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Posts in 'Antioch Speedway' Track

Northpole Nightmare Chills Field Scores 10th Victory of 2013

July 31st, 2013

Antigo, WI,– There was a chill in the air, and on the track on Friday Night at the Langlade County Fairgrounds Speedway. Having battled weather all afternoon, track officials overcame several afternoon downpours working the track into shape to present the first Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series race held at the track since the 2007 season.

Cool evening temperatures greeted fans with weather more representative of early October than mid-summer, and perhaps it was the chill in the air that helped former Alaska native Bill Balog find the extra speed he needed to charge from his 10th place starting berth to victory in the 20 lap A-main.

While Balog’s speed on the slightly banked half mile was impressive he found himself nearly a straightaway behind veteran racer Steve Meyer with five laps to go in the contest. Meyer who had lead from the opening green flag had cleared lapped traffic and appeared to have the pace to outrun Balog to the checkered flag when the lone caution of the contest appeared when Scott Nietzel looped his ride in turn three.

With rules placing lapped machines to the tails of the field Meyer no longer had any lapped cars as a cushion on Balog when the green flag fell for the five lap dash to the finish. As racing resumed Balog immediately began to pressure Meyer, working to is inside down the backstretch and securing the top spot before the lap was complete.

Once out front Balog was able to pull away from Meyer and he would take the checkered flag by a dozen car lengths. Meyer would accept the checker flag earning a second place finish for the second time this season. Meyer had posted runner-up honors in May at the 141 Speedway where he also saw Balog cross the finish line first.

The A-main event has started presenting a field of 21 cars for the race narrowed by mechanical difficulties which eliminated three drivers from participating in the event. Phillip Mock, Ken Jay Fiedler and Michael Decker all suffered engine problems in the heat races, with Mock’s ride suffering a very visible explosion just ase he took the checkered flag in his heat race.

Due to weather conditions qualifying was scrapped in the interest of time and heat race passing points would determine the starting lineup for the main event. By virtue of those points Meyer would start on the pole with Allen Hafford to his outside. Hafford turned in an exceptional performance in his heat race finishing second to Jeremy Schultz to earn his starting spot but he did not have the speed to keep pace with Meyer who took the opening lead in the main event. Rookie of the year contender Lance Fassbender sliced into the second spot, and Schultz bolted from his sixth place starting
position to reach third at Hafford’s expense before the completion of lap one.

Meyer would set sail on the smooth and tacky racing surface putting some distance on the field while Balog began his march forward. By the fifth lap Balog had cracked the top five and continued his charge picking off several more positions eventually surpassing Schultz for third before the halfway point. By this time however Meyer had reached the back markers and he began to place several lapped cars between himself and Fassbender who still held down the second position.

Fassbender would soon have his hands full as Balog caught up to his rear nerf bar by lap 13 and with a decisive move down the backstretch Balog placed himself in the second position. Meyer however still had several lapped car and a full straightaway lead on Balog as the laps began to wind down. The last thing Meyer wanted was a caution and unfortunately that’s exactly what happened on lap 15 when Neitzel slipped in turn three.

The caution negated not only the large lead Meyer had on Balog but due to the caution occurring with 5 laps or less the back markers were also moved to the tail of the field. This placed Balog directly behind Meyer for the restart. Meyer was able to get a good jump coming to the green flag but Balog drove deep into the corner, then diving under Meyer down the backstretch. Balog would then nose ahead into turns three and four taking the lead. Once out front Balog demonstrated the speed of his #17b machine leaving Meyer unable to close the gap.

The battle for third also changed hands on the restart as Fassbender lost several positions allowing both Schultz and Mike Reinke to work past. Schultz the current rookie point leader and second in the overall standings would run wheel to wheel with Reinke who made a surprise appearance this evening after having battled motor ills throughout the early season. On several occasions Reinke would draw even with Schultz who would stand his ground and fend off Reinke’s challenges for the third spot.

The race would conclude with Balog scoring the win by a comfortable margin over Meyer. Schultz would manage to fend off
Reinke to the checkered flag earning his ninth top five finish of the season. Reinke completed the contest in
fourth with Tommy Sexton rounding out the top five finishers. Todd King would pass Fassbener with only a couple laps remaining to grab sixth while Fassbender faded to a seventh place finish. Russel Borland, Dave Uttech and Nick Alden completed the top ten finishers.

13 cars were on the lead lap with Balog at the finish and only two drivers, Alex Bleisner and Dennis “Ozzy” Weisner were unable to finish the event leaving 19 of the original 21 starters on the track at the finish. Ironically it was the first series start of the 2013 season for both drivers. The second day of the planned double header “Northwoods Weekend” would have included a trip to ABC Raceway located in Ashland, Wisconsin. The banked third-mile clay oval was to have
seen it’s third appearance by the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints on Saturday Night, July 27th, however intermittent showers began just after the pit gates opened and remained persistent leaving series officials no choice but to call off the event. Both the IRA and track officials hope to return again during the 2014 season.

IMCA NORCAL CHALLENGE: MCDANIEL TRIES FOR THREE; CHADWICK, HOGGE IV, BUSBY, FOULGER AND DECARLO – WANT A WIN

May 9th, 2013

          Antioch, Calif. – The pressure is on for Ryan McDaniel.

The young second generation driver from Olivehurst, Calif. has won the first two races of the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) NORCAL Challenge. The new series enables the best modified stock car drivers from IMCA speedways to race against each other in special events at several different dirt tracks.

Saturday night, the drivers will be at Antioch Speedway, known for its tacky clay surface and high-banked turns. McDaniel will be looking for a “three-peat” or a “hat trick” – the elusive three wins in a row which racers find nearly impossible to accomplish.

Why will it be hard to win three in a row in the NORCAL Challenge?

Ryan McDaniel’s father, veteran racer Randy McDaniel, sees Antioch Speedway as the biggest challenge of the NORCAL Challenge.

“Three in a row will be tough for us,” McDaniel said. “Our first two wins came on tracks that were big and slick. Antioch’s banking is so high, you’re forced to run good at the top in order to win.”

The McDaniels will be facing challenges from Antioch’s finest drivers:          The father and son Bobby Hogge team brings the most experience to the track with four generations of wins and countless championships in dirt track competition.

Three-time track champ “Tricky” Troy Foulger, of Martinez, Calif. has been the most hooked up driver at the track in recent memory. He’ll be behind the wheel of a new Billy Bowers modified.

Kellen Chadwick of Oakley, Calif. is back “home” at Antioch after racing in IMCA events across the nation. He’s third in NORCAL Challenge points. His last visit produced a thriller of a finish, with Foulger edging him.

Don’t count out Nick DeCarlo. A Martinez, Calif. childhood friend of Foulger’s, and a second-generation driver, DeCarlo has emerged as one of the hottest drivers on the IMCA circuit this season.

Then there’s one of the most winning drivers in the nation who calls Antioch Speedway home. Scott Busby has won more than 500 races in his career – on both dirt and pavement. His experience makes him a top contender.

In all, more than 30 cars are expected. Racers will draw for starting positions. There will be heat races and a “B” Main event for the cars that did not qualify in the first round for the main event.

“We used to watch big Bobby and little Bobby (Hogge), and wonder how they were so good,” McDaniel said. “Now, I’m not racing, and I can concentrate on keeping track of Ryan’s car. There’s two times the info going into Ryan’s racing effort now – just like the Hogges.”

Bobby Hogge IV is coming off a poor finish in the previous IMCA NORCAL Challenge event at Stockton, where he almost flipped his car after bicycling it from hitting a rut.

“I cut my teeth at Antioch,” Hogge IV laughed. “And dad won a lot of races there. I’m sure we can dig down deep and remember all the things we need to do to win there.”

Chadwick had his dad, his grandfather, and crew man Tom Fraser working on his car this week to make it the winning car at Antioch Speedway.

“After racing there last month, we figured out what’s not quite right,” Chadwick said. “We made the adjustments and we should have the car to beat.”

Terry DeCarlo raced for 40 years in California’s Bay Area. Now son Nick, 23, has ventured to a wide variety of tracks to be a better driver at Antioch Speedway, which is just a few miles up Rt. 4 from his home.

“I travel to get a feel for what drivers do to be fast,” Nick DeCarlo explained. “I raced with Bobby (Hogge IV), Kellen (Chadwick), Ryan (McDaniel), and Scott (Busby). I have been competitive with Troy (Foulger) since we were little kids. I know what to expect from each of them when we’re on the track.”

DeCarlo scored a victory in the IMCA Modified feature at Antioch last weekend. His girlfriend, Nicole Crawford won in the track’s “Four-Banger” division.

Known in the pits for his jokes and some outlandish costumes, DeCarlo always makes the best of a situation.

“We’re all having fun,” DeCarlo said. “Racing is supposed to be that way. If you are happy, things go easier for you. No stress. No worries. And, you’ll go faster.”

The Antioch Speedway program begins at 6 p.m. In addition to the NORCAL Challenge there will be a complete program of qualifying races and feature events for Wingless Sprint Cars, Dwarf Cars, “Four-Bangers”, and Super Hobby Stocks – Super Stocks.

Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children, and $8 for senior citizens. A family four-pack of tickets is $40.

The speedway is located at the Contra Costa Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif.