ANTIOCH -- Finesse and patience are not usually associated with the rough and tumble world of dirt track stock car racing. They are used by veteran drivers preparing for the June 22 "Terrific Two," a double-header for modified and late model stock cars at Antioch Speedway.
"Antioch Speedway is like a bullring. It's a little smaller than most race tracks," Late model stock car driver David Newquist said. "It's a driver's race track. It takes finesse to deal with the walls and tight corners. I'm getting better at driving here."
Newquist, of Chico, was on hand a week early fine tune his skills in preparation for the race. The late model stock cars will have the largest purse of the new season, as will the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) modifieds.
With $2,500 going to the winner of the modified event, veteran driver Scott Busby of Martinez offered some advice.
"More patience is needed for a big race," he said. "The big events here can be tough because there's too much action early in the race and not enough patience. It's best to just race the first half of the feature, then race hard the second half of the feature."
After a decade-long absence, the late model stock cars are a part of the regular mix of race divisions at the track.
"Late model stock car racing is exciting," Promoter John Soares said. "We brought the division back with hopes it will grow in popularity with both the fans and drivers."
Racing on June 15 saw several drivers doing double duty -- hopping back and forth from modifieds to late models.
"It's hard to drive two different cars in one night," said three-time modified track champ Troy Foulger of Martinez. "But, it can be fun."
Richard Pappenhausen of Chico, who won the late model event, and finished second to Kellen Chadwick in the modified main event.
"It can be a real workout for a driver to race two cars in one night," Pappenhausen said. "You're going from a modified with small tires the requiring the driver to have more throttle control to a late model with big tires and a better suspension."
For Livermore's Shawn Deforest, juggling cars is routine. He was working on three and driving two as he prepared for this weekend's card.
"Sure, it is a challenge," he said. "However it is easier than it was in the past. Technology has made the modified a lot closer to the late model stock car in recent years."
The "Terrific Two" racing program will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Regular admission prices are in effect. Adult admission is $14, senior admission is $10, and a child admission is $8. There is a family four-pack of tickets (two adults, two children) for $38.