Antioch, CA…There’s a lot of excitement behind the scenes at Antioch Speedway going into this Saturday night. Thanks to the efforts of Hall of Fame racer Ron Brown to gather sponsorship, it’s Fan Appreciation Night. It’s a $5 ticket admission to get you a great night of racing along with live music before the show and other giveaways for the kids. This will include bikes, Hot Wheels and candy.
The racing program that has been scheduled will have people wanting to see the excitement. Antioch Speedway will feature all three of its IMCA sanctioned classes, Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars. The Wingless Spec Sprints will continue their 25th championship season, and the track will also get its first look at the USAC Western States Midgets. As if that’s not enough, the Print Club Mini Stocks and California Sharp Mini Late Models are also coming to town.
Troy Foulger of Oakley continues to march toward a pair of championships in the Bowers Motorsports entries. With three wins in the Modifieds, he leads top National rookie and State point leader Andrew Pearce of Oakley by 22 tallies. Last time out, Pearce collected his third Antioch win with Foulger in pursuit. Two-time reigning champion Nick DeCarlo has a solid hold on third despite missing last week for a Hawaiian vacation. Buddy Kniss leads Jeff Browne, both of Oakley, by just two points in the race for fourth.
Much like the Modifieds, only one driver seems to be in the hunt to deny Foulger his date with destiny. Foulger leads Jason Robles of Rio Vista by 30 points in the race for the IMCA Stock Car title. Nobody has ever won two championships in the same season at Antioch Speedway, just as nobody has won six Modified titles, which Foulger is threatening to do. Last week, his seventh win in Stock Car competition maintained his march toward that championship.
Kenneth Robles didn’t have the best of nights, but the Rio Vista leadfoot and son of Jason nonetheless moved past Concord’s Travis Dutra by 28 points for third in the standings. Kenneth is one of two drivers other than Foulger who has won a Main Event this season. The other is Terry DeCarlo Jr of Martinez. Scott Foster of Oakley is 11 points ahead of Jeff Bentancourt of Brentwood in the race for fifth with DeCarlo closing in fast.
Quietly, Jason Ryan Jr is enjoying the season of his career in the IMCA Sport Modified division. The Oakley hard charger is leading Trevor Clymens of Brentwood in the State of California race, which is a title Clymens has won before. With three Antioch wins to his credit, Ryan leads two-time winner Kenny Shrader at Pacheco by six markers. Clymens is just eight points behind Ryan in third, tied with past Super Stock champion Mark Garner of Antioch. Mark is still feeling the bliss of battling his son Billy Garner for a Top 3 finish last time out.
The younger Garner, and fourth-generation of his family to race, is only 16 points behind reigning State champion Jacob Mallet Jr in the battle for fifth. Two points ahead of Garner is Joseph Pato of Oakley, who likewise has a podium finish in Main Event competition to his credit. The way Billy has been looking lately, he’s knocking on the door to his first career feature win. He has won in the Hobby Stocks in the past.
The Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Tour also counted towards the Antioch point race last week. Oakley’s James East was fortunate enough to make the cut into the feature last time out, though it didn’t go very well. Because he at least got that start, East is still within 26 points of Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares in the title chase.
Soares has one win at Antioch so far. Because of his three feature wins this year, Oakley’s Jacob Tuttle has catapulted into third in the standings, two ahead of two-time champion Bob Newberry of Brentwood. Shawn Arriaga has moved up to fifth in the race, just 12 behind Tuttle. Only six markers behind him is the tied Steve Maionchi of Sonora and Jeff Scotto of Brentwood.
Antioch Speedway will get its inaugural look at the USAC Western States Midgets Tour. The series booked 16 races at eight different tracks in a barnstorming tour that will crown the top Midget driver of California once again. The series has seen the rise of Brody Fuson of Bakersfield. Brody has collected three wins so far on the tour, giving him a 39 point advantage over Cade Lewis, 466-427. Lewis has nearly a 100 point advantage over Ron Hazelton, who is just seven points ahead of Ben Worth.
Worth and Lewis have each collected a win on the tour. Jake Andreotti and Caden Sarale also have wins to their credit. Another close battle for fifth finds past WMR Midget Ventura champion Randi Pankratz leading past USAC Western States champion Blake Bower by 53 points in the race for fifth. Bower is the reigning WMR Midget champion. The good news is the drivers can get familiar with the speedway this week and will return on September 30th for one more show.
Delbert Rios is the man behind the scenes getting two Print Club Mini Stocks to the speedway. He’s the car owner for four-time Orland Raceway champion Tom Davis of Los Molinos and Tony Quinonez of Corning. Despite missing the opening race, Davis has rattled off six-straight feature wins, and that gives him a 37 point advantage over Tom Brown of Santa Rosa in the championship battle. Brown’s one blemish was his motor issue that kept him from starting the feature two events ago. It cost him the point lead.
Quinonez, meanwhile, has taken a seven point lead over San Bruno’s Dana Gardner in the race for third. Gardner won the season opener this year. Just 25 points behind him is the year’s top rookie, David Carson of Antioch. The Mini Stocks are getting ready for a busy month. They compete on the 19th in the Print Club Mini Stock Bash, which offers an increased purse. Also, they are competing in the West Coast Sport Compact visit that will take place on the 26th.
Management is trying to find other attractions for the show, and they have added the California Sharp Mini Late Models to the lineup this weekend. They made an appearance earlier at the Soares Memorial, where DJ Saenz held off fellow Manteca racer Mitch Enos for the glory. Oakley’s Cayden Foster has just joined the fray and finished third in that race ahead of South Bay Dwarf Car racer Dan Zuger of San Jose.
The track is interested in getting more racers with 600cc engines, which are also run in the Micro Sprint class that has made multiple visits. This division is featured at Merced Speedway, so dates have to be scheduled around them. Ryder Jeppesen of Atwater leads DJ Saenz by 22 points in the Merced race and is reportedly planning to visit for this occasion. Brother Riley Jeppesen got his start in Mini Late Models before moving up to IMCA Sport Modifieds.
Mini Late Models are seen as a stepping stone from Outlaw Kart racing on the smaller tracks to the bigger tracks. Merced has seen several drivers graduate to other divisions in their lineup.
There’s another loaded lineup of racing on tap for Antioch Speedway this Saturday night. All General Admission is $5 with children four and under free. In addition to the racing, there will also be lots of giveaways and live music.
The gates will open at 4:00 with the first race firing off at 6:00. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com or check out the Antioch Speedway by PROmotions Facebook page.