2022 Antioch Speedway Season Year in Review

2022 Antioch Speedway Season Had Much To Be Excited About
by: Candace Martin
Antioch, CA…2022 offered Antioch Speedway fans a season of excitement. Racing kicked into gear back in March and didn’t let up until the last weekend of November. Fans got to see a nice variety of different shows along with special events, such as two Malicious Monster Truck Insanity Tour visits and two Flat Track Motorcycle events.
People know what to expect at the speedway these days. The IMCA Modifieds have been a featured class since 1990, the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks have been around since 1995, the Delta Dwarf Cars have been a regular attraction since 1998, the Wingless Spec Sprints have been there since 1999, the Super Stocks have been there since 2000, the Mini Stocks have been there on and off since 2003, the Hardtops have been making visits since 2008 and the IMCA Sport Modifieds are the new kids on the block, competing regularly at the track since 2012.
Most of the divisions had at least one special event with more money on the line. The bigger picture was the championship battle that took place in each regular class. When the final checkered flag flew on the point races, titles were won by Nick DeCarlo IMCA Modifieds, Fred Ryland, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Travis Dutra IMCA Stock Cars, Misty Welborn Hobby Stocks, Shannon Newton Wingless Spec Sprints, Danny Wagner Delta Dwarf Cars, Jim Freethy Super Stocks and Tom Brown Mini Stocks. A few of those battles went down to the wire.
Sometimes there might only be one driver going for the IMCA Modified championship, but in this case Nick DeCarlo and Kellen Chadwick both declared intent. The 15 race point season went down to the wire and ended up with both drivers tied at the top. It came down to wins with DeCarlo edging Chadwick four to three. DeCarlo also had 12 Top 5 finishes to 11 for Chadwick. The race had to be audited through IMCA, but as many times the totals end up going with what the sanctioning body initially had, it was proven that Antioch had the total correct all along. The sanctioning body always edits to make sure things are accurate on their end.
Bobby Motts Jr was in the hunt for most of the season, but the past champion couldn’t quite get it to the winner’s circle. He did, however earn six Top 3 finishes, including two runner up efforts, to maintain third in the standings ahead of an intense rookie battle between Trevor Clymens and Terry DeCarlo Jr. The two drivers went back and forth until Clymens broke through to get season best second and third place finishes in a three race span. Clymens had 11 Top 5 efforts to three for DeCarlo, but he still only won this battle by 12 points.
The list of feature winners during the course of the season included seven-time victor Troy Foulger, two-time winner Bobby Hogge IV and 2004 champion Aaron Crowell one time. Foulger won the Bill Bowers Memorial West Coast Nationals in October. He came close to winning the Hetrick Memorial in July before settling for second behind Hogge in the extra money affair.
Fred Ryland returned In his effort to match Trevor Clymens as a three-time IMCA Sport Modified champion. Along the way, he picked up his 70th combined career win at the Speedway, moving him into fourth on the all-time winner’s list. Ryland needed those wins with Andrew Pearce nipping at his heels. He picked up four feature wins to three for Pearce. Pearce edged Ryland, 12 Top 5s to 11. Pearce won the last two point events, but mechanical errors while leading late In the third to last race of the season may have been his undoing. Ryland beat Pearce by eight points.
Rising star Jacob Mallet Jr set about winning the IMCA State championship and accomplished the task. He won at multiple venues, including two wins at Antioch among nine Top 5 efforts. He had a solid hold on third. Kenny Shrader picked up three wins during the season, but two of them were the Hetrick Memorial and the Bill Bowers Memorial. This enabled him to beat Chuck Golden by just 11 tallies. The steady Golden had twelve Top 10 finishes and also won a race earlier in the season at Quincy. He was 23 points ahead of rapidly improving Jason Ryan Jr in the final rundown.
A look at the winner’s list found 2019 champion Tommy Fraser with two victories, while past champion KC Keller had one triumph.
As the track continued to nurture the IMCA Stock Car division in its second full season, there were just 12 point events. Past Dwarf Car and Mini Truck champion Travis Dutra set about repeating as division champion. His consistency was unmatched. He had a division-leading 11 Top 5 efforts. Impressively, he racked up a division-leading five second place finishes, but he put the icing on his championship cake by winning his first race in the finale. Jason Robles had picked up two wins in seven Top 5 efforts, but bad luck kept him 20 points behind in the end.
Past Mini Stock champion Jason Jennings battle past Street Stock competitor Dave Hill for third and top rookie honors. However, it wasn’t as close as the 23 point differential in Jason’s favor would make it appear. Jennings did have five Top 5 efforts. With Jim Reed turning the wrenches, Hill did get faster as the season ended and had two Top 5 finishes. Coming off of a third place season and driving a new car, Dan Gonderman beat Jeff Bentancourt by just seven points for fifth in the standings. His seven Top 5 efforts included three season-high third place finishes.
Also earning spots on the winner’s list were four-time victor Troy Foulger, three-time winner Garrett Corn, Fred Ryland with two triumphs and one win for Kellen Chadwick. Foulger won the IMCA Stock Car portion of the Bill Bowers Memorial and did the same at the extra money paying Construction Night event. Corn, who lost a close battle with Steven Johnson for the Merced title, had three wins, but a broken A-frame kept him for winning the Construction Night special. Corn was the winner of the IMCA Stock Car portion of the Hetrick Race.
The Hobby Stock division proved to be the workhorse division at the track. They were also the division that had the best car count and frequently needed B Mains to set the 20 car grid for the feature race. Misty Welborn shot out of the gate like a cannonball with her three wins happening in the first four events. She had a total of six Top 5 efforts. Michaela Taylor kept it close during the first half of the season. Though Taylor had a season high second place Main Event finish in her three Top 5 efforts, the win eluded her. She needed the fourth place finish she had at the point finale to beat Jared Baugh by just for tallies. Baugh led the final race for several laps before mechanical issues ended that. He had 10 Top 5 efforts and two wins .
Taylor DeCarlo had an eventful rookie season, including three Top 5 finishes, and she had a solid hold on fourth in her Rookie of the Year effort. The rapidly improving Jewell Crandall used her third fifth place finish in the point finale to overtake Grayson Baca by 20 points for fifth in the standings. Baca had six Top 5 finishes, including one win. 
Other drivers on the winner’s list included Clarence Holbrook III four times, two times for Les Friend and one each for Kenneth Robles, Ken Johns, reigning champion Larry McKinzie Jr and Aidan Ponciano. The front-runners were likely breathing a sigh of relief as Holbrook only ran eight times and didn’t chase points. He was dominant when he was there. The Dean Cline Classic was introduced as a late season addition, and McKinzie picked up the win in that race. Bakersfield star Dylan Wilson bagged the $5,000 prize in the second running of the Hobby Stock Nationals. The win on Hetrick Memorial night went to Les Friend. 
The Hobby Stocks also ran three Figure 8 races. There had been rumors of the addition of this class. After a rather bold statement was made by Figure 8 enthusiast Jim Robbins by running through an X that didn’t exist on practice night in August, things changed. That event happened to be broadcast on the track’s Facebook page, and Promoter Chad Chadwick threw down the gauntlet. Get him 15 cars for the race in October, and he’d pay $1,000 to win. Robbins himself beat the drum to get drivers to run and also secured sponsrship for this event.
The rough and tumble Figure 8 that night didn’t have 15 cars until Charlie Bryant signed up at the last minute. Figure 8 legend Johnny Keldsen, a three-time Antioch champion, nursed a smoking mount to a Top 3 finish, but it was two-time Spec Sprint champion Dan Gonderman hoisting the championship belt over his head and claiming the $1,000 prize. Other wins went to Richard Keldsen and son DJ Keldsen. Richard’s win happened to be in the Mike Conley Salute. The Figure 8 proved very popular as the big money race was the best attended special show in postseason.
The Wingless Spec Sprint division entered their 24th season on a seemingly high note, but car count was less than desired at times. With the win in the opener, Zack Neely was the early front runner in the John Hendrickson Motorsports car, but he fell out with the consistent James East taking over the lead. East did lead the class with eight Top 5 finishes, but a win was never in the cards for him. Shannon Newton got hot with four wins and seven Top 5s among his eight starts, enabling him to beat East by just 17 markers.
The steady Steve Maionchi used his two Top 5 finishes to secure third by just 30 points over three-time Top 5 finisher MacKenzie Newton. Neely managed to settle for fifth. Also etching their names onto the winner’s list were Ethon Lanfri, Cameron Martin, Scott Chapetta, Shawn Arriaga, Jarrett Soares, Daniel Whitley and Jimmy Christian. Arriaga collected the win in the special Sonny Calkins Memorial on June 11th, netting him a $2,500 payday. The Hunt Series was added on late notice as part of the Soares Memorial event in October, and Shawn Jones picked up that victory. A hastily scheduled race at the last event of the season saw an impressive 22 drivers show up with Jimmy Christian claiming the glory.
The Dwarf Cars have had championships at Antioch since 1998, but this was the third year under the Delta Dwarf Car and Western States Dwarf Car rules package. Danny Wagner was unstoppable as the champion at Antioch and with the South Bay group at Watsonville. He racked up six wins in nine races at Antioch, and managed to nurse his lead despite driving with a broken arm for a few races. Despite falling 60 points short, young up-and-comer Devan Kammermann notched his first two wins among eight Top 5 finishes for a stellar season. The consistent Ellie Russo beat David Michael Rosa by 24 points to claim third as Chance Russell held off David Rosa by just 22 points for fifth.
Antioch Speedway proudly hosted a Western States Dwarf Car Nationals event in July that had over 60 competitors. On the money night, it was Adam Teves picking up his first Pro division win. Teves has moved to Nevada, but he called Antioch Speedway his home track for several seasons. Mike Reeder won the Veteran division portion of the show, while Kinser Endicott was the Sportsman winner. 
Michael “Spanky” Grenert was the only other driver to get a win during regular season, but it was Brandon Shaw picking up the $1,000 prize in the special Nighthawk 30, which accompanied the Sprint Car Showcase. Janis Munroe held off Danny Wagner to win the after hours Golf Cart race in the pits during the Dwarf Car Nationals.
The Super Stocks seemed to be on the edge of oblivion, but a few dedicated racers wouldn’t give up the fight. With four wins to his credit, there was little doubt that Jim Freethy would win his third championship in the class. Joey Ridgeway liked to run at other tracks, and that proved negative towards his car when he had a hard crash at Petaluma. He had four fourth place finishes at Antioch to beat Jim Robbins by just eight markers. Robbins had a season-high second early in the season. Mike Walko was a solid fourth in the final rundown with two season-high seconds, one of which happened in the Larry Damitz Memorial. Two-time champion and division all-time winner Mike Gustafson had a season-high pair of third place finishes, giving him a six point advantage over Chad Hammer for fifth in the standings.
Ryan Smith of the Tri State Pro Stock group won on a crazy night when their race had bad weather and several drivers came from Hanford to be a part of the Antioch show. Because he built and set up his car, Michael Burch put Nick DeCarlo behind the wheel on one occasion and watched DeCarlo claim the glory that night. Burch, who’s been around the speedway for many years, picked up his first career win in the Larry Damitz Memorial race, netting him the $1,000 prize and a championship belt.
In Mini Stock competition, Tom Brown picked up where he left off a year earlier. He again won the championship at Petaluma. With four wins at Antioch, he cruised to his second-consecutive title there. After Dana Gardner broke leading his heat in the point finale, Laina Bales overtook him for second by six points in the final rundown. She had two Top 5 finishes to six for Gardner. However, Gardner got hot in postseason with his first two wins. Don Abitz had three Top 5s to finish fourth in the standings by 16 points over rookie Shane Titman, who had two Top 5s. 2021 Petaluma Super Stock champion Randy Miramontez won the season opener. Many-time Orland Raceway champion Tom Davis won the special extra money race at the end of October.
Race Director Chris Bennett organized the Sprint Car Showcase on November 12th and got a field of 23 competitors to show up for the race that was won by Colby Copeland over Colby Johnson and Kaleb Montgomery. The race was a success, leading to a Sprint Car Challenge Tour race being booked for 2023.
The track had five Xtreme Scaffolding Limited Late Model races on the schedule. Dan Brown Jr had a pair of seconds and three wins in the Antioch races as he won the series title over the consistent Matt Micheli. Other wins went to Anthony Slaney in the opener and Placerville champion Dan Jinkerson the following week.
The track had three WMR Midget races. It was Sage Bordenave beating Brody Petrie in an eventful race back in April. Series champion Blake Bower outran teammate Bryant Bell to win the next visit. Bower took a tumble in the final Antioch visit to end things early for him, while Hunt Wingless Sprint star Josh Young won that race ahead of Logan Mitchell and Terry Nichols. The BCRA Lightning Sprints made two appearances with wins going to Harlee Aguilera ahead of champion Matt Land and Peter Paulson in the first visit. Land outran Hunter Kinney and Brandon Leedy at the next go-round.
There was a hastily scheduled Hardtop race at the end of September that was run in memory of the late Butch Althar. The Sportsman of two-time Merced champion Rick Elliott won this eventful showdown ahead of Joel Hannagan in the Doug Braudrick owned Junkyard Dog and Mike Gillard. They also had the regularly scheduled Chet Thomson Memorial, and Hannagan became the first three-time winner of this race ahead of Gillard and Elliott. The very first California Sharp Mini Late Model race was won by Late Model veteran Mitch Enos after early leader Matt Malcolm spun twice.
There were many highlights during the 2022 season, and some good moments were created. There’s much optimism in the air around the speedway. Though the 62nd season of racing might have had a lot of things to be proud of, the 63rd year is expected to be even better. Stay tuned for more information to come. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com or go to Antioch Speedway by PROmotions on Facebook

Antioch Speedway Final 2022 Points
IMCA Modifeds
1    Nick DeCarlo    483
2    Kellen Chadwick    483
3     Bobby Motts    Jr    456
4     Trevor Clymens    442
5    Terry Decarlo Jr    430
6     Kenneth Robles    384
7     Troy Foulger    376
8    Terry Decarlo Sr    292
9     Buddy Kniss        280
10     Aaron Crowell    249

IMCA Sport Modifieds
1    Fred Ryland     456
2    Andrew Pearce     448
3    Jacob Mallet Jr    432
4    Kenny Shrader    368
5    Chuck Golden    357
6    Jason Ryan Jr    324
7     Tom Fraser        307
8     KC Keller        301
9     Dylan Connelly    300
10    Tyler Browne    290
IMCA Stock Cars
1    Travis Dutra    446
2    Jason Robles    426
3    Jason Jennings    379
4    Dave Hill        356
5    Dan Gonderman    315
6    Jeff Bentancourt    308
7    Joe Gallaher    300
8    Fred Ryland        297
9    Troy Foulger    254
10    Kellen Chadwick    211

Pacific Coast Engineering Hobby Stocks
1    Misty Welborn     580
2     Michaela Taylor    510
3    Jared Baugh        506
4     Taylor DeCarlo    454
5     Jewell Crandall    420
6    Grayson Baca    400
7     James Graessle    350
8     Larry McKinzie Jr    342
9     Jess Paladino    338
10     Gavin Griffiths    318
Delta Dwarf Cars
1    Danny Wagner    418
2    Devan Kammermann    358
3     Ellie Russo        296
4     David Michael Rosa 272
5     Chance Russell    256
6    David Rosa        238
7     Travis Day        212
8    Sean Catucci    174
9     Mario Marques    162
10     Toby Brown        152

Super Stocks
1    Jim Freethy        270
2    Joey Ridgway    182
3    Jimmy Robbins    174
4     Mike Walko        146
5    Mike Gustafson    96
6     Chad Hammer        90
7     michael burch    78
8     Nick DeCarlo    56
9     Jay Bryant        54
10     Ryan Smith        50

Wingless Spec Sprints
1     Shannon Newton    370
2    James East        353
3     Steve Maionchi    256
4    MacKenzie Newton    226
5    Zack Neeley        215
6    Jimmy Christian    186
7    Dylan Newberry    180
8    Tony Bernard    174
9    Roy Fisher        170
10    Richard Panfili    158

1    Tom Brown        278
2    Laina Bales        194
3    Dana Gardner    188
4    Don Abitz        150
5    Shan Titman        134
6    Eddie Humphrey III 132
7    David Carson    84
8    Chris Corder    82
9    Ryan Graham        82
10    Randy Miramontez    56

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