Nevada open-wheel racing teams preparing for 2008 season |

Nevada open-wheel racing teams preparing for 2008 season

Rhonda Costa-Landers/Nevada Appeal DNA Racing teammates Amy Barnes and Eric Silsby work on the chassis of Silsby's supermodified racecar recently in preparation for the 2008 Supermodified Racing Association season. Silsby runs the No. 66, Barnes will be in the No. 67.

By Rhonda Costa-Landers

Appeal Staff Writer

Seven cars representing five teams from Northern Nevada are preparing for the 2008 Supermodified Racing Association season.

From Minden is DNA Racing, with drivers Amy Barnes and Eric Silsby, who are among the top candidates for the series.

In their third year together, Silsby brings 10 years experience in a supermodified; Barnes has three. They both feel their racing skills can take them to a championship.

“I want to race for a championship,” Barnes said. “I don’t want it handed to me.

“If we maintain the cars a little better this year, we’ll be OK.”

Barnes is owner of The Pit Stop Deli in Minden, a full-time mother to son Gavin, and supplies sandwiches, donuts and assorted snacks to all area 7-Elevens. She does all invoicing, is a back-up delivery driver and provides a concession stand at special events in the area.

Silsby works at Quality Heating and Sheet Metal in Carson City, and has a son, Ryan.

Silsby said consistency and upkeep on the racecars are key to being top-5 finishers each race.

“Getting the handling better, being consistent and finishing each race is the key,” Silsby said. “I’d like to see us win some races this year.

“I respect Troy and the other racers, but they can be beat. We’ve just got to stay on it.”

Being teammates has its good and bad points for Barnes and Silsby, who are also significant others.

“We have different driving styles so we can take our on-track experiences only so far,” Silsby said.

“I like my car tighter, she likes her’s a little loose.”

Janssen Motorsports is owned by Whitey Janssen of Dayton, who returns to supermodified racing after a one-year hiatus. Janssen will be joined by rookie driver Doug Gould of Alameda, Calif.

“For whatever it’s worth, we’re gonna give it a try,” Janssen said. “We’re not much of team, it’s just me and Doug.”

Like many others, Janssen hopes the economy doesn’t prohibit drivers from making the scheduled races.

“The potential of this series is sprouting,” he said. “I’m excited about what’s going on with the SMRA.

“I’d like to see it become big enough to get some sponsors on board to help pay with fuel expenses – moreso than points money. I wish everybody the best of luck this season and hopefully the (racing) family stays tight and makes this thing work on a positive note.”

At 53, it’s hard to call Gould a rookie. However, he is in open wheel racing, but used to race a gas dragster about 30 years ago.

“My goal is to not get hurt or hurt anybody,” Gould said with a chuckle. “I’ll be happy to get some seat time. More time on the track and get to know the car.”

The SMRA kicks off its season April 5 at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif. For information, visit

Next week’s story will feature the single-car teams of C&M Racing of Reno, and Dale Lamborn and S&S Motorsports, both of Carson City.

DNA Racing, Danny and Kathy Barnes of Minden owners

Car No. 66 – Eric Silsby

Chassis: Hyder/Silsby

Engine: 410-supermodified by Ed Hansen

Born: May 1, 1967

Resides: Minden

Car No. 67 – Amy Barnes

Chassis: Hyder/Silsby

Engine: 360-supermodified by Ed Hansen

Born: Jan. 26, 1981

Resides: Minden

Sponsors: Model Dairy; S&S Motorsports; Sierra Racing Products (Ron Burdg)

Crew: Gavin Corletto, Danny Barnes, Baron Bridgeman, Glenn Koehler, Kathy Barnes, Grandpa Barnes

Janssen Motorsports, Whitey Janssen owner

Car No. 50

Chassis: Hyder

Engine: Wesmar

Driver: Whitey Janssen

Born: Sept. 19, 1948

Resides: Dayton

Sponsors: Janssen’s Place Auto Body; BASF, The Chemical Company; BHJ Products

Crew: Doug Gould


Car No. 50A,

Chassis: Janssen-modified Belfiore

360 supermodified

Engine: Built by S&S Automotive

Driver: Doug Gould

Born: Aug. 18, 1954

Resides: Alameda, Calif.

Crew: Whitey Janssen

Sponsors: Janssen’s Place Auto Body; BASF, The Chemical Company; BHJ Products

About a supermodified

Chassis: Silsby and Hyder are most common

Engine: Brodix aluminum block; 410 cubic-inch most popular

Weight: 1725 pounds w/driver post-race; 68 percent (maximum) left side weight, 32 percent right side weight

Fuel: Methanol

Tires: Hoosier

Wheelbase: 92-inch (average)

Wing: 2400 square-inches top wing; 500 square-inches nose wing

What: An open-wheel race car which runs on asphalt (tracks sized 1-mile or less), capable of producing 800 or more horsepower

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Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.