Fernley 95A Speedway wrapped up its 2012 season with a two-day show last weekend that drew 90 cars in six racing divisions.
Local drivers did well, and the big winner of the weekend was Gardnerville's Robert Miller, who took home $3,000 for winning the Sunday main after finishing second on Saturday. Fernley's Shawn Natenstedt was third and Tom Purcell of Carson City finished seventh. Local drivers in both the Pro Stock and Dwarf divisions had to run second to interlopers from Oregon. Carson City drivers Al Goss and Gary Nevers finished second and third in the Pro Stock main on Sunday, and Shane Ramthun, also from Carson, took second in the Dwarf division with former Carson City resident Vuki Wilson Jr. in third. In the Hobby Stocks, Silver Springs driver Carl Barlow finished first on Saturday and second on Sunday, while Randy Boyd of Dayton managed second and third-place finishes. Fernley's Will Ritchey had the best cumulative score in the Mod Mini division, with a second on Saturday and the win on Sunday. Pure stock wins on both days went to Reno's Travis Barr, but there were good finishes posted by Silver Springs drivers Bracee Langevin and Justin Schilling, as well as Shawn Burton of Stagecoach.
The first year under a new track name and the management of Matt Ramthun and Vuki Wilson was by all measures a success, and next year promises to be even bigger and better. The Kings of the West Sprint Car series has partnered with the track, and will run four events in Fernley next season. A tentative 2013 schedule is out, and is posted at www.fernley95aspeedway.com.
Next weekend, the road course hosts the Reno Region of the Sports Car Club of America for a two-day time trial and high performance driving event. Sunday is a benefit for the Red Cross, and the public is invited. You can register for a Professional Driving Experience (PDX) session for $100, including classroom and in-car instruction, take a ride-along with a professional driver in a race car for $50, or drive your own car on the track for $25 under control of a pace car. All proceeds will go to the local Red Cross Chapter. Find out more at www.renoscca.motorsportreg.com.
The momentum in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship has definitely shifted in Brad Keselowski's favor. The Penske Dodge driver is now 2-for-3 in the Chase going into Talladega, which is arguably his best track. However, there is always the possibility of the "big one" at the 2.66 mile restrictor plate track, which could scramble the standings in a big way. Could Keselowski be on his way to repeating Tony Stewart's 2011 Chase performance, and wouldn't it be ironic if he won the title for Dodge in their final year in the sport?
Finally, I want to bid farewell to the dean of motorsports journalists, Chris Economaki, who passed away at the age of 91 a little over a week ago. He was the role model that all racing writers and announcers looked up to and wanted to emulate, myself included. Godspeed, Chris!