Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal

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August 23, 2014
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Purcell grabs racing win at Fernley track

Carson City driver Tom Purcell scored a victory in the IMCA Modified A main at Fernley 95A Speedway last Saturday night. Starting mid-pack, Purcell worked his way to the front, chasing down and passing veteran Robert Miller and holding him off through several late-race restarts. Miller hung on for second, followed home by Royce Goetz, Walter Ball, and Melissa Natenstedt. Malen Gonzalez won the Pro Stock main, leading from green to checker. David Rauscher ran second. The Hobby Stock win went to Carl Barlow with Rick Miller staying on his rear bumper but unable to find a way by. Jake Baker ran third with Tom Haxall fourth. Jesse James captured the Super Stock 4 win with Justin Busch second, and Mark Serchio Jr. scored another Pure Stock win, heading the Schilling brothers, Justin and John, with Anthony Adams fourth.

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Next weekend there’s a two-day show at Fernley 95A Speedway, as the I-80 Challenge series for IMCA Modifieds pays a visit to the track on Friday night. The show includes chain races, which proved to be popular at the Monster Truck event earlier this month. Several more chain car combos are being built for the race. Next Saturday night will see a points race for all the track racing divisions. The action starts both nights at 6 p.m.

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Mackena Bell’s K&N Pro Series East season continues to be disappointing. A broken truck arm put her out of the race last Saturday at Virginia International Raceway. She was credited with 21st place, 33 laps down.

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Jeff Gordon scored his third win of the season in last Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon joined teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. along with Penske driver Brad Keselowski as a three-time winner. Gordon is having his best season in recent memory, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him going for his fifth championship during the final race at Homestead. Kyle Larson got to check out NASCAR’s new “stay in your car” rule at Michigan, when a blown right front tire put him into the wall and set the car on fire. Larson exited promptly, and I’m pretty sure the NASCAR officials won’t be penalizing him for it.

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Tony Stewart is still in seclusion after being involved in a fatal sprint car accident two weeks ago. Jeff Burton will fill in for Stewart at Bristol tonight. There’s no word from the team on when Stewart might return to competition.

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With only three races left in the Sprint Cup “regular season,” things are getting desperate for drivers who have not yet clinched a Chase berth with a race win. Even if a currently winless driver wins at Bristol, Atlanta, and Richmond, one spot will be filled on points. So those drivers currently in on points are caught on the horns of a dilemma; whether to go all out for the win, or protect the points and hope to get in on that basis. Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, and Greg Biffle are currently in the Chase on points, but Kasey Kahne is only nine points out and in position to bump one of those four if they have a bad race. I’m looking forward to a really exciting race at Bristol tonight.

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The IndyCar season is also winding down, and the Milwaukee round last Sunday made the championship picture a bit clearer. Penske driver Will Power dominated the race, holding off challenges from both teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and Ganassi driver Tony Kanaan. Power now leads teammate Helio Castroneves by 39 points, with Simon Pagenaud another 53 points back. The series is at Sonoma this weekend, and Power is always tough on a road course. He’ll need to be, because the season finale at Auto Club Speedway the following week is a double points race, which could really upset the applecart. Power has thrown away the championship three times in recent years, and he’s determined not to let this one slip away.

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Finally, the rumor that has been kicking around for a couple of months now has been confirmed. Carl Edwards is officially going to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015. Good luck, Carl!



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 23, 2014 12:35AM Published Aug 23, 2014 12:35AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.