Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal

Back to: Sports
August 16, 2014
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Regular racing schedule returns to Fernley track; Bell takes 13th in last race

Fernley 95A Speedway is back in action this weekend with its regular racing program after reconfiguring the modified infield for the recent Monster Truck event. IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Pro Stock, Pure Stock, Hobby Stock, Super Stock 4, and Dwarf Car divisions are slated to run tonight. Spectator gates open at 3 and racing starts at 6 p.m.

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Carson City’s Mackena Bell avoided the tire issues that plagued many competitors in last Friday’s K&N Pro Series East race at Watkins Glen. Bell qualified 21st and advanced to 13th at the checkered flag, the highest-placing driver on the Revolution Racing team. With that experience under her belt, Bell heads for Virginia International Raceway today, looking for a strong finish to her season.

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The reaction to Tony Stewart’s sprint car accident that killed young Kevin Ward Jr. last Saturday has been predictable. Stewart haters are peppering the internet and call-in shows with the equivalent of torches and pitchforks. They have already tried and convicted him, and are ready for the execution. Stewart fans, on the other hand, place all the blame on Ward, and they have a point. I have worked at a lot of race tracks with a lot of sanctioning bodies over the years, and one of the primary rules for drivers is you don’t get out of your car until safety personnel arrive, unless it’s on fire or upside down. In fact, NASCAR has just announced an addition to its rulebook, Section 9-16, that spells out exactly what drivers are and are not to do when their car stops on track. As for the disposition in the case of Stewart, I will leave it to law enforcement to investigate and determine whether any charges will be brought. They are on the scene, have the facts, and know the law.

For Stewart’s part, he has elected not to drive at Michigan this weekend, turning over driving duties to veteran Jeff Burton.

The team said this is a one-race deal at this time, and Stewart will decide what will happen concerning his participation for the rest of the season.

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Unfortunately, the accident overshadowed what was undoubtedly one of the best Watkins Glen Sprint Cup races ever. Two road course masters, A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, dueling it out in the final laps, put on a terrific show. They raced each other clean, albeit with a bit of rubbing, and I was hoping for a dead heat at the finish so they could both claim victory. But congratulations to A.J. on his first Sprint Cup victory, especially after his comeback from a suspension for drug use.

I firmly believe he would have won at Sonoma this year had he not had that encounter with Junior and the wall.

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Sprint Cup qualifying at Michigan Friday afternoon was highly entertaining. A lot of cars broke the old track record, but when the dust cleared Jeff Gordon had scored his second pole in a row and the 76th in his Cup career at a blistering 206.588 miles per hour and a time of 34.857 seconds.

Joey Logano was only 30 thousands of a second slower and will start alongside Gordon. It was the seventh-fastest pole in NASCAR history.

I just hope NASCAR doesn’t decide to make Michigan its third restrictor plate track. Including Sunday’s race, there are just four more chances for a driver to put one in the win column and guarantee a berth in the Chase.

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Camping World Trucks run at Michigan today, and the Nationwide series is at its second road course in two weeks, running at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. You can watch the Trucks on Fox Sports 1, and the Nationwide race on ESPN.

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The IndyCar series is back in action this weekend, racing at the historic Milwaukee Mile.

Defending IndyCar Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has three wins at the flat oval, including the last two years. If he makes it three in a row Sunday, he will be the first driver to accomplish that feat since Tom Sneva did it in 1982, 83, and 84.



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 16, 2014 12:59AM Published Aug 16, 2014 12:59AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.