California Hardtops Orland Raceway

The California Hardtops rev up their motors under stormy skies, Saturday night at Orland Raceway.

Jeremy Langenderfer brought his Pure Stock back to Orland Raceway Saturday night and bested a strong 16 car field for the 20 lap Main Event win. There were roughly sixty competitors in the pits for the show, and other winners included Ron Ruiz in the California Hardtops, Dan Webster in the Mini Trucks, Colby Grieg in the 600 Micros and Lester Elsey in the 250 Micros.

Langenderfer, who is now in the Wingless Spec Sprint division as well, picked up the win in the Pure Stock portion of the Thomas Schmitke Memorial Race For A Cure event last season. This Saturday night will be the fourth annual running of that special event, which will help raise money for the cause of fighting Cancer.

Schmitke lost his battle with Cancer back in 2010. At the time, he had a baby daughter, and a fundraising effort was started to help take care of her. The overwhelming support from the community led to the family expanding their fundraising efforts to raise money for charities that fight Cancer. When Rich Hood became promoter of Orland Raceway in 2016, the Thomas Schmitke Memorial event was added to the schedule. 

Competing divisions this Saturday include the Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, Wingless Spec Sprints and 250 Micros. After a little bit of a sluggish start, the Pure Stocks have bounced back in recent weeks and had 16 cars last Saturday night. This included championship contenders Phil Spencer, Keith Ross and Steve Martin as well as other hard chargers like late May winner Wes Smock, John Camper, Amanda McAbel and reigning champion Paul Stephens. Like Langenderfer, Stevens has also been competing in the Wingless Spec Sprint division this year.

Despite the fact that Tony Richards has won most of the Wingless Spec Sprint races so far this year, the mechanical issues that kept him out of the season opener have him playing catch up with the consistent Denny McNary in the championship race. The lead duo is expected this Saturday night along with RJ Baker, Cort Marchuk, Jerry Douglas, Ryan Owens and Josh Jacobo.

The Mini Stock race is being led by reigning champion Tom Davis, who seems to have hit his stride in recent weeks. Kevin Pendergrass had been keeping up with him, but mechanical issues at the most recent race saw Pendergrass watching the Main Event from the sidelines. Other hard chargers in the field include Jason Libbee, John Kirkpatrick, Scott Camper and Barbara Crain.

Dan Webster’s second win of the season makes him the driver to beat going into the Saturday Mini Truck program. However, Kalvin Kvalvik has done well this year and is in the championship hunt. William Fogle, Beau Chandler, James Woodell and Dan Libbee are other drivers making the Mini Trucks an exciting show to watch every week.

The 250 Micro division remains a competitive show, and Lester Elsey’s win on Saturday night shows that anybody can win on any given week. Reigning champion Pax Gonzalez will be giving it a run this week, and other drivers to watch for include past champion Jess Garland, Mike McCarthy and Alex Fowler.

The racing program at Orland Raceway this Saturday night should be good, and money will again be raised for a good cause. For further information, go to the Orland Raceway Facebook page.

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