Hannagan wins thrilling Chet Thomson Memorial Race at Antioch Speedway

Joel Hannagan #16 won his fourth-straight Chet Thomson Memorial Hardtop race as he gets closer to the championship. Photo by Candice Martin

Fuson, Learn, Rosa, Richardson of Antioch also win

By Candice Martin, DCRR Racing Media

Antioch, CA…September 30…Making a late move around Mike Gillard of Atwater, San Jose’s Joel Hannagan won the 20 lap Hardtop Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. This was the 21st running of the Chet Thomson Memorial Hardtop race and the fourth-straight win for Hannagan in that event aboard the Doug Braudrick owned Junkyard Dog. This was also his sixth win of the season as he maintains the point lead.

Three-time Sportsman champion Rick Elliott of Merced started on the second row and bolted into the early lead ahead of Brad Coelho of Oakley and Gillard. Gillard made an inside pass on Coelho with Hannagan also getting by on the inside in Turn 4. A yellow flag waved on Lap 4. On the restart, Gillard charged past Elliott for the lead. Elliott took an infield excursion on Lap 5 with Hannagan now second ahead of Mike Friesen of Atwater. The battle soon found the leaders working through slower traffic, and those drivers were having side by side races of their own.

Gillard managed to thread the needle between slower cars a couple of times before a yellow flag waved for a Les Warkentin of Atwater spin in Turn 4 on the 10th lap. Gillard continued to lead Hannagan and Friesen on the restart. The pressure was on Gillard as they were soon in slower traffic once again. Hannagan made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 15th lap to grab the lead from Gillard. Gillard kept it close, but Hannagan prevailed at the checkered flag. Friesen ended up third, followed by two-time Chet Thomson Memorial winner Jason Armstrong of El Dorado and Don Slaney of Martinez.

Mike Gillard #17 picked up a win in a rare Trophy Dash for the Hardtop division. Photo by Candice Martin

Brody Fuson of Bakersfield won the 30 lap USAC Western States Midgets Main Event. This was the fifth win of the season for Fuson as he nudges closer to the series championship with one more point event remaining.

Fuson started on the second row outside, but he managed to grab the lead at the start ahead of Michael Faccinto of Hanford and championship contender Cade Lewis of Bakersfield. They maintained that order throughout the first half of the race before Faccinto stalled on the back straightaway for a Lap 17 yellow flag. Fuson led Lewis and Caden Sarale of Stockton on the restart. Fuson maintained a good pace down the stretch and prevailed at the checkered flag ahead of Lewis, Sarale, previous Antioch winner TJ Smith of Fresno and Brandon Wiley of Santa Maria.

Point leader Mike Learn #11 won his fourth-straight Super Stock Main Event. Photo by Candice Martin

Point leader Mike Learn a Petaluma collected his fourth-straight Super Stock Main Event win as he closes in on the championship. Learn has already won the championship at Petaluma Speedway this season and was the inaugural Tri State Pro Stock title winner as well. A spin in the Trophy Dash saw Learn hand the victory in that race to Donnie Richardson of Antioch.

Donnie Richardson #2a scored a surprise win in the Super Stock Trophy Dash. Photo by Candice Martin

Learn bolted into the lead at the start ahead of Richardson and Steve Studebaker of Santa Rosa. Richardson slowed and headed for the pits on Lap 3 as multi time Petaluma champion Mitch Machado of Rohnert Park got around Studebaker for second. As Learn pulled away from the pack, Machado and Studebaker engaged in an intense, side by side battle for second.

Machado pushed in Turn 4 with Studebaker going by on the inside to grab second on Lap 14. The two continued a close battle with contact sending them both spinning in Turn 4 for a Lap 15 yellow flag. Learn led Machado and Studebaker on the restart. Studebaker went low in Turn 2 on Lap 17 to grab second as Machado pushed. Knightson’s Ryan Cherezian also got past Machado for third on Lap 19. Learn went on to win ahead of Studebaker, Cherezian, Machado and Richardson.

David Michael Rosa #7 won his second-straight Delta Dwarf Car Main Event in the Roberto Monroy owned car. Photo by Candice Martin

David Michael Rosa picked up his third win of the season in Delta Dwarf Car 20 lap Main Event action. This was also the second-straight win for Rosa aboard the Roberto Monroy owned entry.

2020 champion Travis Day of Concord set the early pace ahead of Rosa, and a yellow flag waved as Rosa got around Day for the lead on Lap 3. David Michael Rosa led Day and David Rosa of Antioch on the restart. Day did his best, but Rosa seemed to have it hooked up well once he got the lead. There were a few spins for yellow flags, but David Michael Rosa would lead Day on each ensuing restart as they scored the 1-2 finish. David Rosa ended up third ahead of Joe LeDuc of Tracy.

Up next will be the Third Annual Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stock Nationals this Friday and Saturday night. The Saturday program sees the Hobby Stocks racing for a $3,000 first prize. Joining them that night will be a Figure 8 and 600 Micro Sprints. For further information, go to www.raceantiochspeedway.com.

Antioch Speedway Race Results

Heat Winners (8 laps)-Jason Armstrong, Joel Hannagan, Mike Gillard. Trophy Dash (4 laps)-Mike Gillard. Main Event (20 laps)-Joel Hannagan, Mike Gillard, Mike Friesen, Jason Armstrong, Don Slaney, Rick Elliott, Gary Hildebrand, Joe Shenefield, Mario Romano, Les Warkentin.

USAC Western States Midgets

FT Brandon Wiley 13.963. Heat Winners (10 laps)-Cade Lewis, Ben Worth. Main Event (20 laps)-Brody Fuson, Cade Lewis, Caden Sarale, TJ Smith, Brandon Wiley, CJ Sarna, Nikko Panella, Samuel May, Ben Covich, Ron Hazleton.

Super Stocks
Heat Winners (8 laps)-Mike Learn, Steve Studebaker. Trophy Dash (4 laps)-Donnie Richardson. Main Event (20 laps)-Mike Learn, Steve Studebaker, Ryan Cherezian, Mitch Machado, Donnie Richardson, Richard Vander Ploeg, Joey Ridgeway DNS, John Evans DNS.

Delta Dwarf Cars

Heat Winner (8 laps)-David Michael Rosa. Main Event (20 laps)-David Michael Rosa, Travis Day, David Rosa, Joe LeDuc.

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