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 Posted: Saturday Sep 9th, 2017 05:02 AM
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Don Martin II
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Antioch Speedway Offers Loaded Racing Program
Saturday Night



Antioch, CA...Antioch Speedway is offering up another loaded racing program for the crowd. Perhaps to make up for the Labor Day Weekend break, the All Star Series program will include the Winged 360 Sprint Cars, DIRTcar Late Models, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and the Chet Thomson Memorial for the Bay Area Hardtops. It's getting down to crunch time, and if you want to make a move in the points, you need to do it now.

Antioch Speedway continued its trend of being the place for drivers to get their first Winged 360 Sprint Car feature win two weeks ago. 18 year old David Lindt II outran Art McCarthy last time. If the Lindt name sounds familiar, it may be because David Lindt Jr. is a five time Petaluma Speedway champion. David II followed up Top 10 seasons in 2015 and 2016 with a second place season at Petaluma this year. Lindt's win may give some encouragement to another teen leadfoot, Jacob Tuttle. Tuttle finished fourth last time out and had a second in his division debut. He finds himself 23 points behind fifth place Aaron Miller in the standings. We've had six different drivers win the last six races. Might Tuttle be the seventh?

Marissa Polizi might need to add her name to the winner's list to hold off Burt Foland Jr. and McCarthy in these last three races to secure the championship. Polizzi did have a solid night last time with a season best third after winning her heat race. Foland didn't finish the Main Event. Polizzi leads Foland by 34 points and McCarthy by 37. Of the three, only McCarthy has won, though Foland has three second place finishes. The division is exciting and unpredictable. Other drivers to watch for this week include Jenna Frazier, Jason Paniagua and Dan Gonderman.

Jeff Decker is on course to win his third DIRTcar Late Model championship at Antioch Speedway. He's having an even better year than when he won the 2015 title. Decker has notched four victories so far and holds a 52 point lead over Shawn DeForest. DeForest picked up his second runnerup finish of the season last time to take a two point lead over David Newquist in the hotly contested battle for second. Newquist has also finished as high as second and was fifth last time out. DeForest was second in points back in 2007, but a second would be Newquist's highest ranking at Antioch.

The next good battle is for fourth. Newcomer Joey Olschowka holds a slim one point lead over two time champion Richard Papenhausen and a three point advantage over rookie Kimo Oreta. Only 24 points out of fourth is the steady Dennis Souza. Papenhausen blew a motor a few races back in a heat race winning effort. After taking a week off to regroup, he returned and won his second feature of the season in the most recent race. Papenhausen is capable of getting hot enough in these final races to make a move on DeForest and Newquist for second. Antioch has the strongest Late Model effort in the state, and other drivers to watch for this week are Mike Hynes, Chester Kniss, Rob Norris and Paul Guglielmoni.

Bobby Motts Jr. didn't have a very strong effort in the most recent A Modified event, but he continues to maintain a 46 point advantage over Sean O'Gara in the championship chase. Motts now has five Top 3 finishes including a win, and if he doesn't stumble, down the stretch, he could add this championship to his Street Stock title from 2004. Mike Salazar has rookie Eric Berendsen closing in on him for third. Berendsen is the fourth place king with five of them so far, including two weeks ago. Eric's misfortune includes a blown motor and a rollover, but he's remarkably within 43 points of second place O'Gara.

Scott Busby was in the hunt for his third win of the season and a career milestone 73rd Antioch victory when he spun during the most recent race. He stll brought it back to the line in third. Winner Nick DeCarlo is only 22 points behind Busby for fifth after his win in the latest race. Nick is also in a very close championship battle at Watsonville. It's possible that we could see Nick this week along with Gary Hetrick, Justin Yaeger and Anthony Slaney.

Mark Garner has gotten hot in the B Modified division, while his luck took a bad turn in Limited Late Models. In the B Modified feature last time, Garner made a last lap pass to snatch a victory from Nick Caughman Jr. Garner now has three wins. If not for some rough luck earlier this season, he might be challenging K.C. Keller for the B Modified point lead. As it is, he trails him by 52 points. Keller has been very consistent with nine Top 3 finishes this year, including three victories. He finished third last time out.

Garner is in a battle with Chuck Golden for second in the standings, and his lead over Golden is only 14 points at the moment. Golden does have seven Top 5 finishes, including a season high second, but he may need a win to halt Garner's momentum. Caughman has been fast since his season debut three races ago, and his second place finish after leading so many laps last time would seem to indicate that a win could be in the cards for him soon. Other drivers to watch for this week include Kevin Brown, Doff Cooksey and Megan Ponciano.

Kimo Oreta only missed a Top 3 finish in the season opener. He finished fourth that night. Since then, he's been fast and consistent and has a division high three wins and five seconds aboard the Sun Drop Racing #15 car. Oreta leads new second place driver Jim Freethy by 26 points after Freethy won his second feature in his last three starts. Mark Garner blew a motor that night while running second for 16 laps to the impressive Buddy Kniss. Kniss also saw his night come to an end with overheating problems. Garner is four points behind Freethy and 30 behind Oreta. With Oreta being so consistent, it seems like the championship is his to lose. That won't stop others from challenging for wins. Mike Gustafson has two wins so far this year and trails Freethy for the second position by just 12 points. Other drivers to watch for this week include Chad Hammer, John Evans and Jeff Kendrick.

The Hobby Stocks have an interesting battle going. Considering the bad luck the leaders have had, being the point leader these days is no reason to celebrate. We're 14 races in, and the drivers are starting to feel the wear and tear on their machines. After four second place finishes this season, Cameron Swank finally earned a well deserved victory last time out. He's now only 22 points out of the lead. With Chris Long scratching from the latest race with motor problems, four time winner Chris Sorensen used a fourth place finish to move 17 points into the lead ahead of two time winner Brent Curran. Curran finished third last time. Long is now 21 points out of the lead, just one point ahead of Swank.

The reality is that this battle will go down to the final checkered flag, and there are some other drivers poised for victory. Rookie Chris Bennett drove the Bob Hansen Tribute Car to a first career heat race win last time out before earning his fourth fifth place finish. Bennett is only 21 points behind Swank, but he has two time winner Gene Haney 28 points behind him. Bennett is hoping he can keep it together for 20 good laps and get his first feature win. Other drivers to watch for include Billy Garner, two time winner Michael Cooper, Jordan Swank, Frank Furtado and hard charger Ken Rhoades.

This week is the Chet Thomson Memorial Race. This race was established for the Hardtops at the old Vallejo Speedway after Hardtop champion Chet Thomson passed away. Dave Mackey and Chet's son Tommy Thomson brought the race back to Antioch last year, and 14 competitors ran it. Jason Clifford came in from Placerville and scored the victory. This year has also seen the start of the Bay Area Hardtops, which is an effort to build a stronger car count in the area. The California Hardtop Association runs many of their races at Placerville Speedway and neighboring tracks.

This week, it's anticipated that there will be some CHA support along with the Bay Area drivers. Among the visiting drivers to watch for are J. Armstrong and father Dennis Armstrong, the father-son team of Ken and Jason Clifford, Dave Reed and recent Placerville winner and Ron Ruiz. Bay Area chargers to watch for include T. Thomson in Mackey's car, Ken Retzloff, Kimo Oreta, Dan Williams, Steve Cloyes and the possible debut of Doug Braudrick. It's also possible that Mike Friesen will make an appearance with his two cars. It should be a good night of Hardtop racing.

With seven divisions on the card, the fans will be seeing lots of great racing action from start to finish. For further information, go to http://www.antiochspeedway.com.



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