S&S Motorsports struggles to second place finish

Rhonda Costa/Nevada Appeal

Rhonda Costa/Nevada Appeal

ANDERSON, Calif. " After a hard crash at the Supermodified Racing Association season opener in Madera, Calif., on April 4, the S&S Motorsports team was hoping to regain its confidence with a good run at Shasta Raceway Park, a 3/8-mile asphalt track, Saturday.

Recording second-fast time on the night among the five supermodifieds making the race, S&S Motorsports driver Troy Regier of Dinuba, Calif., relayed to co-owners Steve Shaw and Tom Silsby the handling conditions of the car. Again, no grip in the apex of the turns and loose conditions coming out.

"I just couldn't get on the gas soon enough (to be competitive)," Regier said. "I didn't have anything for anybody tonight."

The supermodifieds' program included a 4-lap trophy dash, 12-lap heat race and 50-lap main event. The trophy dash was made up of the four fastest qualifiers, which were Regier, Bryan Warf, Jeff Russell and Kenny White, and was won by White of Fresno, Calif. White also captured the heat race, with Russell taking second and Regier third.

The main event featured just five cars, as several teams are not yet ready for competition. White began the race on the pole and headed out to a good lead after the drop of the green flag. Russell was able to keep within 5 car lengths, but never succeeded in a hard challenge for the lead. Meanwhile, Regier had his own battle of a loose racecar along with Warf, who both were fighting for the third position.

On lap 16, White was black flagged when an official was told of a possible engine fire on the No. 89 car White was commanding. After pulling into the pits, track officials sprayed the engine with an extinguisher and kept him in the pits, relegating him to last place. The culprit was a fuel bleeder tube and excess methanol burnoff. White said he could have safely finished the race.

At the restart, Jeff Russell assumed the lead with Regier second, A.J. Russell third and Warf fourth. Two-car battles developed for the 1-2 positions as well as 3-4 for the next 24 laps, until A.J. Russell overheated and his engine cut off. He too would watch the rest of the race from the pits. A.J. Russell earlier in the day blew a drive line and rear axle and feverishly worked to replace them, just making the main event.

At the checkered flag, Jeff Russell got his first win of the season with Regier taking second and Warf third.

"We've (already) made changes to the car and they're not working," Shaw said. "So we're going to try something else to move forward, and maybe go back in another direction.

"The only way you can learn is to try things then take the car to the racetrack and see how you do."

"The guys tried everything to get the car to handle for me," Regier said. "But we had no side grip. We have new ideas we're going to try to prove and I have faith in what Tom and Steve want to do (to the car).

"I'm grateful to Tom and Steve for this opportunity and am confident we'll move forward."

The SMRA next races May 9 at Madera Speedway for the Vukovich Classic, a race Regier has won many times over. For information, visit www.smrasupermods.com.

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