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 Posted: Friday Aug 18th, 2017 06:33 PM
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Don Martin II
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Sprint Cars Back In Action At Antioch Speedway


Antioch, CA...The Winged 360 Sprint Cars are back at Antioch Speedway for the first time in August. This Saturday night's All Star Series racing program will include a nice variety of divisions as Limited Late Models, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, BCRA Midget Lites and California Hardtops are all on the card.

Melissa Polizzi continues to lead the Winged 360 Sprint Car championship battle after five races. Antioch Speedway has never had a female champion in a division higher than Limited Late Models. She's doing it through consistency with four Top 5 finishes. Her lead is 26 points ahead of Aaron Miller. Miller had a fifth place finish at the opener and is still looking for another Top 5 finish. He's going to need it if he wants to keep second generation racer Burt Foland Jr. behind him.

Foland has two second place finishes and two thirds. He's still looking for his first win, but if not for missing a race, he would probably be leading the points. Foland is 23 points ahead of the man who has finished second in points for the past two seasons, Art McCarthy. McCarthy failed to start the season opener and has been playing catch up ever since. He has two fifth place finishes, but is still without a win. Only rookie Kyle Offill has won twice this season as Tyler Seavey, Dustin Golobic and Colby Wiesz also have wins.

We get different drivers coming to town for a shot at a nice winner's payday each race, and you never know who will be there next. it's usually younger drivers who are up from the Micro Sprint and Cage Kart divisions. 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" Jenna Frazier, teammate Jason Paniagua, Steve Jaquith and Jacob Tuttle are other drivers who have supported the effort on multiple occasions this year, and Frazier is just six points behind McCarthy in the battle for fourth.

Last week, Jim Freethy finally picked up his first Limited Late Model feature win of the season. Freethy is tied with point leader Kimo Oreta with six Top 3 finishes. Freethy's win came ahead of Oreta, who holds a 14 point lead in the championship battle. Freethy and Mark Garner are tied for second, 12 points ahead of Mike Gustafson. Any one of the four could win this championship, but Oreta isn't making it easy on them with two wins and four seconds. All four of them now have feature wins. Fifth ranked John Evans, Chad Hammer, Buddy Kniss and Jeff Kendrick are hoping they could be next. Hammer had his best finish in fifth last time, and Evans is currently fifth in points. Kniss will be missing the race this week due to a baseball tournament.

K.C. Keller is coming off of a B Modified race that he'd rather forget last week. He spun out twice in his quest for a third win. He ended up a disappointed third at the finish, but his lead is now 54 points ahead of Chuck Golden. Trevor Clymens basically took himself out of title contention while running second, and second is where the battle is at the moment. Mark Garner won his second Main Event last week and is now just two points behind Golden. Past Petaluma IMCA Modified champion Nick Caughman Jr. made his division debut in his #21 car and finished second. Caughman switched numbers to pay tribute to his cousin, Steven "The Hammer" Cunningam. Cunningham died due to complications from an automobile accident last year. Nick is dedicating his season to Cunningham. Nick could be a threat to win this week, but Doff Cooksey, Todd Gomez and Kevin Brown are other drivers to watch for this week.

The Hobby Stock championship battle seems to be a wide open affair this season. Nobody really entered the season with a big budget, and two of the top teams have been forced to miss a race due to motor issues. Chris Long missed a race earlier this year to drop him out of the point lead. Last week, Brent Curran missed a race because of motor problems he discovered while loading his car for the races that night. Long lost a top 5 finish last week when he had to pit with a flat tire. Long still moved into the point lead. Four time winner Chris Sorensen used a fourth place finish last week to move into second in the standings. Long now leads Sorensen by 22 points. Curran fell 25 points out of the lead after missing the race.

Still lurking out there in championship contention is Cameron Swank. Swank earned his fourth second place finish of the season. Cameron is probably the driver most due for a feature win. He did give Michael Cooper a good run last week before settling for second behind the two time winner. Swank had a race well in hand earlier this year before a last lap flat tire wiped out a huge lead and forced him to settle for second. Swank is just 3 points ahead of Chris Bennett. Following his fifth place finish last week, two time Super Hobby Stock champion Gene Haney is 44 points behind Bennett in the race for fifth. Two time champion Melissa Myers is a welcome late addition to this season's roster. She has a win, two seconds and a third in the last five races.

The BCRA Midget Lites have been struggling a bit this year in the car count department. Kyle Offill and Scott Males have moved up to Sprint Cars after Top 3 seasons last year, but reigning champion Craig Dillard is back this year and running away with the point lead once again. He may be the driver to beat, but long time racer Scott Kinney and his son Hunter Kinney are both winners on the circuit this year who could present a challenge. Emilee Lindgren currently has a pretty good lead over Dakota Albright in the race for second. Albright had a strong second place finish last week behind Charlie Carracilo at Merced. These five should be there this week, and others to watch for this week are Kayla Green, Terry Begstrom and Danika Jo Parker.

The last time Dave Mackey was here with his Bay Area Hardtop, he was winning the Main Event. Mackey takes great pride in the red and white #1 Coupe, which be built as a tribute to the Dudley racing family. Mackey leads the group into Antioch, and we are hearing of the debut of two new cars, driven by Ken Retzloff and Doug Braudrick. Braudrick built is car in tribute to his father, Dick Braudrick. Kimo Oreta will be back in the Sun Drop Racing #100 car as he goes for his second win. Other drivers to watch for include Rob Waldrop, Dan Williams, Gene Haney and Steve Cloyes.

It's a nice mixture of open wheel and stock car racing this Saturday night that should be entertaining from start to finish. For further information, go to http://www.antiochspeedway.com.


All Star Series Winged Sprint Cars back At Antioch Speedway


Antioch, CA...The All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars return to Antioch Speedway this Saturday night for their sixth race of the season. The three-eighth mile clay oval continues to be a prime location for Sprint Car racing as the track has hosted two Sprint Car Challenge Series races and a King Of The West race this year, and the Wingless Spec Sprints are in their 19th season at the track. The commitment has been made by Promoter John M. Soares to build this division

The track offers a $1,200 payday to the winner, and they see visitors come to town at every race to challenge the regulars. Three of them have won Main Events. Most recently, three time Marysville champion Colby Wiesz scored the victory. Tyler Seavey and Dustin Golobic also have wins. The other two wins belong to division rookie Kyle Offill. After his Top 3 season with the BCRA Midget Lites last year, Kyle made the big move. It didn't go so well in playday as he flipped the car, but he returned on opening day and scored a victory. His next win came after a charge from the back of the pack. Offill has taken himself out of the point battle to run special big events.

The championship battle has an interesting look to it. It's just possible that somebody will be winning their first career Winged 360 Sprint Car championship, but who is the question. The fastest among the group may be second generation racer Burt Foland Jr. Burt missed the third race of the season. However, his four starts have resulted in two seconds and two thirds. He's now four points behind Aaron Miller. Miller makes the trip from Grants Pass, Oregon to compete at Antioch. After his fifth place finish in the opener, the second generation racer decided he wanted to come race for points.

At the top of the point list is Marissa Polizzi. Polizzi has been consistent this season with four fourths and one third place finish, and she is poised to break new ground for the lady racers at the speedway. No woman has won a championship in a division higher than Limited Late Models at Antioch Speedway. Last year, Jenna Frazier won the "Rookie Of The Year" award. She is currently fifth behind the driver many people thought of as the man to beat, Art McCarthy.

McCarthy has been racing open wheel cars for many years, going back to Super Modifieds at San Jose Speedway. He's a two time Petaluma Speedway champion, but he has been the biggest supporter of the Antioch effort, going back a decade when he won the championship there. His last three seasons at Antioch include two seconds and a third. Art has won five Main Events from 2015 to 2016, but he has thus far been shut out of the winner's column this season. A mechanical issue kept him out of the season opener. Even if he had started that race, he'd probably still be second to Polizzi. What's interesting is that all of the Top 5 drivers have yet to win a Main Event this year, and Foland's two seconds are the best of the group.

A local teen joined the field three races ago and got everybody's attention. He's Jacob Tuttle. Tuttle comes up from the Cage Karts, and his first start saw him lead every lap but the last one. It was Offill making the last lap pass and making Jacob settle for second that night. There have been three late race lead changes in the Main Event this year as the division has been exciting to watch. Frazier's car owner Jason Paniagua is fielding a car for himself and is currently seventh ahead of Chowchilla's Steve Jaquith. Jaquith had his best finish ever in third earlier this season after winning his heat race. This has him feeling pretty good about his chances of getting a first career win.

The Antioch Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Car division is growing. There are some good racers committed to the effort and top notch young talent showing up from week to week to battle for the $1,200 victory. Saturday night's race should be a good show. For further information, go to http://www.antiochspeedway.com.

Point Standings
All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Marissa Polizzi 224
Aaron Miller 198
Burt Foland Jr. 194
Art McCarthy 171
Jenna Frazier 165
Kyle Offill 150
Jason Paniagua 142
Steve Jaquith 96
Jacob Tuttle 82
Emily Williams 72

All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule
July 29
August 19
August 26
September 9
September 16
September 23

Past Champions
1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga
2016-Billy Aton

Recent Feature Winners
June 24, 2017: Colby Wiesz
June 17, 2017: Jonathan Allard
June 10, 2017: Dustin Golobic
May 13, 2017: Kyle Offill
May 6, 2017: Tyler Seavey
April 22, 2017: Kyle Offill
April 1, 2017: Cory Eliason
September 31, 2016: Billy Aton
September 17, 2016: Colby Johnson
September 10, 2016: Matt Barber
August 27, 2016; Billy Aton
August 20, 2016: Riley Matson
August 13, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 6, 2016: Seth Nunes
July 30, 2016: Art McCarthy
July 16, 2016: Brayden McMahan
June 25, 2016: Kaleb Montgomery
June 18, 2016: Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
May 16, 2015: Jake Haulot
April 25, 2015: Alissa Geving
March 7, 2015: Art McCarthy

Last edited on Friday Aug 18th, 2017 06:48 PM by Don Martin II



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