Sprint cars wrap up series at Fernley
May 18, 2013
The King of the West Sprint Car Series made its debut on the high banks of the 3/8 mile clay oval at Reno-Tahoe-Fernley Speedway last night. The series wraps up its two-night stand at the track this evening. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. today, with racing scheduled to start at 7 p.m. General admission is $25, seniors $20, kids 6-16 $10, and kids younger than 6 are free. A VIP all-access pass is $45 and includes a pit pass and preferred parking. This is the first of five scheduled appearances at RTF Speedway this season in addition to two visits to Fallon's Rattlesnake Raceway.
Last Saturday's main event winners in Reno-Tahoe-Fernley's 95A Series points races were: Pure Stock: Travis Barr, Reno; Dwarf Car: Calvin Ryle, Fernley; Hobby Stock: Randy Boyd, Dayton; Pro Stock: Malen Gonzalez, Fallon; Modified: Jake Holland, Calpine, Calif.
Also on tap tonight is the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star race, a 100-lap non-points race worth a cool million dollars to the winner. Race winners from 2012 and 2013, past All-Star race winners in the past 10 years, and Sprint Cup Champions for the past 10 years are eligible to participate as well as the first two finishers in the Sprint Showdown that runs just prior to the All-Star event. There is also a fan vote, which will put one driver into the field. Voting is open until 2 p.m. today, and you can vote either via computer or smartphone. The race will air on SPEED starting at 4 p.m.
For open-wheel race fans, this weekend is qualifying for the Indy 500. There are 67 cars entered, as most drivers have both a primary and a backup car on the entry list. Engines are also in more plentiful supply than last year, so we may see some new faces on the final day of bumping as teams assign their backup cars to rideless drivers. Qualifying starts at 8 a.m. today and runs until 1 p.m. The Fast Nine run for the pole position will go from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday's Bump Day final qualifying session starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. All sessions will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
Speaking of open wheel action, last week's Spanish Grand Prix was a triumph for Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. Not only did he win his home grand prix, but teammate Felipe Massa denied Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel a podium finish, as Massa finished third behind Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. It was Alonso's second win in his home country, but his first there in a Ferrari. He drove a Renault to victory in the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix.
On the heels of winning an appeal on an engine infraction in the Sprint Cup series, the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide team fell afoul of the NASCAR rule book last weekend at Darlington. It seems that the nose of the number 54 car didn't fit the NASCAR template in initial inspection, and the team had to modify it before they were allowed to run. Kyle Busch went on to win the race with the car, but on Tuesday NASCAR fined crew chief Adam Stevens $10,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31. Car chief Christopher Landis received the same probation, but no fine.
Finally, on a sad note, we mourn the passing of legendary stock car racer Dick Trickle. Trickle was reputed to have won over 1,000 short-track stock car feature races, and was Rookie of the Year at the age of 48 in NASCAR's premier series. He ran 303 Cup races but never won, although he had two Busch (now Nationwide) series wins in 158 races. Trickle was also one of the true "characters" in NASCAR. His cars always had a functional cigarette lighter, so he could light up during caution periods, and when he won his first Busch race, his comment in Victory Lane was, "I get free beer, right?" Trickle died Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.