Preview: Sprint Car Challenge Series Kicks Off Season At Antioch Speedway

Preview by Don Martin II

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Billy Aton #26 and Art McCarthy #19 were the top two competitors in the local point race last season at Antioch Speedway. Photo by Paul Gould

Antioch, CA — When Antioch Speedway Promoter John M. Soares had the track expanded in 2009, it was with the thoughts of bringing some big Sprint Car races in mind.

This season, the three-eighth mile clay oval will host four big events as well as the track’s own All Star Series Winged 360 Sprint Car and Wingless Spec Sprint Series.  Saturday night will see the new Sprint Car Challenge Series headline the show along with the first of two BCRA Midget Lites races.  It is sure to be a great night of racing.

The new Sprint Car Challenge Series is for the high powered Winged 360 Sprint Car division.  During the offseason, Placerville Speedway promoter Scott Russell got the support of two major sponsors, Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vinyards.  This helped create the championship point fund that will pay $10,000 to the winner and a minimum of $1,000 to the tenth place driver.   Drivers will compete for a $2,500 first prize and a minimum of $400 to start each Main Event, and the series features several other contingency prizes to entice the racers.

This led to a nice 13 race schedule at seven different race tracks, including Stockton, Petaluma, Placerville, Reno-Fernley, Tulare and Calistoga.  Soares liked the way things laid out for this new tour and asked to host the opener this Saturday night as well as another race on June 17th.  Through the years, Antioch Speedway has tried to start the season off with some big Sprint Car races, and this race fits right into that pattern.  Though the Sprint Car Challenge is new, it won’t lack for star power.

Car count should reach well into the 20’s, and one of the drivers leading the charge will be Shane Golobic.  In the ten years in which he’s been racing Sprint Cars and Midgets, Golobic has racked up some impressive credentials.  This includes a win in a World Of Outlaws race at Antioch in 2013.  He also won the prestigious Johnny Soares Classic 101 lap Midget race at Petaluma and is a Sprint Car champion at Watsonville, among other accomplishments.

Two of last season’s biggest champions are planning to be in Antioch on Saturday night.  Reigning Civil War champion Andy Forsburg is coming to town.  He is a nine time champion in the CW Series and a threat to win any time he’s in town.  Kyle Hirst won a hard fought battle with Bud Kaeding to win his third King Of The West Series championship last year.  He won’t be the only 410 Sprint Car racer in action.

Sean Becker will be running tour races, and this second generation leadfoot is the Winged 410 Sprint Car champion at Chico.  Willie Croft is another driver with Sprint Car wins in the past, and this includes his triumph in last season’s Chris & Brian Faria Memorial Race at Tulare.  Another talented Sprint Car veteran, Steven Tiner is running the tour.  Two drivers with notable victories last season who are signed up to run are Stockton’s Salute To Leroy Van Conett winner Cory Eliason and Yreka NST Speedweek winner Mitchell Faccinto.

Sprint Car veteran Herman Klein is a two time Petaluma Speedway champion who plans to compete.  Reigning Petaluma champion Bradley Terrell, Zack Lynsky, Cody Lamar, Billy Butler, John Clark, Robbie Price and BCRA Midget Lites graduate Kyle Offill are other drivers on the roster.  The Sprint Car Challenge Series won’t lack for talented racers when they come to Antioch Speedway this Saturday night, and this is sure to be a good show.

The BCRA Midget Lites tend to be scheduled with Sprint Car programs and fit in well there.  They always put on a good show at Antioch.  The BCRA Midget Lites is where World of Outlaws star Brad Sweet started.  He won several races at Antioch.  Craig Dillard is the reigning BCRA Midget Lites champion and will be tough to beat.  The talented Scott Males and Offill have both made things competitive up front in recent seasons.

There’s also multi time San Jose Sprint Car champion Charlie Caraccilo, who is a multi time feature winner in BCRA Midget Lites competition.  The BCRA Midget Lites should also produce a good field, and other drivers to watch for include Chris Hansen, Tim Kinser, Scott Kinney, Nate Buffa and Emilee Lindren.  The Sprint Car Challenge Series and BCRA Midget Lites race this Saturday night at Antioch Speedway will offer a night of great open wheel racing excitement tor the fans.  For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.  You can also check out the new Sprint Car Series website at https://www.sprintcarchallengetour.com.

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