By Don Martin II
ANTIOCH, CA…January 1…New Year’s Day meant the Winter Classic was happening Antioch Speedway Monday afternoon. Oval Motorsports began their 21st season of promoting the 3/8-mile clay oval with a special four division program featuring A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Dwarf Cars and Hobby Stocks.
The A Modified Main Event was won by Williston, North Dakota’s Travis Peery. Peery competed at tracks in Medford, Oregon and Yreka, California before moving to North Dakota. He took the lead from Raymond Lindeman and then had a battle with five-time champion Scott Busby during the final 10 laps.
On a restart with 8 laps to go, Busby used the inside line to take the lead from Peery. However, when Chester Kniss rolled in Turn 4, the ensuing red flag negated Busby’s pass. Peery chose the inside on this restart and withstood an outside groove challenge by Busby over the next two laps to hold the lead. As Peery brought it home to victory, 2017 race winner Nick DeCarlo made a late pass on Busby for second. Busby settled for third ahead of reigning track champion Bobby Motts Jr. and Jeff Faulkner.
Fred Ryland took the lead from his wife Patti Ryland early on and won the B Modified Main Event. F. Ryland is the reigning Merced Speedway champion, and he held off reigning Chico and Marysville champion Philip Shelby down the stretch for a well-earned victory. Les Friend finished third ahead of Craig Nieman and Mark Garner.
Reigning champion Mike Corsaro scored an impressive victory in the Dwarf Car Main Event. Two-time champion Danny Wagner led the first half of the race before overheating issues sidelined him. During the second half of the race, Corsaro led with Jack Haverty and Michael Grenert in close pursuit. Grenert made a pass on Haverty for second with six laps to go. Two laps later, Grenert made a slide job move around Corsaro in Turn 2, only to drift too high as Corsaro raced back into the lead down the backstretch. Corsaro scored a hard-fought victory ahead of Grenert, Haverty, Chuck Conover and David Michael Rosa.
The Hobby Stock Main Event featured an entertaining side-by-side battle between Chris Long and Orland Raceway star, Brad Ray. After technical inspections following the race, Ray was disqualified and Long was elevated to first. Orland Raceway champion Jeremy Langenderfer was riding along in third when he spun on the last lap, handing the position to Chris Bennett. Bennett’s third place became second with the disqualification of Ray.
The Antioch Speedway 2018 schedule should be made available shortly. For further information on what’s happening at the track, check out the official website at www.antiochspeedway.com.