By Candice Martin, DCRR Racing Media
Antioch, CA…On the heels of a successful Fan Appreciation Night and the well supported practice that followed, racing resumes this Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.
Back in action are the popular IMCA sanctioned Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars, and the three divisions have just two-point races left to go. Also competing will be the Delta Dwarf Cars and a special Print Club Mini Stock race.
Troy Foulger of Oakley and Bowers Motorsports weren’t necessarily planning to run for points this season, but that’s how it turned out. The team prefers to run at different venues when the bigger money is on the line, and frequently they leave with big prize money. In this case, the team started winning early on and found themselves leading two championship battles.
The Bowers name is synonymous with winning races at Antioch Speedway. From the days of the Hall of Fame duo Bill Bowers and JD Willis teaming up to win many Main Events and several championships to Billy Bowers and Foulger, they keep getting the job done.
In fact, the team had their Modified at the track for practice last week to try and pick up a little bit of speed. IMCA National rookie leader and State point leader Andrew Pearce of Oakley has won the last two races. That doesn’t sit well with the Bowers team.
Foulger still leads Pearce in the Modified ranks, 336-314, but the last win for Pearce gives him a 4 to 3 advantage in Main Event wins. The title will come down between these two, while reigning champion Nick DeCarlo of Martinez leads Jeff Browne of Oakley in the race for third, 214-186.
Just 30 points behind Browne you’ll find 2019 champion Buddy Kniss of Oakley. The popular Modified division has been at the Speedway since 1990, and this is the 34th championship run for the class.
In the IMCA Stock Car ranks, Foulger again only has one driver to worry about. In this case, it’s Jason Robles of Rio Vista, who trails by 32 markers. Robles takes on a big role at the speedway as a primary track preparations expert, running the heavy equipment.
Jason is still looking for his first win of the season and has finished as high as second three times. Foulger, however, has won seven races, which has also helped propel him into the IMCA State point lead. It’s been a banner year for the team.
Jason’s son Kenneth Robles of Rio Vista has a solid hold on third in the standings as reigning champion Travis Dutra of Concord has fallen out of the battle. Dutra is only four points ahead of Oakley’s Scott Foster. Foster has been supporting the class pretty well this year as he picks up a little speed with each race.
You won’t find the DeCarlo name high in the point battle, but both Nick DeCarlo and Terry DeCarlo Jr of Martinez are Main Event winners in recent races.
Turning attention to the IMCA Sport Modified ranks, Jason Ryan Jr of Oakley is on a pace to collect a pair of championships. The IMCA State title seems well in hand after Ryan picked up his fourth Watsonville win last week.
However, the three-time Antioch winner has to contend with Kenny Shrader of Pacheco in the track title chase. Shrader got his third win last time out, keeping him four points out of the lead. This battle will go down to the wire.
Though he hasn’t won yet this season, Mark Garner of Antioch has been very consistent with six Top 5 efforts. He’s just nine points out of the lead and three ahead of three-time Antioch champion Trevor Clymens of Brentwood.
Jacob Mallet, Jr. is last year’s State champion, and he has a 23-point lead over Joseph Pato in the race for fifth. 28 points back in seventh is the top rookie, Billy Garner of Antioch.
We haven’t seen enough of the Delta Dwarf Cars this year, but we have a fierce battle on our hands between Chance Russell of Antioch and Devan Kammermann of Dublin. Russell leads by just four points going into this race. He is a one-time winner, while Kameramann has picked up two victories.
Quietly, Tracy’s Joe LeDuc has crept into third in the standings, 20 points ahead of David Michael Rosa of Antioch and 22 in front of Travis Day of Concord. Sean Catucci of Antioch was back at practice last week and making good laps as he’s set to return this week.
Last year’s Print Club Mini Stock championship runner-up, Laina Bales of Antioch, lined up some sponsorship to give the division a purse this week. They don’t normally pay down the entire field, but they will on this occasion.
There could be some visitors In town as drivers compete for the increased prize money. This race will also be an opportunity for the local drivers to get things in order as the West Coast Sport Compacts hit the speedway the following week with their competitive tour.
A look at the track points finds Tom Davis of Los Molinos with a solid hold on the lead, 85 points ahead of reigning champion Tom Brown of Santa Rosa. Davis has picked up six wins, but Brown has been shut out.
Brown took a tumble off of a ladder a few weeks ago and suffered a collapsed lung, taking him out of the most recent Antioch race. Brown won at Petaluma last week, keeping him on the path to winning his third championship in a row there.
At Antioch, Brown leads Tony Quinonez of Corning by 27 points in the race for second. Quininez got his first win of the season last time out. Top rookie David Carson is now fourth in the standings, just four points ahead of Pittsburgh’s Don Abitz and 19 in front of Dana Gardner of San Bruno.
The IMCA storylines are certainly interesting. Nobody has ever won two championships in the same season at the track, but Foulger has that in his crosshairs along with an unprecedented sixth Modified title.
There are also the close battles in the Delta Dwarf Cars and IMCA Sport Modifieds to consider. The drivers will be giving it all they have to try to move up a little bit higher in the standings. It’ll be a good night of racing from start to finish.
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.