That was no earthquake Saturday night.
The rumbling, ground shaking and vibrating grandstands were the mean machines of the Supermodified Racing League invading Champion Motor Speedway. These cars supply the need for speed, noise, horsepower and pure adrenaline rush like no other car can. And the full house of race fans was not disappointed with the show that took place on the 1/3 mile, high-banked oval track.
The inversion number for the main event was 6, meaning the top six qualifiers would be the only cars inverted at the front of the field. Current points leader and defending champion Lonnie Adamson was fast qualifier and found himself in the sixth position.
On lap 2, Mike Ford and Troy Regier got together after Ford slowed in front of Regier. Ford spun and officials placed both cars at the rear of the field. During the caution, Jerry Allec Jr. and Amy Barnes both pitted, both would later return for a few more laps. Willie Northammer also was pushed to the pits, and stayed there.
On the restart the top five cars were Kenny Hamilton in first, teammate Adamson, Bob Bigioni, Jim Birges and Jeff Russell. Adamson grabbed the lead with an outside pass on Hamilton on lap 17, Bigioni followed for the second spot putting Hamilton back to third.
A caution came out on lap 18 for Russell for a solo spin. Another caution was called on lap 20 as Ford made a solo spin in turn 1-2, but was then center-punched by Jim Tartaglia. Both drivers were OK and both cars were towed to the pits.
On the restart, the top-five were Adamson, Hamilton, Bigioni, Birges and Regier, who had quickly worked his way back after a last-place start.
Adamson was untouchable and simply flew to the checkered flag for yet another main event win. Hamilton finished second, Bigioni was third, Regier fourth and Birges fifth.
Rounding out the field were Rusconi, A.J. Russell, Jeff Russell, Bobby Dalton, Ford, Tartaglia, Rob Carlotto, Allec, Barnes, Northammer and local Dale Lamborn.
"Early in the race I was driving too hard," Adamson said. "Then I let up in the turns and it was a lot easier. At the first of the race I just followed my teammate, Kenny, then I changed lines. I changed my line just a little bit because at this track you can race more than one groove. The resealing of the surface made a difference."
Unfortunately, local Dale Lamborn was out just as the main event was getting started. After getting the green flag to warm up the engines and tires, a couple of cars checked up early going into turn one, causing Lamborn to run into the back of Darrin Rusconi. The end result was a lost front wing, which could have been repaired and Lamborn could have returned to the race, but also an oil filter. The oil filter had been torn off the line.
"We had another wing but didn't have another filter," Lamborn said. "Who'd figure you'd lose one of those." Disappointed as Lamborn recorded third-fast qualifying time.
In the first of two, 8-lap heat races, Jeff Russell recorded a win with Regier second and Adamson third. On the warm up laps, Carlotto over revved his engine and headed into the dirt off turn 1-2. Rusconi won the second heat with Kenny Hamilton finishing second Lamborn third.
The Limited Late Model division also raced Saturday. Several cars could have won the main event, but this would be Stuart Moon's night to shine. Moon started off by setting fast time. The trophy dash win went to Joel Worley and the heat race top-3 were Al Goss, Virgil Miller and Worley.
Racing officials chose not to invert the main event starting lineup, so Moon was on the pole. It didn't matter -- Moon was hot.
While Moon took the lead, Worley and Miller were mixing it up for the second position while Goss moved into the fourth position directly behind them. A caution came out on lap 8 when Miller and Danburg got together coming out of turn 4, with Miller spinning to the infield.
At the restart, Moon showed the way in front with Worley in second and Danburg third. At the finished, Moon came away with his first main event win in five years followed by Worley in second and Danburg third. Rounding out the field were Goss, Miller, John Durney, Bob Tackett and Paul Guinn.
"The car was working really good tonight, it was a rocket ship," Moon said. "I drove better on the main than the heat race when my door flew off," he added with a laugh.
A rivet popped out causing the passenger door to lift off the frame.
"I drove as hard and as fast as I could. I owe this to the team and sponsors -- the Moons, the Parkersons, the Wilkersons and Sierra Racing Products," he said.
The Legends division was no exception to providing tons of excitement as the main event finish was a near mirror repeat of a race three weeks ago. Near mirror, as Denny Hadler Jr. won Saturday's heated battle, much to the crowd's delight.
Gary Hale was the leader early in the race, but was soon passed by Bill Brown with Hadler quickly moving from ninth to third in two laps. Hadler took over the lead from Brown on lap 5 with Jim Klopp working his way up to second and Brown moving back one position to third.
A caution was shown on lap 7 for Katie Crome as she spun in turn 3. At the restart, it was Hadler in the lead, Klopp second, Jack Randall third, Nick Parmelee in fourth and Wayne Estes fifth. Parmelee put himself in second spot by passing Klopp on the outside as they moved through turn 4.
Hadler did everything he could to keep his ill-handling car on a good line for the remainder of the 30-lap feature. Parmelee tried to pass on the inside, then outside, but Hadler was determined to hold on and not see a repeat of their last main event. Hadler came up on Hale on lap 20, in turn 1. Hale was a slower car in the field and about to be lapped when Hadler bumped the rear of Hale's car, causing Hale to spin.
The race restarted with Hadler the eventual winner. Parmelee finished second and Estes third. Rounding out the field were Klopp, Randall, Brown, Bob Cose, Terry Madjeski, Hale, Crome, Jennifer Hodges and Charlene Baron.
"It was a great race," Hadler said. "At the first caution, I had a quarter-lap lead. I had a quarter-lap lead at the second caution. Then, the car started going away. After the contact with Gary Hale, the next 10 laps were hell. Wherever I was, Nick was there. It was a really close race and the car was horrible.
"I've got to thank my dad, Denny Sr., and Virgil Miller and his business. But my dad, he's Number One."
"The car started going away. I saw that," Hadler Sr. said. "Denny's not a mirror driver. He did everything he could to keep it on the track."
Klopp won the trophy dash. Madjeski won the first heat race, followed by Hale in second and Crome, making a good run, in third. Randall picked up the win in the second heat with Parmelee second and Estes third.
In the Les Schwab Street Stocks, John White started the evening with the trophy dash win in his Ford Torino. Matt Collier won the heat race while Chris Betz finished second and White third.
The main event was clean and green with close finishes in the top 5. Kris Keller walked away with another main event win, followed by Betz in second and Rick Miller third. Rounding out the field were Collier, White, Marc Pace and Steve Montelatici.
The Bandoleros were also on the schedule. Bobby Hodges picked up another main event win for the books followed by Brent Holman in second and Jennifer Hodges third. Rounding out the field were Derek Holman and Andy McCool. McCool also won the trophy dash. Bobby Hodges won the heat race with McCool second and Derek Holman third.
The action began with the Hustlin' Hornets class. Paul Coleman started the night with the trophy dash win. Rick Garmann brought out a Mazda RX7 for the first time and won the heat race with Cory Hauck second and Coleman third.
The main event was a sight in itself. Drivers went three wide into turns, then single file on the front stretch. Then two-wide into the turns and side-by-side on the back stretch, only to go three-wide again into turn 3.
After several swaps for the lead, Hauck took over the lead on lap 11 of the 15-lap race and went on to win in just his fourth start. Coleman finished second and Garmann third. Rounding out the field were Rebecca Parmelee, Charles Beatty, Jason Bilek, Tim Maloney, Harris Heller and Steve Blacker.
"This class is getting better every week and I'm getting better every week," Hauck said. "I just kind of go with it and wait for guys in front of me to make a mistake. This is the most competitive class and a lot of fun."
The winners of the Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving bicycle races were Danny Manning, 6, and Zane Green, 11. Each winner received a trophy and each participant received a ribbon. All children ages 5-12 are welcome to participate each week. The races take place at 6:30 while the driver's meeting is being held in the pits.
Action this Saturday features the Sierra Mountain Super Series -- 125 laps of super late model racecars, Limited Late Models, Les Schwab Street Stocks, Queen Bees, Legends and the Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving bicycle races. The first 500 fans get a free 76 Racing antenna ball.
For information, call 267-0505 or visit www.championmotorspeedway.com.