Delta Speedway Opens 38th Season With Four Drivers Visiting Victory Lane

Delta Speedway presented by Valley Strong Credit Union opened it a 38th season of dirt track racing on Saturday night, with brother and sister duo Heston and Hayden Stepps of Oakdale leading the Micro Sprint feature winners on the 1/7th mile. Mattix Salmon of Fresno and Stockton’s Nikko Panella also triumphed before a strong crowd at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton.
“That means a lot and I just can’t believe this happened. This means a lot to me and I can’t thank everyone enough who makes this happen,” Stepps said. “It was hard. I knew (Jackson Kohler) was coming because he’s a really good driver.”
Hayden Stepps led qualifying for the Restricted division then starred in an exciting heat race one that was claimed by Kaiden Gowen of Watsonville. Clay Mibach of Placerville won heat two.
Stepps lined up shotgun after a zero inversion was pulled for the 25-lap, $300 to win Restricted feature. Stepps led the field while Gowen made a valiant effort to hold down second.
Gowen was eventually jockeyed back to the fifth position, with Jackson Tardiff of Vacaville emerging from the battling to the second spot. Tardiff marched towards Stepps in lapped traffic, with the duo running nose to tail on lap 16. Stepps hit her marks and took the checkered flag first over Tardiff, Mibach, 2023 Jr. Sprints champion Briggs Davis of Manteca, and Dean Skrifvars of Castro Valley.
Heston Stepps scored the $200-to-win, 20-lap Jr. Sprints season opener. Joey Silacci with two wins, David Anderson, Haven Sherman, Stepps, and Easton Wright were the winners across the six heat races to set the grid for the main event.
Stepps lined up on the outside pole but drove around Wright to lead lap one. Action was halted when Zachary Williams of Sacramento flipped. Williams was able to continue in the race however.
Anderson pursued Stepps for the lead but faltered with a flat right rear tire. Wright crashed in lapped traffic as well on lap 15 in turn four for a caution flag. Heston Stepps led the final five laps to win over Lucas Fenn of Oakley, Sherman, Silacci, and Williams.
Fresno’s Mattix Salmon won the winged Super 600 feature worth $500 after a wild 30-lap main event with several twists and turns. Raio Salmon led Super 600 time trials at 10.146 seconds over the 18 cars in attendance. Stockton’s Caden Sarale and Brentwood’s Isabel Barnes won heat races, then Jeffrey Rosas and Sarale shared the front for the main event.
Three-time Super champion Sarale darted ahead to the lead. The first stoppage was a red flag on lap four for Ron Singh flipping on the front stretch. He was uninjured. Sarale paced the field into lapped traffic just shy of the halfway point with fifth-starting Tucker Lacaze of Rocklin closing in.
Lacaze and Sarale then suddenly collided in turn four on lap 15, collecting Peyton Whitehouse of Pleasanton who flipped hard on the frontstretch. All three were unable to continue in the race.
Mattix Salmon assumed the top position but had to face off with Brentwood’s Jeffrey Pahule. The pair put on a thrilling duel, with Pahule taking the lead for good after a series of slidejobs on lap 27.
Pahule led Salmon across the line at the conclusion of the race but was three pounds light as the scales post-race. Mattix Salmon will go into the record books as the season opening winner followed by Nate Matherly, 15th-starting Logan Trevino of Madera, Alex Panella, and Colton Huelsmann.
Similarly unpredictable circumstances highlighted the $500-to-win Non-Wing nightcap. Pahule led the 33 cars in time trials while Colin Kirby of Pleasant Hill, Kevin Carter of Los Banos, Sarale, and Aiden Bailey of Fair Oaks won the heat races.
Australian born Danny Carroll led the first lap of the 30-lap feature while fifth-starting Sarale and seventh-starting Nikko Panella of Stockton knifed quickly through the pack. Sarale took the lead on the backstretch of the second lap while Panella had already advanced to third as well.
Pahule grabbed second on lap nine with a two second gap to make up on Sarale. That gap was evaporated when the red flag came out for Braydin Abrew going up in smoke in turn one.
Sarale kept a car length gap on Pahule for the next 11 laps, while Pahule’s right rear tire began to lose air and the Brentwood driver started to get tight on the cushion. Action was halted when Jarrett Heimlich flipped in turn two. Under the red flag, Sarale’s car went up in smoke and Pahule was sent to the infield with a flat tire.
The dynamic circumstances thrust Panella into the lead. Panella never waivered, soaring to the opening night victory. Madera Ranchos’ Dalton Hill finished second followed Carter, 19th-starting Mattix Salmon, and TK O’Brien of Manteca.
Delta Speedway presented by Valley Strong Credit Union returns for a May two-fer with Outlaw Kart and flat kart racing on May 4 and Micro Sprint racing on May 11.
Delta Speedway Stockton thanks: Valley Strong Credit Union, Interstate Truck Center, Pape Kenworth, Hoosier Racing Tire, Scully’s Air, Genova Bakery, Van De Pol Petroleum, Belkorp Ag, Solari’s Backhoe, Baker Roofing, City Wide Graphics, Jay’s Mobile Welding, Acrisure Truck Group, East Bay Tire, and Clean Brothers Site Services for their support of the 2024 racing season!
Delta Speedway Results – April 20, 2024 Opening Night
SUPER 600 (30 LAPS)
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 5-Mattix Salmon[7]; 2. 19-Nate Matherly[4]; 3. 7T-Logan Trevino[15]; 4. 12-Alex Panella[8]; 5. 32A-Colton Huelsmann[12]; 6. 21-Raio Salmon[9]; 7. 10R-Rylee Whitehouse[11]; 8. 75-Josiah Vega[16]; 9. 17L-Anthony Lewis[14]; 10. (DNF) 30-Isabel Barnes[3]; 11. (DNF) 88J-Jeffrey Rosas[1]; 12. (DNF) 24-Caden Sarale[2]; 13. (DNF) 19X-Tucker LaCaze[5]; 14. (DNF) 10P-Peyton Whitehouse[13]; 15. (DNF) 27-Ron Singh[10]; 16. (DNS) 58-Evan Bradshaw; 17. (DQ) 44X-Jeffery Pahule[6]
A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 73-Nikko Panella[8]; 2. 81-Dalton Hill[3]; 3. 28K-Kevin Carter[7]; 4. 5-Mattix Salmon[19]; 5. 76-TK OBrien[17]; 6. 21-Danny Carroll[1]; 7. 1SJ-Ryan Carter[11]; 8. 83K-Colin Kirby[18]; 9. 75-Dan Mognaga[13]; 10. 8G-Teddy Bivert[4]; 11. 29V-Vito Celli `[21]; 12. 52-Joe Silva[20]; 13. 37H-Ryan Holden; 14. 45S-Hayden Saich[12]; 15. 36-Jarrett Heimlich[2]; 16. 73J-Jackson Kohler[22]; 17. 21K-Kyle Mentch[15]; 18. 67R-Ryan Dotson[16]; 19. 32-Caden Sarale[5]; 20. 44X-Jeffery Pahule[6]; 21. 66A-Aiden Bailey[9]; 22. 101-Braydin Abrew[14]; 23. 25R-Brody Rubio[10]
A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 98-Hayden Stepps[1]; 2. 38J-Jackson Tardiff[4]; 3. 58C-Clay Mibach[6]; 4. 96-Briggs Davis[2]; 5. 10D-Dean Skrifvars[7]; 6. 59K-Kaiden Gowen[5]; 7. 11A-Austin Lee[10]; 8. 84-Johnny Bolanos[12]; 9. 18S-Isaac Salameh[9]; 10. 94H-Nathan Hammer[11]; 11. (DNF) 10-Brodie Copeland[8]; 12. (DNF) 9J-Levi Osborne[3]
Feature (20 Laps): 1. 99-Heston Stepps[2]; 2. 7L-Lucas Fenn[7]; 3. 12-Haven Sherman[4]; 4. 4S-Joey Silacci[5]; 5. 1Z-Zachary Williams[13]; 6. 11E-Easton Wright[1]; 7. 13G-James Grandrath[10]; 8. 92-Jett Bacigalupi[6]; 9. 95L-Logan Fenn[14]; 10. 92J-Jeremiah Brulez[12]; 11. 5S-Cody Silacci[8]; 12. 3-Edward Olvera[9]; 13. 6S-Blake Silacci[11]; 14. (DNF) 3D-David Anderson[3]; 15. (DNS) 16M-Marley Grace
2024 Delta Speedway Schedule (Subject to Change)
April 6 Opening Day – RAINED OUT
April 20 Race #2
May 11 Race #3
June 14 & 15 Race #4 & 5
July 6 Speedweek**
July 27 Race #6
August 17 Race #7
August 31 & September 1 Race #8 & 9
October 4 & 5 Race #10 & 11
October 25 & 26 Turkey Bowl XXV**
**Non-points races

Delta Speedway PR