“I was pretty sure I beat him (Jay Sears) as I was watching the side of his car when we came across the checkered flag but I knew it wasn’t by much,” Shawn Natenstedt said after winning the IMCA Modified feature. “It was a 'bad-assed' race, Jay’s got a nice car and we were dead even in our setups. It couldn’t gotten any better than that and I need to thank TSM Shocks, New Vision Graphics, the Silverado Casino and all the fans that come out and support us.”
It took Natenstedt only half a lap to grab the point followed by Jeff Elerick. One lap later the first caution flew after two cars tangled going into Turn 4.
Once the track was cleared it was back to racing but this time Jay Sears had taken second and was hot after Natenstedt. Lap after lap, they ripped around the track sometimes only inches apart.
Lap traffic looked like it might play a part in determining the winner as Natenstedt usually got through it first while Sears would take a bit longer.
Asked about the lap traffic Natenstedt said,”I had to get my bumper on a couple of them to get’em going.”
After every time Sears was blocked he would catch Natenstedt and they would resume their duel for the point. In the final laps, it was their private battle for the lead.
Coming out of the final corner it appears Sears had the momentum but at the checkered flag Natenstedt got him by a bumper length or less than a foot.
Back in the pits Sears said, “It was a blast, what a way to start out the year, just me and Shawn battling it out. My car would rotate on the bottom really well so I stayed there to see what I could do. Off Turn 4 it was really slick and no drive but I was sort of pinned down there as I could enter faster than he could.
“I could have gone all the way to the wall and would have pinched Shawn off but we would have been in a wreck so I let him have enough room for his car to get in there so we could have a good show. I need to thank Allied Washoe, my dad Brian Sears as he’s helped us out a lot, Richard Key, Luke Baca, my wife and daughter.”
When the sprint car feature began Tony Taylor and Jeff Macedo led the charge. By the first turns Macedo held the point was North Valleys High School junior Adam Walters was giving chase.
The race was another two-driver battle as Walters pursued Macedo around the track. Around the two thirds mark it appeared that Walters would take the lead but a mistake let the leader escape.
It took several laps until Walters caught Macedo, who was running a fast but smooth race, then they caught lap traffic. Macedo was blocked while, Walters chose the high line and found a lane to take the lead.
At the checkered flag Walters scored the victory followed by Macedo, Tommy Teeters. After his win Walters stopped then saluted the crowd by waving the checkered flag after he climbed on his car’s wing.
“It was fun but I was driving over my head a little bit in the beginning,” Walters said afterwards. “I tried to pass him on the inside and went onto the infield so I just had to be real patient with the throttle, be real smooth and I caught and ended up passing him with lap traffic.”
Last December Mini Mod driver Dennis Crook suffered a stroke and while he’s on his way to recovery he’s not there yet. As a way of helping the drivers in this division donated all their purse money to him and had a large jar for anyone else that wanted to pitch in.
Then before their main began Larry Miller, who drives a Mustang that has a passenger seat, stopped so Crook could be helped into the car where he rode as a passenger. In that same race Steve McGee drove Crook’s car.
A first lap spin meant the field would need to restart the race and they did with Miller and McGee battling for the lead. Three early cautions slowed the pace of the event but when racing got going the fight was between Miller, McGee and Stephen Crook, who wasn’t too far behind the leaders.
It was a lead swapping battle for several laps until Miller was finally able to secure the point and drive to the victory followed by Stephen Crook and McGee, who slipped to third. After the finish McGee drove beside Miller’s car and saluted passenger Crook,
After the win Miller took a victory lap with Dennis Crook holding the checkered flag.
“It was good racing,” Miller said back in the pits. “I had my doubts if we could win as I’m already giving up probably 400 pounds to some of those guys. But I did it for a god cause and the car worked so I can’t complain.”
Glenn Lee scored a runaway victory in the Rat Mod feature but in the Pro Stock main it was a different story. After the green Steve McKellip took off but was under challenge first by a determined Josh Ogg and then by an equally determined Jesse Gonzalez.
This high speed duel appeared to be headed for a very close finish until Gonzalez had a brush with the wall that seemed to slow him down. In the end McKellip won followed by Gonzalez and Ogg.
Jesse James was the runaway winning in the Gen-X main as he just checked out on the entire field. Unfortunately the second place driver’s name isn’t listed but Scott Hammond came home third.
Probably the youngest driver in the field was 13 and a half-year-old Vincent Evenson, making his first start in a car after campaigning an Outlaw Kart for the past couple of years.
Pete Olsen won the Hobby Stock main but only after a race long chase here he was able to hold a gap than no one else could close. At one time however it appeared that Roger Donahue was on his way to taking the lead until he spun out of contention.
At the end, Olsen won but behind him Richard Italiano took second by inches when he just beat another driver whose name was unlisted.
OTHER RACING NEWS:
•Two oval track events will highlight Easter Saturday.
In the afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m., The Lovelock Speedway hosts the second race of its season and the 360 Outlaw Sprint Cars are one of the featured classes..
Then, at 6 p.m. that afternoon, Reno-Fernley Raceway’s oval reopens as Nevada’s first dirt track sanctioned by NASCAR. A full slate of racing is on tap with the Modfied division headlining the evening.
•The Busch Brothers from Las Vegas, spent the weekend at the Talladega Super Speedway. On Saturday, Kyle came back from being involved in one incident to score his first victory at the track.
In Sunday’s Sprint Cup event, both brothers didn’t fare too well as Kyle ended up in the pits finishing 35th, while older brother Kurt, who started eighth ended up 18th.
Rattlesnake Raceway - April 16
Heat Winners - #1 Shawn Natenstedt, #2 Jake Holland
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Jay Sears, 3. Jean Kay, 4. Darren Manning, 5. Jeff Elerick
Heat Winner - Jesse Gonzalez
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Steve McKellip, 2. Jesse Gonzalez, #3 Josh Ogg
Heat Winners - #1 Wes Washgburn, #2 Lance Robert, #3 Roger Donahue
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Pete Olsen, 2. Richard Italiano, 3 #55, 4. Lance Robert, 5. Dean Clark
360 Outlaw Sprints:
Heat Winner - Jeff Macedo
Main (15 Laps) - 1. Adam Walters, 2. Jeff Macedo, 3. Tommy Teeters, 4. Aaron Gustin, 5. Larry Oliveira
Heat Winner - Glenn Lee
Main (15 Laps) - 1. Glenn Lee, 2. #8, 3. #37, 4. #70, 5. #33
Heat Winners - Larry Miller
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Larry Miller, 2. Stephen Crook, 3. Steve McGee, 4. #70, 5. Kevin Knight
Heat Winners - #1 Jesse James, #2 Unlisted
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Jesse James, 2 #28Jr, 3 #69, 4 #22, 5 Yolanda Kaster
* - Not drivers’ names were available from the track’s database when this report was written. Apologies to those listed by only their car numbers.