Reigning Champ Bobby Hogge IV Leads Tour To Track He Knows Very Well
ANTIOCH, CA – April 14, 2011 – The DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series will roar back into action this Saturday night (April 16) at Antioch Speedway.
No one is more battle-ready for the full-fender tour’s grand return to the Pacific Coast’s short-track scene than Golden State star Bobby Hogge IV, who will finally get his chance to enter a Western All-Stars event wearing the champion’s crown.
After sitting silent last year, the DIRTcar-sanctioned series kicks off an eight-track, 14-race 2011 schedule at promoter John Soares’s three-eighths-mile Antioch oval located about an hour outside of San Francisco.
“It’s great to have the Western All-Stars Series running again,” said Hogge, a 34-year-old talent from Salinas, Calif., who won the last Western All-Stars points title, in 2009. “Any time you add more Late Model shows out here in California it’s a plus – and with $2,000 to win and $400 to start (minimum purse for all WAS events), that makes it pretty lucrative for everybody. We like to support those kinds of shows.”
Hogge also likes the track that will host the Western All-Stars season opener. He has a long, successful history competing at Antioch, including victories in two of the three Western All-Stars features contested there over the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
“We have a lot of laps around that place,” said Hogge, who sits atop the alltime Western All-Stars win list with 17 triumphs from 2006-2009. “It’s about a two-hour drive for us, but we used to go there all the time with the (DIRTcar West UMP) Modified. If Watsonville (Ocean Speedway) wasn’t so close to us, I would almost call Antioch our hometrack simply because we were running there just about every Saturday in the late ‘90s through the early 2000s.”
Hogge will put his Antioch knowledge to use this Saturday night when he pulls double-duty, entering both the 30-lap Western All-Stars headliner and the supporting DIRTcar West UMP Modified action. He’ll run cars from his family-owned stable in both divisions.
“We want to support racing as much as we can out here,” said Hogge, who will steer a Victory Circle Chassis mount in the Western All-Stars program and a five-year-old GRT car in the UMP Modified competition. “If we can take two cars and help put on twice as good a show, that’s what we’ll do as long as we can afford it. It’s just too bad we don’t have a big enough hauler to shove both cars in!
“We’re really looking forward to Saturday night,” he added. “(Promoter) John Soares always does a good job prepping the track and taking care of the racers, so we like supporting places like that.”
Beyond the lidlifter at Antioch, Hogge is intrigued by the opportunities the DIRTcar Western Region program will provide West Coast racers this season. With his dirt Late Model, Hogge can chase not only the Western All-Stars points fund but also two DIRTcar UMP points funds: the Northwest state/region battle (encompassing the WAS and DIRTcar-sanctioned events in Oregon, Washington and Nevada) that pays a $2,000 champion’s prize from $5,860 available to the top 15 finishers, and the national points program that offers a whopping $20,000 title check from a $65,000-plus payout to the top 50 drivers in the final standings. In addition, with his UMP Modified, Hogge can pursue post-season cash through the Northwest state/region – which includes eight tracks running DIRTcar-sanctioned events in California, Oregon and Washington – and national points races.
“We’ll see how the cards play out,” said Hogge. “We have a lot of racing we want to do with the Late Model and the Modified and maybe we’ll be able to collect some of that money that’s being put out there.”
Becoming the first repeat champion of the DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series would be a major accomplishment for Hogge, who will face fierce competition from such drivers as 2008 tour champion Chris Shannon of Merced, Calif., Matt and Ken Michelli of Live Oak, Calif., Jeff Decker of Morganhill, Calif., and Richard Papenhausen of Chico, Calif.
“We’re very excited to have the DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series back in action this year with the best racers on the West Coast,” said Chris Morgan, Director of Western Operations for World Racing Group/DIRTcar. “The return of the tour will help shine a brighter spotlight on the West Coast’s Late Model drivers and give them more opportunities to earn the type of major recognition that their fellow racers in other parts of the country routinely receive.”
Antioch’s gates are scheduled to open at 5 p.m. on Sat., April 16, and qualifying is set to begin at 7 p.m.
More information on Antioch Speedway can be obtained by logging on to www.antiochspeedway.com or calling 925-779-9220.
Antioch Speedway is located on the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif.
Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com.
For more information on DIRTcar’s Western Region, contact Chris Morgan, Director of Western Operations for World Racing Group/DIRTcar, at 805-637-1426 or cmorgan@DIRTcar.com.
2011 DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series Schedule
April 16, Antioch Speedway/Antioch, CA
April 23, Giant Speedway/Hanford, CA
May 14, Chowchilla Speedway/Chowchilla, CA
June 11, Calistoga Speedway/Calistoga, CA
June 25, Antioch Speedway/Antioch, CA
July 16, Madera Speedway/Madera, CA
July 22, Silver Dollar Speedway/Chico, CA
July 24, Merced Speedway/Merced, CA
Aug. 6, Antioch Speedway/Antioch, CA
Aug. 7, Merced Speedway/Merced, CA
Aug. 13, Reno-Fernley Raceway/Reno, NV
Aug. 14, Reno-Fernley Raceway/Reno, NV
Oct. 14, Chowchilla Speedway/Chowchilla, CA
Oct. 15, Chowchilla Speedway/Chowchilla, CA