It's three down and one to go for Nick Rescino Jr. in his bid to complete a clean sweep of the Nevada State Sprint Car Championship Series.
"That's the plan," Rescino said after speeding to his third straight 100-lap victory at Champion Speedway on Saturday night. "One more to go, so we're getting there."
But while the 26-year-old San Francisco driver lapped all but three cars in a dominant performance during the feature race, he admitted there were some anxious moments earlier in the evening.
"The car ran well in the main event, but in qualifying and hot laps, I was really unhappy with the way it was running," Rescino said. "We've been doing some experimenting with the geometry of the front end, but after qualifying was over, we changed the front end and springs and went back to what's been working, and it worked right away. It was like the clouds parted and the sun started shining on me again. My dad (Nick Rescino Sr.) and his partner, Dave Haver, they made this all possible. All I had to do was just steer the wheel."
Rescino worked his way through the field with room to spare. He stayed low and moved into fifth-place on Lap 12, into third-place on Lap 14, and finally passed Bryan Bullard into the lead at the start of Lap 21. The only speed bump the rest of the way came when the caution flag dropped on Lap 47 to check out sparks flying from Tommy Haxall's car.
No problem. Rescino ran away from Bullard on the restart and was never seriously challenged the rest of the way. Bullard held on to finish second and Minden's Amy Barnes took third - both on the same lap with Rescino.
"I'm proud of that. To finish on the lead lap with two drivers (Rescino and Bullard) like that is awesome," Barnes said.
Third-place was a step up from the fifth Barnes posted in the last series event at Champion on July 3.
"We haven't ran too many races this year. We've just been trying to get this Eagle (chassis) ready. This is only our second night out with this chassis, so I can't complain," Barnes said.
Tony Iacobitti, the 2003 Altamont Speedway champion , was the winner of the $100 dash for cash. Glenn Hopper was second.
The state sprint car championship series finale will be run as part of the 41st Silver State Classic show on Sept. 18 at Champion.
Ryan Mosher, 22, of San Jose cruised to victory in the 18-car, 40-lap Legends feature event in his first appearance at Champion this year. He put together what amounted to a pretty good comeback after nearly losing his left front wheel after a collision with Denny Hadler in the trophy dash.
"I had a broken upper arm, so I had to fix all that," Mosher said. "Rick Andrews, who I race with in California, and the guy pitting next to me helped out, so that was nice."
The 2004 season has been a good one for Mosher, who celebrated his eighth win of the year between Stockton, Lakeport, Roseville and Shasta. He had a streak of five straight victories and also won a feature race last weekend in Lakeport.
"We weren't racing anywhere this weekend and I needed a race for points so I came here," Mosher said.
"The car was really running well," he said. "I struggled with it at the beginning of the year, but I kept working on it and working on it and finally got it right. I don't think it could have been any better tonight.
"The trophy dash was kind of rough, but otherwise it was a good night."
It showed on the track as Mosher worked his way through the pack. Brett Holman and Robert Humphreys exchanged the lead early, while Mosher moved up into third-place on Lap 9 and second-place on Lap 10. He made an inside move going into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 13.
He never looked back.
Mosher said there's a chance he might return to Champion for the season finale on Sept. 18.
"There's a race in Irwindale (Calif.), but if I don't go there, I'll come back here," he said.
Dayton's Malugani won the trophy dash ahead of Denny Hadler and Wayne Estes. Hadler left the track after the trophy dash - the result of a cracked the rear end housing and he was hit from behind by Mosher - and didn't return the rest of the evening.
Mosher ran away with the heat race, followed by Andrews in second-place and Bob Cose in third. Henry Hodges held off a hard charging Wayne Estes at the checker to win the other heat race.
Fourteen-year-old Derek Holman ran away with the seven-car, 15-lap Bandolero main event. Bobby Hodges, also 14, finished second, followed by Henry Hodges and Kelly Hodges in third and fourth respectively.
In the Bandolero trophy dash, Henry Hodges held off his 14-year-old son Bobby to pick up the victory, while Kelly Hodges finished third and Jonathan Phillips fourth. Bobby Hodges nosed out Henry to win the heat race and Phillips finished third.
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Dayton's Richard Malugani worked his way into fourth-place after the restart on Lap 22, moved into third in Lap 28 and past Humphries into second-place on Lap 35. Malugani held on the rest of the way to finish as the runner-up.