Orland Raceway will be wrapping up their 2019 championship season this Saturday night, though one special event remains on the schedule in October. This Saturday, the popular California Hardtops will make their third and final appearance of the season on the 1/5 mile dirt oval. The Pure Stock division will be wrapping up a close championship battle. Also competing will be the Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and the 600 Micro Sprints.
The California Hardtop drivers enjoy their visits to Orland Raceway and take pride in giving the fans a good show. The two wins at the track this year have both been earned by Ron Ruiz. He and Ken Clifford have been at every CHA event held so far and are both anticipated on Saturday. Roger MacShain, who won the final Placerville race, finished second at the previous Orland race as well. He could be there with his fast Sedan again this week. The competitors do a good job of maintaining their beautiful old Coup and Sedan race cars from the 1930s and 40s, and some of the other stars to watch for include Joe Hopp, Jason Armstrong, Joe Shenefield, Mario Romano and Larry Wells.
The Pure Stocks have been bringing the biggest car counts to the speedway this year, and the competition has certainly been fierce. It was Wes Smock picking up the win last time out after an intense battle with Kevin Pendergrass. Neither driver is in the championship hunt, though Smock is contending for a Top 5 point position after a late start. The battle has been between reigning Mini Truck champion Keith Ross and Phil Spencer all season long. Both drivers have been Main Event winners this year, but recent weeks have been much more challenging to the two. It may come down to winning this race to determine weather Ross or Spencer will be the champion.
As usual, past champion Steve Martin has been a strong supporter of the class and is third in the standings. John Camper, another Top 5 point competitor, ran well last time out as he won the B Main and charged all the way to a sixth in the feature race. Drivers have an opportunity to make one more move up in the standings, and some of the stars to watch for this week include reigning champion Paul Stephens, 2017 champion Jeremy Langenderfer, James Taylor, Maurice Merrill and Thomas Pavlik.
Barring anything unusual, Kalvin Kvalvik will win the Mini truck championship. Kvalvik has been smooth and consistent all season long, and he’s also picked up three feature victories. He won the most recent race to build his lead to 50 points over William Fogle. Fogle has Dan Libbee just 24 points behind him, while multi time feature winner Dan Webster trails Libbee by just two points in a closer race for third. These four stars are anticipated this week along with James Wooddell, Beux Chandler and Anthony Esquaville
There have only been two wins that have slipped through the grasp of new champion Tom Davis. Furthermore, this will be his third consecutive Mini Stock championship. He leads past champion John Kirkpatrick, who was behind the wheel of a new car last time out as he hopes to improve his chances. Barbara Crain is coming off of another Top 3 finish and could also be a threat to win this race. Jason Libbee, Dusty Hills and Tammy Whicker are others to watch for this week.
The 600 Micro class has seen several different drivers throughout the course of the season, and rising young star Tyler Rockwell picked up the win in the most recent race. Colby Grieg and Jessica McManus are also feature winners this year. Tony Alosi and past champion Jeromie Crismon are in the battle with Rockwell to win the season championship.
Saturday will be the final point race of the season as well as the final opportunity to watch some Hardtop racing. Announcements on purse and divisions running at the October 12th Battle Of The Axles will be forthcoming. You can find the latest news on the track by going to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.