There’s a bit of excitement in the air at Orland Raceway after two events have made it into the record books. The local Wingless Sprint Car class has gained some momentum this year with some new drivers joining the field. This Saturday night, they will be back in action, joined by the growing Crate Sprint division that is featured at Marysville Raceway. Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and Micro Sprints will complete the program.
After disappointment at the season opener left him watching the Main Event from the sidelines, past Wingless Sprint champion Tony Richards returned with a vengeance at the most recent race. Richards dominated the Main Event in victory, leaving a good battle for second, won by newcomer Denny McNary. Richards seems to be the driver to beat, but McNary, Paul Stevens, Jerry Douglas, Josh Tucker and multi-time champion Josh Jacobo are some of the drivers looking to get the win this week.
Jeremy Langenderfer seems to be bouncing around from division to division this year. He is off to a strong start in the Mini Stock class. He’s also accomplished quite a bit in the Pure Stocks, including championships at Orland and Chico. Jeremy’s latest endeavor is moving up into the Wingless Sprint division at the most recent race. He’s hoping to put the sponsorship together that can help him get through the end of the season.
If you’re looking for some Winged Sprint Car racing, the Crate Sprints are coming to town. Much like the concept behind the Wingless class, the Crate division is designed to go a little bit easier on the driver’s pocketbook than the Winged 360 Sprint Cars seen at other venues. The hot driver at Marysville so far this year with three wins is Darren Johnson. He won the most recent race at Marysville, but Brett Youngman seems to be gaining ground. Drivers like Mike Sayre, Cameron Haney Jr and Jeff Macedo are helping this division enjoy its best season so far.
Keith Ross may have switched from Trucks to Pure Stocks, but he is still doing what he did in the other class. Ross has won back-to-back Main Events and is making a good case for himself as the potential champion this season. However, Phil Spencer has done well so far with a pair of Top 3 finishes. Spencer will be looking to get himself into the winner’s column this week, and other drivers hoping to do well include past champion Steve Martin, John Camper and Thomas Pavlik.
With Ross moving up from the Truck division, we have a battle going on between the Webster’s. Zack Webster kicked the season off with a feature win a few weeks ago, but Dan Webster is hoping to get into the win column this week. Dan is a past champion in this class. William Fogle is hungry to get his first feature win, but there are a slew of talented drivers also hoping to contend for wins, including Kalvin Kvalvik, Dan Libbee and Bo Chandler.
The Micro Sprints will round out the five division program. Pax Gonzalez was the winner of the most recent race and the reigning series champion. Past champion Jess Garland, Alex Fowler and Ronnie Heyer are others to watch for this week.
The fendered race cars have been the staple classes at Orland Raceway for many years, but the fans are going to get to see some open wheel racing this Saturday night as well. It should make for a thrilling program from start to finish.