Miller Wins Another at Reno-Fernley
Appeal Motorsports Columnist
FERNLEY – Five racing divisions took to the track at Reno-Fernley Raceway Saturday night, with drivers working their way from the back of the field to the front in three of the main events.
It took Robert Miller of Gardnerville eight laps to work his way to the front in the IMCA Modified Main, and he never looked back.
Lovelock’s Galen Reese led the first couple of laps until Rick Davis of Sparks took over. Davis spun out of contention two laps later, putting Scott Foreman of Susanville into the lead until Miller chased him down.
At that point the race for the lead was effectively over. Joe Frock followed Miller through the pack and seemed to be the only car with a remote shot at the lead when the yellow flag flew on lap 10. But Miller pulled away effortlessly on the restart, resigning Frock to second place.
The action behind them was fast and furious, and when the checker flew the order was Miller, Frock, Reno’s Conrad Wilson, Shawn Natenstedt of Fernley, and Foreman.
Natenstedt and James Thibodeau of Tonopah won the heat races.
Brian Coclich of Carson City, still driving a loner car from his brother Chris, shot to the front at the start of the Modified Mini Main, with Tracy, Calif., driver Matt Borges glued to his rear bumper and half the field jockeying for position behind them.
After a brief caution for a tangle between Sparks driver Danyale Urban and Fernley’s Robert Pearson, Coclich lost the handle in turn one and spun all the way to the rear of the field. Stephen Crook and Dan Andreason, both from Sparks, worked their way through the field and were soon challenging Dennis Crook of Fernley for position.
Andreason moved into second and made a run on leader Borges, passing for the lead coming to the white flag. Borges fought back to no avail, and Andreason took the checker. Borges hung on for second, followed by Stephen Crook, Dennis Crook, and Fernley’s Melissa Natenstedt. Richard Scott of Fernley and Stephen Crook were victorious in the heat races.
The popular Hobby Stock division fielded 26 cars, only 18 of which would start the A Main. Twelve drivers, four from each of three heats, were seeded in the main, with a B main determining the final six spots in the A.
David Ausano was impressive in the B main, dominating the event and winning by a wide margin.
Rookie Cody Myers of Browns Valley, Calif. grabbed the A main lead at the green flag, holding off a field of veteran drivers through a series of yellow flags and restarts. He was eventually slowed by a handling problem, handing the lead to Steve Rauscher of Sun Valley. Rauscher battled with Chris O’Neill of Winnemucca for the lead until the pair was joined by former division Champion Dean Clark, who slotted into second behind Rauscher.
On the last lap a multi-car pileup on the back straight involving O’Neill and half a dozen other cars scrambled the running order and the race ended with the yellow and checkered flags both flying.
Rauscher held Clark off for the win, while Fernley’s Joe Pierson (who got married Saturday morning) drove through the last-lap melee for third. William Richey of Reno was fourth, with Gary Serpa of Stagecoach rounding out the top five. Heat race wins went to Rick Miller of Sun Valley, Joe Specchio III of Fernley, and Clark.
The always entertaining Dwarf cars have become a regular feature at Reno-Fernley and they were back Saturday night. Reece Wilson of Reno shot to the front at the green flag and began building a commanding lead. Bill Brown and Billy Wilson, both of Carson City, battled for second while Minden’s Vuki Wilson and Charlie Correia of Tracy came from the back of the pack to join the leaders.
It looked as though Reece Wilson could not be caught until a late yellow flag bunched the field. Correia ambushed Reece on the restart, and pulled away to victory. The next three places went to the Wilson family, with Reece in second, Vuki third, and Billy fourth. Brown rounded out the top five.
Reece Wilson and Correia won their heat races.
The entry-level Pure Stock division saw a first-time winner, as rookie Matt Sherman of Fernley led wire to wire. It was not an easy victory, as Sherman had to sweat out several restarts and a late challenge from veteran Aaron McIlvain of Silver Springs, who came from dead last to vie for the lead. Sherman held off the charging McIlvain to take the checker, with Doug Davis of Fernley a strong third. Yerington’s Joshua Long, who was in contention all race long, ended up fourth with Reno’s Charissa Hast in fifth.
Long and Davis split the heat race wins.
The 3/8-mile dirt oval at Reno-Fernley Raceway is dark this coming Saturday, with racing action to resume June 25 with the Mike and Mandy Specchio Pennant and Kid’s Ride night. IMCA Modifieds, Pro Stock, Hobby Stock, Modified Mini, and Pure Stock divisions will race.
n Contact Roger Diez at Racytalker@aol.com