Although all of the big national series are in the off-season, racing is still going hot and heavy for the Outlaw Karts at Red Bluff, Calif.
Here's a quick update on how our local drivers are doing at Red Bluff, with results from the January 6 race and current point standings.
Mackena Bell was the sole local entrant in the 500cc Open division, finishing 10th in the A main after taking second in her heat. Bell currently sits 17th in season points.
Bell's father, Kelly Bell, captured his first A main victory in the Sportsman division after also winning his heat race. Chris Rytting won his heat as well. Troy Combs sits third in points, just four points out of the lead after a DNS (did not start) last weekend. Bell holds 11th in the point standings with Rytting right behind him in 12th and Dave Sciarroni is 17th.
Daniel Thorson won the Open Intermediate A main after taking third in his heat. Cameron Millard raced his way into the A main with a fourth-place finish in the B main, and took 11th in the feature. Thorson is currently 10th in points with Millard holding 15th.
In the 250cc division, Kellcy Bell took eighth in the A main after running fourth in the B main. Zach Heinz and Zach Kisman failed to transfer from the B. Heinz is currently 15th in points with Bell in 17th and Kisman 22nd.
Tanner Thorson finished fifth in the Box Stock A main and added a heat race win to his total, good enough to keep him in first place in the point standings with a 15 point margin. Samantha Schultz and Mason Millard finished seventh and 14th respectively in the B main, missing a transfer to the A. Millard is currently 12th in points, Keith Combs is 23rd, and Schultz is classified outside the top 25.
No local drivers competed last weekend in Beginner Box, but Kory Combs is currently 13th in points in that division.
The versatile Mackena Bell is using the Red Bluff series to get tuned up for the coming season, which will be a busy one for her. She will return to asphalt racing in her Legends car at Shasta Speedway in the spring, but is also planning to take another upward step in her racing career.
Bell, who was recently selected to participate in the NGK Spark Plug Racing Program in 2007, will test a late model stock car fielded by Melo Motorsports, with an eye toward running a limited 2007 program. Can it be long before she joins the Busch brothers as another Nevadan in NASCAR?
Speaking of NASCAR, the first segment of testing at Daytona for Nextel Cup cars wrapped up on Thursday with an extra half day due to Monday afternoon's rainout. Of the 26 teams that tested, fully half were Chevrolets. Dodge and Ford were represented by five teams each and three Toyota teams took to the track.
According to NASCAR's statisticians, 4,842 total laps were run during the test, with Dave Blaney topping the charts with 295 laps. Jeff Green had the fastest lap in the No. 66 Chevy at 186.722 miles per hour. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the fastest of the 2006 Chase for the Cup drivers present, turning a lap at 186.606 mph.
Champion Jimmy Johnson, wearing a brace on his recently healed wrist injury, was nearly a mile an hour slower than Junior at 185.632. Ricky Rudd, coming out of retirement to drive for Robert Yates Racing, showed he was still quick, turning a single-car speed of 186.405 in a Ford. And Dale Jarrett was the fastest of the Toyota drivers at 186.606, tying Junior's best lap.
The Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona will be flagged off on January 27, with a field that sounds like a who's who of racing. The field includes Jimmy Johnson, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Boris Said and Bill Lester from the NASCAR ranks; Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, A.J. Allmendinger, Katherine Legge, Graham Rahal, Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia, and Ryan Hunter-Reay from the Champ Car World Series; Sam Hornish Jr., Tomas Scheckter, Ed Carpenter, A.J. Foyt IV, and Tony George from the Indy Racing League; and racers turned commentator Wally Dallenbach and Tommy Kendall, just to name a few familiar names on the 70-car entry list.