ANTIOCH -- Fan favorite "Peppermint" Patti Ryland of Brentwood scored her first victory of the season, steering her polka dot car past Vacaville's Kimo Oreta on the next-to-last lap of the hobby stock main event at Antioch Speedway on April 5,
Ryland received a long-standing ovation from the grandstand, after she dove low to take Oreta at the white flag of the thriller. Oreta had taken the lead with three laps to go.
"I gave Kimo a taste of his own medicine, he got me using the inside lane, so I just turned around and did what he did," Ryland smiled. "We were literally door-to-door."
Ryland pointed to the stripe of Oreta's paint left on her door. She explained that she had no first gear and her car was overheating as she took the checkered.
"There was more speed on the outside, but you could not pass," she added. "So I changed my strategy."
Oreta was proud of his own effort.
"She had the faster groove, but I made her earn that win, right up to the finish line," he said.
Third place Danny Jones of Castro Valley had earned his own cheers from the crowd after rolling his hobby stock over in a spectacular front stretch crash during a qualification race.
Jones climbed the front stretch wall with the right side of his car, and then barrel rolled into the track's exit ramp. He was pinned upside down in the car while the track's safety crew feverishly worked to free him.
Emerging dazed, he took a minute to collect his thoughts and then raised his hands to a cheering crowd. Jones then scrambled to fix the car in time for the main event. The car looked as good as new by feature time.
"I told the crew I don't expect much -- I did not know how the car would perform," he continued in victory lane. "It performed batter than ever."
Lloyd Cline of Martinez scored his first career win in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) SportMod division, despite his car losing a left rear spring. Cline got past early leader Megan Ponciano of Oakley and fought off Al Sotomayor of Watsonville to take the win with a broken car.
Terre Rothweiler of Santa Cruz scored his first win at Antioch Speedway in the Dwarf Car division. He beat local favorite Danny Wagner of Bay Point and David Teves after a race long three-way battle.
Runaway wins were the story of the day in both the Northern All Star Winged 360 and Wingless Sprint car features. Rowdy McLenon of Anderson was untouchable in the wingless sprint car main event, and Kurt Nelson of San Jose scored his first Antioch win in the Winged 360 sprint car feature.
The powerful Northern All Star Late Model Stock Cars make their first appearance of the season at Antioch Speedway on April 12. The double header will feature $1,000 to win in both the "late models" and the Northern All Star modified stock car division.
At least four late model stock cars will come to the speedway from Vacaville. Paul Guglielmoni, who heads a team of cars driven by sons Clarke and Randy, and friend Terry Kuntz.
The modified stock car feature event will see champ Troy Foulger of Martinez, driving the Billy Bowers owned car from Oakley battle Bowers' cross town rival, Kellen Chadwick, whose car is from the Bridgehead section of Oakley.
The five-division program will also include the Limited Late Model stock cars, Hobby Stocks, and the four cylinder powered "Four-Bangers."
All divisions will have qualifying races and feature events. Racing begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children, and $8 for senior citizens. A family four-pack of tickets is $40. Secure parking is available from the fairgrounds for $5.