MADERA, CALIF. - Every supermodified race team in the pits at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif. agreed Saturday the condition of the race track was disgusting.
For the second time this season, an enduro race was held - a race where soap and water are put on the track for derby cars to attempt to finish 100 laps. And for the second time, track manager Kenny Shepherd, a former NASCAR series racer, did not have the track cleaned afterward.
Be that as it may, drivers and their teams did their best to not only set up their cars, but adjust to changing conditions and a 105-degree temperature.
Through the mess, the 11-car field lined up for a 50-lap main event. After again posting fast time in qualifying, Troy Regier was at the rear of the field with a full invert. Dayton's Whitey Janssen posted fifth-quick time and started third row, inside.
With all the quicker 410 supermodifieds lined up toward the rear of the field, the 360s made a clean start with local Donnie Large on the pole. At lap 4, Janssen had made his way around the 360s to take over the lead. On lap 6, the solo spin of Lance Jackson in turn 4 brought the field back together.
On the restart, it was Janssen, Bryan Warf, Jeff Russell, Troy Regier and Large as the top-5.
The race was fast-paced, given track conditions, as Warf made a move on the inside of Janssen on the back stretch for the lead and began to increase that lead lap by lap.
Cars were running low and in a groove about 10 feet above the low groove, but no where else. Warf has his car hooked to run low and made it work; until lap 44 when the crank broke and the engine blew, spewing oil from the end of the front stretch into turn 2. What appeared to be Warf's first main event win in a supermodified was a pipe dream.
With just six laps to go, Russell was the lead car with Regier running second and Janssen third. At the restart, Regier just couldn't find the right line to catch and Pass Russell, and found himself taking the second position for the main event; Janssen finished fourth, one lap down, just behind Bobby Dalton.
"I could barely hold on to this thing," Regier said of the car after the race. "I don't know what happened. Bad tire? Bad track?
"I lost the brakes in the middle of the race. Completely. Under caution I got a little of them back. Sometimes you have to settle for second. I even hit the wall on the front stretch.
"But Jeff and Bryan did good tonight. Kudos to them."
In between qualifying and each hot-lap session, the team worked on the car, changing springs, gears, wing angle, tire pressure, tires, nearly everything they could to adjust it to the track conditions.
"The car was getting loose on me," Janssen said. "It was a handful toward the end of the race.
"But it was fast the first 15 laps."
Rounding out the field were Kenny Kinchen (48), Large (48), Lance Tatro (47), Lance Jackson (46), Warf (44), David Tuey (36), and Larry Hinz (24).
Tuey won the first heat race with Large second and Jackson third. Warf won the second heat with Dalton taking second and Regier third. Warf also won the trophy dash, his first-ever in a supermodified.
The SMRA's next race is Aug. 9 at Madera Speedway. Series director Brad Belveal said he would talk with Shepard about track conditions, asking the track be cleaned prior to the supermodified race should another enduro be held.
"It (the track) was not good tonight," Belveal said. "I need to have a talk with Kenny."
With six races now held, Russell and Regier have equally traded wins, with Russell holding a slim lead over Regier in the SMRA points. Janssen is in fourth.
For information on S&S Motorsports, visit www.ssmotorsportsracing.com , and on the SMRA, go to www.smraracing.com.