Colodny finishes strong on the road |

Colodny finishes strong on the road

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

By Roger Diez

Local racer Brian Colodny finished his first season in the American Stock Car (ASC) division of the National Auto Racing Association (NASA) with a first place in the Northern California region and fourth place overall in ASC.

Colodny, along with Tom Waters, switched from short track oval racing to road racing a year ago and has taken to it like a duck to water. He told me earlier that he’s going faster than he ever has in his life, and there’s almost no body work to do after a race. Of course when there is, there’s usually a lot of it as Waters found out when he backed into the fence at high speed at Infineon Raceway. A new rear clip later, Waters was able to return to competition as the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and came away with a 10th overall in the final standings.

Speaking of Waters, he heads up motorsports activity for Michael Hohl Motors, one of the sponsors of the Brian Sweeney Celebrity Race for the past two seasons. There’s a strong possibility that Michael Hohl Motors will underwrite a local racing anthology show on CAT-10, our local cable access channel. The exact format hasn’t been determined, but I have been approached to host the show if it happens. I’ll keep you posted as plans progress.

If you don’t yet get SPEED Channel, but like racing and reality shows, you may want to get signed up with your cable or dish provider for next season. SPEED has been granted full access by NASCAR for a reality series based on the Busch Series in 2004. The working title is “NBS 24-7” and it will debut on Feb. 16 with two back-to-back half hour segments. The show will run for 40 weeks, and will follow the fortunes (and misfortunes) of a number of Busch Series drivers and their teams.

The show will focus on activities between races as well as race weekend drama. Obviously, the key to the show is the blessing of NASCAR. The sanctioning body has promised full garage access and the ability to incorporate actual race footage. It promises to bring the race fan into the sport much more closely than ever before. Personally, I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but this is one series I plan to watch.

For the first time since 1985, when Bill Elliott won, the Driver of the Year award has gone to a non-championship winner. Ryan Newman’s eight race wins and 11 poles garnered him a massive number of votes, even though he finished sixth in points in NASCAR’s Winston Cup series. Other drivers receiving votes were CART Champion Paul Tracy, Steve Kinser from the World of Outlaws, Matt Kenseth (Winston Cup Champion), NHRA drivers Greg Anderson and Kenny Bernstein, IRL pilots Sam Hornish Jr. and Scott Dixon, and USAC Triple Crown winner J.J. Yeley. Newman not only dominated voting by the press professionals, but also garnered 44 percent of the fan votes as well.

Given our recent weather pattern, I figure it’s time for my annual winter driving tips. Remember, driving on ice and snow is a lot like driving a racecar, only at a lot slower rate of speed. The secret to going fast in a racecar is staying right on the limit of adhesion, using every bit of grip in your tires. Same on slippery surfaces, but due to a much lower coefficient of friction, the laws of physics come into play much earlier in the speed curve.

The secret is to do the same things that make for successful racecar driving. 1) Anticipate. Look a little further ahead, because it’s going to take you longer to stop. Leave a bit more distance between you and the car ahead, and be ready to react if things get out of control. 2) Be smooth. Hard braking or accelerating, big or jerky movements of the steering wheel, all tend to upset the car’s balance and overload the tires’ ability to cope. Ease into the throttle, brake early and gently, move the wheel smoothly. And if things get too bad, stay home and watch the SPEED channel until it thaws out.

Roger Diez is the Nevada Appeal Motorsports Columnist. Contact him at