Legends meet to discuss agenda
About 20 legends drivers and car owners recently met at the Fourth Turn Grill and Sports Bar in Reno to discuss a racing agenda, prize and points funds, and establish priorities amongst the racing group.
“A lot of brainstorming by a lot of people has taken place, and we’re here tonight just to help the group move forward,” said Walt Ferrin, legends car owner/driver speaking to the group.
“We want to get a consensus from you, of where we want to go.”
Ferrin along with drivers George Weeks and Mike Wright, put together a schedule of possible races at tracks in California, Nevada and Utah. The drivers voted on which track they want to race at on each given weekend, with the majority vote to rule.
A prize fund of more than $14,000 has been raised to entice drivers to commit to the schedule, which runs over an 8-month period. Racetrack facilities include Reno-Fernley Raceway, Las Vegas, Stockton (Calif.), Shasta (Calif.), Ukiah (Calif.), Altamont (Calif.), Madera (Calif.), Salt Lake City (Utah), and Silver State Raceway in Carson City.
All tracks are asphalt oval, with the exception of Reno-Fernley, which is a clay oval. Most of the drivers attending the meeting have their cars set up to run asphalt. It doesn’t take too much work to change set-ups from dirt to asphalt, but dirt track racing is harder on the engine.
Liz and Graham Murray of Reno recently purchased the No. 21n car from John Burritt, the 1999 Silver State Raceway legends track champion.
“Graham and I talked about both of us racing the car, but after talking with several other people, it would take too much time to change the set-up on the car, since he and I are two very different sizes,” said Liz.
After further consideration, it will be Liz who will drive the car this year.
“I’m really excited to get started,” added Liz. “I can’t wait. Some friends have said the men (racers) can be very intimidating at the racetrack. I don’t think so, but I’ll still give it my best shot.”
“Everything that’s come together tonight is fantastic,” said Carson City driver C.J. Bawden.
“I personally won’t be racing on dirt. But if we can all get on the same page at the same time, we’ll have another good year. And most of us didn’t buy cars to win money – we bought cars to go racing and have fun.”
Ferrin did point out the group does have to have 16 scheduled and completed races to distribute the $14,000 points fund, which seemed to be the priority for a couple of drivers, as well as the issue of respect. He said accomplishing this should not be a problem, as it averages out to two races per month. But the cost of traveling may be too much for some drivers and their crew.
“I think it would be fun to travel together, as a group, to California or Salt Lake City,” said Jovon Halen of Carson City. “I do know that it can be expensive to travel. I’ve been there.”
Director of Competition at Silver State Raceway Robert Kline has secured sponsorship for the legends drivers racing at the track, for one paid race per month. David Asher, manager of Reno-Fernley Raceway, is offering a $500 per race purse to the legends, with a required 12-car count minimum. If 12 cars are not signed to race, it will be the drivers’ choice as to how the money will be distributed. Reno-Fernley has set aside one Saturday per month for the legends cars.
“We’re not here to make money off of the drivers,” said Asher. “We will guarantee to give back the entry fee, at least, to each driver if not all 12 cars or more show. We’d rather make our money off of the fans in the stands that come to watch the race.”
Asher said Reno-Fernley will have officials for legends racing, but the drivers will have to supply their own scorers. All points awarded will be by the INEX points system. INEX is the governing body for legends racing.
At Silver State Raceway, officials including scorekeepers are available to all racing series – regulars or visiting, as well as track crew.
Wright, Ferrin and Weeks will finalize the legends schedule and decide on becoming an association with elected officers in the near future.
Silver State Raceway will hold two practice days on March 11 and 18 for all racing series, Reno-Fernley will have open practice sessions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday in March and the first Saturday in April.