S&S Motorsports driver finds way back to Winner's Circle

By Rhonda Costa-Landers

Appeal Staff Writer

MADERA, CALIF. " The Carson City supermodifed racing team of S&S Motorsports overcame handling difficulties on the setup of their racecar to win not only their heat race and post fast time in qualifying, but take the checkered flag in the Supermodified Racing Association's 50-lap main event at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif. on Saturday.

With several cars taken out of contention earlier in the evening, there were only 10 cars to begin the main event. A full invert was used to determine the lineup, relegating Troy Regier to the rear of the field as fast qualifier.

On the pole was Donnie Large of Milpitas, Calif., with Lance Tatro of Madera on the front row with him. Nevada teams were positioned in the fifth, eighth and 10th starting positions " Kenny White of Fresno, driving for C&M Motorsports of Reno; Regier, of Dinuba, Calif., and Whitey Janssen of Dayton, respectively. Janssen chose to start at the rear of the field.

The beginning of the race was slowed for the solo spin of No. 21 of David Prickett. On the restart, Tatro was the lead car with Bryan Warf hot on his nerf bar for one lap until overtaken by Jeff Russell of Boise, Idaho, who began to take decisive charge of the race with White close behind.

By Lap 10, Russell made his pass on Warf for the lead with Regier slicing through the field into the second position after making an inside pass on Warf.

On Lap 23, bolts in the rear end of Warf's car broke, relegating him to the infield, and White spinning in Turn 4. On the restart, it was Russell with the lead, Regier second and Bobby Dalton of San Martin, Calif. in the third position.

Two laps later, Regier made his move on the inside of Russell for the lead. Russell fought back taking the high side, then Regier made his move to control the lead two laps later but with Russell was directly behind him.

Regier began to pull away from Russell when on Lap 36, Russell's car broke a radius rod coming out of Turn 2, sending him into the wall on the back stretch with a shower of sparks and a heavy hit in the wall of Turn 3. Russell was OK, albeit with a slight limp from a hit to his right knee. On the restart, Regier was in the lead with Dalton in second and White third.

Dalton tried to make a charge on Regier but again, Regier pulled way from the field, taking the checkered flag with a one-third lap lead over Dalton in second, and White a half-lap down in third, the only cars on the lead lap.

Rounding out the field were: David Tuey of Bakersfield, Calif., Tatro, Large, Russell, Prickett, Janssen and Warf.

"The car was tight. Tight, tight, tight," Regier said. "We made some changes and it was better, then I had a vibration again."

Changes on the car included gears and angle of the pinion, which in comparison to the driveline, helped get rid of the vibration.

"The change did help for a while, but Troy said it came back later in the race," said Steve Shaw, co-owner of the No. 98 with Tom Silsby. "That has me concerned."

White summed up his first experience in the No. 96 supermodified.

"The car was not as good as we thought it could be," White said. "I was not in a comfort zone with the car. But I got my first lesson tonight and we'll come back and do our best the next race."

Jansen pulled to the infield on Lap 23 after slowing coming out of Turn 4.

"The motor just quit on me," Janssen said. "It went putt, putt, putt and she was done."

The first heat was won by Regier, with White taking second and Tuey third. Two cars were heavily damaged during the heat and out for the night. They were Kenny Kinchen in the No. 5 from Clovis, Calif., and Jim Birges of Fresno in the No. 89. The car of Larry Hinz had complications on the start of the race and was also out for the night.

Russell won the second heat with Warf taking second and Tatro third. The cars of Dalton and Lance Jackson got together in Turn 3 on the start of the race. Lance was out for the night.

Regier also won the trophy dash over Birges, White and Dalton. Regier broke a panhard bar in the May 10 race at Madera and was a did-not-finish.

The SMRA is next scheduled to race July 4 at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho, then July 5 at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley, Utah on July 5.

For information on S&S Motorsports, visit www.ssmotorsportsracing.com or www.smraracing.com for series information on the SMRA.


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