Champion Speedway opener is Sunday

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WHERE: 1210 Race Track Road (off Bigelow, via Snyder Avenue)

INFO: 722-3909

COST: Adults $8; Juniors and seniors $5; kids 6-12 $3; 5-younger free

By RHONDA COSTA-LANDERS, Appeal Staff Writer

After two weekend test and tune sessions drivers will hit the asphalt Sunday at Champion Speedway for the racing season opener. Featured Sunday will be late models, sportsman, hobby stock and Legends race cars.

Fan favorites will return along with several new drivers, who will emerge from virtually nowhere to local fame. Late model drivers Chet Danburg, Al Goss, Craig Paulsen to name a few will be joined by Brian Colodny, Rich Lawlor, C.J. Bawden, Jim Bawden -- all the fast and furious of the 1/4-mile paved oval.

"I think I'll give 'em hell for one more year," Danburg said with a grin.

Giving his 2002 Dodge Intrepid a few turns on the track recently was Dave Sciarroni.

"I'm still getting used to it," said Sciarroni. "I tell it to turn and it turns. I brake and it brakes. It's a big difference from my Camaro."

The hobby stock division, with the most consistent car counts and most anticipated points race last year, will see the return of favorites Don Hill, Chris Betz and others, along with newcomer Randy Reid of Sparks. Reid will be driving a 1972 Nova. Hill will be raising money for Advocates to End Domestic Violence with his Ford Torino.

Moving into the sportsman division is Joel Worley of Carson City. Worley received sponsorship from Slot World, giving him the extra funding needed to complete his 1979 Trans Am.

"Al (Goss) and Chet (Danburg) helped me out a lot," said Worley during a practice session, who will have stiff competition from fellow sportsman driver Virgil Miller.

"I just hope I can keep up (the level of racing) following in their shoes."

In just his second year out in a Legends racecar, Monte Adcock will return to defend his championship. Adcock also received Rookie of the Year honors at Champion Speedway.

"In the beginning I was doing this just to have fun," said Adcock.

"Then I realized I had an ability and I played on it. And I was having fun. Then I realized I had a shot at the championship and that kept me going."

Adcock said he has no expectations for himself this year, he just wants to continue to have fun, as does fellow Legends driver Jim Klopp.

"Here we are, back for another year," said Klopp while working on his car.

"This should be fun."

In charge of pit operations this year is Tom Nodzak. During practice sessions April 13-14, Nodzak along with C.J. Bawden were checking noise levels on all race cars practicing on the track.

In a gesture to be good neighbors, track operators are implementing a 95-decible level noise ordinance on race vehicles at the point of 100 feet from the perimeter of the race track. The point where measuring took place was from the outside of turn 3, east to the pit area.

Only one car during the weekend's sessions was over 95db. That car was immediately black-flagged and told by officials to have the system quieted or it would not race opening day. The driver agreed to comply.

This year's schedule includes sprint cars, go-karts and will see the introduction of a new series called Bandoleros. The Bandoleros are sanctioned under INEX, which have similar rules as the Legends cars.


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