Merced: Porter Prepared for Win


Ryan Porter muscles his way through traffic at Merced Speedway.

By Mike Adaskaveg

Merced Sun-Star

Beating dirt track racing legend Bobby Hogge IV is not an easy task. It happens seldom when Hogge IV, from Salinas, unloads his bright read race car at a local speedway.

Atwater’s Ryan Porter can now boast that Hogge IV was second to him at the finish line of last Saturday’s International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) modified stock car feature event at Merced Speedway.

Tonight, the IMCA Modified and SportMod classes again highlight the evening’s racing at the ¼ mile fairgrounds track.

“Not many drivers are on the list of those who beat Bobby (Hogge IV) to the checkered flag,” Porter said. “It is one of my biggest accomplishments in modified racing.”

Porter, who has been driving racecars for 11 years, moved up to the modified division in 2006. He takes he takes driving a race car seriously – and he trains for it by keeping physically fit. During the week, he’s an exercise specialist at a Lodi hospital.

Ryan Porter battles previous winner John MacDougall. (Photo by Mark Brooks Track Photographer.)

Ryan Porter battles previous winner John MacDougall. (Photo by Mark Brooks Track Photographer.)

When a track is “hooked up” (tacky) or if it becomes rough, Porter’s workout regime has him prepared. It takes stamina and strength to handle a car sliding through turns after an 80 mph sprint down a straightaway.

“Being in shape definitely helps me on the race track,” Porter, who is 26, explained. “Racing demands a lot from your body. I work out four times a week with weights and cardio, and I am prepared for Saturday nights.”

With the Merced Speedway surface fast and tacky on Saturday night, Porter first had to pick off Ricky Thatcher of Mariposa and stay ahead of Hogge IV to the checkered flag.

“I was in second and Bobby (Hogge IV) was in third on the seventh lap. All I could see was his bumper coming up alongside me,” Porter said. “All I could think is ‘Oh, no!’ – he’s coming for me.”

On a restart after a caution flag, Porter was on the outside of first place Thatcher.

“I knew I had to get around Ricky (Thatcher) if I had any chance to win,” Porter said. “Then I couldn’t make the slightest mistake or Bobby (Hogge

  1. IV) would catch me.”

Porter was perfect and took the checkered flag with Hogge IV and Thatcher chasing him.GarnerJared_Web

Tonight at Merced Speedway

            A large field of cars is expected at Merced Speedway as sister track Antioch Speedway is dark in preparation for Sunday’s World of Outlaws event there.

IMCA Modifieds and SportMods will headline the Merced Speedway show. The Northern All Stars Limited Late Model and Hobby Stock divisions will also compete in a full program of qualifying races and feature events.


Darren Miguel (86) took the win with Darren Kennedy (13) riding high for second in the Hobby Stock main event last Saturday night. The hobby stocks return Saturday night.  (Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

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 $8 for children 6-12. A family four-pack of tickets admits two children and two adults for $32. Racing begins at 7 p.m. The grandstand opens at 5 p.m.






Australian Kerry Madsen, center, with Connecticut’s David Gravel, left, and Californian Kyle Hirst, right. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

By Gary Thomas
Last year’s Antioch Speedway World of Outlaws  event produced the closest finish in World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series history when Kerry Madsen edged out two-time King of the West Series champion Kyle Hirst by just .005 seconds.

“I felt like I was doing it comfortably and managing traffic pretty well, but I just got bottled up there and he got a run,” Madsen said. “I was pretty lucky to get away with that one. You definitely had to maneuver through traffic well, because cars were everywhere during the main event.”

Bixby, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart currently leads the World of Outlaws standings by 18-markers over six-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota. The pair was involved in one of the most exciting late race duels in recent memory last week. Schatz came out on top by inches to become the first repeat winner at the time. Stewart is in his first full season with the “Greatest Show on Dirt”  driving the Larson/Marks Racing No. 2 and captured victory a few weeks back in Las Vegas.

Jason Sides flies by Paul McMahon in last year's WoO action. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Jason Sides flies by Paul McMahon in last year’s WoO action. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Completing the top-10 in World of Outlaws points going into this weekend are California natives Paul McMahan and Brad Sweet, Indiana’s Joey Saldana, Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman, Australian Kerry Madsen, Connecticut’s David Gravel, Tennesee’s Jason Sides BS  Iowa’s Terry McCarl.

Of all the tracks that the World of Outlaws compete at in the Golden State, Northern California drivers have seemed to make the most noise at Antioch Speedway. With that in mind California natives have captured three of the first four events held by the series during their “Spring Break Tour” in the state. Rutherford’s Rico Abreu has won main events each of the last two weeks and will be looking for another score this Sunday night. The 23-year-old has had a tremendous start to the year, which was kicked off by winning the Chili Bowl Nationals in Oklahoma.

Antioch Winged Sprint champ Chris MaGoon of Oakley will be back for the World of Outlaws event.

Antioch Winged Sprint champ Chris MaGoon of Oakley will be back for the World of Outlaws event.

Multiple-time Antioch winner Tim Kaeding of San Jose scored a thrilling win at Tulare a couple weeks ago and will bring Dennis AND Theresa Roth’s No. 83jr into the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds venue on Sunday. The two-time King of the West Series champion earned a final lap victory with the World of Outlaws at Antioch in 2012 and is a four-time winner at the track with KWS. Kaeding was also the hard charger in last week’s Stockton finale.

The Antioch Speedway is located on the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at the corner of 10th and L Streets in Antioch, California. Take SR-4 East (Highway 4) to the Somersville Road North Exit. Follow Somersville Road to 10th Street. Turn Right on 10th Street. The address for the track is 1201 W. 10th Street Antioch, CA 94509. The track is located just a little over an hour from the capital city of Sacramento.

Tickets for the Sunday March 29 event are on sale and can be acquired by visiting or by calling1-877-395-8606. General admission tickets cost $39, while reserved grandstand seats cost $45. Children 12 and under are $15 for general admission.

Will Call and the ticket sales window will open at noon on Sunday at the track, the front gate will open at 4pm, with qualifying scheduled for 6pm & racing at 7pm.
Information about the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series can be found online at <><>


Past World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series winners at Antioch Speedway

2014- Kerry Madsen
2013- Kyle Larson and Shane Golobic
2012- Tim Kaeding
2011- Steve Kinser

Past winners of KWS Winged 410 events at track since 2003

2013- Willie Croft and Jonathan Allard
2012- Tim Kaeding, Kyle Hirst & Craig Stidham
2011- Jonathan Allard and Tim Kaeding
2010- Jonathan Allard and Kyle Larson
2009- Tyler Walker and Brent Kaeding
2008- Tyler Walker and Tim Kaeding
2007- Brent Kaeding and Tim Kaeding
2006- Dennis Moore Jr.
2005- Lawrence Edlund and Robert Ballou
2004- Brent Kaeding and Brent Kaeding
2003- Jason Statler

Photos courtesy Steve Lafond & Paul Trevino

Papenhausen Takes DIRTcar Late Model Thriller!


BRINGING THE FANS TO THEIR FEET – Tricky Troy Foulger (49) tried every trick in the book as he tried to get Richard Papenhausen in the DIRTcar Late Model main event. (Photo by Paul Gould Track Photographer)

Antioch – Richard Papenhausen of Chico fought off a late challenge by Troy Foulger of Martinez as Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill moved into the last lap fray in a thrilling conclusion to the DIRTcar Late Model Stock car main event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.

Foulger attempted a last-ditch attempt to pass Papenhausen in the first turn, as the white flag was about to fly. Foulger spun the Oakley based Billy Bowers late model into the infield as Decker picked up the chase.ADAS6175.JPG

“We really got into it with Richard (Papenhausen) after the last restart,” Foulger said on the infield. “If I would have had to have a little more thunder under the hood to pass him.”

The second side-by-side thriller in two weeks brought fans to their feet.

“That was a tough one – Troy (Foulger) tried a little too hard,” Papenhausen said. “There was a lot of rubbing between us, but no wrecking. It was good racing.”ADAS6171.JPG

Papenhausen credited a new right rear tire with giving him the edge over Foulger and Decker. Decker, who beat Papenhausen a week earlier, flew to his back bumper after Foulger spun out. Time ran out and Papenhausen took the checkered.

Foulger followed Decker with Dave Newquist of Chico and Rob Norris of Pleasanton completing the top five.

Melissa Myers - 2 wins in three weeks, one second!

Melissa Myers – 2 wins in three weeks, one second!


            New mom Melissa Myers of Brentwood has two wins and a second in three outings, after fighting off 15 other Hobby Stock drivers in that division’s feature event. Two-time champ Kimo Oreta of Vacaville was waiting for the right opportunity as he chased Myers through lapped traffic.

“My goodness, we were weaving through lapped traffic and I couldn’t shake Kimo (Oreta). He was right there behind me no matter what I tried,” Myers said.

Oreta gave it his all, hiding his frustration the best he could.

“She’s one heck of a driver. I thought I had a chance this week, but once she got in front it was incredible following her through the traffic,” Oreta said. “She just didn’t make a mistake to let me by.”

Nick Baldwin of Oakley, who won the previous week, was a close third. Calvin Louis of Hayward and Dan Jones of Castro Valley rounded out the top five.


            Brentwood’s Fred “The Joker” Ryland is as serious racer, despite his nickname. Ryland wants to bring the IMCA SportMod title to California, and he is riding higher in the standings after Saturday night’s feature win.

With six feature wins and two second place finishes this season, “The Joker” has taken over SportMod city.

Not even Paul “Batman” Mulder of Pleasanton could out-smart Ryland. Mulder took on the Batman persona in answer to Ryland’s becoming “The Joker”.

“I was fast, but it wasn’t easy to win,” Ryland said in victory lane. “I had a broken front spindle in the heat race and barely had enough time to replace it. I drove without the car being aligned.”

Al Sotomayor takes the inside as he tries to get Fred "The Joker" Ryland (7) on the restart.

Al Sotomayor takes the inside as he tries to get Fred “The Joker” Ryland (7) on the restart.

Ryland fought Mulder and beat him before taking Watsonville’s Al Sotomayor. It was Sotomayor and Mulder chasing Ryland to the finish. Al Johnson of Antioch and Megan Ponciano of Oakley were fourth and fifth.


Jack Haverty inside Charlie Correia (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Jack Haverty inside Charlie Correia (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

            Jack Haverty of Cupertino had a big win in the Dwarf Car division, passing Thomas Leiby of Copperopolis just before the finish.

“I stayed behind him (Leiby) and made the same move before a caution came out,” Haverty said. “I found my car was better on the bottom of the track than his was, so after we restarted I was able to make the pass.”

Klint Simpson of Santa Rosa won the wingless sprint car main event.


            Except for the IMCA SportMod division. Antioch Speedway’s regular program will have a week off, with no racing on Saturday night March 28. The track will be prepared for Sunday evening’s World of Outlaws event. The IMCA SportMods will race in a complete program of qualifying races and a feature event as part of World of Outlaws program.



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