Oakley’s Aaron Crowell dominated the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified Stock Car class – winning both his qualifying race and the main event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. The 2004 champion was untouchable as he blasted into an early lead and never looked back.
The five division program saw Jason Ferguson of Meridian take his first-ever win in the IMCA SportMod division, and Dan McCown of Oakley driving to a Hobby Stock victory in Steve Roger’s car. Jim Perry III of Concord is batting .500 this season after winning his fourth Northern All Stars wingless sprint car feature.
Mike Corsaro of Tracy won the Dwarf Car feature, which started with a memorial lap for driver Josh Miller’s father, Joe Reeder, who was killed in a car crash earlier in the week. Miller, of Pittsburg drove to second in the race.
Crowell Borrowed Engine to Race
Crowell’s family and friends work on and sponsor his car. When his engine started going bad a couple of weeks ago, they feared the season would end early.
Earlier in the week, Crowell borrowed an engine from IMCA SportMod racer Fred Ryland of Brentwood.
“I was just trying the engine out, and the thing ran like a top,” Crowell said in victory lane. “I’ve got to see if I can keep it.”
Terry Kaiser of Fairfield finished second with Nick Viscusi III of Vacaville chasing him across the finish line. IMCA Champ Carl Berendsen from Antioch was fourth with Antioch’s Ed Daviess following in fifth.
Ferguson Scores First Win
“It’s my first win ever – in any kind of car at any race track – ever,” proclaimed Ferguson in victory lane after fighting off Antioch’s Ron Brown. “And it feels amazing.”
Ferguson, 20 began racing when he was seven years old. He’s raced in karts and stock cars – never winning.
“I finished second so many times,” he yelled. “I’m going to Disneyland!”
Brentwood’s Trevor Clymens was first to challenge Ferguson. The two cars got so close in turn two, that Clymens popped a tire. Then, Brown took up the chase, with Hayward’s KC Keller along side of him to the finish.
“It’s my last night racing for a while,” Brown explained in victory lane. He had been experiencing kidney problems. “The doctors told me to take a break and I figured I’d give it one more try. I was having a great season this year.”
Keller was third.
“I’m happy to get third place – it was great fun,” he said. “I made a decision to keep it clean and backed down on Brown when I couldn’t pass him without contact.”
Clymens came back for fourth, with Brentwood neighbor Fred Ryland alongside him and finishing fifth at the finish.
Perry III Almost Didn’t Win
Perry III has four wins in eight outings, but the fourth win Saturday night almost didn’t happen. His car failed on the white flag lap.
“I was talking to my car, saying ‘just one more lap, come on, you can make it’,” he laughed in victory lane. A main bearing “spun” in the car’s engine, slowing him to a stop just after the checkered flag dropped.
James East of San Jose was a distant second, followed by Kyle Bakkie from Citrus Heights.
Dan McCown Jumps in and Goes
Veteran Hobby Stock ace McCown jumped in a Steve Roger’s car that just arrived at the race track moments before it’s heat race was called.
“My engine was in the Roger’s other chassis and it broke tonight,” McCown explained. “So he went back home to Oakley, got HIS car, and let me drive it.”
The strategy went well, as McCown kept a car length ahead of Vacaville’s Kimo Oreta the entire race.
“I got caught in traffic,” said Oreta. “Once I broke free, it was all I could do to keep pace with him (McCown). He was fast.”
Third place finisher Natalie Perry from Concord had Mt. Diablo High School student Shayla Blackman, 14, along for the ride.
“I’m hooked. I wanted to be a race car driver since I was five, and now I know I HAVE to be a race car driver,” Blackman said of her first time on the track.
Frank Furtado of Antioch and Chris Sorensen of El Sobrante rounded out the top five.
Somber Night For Dwarf Car Drivers
It was a somber and reflective night for the drivers and crews in the Dwarf Car division Saturday night. Joe Reeder, an instrumental member of the dwarf car community at Antioch Speedway and beyond, died in a car accident earlier in the week.
Reeder’s brother, Tim Reeder and son Josh Miller race in the dwarf car division. Joe Reeder was Josh Miller’s crew chief.
Miller, from Pittsburg, carried a checkered flag for his dad in a memorial lap prior to the Dwarf Car feature. He then drove one of the best races of his career to finish second to top driver Corsaro.
Miller and sisters Mary Kay and Cassie survived Reeder, who was 51. He had two granddaughters and one great-grand child “on the way”.
This Week at Antioch Speedway
DIRTCar Late Models headline Saturday night’s program at Antioch Speedway. The fastest stock cars on dirt will be joined by the Brentwood Auto Parts IMCA SportMod, Northern All Stars Limited Late Models, Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Hobby Stocks.
Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.