Nick DeCarlo wins the Firecracker 50, June 29th
By Don Martin II Photography by Paul Gould
Nick DeCarlo won the Firecracker 50 All Star Series A Modified Main Event Saturday night Antioch Speedway. This was the third win of the season for DeCarlo, and it paid $1,000 to the reigning division champion. Nick’s nephew, Brantley Yaworniskey, is seen here with Nick holding his trophy. Thomas Martin charged into the early lead ahead of Les Friend and Tim Balding. Balding took second from Friend on lap two with DeCarlo following into third a lap later. A three-wide move on the back straightaway of the fifth lap saw Balding move by Martin for the lead as DeCarlo followed into second. Balding and Martin began to pull away from the pack just a little bit, and DeCarlo finally made a move to the inside of Balding as they exited Turn 4 on the 25th lap to take the lead. After a halfway break, DeCarlo resumed command on the restart and set a rapid pace during the second half of the race. Balding was the only other driver to remain on the lead lap by the time the checkered flag waved. Point leader Buddy Kniss finished third ahead of Martin as the only two drivers one lap down. Friend settled for fifth.
Scott Savell won the 20 lap B Modified Main Event. Savell is a regular at the Chico and Marysville tracks, and this was his first visit to Antioch. It was also his first win. Savell started on the front row and charged into the early lead with point leader Tommy Fraser running a close second in his bid for a fifth feature win. Despite the good starting position, the win was no gimme for Savell, who had Fraser taking looks to the inside in the turns throughout the race. However, Les Friend made an outside backstretch pass on Fraser on lap 14 to claim second. As a three-car battle developed for second, Savell got a little bit of breathing room. Fraser made an inside pass on Friend in the final turn to reclaim second, but it was Savell scoring the victory ahead of Fraser, Friend, Brent Curran and Cameron Swank.
Kimo Oreta won his third 20 lap Limited Late Model Main Event of the season. For much of the race, it looked like Ryan Cherezian might get his first career victory as he led from the start ahead of point leader Jim Freethy. Mike Walko made an inside pass on Freethy on lap seven to gain second, but Walko pitted off the back stretch on lap 11, moving Freethy into second ahead of Oreta. An inside pass in turn 2 on the 14th lap put Oreta into second, and the only yellow flag of the race flew on lap 17. On the restart, Cherezian got a bit sideways coming out of Turn 4 as he had a flat tire. Oreta moved to the inside to gain the lead, and he led the rest of the way for the victory. As Cherezian limped around the track, Freethy finished in second, followed by Chris Long, Michael Birch and Cherezian.
Josh Leach had a bit of luck on his side as he won his third 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. James Thomson had a front row start and charged out to a huge lead in the early goings, followed by rookie Will Buirch. They ran that way until Buirch got a little sideways exiting Turn 4 on lap 11, allowing Leach to gain second. A yellow flag waved on lap 14 for Alfred Johnson. Thomson had point leader Chris Sorensen and Leach right behind him on the restart. As they were working the 18th lap, Thomson got sideways in Turn 2, collecting Sorensen. Leach nearly got caught up in the incident, but he managed to keep his car going as a yellow flag waved. Leach led the restart and went on to the unlikely victory. Breanna Troen had her best finish of the year in second, followed by Jeff Betancourt, Tyler Henrickson and Lori Brown.
Point leader Shannon Newton won his fifth 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event of the season. Newton started on the front row and charged into the lead ahead of two-time champion Dan Gonderman. Gonderman brushed the front wall and came to a stop in Turn 1 for a lap 11 yellow flag. Newton continued to lead the restart with Dustin Maibes closely in pursuit in second. However, Newton drove a flawless race and scored the victory ahead of Maibes. Bob Newberry rebounded from an early spin to finish third, followed by Rick Panfili and Keith Calvino.