For the Love of the Races

Eric Ray After the Bombers Race ( Jeremy McDonald-65 Sports)

Eric Ray After the Bombers Race (Jeremy McDonald-65 Sports)

By Jeremy McDonald

Rich Lavalle and Mark Gardiner decided to spice things up in the Street Stock races Saturday night by tossing in a hundred dollars each of their own money into the winnings of the main event payout.

All in part to bring people either in the stands for the first time or to get into stock car racing.

“What it’s trying to do is to get cars out here,” said Lavalle.  “The way we feel is that this is a beautiful facility, but if no one comes to it and no one enjoys it, it’s going to go away. 

“If we can get everyone here and off the couch, get them here to watch racing for the first time.  Come on a weekly basis, or once in a great while, as long we get people to come and enjoy door-to-door racing, this place is going to stay open.”

Lavalle, ironically, would go on to get the 550 dollar payout following taking the lead from Kody Szuh on lap four never look back and had a several car length lead on Gardiner by lap 31.after he started fifth on the racing grid.

But he said that it’s all a part of the ‘lucky move’ on the track.

“You have five cars that are within a tenth of a second (of each other),” described Lavalle.  “That’s (Dan) Farrington’s car, this car, Mark (Gardiner’s) car, Jill (Schmidt’s), (Kody Szuh’s), (Niles Strever), they’re all fast.

“Where you go in your main event, if you get that lucky move, you’re golden and tonight I got the lucky move.”

As for the money he won.

“I’m going to roll it over, it’s going to be 400 next week,” “So it’s going to roll over, plus the 400 so it’s going to be 800 dollars to win next week.  (It’s) because we need to get cars out here and we need to get people in the stands and that’s the bottom line.”

Legends of the Pacific
Jeremy Wood had a fast car all day at All American Speedway entering the third race of the night.

“I could never say that a car’s perfect, but it was definitely close to it,” said Wood on his car.  “All day long since we got it out of the trailer, we’ve been on top of the board and it goes to show that a lot of effort and hard work goes into producing a racecar that’s this fast.”

By lap 12, Wood held a four-car length lead on the 0 car of Robby Czub and had two lapped cars in between him and Czub before a wreck in turn four brought the cars in for a restart on lap 25.

There were some concerns for Wood however.

 “Two weeks ago at Stockton 99,” he started.  “I was leading, we had a caution with six to go and the zero car was riding second was second on that race as well and he restarted on the outside of me, he took the lead from me and went on to win the race.”

That didn't matter this time as Wood exploded out on the restart as he sailed to a 35-lap main event victory as four cars finished on the lead lap at races end.


In the opening race of the night, the 93 car of Folsom’s Jerry Kobza was dominant in his performance on the asphalt third mile, lapping the majority of the field en route to a half lap victory in the 35-lap main event; overcoming slick conditions on the track that included standing water in turn four.

“(The Car) was pretty dominated tonight,” said Kobza on his car before talking about the course.  “The ability to miss the water was and hit your marks at the right time every time, it was the biggest challenged today,”

The 3 car of Chris Paulson lead most of the Bomber race and looked to be in control of the race until he was passed by the 77 car of Erick Ray in the final five laps to steal the victory in the Bomber race.

The next race at All American Speedway is May 23.  That race will feature the Bombers, Street Stocks and F-4 Modifieds.


NCMA-Audra Sasselli

LEGENDS-Cody Winchel

BOMBERS- Terry Thomas Jr.