Area racers kicking up dirt at Lovelock

By Roger Diez

Nevada Appeal Motorsports Columnist

With the closing of the dirt oval at Reno-Fernley Raceway this season, a new Northern Nevada track has opened to give dirt-track racers another venue. Operating on an alternate schedule to Fallon's Rattlesnake Raceway, the new Lovelock Speedway is high-banked, fast, and open for business.

Action kicked off on Saturday night with the Hobby Stocks, augmented by a lone Pro Stock car. Fallon's Paul Shamlian took the lead at the green flag and immediately began stretching a lead over Paul Rogers and Kevin Libbee, both of Lovelock, and Dayton's Royce Goetz.

As expected, Reno racer Matt Lewis immediately began carving through the field in his Pro Stock car, but was being scored separately. By lap 10, Lewis had worked his way to the back bumper of Shamlian, and surged ahead to pull away into the distance. Meanwhile, Royce Goetz had worked his way around Rogers and Libbee, taking over second place in the Hobby Stock scoring.

Gardnerville's Trevor Nenzel advanced to third, but was lapped by the flying Lewis four laps from the end. At the checker it was Lewis taking the Pro Stock win and Shamlian first in Hobby Stocks. Goetz came home second, Nenzel was third, and Libbee fourth. The earlier heat race saw the same finishing order.

Next up were the Pro 4s, with an orphaned Gen-X car added to the ranks. Don Hall of Fernley started on the pole in the Gen-X entry, and was dive-bombed by the more powerful Pro-4 field before he got to turn one. The race quickly developed into a duel for first place between Kevin Knight of Sparks and Silver Springs racer Chris Oberman.

Fernley's Don Wagner retired with a flat tire after only two laps. Knight led to the halfway point with Oberman glued to his bumper, then Oberman shot past and opened up a lead that he held to the checker. Knight held on for second and Hall was third, laps down. Knight won the heat race from Oberman earlier.

The Legends race was pretty much a high-speed parade, with no passing. Jason Anderline of Reno, who was racing at Lovelock for the first time, snatched the lead and was never headed. While he extended his lead, Reno racers Fred Handley and Lester Mitchell had a spirited duel during the first half of the race until Handley finally edged away.

Carson City's Charly Barron fell to fourth at the start and wasn't able to make any headway. At the checker it was Anderline, Handley, Mitchell, and Barron in that order. Handley won the earlier heat race ahead of Barron, Mitchell, and Anderline.

The final race of the evening was for the IMCA Modifieds, and it started off with a yellow flag on the first lap, a portent of things to come. When the field restarted it was Paris Archie of Reno in the lead with Lovelock's John Rogers glued to his rear nerf bar. The caution flag flew on lap three for a spin by Lovelock's John Greathouse, and Malen Gonzales of Fallon timed the restart perfectly and charged into the lead, followed by Rogers and Lovelock drivers Jeffrey Macedo, Jeff Elerick, and Debbie Mock.

Macedo dropped off the pace and eventually pitted under the next caution for a spin by Elerick. Mock also slowed but stayed out, losing laps, while Gonzales romped away from the rest of the field. Gonzales took the win, with Rogers a distant second and Elerick in third, the final car on the lead lap. Mock was credited with fourth, and fifth went to Lovelock's Chris Garretson.

Fallon Speedway has a full racing program on Saturday night with racing action starting at 6 pm. Then the track is dark until its big three-day show September 19-21. For more information, call Galen Reese at (775) 560-0969.


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