Regier wins 81st career race
Special to the Nevada Appeal
LAS VEGAS — Carson City’s S&S Motorsports supermodified team has added another championship to their prestigious racing history as driver Troy Regier of Dinuba, Calif. won his 81st career supermodified race at The Bullring in Las Vegas Saturday, and without even having to show at the racetrack, picked up his eighth supermodified championship, the fifth of his six years driving for Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw, owners of S&S Motorsports.
Regier’s final point margin over second place in the Supermodified Racing Association standings, 319 points. Regier ended the season with 2083 points; Jeff Russell of Boise, Idaho, had 1764, and third in the standings is A.J. Russell of Clovis, Calif., with 1733. The Russells, (no relation) were battling for the second position for the past several races.
The night’s program consisted of qualifying, two 8-lap heat races and a 50-lap main event. Regier qualified second-fast and finished second in the second heat. His starting position for the main event was eighth, fourth row outside.
Jim Birges, who began in the sixth position, immediately worked the first five cars outside then inside and took over the lead on lap 2. Birges appeared to be headed to an easy win as by lap 17 had created a half-lap lead over the second position, which now belonged to Regier. Incredibly, in just four laps, Regier made up the distance of that half lap and drove hard into turn 3-4, pulled even with Birges as they drove out of 4, passing him at the start/finish line at lap 22.
On lap 24, a caution came out for the 8x car of George Greenway of Tollhouse, Calif., who blew a driveline coming out of 4, which damaged the fuel line. His car came to a stop at the top of turn 1, leaking fuel. A red flag was called for the cleanup.
At the restart it was Regier with the lead, Bryan Warf of Meridian, Idaho in second, Kirk Wartman of Boise third, Tim Skogland of Fresno fourth and Jeff Russell fifth. The race went green the remainder of the way as Regier held his lead over Warf, who stayed within three car lengths to the checkered flag. At the finish it was Regier, Warf, Jeff Russell, Skogland, Rick Cameron of Scotts Valley, Calif., Wartman, Willie Northamer of Sanger, Calif., Birges, who left the race on lap 26 with his car overheating, Greenway, AJ Russell and Ray Stebbins of Kent, Wash. Not making the call for the main event was Justin Mack of Kennewick, Wash., who blew a head gasket earlier in the evening.
“Troy was really hauling ass tonight,” said Tom Silsby. “He quickly caught Birges after he got out of those slower cars. Man he was flying.”
“We were fast tonight,” Regier agreed. “I was a little concerned earlier in the evening the new set of tires we put on didn’t give me as much grip, there was actually a little vibration from them. And I had to work that car to catch up to Jim. My shoulders are sore from driving so hard in 3-4.”
Shaw said they made only minor changes on the car all day. A wing adjustment and rebound on the left side shock.
“Pretty much that car was left in its setup from the last Madera race in September,” Shaw said. “But this is a good way to end the season, having won five of the last six races. If we could only have done better the first half, when we suffered part failures and wrecked. But then we got on a roll.
“Wse owe thanks to our sponsors, Ron Burdg and Sierra Racing Products, Capital City Auto Parts (NAPA), Regier Farms and Donn Simons.
“And a big thanks to our crew; Rick Barba and John Stewart, and a special thanks to Mike Burts who has been a big help to us this year. We worked together as a strong team and it pays off.”
“I have to give credit to my team again, they gave me a great racecar,” Regier said. I had my work cut out for me to catch Jim.”
Regier has said earlier in the 2009 season he has intentions of retiring to spend more time with his family. However, when asked after the main event in the pits with his crew, he said he will be talking with car owners Shaw and Silsby later this week to discuss their future together.
Regier has held qualifying records at nearly every racetrack he’s raced on and at Las Vegas, has won every main event run by a supermodified racing association.
For information on the Supermodified Racing Association, visit http://www.smrasupermods.com.