HOGGE IV STARS IN DODGE LATE MODEL; THEN TAKES MODIFIED MAIN

Bobby Hogge (0) took the Ssoared in the Soares Longhorn Dodge Late Model, fighting off Jeff Decker (84) in the high-speed thriller.

Bobby Hogge (0) took the Ssoared in the Soares Longhorn Dodge Late Model, fighting off Jeff Decker (84) in the high-speed thriller.

Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas starred in both Northern All Star feature events Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Hogge won the 25 lap main event for late model stock cars, and then went on to win the 50 lap special event for “modifieds”.

Bobby Hogge IV

Bobby Hogge IV

A statement was made as Hogge IV drove a Dodge to victory in a field of California’s best Chevrolet powered stock cars. It has been many years since a Dodge powered car has won.

“What else can I say,” Hogge IV said in victory lane. “First night out for this car and it was that good.”

Hogge IV, with a family history of racing excellence, is driving a new Dodge powered late model stock car owned by former NASCAR driver John Soares, Jr. Soares and his late father were both legendary Californian Dodge drivers in NASCAR’s top division from the 1950’s through 1980’s.

Soares bought a brand new 2014 chassis made by Longhorn – a company founded by NASCAR legends Terry and Bobby Labonte. Hogge IV built the shocks package for the car and worked with Soares, who set up car’s suspension for Antioch Speedway. Local engine builder Skip Govea of Hayward built the 800-plus horsepower Dodge power plant for the car.

Hogge IV’s win was not without challenges. Early leader Paul Guglielmoni of Vacaville held off Challenges from Richard Papenhausen, Jeff Decker, and Troy Foulger as Hogge IV joined in the fray.

When Hogge IV grabbed the lead, Decker, from Morgan Hill, took up the chase. He was at Hogge IV’s back bumper in the final moments of the 25-lap feature.

“My car started to shut off every time I let off on the throttle,” Decker explained. “I think I could have caught him if I did not have that problem.”

It was Chico’s Papenhausen, Foulger of Martinez, and Guglielmoni crossing the finish line right behind Decker.

Hogge IV passes Megan Ponciano in the 50 lap IMCA modified main event.

Hogge IV passes Megan Ponciano in the 50 lap IMCA modified main event.

Hogge IV Again in “Modified” Division

            The 50 lap modified division feature event was divided into two 25-lap segments. The second segment went non-stop, with Hogge IV continuing his lead from before the break.

“I put it on cruise mode for the first 25 laps, keeping the car on the bottom where there was some moisture,” Hogge IV. “The second half of the race I spent looking ahead to slow moving traffic. The drivers were good in letting the faster cars by.”

Hogge iV was looking ahead because four-time champ Troy Foulger was honing in on his lead. Foulger followed Hogge IV for the last half of the race.

“Bobby has a few laps around this place,” Foulger laughed. “He got through the traffic pretty freely. I tried to stay close to him. I was looking for that chance to pass him – I was staying snug to the center of the track. One of these day’s I’ll get him.”

Brian Cass of Livermore came on strong late in the race to close the gap between he and Foulger. Papenhausen followed for fourth. Shawn DeForest of Livermore, who won the last all-star race, finished fifth.

Top Notch  - modified competitors Shawn DeForest (72) and Richard Papenhausen battle it out.

Top Notch – modified competitors Shawn DeForest (72) and Richard Papenhausen battle it out.

Hoff Wins in IMCA SportMods, Then Destroys Car

Jeremy Hoff and the first turn of Antioch Speedway didn’t get along on Saturday night. Hoff, in the lead on the white flag lap of the feature event for IMCA Sport Mods, tangled with his dad, Scotty, sending his car into the exit lane guardrail.

The race was red flagged, and Jeremy Hoff declared the winner.

After winning the IMCA SportMod feature, Jeremy Hoff advanced to the IMCA modified feature, only to nearly destroy his car with an airborn hit to the first turn wall.

After winning the IMCA SportMod feature, Jeremy Hoff advanced to the IMCA modified feature, only to nearly destroy his car with an airborn hit to the first turn wall. He was not injured.

Fred Ryland of Brentwood was second.

“Cars were all over the place on the track,” Ryland said. “I was trying more to avoid contact than to go fast.”

Fred Ryland (7) passes Rob Gallaher.

Fred Ryland (7) passes Rob Gallaher.

Hoff found it hard to enjoy his win.

“It is hard to be happy when you put your father out of the race,” he said.

Hoff and several other SportMod drivers opted to join the Northern All Star modified field. On the first lap he hit the first turn wall, destroying his winning car.

Brent Curran outside of Jordan Swank (73) on the backstretch.

Brent Curran outside of Jordan Swank (73) on the backstretch.

Curran Takes Fourth “Four Banger” Win

Brent Curran of Antioch scored his fourth win of the season in the “Four Banger division for four-cylinder street cars.

“It was rough early in the race,” he said standing next to his damaged, steaming radiator. “It overheated with six laps to go. I didn’t think I would make it.”

Jordan Swank, finishing in second, battled Curran most of the feature. Michael Christopher, Janelle Barlow and Tayler Swank rounded out the top five.

Early feature leader Paul Guglielmoni (22) battled Troy Foulger (49) throughout the feature.

Early feature leader Paul Guglielmoni (22) battled Troy Foulger (49) throughout the feature.The late Models return on Saturday night!

 

At Merced Speedway: Key To Success: Family First, Then Racing

Marc key (21K) passes Kevin Joaquin on the inside.

Marc key (21K) passes Kevin Joaquin on the inside.

By Mike Adaskaveg

Merced Sun-Star

Marc Key is back behind the wheel of a hobby stock at Merced Speedway, driving like he hasn’t missed a race in six years.

Actually, he’s missed all the races in the last six years. He had to sell his car back then when he and his new bride, Stacie, came up short on the wedding bill.

“Marrying Stacie was more important than racing,” Key said. “But, that was just the beginning.”

Family is always more important. Daughter Kylie was born a year later. Then came son Cameron, who is now three years old.

Young Cameron Key, is working his way up to driver - washing his dad's car.

Young Cameron Key, is working his way up to driver – washing his dad’s car.

“It was a long wait to return to racing, but well worth it. Raising a young family is fun. Now, the children are old enough to go to the track – and, they want to race,” he added. “I waited quite a long time for this – to have my kids cheering for me in the stands.

For Key, who is a pipefitter by trade, racing has become a pastime. Even though he won two feature events this season, and was disqualified for his car being underweight after another win, Key finds racing more relaxing than it used to be.

“We used to get wrapped up in accumulating points for the championship,” he explained. “We had a brutal race schedule. Both my dad, Ray, and my brother, Rick, had cars. We were a team. It was a career back then.”

The Key family ancestry was all about racing. When Marc was a child, his grandfather and four uncles all raced at Merced Speedway. One uncle, Tom Key, even won the Ted Stoffle Classic.

Now, it is dad Ray is the one-man pit crew for his son. They bought a new Johnson brand stock car, which was built in Bakersfield.

“We wanted a car that would run well everywhere – that was adaptable,” Key explains. “Now it’s about traveling with the family – maybe going camping – and racing. We’re focused on fun.”

The future generation is all about racing, too. Cameron and Kylie are showing an interest in the stock car. They help wash it for their dad.

“Hopefully, they will join me on the track, rather than replace me,” he said. “I don’t ever want to give up driving a race car. I’d love it even more if we raced together.”

Marc Key and his new Hobby Stock.

Marc Key and his new Hobby Stock.

Limited Late Model vs. Street Stocks Part of Five-Division Show

            Antioch Speedway Limited Late Model division drivers Jim Freethy, Mike Learn, and Fred Ryland will be invading Merced Speedway for Saturday night’s Super Stock challenge. The drivers will in pursuit of Merced driver Roy Hart from Dos Palos, who won the last two challenges. Learn is on a three race streak at Antioch Speedway.

Hotly contested championship point race battles will continue in both the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) SportMod division and the Hobby Stock division.

Ramie Stone of Winton leads the list of 46 drivers who have raced in the IMCA SportMod division at the speedway this season. Chowchilla’s Rick Diaz is only 15 points behind Stone.

In the Hobby Stock division, the long-running battle between Merced’s Raul Rodriguez and Kristie Shearer of Los Banos continues. Shearer is only four points behind Rodriguez.

Mini-Stocks and Dwarf Cars will also be part of the program. Chris Corder of Modesto leads Mariposa’s Ronnie Cole by 13 points in the Mini Stock division.

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 7 p.m. The grandstand opens at 5 p.m.