Fast and exciting action at Fernley
Opening day at Fernley 95A Speedway last Saturday was welcomed by fans and racers alike. A large crowd in the stands and the tailgate section were treated to some fast and exciting racing, with a total of 54 racers on hand to compete.
Robert Miller used his new IMCA Modified to good effect, leading from the green flag and holding that lead all the way to the checker. Behind him the racing was furious, with a number of drivers in contention for a top five spot. Jake Holland hung with Miller until Ryan McDaniel passed him for second late in the race. Holland had to settle for third ahead of Darrell Hughes and Shawn Natenstedt. A late- race multi-car crash in turn four thinned the 22 car starting field to 13 finishers.
Jay Sears took the Pro Stock victory with Gary Nevers chasing him to the checkered flag. Nevers was followed home by Rob Grace, Gordon Russell, and David Rauscher, who was sporting a polished metal finish on his car. David Ausano scored a wire-to-wire win in the Street Stock division, besting Dwight Bolton, Rick Miller, Jesse Vankol, and Tom Haxall.
With Carl Barlow moving up to the Modified division this year, the Street Stock title is up for grabs. Bobby Wilson and Rodney Sweet staged a two-car grudge match at the front of the Dwarf car main event, well out in front of the rest of the field. Billy Wilson came home third, followed by Roy Peterson and Calvin Ryle.
Former track champion Kenny Martin brought home the trophy in the Super Stock 4 division with a fast Danielle Paine coming home second. Attrition pared the field down to just three finishers, with Aaron Mcilvaine rounding out the field at the checker.
And defending champion Rich Innis spanked the Pure Stock division, taking the checker ahead of Jim Paulk and Trevor Quell. The 3/8 mile clay oval will be back in action on April 11, with races starting at 2 pm.
Elsewhere in the racing world, Denny Hamlin became the latest entry into NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship with his victory at Martinsville; Juan Pablo Montoya beat teammate and defending IndyCar champion to the checkered flag at the St. Petersburg season opener; and Sebastian Vettel scored his first win for Ferrari in Malaysia’s Formula One race, confounding the Mercedes team.
There are three things you don’t mess with in NASCAR: the engine, the fuel, and the tires. Last week, tires were the latest subject of a cheating scandal, as Ryan Newman’s Richard Childress Chevrolet team was slapped with NASCAR’s severe P5 penalties. You see, air pressure in the tires rises as the tires heat up, so pressure is lower than ideal at the start of a run, and perhaps higher than ideal at the end of it. Formula One uses tire warmers to overcome this problem, but they are illegal in NASCAR. So are methods of rigging tires so pressure bleeds off as it builds up, but Newman’s team apparently thought it had found a way to do this without getting caught. But NASCAR caught it anyway, and as a result Newman lost 75 driver points, Childress lost 75 owner points, crew chief Luke Lambert lost $125,000, and various crew members were suspended and issued probation. So other teams who may be doing something similar are warned NASCAR isn’t going to put up with this form of cheating.
The debut of IndyCar’s aero kits at St. Petersburg Sunday pointed out one major flaw in the program. The new multi-tiered front wings proved to be exceedingly fragile, causing multiple cautions for debris as even minor contact caused the wings to scatter bits and pieces all over the race track. Some sort of fix is in order, or the season is going set records for the number of debris flags.
This is a dry weekend for race fans, with NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, NHRA, and even the Tudor United Sports Car series dark. However, I understand there’s some sort of college basketball tournament going on, so you might want to watch that. Happy Easter, everyone.