The Bay Cities Racing Association midgets feature race provided some awesome racing action with competition second to none. All the (BCRA) drivers competing at Silver State Raceway Saturday evening were from California, with the exception of Carson City driver Tom Weninger (32).
Seven-time USAC champ and nine-time New Zealand champion Sleepy Tripp (3x) of Costa Mesa went 3-for-3, by winning the trophy dash, second heat race and the 40-lap main event. But the series points leader Glenn Carson (26) from Newark didn't let him take those races so easily.
In the midget's 4-lap trophy dash, It was Tripp taking the win with Carson in a close second, Sterling Pratz (45) of Mill Valley third and Floyd Alvis (18) of San Carlos fourth. Alvis was fast-qualifier for the midgets.
Tripp's second win was heat race No. 2, immediately followed by Carson in second and Alvis in third. It was Jim Silva (19) of Manteca who won the first heat over John Sarale (2K) from Stockton in second and Bill Lindsey (61) from San Carlos in third.
Tripp started from the 8th position in the main event, which really didn't mean much considering his expertise. It's just another challenge he takes head on. And it was only a matter of a few laps before Tripp took the lead and checked out from the rest of the field.
The first caution came out on lap 24 as the cars of Matt Alvis (8x) of Redwood City got together with Silva in turn 2. Both driver's night of racing ended as they headed for the pits.
On the restart, Tripp's lead was a matter of inches as the field was bunched together for the single file start. At the green, Tripp tried to rebuild his lead but found Carson consistently at his rear wheels. On lap 37, Carson went to the outside of Tripp and pulled even with him along the front stretch. The two cars touched wheels, but each kept control and speed and continued on.
"He almost passed me there one time," said Tripp after the win. "He's a great driver and has one fast machine.
"I've raced against Carson a long time now and he's good. We race each other clean. I was real happy with my car, it was running good. But on cool tires, it wasn't so good. I was happy to be able to hang on and win."
Tripp took the win with Carson in a very close second and Pratz third. Rounding out the field were: F. Alvis, Anthony Arata (88) Napa; Sarale; Ken Molica (94) Soquel; Weninger; Lindsey; Gary Dickenson (8) Santa Rosa; M. Alvis; Silva; Cliff Servetti (83) San Francisco, and Shain Matthews (2S) Marysville.
"When we were in our heat race and got real close, I asked Sleepy if he would just give me one car's width to safely race and pass," said Carson.
"Considering that bump in the main event, I think I'll ask for one car's width plus one inch next time," he joked.
"I gave it all the car had to beat him, but after the tires cooled down on that last restart, the car just didn't have enough to take him."
The maverick division held two heat races in preparation for Sunday's 50-lap race. Bill Gould (37) took a decisive win over Brad Sloan (13) in second and Robert Cheesebrew (69) in third in the first heat. James Meerly (23) won the second heat over Mike McMordie (77) in second and Jason Perry (45) in third.
For the limited sportsman, 15 of the 24 starting positions were filled for Sunday's lineup of the 150-lap Tri-Holiday sweepstakes. Transferring from heat one were Junior Roddy (41), Chet Danburg (3x), Rich Lawlor (35), Tom Waters (60) and Rafael Gomez (2x).
Transfers from the second heat included Randy Hirschbach (K9), Mike Millard (22), Craig Paulsen (65), Kim Lewis (9) and Phil Perry (22x). Transfers from heat three were Scott Bohemier (8), Chris Baker (11), Shane Kline (89), Dave Lester (34) and Al Goss (3). Drivers relegated to attempt the race through second-round qualifying or the B-main were: Frank Sanfelippo (29), Brian Colodny (14, broken transmission), Les Kipler (54), Steve Planka (10) and Jay Bradley (49).
Results of the Tri-Holiday Sweepstakes along with the 50-lap maverick main event will be published in Tuesday's Nevada Appeal. For track information, call 885-2079 or visit www.silverstateraceway.com. For BCRA Midget racing information, go to www.buzco.com.