Roger Diez Motorsports Column
Fernley 95A Speedway was back in action last Saturday night after a month layoff. Carl Barlow of Silver Springs scored the best result for local drivers, winning the Hobby Stock main after starting at the rear of the field.
Silver Springs driver Dean Clark finished fourth and Minden’s David Partelow was fifth in Hobby Stock. Gary Nevers topped the locals in the Pro Stock division, scoring a second place. Dean Cichowicz of Mound House was fourth. Local drivers finished third through fifth in the Pure Stock Mini division, in the following order: Bracee Langevin, Fernley; Al Serchio Jr., Stagecoach; and Loghan Cologna, Dayton. Fernley’s Tate Morehead dropped to second on the last lap of the Dwarf Car main, followed home by Minden’s Robert Miller and Shane Ramthun of Carson City. Miller also took third in the IMCA Modified main, with Fernley’s Shawn Natenstedt in fifth. Fernley drivers also won both Outlaw Kart mains: Dale Creiglow took Beginner Box Stock and Cole Reid won Intermediate Box Stock. Fernley 95A Speedway will be back in action next Saturday night. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m.,, racing starts at 6 p.m.
Tony Stewart copied local racer Carl Barlow by coming from the back of the pack after a qualifying penalty to win the Coca-Cola 400 at Daytona last Saturday Night. Polesitter Matt Kenseth dominated most of the race, but a late caution for a multi-car pileup set up the two-lap dash to the finish, which also ended in a big wreck. Crashes also affected the outcome of Friday night’s Nationwide race, denying a very strong-running Danica Patrick a shot at her first NASCAR victory. Kurt Busch took a very emotional win in that one.
Unfortunately, the racing was overshadowed by the suspension of Penske Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger for failing a drug test taken the week prior at Kentucky. Allmendinger tested positive for an unnamed “stimulant”. Allmendinger had elected to have his “B” sample tested, using his own toxicologist and lawyer as provided for in NASCAR’s testing rules. He also was having all his dietary supplements and over the counter medications tested to determine if some ingredient could have triggered the positive test result.
A.J. strongly denied knowingly using any illegal or controlled substances, and I for one believe him. He is one of the most straight-arrow guys in the NASCAR garage. Of course, there are those out there in the fan forums who are ready to accuse him of reefer madness, meth breath, opium smoking, and mainlining heroin, with absolutely no basis for their accusations. On the other hand, there are conspiracy theorists who maintain that unnamed evil entities within NASCAR are using the drug test as a smokescreen to get rid of A.J. I really wish people would just wait until all the facts are in before they shoot off their mouth or their keyboard.
On a much happier note, an American driver is on top of the point standings in the IndyCar series. Ryan Hunter-Reay scored his third straight victory last weekend in Toronto with a solid performance. Like the NASCAR Daytona race, the final laps were a wreck-fest, scrambling the finishing order. But Hunter-Reay’s driving, coupled with good pit strategy, made the win look easy. Whether or not Hunter-Reay can maintain the lead through the rest of the season and take the championship remains to be seen. But win or lose, he will still be racing after IndyCar folds its tent for 2012. Hunter-Reay will be racing in the ALMS Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in an SRT Dodge Viper this fall.
Kyle Busch is on the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire. Judging from the way his season has run so far, I wonder if the local sports book is taking bets on which lap he will hit the wall or blow the engine.