TONIGHT! IMCA Racing back at Antioch Speedway Saturday night March 19

Nick DeCarlo #17 runs the inside with his 80-year-old father Terry DeCarlo Sr #17t on the outside. Photo by Katrina Kniss

By Don Martin II, DCRR Racing Media

Antioch, CA…Following the successful opening of the 2022 season, the crew at Antioch Speedway is busy making preparations for the coming weekend. The speedway will be active from now through the end of November in what is the 62nd consecutive championship season at the Antioch Fairgrounds facility.

Roughly 70 competitors checked in for the four division program last weekend, which proved to be a thriller from start to finish. For those who stuck it out to the end of the night as the evening got just a little bit chilly, they witnessed Fred Ryland backing up his IMCA Sport Modified win with an impressive drive to victory in the IMCA Stock Cars.

Fred Ryland #7j was fast in hi IMCA Stock Car last week and will be looking for his second straight-win on Saturday. Photo by Katrina Kniss

For Ryland, this is the latest division in which he’s picked up a win. He’s won in Hobby Stocks and is a champion in that division. He’s won in Super Stocks and even Four Bangers. To date, nobody has won more IMCA Sport Modified features than Ryland at Antioch Speedway. His closest rival, Trevor Clymens, has moved up to the IMCA Modifieds this year. Ryland is the reigning IMCA Sport Modified champion, and it’s possible he could compete for both that title and the Stock Car title this year.

The Stock Car division is sort of an in-between class for the Modified and Sport Modified drivers. Though IMCA rules don’t allow a driver to compete in both Modified classes for points, you can compete in one of those classes and the Stock Cars.

Therefore, you’ve got Ryland, Andrew Pearce and Scott Foster representing both Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars, while Troy Foulger is competing in both the Modified and Stock Car ranks. Last weekend, Kellen Chadwick drove the Rich Quadrelli Stock Car to a Top 5 finish after doing the same in a Modified.

Flagman extraordinaire Bob Kempf had been handling the starting duties at Antioch Speedway for over a decade and got the 62nd season started just right. Photo by DCRR Racing Media

IMCA which is the oldest sanctioning body in the United States, it’s probably better known for the Modified divisions. However, they sanction several other Stock Car classes and even a Sprint Car division. The sanctioning body not only offers point funds and contingencies for track championships, there are also State, Regional and National points that offer similar prizes.

The IMCA Stock Car class closed the program last week, and while Ryland held as much as a half-lap lead at one point, Foulger, Chadwick, Anthony Giuliani and Jason Jennings were thrilling the fans with their side by side battles behind him. Speedway management is excited about the prospects of this division growing and possibly even doubling in car count by the end of the season.

The competition level in the IMCA Modifieds remains fierce. Nick DeCarlo reminded everybody that he is still a force to be reckoned with. DeCarlo is the only Modified driver who has won championships in this class at Antioch, Petaluma and Watsonville, but he hadn’t won a race at Antioch in two years.

These days, he’s enjoying the fact that he is racing with his 80 year old father Terry DeCarlo Sr and older brother Terry DeCarlo Jr.  The elder DeCarlo started his career racing Hardtops at Vallejo Speedway in the 1970s and has driven just about everything.

Reigning IMCA Modified champion Jim Pettit II and wife Veronica collected his championship trophy after the races last week. Photo by DCRR Racing Media

With drivers like reigning champion Jim Pettit II, five-time champion Troy Foulger and past champion Kellen Chadwick in the field, Nick DeCarlo knows he has to work for any wins he earns.

Pettit did his best to salvage a pair of Top 5 finishes last weekend, which included the race at Watsonville. This came despite motor problems for the reigning State champion that threatened to derail his whole weekend.

The Delta Dwarf Cars kick off their season this Saturday night. Kevin Miraglio became a two-time champion after an impressive performance last season. He battled two-time champion Danny Wagner and up-and-coming star Devan Kammermann to grab the glory. A field that could reach into the 20s is anticipated in that class this weekend.

The gates are scheduled to open at 4:00 pm, and this gives the fans a good opportunity to grab their favorite seat before racing starts at 6:00 pm. The track strives to get done by 10:00 pm on any given race night.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for military, senior (60 and over) and children (under 11) with children five and under free.

For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com or look for the Antioch Speedway by PROmotions Facebook page.

Fred Ryland’s IMCA Stock Car #7j is one of the fastest in the group, which has grown to over 20 cars in a year. Photo by DCRR Racing Media

Fred Ryland’s What & When

What: Dirt track auto racing

Where: Antioch Speedway

When: Saturday night, March 19th

Who: IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Delta Dwarf Cars.

Who’s Hot: Fred Ryland won both of his Main Events last week, and other winners were Nick DeCarlo and Misty Welborn.

Gate Times: Gates Open 4:00pm, First Race 6:00pm, usually finished by 10:00pm.

Admission: $20 for adults, $15 for military, senior (60 and over) and children (under 11) with children five and under free.

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