Home Antioch Sprint Cars, Late Models Headlane Hall Of Fame Night At Antioch Speedway

Sprint Cars, Late Models Headlane Hall Of Fame Night At Antioch Speedway

By Candice Martin

by ECT

Antioch, CA — Weather permitting, people will still be hearing the roar of the engines at Antioch Speedway through the end of November as racing continues. This Saturday night is a special occasion. Not only are there five exciting racing divisions competing on the 3/8 mile clay oval, the fans will see 11 new members inducted into the track’s Fourth Annual Hall of Fame ceremony. It’s also a memorial race in honor of the Soares family.

Headlining the Hall of Fame ceremony will be Sportsman and Super Stock champion Mike Gustafson, Sportsman legends Snork Wilson and Jerry Hetrick, Late Model stars Ed Sans Jr and Bert Elworthy, Street Stock racers John Bellando and David Rosa, long time track sponsor and supporter Ted Ballard, Promoter Donna Soares. And long time racers and track supporters Ron Brown and Tommy Clymens Sr.

On the track action will heat up with an appearance by the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series, joined by the Xtreme Limited Late Models, Delta Dwarf Cars, BCRA Lightening Sprints and the Super Stocks. Coupled with the track honoring some of the stars from throughout it’s 61 years of existence, this will be a night people will want to see.

Antioch Speedway has been the leader in carburated Sprint Car racing since the 1980s. In 1988, they gave the NCMA Modifieds their first dates. That organization runs exclusively on the pavement to this day. In 1999, Wingless Spec Sprints began at Antioch Speedway, and they continue to run to this day with Shannon Newton winning the 24th track championship for the class. In the last 12 years, the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint series was created to give these drivers different venues on which to compete.

Usually, the Hunt Series will have drivers competing for anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 to win. Last Saturday night, 28 of those competitors made the trip to Petaluma Speedway, where Antioch star Shawn Arriaga, who is a past Antioch and Petaluma Winged 360 Sprint Car champion and third-generation competitor, collected the victory.

Shawn had taken a nasty tumble in a Wingless Sprint Car race in Medford, Oregon a week earlier. After shaking off the cobwebs from a concussion, he went on to win his second Sprint Car race of the year, the first being the Sonny Calkins Memorial at Antioch, which paid him $2,500. Shawn is also a Top 5 driver in the standings with the series.

Drivers like Jake Morgan, Bradley Terrell, past Antioch champion DJ Johnson, multi-time series champion Shawn Jones and the consistent Josh Young are stars with the series these days. Young ran with the WMR Midgets a couple of weeks ago and scored a thrilling victory at Antioch Speedway. A field of competitors somewhere in the 20s is anticipated for this show.

Dan Brown Jr #15 won his second Antioch race last time out to take the Xtreme Limited Late Model point lead. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Thanks to the great sponsorship of Xtreme Scaffolding, Premier Glass and one2wraps, the Xtreme Limited Late Model series will pay $1,500 to the champion, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. A majority of the dates happen at Antioch Speedway, which is the home track of series founder Mike Slaney.

His son Anthony Slaney has a win in the series at Antioch as does Placerville champion Dan Jinkerson and Dan Brown Jr. Following his second Antioch win in the series a few weeks ago, Brown overtook Jinkerson for the lead. He leads a charge this week with others anticipated, including multi-time champion Matt Micheli, Rod Oliver, Kiely Ricardo, Ray Trimble and the hard charging Jinkerson.

The Delta Dwarf Cars are wrapping up their third series championship at Antioch Speedway this week. Barring a misfortune of some sort, two-time Antioch champion Danny Wagner is hoping to hold off rising young star Devan Kammeramann for the honors.

Danny Wagner #11 and Devan Kammeramann #18 lead the Delta Dwarf Cars into their point finale. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Both drivers are multi-time winners with the group this season, and Wagner came within a whisker of winning the WSDCA Nationals Pro division championship in Marysville two weeks ago. Other drivers anticipated this week include Ellie Russo, Chance Russell, David Rosa, Mario Marques, Charlie Correia and past champion Travis Day.

The Bay Cities Racing Association has the distinction of being the longest continuously active motorsports organization in California. They’ve been sanctioning Midgets, Hardtops, Lightening Sprints and Vintage Midgets since the 1930s. The Lightning Sprints make their final appearance at the track this week. Last time out, it was Harlee Aguilera picking up his first win of the season. The consistent Matt Land has used four Top 5 finishes to lead the charge by over 60 points ahead of Greg Dennett. These two are anticipated this week along with Brandon Leedy, Dakota Albright, Josef Ferolito and Hunter Kinney.

The Super Stocks enter an active month of October that will see them run three times. Jim Freethy has picked up three victories, and he’s hoping to get a Soares Memorial win. In addition to this being Hall of Fame night, the track honors all of the Soares family. Between most recent Promoter John Michael Soares and his father John Pershing Soares, the duo promoted this track for 42 years. The younger John’s brother Jim Soares did track prep for Antioch Speedway and other places through the years, while John Michael Soares’s mother Gladys and his wife Donna were there supporting their husbands as they kept racing alive in Contra Costa County.

Freethy is looking to win his third division championship, which seems a good bet at this point. The battle will be for second between Mike Walko, Jim Robbins and Joey Ridgeway. Unfortunately, Ridgeway won’t be able to make it due to damage suffered in a race at Watsonville earlier this year.

Walko, the 2020 champion, leads Robbins by 14 points in the race for second. Robbins will also be a part of an all star lineup of drivers competing in the track’s first Figure 8 in 20 years on October 15th. As if that’s not enough, the Super Stocks will run their final point race on October 29th, followed by the Sixth Annual Larry Damitz Memorial race on October 29th, which will pay $1,000 to win.

They’ll be plenty of excitement on tap this Saturday night with a strong lineup of racing and some legends on hand for Hall of Fame ceremonies. 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 four and under free.

For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com or check the tracks Facebook page.

Find out more about the Hall of Fame at https://www.antiochspeedwayhalloffame.com.

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