ANTIOCH -- Late model stock car driver Troy Foulger of Martinez upset a field of California's top drivers Aug. 16 at Antioch Speedway while behind the wheel of the Oakley-based car owned by Billy Bowers.
Foulger, a four-time champion in the modified stock car division, moved up to the Northern All Star Late Model Stock Car division this year. Late model stock cars are the nation's top division of stock cars that race on dirt.
Foulger beat Chico's Richard Papenhausen, Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas and Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill, who finished in that order.
"I did not think I had a shot in the world to win this race," said Foulger in victory lane. "Billy (Bowers) made a couple of changes in the set-up and that made the car very different than it was. I couldn't believe it."
Papenhausen emerged late in the event, passing Hogge IV, but only evenly pacing Foulger.
"I made the wrong decision on setting up the car," said Hogge IV. "I missed it. It's my fault."
Paul Guglielmoni of Vacaville brought home fifth spot, with teammate Terry Kuntz taking sixth.
Hogge, in the modified division, was able to prevent a sweep by Foulger, thanks to Foulger having to come from the back of the pack after pitting for a flat tire.
Foulger and Anthony Slaney of Martinez were side by side going to the finish line for second, with Foulger taking the spot by inches.
"That flat tire killed me," Foulger said after the race. "Then it took me too long to get by Anthony (Slaney).
Hogge IV has won 10 feature events in the modified division this season. Five of them have been at Antioch Speedway.
His win came after a horrifying restart. Sean O'Gara of Fairfield raced Hogge IV on the outside at the drop of the green, going deep into turn one. O'Gara slid off the exit ramp, and was wrapped up in guardrails. He was not injured.
Shawn DeForest of Livermore drove the Jim Reid modified from Knightsen to fourth. Aaron Crowell of Oakley was fifth.
Last week, Brentwood's Fred Ryland drove wife Patti Ryland's hobby stock car to victory. This week it was Patti herself. Again, it was Brentwood crosstown rival Brad Myers who provided the challenge to Ryland.
"My engine is old, but it gets the job done," Myers said. "I could have used a little more power. I tried running the bottom of the racetrack, but it was no different. I had the same outcome."
Third-place finisher Kimo Oreta of Vacaville was right behind Myers.
"I was giving it all I had," he laughed. "I was trying my best to stay with them, but that was all I could do. I just couldn't get past them."
Christopher Brown of Antioch and Nick Baldwin from Oakley completed the top five.
Living legend Larry Damitz of Vallejo has won races for 62 straight years, and his win in the Limited Late Model Division was a thriller.
Damitz, the oldest driver regular competing in a regular racing division in the United States, battled Danville's Jim Freethy in a side-by-side battle that brought the grandstand to its feet.
"Once I got down in the groove where I should have been earlier, I knew I was going to be hard to pass," said Damitz.
Freethy tried every trick in the book, with his car completing several laps in perfect side-by-side unison with Damitz.
Mike Gustafson of Concord was third, with Mike Hynes of Suisun in fourth and Stockton's Peggy Sue Jared taking fifth.
Brent Curran of Antioch won his sixth "Four Banger" feature of the season, extending his streak to five straight. Danny Wagner of Bay Point got his third win of the season in the Dwarf Car division.
The IMCA Modified Stock Car and SportMod divisions will be featured Aug. 23 at Antioch Speedway. There will also be a complete program for the Limited Late Model, Hobby Stock, Dwarf Car and Four-Banger divisions.
A team-by-team preview of the always-tough Bay Valley Athletic League will appear Aug. 29 in this newspaper.