Hogge IV was on his way to Merced Speedway with $3,500 in his pocket after fighting off Paul Stone of Atwater in topping 52 modified stock cars Saturday night at Antioch Speedway.
“I’m excited that I won, but my stomach is already twisted up thinking about Merced Speedway tomorrow,” said Hogge IV after the win. “I’ve never won two nights in a row at two different tracks two years in a row – that’s pretty hard to do.”
The Hogge family’s meticulous preparation is the stuff of California racing legend. Hogge’s winning car has been raced only once before, at Merced Speedway. “I think a lot of the success is that we put the car together to the best of our ability,” Hogge said. “We try not to deviate from our setup. Consistency prevails. I credit my dad – he bolts everything together, making sure it’s right. His experience has benefited me.”
Hogge IV ran up to Stone’s window in victory lane, congratulating him on a good race.
“We were wheel-hopping on a couple of those restarts,” Stone told Hogge. “I had a bad vibration with 15 laps to go. I gave it 110 percent on the restarts, but I think the gears were going away. I had no choice but to drive on ‘cruise control’ late in the race.”
Coming on strong late in the race was Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Jimmy Ray. He passed Alex Stone of Chowchilla with two laps to go to bring home third. “It’s the same car as we raced here a year ago,” said Ray. “I put a taller gear in – something I learned from being here before. It was great to race with these guys and do so well.”
Stanford was also pleased with his finish. “I can’t complain,” he said. “It was a good race. The track was going away on me a little bit.”
Fifth-place finisher Brian Cass, a fan favorite, summed it all up. “The competition was tough all night,” he said. “That made it a good night of racing.”
– Contributed by Mike Adaskaveg