The 40-lap main event solely belonged to the talent of young Chuck Gurney Jr. of Livermore, Calif., but it was another Bay Area driver, Glenn Carson of Newark, who picked up the Bay Cities Racing Association Nevada State Championship by a mere three-point margin on Saturday night at Silver State Raceway.
Only one point separated Carson (26) and Floyd Alvis (18) of San Carlos, Calif., coming in to the third and final race. After his qualifying and heat race finishes, Carson took a three-point lead into the main event and kept it by finishing one position behind Alvis.
Gurney (88) started in the sixth position in the main event and with what looked like perfect execution, worked his way past the early leaders.
"The car was great right out of the box," Gurney said. "It was absolutely awesome. We had no problems, everything worked great. The only changes we made was to the stagger."
This was Gurney's second main event win of the season, the other coming in Lakeport, Calif. on July 3. Gurney hopes to work his way through the United States Auto Club racing series and eventually to NASCAR.
Finishing second behind Gurney and having an excellent run was John Sarale (2k) of Stockton, Calif., and sneaking in from the middle of the field with another hot run was Sterling Pratz (45) of Mill Valley, Calif. Rounding out the field were Alvis, Carson, Scott Bertkin (5), Ken Molica (94), Ron Horton (23x), Bill Lindsey (61), Shain Matthews (2s), John Haugh (21) and Kevin Gaines (54).
Gaines won the four-lap midget trophy dash. Horton won the first of two eight-lap heat races, with Lindsey taking second and Sarale third. Alvis won the second heat with Molica finishing second and Gurney third. Carson also leads the overall series points standings, with Alvis in second and Molica in third.
Adding to his points lead in the late model sportsman division was Carson City's Chet "The Jet" Danburg (3x). Having recorded fast time for the qualifying session, Danburg found himself starting from the rear of the 12-car field.
"I used the traffic to my advantage," Danburg said. "I made sure that when I passed, there would be a lapped or slower car between me and the guys in second and third place. Good brakes helped, too."
Another strong run in the 30-lap feature was turned in by Dave Sciarroni (25), who finished in the second spot behind Danburg and Dave Lester (34) in the third position. Working hard to find the right set-up on his car and finally having a steady run and leading the first two-thirds of the race was Gary Chandler (96).
As Danburg made the pass on Chandler for the lead on lap 19, Chandler drifted a bit high coming out of turn 2 into Danburg, causing the front of Danburg's car to "slice off" body parts.
"You want to see what a can opener looks like, step over to may car," Danburg joked. "When I passed him, all I saw was sheet metal flying into the air."
Rounding out the field were Chandler, Stuart Moon (00), C.J. Bawden (37), Rafael Gomez (2x), Craig Paulsen (65), Chris Baker (11), Steve Planka (10), Frank Sanfelipo (29) and Jay Bradley (49).
Bawden picked up the win in the trophy dash; Bradley won the first in a pair of eight-lap heats over Gomez and Baker. Danburg won the second heat with Bawden finishing second and Paulsen third.
In the maverick class, the points just don't get any closer. Mike Fuller (44) picked up the trophy dash win over Mike McMordie (77), Thom Eldridge (68) and Randy Bauer (25). Only a few points separate McMordie and Bauer for the No. 1 spot, with the same scenario in place for Gould and Fuller for third.
Bill Gould (37) won the opening eight-lap heat by several car lengths over Allen Hunter (15) in second and Joel Worley (9) third. Don Hill (81) handily won the other heat race over Eldridge in second and McMordie
The maverick's 25-lap main event had the usual bump and grind show, but not with the loss of any cars. On lap 1, Hill was coming out of turn 2 and got hit from behind by Hunter. Hunter did not back out of the hit and spun Hill
to the infield. Hill had already advanced two positions, but the spin put him to the rear of the field.
The first caution came out on lap 5 as Fuller, who drove high out of turn 2. He was hit from behind by McMordie - sending Fuller into a side spin - then was hit by McMordie and Bauer at the same time. Fuller's car was slightly raised from the side impacts, then then he spun-out to the infield. Fuller only suffered a flat tire and was able to resume the race.
On laps 9 and 21, cautions came out for Worley, who first hit and spun-out Bauer in turns 1-2. Then, while running with Hunter, he ran Hunter high causing another spin. Worley was placed at the rear of the field.
After the drop of the checkered flag, McMordie went on to take the win, with Gould right behind for second and Eldridge finishing off a good run for third. Rounding out the field were Bauer, Thomas Oddone (80), Hunter, Rick Garmann (74), Hill, Fuller and Worley.
This Saturday is the final leg of the Tri-Holiday Sweepstakes for the late model sportsman, a 150-lap main event feature. All qualifying and racing will be done on Saturday. In addition, the mavericks will finish their Tri-Holiday
championship with a 50-lap main event.
Chet Danburg will go for the championship and leads the series with 298 points. Melissa Davis of Santa Rosa, Calif. is tied for second with Carson City's Shane Kline at 284. Rick Lawlor of Carson City is in fourth with 282 and Craig Paulsen of Reno is fifth with 278, tied with Randy Hirschbock of Klamath Falls, Ore.
Gates open at 5, qualifying is at 6 with racing at 7:30 p.m. For information, call 885-2079 or visit www.silverstateracing.com.