There's lots of news about local racers this week. The benefit race for Ron Williams at Thunder Bowl last Saturday night was a rousing success, with a record number of both competitors and spectators on hand.
The event raised more than $4,000 to help defray Williams' expenses in his fight against cancer. Williams told me he was grateful for the outpouring of generosity from racers and fans, and particularly wants to thank the Wyle's Copy Center, who provided the flyers; Charlie and the rest of the Brandenburg family, who donated the use of the track; Super Outlaw Karts; the Maverick Lions Club of Carson City; and especially his friend and fellow racer Glenn Bock, who was the driving force behind the event.
On a related note, technical issues that held up the Outlaw Kart Box Stock results last Saturday night have been resolved. All of the top five finishing karts were found to be legal and the finishing order remains as reported: Kellcy Bell won the main with Zach Kisman second; Cameron Millard third, Shelby Price fourth, and Adam Walters fifth.
Outlaw Karts of Nevada will crown their season champions at an awards banquet on Oct. 18.
Speaking of Outlaw Karts, Hunter Colodny continued his winning ways in California, winning his third A main event of the season at Cycleland in Chico, Calif., last weekend in the Pro Stock division. His big brother, Dallas, finished mid-pack in the 125 class at the same race.
Dallas will be moving up to the Legends division and racing at Champion Motor Speedway here in Carson City next season, provided the track is still operational. The facility is being advertised as "For sale or lease" in Racing Wheels magazine, along with an ad for a new General Manager/Promoter for the track.
Other local racers were playing with the big boys at the Craftsman Truck race in Las Vegas last weekend. T.J. Bell of Sparks and Jerry Allec Jr. of Carson City both made the field. Allec's truck unfortunately expired after a mere 19 laps with a failure in the valve train, and he finished 34th. Bell did a bit better, finishing seven laps off the pace in 23rd. At this level big sponsorship dollars and a top-notch team are critical to finishing in the top 20.
Speaking of Las Vegas, the soon-to-be-reconstituted Champ Car series has announced its 2004 schedule, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway is on the card as a "confirmed" race. It will be the first time the series has run at Las Vegas and its first time at an SMI-owned track since the disastrous canceled event at Texas Motor Speedway two years ago. As I mentioned in last week's column, Champ Car, under its presumed new ownership, has teamed with MotoRock to add concerts to the race weekend's program. Reportedly, U2 will be the headline act in the music portion of the Las Vegas event.
NASCAR's latest tweak to restrictor plate racing was apparently a zero-sum game. The added horsepower from a slightly enlarged restrictor plate was balanced by a more upright and larger rear spoiler, the net result being not much change in lap speeds nor in the huge pack of cars all running together. The anticipated "big wreck" turned out to be three "medium-sized wrecks," the scariest of which was Elliot Sadler's wild ride. And one of the three occurred after the checkered flag had fallen!
Another "strange but true" story out of Talladega was the decision by the Jasper Racing Ford team to run a Dodge Intrepid. Ford Racing was understandably annoyed and announced that it would repossess all of its equipment from the team. Ford Racing has ended its contract with NASCAR Winston Cup team Jasper Racing because the team ran a Dodge Intrepid in last Sunday's race at Talladega.
"What happened at Talladega was unacceptable,'' said Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. "To be a Ford team, you have to run a Ford.''
For its part, Jasper noted that it owns its own Ford Taurus race cars and that its contract with Ford is a "minor contingency contract." Nevertheless, Ford has terminated assistance to the team on any level, and will repossess all service vehicles currently on loan to the team.
Roger Diez is the Nevada Appeal motorsports columnist