Klopp wins IMCA Modified race at Fernley | NevadaAppeal.com

Klopp wins IMCA Modified race at Fernley

Fernley 95A Speedway crowned a new IMCA Modified winner last Saturday night, as Jim Klopp held off a strong challenge from multiple track champion Shawn Natenstedt to capture his first win in the Modified division. There was a wild battle behind the lead pair as well, and when the dust settled Dave Sciarroni scored his best finish of the season in third. Josh Ogg was fourth and Melissa Natenstedt rounded out the top five. Rob Grace cruised to victory over points leader David Rauscher in the Pro Stock division, while the Hobby Stock win went to Rick Miller, who had the car to beat all night. Hobby points leader Carl Barlow was second and Jake Baker third. Kenny Martin had a good night in the Super Stock 4 division, winning both the heat and main over points leader Jesse James, while Rich Innis accomplished the same feat over Mark Serchio Jr. in the Pure Stocks. The track is dark this weekend, returning to action on Sept. 20.

Mackena Bell qualified 16th and finished 16th in the K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway last weekend. It has been one of those seasons for Bell, who has more chance to post a good finish, Sept. 26 at Dover. On the plus side, she’s getting lots of exposure as the spokesperson for Lung Force, and lots of seat time.

The Chase is on! Yes, the 16 combatants for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup are set to do battle at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. Fourteen of the drivers scored at least one win during the season, with the final two making the playoffs on points. The final “regular season” race at Richmond last weekend was a bit of an anticlimax, as none of the winless hopefuls was able squeak in with a victory. Instead, Brad Keselowski scored his fourth win of the season, making him top seed in the Chase with 12 bonus points, based on three points per win. On the other end of the spectrum, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman go into the Chase with no bonus points.

There’s extra pressure to win with the new Chase format, because the bottom four point-scoring Chase drivers will be dropped at the end of the Challenger Round, consisting of Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. Twelve will compete in the Contender round at Kansas, Charlotte, and Talladega, after which four more will be eliminated. The aptly named Eliminator Round is next, with eight drivers competing at Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix. The final four drivers will go for all the marbles at Homestead in the Championship Round, with the Sprint Cup title going to the highest scoring driver.

So although consistency may play a part, winning is the only sure way to advance from round to round. Oh, and remember . . . unlike other sports, there will be 43 drivers on the track at every race, and those not in contention will still be trying to win. So the final four at Homestead will have to contend with 39 other drivers on the track, each with their own agenda. I wasn’t terribly fond of the Chase format when it was first announced, but NASCAR has been tweaking it a little at a time, and I think they’ve finally hit on a winner. Let’s see if the TV ratings and ticket sales bear that out.

The Formula One circus visited Monza last weekend, and the Mercedes team was in a class of its own. Lewis Hamilton is a man on a mission, determined to catch teammate Nico Rosberg for the driver’s points lead. Hamilton set fast time in qualifying, but had a bad start in the race, and it looked like it would be another Rosberg victory. But the German had not one, but two, miscues and Hamilton took advantage of the second one to flash by into the lead and the win. With the final race of the season a double points event, the Mercedes teammate duel looks like it will go down to the wire.