Local drivers still racing | NevadaAppeal.com

Local drivers still racing

Roger Diez
Appeal Motorsports Columnist

Even though Champion Speedway is closed, Carson City racers race on. The Goss brothers, Big Al and Ed, as well as Vince Malone and Dave Sciarroni, competed in the Western States Shootout at Reno-Fernley Raceway last weekend.

And we still have some local drivers involved with the Westcar Late Model Series, which ran four 100-lap races at Champion in 2005. In the Sept. 24 season finale at All American Speedway in Roseville, Sparks driver Rich Lawlor set fast qualifying time and finished fourth in the main, while Chet Danburg of Carson City finished 17th in the main and Kenny Crome of Reno was 20th.

Carson City’s C.J. Bawden took part in the North State Challenge Series for Super Late Models season finale, just getting bumped off of fast qualifying time late in the session by Eric Graham of Ukiah. He went on to finish sixth in Sunday’s 100 lap main after a spirited battle with Graham for fifth.

Speaking of Champion Speedway, I drove down Snyder Avenue on Friday and noticed that all the track structures are still standing, even though I had been informed that demolition was to have taken place shortly after the last race. I tried to contact former track general manager Les Kynett for an update, but my call had not been returned at press time.

Rumors of a replacement for Champion continue to circulate. The latest one I’ve heard is that former Champion promoter Jeb Onweiler is trying to make something happen on tribal land south and west of Indian Hills. And there’s still the potential of a track east of town on Highway 50 near the Lyon County line, but that appears to be on indefinite hold at the moment.

It must be pretty bad when your own grandfather fires you, but that’s just what happened to Indy Racing League driver A.J. Foyt IV. The youngest driver (at 19) to compete in the Indy 500 and the IRL, Foyt has been fairly uncompetitive in Indy cars after a reasonably successful career in karts and smaller formula cars. But he has made a number of controversial moves this past season, including taking out one of the front-runners at the IRL’s inaugural road race in Florida. Both Foyts are putting the best face on the separation, with hints that the young A.J. has his sights on NASCAR.

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And you thought Robby Gordon caught a lot of flak from the NASCAR veterans! Wait until young Foyt gets out there with the good ol’ boys!

Kevin Harvick’s crew chief on the No. 29 Nextel Cup car, Ed Berrier, has appealed a two-race suspension levied by NASCAR after irregularities were found in the fuel cell mounting and the rear deck lid after qualifying. Harvick was sent to the back of the pack and Berrier was sent home. Subsequently he was fined $10,000, suspended for two races, and put on probation until Dec. 31. Given Berrier’s history this season (a four-race suspension for a blatantly illegal fuel cell modification at Las Vegas), I’d say his chances of winning the appeal are slim to none. While he’s off the Nextel Circuit, maybe he can hook up with O.J. Simpson and search for the “real cheater.”

I pride myself on being accurate in this column, so it pains me when somebody points out an error. But I have to ‘fess up to a case of “brain fade” a couple of weeks ago when I trusted to memory and discovered that it was faulty . . . chalk it up to “old-timers” disease.

I said that the Segway personal transport device was made in Minden, and that was incorrect. I got the company confused with the Go-Ped folks, who actually are in Minden. Go-Ped makes a wide variety of motorized scooters, both gas and electric, but they are of the conventional design with wheels front and back, rather than side by side.

They also have a line of four-wheeled karts, and their products are a great deal more affordable than the Segway’s $5000 price tag. Check them out on the web at [ http://www.goped.com/ ]www.goped.com.

n Roger Diez is the Nevada Appeal Motorsports Columnist. He can be reached at Racytalker@aol.com