(092615) Antioch Speedway Action – Bobby Hogge IV (2) of Salinas passes Livermore’s Bran Cass for the lead in the first leg of the Delta-Valley Classic Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Hogge IV went on to win both legs of the annual event with his San Jose-based car. He won Sunday night at Merced Speedway, collecting a bonus for the unlikely feat. Hogge IV has won both legs of the event twice in four years. photo by Mike Adaskaveg
The 2016 Antioch Speedway schedule was just released, and it details a season that begins with March 12 and 19 playdays, followed by the season opener on March 26. Racing is booked nearly every week from then through September 24 with a race to be announced on October 8. Generally, there will be five divisions on race night with the occasional six division show.
Notable on the schedule are the 25 races currently listed for the B “Sport” Mods and 20 races for the Hobby Stocks. Those two divisions will be doing the “heavy lifting” for the speedway as the next most races are booked for the A Mods (15). Dwarf Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints and Limited Late Models all remain on the schedule. On alternate weeks, Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Late Models will headline the show, and California Hardtops have been scheduled five times. The BCRA Midget Lites make two appearances.
Details of purse and point fund money for Winged 360 Sprints and Late Models are forthcoming. Last year, and despite some low turnouts, the Sprint Cars still paid $1200 to win and $150 to start. This year’s schedule has 13 dates for the popular Winged Sprint Cars, five more than last year.
The real question is who will be supporting the class, and will car count increase? Oval Motorsports has made a commitment to establishing this division at Antioch. Defending champion Shawn Arriaga, past champion Art McCarthy, Dan Gonderman, Ricky Brophy and possibly two cars from the Haulot Racing Team are among those expected to return, and the potential is there to at least maintain 10-12 cars per race.
The Late Models, meanwhile, are coming off of a season in which they usually had no less than then ten cars throughout the 14 race schedule. It’s not anticipated that this will change for this 11 race season, but who will be coming back is the question. Jeff Decker, Chester Kniss, David Newquist and Mike Hynes are anticipated, along with cars from the Guglielmoni racing stables, Rob Norris, Dennis Souza, Danny Malfatti and Troy Foulger.
B Mods are being put to the test with a heavy schedule. Ryland Racing is expected to return with defending champion Fred Ryland and his wife Patti Ryland both racing. Chuck Golden, Al Johnson, Ron Brown, Trevor Clymens, Keith Brown Jr., Megan Ponciano and K.C. Keller are others to watch for. We should be seeing a few rookies in the class, including Jeremey Jennings and a car from the Swank Racing Team.
Some of the biggest buzz centers around the Hobby Stocks as 2015 champion Kimo Oreta moves up to Limited Late Models. This leaves the race wide open, and one question centers around how much racing past champions Brad and Melissa Myers will do this year. Jordan Swank is anticipated to be one of the front runners along with Michael Cooper, Danny Jones, Natalie Perry, Robert Niven and Frank Furtado.
Two past champions, Dan McCown and Chris Sorensen, and hard charger Chris Long are both anticipated to be on the highly competitive roster as well Steven Rogers, Chase Templeton, Mitchell Loccicere, Jim Robbins and at least one car from the Jennings Racing Team. Also joining the fray are rookies like Billy Garner, Brent Curran, Guy Ahlwardt, Lindsey Buirch and Natalie Waldrop. The fact is, the Hobby Stocks are poised for a big season since it appears as if the rules situation has settled down.
Speaking of rules issues settling down, the Wingless Spec Sprints should have a better season this year as well. While champion Kyle Bakkie may not be racing as much as he concentrates on his studies, Rick Panfili, Alan Miranda, James East, Peter Carlotto and Jeremy Newberry are anticipated this season.
It gets better as Jimmy Perry III will be joined by his father, Jim Perry Jr., this year. Perry Jr. and Perry III are both past champions and are first and third, respectively, on the division’s all time win list. After a runner up season in Dwarf Cars, Adam Teves is moving up to Spec Sprints to make a run at top rookie honors.
Furthermore, last year’s top rookie, Marcus Smith, was preparing a car for the new season when he landed the ride in Richard Basden’s #20 car, numbered in honor of the retiring division original Keith Shipherd. Meanwhile, Smith’s car will be driven by two time champion Dan Gonderman. Speaking of two time champions, Billy Macedo is anticipated for the coming season as well.
The A Mod roster should remain competitive. Aaron Crowell should be ready out of the gate this year, which could put him in line for his second championship. Five time champion Scott Busby may have something to say about that. Other drivers to watch for include Bobby Motts Jr., 2014 titlist Carl Berendsen II, Trent Wentworth, Nick Viscusi III, Troy Foulger, Shawn DeForest, Josh Combs, Mike Salazar, Clay Twigg and Ed Daviess.
David Teves will return to attempt to defend his Dwarf Car championship, but he can expect a challenge from two time champion Danny Wagner and hard charger Mike Corsaro. Ageless veteran Charlie Correia should also be back, while Kevin Miraglio is poised for a breakout season. Other hard chargers like Kurtis Craig, Miranda Chappa, Thomas Leiby, Tim Reeder, Brian Gray, 2010 champion Jerry Doty and Josh Nelson will make this another strong season for Dwarf Car racing in Antioch.
Not to be forgotten in the equation is Limited Late Models, where Larry Damitz has won four of the last five championships and just may be the driver to beat. As he has dialed in the car he debuted last season, 2013 champion Jim Freethy may have something to say about that, and Mark Garner will be out to improve on last season’s third place ranking. John Evans will field the former Mike Hynes car, while Lori Brown, Eric Berendsen, Calvin Louis, Kimo Oreta, Jim Robbins, Gene Haney, John Keith, Ryan Cherezian and all time Limited Late Model feature win leader Mike Gustafson should also be on the roster.
The California Hardtops will get five races, making Antioch the track giving the Northern California vintage racing division the most races on dirt. Mike McCann certainly assisted in the process of making this happen as he began discussions with John M. Soares. CHA leader John Philbert was able to finalize the deal. Rob Waldrop was the top dirt track racer last season in this group, driving for Bill McLaughlin, and he will be back this year. Other drivers we’ll be anticipating this season include Tommy Thomson in the car he raced at Vallejo Speedway in the late 1970′s, Dan Williams, Ken Clifford, Jason Clifford, Dennis Armstrong, Jason Armstrong, Rick Ruiz, Dave Mackey, Larry Damitz and Doug Braudrick.
More details on the schedule should emerge, such as what is and isn’t sanctioned and any special races. March 26 is the opener and will feature Late Models, Limited Late Models, B Mods, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks. As always, the schedule is subject to change. What is not subject to change is the fact that the 19th season of Oval Motorsports promoting Antioch Speedway should offer lots of excitement for the racing fans out there. The official www.ovalmotorsports.com website will be updated soon for Antioch Speedway information.
2016 Antioch Speedway Schedule
March 12 Practice
March 19 Practice
March 26 Opening Day Late Models, Limited Late Models, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
April 2 Winged 360 Sprints, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks, BCRA Midget Lites
April 9 A Mods ($1000 to win), B Mods ($400 to win), Spec Sprints, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks
April 16 Late Models, Spec Sprints, Limited Late Models, A Mods, B Mods
April 23 Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
April 30 Late Models, A Mods, B Mods, Spec Sprints, Hobby Stocks, Hardtops
May 7 Winged 360 Sprints, Limited Late Models, Spec Sprints, B Mods, Hobby Stocks
May 14 Late Models, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
May 21 Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Dwarf Cars, Hardtops
June 4 Late Models, B Mods, Spec Sprints, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks
June 11 Winged 360 Sprints, Spec Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Hobby Stocks
June 18 Late Models, Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars
June 25 Winged 360 Sprints, Spec Sprints, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Hardtops
July 9 Late Models, A Mods, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks
July 16 Winged 360 Sprints, Spec Sprints, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks
July 23 Late Models, Spec Sprints, Dwarf Cars, B Mods, Hobby Stocks
July 30 Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
August 6 Winged 360 Sprint Cars, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
August 13 Late Models, Spec Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Dwarf Cars
August 20 Winged 360 Sprints, BCRA Midget Lites, Limited Late Models, B Mods, Hobby Stocks, Hardtops
August 27 Winged 360 Sprints, Spec Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Hobby Stocks
September 3 Late Models, Spec Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars
September 10 Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Hardtops
September 17 Late Models, Winged 360 Sprints, A Mods, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
September 24 Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Spec Sprints, Limited Late Models, B Mods, Dwarf Cars, Hobby Stocks
October 8 To Be Announced
* Schedule Subject To Change