Octane Fest changes gear for 2018 show
LVN Editor Emeritus
Octane Fest is changing gears for this year’s annual event.
Promoters are bringing back motocross for two days as the Rattlesnake Raceway transformed itself from an oval track to a huge arena for a popular motor sport.
Octane Fest, which began in 2008, opens Friday for two days at the Rattlesnake Raceway northeast of Fallon. Additionally, a car show featuring vehicles “from yesterday” returns to the Walmart parking lot Saturday morning.
“We have a completely different show,” said Chris Lumsden, president of the Lahontan Auto Racing Association.
Earlier this spring Octane Fest faced a dilemma after the Monster Trucks pulled out. With only six weeks’ notice before the first night of this year’s show, Octane Fest promoters contacted Winnemucca Motocross to assist with building an arena and helping to attract riders from all over the region.
“We’ll have a different approach , but I think we’ll be OK,” Lumsden added.
Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. today followed by motocross, quads, UTVs and tough trucks. Fireworks will cap the evening’s events. Prior to opening ceremonies, Lumsden said time has been set aside from 4-5:30 p.m. for motocross, quad and UTV practice.
For the past three days, Demo Herrerea, president of Winnemucca Motocross, has been directing the building of an MX track inside the perimeter of the raceway. Herrera said demolition derby will take place in the middle of the existing track. With extra dirt already available at the track, Herrera and his small crew went to work, pushing out the jumps closer to the crowds but with enough room for safety.
“We’ll get a nice, safe track ready, but we always try the track with an experienced rider,” Herrera pointed out. “That gives us feedback on the track, and if we have to do anything more.”
What helped was the extra dirt, Herrera said Rattlesnake Raceway had brought in dirt to rebuild the track and improve it.
“We’re all volunteers,” he said, “and a nonprofit organization. The equipment was donated by Cashman Equipment in Winnemucca.”
Crews worked Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday and Wednesday and finished setting up the starting gates on Thursday.
As with Lumsden, Herrera said he is optimistic motocross will attract the crowds and racers. He said Winnemucca hosted a motocross last weekend as part of its Interstate-80 Challenge and attracted 271 entries.
Working alongside the Octane Fest organizers, Herrera said he has advertised this weekend’s motocross on social media and through fliers. For the Fallon event, he said rider applications will be taken until each race begins. He said riders’ ages will range from 4 to 70 years and older.
“We don’t turn anyone down,” he said.
Lumsden said motocross will bring many outside competitors to the raceway this weekend, and that also will be good for the local economy.
Herrera said Friday’s show, for example, will focus on the smaller bikes and ATVs, while Saturday’s motocross will have the larger bikes.
Opening ceremonies kick off the evening at 6 p.m. followed by motocross from 6:15-10 p.m. and Demolition Derby from 10:15-10:45 p.m. Fireworks close out the show. MX practice is slated for 4-5:30 p.m.
“It will be an awesome show,” Herrera said.
This year’s Octane Fest will last only two days. Aaron Detomasi, one of the Octane Fest organizers, said crews will remove the motocross track on Sunday and prepare for the regular oval track for racing next Saturday. He said the motocross track prevented any oval racing for this weekend.
In addition to this week’s events at Rattlesnake, Detomasi said the annual Show ‘n Shine car show will feature a wide range of classic and newer vehicles. A burnout is planned for 11 a.m.
Detomasi is also handling signups for demolition derby. Signups begin at noon with tech inspections from 1-5 p.m. at the raceway. The derby is open to drivers 18 year of age and older or with parent consent for drivers 16-17 years old.
For information on demolition derby entries, call Detomasi at 775-427-4531 or Ray Blankenship at 775-217-8400.
Octane Fest tickets will be available at the gate — $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors and free for children 10 and under.