Pair of Carson drivers pull out wins
Pair of Carson drivers pull out wins
BY ROGER DIEZ
Appeal MotorSports Writer
It was a hot July night at Reno-Fernley Raceway as New West Distributing sponsored T-shirt night at the races. Five racing divisions competed, and the show was bolstered by a special keg relay race at intermission. The heat races ran without a single caution flag until the last lap of the final heat, but the mains were not quite so caution-free.
FLORES WINS PURE STOCK
The Pure Stock division main was not kind to front-runners, as problems befell a number of race leaders and others running in the top three. Carson City driver Greg Salaces grabbed the lead at the green with Fernley’s Pete Moore, Reno’s Tim Cremeans, Linda Crook of Fernley, and John Schilling of Stagecoach in tow.
Points leader Jason Flores of Reno started dead last, but wasted no time moving up through the 15-car field and was soon in the top five. Cremeans spun in turn two and dropped back into the field while Flores advanced to second behind Moore, who had passed Salaces for the lead.
As Flores tried to make a pass in turn two he collided with Moore, spinning both cars. Flores recovered first and rejoined in third while the whole pack went by before Moore could get his car moving. This put Crook into the lead while Flores passed Fernley’s Doug Davis to take over second. Then Crook spun all by herself coming off turn four and Flores took over the lead and romped home to the checker unchallenged.
The final finishing order was Flores, Cremeans, Davis, Gordon Hughes of Sun Valley, and Reno’s Michael Geirrine in the top five. Cremeans and John Schilling of Stagecoach each won a heat race.
CARSON’S RAMTHUN TAKES HOBBY STOCK
The Hobby Stocks rolled out next with one of their largest fields of the season, 23 cars. Jimmy Berhorst of Silver Springs led the field into turn one at the green, followed by Josh Ogg of Sparks, Dayton’s Royce Goetz, and Fernley drivers Nick Reid and Rick Duncan.
Shane Ramthun of Carson City, Reno’s Rick Miller, and Sparks driver Rich Italiano were all moving toward the front from deep in the field. Just as Josh Ogg got around Berhorst for the lead, a multi-car tangle in turns three and four brought out the first caution of the race. Billy Anderson of Round Mountain got a good run on the restart and took over the lead with Ogg, Ramthun, Berhorst, and Reid in hot pursuit.
Italiano made his way up to fifth with Miller in sixth right behind him, but Italiano lost ground with a trip through the infield to avoid a spinning Berhorst. Anderson’s car began to show smoke at the rear, which got heavier every lap, but didn’t slow him up any. The caution flag flew again when Duncan spun in turn two.
As if to prove the adage “cautions breed cautions”, a three-car crash in turn one on the restart kept the field bunched. The following restart featured both the green and white flags, but it wasn’t the last lap. An incident that spread from the back straight into turn four involved about half the field brought out the red flag. Fortunately, no injuries resulted, but the incident set up another one-lap shootout.
Ramthun took the green flag in front of the field, and held off a strong challenge from Ogg to take the win. At the checker, it was Ramthun, Ogg, Italiano, Miller, and Berhorst finishing first through fifth. Heat race wins went to Miller, Reno’s Michael Reid, and David Clark of Silver Springs.
ROSSE TOP DWARF
Reno-Fernley’s newest regular racing division, the popular Dwarf cars, continues to provide large fields and great racing, with 22 starters rolling out for the pace lap. Disaster struck at the green, as Minden’s Reece Wilson blew his engine, spewing oil from turn three to halfway up the front straight and bringing out a red flag while track crews spread oil-dry to soak up the slippery stuff.
On the second attempt at a start, several cars got wadded up in turn three, causing another restart. When the green flew again Skip Hempler of Zephyr Cove took the lead with Carson City’s Bill Brown, Billy Canham of Sparks, Reno’s Joe Frock, and Jeff Shurley of Carson City on his rear bumper.
Hempler opened up a gap on his pursuers as Carson City’s Derek Rosse advanced to sixth behind Shurley, the most recent Dwarf main winner. A caution flag bunched the field, and on the restart Rosse got a dynamite run and surged to the front ahead of Canham, Hempler, Frock, and Billy Wilson of Minden.
Rosse opened up a comfortable lead on the field and looked to have an easy cruise to the checker when the caution flew again for a spin by Truckee’s David Richardson. With the field bunched behind Rosse the green and white flags flew together, starting a furious final lap.
Rosse held off all comers to take the win. Canham edged Billy Wilson for second, and Hempler held off Shurley for fourth. Rosse made it a perfect evening by scoring both a main and a heat race win, while Vuki Wilson and Reece Wilson won the other two heats.
SPECCHIO DOUBLE DIPS
Reno driver Mark Hain had a great start in the Pro Stock main, but it was all downhill for him from there. Hain lost the handle in turn four on the second lap and spun into the infield, rejoining at the back of the pack while Reno’s Kenny Schmitt assumed the lead. Joe Specchio Jr. of Fernley hooked up with Schmitt and the pair opened a lead on the next group, consisting of Reno’s Scott Doich, Rob Grace of Fallon, and Carson City’s Big Al Goss.
Points leader Travis Peterson started dead last on the field, but was working his way up through the pack, moving to seventh. At the front Specchio was mounting a challenge for the lead, and after some side-by-side racing with Schmitt, Specchio took over the position.
Once by, Specchio opened a comfortable gap while Schmitt ran all by himself in second well ahead of the Doich/Grace battle for third. A spin in turn two by Peterson brought out the caution and bunched the field.
On the restart Peterson nudged Hain out of the way to pass on the front straight and Hain returned the favor in turn one, spinning Peterson out. Hain received a black flag for his trouble, ending a race that started on a high note for him.
Specchio held firmly on to the lead on the final restart, taking the win ahead of Doich in second, Schmitt third, Carl Barlow of Silver Springs fourth, and Al Goss fifth. Specchio also won his heat race, with the second heat victory going to Peterson.
YERINGTON DRIVER CAPTURES IMCA MODIFIEDS
The IMCA Modified division rolled out for the final race of the evening, with a good field of 19 cars. Polesitter David Ausano of Fernley took the lead at the green, followed by Carson City’s Tom Purcell, Dayton’s Robert Smotherman, and Gene Kay of Yerington.
The first caution flew as a wheel came off one of the cars, and on the restart Purcell surged to the lead only to be quickly passed by Kay.
As Kay opened a gap, first-year Modified driver Purcell battled with veteran drivers, losing a few places but not without a fight. The caution flew again as Ausano spun in turn two, and coming through turn four after the restart Gardnerville’s Robert Miller punted Smotherman into the infield, receiving the black flag for the incident.
When the race resumed, Carson City’s Steve McGee joined battle with Kay for the lead. The pair ran side by side for half a dozen laps, McGee on the outside, Kay on the inside. Eventually, it appeared that McGee’s tires gave up and he dropped back, leaving Kay in sole possession of first place.
Kay then cruised to the checker, followed home by McGee, Rich Hill of Sparks, David Ellsworth of Loyalton, Calif., and Purcell. Kay and Ausano each took a heat race victory.
Next Saturday night the Sprint 100, Pro Four, Legends, and 318 Modified divisions will take to the 3/8 mile clay oval at Reno Fernley Raceway. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m., with racing action starting at 6. For more information, call 775-575-7217 or go to http://www.renofernleyraceway.com