Antioch Motor Speedway: Arriaga snatches win from McCarthy in Winged 360 Sprint Car feature; veteran driver Busby battles young Kyle Wilson for IMCA Modified win

Shawn Arriaga slides way inside and down low between the third and fourth turn on the last lap to take the win from Art McCarthy, at Antioch Speedway, Saturday night, June 6, 2015. photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer.

Shawn Arriaga (56) makes a daring last lap, last turn move on leader Art McCarthy to win, at Antioch Speedway, Saturday night, June 6, 2015. by Paul Gould, Track Photographer

Jeremy Newberry crashes

By Mike Adaskaveg

Shawn Arriaga of Antioch made a daring last lap, last turn, inside pass to snatch victory away from San Jose’s Art McCarthy in the Northern All Stars Winged Sprint Car main event, Saturday night, June 6, 2015, at Antioch Speedway. Back to back thrills came as Scott Busby battled Kyle Wilson side by side for nearly half of the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) modified stock car main event prior to Arriaga’s Win.

Early in the program, Larry Damitz of Vallejo dodged spinning cars and fender-benders to win the Northern All Stars Limited Late Model Feature. In the Hobby Stock main event, Kimo Oreta of Vacaville came from the back of the pack after changing a flat tire to top leader Chris Sorensen of El Sobrante.

Shawn Arriaga, left, and Art McCarthy, friends again after a controversial finish in the Northern All Stars Winged 360 main event.

Shawn Arriaga, left, and Art McCarthy, friends again after a controversial finish in the Northern All Stars Winged 360 main event. photo by Mike Adaskaveg

The Northern All Stars Wingless Sprint Car feature had to be red-flagged with leader Jim Perry III being awarded the win after a two-car backstretch flips involving Kyle Bakkie III of Citrus Heights and Jeremy Newberry of Brentwood.

McCarthy Admonishes Arriaga in Victory Lane

That wasn’t cool!” veteran sprint car racer McCarthy said to Arriaga as the two met in victory lane. Young Arriaga tried to hug McCarthy after the win. At first McCarthy shunned Arriaga’s gesture.

The move, in which Arriaga used every inch inside of McCarthy and the inner edge of the track, could have sent both cars into a spin or worse.

I didn’t mean to race like that – it’s the last lap of a short track race – it kind of takes over your instincts,” Arriaga told McCarthy

Fans hooted and hollered a full ten minutes after the race.

I had a head of steam going into the last turn,” Arriaga tried to explain. “I tried to hug Art (McCarthy) on the inside. It turned to be very risky.”

Third place Dustin Golobic of Fremont had the bird’s eye view of the move. He was waiting for the miscue that would hand him the win. It was his first race at Antioch Speedway.

If it had gone a few more laps, I know I would have caught the both of them,” said Golobic, who came on strong in the last five laps, passing Jeremy Burt from Grass Valley in the process. “It was fun to be where I was and see what happened in front of me.”

When the drivers calmed down, smiles prevailed, and McCarthy got philosophical about the win being taken from him.

It is what it is,” he said. “Shawn is like a son to me. It isn’t good to give up a race that you led from start to the last lap. If I’m going to be beaten like that, I’d rather it be Shawn (Arriaga) who did it.

Clean to the finish, Scott Busby raced Kyle Wilson side, by side lap after lap to win the IMCA modified thriller.

Clean to the finish, Scott Busby raced Kyle Wilson side, by side lap after lap to win the IMCA modified thriller. photo by Mike Adavakseg

Busby Knows the Speedway Better than Anyone

Scott Busby is a living legend in California stock car racing and is said to be the state’s most winning driver of all time. He showed newcomer Kyle Wilson of Salinas that he still had a few tricks as the two raced side-by-side and clean for the checkered flag in the IMCA Modified feature.

He (Busby) has been racing and winning since well before I was born,” said 21-year-old Wilson. “With him having all those years of experience, I was smiling that I was able to race alongside him like that.”

A tense moment on the last lap saw Clarence Holbrook of Galt spin sideways in the third and fourth turns, with Busby backing off just enough to miss him while keeping ahead of Wilson

Busby just picked off drivers one by one until he reached Wilson.

I was worried in the beginning because I had to come from the back,” Busby said. “But it turned out to be a great race – all the guys drove their lines. I was able to run down low or up high. It was a great race on a great track.”

Busby offered compliments and encouragement to Wilson in victory lane.

If you had won, I would be just as happy as I am now,” Busby told Wilson. “The day is coming when our first and second place finishes will be reversed.”

Third went to Bobby Motts of San Pablo, closely followed by Carl Berendsen and Mike Salazar, both from Antioch.

Jeremy Newberry took a wild ride down the backstretch.

Jeremy Newberry took a wild ride down the backstretch. photo by Mike Adaskaveg

Crazy Night of Crashes for Wingless Sprinters

There were quite a few nasty crashes to avoid,” said Wingless Sprint Car Feature winner Jim Perry III of Concord. “Luckily I was in the front of the pack most of the time.”

The first incident resulting in a car turning over was when Marcus Smith of Manteca and Kyle Standley from Marysville tangled in the third turn. Smith went for a tumble and Standley was able to continue. On the restart, it was Standley flipping on the front stretch.

After more than half the event was completed, Newberry and Bakkie both entered into a frightening double flip down the backstretch. None of the drivers were injured.

After a prolonged red flag, Perry was named winner of the event.

We had all the bugs worked out of the car, and it was able to perform well enough to stay up front,” Perry III added. Alan Miranda of Fairfield was second.

Damitz Untouchable

The oldest race driver continuously competing in a top division, Damitz continued the winning ways he began in 1952. His car smashed front and rear, he was able to win the Limited Late Model Feature with a quarter lap lead over second place Paul Hanley of Emerald Hills and Alamo’s John Evans, who finished third.

Top cars crashed or suffered mechanical failure. Eliminated were front-runners Brian Zachary of Oakley, Mike Gustafson of Concord, Mark Garner of Antioch and Mike Hynes of Suisun City.

I don’t understand what happened out there tonight,” Damitz said. “But it was a terrible night for those guys.”

Oreta Comeback

Oreta raced the first half of the race with a softening tire after he made contact with a competitor on the opening lap. In the meantime, Sorensen, in his first race since 2010, began thinking the race was his.

While Sorenson and fellow season first-timer Brent Curran of Antioch raced one-two, Oreta started back in the pack of the 15 car field. The tire change put him in the rear with about 10 laps to go.

No, no, no, I didn’t ever think I would catch him or win after having a flat tire,” Oreta said in victory lane. “When I came back out I found the groove down low that no one was running in. I put the tire on the inside hump of the track and raced as hard as I could.”

Oreta knew driving the shortest distance around the oval would pay off, and it did. Sorenson was passed late in the race and had to settle for second, with Curran, Russell Shearer of Bay Point and Frank Furtado of Antioch following.

I tried,” Sorenson said in victory lane. “Kimo has a great car and he is a great driver. It’s been a long time for me – but I’ll be back.”

IMCA Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models Return This Saturday Night

The fastest stock car classes on dirt – the IMCA Modifieds and the DIRTcar Late Models headline the five-division show Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. The Hobby Stock, Dwarf Car aqnd Vintage Hard Top classes will complete the card. All five divisions will have qualifying races and feature events.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit

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