Antioch Speedway

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Antioch Speedway

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Hard Tops / Valley Sportsman

Hunt Series Sprint Cars, Xtreme Late Models Back At Antioch Speedway


Antioch Speedway

Hunt Series Sprint Cars, Xtreme Late Models Back At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...As the weather warms up in June, the action at Antioch Speedway heats up even more. The rains earlier in the year forced some key events to be rescheduled, and that was the case with the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series. Saturday was to be a regular Spec Sprint show, but it's now a Hunt Series makeup race.

The Xtreme Late Model Series is back in action, giving this lineup the one-two punch it needs. For this occasion, the Late Models will be running topless. Also competing will be the BCRA Lightning Sprints, Dwarf Cars, Micro Sprints and the Hardtops.

Antioch Speedway is where Wingless Spec Sprint racing began back in 1999. The racing was so entertaining that other tracks in the state added classes of their own. In 2010, the Hunt Series was born, and this is their 15th year of sanctioning the division.

The idea was simple. Bring together some of the best drivers the class has to offer and give the fans an amazing show. That will be the case on Saturday as some of the best drivers from throughout California come to town. Most of the time, it means that the competition is so tough that you have to earn your way into the Main Event.

After two races, Antioch's Shawn Arriaga finds himself leading the standings. Arriaga won the Randy Larson Memorial race at Petaluma earlier this year. The $5,000 triumph aboard the Dave Johnson owned car gives him an 18 point lead over Antioch point leader Jake Tuttle of Oakley.

Having won Winged Sprint Car championships at both Petaluma and Antioch, Shawn has set his sights on a Wingless title and came within a race of doing it last year. The team has redoubled their efforts, and they know every race counts. Tuttle has driven the Ted Finkenbinder car to a pair of Antioch wins so far this year, giving him a two-point lead over Petaluma point leader Bradley Terrell of Sebastopol for second.

The series has some top-notch competition, including Merced winner DJ Johnson of Stockton. Johnson won the Hunt Series title last year. Also anticipated are Josh Young of Roseville, Nathan Schank of Phoenix, Arizona, Jimmy Christian of Morgan Hill, Nick Larson of Vallejo, Heath Holdsclaw of Loomis and Ethan Lanfri of Milpitas.

The Xtreme Late Model series is back for the third round of their championship battle. They were at Antioch two weeks ago for the Larry Damitz Memorial, which was won by Anthony Slaney of Martinez. The earlier race at Placerville was the Tom Tilford Tribute, won by 2022 series champion Dan Brown Jr of Lincoln.

The second place finish that Auburn's Ray Trimble had in Placerville helps give him a one point advantage over Slaney in the championship chase. Last season's runner-up, Rod Oliver of Yuba City, was third at the recent Antioch race, keeping him just 18 points out of the lead and four ahead of reigning series champion Matt Micheli of Live Oak. Oliver does have a win in a regular Placerville show this year.

Some of the drivers to watch for this week include Tim Yeager of Belmont, Terry Kaiser of Fairfield, Jake Dewsbury of Vallejo and Buddy Kniss of Oakley. In addition to the custom made trophies the drivers compete for, they are racing for a $1,500 championship.

Saturday's show will be the third event of the season for the BCRA Lightning Sprints. Greg Dennett of Livermore claimed the honors in their Antioch visit back in early May, while the March season opener was won by Hunter Kinney of Citrus Heights.

Dennett, who finished second in the standings last year, holds a 16 point advantage over Hunter Kinney going into this race. Scott Kinney of Citrus Heights is also a past series champion and is just 19 points out of the lead.

Reigning series champion Dakota Albright of Waterford made the recent Antioch race his season debut and finished second on that occasion ahead of Elk Grove's Matt Land. Land trails Albright by just a point in the race for fourth, while Jason Schostag of Hangtown is six points behind Albright in sixth.

It's interesting to note that while Travis Day of Concord is the 2020 Dwarf Car champion and ranked in the Top 10 in the standings in the three years that followed, he didn't get his first Antioch win until last month. Day had to hold off a last turn challenge from rookie Brandon Aylesworth of Benicia to get the victory. He'll be out to make it two in a row on Saturday . The Dwarf Cars have been a regular division in the rotation since 1998.

The 600 Micro Sprints competed during the County Fair, and Stockton's Don McLeister got the win on that occasion ahead of Ryan Dotson of Fremont. Don McLeister won the championship last year ahead of Devin McLeister of Stockton. Devin was third last time out. Charlie Kight of Antioch and Buddy Chappell of Stockton are among the drivers anticipated this week.

After two rainouts, the Hardtops finally get their first visit this Saturday night. In a recent race at Stockton, reigning series champion Joel Hannagan of San Jose turned in a rather dominant performance to get the victory. With seven Antioch wins last year, he is clearly the driver to beat.

Last year's runner-up, Brad Coelho of Oakley, is anticipated in the Tommy Thomson owned car along with Don Slaney of Martinez. The Hardtops and the visitors who come in from the Merced Sportsman effort make these races an enjoyable attraction for fans of the old style of racing.

The Hunt Series Wingless Sprints and the Xtreme Late Models will make this an exciting show for the fans. With the other open wheel classes on the bill, the fans will certainly see some fast cars on the track.

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 or check out the Antioch Speedway by PROmotions Facebook page.

Article Credit: Candice Martin, Photos by Katrina Kniss

Submitted By: Wylie Wade

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