Roger Diez: Kofoid, 11, picks up first win at RTF
Reno-Tahoe-Fernley had a full night of racing action last Saturday. Walter Ball won the makeup race for the IMCA Modifieds, beating Mark Skender and Josh Ogg to the flag. Justin Wilson drove a perfect race to take the pure stock main, out-running points leader Travis Barr (who was disqualified in post-race inspection). Jesse James won a two-car duel over David Ausano in Mod Mini, while Royce Goetz held off a charging Carl Barlow to take the Hobby Stock main.
In Pro Stock, Jack Randall beat Russ Cazier to the flag, and Steve Evenson won a wild IMCA Modified main ahead of Ball and Melissa Natenstedt. But the highlight of the night was the KWS Lite main, which marked the first sprint car win for 11-year-old Michael “Buddy” Kofoid. The crowd at the track may just have seen the next Jeff Gordon in action. Racing resumes at the high-banked clay oval with a two-day King of the West sprint car show next Friday and Saturday. Included on both nights will be a Dwarf car invitational and the KWS Lites, with IMCA Modifieds also on the card for Saturday. Check http://www.rtfspeedway.com for ticket prices and start times.
Carson City’s Mackena Bell started well in the K&N Pro Series East round at Langley Speedway last Saturday, running third fastest in the first practice session. With qualifying rained out, she started 10th, ran as high as sixth, and finished 11th. The telecast on Thursday had a nice driver bio feature on her. Mackena’s next race will be on July 13 at the 1/3 mile Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio.
The car show season is in full swing, with the Karson Kruzers’ Run What Ya Brung show at Fuji Park today. There is plenty of shade at the park, but you might want to get there early to avoid the afternoon heat.
I enjoyed watching the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma last weekend, particularly the in-car stuff. I used to race there, and I was using plenty of “body English” while watching from my recliner! The Cup cars race at Kentucky Speedway this weekend, with the race telecast beginning on TNT at 4:30 p.m.
But the on-track action has taken a back seat to a tempest stirred up by Kyle Petty, who has never been known to sugarcoat his opinions. Petty’s pronouncement that Danica Patrick “is not a race car driver,” but just a marketing machine, was immediately negated by Dale Earnhardt Jr., for whom Patrick drove in the Nationwide series last year. Personally, I think that someone who has led the Indy 500, won an IndyCar race, and sat on the pole at Daytona qualifies as a race car driver. I’m sure the racing forums will be rife with opinions on both sides of this one.
Formula One is back in action this week after a three-week hiatus, racing at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. The big off-track news from F1 is Mark Webber’s announcement that he will retire from the series at the end of the season to head up Porsche’s Lemans Prototype program. Now the question is whether Red Bull will promote one of the young Toro Rosso drivers to his seat for 2014, or try to lure Kimi Raikkonen away from Lotus. Silly season is starting early this year.
Finally, on a sad note, the racing world experienced the loss of yet another driver when Allan Simonsen died in a crash in the early laps of the 24 Hours of Lemans. His death precipitated a very comprehensive study of racing driver fatalities written by two doctors who also race, Dr. Jim Lowe and Dr. Jim Norman. If you’re interested, you can read the article online at http://blog.parathyroid.com/race-car-deaths-medical-causes-racing-deaths/#.Uce_Qb1ev-s.facebook. Thanks to Doug Martin for the link.