Fernley hosts Midget Lites

FERNLEY - The quick and exciting Bay Cities Racing Association's Midget Lite division made a stop at Reno-Fernley Raceway Saturday night, joining four of the track's regular racing divisions for a stellar night of racing on dirt.

The evening's festivities kicked off with the 318 Modified division. It took Reno's Rick Looney just three laps to surge from the back of the field to the lead, and he never looked back.

Behind him Troy Crawford of Carson City battled with Sparks drivers John Scherer and Kevin Knight, with Don Hughes and Richard Rabe of Silver Springs also in the mix. At the checker it was Looney, Crawford, Knight, Scherer, and Hughes taking the top five spots. Scherer won the heat race earlier in the evening.

The Pure Stock division fielded 13 cars, an average showing for this entry-level group. Joshua Long of Yerington took the lead at the green flag, and appeared to have things well under control.

Jerry Roseland, back after a year's layoff, quickly picked his way through the pack to join up on Long's rear bumper. The pair ran pretty much nose-to-tail, with Long able to hold Roseland off on a couple of restarts after caution periods. Behind the lead pair, Aaron McIlvain of Silver Springs battled for third place with Reno's Tim Cremeans, Lemmon Valley's Darrick Rauscher, and Fernley drivers Doug Davis and Matt Sherman.

Coming to the white flag, Roseland went high in turn three, then dove under Long to take the lead. Long, desperately trying to salvage the win went wide on the last lap, slipping back another two spots.

Roseland took the checker, followed by McIlvain, Cremeans, Long, and Sherman. Heat race wins went to Roseland and Rauscher.

Dwarf cars, motorcycle-engine-powered replicas of 30's jalopy racers, were up next. South Lake Tahoe's Stewart Goehring led the early laps, but Charlie Correia of Tracy, Calif., eventually got by for the lead. Reece Wilson of Reno joined the lead pair and soon passed Correia to take the point. Minden's Vuki Wilson charged from the back of the field before he was halted when he tangled with Jeff Shurley of Carson City, who retired to the pits. Wilson lost a lap in the process, and at the finish it was Reece Wilson with Correia breathing down his exhaust pipe, followed home by Goehring and Carson City's Barry Lane.

Bill Brown of Carson City won the first heat race, with Reece Wilson taking the other heat.

The BCRA Midget Lite race started out fast and furious, with 17-year-old Richard Bailey from Napa, Calif., battling Jared Adams of Folsom, Calif., in the early laps. After a yellow flag and a restart, St. Helena, Calif., driver Jeff Griffin surged past the pair to take the lead. Reno's Mark Havel had a scary ride on lap 10, flipping his open-wheeled racer twice and bringing out the red flag. He was taken by ambulance for observation after complaining of neck pain. When the race continued, Griffin demonstrated that he had the field handled, slicing through lapped traffic with ease. Behind him, Roseville's Tyler Franklin used traffic to move past the early leaders, and at the checker the order was Griffin, Franklin, Adams, Scott King of Citrus Heights, and Bailey. Franklin and Chad Compton of Elk Grove scored heat race victories.

The final race of the evening featured a full complement of Pro Stock machines. Carson City's Gary Nevers led the early laps until Loyalton racer Jim Smith blew past to take the point. Nevers returned the favor on a restart, re-taking the lead while Smith, Roy Peterson of Yerington, Carson City's Matt Ramthun, Coleville's Rod Brown, Pat Couch, and several others squabbled over the next few spots. Ramthun slowed for a spinning Randy Reid of Sparks and fell back into a wad of cars that he couldn't work his way out of, while Reid recovered to begin a charge through the field.

"I was sixth on the last restart. My car was really pushing, but so were the other guys'," said Reid.

Two laps from the end, Reid blasted past the Nevers/Smith battle and pulled away to the checker. Smith finished second with Nevers close behind in third. Peterson came home fourth and Pat Couch of Oregon House, Calif., rounded out the top five. Reid, Ramthun and Couch each won a heat race.

Next Saturday is "Canned Food Night at the Races," with IMCA Modifieds, Modified Minis, Dwarfs, Pure Stocks, and Hobby Stocks on the program. Heat races begin promptly at 6 p.m.

n Contact Roger Diez at Racytalker@aol.com


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