County fair checkers are IMCA first for Connelly

Dylan Connelly scored his first Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature win in Saturday action at Antioch Speedway. (Photo by Katrina Kniss) 

By Candice Martin 

ANTIOCH, Calif. (May 18, 2024) – Antioch Speedway fans were treated to two nights of racing during the annual Contra Costa County Fair with Saturday offered a trio of exciting IMCA sanctioned races.

This included the first win for Dylan Connelly in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod main event, Kellen Chadwick in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and Travis Dutra in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars.

Connelly had come close on multiple occasions during the previous two IMCA SportMod seasons. On Saturday, he refused to let any of the yellow flag situations cost him a well-earned win.

Connelly took the lead from Kelly Campanile with a turn four pass on the second lap. Jason Ryan Jr. quickly settled into second. Fred Ryland settled into third on the fourth lap but he spun for a lap six yellow flag. Connelly continued to set the pace ahead of Ryan on the restart, and a yellow flag waved for Joseph Pato on lap 16.

Connelly kept his poise on the restart and surged ahead of Ryan to lead the remaining circuits for the win. Ryland assumed third on the last restart and made an outside pass on the back stretch on Lap 19 to take second from Ryan. Ryan settled for third ahead of Kenny Shrader. 

On the heels of his Central California Clash win a few weeks back, Chadwick knew he was on the right track with his car setup.

Chadwick led the IMCA Modified field to the green flag ahead of reigning state champion Andrew Pearce. A high pass in turn four of the fourth circuit put Nick DeCarlo into second. There was a mid-race yellow flag, but Chadwick remained in control on the restart.

He led DeCarlo the rest of the way for his second straight win. Pearce settled for third. 

Scott Foster set the early pace in the 20-lap Stock Car feature but spun for a lap 3 yellow. This put Dutra into the lead ahead of Ryland and Troy Foulger. Following a lap 11 yellow flag that saw the race end for Foulger, Ryland began challenging Dutra down low on the restart.

Dutra kept his cool with one more yellow waving after 15 laps. Dutra surged ahead as the green flag waved and held off Ryland for the victory. Jason Jennings of Pittsburgh ended up third.

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