Roger Diez: Local racing seasons wrapping up
September 28, 2013
Tonight is the final points race for the 2013 season at Reno-Tahoe-Fernley Speedway, and the leaders in every division have a significant point lead over the second-place driver. Shawn Natenstedt leads wife Melissa by 27 points in the IMCA Modified division; Malen Gonzales has a 13 point lead over David Rauscher in Pro Stock; Hobby Stock leader Carl Barlow is in front of Rocky Goetz by 25; David Paine is the Mod Mini leader by 17 over Jesse James; Tate Morehead has 13 points in hand over Sam Marson in Dwarf cars; and in the Pure Stock division it's Justin Schilling by 21 over Danielle Paine. Barring any surprises, all the leaders should hold on for their championships tonight.
Next weekend, RTF Speedway ends the season with the traditional two-day Shootout. Last night was heat and qualifying races, and tonight the mains will run for a total purse of $25,000. The IMCA Modified winner will take home $3,000 plus another $1,000 donated by Dale Bertram. The Pro Stock winner will get $2,000, with $1,500 for the Dwarf car winner, $800 for the Hobby Stock win, $600 for first place in the Mod Mini main, $500 for the Northern Nevada 360 Sprint winner, and $300 to win for the Pure Stocks. Payouts will go all the way down in most divisions. Purses are based on 15 car fields for the Mod Minis and Pure Stocks and 20 car fields for the Pro Stocks and Hobby Stocks. There are no minimums set for the IMCA Modified and Dwarf fields. An extremely large field of Dwarf cars is expected, and Nature's Bakery is posting an additional purse of $500 for the Dwarf chassis manufacturer with the most finishers in the top five and a $250 Dash for Cash prize. Trophies will also be awarded to the top three finishers in each division's main.
Carson City's Mackena Bell finished ninth in last weekend's K&N Pro Series race in New Hampshire, her fourth top-10 finish of the season. At Dover she improved to 21st qualifying position after posting 28th and 24th in the first and second practice sessions. In the race, an early pit stop under green dropped her off the lead lap, and she eventually finished 19th, five laps down.
And to wrap up the local racing news, congratulations to Carson High senior Samantha Schultz, who won the Strictly Stock division championship at Diamond Mountain Speedway in Susanville. Schultz is the first female champion in memory at the track.
On the national racing scene, the field is set for the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Race for the Chase. Junior Nation must be ecstatic, because Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is on the pole, .006 second ahead of points leader Matt Kenseth. Kenseth, who has won the first two Chase races, is well-positioned to make it three in a row. Second place in the points, Kyle Busch, will start from 14th while third place Jimmie Johnson will roll off eighth. Johnson is a seven-time Cup winner at Dover.
There is good news for open-wheel racing fans. IndyCar has just announced that there will be a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course the first weekend in May. This will kick off the traditional "month of May" festivities which will culminate with the Indy 500 on May 25. In addition, Formula One will add a second United States race, on a street circuit in New Jersey. The race is provisionally scheduled for June 1, 2014, between the Monaco and Canada rounds. My brother lives not far from there, so I hope he's prepared for a visit.
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