By Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
The Supermodified Racing Association opens its inaugural season Saturday at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif.
Seven racecars representing five teams - comprising nearly 50 percent of the field - are from Northern Nevada. Most of them are considered top-5 teams to contend for the 2008 championship.
The S&S Motorsports team with driver Troy Regier of Dinuba, Calif., is again considered a leader and viable candidate for success in 2008.
Regier, who pilots the No. 98 supermodfied for Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw, is excited for the upcoming season.
"I'm looking forward to it," Regier said. "They've (Tom and Steve) made some changes to the car and I'll get out there and hopefully go fast."
There are six races scheduled at Madera Speedway, close to Regier's home town. He has raced supermodifieds for 15 years and holds track records at nearly every track he's competed at.
"Madera's my home track," he said. "I'm excited we've got six races there. I can't wait."
Joining C&M Racing of Reno is Clovis, Calif.-resident Ernie Coppo Jr. Coppo, in just his second full season of racing supermodifieds, is also eager to get started.
"I've been so busy, racing will be like vacation," Coppo said. "I can do something I enjoy for a change."
Coppo said with the maintenance schedule owners Mike Burts and Courtney Lewis keep on the No. 96 racecar, quality of equipment and hard work by the crew, they should be a top-5 team.
"You have to finish and you have to win to be a top-5 team," Coppo said.
"Ninety percent of the drivers are real clean and they've taught me a lot. I hope in some way I've given them good, clean racing. I have a lot of respect for the other drives and hopefully they do for me."
Coppo was the Western States Supermodified Racing League's Rookie of the Year in 2007. Prior to racing supermodifieds he raced western late models for five years.
The second Carson City team is Dangerzone Motorsports, driven and owned by Dale Lamborn.
"I'm glad to be starting - with the help of some good friends," Lamborn said. "The full season does depend on the economy. Financially, it's going to be hard."
Like other Nevada teams, Lamborn is poised to be a top-5 contender. Racing is a family thing for the Lamborns.
"To finish top-5 every week you have to stay consistent," he said. "I enjoy racing with my son, Branden. He's learned a lot from Tom Silsby.
"I'd like to win a few races and build on a good season (2007). I think the SMRA is a real good deal."
The Supermodifed Racing Association, at the direction of Brad Belveal, is in its inaugural year under the auspices of the team owners, who have representatives from California, Nevada and Idaho.
For information on S&S Motorsports, visit www.ssmotorsportsracing.com; and on the SMRA, go to www.smraracing.com.
• Contact reporter Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.