By RHONDA COSTA-LANDERS
Appeal Motorsports Writer
TWIN FALLS, IDAHO " S&S Motorsports driver Troy Regier and the team held a three-of-a-kind Friday, but not with the results they were looking for.
Although happy with the handling of the racecar in the main event, Regier and the team just couldn't get to the "sweet setup" needed to best the field in the 50-lap main event for the Supermodified Racing Association at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho.
With several cars not making the tow, including Reno's C&M Motorsports, Carson City's Dale Lamborn and Minden's DNA Racing team of Eric Silsby and Amy Barnes, the field was a scant eight cars. Regier qualified third-quickest with a time of 12.26 seconds.
Fast time went to Bryan Warf, of Meridian, Idaho, with a 12.24, and second was Jeff Russell, of Boise, with a 12.25. Lonnie Adamson of Salt Lake City, driving the East Coast-styled super owned by Jim Belfiore of Las Vegas, won the first heat race with Warf taking second and Regier third. Russell won the second heat with Jim Birges of Fresno taking second. The cars of Bobby Dalton (broken spindle) and Whitey Janssen of Dayton, did not race.
The main event was a good showdown for several of the drivers. With Russell gaining momentum in the series, Warf coming into his own as a supermodified driver and Birges getting the handling down on a new car, each were gunning for Regier, who is always the driver to beat.
Warf unfortunately went out on Lap 3, when a mechanical failure in the rear end sheered open the gear housing and relegated him to the infield. On the restart, Birges held the lead with Russell second and Regier third. The cars would stay nose to tail for several laps while Pat Whittet of Boise and Janssen battled for the fourth position.
Regier passed Russell on Lap 28 and zeroed in on Birges. The two battled for six laps with Regier trying to take a high line only to be shut down by Birges, then trying the low side to no avail. When it seemed lap traffic could play a part in a strategic move, Regier moved again to the inside of Birges in Turn 3, only to have the lapped car of Whittet slow in front of Birges, causing Regier to bump him from behind and leave Birges spun out in Turn 4.
"We were both going in hard and drifting through 3 and 4," Regier said of the incident. "I was trying to capitalize on a lapped car. You have to take an opportunity when you can. But I had too much momentum and I bumped him and spun him out."
Both cars restarted at the rear of the field, giving Russell the lead position, Dalton second, Birges third and Regier fourth. Janssen and Whittet were each several laps behind the leaders.
At the checkered flag of the 50-lap race, Russell was the winner with Dalton second and Regier third. Rounding out the field were Birges, Whittet, Janssen, Warf and Adamson.
"The car was tight for a while and I was able to make a couple of adjustments," Russell said. "It never was quite right. Everyone was battling handling issues tonight. But it was a good finish."
"My car was overheating," Janssen said after the race. "And my tires went away. The car got loose, but we finished."
Full results of Saturday's SMRA races at Rocky Mountain Raceways will be in Monday's Nevada Appeal.
For information on S&S Motorsports, visit www.ssmotorsportsracing.com or on the SMRA, go to www.SMRAracing.com.