Miranda, Hogge IV, Curran, Walko and Cooper winners at Antioch Speedway
By Don Martin II Photography by Paul Gould
Living Phat Promotions put a $100 bounty on the driver who could beat Nick DeCarlo to win the All Star Series A Modified Main Event Saturday night. The driver who came to claim the prize was perhaps the biggest name in California racing, Bobby Hogge IV. In scoring the win in the 25 lap Main Event, Hogge now has 71 career Antioch Speedway victories, one win behind Scott Busby and JD Willis on the all-time Antioch Speedway feature winner’s list. Hogge didn’t come alone. 2016 IMCA Wild West Speedweek Tour champion Kellen Chadwick was there, and both drivers recorded wins and their eight lap heat races. Hogge started inside the third row of the Main Event, and reigning track champion Bobby Motts Jr set the early pace ahead of Mike Salazar. Hogge made the move into third by lap two and made a Turn 4 pass on Motts on lap six to gain the lead. Chadwick made his move into second by lap eight. Though Chadwick kept up with him, he was unable to make the move as Hogge brought it home to the impressive victory. Motts settled for third, followed by tenth starter DeCarlo and Shawn DeForest. Raymond Lindeman was the other heat winner.
Alan Miranda finally scored his first career 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event victory. It was a wild night that featured two flips. The first occurred in the first heat race when ageless veteran Roy Fisher put his car on its lid. The second occurred when division mainstay Rick Panfili and another car got together on the back straightaway, resulting in Panfili flipping twice on the opening lap of the Main Event. Fortunately, neither driver was injured in their flips, and Fisher actually made it to start the Main Event. Miranda had a front-row start, but tenth starter Bob Newberry methodically worked his way up to battle him for the lead. Just when Newberry appeared to have made the winning pass as they worked lap 17, a yellow flag negated it. Miranda led the next restart and would lead the remaining four tours for the satisfying win. Newberry settled for second ahead of James East, Fisher and Rich Otterstrom. Eight lap heat race wins went to Shannon Newton and Brandon Burd.
Brent Curran served notice to the B Modified competition that he’s going to be every bit as tough to beat as he was in Four Bangers and Hobby Stocks. Curran won the 20 lap B Modified Main Event. Luck of the invert put Curran on the front row, but he had to deal with Guy Ahlwardt and the hard-charging duo of Aaron Crowell and Trevor Clymens at various times. Clymens and Crowell got a little bit too close for comfort late in the race in their battle for second, resulting in Clymens spinning. While that was going on, Curran sped home to victory ahead of Crowell, Todd Gomez, Tommy Fraser and Ryan DeForest. Gomez and Ahlwardt each won eight lap heat races.
Michael Cooper picked up his second Hobby Stock Main Event win of the season. Joey Ridgway set a nice pace out front during the first half of the race. Cooper slipped past Bill Garner for second on lap six and made a high pass into Turn 4 on lap 13 to grab the lead from Ridgway. Ridgway spun and Chris Sorensen took up the chase of Cooper. However, Cooper was not to be denied as he won ahead of Sorensen, John Wacht, Luke Brignoli and Morgan Swank, who was subbing for Cameron Swank this week. Rookie Breanna Troen won her heat race, but she made contact with the back wall on lap 19 in the Main Event and rolled. Fortunately, she was not injured. Sorensen won the other eight lap heat race.
Mike Walko won a spirited dual with Mark Garner to claim the victory in the 20 lap Limited Late Model feature. Garner was coming off his big victory in the Larry Damitz Memorial Race, but Walko would not budge from the lead. Garner gave it a valiant effort, but the crafty veteran Walko was up to the challenge as he scored a hard fought victory ahead of Garner, heat race winner, Kimo Oteta and Ryan Cherezian.