Antioch, CA: Saturday night racing returns at Antioch Speedway. Last week saw threatening skies for the early portion of the day, but the racing program went on as scheduled.
This time around, the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks will be competing along with the Delta Dwarf Cars and the Mini Stocks. The track will also see the first ever visit from the California Sharp Mini Late Models.
When last we left the Hobby Stocks, Misty Welborn was putting away her bridesmaid dress and becoming the bride as she finally got her first Main Event win. It didn’t come easy with seasoned veteran Les Friend pressuring her hard over the final 10 circuits before settling for second.
The fact is, the competition level has risen in the Hobby Stocks. We’ve had several new drivers join in the past couple of years, and they are all getting better. You’ll see 20 drivers line up to take a green flag, and many of them are capable of winning on an given occasion, including young guns Aiden Ponciano and Jewell Crandall. Ponciano ran in the Top 5 for most of the opening race, and Crandall ended up finishing fifth.
Hard chargers such as reigning champion Larry McKinzie Jr, Chris Long and Jared Baugh truly make things interesting.
We also have the Haney family, which is three generations strong. Grandson Cameron Haney just joined the fray last season. His grandfather Gene and father Jon Haney have been competing at the speedway for years.
Gene and Jon have competed in several different divisions, including Super Stocks, Dirt Modifieds and Mini Trucks, and they’ve done well. Gene Haney won a pair of championships in the Super Hobby Stock class, and before that he was a Street Stock Freedom Series champion. He was also a Mini Truck title winner. Jon has been Top 10 ranked in multiple divisions. It was Cameron representing the family the best last time out with a tenth place finish.
The Delta Dwarf Cars demonstrated they can be both fast and very exciting at their opener last week. Dwarf Cars have been competing at least once at the Speedway every year since the mid 1995.
It was prior to 2020 when two-time champion Danny Wagner gathered drivers together and formed the Delta Dwarf Car Association. This put the group under the Western States Dwarf Car Association rules, and made Antioch eligible to host a big National Dwarf Car event.
Wagner, who is also a feature winner in Dirt Modified and Sprint Car competition, had won the NorCal Dwarf Car championship, and he liked the competition level of the drivers using the united rules set.
Wagner kicked off the season last week by getting the win ahead of young up and coming star Devan Kammermann. Kammermann has several seconds and thirds to his credit during the past few seasons, but he’s closing in on his first victory.
Kammermann won’t be the only threat. Hard chargers such as Ellie Russo, Chance Russell, 2020 champion Travis Day, David Rosa and Jack Haverty are sure to make things interesting this weekend.
Management added the Mini Stocks to the equation prior to the 2020 season as there was a need for an entry-level class. There have been various entry level four cylinder classes for the past 20 years, which includes this division and the Mini Trucks.
In two seasons, this division has grown slowly. Tom Brown bears the distinction of winning both the Antioch and Petaluma titles last year. He’s had to battle with the likes of Laina Bales, Dan Abitz, Dana Gardner and Eddie Humphrey III. There are expected to be some new drivers in the field this time.
A division that has slowly taken hold in California is the Sharp Mini Late Models. These are 5/8 scale versions of Late Models with 600cc engines. A few of the drivers even made an appearance at one of the practice days a few weeks back.
Merced Speedway brought the class in 5 years ago as a way to get drivers up from the Outlaw Kart ranks onto the bigger track. They are already seeing drivers from this class graduate into the bigger divisions. Track management is looking at this same possibility for Antioch Speedway.
About a half-dozen of these cars are anticipated for this show. The field will include some new drivers from the area as well as drivers from down in Merced. If things go well, we could be seeing more Mini Late Model racing in the weeks ahead.
Management always strives to give the fans the best racing program possible, and Saturday’s lineup should be good.
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