Stewart upstages The Chase |

Stewart upstages The Chase

Roger Diez
Nevada Appeal Motorsports Columnist

It’s the most exciting Chase for the Nextel Cup since the format was introduced three years ago, and what happens?

The whole Chase concept gets upstaged by Tony Stewart, who missed the playoffs by a mere 16 points. Freed from the need to protect his position and race for points, Stewart has already scored more wins in the final 10 races than any of the Chasers, and is a good bet to win the final two rounds as well. I think we are definitely going to see some “tweaks” to the format for the 2007 season.

Champ Car defector A.J. Allmendinger’s NASCAR venture isn’t going too well so far. He was the slowest of 50 qualifiers at Texas Motor Speedway and didn’t even attempt to make this weekend’s round at Phoenix.

Former Champ Car teammate Paul Tracy has also dropped out of his partial Busch schedule for 2007, handing the ride over to Max Papis, another Champ Car alumni and sports car whiz. Papis’ debut at Texas last Sunday was not auspicious. Juan Pablo Montoya also had a tough day at Texas. Maybe this transition from open-wheel to tin-tops isn’t as easy as it seems.

With Formula 1 and the Indy Racing League finished for the season, Champ Car wrapping 2006 this weekend in Mexico, and NASCAR’s season finale coming up at Homestead next weekend, some northern Nevada racers have recently begun another racing season. I refer to the Outlaw Kart winter series at Red Bluff, which began on October 28.

That weekend Cory Combs finished ninth in the Beginner Box A main after taking second in the B main, fourth in the heat, and 11th in qualifying. In Box Stock Tanner Thorson scored a second in the A main after qualifying fastest and taking third in his heat and fourth in the trophy dash.

Keith Combs was 13th in the A main, fourth in his heat and 21st-fastest qualifier. Mason Millard finished 14th in the A main, won the B main, took fifth in his heat and sixth in the trophy dash after qualifying fifth.

In the new 250cc class Zach Heinz was 13th in the A main after qualifying 17th and taking fourth in his heat. Kellcy Bell just missed the A main with a 5th place finish in the B main, seventh in her heat, and 20th in qualifying. Daniel Thorson took ninth in the Open Intermediate B main, fifth in his heat, and qualified 13th, while Cameron Millard finished 13th in the B main after a fourth-place C main finish, a ninth in his heat, and a 17th-fastest qualifying run.

Chris Rytting was the sole Open class runner, qualifying 39th, running eighth in his heat, and classified DNS in the C main. Dave Sciarroni qualified ninth in the new Sportsman division, ran second in the heat race, and finished ninth in the A main, while Troy Combs ran third in qualifying and finished second in the trophy dash, only to fall to seventh in his heat and run ninth in the B main.

A week later, on November 4, the Outlaw Karters were at it again, with the following results:

Beginner Box, Cory Combs – Second in the A main, first in the heat, eighth qualifier. Box Stock, Tanner Thorson – Won the A main, won the heat, won the dash, qualified sixth. Box Stock, Mason Millard – 12th in the A main, third in his heat, seventh in qualifying.

Box Stock, Keith Combs – Tenth in the B main, fifth in the heat, 17th qualifier. 250cc, Kellcy Bell – Fifth in the B main, eighth in the heat, 19th in qualifying. 250cc, Zach Heinz – 12th in the A main, third in his heat, eighth-place qualifier. 250cc, Zach Kisman – Tenth in the B main, fifth-place heat finish, 17th in qualifying.

Open Intermediate, Daniel Thorson – Ninth in the A main, heat winner, 10th qualifier. Open Intermediate, Cameron Millard – 14th in the B main, fifth in the heat, 15th in qualifying. Open, Mackena Bell – Fifth in the C main, seventh in the heat, qualified 21st. Sportsman, Troy Combs – Fourth place A main, heat race winner, fastest qualifier, fifth in the trophy dash. Sportsman, Chris Rytting – Ninth in the B Main, sixth in his heat, 12th-place qualifier. Sportsman, Kelly Bell – Tenth place in the B Main, seventh in the heat, 11th in qualifying.