Antioch Speedway makes fourth attempt at Season Opener Saturday

2022 champion Nick DeCarlo #17 and runner-up Kellen Chadwick #83 had an intense IMCA Modified battle last season. Photo by Katrina Kniss

By Candice Martin, DCRR Racing Media 

There’s no doubt this has been a wetter winter than we’ve had in recent years. The Contra Costa Event Center (county fairgrounds) has received so much rain that it was flooded in areas this year, and Antioch Speedway was under water throughout much of January and February. This has left the crew scrambling to get things ready.

With pumps removing the water from the racing surface, there has been optimism of getting races going in recent weeks. However, steady rainfall has put an end to that. This Saturday night, the 63rd season of auto racing is set to begin with an action-packed card.

The Trifecta of IMCA, Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars, will be competing along with the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks, Super Stocks and the WMR Miidgets.

Though there is rain forecast for early in the week, there is optimism that this week will indeed happen. The season opener is always an exciting time at the race track. Drivers show up with new bodies on their cars or even brand new race cars. The point standings have been wiped clean, and it’s a fresh new start. Anybody can make their move.

Last season saw a spirited duel between Kellen Chadwick of Oakley and Nick DeCarlo of Martinez go down to the final IMCA Modified race with both of them still tied in the end. DeCarlo ended up with his second Antioch championship due to the fact that he had four Main Event wins, while Chadwick had three.

The consistent Bobby Motts Jr of San Pablo ended up third. A competitive field that will include a few past champions is anticipated on Saturday.

Three-time IMCA Sport Modified champion Fred Ryland #7j managed to hold off #15p Andrew Pearce in a thrilling battle last year. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Nobody has won more races in the IMCA Sport Modifieds then Fred Ryland of Brentwood, but the three-time champion needed four wins to hold off young star Andrew Pearce of Oakley for the championship last season.

Another rising star, Jacob Mallet Jr of Oakley, ended up third in the standings and also won the IMCA State crown. This year will be interesting with the return of another three-time champion, Trevor Clymens of Brentwood.

The exciting new IMCA Stock Car division continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This division offers a different yet very exciting style of racing compared to the Modified classes, and drivers are still getting used to these cars.

Past Dwarf Car and Mini Truck champion Travis Dutra of Concord notched his second-straight division championship after a season-long battle with Rio Vista’s Jason Robles. Top rookie Jason Jennings of Pittsburg ended up third in the rundown. New drivers are anticipated this year.

No division offered a bigger car count per week then the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks last season. It was a year of the ladies with Misty Welborn of Castro Valley finishing first, Michaela Taylor of Oakley ending up second, Taylor DeCarlo of Martinez fourth and Jewell Crandall of Antioch fifth. Several drivers have just gotten started in this class in recent years and are getting better with every turn behind the wheel.

Super Stocks have been at the speedway for over 20 years, and Danville’s Jim Freethy won the championship last year over Brentwood’s Joey Ridgeway and Concord’s Jimmy Robbins.

Travis Dutra #22 is the only IMCA Stock Car champion after two seasons, but Jason Robles #78 is hoping to improve on his runner-up status of last year. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Car count is expected to increase a little bit this year. Among the several big events lined up at the track this year will be the Larry Damitz Memorial race on May 13th, featuring the Tri State Challenge Pro Stocks.

Midget racing has been a big deal in California for over 70 years, but the Ecotec motor program introduced by the WMR Miidgets is bringing new blood into the class. They are a division that is in high demand and competes at several venues on the West Coast.

Antioch is looking forward to hosting this coming race, which could have a field of a dozen or more cars. Two of the champions on the tour in recent years are Blake Bower of Brentwood and David Prickett of Fresno.

We’ve definitely needed the rain in California, but now racing fans need a little bit of dry weather. It’s time to go racing, and Speedway Management is optimistic that this week will be the time for it to finally happen.

Once we unleash the beasts, we’ll have racing pretty much regularly all the way through the last weekend of October with a few events lined up in November. Special Sprint Car touring races and big events like the Bill Bowers and Hetrick Modified races are highlights of what should be an action-packed season.

The gates will open at 4:00 with the first race starting at 6:00.

Adult tickets are $20, Senior/Military $15, Kids (5-12) $15 and kids five and under free.

For further information, go to or check out the Antioch Speedway by PROmotions Facebook page.


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