Roger Diez


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August 31, 2013
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Modifieds at RTF provided great racing

Last Saturday’s IMCA Modified main at Reno-Tahoe-Fernley Speedway provided some of the best racing I’ve ever seen. Robert Miller of Gardnerville, Fernley’s Shawn Natendstedt, and Jake Holland of Calpine, Calif., battled lap after lap, with never more than inches separating the three cars. Miller led most of the race, but mechanical problems in the closing laps dropped him to seventh, while Holland and Natenstedt continued to swap the lead. Holland won the final drag race off turn four to the checker. The Sport Mods also ran with the Modifieds, but were scored separately. The class win went to Paul Stephens over Rick Rogers and David Partelow. The Pro Stock main was also a hard-fought race, with Ken Gotchal of Fallon eventually triumphant over Sparks’ Travis Peterson and Russ Cazier of Gardnerville. David Paine ran off with the Mod Mini victory, while Jesse James and Will Ritchey ran second and third. And David Raber dominated the Pure Stock field in his first 2013 outing at the track. Justin Schilling came home second, followed by Danielle Paine.

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Mackena Bell ran her first road course race in the K&N Pro Series East at Virginia International Raceway last Saturday. She qualified 24th, but drove a steady race and stayed on the asphalt to bring her Revolution Racing Toyota home in 17th place. This weekend she’s on more familiar ground, racing at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway oval where she has lots of experience. The VIR race was not televised, but the rest of the season will be, and I’ll post air times when I get them.

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Speaking of Revolution Racing, team graduate Kyle Larson, who was racing in the K&N Pro Series East just a year ago, has landed a Sprint Cup ride for 2014. Larson, who leads the Rookie of the Year points in the Nationwide series, will take over the number 42 Target Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing Chevrolet next year. And in other silly season news, A.J. Allmendinger’s rehabilitation is complete. He just signed a three-year deal to drive the number 47 Toyota for JTG Daugherty Racing. Hmm . . . Memorial Day “double”, perhaps?

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Another disastrous race for Jimmie Johnson at Bristol has reduced his point lead over Clint Bowyer to 18. And Matt Kenseth’s Bristol win gives him five victories, relegating Johnson to second seed in the Chase. With the exception of Johnson, Bowyer, and Kenseth, the rest of the Chase field is extremely fluid with just two races to go. Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman currently hold down the wild card spots, but a win by Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, or Jeff Gordon could change that picture in a hurry. Joey Logano, with one win and only four points ahead of 11th, could drop down to wild card status. Further up the field, Carl Edwards just needs to finish 38th or better at Atlanta to clinch a Chase berth, while Kevin Harvick needs a 31st or better result. Although there are way too many permutations to go into here, it looks NASCAR has achieved their objective with the Chase format.

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An incident during the IndyCar race at Sonoma last Sunday has given rise to a rule change. Scott Dixon was exiting his pit when he hit a tire being carried by one of Will Power’s crewmen, knocking him into another crewman and injuring three pit guys altogether. Dixon was penalized, costing him a probable win. Starting this weekend at the Baltimore street race, the pit box markings will be revised to include 45 degree dotted lines indicating “courtesy zones” to avoid contact between cars and pit personnel.

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This is a big weekend for drag racing fans, as ESPN will air 11 hours of coverage of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. On Monday, ESPN2 will have six consecutive hours of broadcasting the final eliminations.

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Finally, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull put his stamp on the race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, passing polesitter Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes on the first lap and dominating the race. Vettel’s points lead has increased to 46 over closest rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. Vettel appears to be on his way to his fourth consecutive championship.


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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 31, 2013 02:15AM Published Aug 31, 2013 02:15AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.