Champion Speedway will host its first 100-lap race of the season tonight for the late model racing series on the 1/4-mile, high-banked oval.
More than two dozen drivers are expected to qualify for the field. Drivers from Northern California, Idaho, Oregon and Northern Nevada are prepared to make a run for the track's first-ever "Salute to America."
Reno driver Craig Paulsen has been the master of the 100-lappers, having won more of them than any other driver. Paulsen has been in a bit of a slump over the past two years when it comes to the longer races, not having won a 100-lap main event in more than two years. But his luck is due to change.
Other drivers expected to be front runners include Rich Lawlor, Chet Danburg, Brian Colodny and Santa Rosa's Melissa Davis. Several drivers from the Roseville (Calif.) circuit may make tonight's race including Josh Bews, Michael Carver, Mike Rose and C.J. Yahnke as well as drivers from the Lakeport, Calif. area.
Also racing tonight are the hobby stock and sportsman divisions.
"We have three classes racing so we may have more time than we need," said Tom Nodzak, chief pit steward at Champion Speedway.
"We'll put everybody on the clock for qualifying. Then, for the late models, we'll have the number one qualifier draw a number from one to eight or one to 10, and invert the field from there."
Nodzak said the first 80 of the 100 laps will count whether on green flag racing or under caution. The last 20 laps will finish under green.
"There is no racing to the yellow and there will be single file restarts on all races. We want to make it as even as possible."
The sportsman and hobby stock divisions are scheduled to run 25 lap mains. This could change if the car count for the divisions are high.
The race for the late models will pay $1,000 to win. If the winning car has a Michael Hohl Motors sticker on it, the driver will win an extra $200.
"We're just trying to get the purse up a bit to help get more cars here (to compete)," said Nodzak.
Pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m., qualifying is at 6 with the National Anthem and trophy dashes to be presented at 7 p.m.
Special two-for-one adult admission tickets to the main grandstands are available in today's Nevada Appeal. Ticket prices are $8 adults, juniors and seniors $5, kids 6-12 $3, five and younger are free. For information, call 722-3909.
Champion Speedway is located at 1210 Race Track Road, off Bigelow via Snyder Ave.
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