By Don Martin, II
Antioch, CA…September 17…Another loaded six division All Star Series racing program entertained the crowd at Antioch Speedway Saturday night, and there were several new faces in the winner’s circle. Carl Berendsen II made sure he would not be the first driver in track history to win two championships without a Main Event victory as he won the 20 lap A Modified feature. The Winged 360 Sprint Car division saw its 11th 20 lap Main Event winner in fourth generation racer Colby Johnson, while Jeff Decker fell just short in his bid to repeat as DIRTcar Late Model champion despite his second 20 lap feature win of the season. Nick DeCarlo was doing double duty this week, and he climbed into the Lloyd Cline B Modified for a 20 lap Main Event win. Rookie Guy Ahlwardt used his fourth 20 lap Hobby Stock feature win to clinch the track championship, while Josh Miller won his first 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event.
With four time champion Troy Foulger back in the Bill Bowers owned car and Duane Cleveland back to go for his second win, Carl Berendsen II picked a great night to get his fist career A Modified Main Event victory. The win had further significance for the second generation racer as he clinched his second A Modified championship in the last three years. Cleveland’s bid for victory came up just short in second, but he managed to hold off Foulger, who is still looking for his first win of the season. Two time reigning Petaluma champion Nick DeCarlo and Trent Wentworth rounded out the Top 5.
Troy Foulger was doing double duty in the Bowers Racing DIRTcar Late Model, and he joined Richard Papenhausen as a heat race winner. Papenhausen’s Main Event ended early, but he had enough of a point lead that he still clinched his second championship in the last three seasons. 2015 champion Jeff Decker had Foulger giving chase, but he would prevail for his second win of the season. He gained significant ground on Papenhausen, but it wasn’t quite enough to get him the track championship. Shawn DeForest drove the House Car to a solid third place finish ahead of past champion Andy Obertello and Terry Kuntz, who was piloting the Paul Guglielmoni owned entry.
Each generation of the family that has followed Hardtop Legend Johnny Franklin has had at least one racer among them. On Saturday night, great grandson Colby Johnson came to town with his Winged 360 Sprint Car to make a run for the money. Johnson won a heat race along with recent Southern Oregon Speedway winner Aaron Miller. Johnson had his hands full with point leader Billy Aton, but he drove a great race to earn his first career feature victory. Second place finisher Aton added a few points to his slim lead over Art McCarthy in the hotly contested championship battle. McCarthy finsihed fourth behind another newcomer, Cody Hodgson. Jenna Frazier completed the Top 5.
Nick DeCarlo got to do double duty and had a strong night of his own in the B Modifieds. After joining point leader Trevor Clymens in the heat winner’s column, DeCarlo had to contend with Clymens in a good Main Event battle. DeCarlo would score a well earned victory, but Clymens came that much closer to the track championship with his second place finish. Marysville star Phillip Shelby returned to town in the hopes of winning his second Main Event, but he settled for a third a place finish ahead of two time winner K.C. Keller. For the first time, the three Brown brothers competed against each other. Two time Limited Late Model champion Ron Brown finished fifth ahead of brothers Randy Brown and Kevin Brown.
Continuing the trend of heat race winners doing well in the Main Event, Guy Ahlwardt and Frank Furtado won their heat races and battled at the front of the Hobby Stock Main Event. Ahlwardt recently announced that he is planning a move up to the B Modified division, and he celebrated his new track championship with his fifth win of the season. Furtado ran strong in second ahead of 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. It’s looking more likely that Lindsey Buirch will rank second in the standings following a fourth place finish ahead of Jordan Swank.
Rounding out the program were the Dwarf Cars, where one of the heat winners didn’t do so well in the Main Event. David Rosa hit the wall in the Main Event in what was a hard crash. Fortunately, he walked away unscathed. Josh Miller has done some traveling this season, but he returned to end the point season with an impressive victory. Chuck Connover had a solid night with a second place finish, following his heat race victory. Kevin Miraglio wrapped up his championship season with a third place finish. Second generation racer Preston Humphrey returned to his Dwarf Car roots and finished fourth as Buddy Kniss wrapped up his “Rookie Of The Year” season with a fifth place finish. Like Ahlwardt, Kniss will be moving up to B Modifieds next season.
Point racing concludes next week with an exciting program of Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
Unofficial Race Results
DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Troy Foulger, Richard Papenhausen. Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Decker, Troy Foulger, Shawn DeForest, Andy Obertello, Terry Kuntz, Dennis Souza, Travis Meyerhoff, Papenhausen, Rob Norris, Mike Hynes.
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Aaron Miller, Colby Johnson. Main Event (20 Laps)-Johnson, Billy Aton, Cody Hodgson, Art McCarthy, Jenna Frazier, Miller, Wayne Katen, Craig Frandsen, Jesse Colwell.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Trevor Clymens, Nick DeCarlo, Main Event (20 Laps)-DeCarlo, Clymens, Phillip Shelby, K.C. Keller, Ron Brown, Randy Brown, Kevin Brown, Chuck Golden, Al Johnson, Mike Mates, Shane DeVolder.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Troy Foulger, Mike Salazar. Main Event (20 Laps)-Carl Berendsen II, Duane Cleveland, Foulger, Nick DeCarlo, Trent Wentworth, Salazar, Aaron Crowell, Sean O’Gara, Bobby Motts Jr., Bobby Montalvo, Scott Busby, Anthony Slaney, Josh Combs.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Chuck Connover, David Rosa. Main Event (20 Laps)-Josh Miller, Conover, Kevin Miraglio, Preston Humphrey, Buddy Kniss, Charlie Correia, Devan Kammermann, Chris Becker, Tim Reeder, Toby Brown, David Rosa, David Michael Rosa, Timmy Ryan, Mike Corsaro (DQ).
Heat Winners (6 Lps)-Guy Ahlwardt, Frank Furtado. Main Event (20 Laps)-Ahlwardt, Furtado, Chris Sorensen, Lindsey Buirch, Jordan Swank, Joe Ridgeway, Gene Haney, Anthony Vigna, Michael Cooper, Cameron Swank, Tobi Madden.