Paine does gain, wins Fernley heat

Fernley 95A Speedway held the 13th points race of the season at the 3/8 mile clay oval last Saturday, and Carson City’s Danielle Paine took her first heat race victory in the SS4 division.

Paine came back to lead the first dozen laps of the 20-lap main, but a pass by Justin Busch relegated her to her fifth runner-up finish of the season. Aaron McIlvain came home third with Dennis Crook and Kenny Martin rounding out the top five. In the Pro Stock division, it was another $1,000 purse to the winner, and Rob Grace captured his second big payout in a row with a late-race pass on Jay Sears for the win. Behind Sears, James Gonzalez, Gary Nevers, and Darrick Rauscher finished third through fifth. Robert Miller is on a record pace in the IMCA Modified division, scoring his 15th win of the season and his seventh victory at Fernley with a wire-to-wire win from the pole. The race went green all the way. Royce Goetz, Travis White, Rocky Goetz, and Bill Pearce finished second throgh fifth. Points leader Dwight Bolton chased down and passed Rick Miller for the Street Stock win. David Ausano, Mark Hain, and David Erie finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Joe Frock once again dominated the Dwarf car field, extending his points lead over Bobby Wilson, who came home second. Calvin Ryle was third, Glen Sciaranni fourth, and Billy Canham fifth. Jim Paulk won the Pure Stock main, breaking the nearly season-long win streak of Rich Innis, who had to settle for second. Trevor Quell took third place points. Fernley 95A Speedway is dark tonight, with the scheduled demolition derby, mud bog races, and chain races rescheduled for September 26.

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Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards was lavish with his praise of the low-downforce package at the NASCAR Sprint Cup round at Darlington last weekend. He proved that his affection for the setup was well-placed as he drove away from a race-dominating Brad Keselowski on the final restart to take the win. It was Edwards’ second win of the season, and it made the Chase situation a bit clearer. Barring a new winner tonight at Richmond five drivers will fill out the field on points. Jamie McMurray is in the best shape, and makes the Chase simply by starting the race. Ryan Newman will clinch with a 31st place finish or higher no matter who wins, and Jeff Gordon needs to finish 17th or better to guarantee his place in the playoffs. Paul Menard makes the Chase if he finishes ninth or better. Aric Almirola has replaced Kasey Kahne in 16th place, but only by two points, so either of those two can make it in unless there’s a new winner. And Kyle Busch is in 27th, far enough ahead of 31st place he’s safely in as well. Greg Biffle, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, and the rest of those outside looking in will have to win to make the 2015 Chase, so we may see some desperate moves tonight.

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The Formula One driving championship battle took an interesting turn at Monza last Sunday. What looked like another Mercedes 1-2 finish exploded along with Nico Rosberg’s engine in the final laps of the race. Then the Mercedes team inexplicably told leader Lewis Hamilton, who had a 25 second lead over Sebastian Vettel’s second-place Ferrari, to push hard and extend the gap. After the race it was revealed there was the possibility of a time penalty for an underinflated tire at the start of the race, hence the need to extend the lead. Formula One now had its own DeflateGate, and Tom Brady is nowhere in sight. In any case, the stewards decided the testing procedures for the recently instituted rule on tire pressures were too vague to uphold a penalty, so they would be clarified before the next race in Singapore. Hamilton’s win (his seventh out of 12 races so far) and Rosberg’s retirement put Hamilton 53 points in front of his teammate in the point standings, with Vettel a further 22 points back.

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