Racing Passed From Generation to Generation

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Shane Hausmann and his dad, Mike, get ready to race.

By Mike Adaskaveg

Merced Sun Star

Racing families pass on a love for fast cars from generation to generation – as evidenced in the pit area of Merced Speedway. Here, fathers and mothers teach youngsters to channel their desire to race at purpose-built facilities, where they safely can do so and have fun.

“Sharing stock car racing with a child is one of the greatest things you can do as a father,” offers Mike Hausmann, a Merced businessman who has raced alongside son Shane for 14 years and is serving as his crew chief.

“The ups and downs, the joy and the heartbreak – are all there in racing-just like they are in many sports,” explains Mike Hausmann. “Racing teaches you life’s lessons.”

Shane Hausmann, a winning driver in the hobby stock division, disappeared from the racing scene for more than a season. He had good reason to do so. His three daughters – Aubree, 2, and four month old twins Brooklynn and Brielle – became his top priority.

“Having children – especially twins – is a life changing experience,” Shane Hausman says. “You should have seen the look on my wife’s face when I told here I was taking the hobby stock out and racing this weekend.”

But his visit to the track put a smile on his dad’s face. Mike Hausmann is a happy dad, preparing his son’s car in the pits, just as he did time and time again over the years.

“It may be the only a night that we race this year, so we’re having fun,” Mike Hausmann adds.

Darren and Tanner Thomas talk racing in the Merced Speedway pits.

Darren and Tanner Thomas talk racing in the Merced Speedway pits.

For Atwater’s Darren Thomas, the pit area experience is much like Mike Hausmanns was 14 years earlier. Thomas, a Merced Speedway a multi-year track champ in the 1990’s, may soon be a car owner instead of driver. Sons Tanner and Chase want to drive SportMods.

Son Tanner is wide-eyed and anxious to help his dad with their IMCA SportMod.

“He’s working me right out of the driver’s seat,” laughs Thomas.

A drywall carpenter, Thomas commutes to jobsites in San Francisco from Atwater, leaving little time to work on his car. Tanner and Chase, have taken up the responsibilities associated with the racecar. They even prepare tires for the car during the week.

Tanner, 14, is a “cage” go-kart champ. The eighth grader at McSwain School hopes to be driving at Merced Speedway soon. On Sunday, his dad let him take the SportMod out for “mud packing”, which is when the cars slowly parade around the track to smooth the surface.

“It feels a lot different driving a big car,” says Tanner. “I can’t wait to drive dad’s car in a race.”

As the night progressed, the Haussmann’s found themelves in the Hobby Stock victory lane. The Thomas’s had a fun night, finishing fifth in the SportMod feature.

“We picked up right where we left off,” Mike Hausmann said. “It was a great night.”

This Week at Merced Speedway

A four-division program will see qualifying heats and features for the IMCA Modified, SportMods, Hobby Stock and Mini-Stock divisions this Sunday evening.            The speedwaty will have a two week Labor Day break after Sunday’s event. The week after Labor day is IMCA Supernationals in Boone, Iowa. The organization does not sanction any racing throughout the country on that weekend because drivers from throughout the country compete in the Supernationals.

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 6 p.m. on Sunday. The grandstand opens at 4:30 p.m.

 

Merced Speedway: Alex Wilson over Ryan Porter – Again

 

Alex Wilson (39) stays low on the track to top Ryan Porter (14) in the IMCA Modified feature. (Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

Alex Wilson (39) stays low on the track to top Ryan Porter (14) in the IMCA Modified feature. (Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

It was déjà vu all over again in Sunday night’s IMCA Modified feature at Merced Speedway Alex Wilson of Salinas was chased across the finish line by Atwater’s Ryan Porter. It was Fred Ryland of Brentwood holding off a late charge by Bruce “Bubba” Nelson of Turlock in the IMCA SportMod feature.

Five divisions raced as part of the special “Legends of Merced” program. Some of the greatest drivers in the Speedway’s history drove Valley Sportsman cars to the start finish line and were interviewed in front of the crowd.

The "Legends of Merced Speedway" returned to be honored at the speedway's special event for them.

The “Legends of Merced Speedway” returned to be honored at the speedway’s special event for them.

Track Announcer and historian Don Martin III, right, interviews Dennis Moomjean about racing at the speedway three decades ago.

Track Announcer and historian Don Martin III, right, interviews Dennis Moomjean about racing at the speedway three decades ago.

Wilson Repeats Last Week’s Strategy

“I stayed on the bottom of the track, just like last week,” explained Wilson. “Why change something that works.”

His taking the inside lane was to Porters dismay, as he tried in vain to get the traction necessary to pass Wilson.

“I was stuck on the high lane,” Porter said. “Another caution could have made the difference.”

Troy Foulger from Martinez recovered from an early crash to come home third, followed by Bakersfield’s Robbie Sawyer.

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Jason Nation (83) takes the inside lane to challenge IMCA SportMod winner Fred Ryland (7). Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

Nation Surprises Ryland and Nelson

            Bakersfield’s Jason Nation put the pressure on Ryland for most of the SportMod feature.

“He’s from Bakersfield, he can drive on a slick track,” Ryland said of the newcomer’s challenges. “I quit looking at him and concentrated on where I was going.”

Nation and Ryland traded positions for the lead while Nelson worked his way through the pack. He picked off Nation to take second with a lap to go.

“I raced him like he raced me – a little rough, but clean,” Nelson said.

Nation had no comment after the race except to say he was “not good.”

Fourth went to Chowchilla’s Rick Diaz, who was followed by Merced’s Darrin Thomas.

Back in the winners circle - Shane Hausmann is congratulated by veteran Race Director Steve Sutherland, who returned to Merced Speedway for the Legends of Merced program.

Back in the winners circle – Shane Hausmann is congratulated by veteran Race Director Steve Sutherland, who returned to Merced Speedway for the Legends of Merced program.

Haussmann Returns To Win

            Shane Haussmann came back from two years parental leave and returned to a familiar place – victory lane.

Mark Key (21) and Shane Hausmann (55) battle it out in the Hobby Stock main event.

Mark Key (21) and Shane Hausmann (55) battle it out in the Hobby Stock main event.

“Having twins is a life changing experience,” Hausmann said in victory lane. He drove his overheating Hobby Stock to victory over Merced’s Mark Key, whose car was also steaming on the final laps of the feature.

Kevin Joaquin of Sonora finished third, chased by Kristie Shearer of Los Banos.

Corder and Germait raced so close you couldn't tell there were two cars. (Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

Corder and Germait raced so close you couldn’t tell there were two cars. (Photo by Mark Brooks, Track Photographer)

Corder Sputters to Another Win

Chris Corder’s Mini Stock sputtered to the checkered flag after waging a side-by-side battle with Merced’s Mike Germait. Corder, from Modesto, inherited the lead after Balico’s Darren Miguel saw his car sidelined after an engine failure midway through the feature.

“I thought I could beat Chris (Corder). It was a good battle,” said Germait, who was in his second race of the season. Jennifer Corder finished third, followed by Merced’s Jimmy Stockton and Miguel.

Eric Seeley Wins in Valley Sportsman Division

Eric Seeley flies by Marcus Lung in the winged Valley Sportsman retro division feature event.

Eric Seeley flies by Marcus Lung in the winged Valley Sportsman retro division feature event.The Valley Sportsman cars returned to Merced Speedway for the special “Legends of Merced” race.

 

 

Antioch DIRTcar Late Models: Jeff Decker Gets Win He Has Been Working For

Jeff Decker (84) passes Mike Hynes (04) in DIRTcar Late Model action.

Jeff Decker (84) passes Mike Hynes (04) in DIRTcar Late Model action.

Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill has been trying to get his new car to run perfectly all season long in the DIRTcar Late Model Stock Car division at Antioch Speedway. Saturday night, he did just that beating Hayward’s Danny Malfatti and Paul Guglielmoni from Vacaville in the feature event.

“The track was hooked up (had a lot of traction) and the cars were very fast tonight,” Decker explained. “My car was running awesomely tonight – it’s the best it’s ever been.”

The late model event was marred by a turn one pileup that collected most of the field. On an early race re-start, Chico’s Richard Papenhausen raced side by side with Livermore’s John Soares. Papenhausen’s car touched the wall, then spun sideways going into the turn, leaving the pack no where to go.

Most of the cars returned to the pits, made repairs, and re-entered the feature. Papenhausen’s crew entered the infield of the track to change a tire under the red flag, which is a rules violation. Papenhausen was black-flagged for the infield tire change when the race restarted.

The Field piled up in the first turn during the DIRTcar Late Model Feature.

The Field piled up in the first turn during the DIRTcar Late Model Feature.

Decker, who emerged unscathed from the wreck, raced to the lead. Malfatti tried to chase him down. Guglielmoni made major repairs to his car and returned to the feature to challenge Malfatti for second.

“I wish Papenhausen was in the race,” Decker said of his rival. “We would have had something for him tonight. We would have beaten him tonight.”

Decker felt his hard work setting up the new car finally paid off.

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Jeff Decker at Speed – Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer

“It’s been a long time coming,” he smiled.

Mike Hynes of Suisun City brought home fourth place driving David Newquist’s back-up car. Fifth went to Vallejo’s Larry Damityz, who brought his old late model stock car out of hibernation for the race. Damitz also brought his vintage 1970’s era “Hard Top” stock car and won the vintage car feature event.

Clymens_PG_WebvClymens First Win in IMCA SportMod Rookie Season 

            Brentwood’s Trevor Clymens, a rookie in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) SportMod division, won his first race as he outran Anthony Giuliani of Morgan Hill.

“There were plenty of heart breakers this season,” Clymens said. “It’s our seventh race – we’ve led, we’ve run in the top three, but we couldn’t pull off a win until tonight.”

Clymens, a standout Hobby Stock driver 12 years ago, returned to Antioch Speedway this season with the SportMod.

“The car was set up for no failures,” he said of his SportMod. “And, it’s the best it’s been all season.”

Clymens maneuvered through traffic as Giuliani, a three-time winner in the division, gained ground.

Giuliani races hard with Al Johnson in the third turn. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

Giuliani races hard with Al Johnson in the third turn. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

“I just needed a caution flag to have a chance to race Trevor side-by side,” Giuliani said. “I was hung up in traffic at the beginning of the race and never could catch up after that.

Merced Speedway standout Rick Diaz was third, edging Brentwood’s Fred Ryland. KC Keller of Hayward completed the top five.

Joaquin’s Rocket

Kevin Joaquin alone in the lead of the Hobby Stock main event.  (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer

Kevin Joaquin alone in the lead of the Hobby Stock main event. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer

            Sonora’s Kevin Joaquin won his second Hobby Stock feature of the season. Joaquin topped Merced’s George Silva, who fought off challenges from Jordan Swank of Concord and Vacaville’s Kimo Oreta. Cameron Swank of Antioch was fifth.

After the race, Swank commented that Joaquin’s car was a “rocket”

“All I did was wash my car after last week and I won,” Joaquin told the other drivers.

Silva complimented Joaquin.

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Larry Damitz (100) on route to victory in the Vintage Hardtop race. (Photo by Paul Gould, Track Photographer)

“He raced hard and he raced against me clean,” Silva added.

This Week At Antioch Speedway

            A six division show is on the card Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Northern All Stars Winged and Wingless 360 sprint cars and IMCA Modified stock cars headline the event. Also included are the Brentwood Auto Parts IMCA SportMods, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf cars.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif.

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. 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.

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