Photo Courtesy of Katrina Kniss Photography
By Candice Martin
After an exciting night of racing at the Sonny Calkins Memorial last weekend, the show continues at Antioch Speedway this Saturday night. We approach summer with a five division offering that will feature the Xtreme Scaffolding Limited Late Models, Delta Dwarf Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, BCRA Lightning Sprints and the Super Stocks. It’s a night that will offer a little something for everybody.
Mike Slaney knew he had something good when he created the Limited Late Model Series this year. This series takes Late Models using the crate motor package and gives the drivers a little something special to shoot for.
The Top 3 drivers in the championship chase will receive point fund money with first getting $1,500, second getting $1,000 and third getting $500. There will also be three very nice trophies at season’s end. They compete at Marysville, Placerville and Antioch, and the drivers tend to come from either the Placerville area or the Bay Area.
We had 15 of them for the Memorial Day show, which was won by past Petaluma IMCA Modified champion Anthony Slaney. Reigning Placerville Limited Late Model champion Dan Jinkerson was running in second when he spun. Jinkerson won one of the three races for the LLM Series this year with the other win going to highly decorated champion Matt Micheli.
Driving one of the Mike Lightfoot owned cars, Jinkerson could be the driver to watch as he’s won three times this year at Placerville. In addition to his Limited Late Model accolades, he has won three dozen Pure Stock Main Events at that track.
Some of the drivers anticipated for this show include past past Placerville champions Ray Trimble and Dan Brown Jr, past Petaluma Late Model champion Paul Guglielmoni, Jay Norton, Haley Gomez and Kiely Ricardo.
Ricardo had problems early on at the last Antioch show. It looked like her car wouldn’t even run after taking it off the trailer. However, everybody jumped in to help her, and she ended up finishing fourth in the Main Event. There should be a dozen or more cars for this event.
The complexion of the Delta Dwarf Car championship battle has changed with Devan Kammeramann winning back to back races. Three-time winner Danny Wagner clings to a two-point advantage over Kammeramann after finishing second last time out. Wagner is trying to get his third championship at the track.
Meanwhile, Chance Russell is 50 points out of the lead in third, 14 ahead of Ellie Russo in another good battle. Russo has been fast this year, and she’ll be aiming for her second career win. For Russell, a win would be his first. He’s been fast all season long, as witnessed by his best effort of the season in third last time out. He had a fourth place finish two races prior, but a bit of bad luck has caused him to fall a little bit off the pace behind the lead duo.
Russell did have a pair of second place finishes last season and seems poised for victory at any moment. Some of the drivers to watch for this week include David Rosa, David Michael Rosa, the always fast Sean Catucci and 2020 champion Travis Day.
In the midst of the battle for the big money in the Sonny Calkins Memorial Wingless Spec Sprint race last week, the championship race tightened up. Season opening winner Zack Neeley had problems early on to end his race. James East did a little bit better, and they ended the night in a tie, 34 points ahead of Bob Newberry. Two-time champion Newberry had been running in fifth for several laps before mechanical issues sidelined him. His nephew, Dylan Newberry, ended up finishing fifth.
The BCRA Lightning Sprints continue a tradition of having the 1200cc motorcycle engine Sprint Cars competing at the speedway at least once a year. That started back in 1994. At the time, the Northern Stars Mini Sprint tour was the promotional effort, but BCRA is the oldest sanctioning body for racing in California. They got involved in this class by the end of the 1990s and have been supporting it ever since. Last season, they brought a dozen cars with past champion Hunter Kinney picking up the win ahead Greg Dennett and Terry Bergstrom.
It’s been a competitive season after four races for the group. They’ve had four different winners, including Dennett, reigning champion Dakota Albright, AJ Bender and David Gasper. Currently, Matt Land leads the standings by 51 points over Harlee Aguilera and 71 over Dennett.
The Super Stocks were added officially on Sunday. There had been some talk about this being a date, but management confirmed it. Reigning champion Jim Freethy is in search of his third title with the class and holds a commanding lead in that quest. He’s won two of the three races held so far. The battle appears to be for second. 2020 champion Mike Walko has a two-point lead over Joey Ridgway Jr, a four point advantage over past Super Hobby Stock champion Jimmy Robbins, a six point lead over Chad Hammer and 18 points over Michael Burch. Both Walko and Robbins have second place finishes this year.
The Super Stock division has been competing for championships at the speedway since 2000. Because Larry Damitz was such a dominant force in the final years of his career, winning five championships and finishing second two other times in a 7-year span, people assume he’s the man with the most wins in this division’s history. However, that honor belongs to Mike Gustafson. Mike has won over 50 races in Super Stocks along with two championships. The 1980 Sportsman champion is rumored to be in consideration for a Hall of Fame induction.
Saturday night’s program will offer a little something for everybody. If you like them with fenders or open wheels, they’ll be here. The gates open at 4:00 with the first race firing off at 6:00.
Ticket prices are $20 for Adults, $15 for Military, Seniors (60 and over) and Children (under 11) with Children 5 and under free.
For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.