DIEZ: Local drivers fare well in Fernley
June 15, 2012
There was some great racing at Fernley 95A Speedway last Saturday night, and local drivers fared pretty well.
Carl Barlow of Silver Springs charged through the field to take the Hobby Stock win, with Dayton drivers Mike Carpenter and Royce Goetz finishing third and fifth. Bracee Langevin and Justin Schilling, both from Silver Springs, took third and fifth in the Pure Stock division, with Dayton’s Loghan Cologna fourth. Carson City racers Billy Wilson and Gary Nevers each scored a second place, Wilson in the Dwarf division and Nevers in Pro Stock ahead of Dwight Bolton of Gardnerville. Gardnerville’s Russ Cazier led most of the IMCA Modified race, but fell to third at the checker.
Fernley 95A Speedway will be dark until July 7, but if you want to see some local racing, head out to Fallon’s Rattlesnake Raceway tonight for stock car and mud bog racing.
NASCAR visits its second newly-paved track in as many weeks, as the Nationwide and Sprint Cup divisions race this weekend at Michigan. Several Cup drivers turned laps at over 200 miles per hour in mid-week testing at Michigan, with Tony Stewart setting the bar at 201.896 mph. That’s potential restrictor-plate territory, but so far there has been no indication that NASCAR will impose the dreaded plate at Michigan, at least this year. So expect to see a new track record set in qualifying today.
Joey Logano’s win at Pocono last weekend was the topic of conversation among pundits and fans, wondering whether it was enough to save his job at Joe Gibbs Racing. Unfortunately, Gibbs may not be the one to make that decision. Sponsor money is the lifeblood of racing, but it can also call the shots. And if a sponsor wants another driver in the car, guess what? Logano certainly has the talent, and has matured as a driver. The move he made on former mentor Mark Martin to take the lead was masterful . . . just enough to move Mark out of the way, but not wreck him. Will we see Joey back in the No. 20 next season? I’m sure you could get a local sports book to quote you the odds.
My hat’s off to Justin Wilson, who scored his second series victory for Dale Coyne Racing in the Izod IndyCar Series race at Texas last Saturday night. It wasn’t a good night for the Ganassi or Penske teams, and it was great to see a small, underfunded team get a win. Graham Rahal looked to be a sure winner in the closing laps until he smacked the wall. It wasn’t as big a hit as J.R. Hildebrand’s last-lap wall banger in last year’s Indy 500, but it slowed his car enough for Wilson to get by. The aero package that IndyCar came up with for the oval was outstanding, putting car control back in the drivers’ hands (and feet). I hope it works as well this weekend at the flat Milwaukee Mile track. Now if they could just bump up the horsepower to 800 or 900, we’d really have something to watch.
Formula 1 continues to amaze, with the seventh different winner in seven races in Montreal last weekend. McLaren’s brilliant strategy call gave Lewis Hamilton new tires late in the race. He used those new tires to good effect, tracking down and passing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, whose tires were junk in the waning laps. In fact, Alonso was also passed by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Sauber’s Sergio Perez, who took the other two podium spots, as well as polesitter Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who set fastest lap in the race. This is far and away the most competitive F1 season in years, with the top four drivers separated by a mere nine points . Hamilton has 88, Alonso 86, Vettel 85, and Red Bull’s Mark Webber at 79.