Fernley 95A Speedway held the seventh points race of the season last Saturday. California driver Jeff Olschowka took the IMCA Modified win over Winnemucca’s Cory Sample with a 4.87 second margin of victory.
Carson City’s David Paine took his first win of the season with a similar gap of 4.72 seconds over Fallon driver Rob Grace in the Pro Stock main. Reno’s Joe Frock dominated the Dwarf Car field, winning by 9.4 seconds over Glenn Sciarani of Yerington to keep his perfect win record on the season intact. In the Street Stock division it was Rick Miller of Sun Valley besting Fernley’s Shane Ramthun by the closest margin of victory of the evening, just 1.26 seconds. And, the Super Stock 4 win went to Jesse James of Fernley with a 10.65 second gap over fellow Fernley driver Justin Busch, a full half-lap margin. The next race at the speedway will be on Aug. 27.
There’s other local racing action this weekend, though. Head out to Dayton today to welcome the finishers in the 20th annual Vegas to Reno off-road marathon, then be at Fuji Park this evening for flat track motorcycle racing.
The only race from a major sanctioning body last weekend was the NASCAR Xfinity race from Mid-Ohio, and it was one of the most entertaining races I’ve watched in a long time. The track went from wet to dry to damp to nearly flooded in the course of the race, and crews were busy switching from treaded rain tires to slicks and back again. In the end, part-time Xfinity competitor and road racing ringer Justin Marks drove his No. 42 Ganassi Camaro to victory, pulling away from second-place Sam Hornish in the final four laps after a caution flag and restart. It was Marks’ first Xfinity win, and he dedicated the race to Brian Clauson, a former Ganassi driver who lost his life a week earlier in a midget racing accident.
In addition to Marks’ dedication of his win, Clauson will also be honored in Sunday’s IndyCar race at Pocono. Conor Daly will drive the No. 88 Dale Coyne car, the same number Clauson drove for Coyne in this year’s Indy 500. The car will be decked out in livery with a “BC Forever” logo prominently featured on the car’s side pods. Pippa Mann will also join the team and the tribute, and will try to better her 13th place finish in last year’s Pocono round.
All three NASCAR divisions are in action this week at the half-mile high-banked Bristol Motor Speedway oval. Both the Camping World Trucks and the Xfinity series have already raced, with Ben Kennedy taking his first checkered flag in the Truck series Wednesday night. Tonight the Sprint Cup series takes to the concrete bullring Jimmie Spencer once likened to “flying a jet fighter in a gymnasium.” Twelve of tonight’s starters have won at Bristol. The Busch brothers and Jeff Gordon each have five wins, although Gordon’s last victory was 14 years ago. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards have four Bristol wins apiece, with Edwards’ most recent win this past April and Kenseth’s a year ago April. Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have each won twice here, with Logano winning the August race the past two years. Scoring one trip to Bristol’s victory lane each are Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, and Tony Stewart, who won in August 2001.
This will be IndyCar’s fourth race at Pocono since the CART series’ last race in 1989. Scott Dixon, Juan Montoya, and Ryan Hunter-Reay were the winners in the first three. Given the season results to date, I’m betting one of the Penske cars will take the checker Sunday. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the two most likely, but Helio Castroneves is hungry and Montoya is pushing hard to be back in his groove. However, Dixon is always a threat.
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