Rattlesnake Raceway opens 2016 season
Rattlesnake Raceway opened its 2016 season with a night of hard racing on April 2.
It also marked the return of the Pro Stocks to the track with the Buehn Motorsports Pro Stock Challenge. The race had a $1,000 to win incentive and was the first round of the Nevada Pro Stock Association’s 10-race series.
For winner Robert Miller it was a day of emotional up and downs. It started when he attended his cousin, Chuck Miller’s funeral. After that there was the long drive back from California to Fallon.
As the awards presentation got going he was overcome with emotion then took a deep breath and said, “I made myself earn it there and you know my head hasn’t been in the game. “All I can say is thanks for everybody coming out, number one thanks to B.J. Pearson sometimes I think he’s crazy but he says get into the machine and drive it. So we do it, I appreciate him for doing that, his crew and like I said this goes out to my cousin Chuck.”
When the green flag waved the 10 Pro Stock racers took off with Miller and Rob Grace nose to tail. One lap later Miller spun out in Turn 1 handing the point to Grace.
As racing resumed Grace took off while Miller began his charge from the back. Six laps into the 30-lap contest Miller was third but well behind the leader.
Then something happened to Grace’s car and he slowed handing the point to James Gonzales. Further back Al Goss was chasing Gary Nevers but their duel ended with a caution causing spin in Turn 1.
By now Miller had retaken the lead and left everyone in his dust. There would be one more spin by Jerry Allec Jr. but up front Miller took the win followed by Gonzales, Darrick Rauscher and Gary Nevers.
At the victory ceremony Tami Buehn presented Miller with his winnings; $1,000 in cash.
Right after the IMCA feature began there was a quick spin by Missy Natenstedt after one lap. Once everyone got into their proper place the green waved again and things got wild.
Coming out of Turn 4 Mark Skender, who was on the front row at the start, was sideways and never really got straightened out going down the front stretch.
This put a couple of cars sideways going into Turn 1. As a result Wade Lumsden took the pit entrance while Jake Aker’s car hit the point where two walls join.
Fortunately everyone was able to get going and on the restart Mike White was on point with Travis White giving chase. Two more cautions slowed the pace but when things got going Mike White still was on point with Shawn Natenstedt giving chase.
In back of the leaders Joe Olschewka had been moving toward the front and was chasing third place Travis White. For Robert Miller this race went sour after receiving two left rear flats.
One more caution slowed things but once again White was on point. With only a few laps to go Olschewka took over second but while he got close White wasn’t about to be denied.
“It’s my first win in a IMCA Modified,” White said after taking the checkered flag. “I want to thank my girlfriend Megan and the family, just can’t say enough about them.”
Sixteen Hobby Stocks took the green when their main began. On point was Dan Edgington with Mikki Beuchat right behind him.
Early on the car of Rob Carey began to smoke and he would soon exit into the pits. Then things slowed due to debris on the track.
When racing resumed Edgington was on point while behind him Dave Ausano, who charged from the back, held fourth place.
A short time later Ausano took second and the chase was on. That was when Edgington’s car slowed and Ausano swept past him into the lead.
At the checkered the delighted Ausano took the win followed by Michael Bartlett and Shane Cazel.
At the awards ceremony on the front straight Ausano said, “You know we had really bad luck in the heat race, tried new tires, had three out of four rub in the heat race, we lost one and finished last. We had to start dead last, my girlfriend it’s her first race she won her heat race so really proud of her. She’s done an amazing job racing with all these old guys out here and I’m super proud of my team, Adam Gilmore, Gilley, he does all my stuff for me.
“We just took this car out of the garage on Wednesday as I’ve been building Tori’s car all winter long and I haven’t touched my car. We barely took it out of the shop on Wednesday, only thing I did to her was ad four tires and about a can and a half of paint. So I’m happy to be here starting dead last.”
The smallest field was for a main consisting of four Super Stock 4 or Mod Mini cars and one Pure Stock driven by high school student Madison Hood in her first ever race.
First on point was Janet Lyford until Dennis Crook flew past her. After that the race was between Lyford and Rich Innis for second.
Further back Hood ran a pretty clean race and finished fourth after the car driven by Travis Showe had problems. But up front it was Crook’s night as he won going away.
At the awards ceremony Crook said, “It’s awesome to be back out at Fallon, I love this place. It’s probably one of my favorite tracks, I’ve taken this car to 17 different tracks and been pretty successful everywhere I go but Fallon is one of my favorite places, I love all the fans, thank you.”
Then he thanked his father, uncle, girl friend and sponsor 10,000 RPM racing clutches and flywheels.
After the cars finished Nevada Pro Stock promoter Gordon Russell was asked his opinion about how the race went and what is coming for the series. He unfortunately he twisted a drive shaft on his car and didn’t race in the main event.
“We’ve got about seven cars that are still building motors, we’ve got 23 signed up, 12 showed up on a first show and we’re okay with that,” he said. “By Fernley or the next one here we should be about 20 cars so we’re good.”
Rounding out the show were the Outlaw Karts. Once again they ran their main events before the cars did theirs and both the Beginner and Box Stock classes had plenty of karts.
Ryall Older was the Beginner winner followed by Austin Enox and Logan Cassel.
The Box Stock Class main wasn’t an artistic success as the young drivers kept running into each other. Probably comes from not driving much over the winter but due to the cautions their race was shortened to eight laps.
Up front Rowyn Shupe and Brysyn Simmeral as well as Robert McBroome took the first three places.
Jacob Dias won the 250cc main and there were four 500cc machines on hand. Chris Annas won that main.