
Wayne Clink
Preston Martin
Brock Hamilton
Tanner Lorenzo

American Stocks

Kenny White
Tyler Johnson
Brandon Ratcliff
Daryl Mealer
Candi Varney
Clay Waters
Robert Guess
Josh Yadon
Jr Garcia
Wayne Dotson
Kody Sly
Brock Crawford
Steven Amick
Troy Thomas
Nick Spainhoward
James Coots
Colby Ward
Will Preston
Miranda Scott DQ

Madera Speedway Race Results March 16, 2019
Madera Late Models

Tyler Herzog
Jesse Love
Joey Iest
Matt Erickson
Jay Juleson
Henk Gaalswyk Jr
Elliott Stjerne
Del McIntosh
Eloy Bazan
Loren Kutz
Kent Cam
J.J. Ferguson
Hailey Liles

MavTV Midgets

Jerome Rodella
Jesse Love
Dylan Nobile
Cody Gerhardt
Robert Carson

Western US Midgets
Joey Iest
Elvis Rankin
Derek Loweree
Joseph Holiday
Johnny Nichols

Bert Stephens
Shaun Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds
Patrick Geiger
Kyle Labrie
Dennis Brannon
Dave Lander
Rian Bowman

Toyota Sedans
Jason Lawton
Andrew Davison
J.J Brandsen
Thomas Magray
Andrew Parr
Kurt Davison Jr
Greg Tyler

Ventura Raceway Unofficial Results September 9, 2017
Dwarf Car Silver Cup #3

1 10 Kevin Calvo
2 69 Johnny Conley
3 64 Trevor Fitzgibbon
4 6 David Conley
5 93 Jason Horton
6 22s Gage Cheek
7 16 Tom Stephens Jr
8 41 Nick Velasquez
9 14 Tommy Velasquez III
10 45 Korey Cowen
11 38 April Banuelos
12 8 Tim Conley
13 48 Trent Morley
14 4 Tommy Velasquez II
15 72 Troy Robinson
16 88 Jeff Brink
17 91 Jody Cowan
18 18 Tom Morley
19 55 Mike Long

VRA Senior Sprints

1 15 Rick Hendrix
2 67 Russell Martin
3 2 Wally Pankratz
4 27 Steve Brown
5 66 Chris Meredith
6 12 Smokey Stover
7 4k Tyler Hatzikian
8 3k Eddie Williams
9 3g greg Andrews

VRA Hobby Stocks

1 3 David Heurung
2 52 Zachary Peterson
3 7 Mike Stanford
4 3r Erie Malone
5 43 Sam Garvin
6 15 Joey Diaz
7 45 Christina Garvin
8 44 Gary Garvin
9 28 Gary Curtis

TQ Midgets Exhibition
1 20 Brandon Wiley
2 5 Bruce Hiroshimna
3 40 Chris Thomas

Focus Midgets
1 37 Phil Schack
2 98 Kyle Beilman
3 33 Mike Leach
4 59 Jet Davison

Kern County Raceway Race Results March 16, 2019
NASCAR Late Models
Feature #1


Feature #2


Super Stocks
Cayden McCaslin

Hot Stocks


Mini Dwarfs

Lemoore Raceway Race Results March 16, 2019
House Of JuJu Cemntral Valley Mini Stocks
Darren Wilson
Shawn DePriest
Ryan Blank
Jeff Durant
Scott Glenn
Dan Myrick
Clinton Massey
Steve Durant
Brent Myrick
Lindsey Myrick
Laura Goldsmith
Ben Davis
Randy Brown
Levi Burgett DNS

SBDCA Dwarf Cars
Ryan Ameln
Gene Pires
Mark Biscardi
Eddie Claessen
Tailer Morrison DNS
Doug Peny DNS

Kern County Raceway Park Race Results March 15, 2019
BCRA/POWRi Midgets

Chase Johnson
Jake Swanson
Maria Colfer
Austin Liggett
Robert Dalby
Shannon McQueen
Ben Worth
Terry Nichols
Troy Morris III
Kyle Beilman
Gage Rucker
CJ Sarna
Robert Carson
Dylan Ito
Corey Elliot
Michael Faccinto
Frankie Guerinni DNS

Wingless 360 Sprint Cars
Austin Liggett
Chase Johnson
Danny Faria Jr
Jake Swanson
Tristan Guardino
Ricky Kirkbride
Ryan Timmons
Koen Shaw
Slater Helt
James Herrera
Austin Ervine
Shannon McQueen
Gage Rucker
TJ Smith
JJ Ringo
Matt Day
Tyler Williams
Jeff Fillingame DNS
Kaleb Montgomery DNS

Bakersfield Hardtops
Richard Souza
Kelly Mason
Jason Stanphill
Tyler Weeks
James Bradburn
Jesse Dobbins
Jason Denman
Brandon Stanphill 

The Editor's Viewpoint

While I remain in a holding pattern when it comes to certain personal announcements, things still have to be done. Racing season is about ready to begin, and that means that I have articles to do. Antioch Speedway had been building up to last Saturday's playday, and Southern Oregon Speedway seems to be lining up very nicely for the coming season. It's kind of weird how things are falling into place up here.

Things will come out when I finally sit down to write the next book. Much has been written about the struggle we've had, and it's gratifying to see that in the fourth year under Mike McCann and KJE Enterprises, Southern Oregon Speedway has gained momentum. Still work to be done, but things are looking good. It's in a better place than it was prior to us coming into the picture.

John Soares hasn't had a lot of time to get everything set up at Antioch Speedway. It wasn't until mid February that he officially knew that the track would be his for another five years. John was intent on keeping as close to what his normal schedule would be as possible. Though he had plenty of excuse to say it's going to start a little bit later than normal, he wouldn't hear of it. It was his decision to schedule a playday on March 16th with an eye on opening the season on March 30th.

Rain started falling, and it didn't stop. From late February and into early March, it wasn't looking like the first playday had a chance. But, John looked at the weather forecast and saw that the window was open for last Saturday's first practice. He made the decision that he was going to do this. The thing was, he and his team were going to need some help if he wanted to make it happen.

What makes me happy in light of some of the negativity during the offseason was the desire of several people to pitch in to get things ready. They wanted playday. Actually, the feeling in Antioch is one of optimism for a good season. Everybody wants it to go well. This is the time for the captain of the ship to really guide it in a way that keeps this vibe going. Everything that I'm hearing right now suggests that John is focused on the task. The track would be ready for playday.

What impressed me from the reports that I was hearing down there was that the cars just kept showing up. What I'm told is there were 55 cars all totaled, representing at least eight divisions that I know of. I don't think they've hit those numbers for a practice in quite some time. This is the kind of start that you want to have, but it couldn't have happened without everybody banding together. Actually, if we can keep the community feel of all of us being in this together, there's potential for this to be the best season down there in recent years.

There's one thing that I know John has been working on. This is where I get a little bit evasive. Making the right move on this is important, and it has required research. However, what I'm told is that John is ready to make an announcement on this particular topic at the next practice. What am I talking about? Nope, I can't say. It's for John to say, but I like the idea and I think the racers are going to like it too. I'll leave it at that.

I've been told that John has taken on a General Manager this year. But as I haven't really had conversations with the right people, I am not really going to be able to get into much on that either. The person being brought in is none other than Chad Chadwick. What I can say is that I like Chad. I've always gotten along well with him, but more importantly, the racers in general have gotten along well with him. That is important. As a successful businessman and somebody who's run a racing related business as well, I think Chad is a good fit.

I can't say exactly what the game plans is. I can't say a lot about things that I've been hearing regarding Chad. But, I can say that I find it encouraging. Chad made his brief debut in racing in the early 1980s in Stock Cars. We called him by a different name in those days, but it's Chad. We got him back over a decade later when he jumped into the Modifieds in the car that Mark Welch won the West Coast Nationals with. And whether he's been racing, involved with his son Kellen's car or whatever, he hasn't been far away from the sport since then. Make no mistake. John is focused and still involved in what is going on at that race track, but now he has somebody to help with the actual racing operation.

While Antioch got going, I noticed the season opener happening in Lemoore for the House of JuJu Central Valley Mini Stocks. It's nice to see that the work Dan Myrick put into it has been paying off. Sponsorship will allow them to race for a $5,000 point fund among the Top 10 competitors. Myrick made the decision to do away with Sunday afternoon racing in Lemoore and making those Saturday night shows. When you move from a date people are used to, it can affect things. However, they maintained their average in the Mini Stock class and also had a half-dozen Dwarf Cars in support.

I've spoken with Dan regarding the program at Lemoore. He still feels that Lemoore is important to what they do, and I agree. However, they are taking five shows on the road to Hanford and one to Madera this year. I understand, and I still find this to be safe expansion. The worry I had was trying to go too far too quickly as this is still entry level racing, albeit entry-level racing that's being given more respect than you'll find being shown to Mini Stocks anywhere else on the West Coast. It's a good thing.

Dan would like to grow the program that they do at Lemoore. The Mini Stocks are the show, but I think ideally he'd like to have a three division program there. The challenge is lining up the divisions and doing it right. He's not just jumping in and throwing things to the wall to see what will stick. He's putting lots of thought into it before making decisions. This is exactly what you want in a leader. Dan is one of the best association leaders you have right now in California, in my opinion. This was a good start, and hopefully things will grow from here. I have an idea what he's looking at next, but until he makes announcements, I'm going to withhold my thoughts. Let's just focus on the next race.

The racers in Cedarville have gathered and decided the next course of action. Thanks to Gordon Russell Jr, Modoc Speedway has been having races once a year for the past two years. The occasion has been the Gordon Russell Sr Memorial for the Pro Stocks with support from the Hobby Stocks. Gordon Jr has always said that he hoped that this special event would spark the return of Hobby Stock racing, and an association has been put in place to make that happen.

The result, as highlighted elsewhere on our blog, is five total races. To me, this is the perfect way to start. You're trying to grow a car count, so you shouldn't do too much too quick. More than one race is a challenge in itself, and I think the once-a-month format can work. The Pro Stock portion of the other four shows is not sanctioned as of yet, as far as I know. However, it may be possible for them to get some support from both Nevada and Oregon for these dates. As for Hobby Stocks, the same idea holds true. They will be hoping for visitors from the currently defunct Susanville track, Quincy and who knows where else in addition to locally.

I think that as you grow a car count, you look to what people can afford. If something else were added, the best place to look might be a Hornet or Mini Stock division. You'd be looking for entry-level, and something affordable. This still will require some help. For instance, the Central Valley Mini Stock group started building other race cars to get the new drivers in. When I say Dan Myrick has been a leader down there, he has. And others have worked very hard with him to build cars. So, Cedarville would probably need somebody willing to work towards putting cages in those cars, that is assuming Hornets come to be a part of things in the future at Cedarville.

I am liking the idea of doing any kind of racing in Cedarville. It's not new. It's just been a few years since they had a program there. The Hobby Stock/Street Stock program was there once upon a time, but they had Late Models make visits as well as Modifieds. There are enough people there that know what it took before that I think it's got a chance to get started again. This is the thing about the fairgrounds at various places in California. With budget cuts, they look for any other ways they can find to generate revenue, and racing becomes an option if the right person comes into the picture to make a proposal. It makes you wonder what could happen at some of the fairgrounds that have the space but no race track currently. Money talks.

One of the racers who is intent on supporting Cedarville let slip in another race track's comment thread that the Lakeview Fairgrounds in Oregon was entertaining the possibility of a race track. I don't know if they've had auto racing there in the past, though they've had Destruction Derbies and somewhere there has also been Motorcycles. The space is aplenty for them to put on auto racing events in that venue. What I don't know is who might be behind this idea and whether there is any validity to these rumors. The commenter suggested that the same people involved in Cedarville might be looking to do some stuff at Lakeview.

I like the idea for another reason, but I don't know if the news has made it that far. There are a bunch of displaced racers in Klamath Falls, and this venue is a little bit closer for the guys who have to travel to Yreka and Medford to do most of their racing. There might be some resources within that group that could help make a race track happen. Currently, the track in Worden sits, and who knows how long until it ever opens again, if ever. The plot of land the old Klamath Falls track sits on was never brought back to life and all of the stuff is gone now. What you have in Klamath Falls is drivers in Pro Stocks, Modifieds and Mini Stocks who know they have to travel to go racing.

It's no easy task to put a race track together. When we see something open up and start happening, sometimes we might think it was just that easy to do. It is not. The first thing you have to have is somebody willing to pay the bills, because most of these places need quite an investment to get going. Once you do that, you're not guaranteed cars just because you have a track. This requires the promotional effort. You put the word out, you do what you have to do.

I've seen more first-hand what a promoter has to do to make things happen. There are investments in areas that people have no idea about. The promoter will spend that money with the intent or at least the hope that they're going to see a return on that investment. Sometimes it pans out, and sometimes it doesn't. When it fails too many times, that's it. The gates close. Sometimes a promoter is actually even involved in getting racers cars with the intent of being reimbursed. This is done because you've got to get cars on the track, and that is especially true for new divisions.

Reviving race tracks can be tricky business as well. Orland Raceway was left in a difficult position when they saw their promoter walk away within weeks of what was going to be the 2016 season. Then, Rich Hood stepped in. Within about two months of the decision to let him run the track that year, racing started. It's been a steadily improving situation during that time, and he enters his fourth season with much optimism within the racing community.

Racers are investing in this program. I'm seeing teams out there with cars in multiple divisions now. They're having fun in Orland again. That's a good sign. The little track in the shadow of Silver Dollar Speedway is steadily growing its reputation. This is done through sincerity and hard work through leadership that inspires racers to want to be there. I am proud of what Rich has done down there. There may have been a misstep here or there, but there's been plenty of positive steps too. This season should be much better than last season, which according to Rich was his best year yet. From a business standpoint, that's what you want.

Rain has been a pain in the butt in Orland. Then again, we needed rain with all this talk of drought. It killed what should have been a great moment for the track when they did the fundraiser for the fire victims in January. They had the night that they had to do it, but all they had was a track with lots of water on it and people hardy enough to do something for a good cause. And whatever you want to say about that, they raised $5,400. Playday on Saturday saw some 30 cars come in to make laps.

What I have seen from the racers is that they want practice. I hear that a lot in Medford. A promoter can be worried about that because when they ask for this during the year, you hope they don't blow motors or hurt their cars and as a result don't show up for the actual races. There's good and bad to playdays, but it's pretty good as far as coming into a season. Racers can test a few things before things get started. Promoters build a little bit of capital that will probably quickly get spent on race track needs. People have no concept about what comes up during the year that a promoter has to get fixed. So, if you have one or two playdays before the season starts, that's money that helps when those rainy days come. They always do.

A lot more I could say, but the intent here was to be brief. Not sure I pulled it off this time either. If the weather holds, we'll get a practice in Petaluma this week. Dirt is being moved at Merced Speedway so that the season can get going there soon, and Watsonville is hoping to have a World of Outlaws event this Friday night. Marysville has been holding races for the past two weeks. That reminds me...

When Marysville held the Sherm Toller Memorial on March 9th, they did so under threatening skies. This race was originally booked for February, but rain saw to it that that wasn't going to happen. When rain threatened again, management still went through with it. They were able to get the show done, but the threatening skies may have affected the Civil War Series race negatively. I still don't think it helped that there was a King Of Thunder race in Tulare that night, but the distance between the two tracks should have prevented that. Locals didn't come, and I read a comment from one who said they were worried about not getting their car and trailer back into their yard due to wetness.

The five car turnout for the Civil War will have fans of the series that started back in the early 1990s wondering if it's on its last legs. We know that the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour, Presented By Abreu Vineyards, was created as a reaction to the way Civil War Series events had been run. That series is now hitting car counts of 40 or more per race and clearly has the upper hand. When you see five cars show up for the Civil War, you have to wonder how much longer things can last. That, I don't know. Part of me is sad, because I hate to see long-lasting traditions come to an end. But, if leadership doesn't make the right move, this is where you end up.

John Prentice is in a very difficult position trying to maintain his series. It's not just the Sprint Cars either. Though he has dealt away the King Of The West and Hunt Series, he also has the All Star Series Modified Tour. Once again, he was only able to cobble together four races when ideally you try to get eight to ten shows. Certain tracks didn't want dates and other tracks said that they did but weren't invited. So, the real question with that is, is there a future for the All Star Series Tour? That, I don't know. If the Series gets through this year, there's always a chance it can be made better, but you can't do it without enough tracks involved.

Marysville will be one of the tracks with an All Star Series race on Memorial Day Weekend. The track is also going to emphasize Pepsi IMCA Sport Modifieds more. I think what they learned is that the racers are willing to go elsewhere, but there's enough racers in that area that if they do it up right, they'll get the cars. Marysville needs all the support they can get. Their Winged 360 Sprint Car show is still doing okay, the Hobby Stock division is showing signs of life and they know they have a winner in the Sport Mods if they can keep driver support.

This has left the attention to the Crate Sprints. I'll spare you the negative opinions that I've had about how the division came to be and just look at this year. They had seven cars at the first race and ten at the point season opener. You'd have to call that encouraging. I don't believe they've ever had more than ten since the division started at Chico a few years back.

So now they have hit that mark again. I think they have to be encouraged by that. The racing seemed pretty close according to lap times, which indicates a competitive field. Marysville has been committed to having something as a feeder into the Winged 360s. So far, the numbers are encouraging this year, but if they're smart, they're taking it one race at a time and not getting overconfident.

The Crate Sprint drivers have their own community online where the California and Nevada drivers are communicating back and forth. This is a good thing as it shows that the two groups might support each other when possible. It really comes down to the drivers themselves. If they support this in great enough numbers, it has a future. Putting 20 of these cars on the track and 20 of the 360s is a good show in itself.

Obviously, the decision by the management of Marysville and Chico to do away with Spec Sprints was in part intended to get drivers to put wings on their cars and join this class. There are several displaced cars unaccounted for, but they have two drivers doing the winged thing now. If they can continue that trend, you'll see a nice increase. However, some drivers are still looking at other options to keep running wingless. This is where I say that Orland Raceway can come out big on this if they simply do away with the gas rule and run true Spec Sprints. We'll see what happens there.

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