By Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
MADERA, CALIF. " Supermodified Racing Association driver Whitey Janssen is a lucky man.
While driving on the 16th lap of the 50-lap main event at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif., Saturday night, a stuck throttle caused him to hit the wall of the track in turns 3-4 hard, then do a single roll over " all of which has destroyed his racecar.
Fortunately, Janssen walked away. He's sore, but he's in good condition.
"The throttle stuck wide open and, well, the car's junk. It's gone," Janssen said after the race. "I'm curious to see what's what when we look at the car.
"But I went into 3, eased off the gas and it went straight up on me. I nailed the brakes and just hit."
Janssen, 59, lives in Dayton with his wife, Aida.
"Oh, my goodness that was bad, but Whitey's OK," she said. "He's very sore, you can't even give him a little hug. But he'll be OK."
The only other Northern Nevada team (there are five total) to make the race was S&S Motorsports of Carson City with driver Troy Regier of Dinuba, Calif. After a dismal race three weeks ago, the S&S crew was ready to put its miseries behind it.
However, on lap 14, the 89 car of Jim Birges slowed and pulled to the infield. A few seconds later, Regier pulled to the infield, with no obvious signs of trouble. After a push truck attempted to get him restarted, the car would not fire and Regier was also sitting in the infield. The S&S team's second DNF on the season.
"It wouldn't fire," Regier said after returning to the pits after the race. "We had a pretty decent car tonight. I think we would have won. But we broke the cam and, I just lost power."
After a quick inspection by Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw, co-owners of the racecar, the power loss appears to have come from either the power steering pump or fuel pump, which are both connected to the rear of the camshaft.
"That's what it appears to be," Shaw said. "Troy said he lost the steering, then the car wouldn't start, and both of those pumps are on the cam. We'll know more when we take them off."
In the meantime in the main event, young talent Bryan Warf in the No. 91 from Boise, Idaho, worked his way through the field of cars to win his first-ever supermodified main event.
Warf fought hard during the race with the No. 85 of Jeff Russell, also of Boise, the No. 36 of Bobby Dalton, of San Martin, Calif., and Martin McKeefery of Milpitas, Calif.
Warf took the win over McKeefery, with Dalton finishing third, Russell fourth and Tony Thomas, a newcomer to the series from Mill City, Ore., in fifth. Rounding out the field were: David Tuey, Lance Jackson, Kenny Kinchen, Donnie Large, Larry Hinz, Regier, Birges and Janssen.
Dalton won the 8-car, 8-lap heat race with Janssen taking second and Regier third.
"I have to thank the guys for all their hard work," Regier said of his crew. "Just when we finally got the tires figured out, this happened. But they're great guys."
The SMRA next races at Madera Speedway on Sept. 20, and will close the season at Las Vegas's Bull Ring on Nov. 1.