Antioch: Hogge IV Two for Two in Dodge! Ryland Fights off Two of IMCA’s Best!

Bobby Hogge IV in the Longhorn Dodge Late Model has won two weeks in a row.

Bobby Hogge IV in the Longhorn Dodge Late Model has won two weeks in a row.

                      Bobby Hogge IV made it two wins in two times out for the only Dodge powered car in the field of late model stock cars at An

tioch Speedway. Hogge IV got nosed out twice on restarts by Chico’s Richard Papenhausen, but quickly regained his lead.

Hogge IV, of Salinas, chose the outside groove on two caution flag restarts with 15 and 2 laps to go. He rode inches from the wall, hitting his marks with precision lap after lap.

“I couldn’t take off as fast as he could on the bottom,” Hogge said. “I kept to the top of the track, and chose a line where this car would be fastest.”

Richard Papenhausen (4) almost had Hogge IV...but almost doesn't count. Hogge rode high on the track and got the lead back - TWICE!

Richard Papenhausen (4) almost had Hogge IV…but almost doesn’t count. Hogge rode high on the track and got the lead back – TWICE!

“He kept me on the bottom,” Papenhausen said. “When you are playing catch you tend to overdrive. It was cat and mouse. When I was behind him the cars were equal – I never gained or lost distance – I was right there. I had to overdrive the car to pass him, and that rarely works.”

Duane Cleveland of Chico caught the leaders and was on Papenhausen’s back bumper at the finish of the race. Shawn DeForest of Livermore followed in fourth.

A first lap pileup damaged a few of the top cars. Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill left the track for repairs and returned. Paul Guglielmoni of Vacaville did not. Chester Kniss of Antioch, driving the only Ford in the field, finished fifth despite his car being damaged.

Fred Ryland (7) battled Rick Diaz late in the IMCA Sport Mod feature race. Lap after lap.

Fred Ryland (7) battled Rick Diaz late in the IMCA Sport Mod feature race. Lap after lap he led Diaz, who ran out of time to “set him up.”

Brentwood Drivers Excel in IMCA SportMods and Hobby Stocks

            Fred Ryland brought home his biggest win ever in the IMCA SportMod division by topping the two nationally ranked drivers. Rick Diaz of Los Banos is looking for the state title and the second highest ranked driver in the country, Nick Spainhoward of Bakersfield. Spainhoward was visiting Antioch Speedway for the first time, and Diaz had been to the track earlier this season.

Ryland took an early lead and fought off the challenges of the visitors. Visitors. Both Spainhoward and Diaz took their shots at passing Ryland.

Nick Spainhoward (40) who is second in the nation in IMCA SportMod points, Put the pressure on Ryland   all night long.

Nick Spainhoward (40) who is second in the nation in IMCA SportMod points, Put the pressure on Ryland all night long.

“I knew they were there, right alongside me” explained Ryland. “I switched from the middle groove to the bottom just to make it tougher for them to pass. It was one of the most exciting races – ever.”

Spainhoward was trying to figure out the speedway as he drove. To win the national title, he must excel at several different racetracks while accumulating enough points for the title.

“It was fast, smooth, and had a lot of good lines,” he said.

While Spainhoward was concerned with Ryland, Diaz made a late race move to take second place away from him. Ryland held steady.

Diaz said he simply ran out of time as he tried to devise a play on Ryland.

“I was just about to set him up and the white flag came out,” he said. “I didn’t realize the race was nearly over.”

Division champ Jeremy Hoff of Copperopolis jumped into his dad’s car for Saturday’s race and brought home fourth place. Hoff destroyed his car in a wreck the previous week, and was trying to maintain run on another championship.

Fifth place went to Al Sotomayor of Watsonville, who is vying for IMCA national rookie of the year.

Brentwood, Brentwood, Brentwood..It must be in the water. Brad Myers fights off the challenges of cross-town rival Patti Ryland in the Hobby Stock main event.

Brentwood, Brentwood..It must be in the water! Brad Myers fights off the challenges of cross-town rival Patti Ryland in the Hobby Stock main event.

In the Hobby Stock main event, it was Patti Ryland battling with cross-town rival Brad Myers for the win.

Myers succeeded in winning as Ryland tried every trick in the book to pass him. It was Myers second win after rejoining the division a month ago.

“I could hear the wheels of her car squealing along side of me lap after lap,” Myers said of Ryland “The best momentum for the car was at the top of the track. I tried to stay there.”

Ryland worked hard to pass Myers.

“My car was real fast – I started from dead last and caught him,” she said. “I just tried everything to pass him, even the bottom of the track. Why not?”

Third place Robert Sharp of Concord survived launching his car airborne early in the race to finish third. Mitch LoCicero of Martinez and Michael Cooper of Bay Point followed him across the line.

Clark scored his first win in the Northern All Star Wingless Sprints.

John Clark scored his first win in the Northern All Star Wingless Sprints.

Clark Takes Wingless Sprint Car Main

            John Clark of Windsor scored his first win in the wingless sprint car division. He topped Jeff Banbury of Elk Grove. Local hero Roy Fisher of Antioch was third.

Early leader Billy Macedo of Concord and D.J. Johnson tangled and crashed. in the first turn midway through the event. Macedo came back to get fourth. Chris Magoon of Oakley finished fifth.

Brent Curran Wins in New Car

            Antioch “Four-Banger” division point leader Brent Curran made it four wins in a row, five for the season, by jumping into girlfriend Janelle Barlow’s car. Curran blew the head gasket in his own car last week, and needed to race this week to maintain his lead.

“For her to do this for me is just awesome,” he said in victory lane. “She’s the best girlfriend in the world.”

Big Summer Events Continue Saturday (Aug. 2) At Antioch Speedway

            Winged 360 sprint cars will headline this Saturday night’s six division “Big Show” at Antioch Speedway. The Northern All Star wingless sprint cars, IMCA Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf cars will all have qualifying races and feature events.

Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children 6-12, and $8 for senior citizens. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.

Antioch Speedway - Home of the Late Models! Richard Papenhausen, who finished second, and Duane Cleveland, right , who finished third, hold court with Bobby HoggeIV who won two straight with the Longhorn Dodge.

Antioch Speedway – Home of the Late Models! Richard Papenhausen, who finished second, and Duane Cleveland, right , who finished third, hold court with Bobby HoggeIV who won two straight with the Longhorn Dodge.

 

MERCED SPEEDWAY: DWARF INVASION; FREITAS LONGSHOT OVER PAUL STONE IN IMCA MODIFIEDS

A full field of dwarf cars from California and Nevada is expected at Merced Speedway Saturday night.

A full field of dwarf cars from California and Nevada is expected at Merced Speedway Saturday night.

By Mike Adaskaveg

Merced Sun Star

There will be a Dwarf Car invasion at Merced Speedway, and Gene “Punky” Pires of Los Banos will be leading the charge.

Pires, like the majority of the tiny Dwarf Car drivers, has never raced at the quarter mile dirt track. With cars and drivers from as far away as San Diego and Nevada expected on Saturday, Pires will have plenty of competition.

Punky Pires

Punky Pires

“Dwarf car drivers are like one big family,” Pires explains about the people behind the steering wheels of the little cars capable of speeds up to 100 mph. “Everyone helps eachother prepare for the race. Competition is always close, that is one of the major attractions to driving this type of car.”

Pires is president of South Bay Dwarf Cars, a club boasting 34 members. Other California clubs have similar counts in their membership rosters. The drivers compete at a wide variety of racetracks in the Western states.

“With hardly anyone having experienced Merced Speedway, there will be a scramble to set up suspension on the cars after hot laps,” Pires continues. “These little cars are one of the toughest race cars to drive. They’re twitchy – they respond quickly to the track and driver because of their short wheelbase.”

Big 1,000 cc motorcycle engines power the little cars. They blast through the turns of dirt tracks four abreast, providing a thrilling experience for drivers and fans.

Pires has been behind the wheel of his dwarf cars for 11 years. He learned about the cars from an employee, and found them to be an affordable vehicle to race.

“They look small, but they are roomy enough for a full sized driver,” says Pires of the Dwarf Cars. “They provide all the thrills and more that you would expect from auto racing. They are a whole lot of fun.”

Rodney Freitas (25) is the reigning track champion in the IMCA modified division. He races Karl Rose. Both drivers have given Paul Stone a run for the money this year, but Stone has a healthy lead in the IMCA modifieds.

Rodney Freitas (25) is the reigning track champion in the IMCA modified division. He races Karl Rose. Both drivers have given Paul Stone a run for the money this year, but Stone has a healthy lead in the IMCA modifieds.

IMCA “Modifieds”, Hobby Stocks and Valley Sportsman Saturday Night

The winged retro cars of the Valley Sportsman division join the Dwarf Cars in headlining Saturday night’s Merced Speedway four-division program. Each class of cars will have qualifying races and a feature event.

Mike Henault of LaGrange leads Merced’s Tim Prothro by a mere five points in the championship battle for the Valley Sportsman Division. Newcomer Marcus Lung is in the hunt for the championship, 24 points out of first. He’s driving the sportsman owned by his dad, Jim, of Mariposa, raced in the 1970s.

The battle of the season is taking place in the Merced Speedway Hobby Stock division. Raul Rodriguez of Merced is barely ahead of Los Banos schoolteacher Kristie Shearer, who trails by seven points in championship points.

In the IMCA modified stock car division, Paul Stone of Winton is well on the way to accomplishing his goal of winning the track championship. Defending champion Rodney Freitas of Merced is 31 points out of the lead.

“There’s not 31 points to be had in the three nights of racing left for IMCA modifieds,” lamented defending champion Freitas. “Stone would have to miss a race for me to be able to win the championship. I’ll fight for second.”

Jeff Streeter of Chowchilla is 18 points behind Freitas in third place.

Merced Speedway is located inside the Merced County Fairgrounds; 900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Merced, Calif. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for children 6-12. A family four-pack of tickets admits two children and two adults for $30.

Racing begins at 7 p.m. The grandstand opens at 5 p.m.