Rick Veenstra (No. 91) of Emmett, Idaho, showed why he's called "The Rocket Man," on Saturday night when he led start to finish in the 30-lap main event of the Supermodified Racing League at Silver State Raceway.
The capacity crowd was nearly as loud as the 860-horsepower engines roaring in the summer night, as the finicky beasts hammered Silver State's asphalt.
On the start of the race, Davey Hamilton (1) got together with the No. 78 car of Lonnie Adamson on the front stretch, causing Hamilton to hit the wall hard in turn 1 and flip over before coming to rest beyond the hill of the turn. Hamilton was OK and able to exit the car under his own power. Also falling victim to the crash was George Greenway in the No. 8. All three cars were retired for the evening.
Once the race resumed, the race handily belonged to Veenstra, who built a quarter-lap lead over second place. Veenstra himself has placed second at Silver State Raceway a few times in the past, but never won.
"The car was hooked up real good for the main event," said Veenstra. "The only car in the front group to possibly challenge me was (Troy) Regier. I knew he may be close somewhere behind me, but I guess I was hearing things."
Regier (10) did attempt a challenge at Veenstra, but had to settle for the second position at the checkered flag. Jeff Russell (85) finished third.
Rounding out the field were Dale Lamborn (48), Jim Birges (32T), Eric Silsby (98), Dave Adamson (51), Lee Yetter (22), Gene Lepire Jr. (32), David Gassett (24), Roger Galleano (3), Ray Stebbins (28), L. Adamson, Greenway and Hamilton.
Gassett won the first supermodified heat race followed by Russell in second and Lamborn in third. Veenstra won the second 10-lap heat with Birges in second and L. Adamson third.
In the home track racing series, Don Hill (81) started the maverick's night by winning the trophy dash over Randy Bauer (25), Danny Kemp Jr. (11) and Mike McMordie (77).
Mike Fuller (44) picked up the win in the first of two 8-lap heat races, passing Thomas Oddone (80) with just two laps to go to relegate Oddone to second with Joel Worley (9) third. Last week's main event winner (his first-ever), Bill Gould (37) won the second heat over McMordie and Kemp.
Fuller liked the winner's circle so much, he returned to it by winning the 30-lap main event, holding off a challenge from McMordie over the final laps of the race. McMordie stayed close behind to take second and Gould finished third. Rounding out the field were Bauer, Hill, Worley, Allen Hunter (15), Matthew Sciarroni (98), Kemp, Oddone, Kenny Newberry Jr. (83), Rick Garmann (74) and Matt Blevins (82).
Dave Lester (34) won the trophy dash in the sportsman division over Chet Danburg (3x), Craig Paulsen (65) and Dave Sciarroni (25). Al Goss (3) won the first eight-lap heat race over Jerry Allec Jr. (22) and Stuart Moon (00). Dean Heller (27) picked up the win in the second heat over Danburg in second and Lester third.
In the main event, Allec won the 30-lap feature, barely holding off Danburg while Lester finished third. Rounding out the field were Paulsen, Heller, Goss, Sciarroni, Rafael Gomez (2x), Virgil Miller (21), Henry Hodges Jr. (89) and Moon.
The No. 22 car is usually driven by Mike Millard, who has been given a four-week suspension from racing at the facility.
The championship points series continues Saturday at Silver State Raceway with the gates opening at 5 p.m., qualifying at 6 and racing at 7:30. For information, call 885-2079 or visit www.silverstateraceway.com.