Antioch, CA — Dwarf Car racing has proven to be very popular in the western states, and there seems to be no signs of that changing anytime soon. Arizona was a hot bed for Dwarf Cars when the effort was made to start a movement in California in the early 1990s. This Saturday night, Antioch Speedway will play host to the WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals. The local affiliate group, the Delta Dwarf Cars, are the host association.
In the Bay Area and Northern California, there were two groups promoting Dwarf Car racing pretty heavily in the early 1990s. One of them was the NorCal Dwarf Car Association, and a racer named Frank Munroe took a keen interest in the group. Munroe went on to win championships with the group, was the association president and was able to implement a vision that many people only talk about.
Frank knew that there were many Dwarf Cars in California and in the western states. He decided to create the Dwarf Car Nationals event in September at Marysville Raceway back in the 1990s. In those early days, car count would frequently swell into the 100s, and everybody wanted to be a part of it. The Dwarf Car Nationals were so successful at Marysville that Munroe started booking events with some of the affiliate associations at other venues.
Delta Dwarf Car President Danny Wagner wanted to have one of these races at his home track in Antioch. Wagner has traveled up and down the road with the NorCal Dwarf Car Association in the past and is a champion with that group along with his two Antioch titles. He currently leads the Delta Dwarf Car battle. More than any of his accomplishments, he wanted to give the Antioch Speedway fans a taste of how exciting Dwarf Cars can be when the best of the best come to one place for a weekend of great racing.
The Nationals is a two-day event. The Friday portion will also include Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks and Wingless Spec Sprints. On Saturday, the Xtreme Scaffolding Limited Late Models and IMCA Stock Cars will be there.
The Nationals breaks the Dwarf Car groups into three classifications. The headliners are the Pro division, the Veterans is the class for the older competitors and the Sportsman division is for those who are just getting started in Dwarf Cars.
After proving their worth with the two-day Regional event in 2020, Antioch got a Nationals in July a year later. The Sportsman division was won by Santa Maria racer Scotty “The Beast” Preast. Two-time Antioch champion Kevin Miraglio won the Veteran class, and Redwood Dwarf Car champion Chad Matthias won the Pro class. Though Miraglio has sold his car, he will be driving for Roberto Monroy this Saturday night. He is the reigning Veteran division champion.
Drivers from the Petaluma-based Redwood group, the Placerville area based NorCal group, the Watsonville-based South Bay group, the Bakersfield-based Southern California group and drivers from surrounding states will converge on Antioch Speedway in the spirit of great competition this weekend. If you’re a Dwarf Car fan, this is not a show you’ll want to miss. As highlighted above with Miraglio, there is a special championship series being kept for the Nationals.
NorCal Star Michael “Spanky” Grenert, who picked up a win at Antioch earlier this year, leads the Pro class. Some of the best drivers will be in this division, including Southern California stars Tommy Velasquez III, Nick Velasquez and Darren Brown, to name a few. The veterans are being led by NorCal star Mike Reeder. Don’t let the fact that these are older drivers fool you, the Veterans are every bit as exciting as the Pros. Dan Varner currently tops the Sportsman class. If you’re a Dwarf Car fan, Antioch Speedway is where you want to be this weekend.
The Wingless Spec Sprints are hoping to see a few more competitors for the Friday night outing. The five races have seen wins being earned by point leader Zack Neeley, recent Sonny Calkins Memorial winner Shawn Arriaga, Daniel Whitley and Shannon Newton (twice).
Interestingly enough, they enter the sixth round of racing competition with Neeley and the consistent James East tied atop the leaderboard. Only five points behind them is Tony Bernard. It might look like a battle between these three drivers, but you can’t count out fourth ranked Shannon Newton, who is 23 points back.
The Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks just may be the most popular division at the track these days, and they are sure to make Friday night’s show that much more exciting. Point leader Misty Welborn was in the hunt for her fourth win of the season last week when mechanical issues derailed her effort. With her own top 10 performance, Michaela Taylor kept within 24 points of Welborn in the championship battle.
Only 16 points behind her is reigning champion Larry McKinzie Jr. Taylor DeCarlo rebounded from back to back disappointments with a Top 10 showing last week, putting her 12 points ahead of Jared Baugh in the race for fourth in the standings. DeCarlo remains the top rookie in the field. After his latest Top 10 effort, Chris long is just 22 points out of fifth. Though he’s won several Main Events in his career, a second and a third are his season high efforts this year.
The IMCA Stock Cars are coming off of their biggest showing of the season with 15 cars. Point leader Travis Dutra was hoping to break through and get his first win of the season. Though he led most of the race, he settled for his fifth second place finish of the season behind Merced Speedway star Garrett Corn.
Despite settling for second again, Dutra left the evening with a 16 point advantage over two-time winner Jason Robles. Meanwhile, Watsonville Hobby Stock champion Joe Gallaher used a Top 5 effort to move to within a point of Jason Jennings for third in the standings. Dave Hill is 13 points out of third.
The Xtreme Scaffolding Limited Late Model Series has only been around for a few races, but it’s already proving to be very successful. It’s produced two car counts in the mid teens at Antioch with wins going to Anthony Slaney and series point leader Dan Jinkerson. Jinkerson is also the Placerville point leader and has another win this year. Jinkerson leads the consistent Dan Brown Jr by 10 points with early season winner Matt Micheli 12 points back
The Micheli name is well known at Northern California and Nevada tracks. Matt has won multiple championships at Placerville, Marysville and Chico and should not be count,ed out in this battle. He had a second place finish at the first Antioch visit and will be a threat to win this week. Jay Norton is seven points ahead of past Antioch championship runner-up Rod Oliver and 10 ahead of Slaney in another good battle for fourth.
Racing will be exciting on Friday and Saturday with lots of Dwarf Cars and some great support divisions. The gates open at 4:00 with the first race starting at 6:00.
Ticket prices are $20 for Adults, $15 for Military, Seniors (60 and over) and Children (under 11) with Children 5 and under free.
For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.