Delta-Valley Classic Set for Sept. 27 -28. Big Purse. Great Drivers. IMCA State, Regional, National Points


Bobby Hogge IV moves in on Danny Lauer in the 2011 Classic at Merced.

Drivers at Antioch and Merced Speedways are preparing for the biggest race of the season – the 4th Annual Delta-Valley Classic – on Sept. 27 and 28.

“I am looking forward to racing in this unique event that combines the best drivers in the Delta and the Valley,” said driver Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas. “The track surfaces have been great this season. The racing has been fantastic.”

Two years ago Hogge IV became the only driver to win both legs of the event. Hogge IV is hoping for a repeat of that feat. He’s faced some stiff competition from Shawn DeForest at Antioch Speedway this year, and will have to get by Merced’s new champion, Paul Stone.

It doesn't get closer than this - Troy Foulger took the outside at Merced, with four cars trying to dive under.

It doesn’t get closer than this – Troy Foulger took the outside at Merced, with four cars trying to dive under.

“The competition is great, and there is no greater feeling than racing against a field of the region’s top drivers,” Hogge IV continued.

The event offers dirt track drivers in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified Stock Car and SportMod divisions’ added incentive. The SportMod and the Merced “modified” races will be the last races in the area that will award state, regional and national points.

The two-day event begins on the smooth Delta Clay of Antioch Speedway at Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. The drivers will have to set up their cars for racing at dry and slick Merced Speedway on Sunday Sept. 28, at 5 p.m.

Foulger goes low under

Foulger goes low under Scott Busby at Antioch two years ago in the Classic.

Each race will carry identical purses. With 24 cars or more, the winner of the “modified” event will receive $2,000 at each track. Each position carries a hefty increase over weekly purses. Last place in the 18-car field will be paid $150. There will be a “B” Main event with non-qualifiers also being paid all the way back to last.

SportMod drivers will be racing for $700 to win, with close steps down to $75 for last place. The SportMod “B” Main will also pay to last position.

Support classes will also be part of the show, with complete qualifying races and a main event. At Antioch Speedway, the Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks, “Four-Banger” and Dwarf Car divisions are part of the show. At Merced Speedway, the Hobby Stocks and Super Stocks will also be racing.

In appreciation of the fans, ticket prices will be held to the weekly rate, despite the Delta-Valley Classic being a big event.

Merced Speedway is located inside the Merced County Fairgrounds; 900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Merced, Calif. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for children 6-12. A family four-pack of tickets admits two children and two adults for $30. Racing begins at 5 p.m. The grandstand opens at 3 p.m.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children 6-12, and $8 for senior citizens. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.

Jimmy Ray visited from Texas and Shawn DeForest gave him some competition at Merced in the 2011 Classic.

Jimmy Ray visited from Texas and Shawn DeForest gave him some competition at Merced in the 2011 Classic.



Larry Damitz (15) found some moisture on the bottom as he passed Mike Gustafson (2) for the win in the Limited Late Model feature event. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Shawn DeForest of Livermore is savoring every moment of his victory over Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Hogge IV is considered to be the toughest driver to beat in oval dirt track racing on the West Coast.

Hogge IV and DeForest waged battle for half of the Northern All Stars Modified Stock Car main event. DeForest had beaten Hogge IV once before – when he led the whole way without being passed. Things were different for DeForest’s second win.

“This was my best race of the season – I actually had to pass Bobby (Hogge IV) to be him,” smiled DeForest. “We had a great race.”

DeForest started in the row before Hogge IV in the feature event. It wasn’t long before Hogge IV was alongside DeForest.


Shawn DeForest (72) is passed by Bobby Hogge IV as the two waged a side-by-side battle. DeForest came back to get Hogge on the last lap of the Northern All Star Modified Stock Car main event. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

“Bobby has magic – he can get to the front quicker than any other driver I know of,” DeForest explained. “I charged to the lead, thinking I got a good jump on him. The next thing I knew, I saw him outside my window.”

Hogge IV and DeForest raced door-to-door for eight laps. A spinning car brought out the yellow flag, setting up a green-white-checkered flag finish.

“I had the lead at one point,” Hogge IV said. “But Shawn was back in the lead at the time of the last caution flag. He took the outside groove, and that seemed like it was the place to be.”

On the final restart, it was Hogge IV who took the lead again by passing DeForest on the bottom groove.

“Then on the next lap he slid up to the fence in the first and second turn, and I knew I had to race him down the backstretch to take him,” DeForest said.

“I went a little higher into the third and fourth turn to keep the lead.”

Hogge IV was not able to pass DeForest again. The checkered flag was just half the front stretch away.

“I made a last ditch effort,” Hogge IV said. “I just couldn’t keep my car down low enough on the track. It was good clean racing and everyone was happy with the outcome.”

Side-By-Side in Limited Late Models, Too

 Two of the track’s most experienced drivers raced side by side to the end in the Limited Late Model Feature. Larry Damitz of Vallejo battled Mike Gustafson of Concord for three laps before Damitz made a move to the bottom to secure the top spot.

“I saw there was a little moisture near the bottom of the track,” Damitz explained. “It was hooked up down there and I could get the car going later into the turn.”

Damitz used his nearly seven decades of experience to determine the advantage.


Billy Macedo was all alone at the end of the All Star Wingless Sprint Car Main event after Bob Newberry spun out. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

“The other cars started to skate around a bit in the middle of the track, so I figured it was getting slick,” he said.

All Star Wingless Sprint Car feature winner Billy Macedo of Concord was in a side by side with Oakley’s Bob Newberry when the two cars touched, sending Newberry to the back of the pack. Kyle Bakkie of Sacramento finished second, with Keith Shipherd third.

Rick Diaz of Los Banos, who is in the running for national “Rookie of the Year” in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) SportMod division, won that feature event despite severe car problems.

“I barely finished – I had a bent wheel hub on the left and it nearly fell off the car,” he said. “I wouldn’t have made it another lap.”


Rick Diaz of Los Banos was back for the win, despite wheel problems, in the IMCA Sport Mod main event. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Rob Gallaher of San Jose was second in the SportMod event, followed by Pittsburg’s Keith Brown, Jr.

Christopher Brown of Antioch scored victory over tough competition in the Hobby Stock division. Brown had perennial top runners Nick Baldwin of Oakley and Patti Ryland of Brentwood right behind him.

Brent Curran of Antioch continued his winning streak, taking his sixth feature of the season in the four cylinder “Four Banger” division. Carlos Gonzalez of Bethel Island finished second.

Danny Wagner of Bay Point won the dwarf car main event.


Northern All Star modified stock cars and IMCA SportMods will highlight this Saturday night’s program at Antioch Speedway. In addition there will be Hobby Stocks, Four-Bangers and Dwarf Cars all competing in a complete program of qualification races and feature events.

This Saturday will be the last night for the drivers to prepare for the following weekend’s big Delta-Valley Classic event. The biggest race of the season for the Modified and SportMod classes will offer both prestige and a large purse. The two day event takes place at Antioch and Merced Speedways on the 27th and 28th of September.

This Saturday night’s racing program begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children 6-12, and $8 for senior citizens. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5.




Madsen Takes WoO by .005 Second!


Kerry Madsen is congratulated by Antioch Speedway Chief Steward Steve Sutherland.

Kerry Madsen scored a win for the record books Sunday night at Antioch Speedway as he held off Kyle Hirst by just .005 seconds, the smallest win margin in World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series history.


Kerry Madsen (29) works his way to the top – passing Colby Copeland.

Madsen took over the lead on lap seven as the field returned to green following a caution. Madsen, who at the time was running in second behind reigning series champion Daryn Pittman, looked low as Pittman got caught up in the cushion and fell back.

Now leading, Madsen quickly built up a comfortable lead in his American Racing Custom Wheels car. By lap 11 he hit lapped traffic. As he worked his way through, Hirst crept closer.

As Madsen took the white flag, Hirst looked for an opportunity. He found it as the two entered the final turn. With Madsen bottled up by a lapped car, Hirst entered onto the front stretch side-by-side with the Australia native. The two drag raced down to the checkered flag and Madsen claimed the win by just a fraction of a second.

“It felt like I was doing it comfortably and managing traffic pretty well but I just got bottled up there and I guess he got a run,” Madsen said. “I was pretty lucky to get away with that one.”

Madsen said as the race wore on and he fought his way through the lapped traffic he was not concerned about what was going on behind him.

“I tried to keep the race pace at a comfortable pace so I wasn’t getting bottled up,” Madsen said. “The start was important but I think you had to be able to maneuver traffic to win the race.”


Kerry Madsen pops a wheelie coming out of the second turn of the 3/8 Mile high banked oval.

Madsen said it was an exciting race from where he sat.

This was the sixth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season for Madsen and the first since he won the Ironman 55 just over a month ago. He currently sits fourth in the championship standings, 480 points out of the lead.

For his part, Hirst said he was disappointed to let the win get away from him by such a small margin.

“That would happen to me! I wish I was on the other end of that but that’s alright,” said Hirst, the KSE Hard Charger Award recipient for the night after advancing six positions in the A main. “I’ll get one, one of these years.”

Hirst came into the night with the momentum of his performances at the Gold Cup Race of Champions. In the previous two nights in Chico he finished fifth and fourth. Tonight, Hirst came as close as he could to the win without capturing it.

“Yeah, I thought I had him,” Hirst said. “I wasn’t sure – it was going to be close… My Roth Motorsports team gave me a great car. This thing was awesome.” ”

“God I wish I would have had that one.”

Hirst’s Roth Motorsports teammate David Gravel finished the night in third after starting in third. Gravel fell back on the start but he was able to make up ground on the same restart Madsen took over the lead.

“We freed up all night but I was still flying the front end,” Gravel said. “We had a good car, just missing it a little bit on the exit. We wanted a top-three and we got one. Good thing for Kyle, he’s had a great weekend. And congrats to Kerry, he did awesome too.”

“That one restart there with everyone biking on two wheels was pretty crazy and we took advantage of it. I’ve got to thank Dennis and Teresa Roth and all my guys.”

Donny Schatz’s lead in the championship standings is currently at 196 points over second place Pittman. Paul McMahan remains firmly in third, 306 points out of the lead.


Older posts «