By Roger Diez
In nearly forty years of involvement in racing, I have never seen anything as excruciatingly painful as last Sunday's Brickyard 400. Or should I say 16 Brickyard 25's? Despite a recent tire test, Goodyear showed up with a compound that shredded like tissue paper on the abrasive Indy track, forcing NASCAR to throw a "competition caution" almost as often as the commercial breaks rolled around.
There are often tire issues at Indy (remember the six-car Formula 1 race a few years back), but you'd think that after 15 years NASCAR and Goodyear would have learned something. Firestone seems to have figured it out for the Indy 500, although the tires are bigger and carrying less than half the weight. I sincerely hope that NASCAR and Goodyear will get their act together for next year's Brickyard race. Maybe a real tire test with all the teams participating is in order. I don't think I can watch another fiasco like the one that happened Sunday.
- Although the NASCAR Cup didn't put on much of a show, our local racers have been doing themselves proud in California as well as here in Northern Nevada. At Altamont Raceway Park last weekend, Carson City's Bobby Hodges led the NASCAR West Car 100- lapper early in the race, but dropped back to fourth at the end after being "helped" into a lurid slide by a fellow racer.
Chet "the Jet" Danburg, also from Carson City, had his best season finish in 10th, and Sparks' Johnny Morrisey came home 13th after a late-race mechanical problem.
Meanwhile, at All American Speedway in Roseville, Carson City's Mackena Bell edged closer to that elusive top-five finish, coming home seventh in her NASCAR Whelen Series Late Model Pontiac after qualifying in eighth.
- After a disappointing night involving a crash in his ASA Speed Truck a few weeks ago, Reno's Dallas Colodny dropped to fourth in season points. So he decided to race a Legend car at Shasta Speedway last weekend and was running in third when the car erupted in flames from a loose oil line, putting Colodny into the wall, then the infield. He wasn't hurt, but it was judged one of the most spectacular car fires ever seen at Shasta. Little brother Hunter came home fifth in the race, maintaining his hold on fifth place in season points.
- Still on the California racing trail, 12-year-old Tanner Thorson, of Minden, had one of those weekends that every racer dreams about. On Friday night in Medford, Ore., he set fast time, won his heat race, and went on to win the main in the 250cc Outlaw Kart division. Traveling to Cycleland in Chico for Saturday night's racing action, he scored another heat race win and backed it up with a main event victory. That makes five wins out of 11 tries at the Cycleland summer series.
- A little closer to home, Dayton's Royce Goetz is second in points in the Hobby Stock division at Fallon's Rattlesnake Raceway, while Carson City's Gary Nevers sits third in the Pro Stock points. Last weekend Goetz finished fifth in the Hobby Stock Main with Shane Ramthun, who is alternating between Hobby Stock and Pro Stock, came home eighth in the Hobby division.
Nevers finished third in the Pro Stock main ahead of fellow Carson City driver Ed Goss. And Tom Purcell, also of Carson City, finished sixth in the Modified main, coming back from a bad crash earlier in the season that all but destroyed his car. Purcell, with a second and fourth place main finish in addition to last weekend's sixth, plans to run his pavement Modified in California for most of the remainder of the season.
- And if you like to see really good-looking cars, head out to Mills Park today and Sunday for the 14th annual Silver Dollar Car Classic. They are expecting a record entry this year, possibly because Hot August Nights also kicks off this weekend and the big Reno show has been completely filled since the close of last year's extravaganza. But Silver Dollar has its own charm and has been steadily gaining entries over the years. And Mills Park is the perfect venue. We'll see you there!