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 Posted: Friday Jun 1st, 2018 05:57 AM
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Don Martin II
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Orland Raceway Back In Action
Saturday Night


Orland, CA...There's plenty of excitement in the air at Orland Raceway this season. The current track has been around since the 1980s, and racing in Orland goes back even further than that. Things are changing for the better. The track has had a revolving door of different promoters during the last ten years, but third year promoter Rich Hood is giving racers and fans hope for the future

Car count is up so far as drivers want to be a part of the show. Saturday night will offer the fans more exciting wheel to wheel racing on the one-fifth mile dirt oval as Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and Pure Stocks are back, along with the B Modifieds.

Orland has featured a Mini Truck division for over 20 years. In fact, their success with the class led to other tracks in the state starting a division of their own. Keith Ross, Dan Webster, Ross Vige, Olin Crain and William Fogle have been the strongest supporters in recent years. All but Fogle has won a championship at the track, and Fogle had his best season in third last year.

Reigning champion Ross won for the second time last race. It might have been three in a row if not for Jeff Bennett battling him for the win in the second race. Bennett has been doing a great job behind wheel of the Olin Crain truck. Other drivers who have been out there putting on a great show include Hayfork Speedway champion Andy Blackburn. Quinonez, Kevin Kvalik and Rick Wagner.

When it comes to close racing, the Pure Stock division is hard to beat. Reigning champion Jeremy Langenderfer is already a two time winner and recently got a win at Silver Dollar Speedway as well. Speaking of the other track, it was IMCA Sport Modified racer Richard Vanderploeg getting behind the wheel of the #55 car and winning a multi car battle up front for the victory at the recent Glenn County Fair Race.

One of the drivers Richard held off in his win was Jerry Bartlett. Jerry is one of the top drivers on the IMCA Sport Modified circuit, but he considers Orland a home track. He is a past Pure Stock champion at the track. He's not the only one. Two time champions Paul Stevens and Steve Martin are still a part of the roster along with past Mini Truck champion Brad Ray. Other drivers hoping to get a win include last season's point runner up Shannon Collins, Amanda McAbel, John Camper and

The Mini Stock roster is just as competitive as ever. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Barbara Crain won the first two races this season. The wife of Olin Crain debuted her car last season and gave us a glimpse of things to come with a second place finish late in the season.

Equally surprising is the fact that two time champion Tom Davis is without a win so far. Knowing him, that won't be the case for long. Having accomplished so much in Pure Stocks, Paul Stevens is racing Mini Stocks as well this season. Paul won the recent Fairtime race. With two time champion John Kirkpatrick, Sean Perry, Jason Libbee and Dustin Hills on the roster, it's anybody's guess who will win this week.

Long time track supporter Ralph Jacobo is a big reason the track ever started the Wingless Sprint Car class in the first place.  Back in 2000, he purchased a couple of cars from NCMA racer Bill Hopkins and began having son Josh Jacobo and Rob Worthington practice with them. Both have remained on the roster to this day.

Josh is a multi time champion and a feature winner this season. The decision was made to keep this class as affordable as possible and run the cars on gasoline. Numbers have been picking up as seven drivers competed at the recent race. It was Josh Tucker winning a photo finish with Tanner Thomson. David Johnson, RJ Baker and Jeff Crossman are other drivers who have raced so far.

The track has invited the B Modified drivers to come compete. At other tracks, the division is better known as Sport Modifieds.  They are sanctioned by IMCA at those tracks. Earlier this season at the first play day, about a half dozen drivers came out and put their first laps ever on the 1/5 mile dirt oval. Past Pure Stock champion Jerry Bartlett and recent Pure Stock feature winner Richard Vanderploeg are two drivers who could see some action in the class this week. Other drivers who might make an appearance include Tyler Rogers, Andrew Peckham and Jesse Skidmore.

Promoter Rich Hood is hoping to further entice the racers with a $350 to win first prize for the division this week. Bit by bit, Orland Raceway continues to introduce other attractions to the fans. Not only will the B Modifieds be back on July 28th for a second appearance, but there will be two appearances this season by the California Hardtop Association. Depending on how things go, the B Modified division could see more more time on the schedule in the future.

Racing should be exciting and entertaining from start to finish this Saturday night. For further information, go to http://www.orlandraceway.org or look us up on another site.



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