Roger Diez: Serchio Junior extends points lead at Fernley 95A
Heat race and main event wins last Saturday night at Fernley 95A Speedway, extended Mark Serchio Junior’s point lead to nine in the Pure Stock division. Anthony Adams finished third in each race and Rich Innis finished second in both, pulling to within two points of Adams. Justin Busch won both the heat and the main in the Super Stock 4 division, while Kenny Martin’s second in the heat and fifth in the main kept him nine points ahead of Jesse James for the points lead. Joe Frock and Bobby Wilson were the class of the Dwarf Car field, each winning a heat race and finishing one-two in the main, with Frock taking the checker. Points leader Carl Barlow failed to win the Hobby Stock main for the second week in a row, running second to Jake Baker. Barlow did post a heat race win, however. Rob Grace won both heat and main in the Pro Stock division, with Malen Gonzalez second in the heat and David Rauscher runner-up in the feature. Cory Sample extended his point lead in the IMCA Modified division with his third main event victory of the season, holding off Josh Ogg, Travis White, and Mark Skender for the victory. Skender and Tate Morehead scored heat race wins.
Fernley 95A Speedway will be back in action July 12. Rattlesnake Raceway in Fallon is staging a two-day event this weekend with the Hobby Stock Classic Challenge on tap for tonight as well as all racing classes plus Outlaw Karts.
This is one of the busiest race weekends of the year, with the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Daytona tonight, Formula 1 at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, and IndyCar at Pocono for the second leg of the Triple Crown. Tonight’s Sprint Cup race may be delayed, as the Weather Channel is predicting scattered thunderstorms through the weekend in the Daytona area. We could experience something similar to the Daytona 500 a couple of years ago, with the exception of Juan Montoya taking out a jet dryer. Much of Thursday’s practice was rained out, and Friday qualifying was called for rain after the first of three knockout sessions. The surprise front row for tonight’s race will be David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson.
Daytona is one of those “wild card” races that can upset a team’s Chase aspirations in a heartbeat. We still have only 10 race winners, with Brad Keselowski becoming the latest two-time winner last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. It’s looking more and more as if at least a few drivers will be making the Chase on points, which alters a team’s mindset considerably. Do you get conservative and protect your points position, or do you get aggressive and go for the win that will secure you a Chase berth? There will be a lot of head-scratching in some of the Sprint Cup garages as Richmond approaches.
The weather report for Pocono is a bit better, unless Hurricane Arthur decides to take a left turn inland. The IndyCar series is there for the second of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown races, consisting of Indianapolis, Pocono, and Auto Club Speedway in California. The driver who can win all three wins a million dollars, and Indy winner Ryan Hunter Reay is the only driver still eligible. Of course, there’s $250,000 on the line for winning two out of three, so every driver in the series can win that prize if they win at Pocono.
Across the pond, the Formula 1 teams are gearing up for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. There are only three British drivers in the field, vying to win their home race: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, a former F1 champion who has a high likelihood of pulling off the feat; Jensen Button, also a former champion, with no better than five to one odds in his McLaren; and young Max Chilton, driving for the hapless Marussia team. To paraphrase Richard Petty, talking about Danica Patrick, Chilton would win his home Grand Prix only if nobody else showed up. Weather doesn’t really matter, since the F1 guys race in everything but a complete deluge, and that’s not in the Silverstone forecast.