MADERA, CALIF. - From what seemed insurmountable odds not only for the S&S Motorsports team of Carson City and the two drivers of DNA Racing of Minden, Lady Luck made an appearance for the three Northern Nevada teams racing the 36th annual Harvest Classic at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif.
In a non-points race for the American Speed Association/Western States Supermodified Racing League, the race was for money and a qualifying spot for the Fifth annual North-South Shootout race for supermodified racecars to be held in Concord, N.C., Nov. 2-3.
Troy Regier of Dinuba, Calif., driver for the No. 98 S&S team, tried to correct a loose-handling car throughout the afternoon.
"We worked with Troy on several things, trying to get it to where he wanted it," said Steve Shaw, co-owner of the car. "We don't get a chance to test the car except in practice for a race, so we're limited on what we can do."
Regier did post fast time in qualifying, won the trophy dash and his heat race. Eric Silsby and Amy Barnes of DNA Racing, qualified seventh and eighth, respectively. With the top-eight cars inverted for the start of the main event, Barnes and Silsby found themselves on the front row - a first for the team.
"I wanted to make this a good race," Silsby said. "At first I was worried about team cars on the front row. But overall, I'm pretty pleased with how we did."
The 50-lap main event had its challenges for everyone. Nineteen cars started the race, which after two green-flag starts being called back, was restarted single file to avoid potential catastrophe.
On the single-file start, Silsby came out of Turn 2 with a slight advantage over Barnes and the two would go 20 laps leading the field. Jim Birges of Fresno, Calif. was moving in on Barnes trying to get the second spot, while Regier made his way from seventh to fourth, knocking on Birges' door.
Working lapped traffic by this time, Birges made his way to second and Regier made the pass on Barnes on the front stretch of Lap 24 for third. A caution came out on Lap 27, bringing the field back together. On the restart, Silsby had the lead with Birges second, Regier third, Barnes fourth and Jim Tartaglia of Reedly, Calif. fifth.
"I was making adjustments (during cautions) throughout the race," Regier said of his set-up on the car. Drivers are able adjust brake bias from front to rear or rear to front, shocks, and cross weight. "The car came around a little bit."
At the restart, Regier charged to the inside of Birges in Turn Four, just nosing past him and set his sights on Silsby. Regier cleared Silsby for the lead with a pass on the outside of Turns 1-2 and held it to the finish. Each time Regier passed a car, lapped or not, the crowd roared - not bothering to sit for the main event.
"The car was crap," said co-owner of the No. 98, Tom Silsby. "But Troy still got up there. He can do it, man. He did good."
Birges finished in the second position with Eric Silsby third, Barnes fourth and Martin McKeefery of Milpitas, Calif. fifth. Rounding out the field were: Jim Tartaglia, Lance Tatro, Kenny White, Kenny Kinchen, David Tuey, Willie Northammer, Lance Jackson, Donnie Large, Bryan Warf, Tim Elias, Bobby Dalton, Ernie Coppo, George Greenway and Rod Rothgarn.
Barnes said she felt she could have done better than her fourth-place finish.
"I keep having issues with the brakes," she said. "They're getting hot.
"But the car, overall, was better. I feel good about it. I did as good as I could."
"I made some adjustments I couldn't take back out," Eric Silsby said about his setup. "I tried to get back by Troy and got sideways. So I stayed put."
Regier won the first heat race with Bryan Warf in second and Eric Silsby third. Birges won the second heat with Barnes in second and Ernie Coppo third.
"Our sponsors were very supportive of this race," Shaw said. "Sierra Racing Products, Paughco, NAPA Auto Parts, Donn Simons of Artistic Fence, The International Cafe and Bar in Austin, T&D Machine and Regier Farms. The car was not good, but Troy is such a good driver, he can make it work. He and the crew, we made it work."
Dale Lamborn on Carson City and Kirk Wartman of Boise, Idaho, driving for Courtney Lewis of Reno, did not race.
The ASA/WSSRL will next race Oct. 5 in Roseburg, Ore. It is a points race for the series.
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.