Hudson Wins Larry Damitz Memorial Cooper, Ryan, Hannagan Other Winners

Oregon Pro Stock champion Jeffrey Hudson #88 won the Larry Damitz Memorial race. Photo by Katrina Kniss

By Candice Martin
Antioch, CA…May 13…Jeffrey Hudson of Keno, Oregon picked up the win in the 25 lap Tri State Pro Stock Challenge Series Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. This was the annual Larry Damitz Memorial race, paying tribute to the man who raced for over 60 years and was a champion at 87 years old. Hudson collected $1,000 for his effort along with a championship belt.

Hudson drew the pole for the Main Event and charged into the lead at the start ahead of Antioch’s Buddy Kniss. Following a Lap 2 yellow flag, Richard Brace Jr of Grass Valley took up pursuit of Hudson. The third yellow of the race flew on Lap 11 for Peter Coberly of Atwater in Turn 4. As Hudson continued to lead Brace, Chris Smith of Coalinga settled into third.

On the 13th lap, Smith slipped past Brace on the front stretch to take second. Recent Placerville winner Travis White of Fallon, Nevada put the moves on Brace for third on the 16th circuit. Hudson drove a flawless race as he lapped slower cars down the stretch and picked up the win ahead of Smith, White, Brace and 2021 series champion Justin Crockett of Arroyo Grande.

eries organizer Brian Cooper #17c beat an all atar lineup in the West Coast Hobby Stock Main Event. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Brian Cooper of Yuba City scored the victory in the 25 lap West Coast Hobby Stock Main Event. Cooper, who is a past IMCA Sport Modified State champion, organized this series with Jerry Bartlett of Yuba City. Drivers from Hobby Stock divisions throughout the state gathered at Antioch with a field of 48 cars in competition.

As Cooper started back in the third row, Galt’s Clarence Holbrook III bolted into the early lead ahead of Bobby Motts Jr of San Pablo. An inside pass on the back stretch on the third lap moved Cooper into second. A yellow flag waved on Lap 4, and Cooper turned up the pressure on Holbrook on the restart. As they worked their way down the front stretch on Lap 6, Cooper moved to the inside and made the pass for the lead. Les Friend of Galt began challenging Holbrook for the second position, and a tangle involving Phillip Shelby and Cameron Swank brought out a Lap 13 yellow flag.

As Cooper led the way, Friend slipped past Holbrook for second. Holbrook came back strong to reclaim second on Lap 15, but Holbrook used a Turn 4 pass on Lap 18 to regain the runner-up spot. A yellow flag waved moments later, and Cooper continued to lead Friend on the restart. 19th starter Casey Gingrich of Orland moved into third late, and Cooper scored the satisfying win ahead of Friend, Gingrich, Ty Carlson of Stockton and Rob Gallaher of San Jose.

Jason Ryan Jr #52 won his first IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Jason Ryan Jr of Oakley won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. This was his first career victory. Ryan competed in the Central California Clash Series the week prior and ended up second in the standings.

With a pole position start, Dylan Connolly set the early pace ahead of Jonathan Hagio of Prunedale. A yellow flag waved for a four car crash in Turn 4. Connolly continued to lead the restart with Tommy Fraser of Antioch and Ryan moving into second and third. Connolly was doing an impressive job of leading the way in his pursuit of a first time win, and he maintained the point through two more yellow flags.

On a Lap 16 restart, Ryan started challenging Fraser for second before slipping past him on Lap 17. Ryan turned up the heat on Connolly before finding his opening on the back stretch on Lap 17 to gain command. Ryan went on to victory from there ahead of Connolly, Fraser, Brentwood’s Trevor Clymens and Kenny Shrader of Pacheco.

Joel Hannagan #16 won his second-straight Hardtop Main Event. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Joe Hannagan drove the Doug Braudrick owned Junkyard Dog Hardtop to the victory in their 12 lap Main Event. Front row starter Ronnie Ruiz of West Sacramento took the early lead ahead a Brad Coelho of Oakley. Hanngan motored into second on Lap 2. Bob Slaney spun in Turn 4 for a Lap 3 yellow flag. Hannagan took the lead from Ruiz on the restart. A low pass in Turn 4 on Lap 7 gained Coelho second from Ruiz. However, Ruiz kept it close. A back stretch pass on Lap 11 regained Ruiz second, but Hannagan built a comfortable advantage by then on his way to victory. Coelho settled for third ahead of Joe Shenefield of Modesto and Dave Reed of West Sacramento.

Heidi won the 10 lap Mother’s Day Minivan race, beating a field of four competitors.

Antioch Speedway will be open during the Contra Costa County Fair for two nights of racing. On Friday night, the Wingless Spec Sprints are back in action along with the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars. Saturday night sees the return of the exciting Figure 8 along with the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks and IMCA Sport Modifieds. For further information, go to

Antioch Speedway Race Results

Tri State Pro Stocks
FT Travis White 15.674. Heat Winners (8 laps)-Richard Brace Jr, Mike Learn, Jeffrey Hudson. Main Event (25 laps)-Jeffrey Hudson, Chris Smith, Travis White, Richard Brace Jr, Justin Crockett, Ryan Smith, Mike Learn, Paul Miller, Donny Richardson, Brent Lawrence.

West Coast Hobby Stocks
Heat Winners (8 laps)-Larry McKinzie Jr, Devin Koranda, Anthony Vigna, Colten Haney, Rob Gallaher, Bobby Motts Jr. B Main 1 (12 laps)-Les Friend, Philip Shelby, Grayson Baca. B Main 2 (12 laps)-Steven Johnson, Nick Johnson, Joe Gallaher. Main Event (25 laps)-Brian Cooper, Les Friend, Casey Gingrich, Ty Carlson, Rob Gallaher, Joe Gallaher, Clarence Holbrook III, Grayson Baca, Lance Hurst, Anthony Vigna.

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 laps)-Jonathan Hagio, Chuck Golden, Chester Kniss. Main Event (20 laps)-Jason Ryan Jr, Dylan Connolly, Tommy Fraser, Trevor Clymens, Kenny Shrader, Mark Garner, Chester Kniss, Joseph Pato, Matt Pitts, Chuck Golden.

Heat Winner (8 laps)-Joel Hannagan. Main Event (12 laps)-Joel Hannagan, Ronnie Ruiz, Brad Coelho, Joe Shenefield, Dave Reed, Don Slaney, Ken Clifford DNS.