Shootout style makes its debut | NevadaAppeal.com

Shootout style makes its debut

RHONDA COSTA-LANDERS

The Renegade Sprinters of California and the Northern California Modified Association joined forces just last year so they could race together for fun – shootout style. These two exciting race series will make their debut Saturday at Silver State Raceway in their season’s points race finale.

Driving 360 cubic-inch motors, similar to those ran in the United States Auto Club series, drivers have visited Stockton 99 Speedway and Altamont Raceway Park in California and now Carson City while compiling their points.

When the Renegades run a show by themselves they run winged (top) cars with varied fueling options including injection or two or four-barrel carburetors. Special tire rules will apply to equal the playing field. During a shootout race though, the cars are restricted to a 2-barrel carburetor.

The engine size of the sprinters is 360 cubic inches. They do run top wings at some race facilities, they will not run wings at SSR. Weight of the car is about 1,700 pounds with driver, and speeds (approximate) to time and size of track (1/3-mile) is about 93 miles per hour, using a 12.90-second qualifying time.

The track record in a 360-sprinter is held by Rick Williams of San Jose, Calif., who set a 12.61 on Aug. 21. Williams is a regular with the USAC Western States Challenge Series.

One thing the drivers of both of these series like to do is visit with their fans. They often will go into the crowd between events, bearing gifts and signing autographs, as well as being involved in “youth educational car shows.”

Among the drivers in this series are Renegade President Mark Amador (77), who began racing in 1982 along side Ernie Irvan, Evan Baldwin and Jim Rich. Amador was Merced (Calif.) Speedway track champ in 1997 and finished second in points in the Renegade’s season premier in 1998. He was also recognized as fourth place overall California NASCAR Open Wheel Modified driver for 1992.

In addition to Amador is Don Hicks (79). Hicks’ racing began in 1949 with drag racing, tractor pulls and engine building. Hicks recorded his first feature win on a circle track at Roseville, Calif., which was then operated by Larry Burton, current owner of Silver State Raceway. Hicks won the Merced championship in 1995 and was second in points in 1996. He is the current points leader in the shootout series and has clinched the Renegades Championship for 1999.

What makes this series unique is that they race sprint cars with a little more flexibility than most club rules allow. When Amador began the series, he based the rules on the “run what you brung” line of thinking. Cars are allowed to run sprint frames or modified frame; the car must have a top wing, nose wings are optional. Actually, many items are optional in specifications to allow a greater number of drivers to be able to bring their cars and run with only a few modifications.

Saturday’s race is a double-points race for both series, their final shootout of the season. Noted on their web site, http://fast.to/360sprints, is this message – “It’s not your fault, it’s not my fault. It’s asphalt! Want some?”

Race fans, open wheel fan or not, don’t miss this opportunity to see the beginning of what could become a regular visiting race series to Carson City. Gates will open at 5 with racing to begin at 7 p.m. For information, call 885-2079.