New Years Day Bash wins go to Decarlo, Ryland & Long on Sunday
Nick Decarlo, Fred Ryland & Chris Long share victory lane at Antioch Speedway’s New Years Day Bash
By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – January 2, 2017…The Antioch Speedway helped ring in the new year with the first motorsports event of the season in Northern California on January 1, which saw Martinez driver Nick Decarlo, Brentwood’s Fred Ryland and fellow Brentwood racer Chris Long share victory lane in the three-division showcase.
The special non-points New Years Day Bash helped open the 20th season at the helm of Antioch Speedway for promoters John & Donna Soares of Oval Motorsports. Despite chilly temps on Sunday fans came out and braved the elements to get their horsepower fix, during a time of the year where the only racing usually takes place either indoors or down under.
Martinez favorite Nick Decarlo was able to outlast the field in a rough & tumble All Stars A-Mod feature to bring home the $1000 top prize. A number of yellows and a couple of red flags plagued the main event and forced officials to cut the number of laps as time constraints loomed. Decarlo started on the pole and battled with defending A-Mod champion Carl Berendsen over the first couple laps. Things turned sour for Berendsen however, when slight contact got him into a spin on lap-three, which handed the lead over to Decarlo.
After going back green Marsyville traveler Randy McDaniel flexed his muscle, getting under Decarlo to snag the lead on lap five. That didn’t last long though, as contact between he and second running Michael Paul caused both drivers to spin and stop. Things then went from bad to worse for McDaniel, as he got upside down on the ensuing restart, putting an end to his night. After all of that Martinez wheel-man Troy Foulger then found himself in the lead and would hold command until some pesky dangling sheet metal forced him to the pit area for repairs.
The back & forth contest then saw Decarlo re-inherit the lead that he would never relinquish, as he took the race shortened green-white-checkered restart after a couple more incidents had taken place. Bobby Motts came home in second, followed by Anthony Slaney, Foulger and Shawn DeForest in the top-five. A total of 18 A-Mods signed into the pit area, with heat race victories going to Randy McDaniel, Richard Papenhousen and Nick Decarlo.
The All Stars B-Mods feature started out with Yuba City’s Jimmy Ford jumping out into the lead at the waving of the green flag. He would hold onto the top-spot until Oakley’s Brian Pierce was able to rocket around him to scoop up the lead. The always tough Fred Ryland began to poke his nose into the fray however, and on lap eight sliced by to grab the point. Pierce’ solid run came to an end one lap later when contact with the wall forced him to lose a number of spots.
After that it was all Ryland up front, who took the checkered flag to score the $500 grand prize. Dating back to last season Ryland has now captured the last three B-Mod features at Antioch Speedway. Les Friend came home in second, with Ford, Jim Digiovanni and Joel Hannagan completing the top-five. A solid field of 21 B-Mods were on hand and saw heat race wins go to Adriane Frost, Jimmy Ford and Joel Hannagan.
Chris Long was able to recover from an early flat tire to march his way back through the field and claim the $400 All Stars Hobby Stock victory. Long had the lead early on, but the flat tire forced him to pit and restart at the rear. Gene Haney then inherited the lead and held command until Anthony Vigna got by on a mid-race restart. With just four laps remaining in the race Long carved his way back to the front to get around Vigna and rake in the win over Joey Salvi, Cameron Swank, Haney and Vigna. Eleven Hobby Stocks were on hand with the two heat races picked off by Cameron Swank and Chris Long.
Stay glued to www.antiochspeedway.com for the schedule, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Antioch Speedway runs under the All Stars Racing Series banner, featuring DIRTcar Late Models, All Stars Econo Wingless Sprints and Winged 360 Sprint Cars, All Stars Modifieds (A-Mods), All Stars Sport Mods (B-Mods), All Stars Limited Late Models, All Stars Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.
Pictures courtesy of Paul Gould