Rattlesnake readies for Dirt Track Championship

Galen Reese holds a narrow lead in the IMCA Modifieds at Rattlesnake Raceway during this year's Octane Fest in July.

Galen Reese holds a narrow lead in the IMCA Modifieds at Rattlesnake Raceway during this year's Octane Fest in July.

Even with only two events left before September’s curtain call, it’s too soon to say summer racing is over for Fallon especially at Rattlesnake Raceway.

After this weekend’s final points race, which Lahontan Auto Racing Association promoters Chris Lumsden and Jerry Roseland said were a crash fest as far as the Hobby Stocks, there is still more to look forward to after the Hobby Stocks Challenge, particularly the Dirt Track Challenge which celebrates its 30th year in Fallon Aug. 26-27.

“So far it’s been a real big summer for racing,” Lumsden said with the return of the Pro Stocks and Octane Fest and the newly revived Iron Man Challenge in July. “At the end of the month is the Dirt Track Championship, which is the grand finale of summer racing. We expect more that 80 cars and two full days of racing, so it’s usually pretty wild.”

In three decades the championship is the longest running LARA event which has yet to lose its luster, numbers or not, since the first year turnout of 136 cars and a payout of $30,000. Then Dave Tilly was still the president of LARA who would hang the reigns down to then vice president Lumsden years later.

Payouts are still averaging $20,000 due to donations from local businesses and the $100 entry fee per driver.

“We usually get big names from all over because first place payout is usually $1500 to $2000 depending on the class,” Lumsden said. “And yes, it draws a crowd.”

The championship is, like Lumsden and Roseland said of the Octane Fest and Iron Man, a guaranteed good day for the racetrack since it draws many people who stay the night, either by motel in town or at the pit party thrown the night before racing begins to welcome people from in and out of state.

“It’s gotten huge, though, it went small when the economy went bad,” Lumsden said. “Hard times fell on all the tracks and it got real small but this year it’s making a comeback. Like I said, I expect 80 cars.”

Roseland, the track official from all the summer’s major races at Rattlesnake, has been waving the green flag from the tower for more than a decade now after retiring his racing team in 2004 and coming onto LARA in 2006. The championship differs in that Roseland is bringing in more spotters to assist him from the tower with so many racers to keep an eye on.

“It’s not just myself watching the race,” Roseland said. “There’s anywhere from eight to 12 other people with radios watching different corners and straightaways and that way we make the best call possible.”

The staffing isn’t the only difference, however, since the event is a cash payout rather than a points race, though, this does little to detract racers from as far as Arizona, Idaho and California, Oregon not to mention in-state racers from Pahrump, Tonopah, Winnemucca, Elko and, of course, in Fallon.

“It’s probably 60-70 percent Nevada people and roughly more than 30 percent out of state racers including a lot of California people who come over the hill,” Roseland said. “A lot of the tracks this time of year skip a few weekends of racing and do the big races. A lot of them before that are finishing up their points series, so now they have free time to travel a little bit. The end of September and beginning of October, several other tracks such as Fernley, Lovelock, Hawthorne, they all run their big two day payout shows and so we don’t step on anyone’s toes during this time.”

Lumsden also said the race allows the out-of-state crowd not to worry about losing points at their own tracks in addition to making travel a little easier with cash payouts.

“It’s what everybody calls “the money show,”’ he said.


Steven Crook Sr. took the main event of the Super Stock 4, followed by Tom Vukovich and Janet Lyford. Crook won the first heat of two as well, while Dennis Crook took the second heat and finished fifth in the main event.

Dave Sciarroni won the main of the IMCA Modifieds while Andy Strait came in second and Fallon veteran racer Robert Miller took third. Sciaroni took first in the second heat before the mains after Fred White took first in the first heat to come fourth in the main heat.

David Ausano took first in the Hobby Stock’s main, though, the night was slowed by crashes to hour/hour and a half races. Shane Cazel, who took third in the second heat, came second in the main followed by Tori Edgington who came second in the third heat. While Bob Vaden took first in the first heat, he fell behind and came second to last in the main, ahead only of Tony Taylor.

Gene Kay had the race of the night, winning the main event of the Pro Stock main event after coming back onto the track and racing to first from last place. Kay won the second heat before going off the track. Mike Learn came in second in the main followed by Travis White, both of whom came second in the first and third heats respectively.

Top Gun Raceway Results: July 16

Edward Young won the Sportsman finals against Mark Close with a wide lead of 12.264 seconds to 19.83 seconds.

Jim Grace, though, won by only a second against Dan Gaylor in the final race of the Pro division, 9.663 to 10.441.

Lonnie Grace won the Super Pro finals by a wider margin over Kelly Enget, 8.948 to 10.852.

Eric and Jim Setterburg met in the finals of the Jackpot No Electric and Eric came out on top, 9.709 to 13.189.

Enget redeemed herself and finished Saturday off by winning in the Manufactured division against Courtney Morris, 10.862 to 12.236.


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