Grace under fire: He wins $1,000 at Fernley

Attrition took out a big chunk of the Pro Stock field at Fernley 95A Speedway, but Fallon driver Rob Grace went home $1,000 richer, leading from wire to wire in the A main. The big purse was provided by Superior Funding and Les Schwab of Elko, and a good-sized field took the green flag. Following Grace to the checker were Carson City’s Gary Nevers, Darrick Rauscher of Reno, Fallon’s James Gonzales, and Oregon driver Shannon Horn. Winnemucca’s Cory Sample held off Gardnerville’s Robert Miller to take the win in the IMCA Modified main. Dave Sciarroni of Reno finished third, followed by Dayton driver Rocky Goetz and Reno’s Jake Holland. Carson City’s Bobby Wilson and Joe Frock of Reno put on a spirited battle in the Dwarf main, swapping positions several times until Frock finally got the upper hand and drove away for the win. Wilson came home second, followed by Fernley’s Calvin Ryle, Jeff Foster of Carson City, and Yerington driver Roy Peterson. Rick Miller of Sun Valley managed to keep points leader Dwight Bolton of Gardnerville at bay for the entire Street Stock main. Bolton finished second ahead of Oregon driver Jesse Yankee and Miller’s teammate J.T. Stark. The Super Stock 4 main saw Justin Busch of Fernley make a last-lap pass on race leader Dennis Crook of Sparks to take the win. Reno’s Kenny Martin collected third-place points, with Steve Crook Sr. of Fernley fourth and David Paine, sitting in for wife Danielle, taking fifth. Rich Innis of Reno put another notch in his steering wheel with a win in the Pure Stock main, beating Fernley’s Shawn Burton and Jim Paulk of Carson City. The next race at Fernley 95A Speedway will be August 29.

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There’s a little-known connection between Carson City and NASCAR. It’s the amazing number of local manufacturers who provide brakes, oil pumps, jacks, pistons, and other bits and pieces used in racing. And there’s now a much higher profile connection, as Nature’s Bakery announced it will be the primary sponsor on Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet for 2016 and beyond. The connection with Haas Automation, which provides manufacturing equipment to the baked goods manufacturer, led to the deal. Patrick will have Nature’s Bakery colors on her car for 28 races, with other sponsors filling in the remaining 10 events.

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Patrick and the rest of the Sprint Cup drivers will be racing tonight at Bristol. A normally intense race becomes even more intense, as drivers who haven’t won yet this season are going for one of their last chances to qualify for this year’s Chase. Kyle Busch is 29th in the standings after his 11th place finish at Michigan, so he just needs to have a good points night at Bristol. Jeff Gordon’s lackluster showing at Michigan has dropped him to 15th in the standings, so he desperately needs a win. Gordon and the two Busch brothers are the most frequent visitors to Bristol’s victory lane, with five wins apiece. And keep an eye on young Kyle Larson, because he’s strong at the half-mile oval.

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Also active this weekend, Formula One returns after a four-week layoff. The series is racing at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, at 4.3 miles the longest circuit on the schedule. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Ferrari team has been able to make up more ground on the Mercedes juggernaut during the hiatus, or if the Silver Arrows have regained their dominance. And the IndyCar series runs its second to last race of the season on Sunday at Pocono. The point spread is getting tighter with Graham Rahal just nine points behind leader Juan Montoya and Scott Dixon another 25 in arrears. And the final race next weekend at Sonoma will be double points, and will likely determine this season’s champion.

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Finally, for you motorcycle racing fans, I’ll be interviewing motorcycle racing legend Dick Mann this evening at 6:30 on the patio outside Shelby’s Book Shoppe in Minden. I’ve interviewed Dick a couple of times before, and he has a remarkable story to tell about the golden age of bike racing in the 60s and 70s.

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