Williams takes eighth in BCRA Midgets at Fernley | NevadaAppeal.com

Williams takes eighth in BCRA Midgets at Fernley

Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal

Last Saturday’s temperatures were cool, but the racing was hot at Fernley 95A Speedway as the BCRA Midgets visited the track for the first time in nine years. Most of the drivers came over the hill from California with the exception of Carson City drivers J.R. Williams and Alan Beck. Beck unfortunately was not able to make the feature, but Williams acquitted himself well with an eighth-place finish. Three of the track’s regular racing divisions were also on hand. The Pro Stocks were running for a special $1,000 purse to the winner, and Fallon’s Malen Gonzales came loaded for bear. Hiking the inside front wheel up through the corners and halfway down the straights, Gonzales overcame a setup issue and walked away from the field. Jay Sears of Reno gamely chased him, but was unable to catch the flying Gonzales. Fallon’s Rob Grace came home third, followed by Dean Cichowicz of Mound House. The IMCA Modified race was a battle of veterans, with Reno driver Jake Holland holding off strong challenges from Fernley’s Shawn Natenstedt and Robert Miller of Gardnerville to take the checker. Defending champion Cory Sample of Winnemucca was fourth, with Californian Nick DeCarlo rounding out the top five. And Gardnerville’s Dwight Bolton dominated the Street Stock race, romping away from a battle between David Ausano, Jake Baker, and Rick Miller. Tonight the track hosts day two of the second annual Leroy Kay and David Richardson Memorial WSDCA Regional Dwarf Car championships. Also on tap are the Super Stock 4 and Pure Stock divisions. Gates open at 3 p.m. and racing begins at 6.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series has added another driver to the Chase roster, as Kurt Busch captured his first win of the season at Martinsville in a race that ran on Sunday morning rather than Saturday night due to weather. Busch missed the first three races of the season, suspended due to legal issues, but has been strong ever since returning to the series at Phoenix. So strong, in fact, he’s now 18th in points, and in the Chase. The series moves to Talladega this weekend, one of two restrictor-plate tracks on the circuit and the longest superspeedway at 2.66 miles in length. NASCAR has decided to revert to the old-style single car qualifying this weekend, a good call given the fiasco knockout qualifying proved to be last fall. Of course, the race will have its usual wild card status, where the “big one” could wipe out half the field in one fell swoop.

Danica Patrick has just learned this is going to be her final season with the bright green of GoDaddy.com on the car. GoDaddy has been her sponsor since her IndyCar days, and she continues her role as spokeswoman for the company. Patrick is also in her final year of her contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, and it is her most successful Cup season so far. Given today’s environment she needs another big sponsor to ensure her renewal. But given her fan appeal and amount of press coverage, companies will be lining up to sign on the dotted line.

As promised, NASCAR has begun to dock teams practice time for failing inspections, and the first of those took place during Friday’s Talladega practice. Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Matt DiBenedetto, and Josh Wise each lost 15 minutes of practice. And young Eric Jones will take over the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota next weekend at Kansas, moving David Ragan to the MWR No. 55 Toyota for the rest of the season.

Congratulations are in order for Joseph Newgarden, who scored his first-ever IndyCar victory last Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. A combination of strategy and brilliant driving earned the promising youngster the win ahead of a charging Graham Rahal, who was closing fast at the checker. Veteran Scott Dixon was third, improving his position in the championship standings. Sunday the IndyCar teams will conduct their first test of the speedway aero kits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for this year’s Indy 500. All the series regulars, as well as a number of one-off 500 drivers, will be on hand for the test.