While there are no motorcycles racing this time, the result was an increase in the amount of cars competing.
This time the night stages, which were part of last year's event, had expanded to 40 miles. The first part began in daylight with racers competing over two stages running from north of Toulon (East of Lovelock) around the hills to north of Trinity, where Highway 95 and I-80 meet.
Once the racers completed the fourth stage they took some time to service the cars. Then they ran both stages twice but backwards.
Most rally cars either used a hood equipped with several high intensity lights or had extra lights added. This time the finish was north of Toulon.
When the dust finally settled the team of Will Hudson and Brian Szykowny set a fast time of 39:53 in their Subaru Impreza. Taking second was Group 2 racer George Doganis and his navigator Thomas Smith as they drove their Honda Civic to a time of 43:14.
In rallying, the driver has a navigator that reads off what the corners ahead of them will be. It takes teamwork to negotiate the roads as fast as possible.
And both competitors ware full driving suits, helmets and are sitting in full roll cages.
Friday's top two were overall victor and Open winner, Will Hudson and Brian Szykowny while the runner-up was George Doganis and Thomas Smith, who topped Group 2.
On Friday, 20 cars were listed to start but only 12 completed all the stages. One racer was taken to the hospital after his car rolled over during the very first stage then later a navigator received medical attention after his car's heater radiator failed, dropping hot coolant on his feet.
Saturday's stages were longer with the first, or southern one going up hill from the north end of Winnemucca Dry Lake around Purgatory Peak. After reaching the finish the cars move to the next stage, which in the morning is a fast downhill run over nine miles in length.
Rather than racing over 40 miles of stages as they did on Friday, the racers would compete on 80 miles of stages. After running the stages twice there is a service period then the teams reverse directions on the stages.
This time 15 cars started stage one shortly after noon but not all of them survived to the finish.
In the second run two had to limp to the stage 4 finish while another was left on the side of the road where it broke down. And Friday's wining team of Hudson/Szykowny had problems right after the start.
At the stage 4 finish, Hudson said, "The car's running a little rough and just kind of putting along right now. It's just kind of having fun right now."
Bouncing back from not finishing Friday's rally, the team of Dick Rockrohr, and navigator Marie Deangelis were on a mission. It was epic watching Rockrohr power sliding through the turns while Deangelis, using her route book, read off what the turn ahead would bring.
When the eight stages were over they set the fast time of 1:24:37 and took the overall and Open Class victory. Anther team bouncing back from finishing fifth on Friday was the Open Lite wining team of Alex Rademacher and Jeana Yi, who ended up second with a time of 1:27:21.
Attrition was a factor as only seven cars, out of 15, finished all the stages on Saturday.
Michel Hoche-Mong and Pete Soper organize the rally and during the weekend they are two busy people working with teams of volunteers and radio hams, who set up and run a communications network. Communication is very important as it allows the officials to track all the cars, scoring to track their times and report any mishaps as cars are running the stages.
Soper has helped organize the rally for three out of the last four years. Reflecting on the event he said, "It's the first time we've had enough entries to cover our costs and stuff so it's really exciting in that regard. We're still really short handed on volunteers so we need to work on recruiting and getting more people out here to support the event next time. But all in all we're really pleased at how things are going."
He added that most competitors enjoyed the night stages although there were some issues due to the wind dropping off and dust remaining on the course. During those stages some adjustments, probably allowing more time between cars, were made to help the teams.
Then he said, "Purgatory Peak are some really rally favorite road and they like them all."
And he expressed optimism about next year's event.
•Last week began with Rattlesnake staging its traditional 4th of July race, which is also the site of Fallon's fireworks.
Now that the Bomber and Pro Stocks have been eliminated the show almost ran too fast but ended just before it was time for the fireworks.
After winning last year's track championship, Shawn Natenstedt is on a mission to defend his IMCA Modified title. After starting at the back, and watching the lead change hands few times, he took over around the halfway mark and sailed off to the victory.
Natendtedt also won the IMCA feature on Sunday but after the dust settled on the 4th, he said, "I was just biding my time, I knew my car was going to be good and didn't want to wreck it too early so I was making sure I could do it cleanly and safely. We made the outside work and tonight there was a groove right through the middle but dry-slick on both sides."
The biggest class of the night was the Hobby Stocks and their feature was slowed by five cautions. With about 10 laps to go Mike Olsen, who had to work his way through the pack, took over the point and reached the checkered flag first.
"I worked my way to the front and had to dodge a few wrecks but it was close," Olsen said. "But everyone kept it clean enough, which kept it green for a long time and worked out in my favor."
Every division featured hard racing, with some cautions, and the fans were treated to an action packed show. Once the final checkered flag waved they were treated to fireworks in the sky.
•On Saturday evening, the Reno-Fernley Raceway hosted another of its NASCAR double points nights. That means the Modifieds bookend the night with two main events.
Rich Hill held the point when the first Modified feature began but five laps later Scotty Slatter used an outside move to take the lead and roar off to the victory followed by Tom Purcell and Travis Peterson.
The second Modfied feature began with Walter Ball grabbing the lead from his pole position. Five laps later there were two back-to-back cautions that involved several cars.
Soon after the restart Shawn Natenstedt, who missed the set up in the first feature, grabbed the lead and took off. Tom Purcell tried his best but would have to settle for the runner up spot this night.
In the Hobby Stock main Sun Valley driver Rick Miller needed only a few laps to take the lead and check out on the field. Veteran Gary Nevers would top the Pro Stock field and he cruised to victory.
Bobby Niles as the Dwarf Car victory while 14-year-old Travis Barr won another Pure Stock Mini race. In the Pure Stock event Mikayla Hancock, a North Valleys High School student, was caught in another incident when her car was tagged and rolled - fortunately she emerged without injury.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•Racing this week will be intense, varied. Victorian Plaza is ground zero for two events several events as the VORRA Master-Pull USA 500 begins.
Thursday is PR day with cars on display from 3 to 6 p.m. Then on Friday is tech inspection of the off road racers as well as displays, music and free style motocross exhibitions.
The actual racing begins Saturday after the cars are towed to the start/finish area behind the now closed Truck Inn at Fernley. First cars out will be around 8:30 a.m. with the big cars starting their 19-hour event at 10:30.
An Enduro Cross is also part of the event and it will happen on Victorian Square. Qualifying races are on Saturday with the finals beginning at 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
The Top Gun Raceway is also slated to host the Western Motorcycle Drag Racing Association's Desert Nationals. The action should be start by 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Exit 28 stages the second of its night races beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, then at 6 p.m., Reno-Fernley Raceway hosts another of its NASCAR dirt track event.
•North Nevada Rally Results*
Saturday, July 9 - 1. Rick Rockrohr/Marie Deangelis, Open, 1:24:37, 2. Alex Rademacher/Jeana Yi, Open Lites, 1:27:21, 3. George Doganis/Thomas Smith, Group 2, 1:27:54, 4. Adam Crane/Britta Nielsen, Group 2, 1:2858, 5. Deniel Rockrohr/Eve Thmason, Open Lite, 1:32:56, 6. Eric Larsen/Alan Perry, Open Lite, 1:412:37, 7. Sean Lane/Christian Coulter, Group 2, 1:2:02
Friday, July 8 - 1. Will Hudson/Brian Szykowny, Open, 39:53, 2. George Doganis/Thomas Smith, Group 2 43:14, 3. Jon Burke/Tucker Heiner, Open, 44:01, 4. Kris-Jon Lyssand/Joshua, Open Lite, 44:54, 5. Alex Rademacher/Jeana Yi, Open Lite, 45:00, 6. Adam Crans/Britta Nielsen, Group 2, 45:43, 7. Andrew Lockhart/Robin Lockhart, Group 2, 46:38, 8. Tyler Turnbull/Tony Holden, Group 2, 50:20, 9. Javier Olivares/Brock Heinz, Group 2, 50:55, 10. Eric Larsen/Alan Perry, Open Lite, 50:57, 11. Katianna Pihakari/Sean Gallagher, PGT, 53:24, 12. Sean Lane/Christian Coulter, Group 2, 55:39
* — Place, group and elapsed time.
•Reno-Fernley Raceway - July 9
Main #1 (25 Laps) - 1. Scotty Slatter, 2. Tom Purcell, 3. Travis Peterson, 4. Rich Hill, 5. Shawn Natenstedt
Main #2 (30 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Tom Purcell, 3. Darren Manning, 4. Walter Ball, 5. Don Childs
Heat Winner - #1 Joe Specchio Jr., #2 Jack Randall
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Gary Nevers, 2. B.J. Pearson, 3. Al Goss, 4. Jesse Gonzalez, 5. Joe Specchio Jr.
Heat Winners - #1 Cral Barlow, #2 Dwight Bolton
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Rick Miller, 2. Shane Ramthum, 3. Brian Moore, 4. Royce Goetz, 5. Rocky Goetz
Heat Winners - #1 Billy Wilson, #2 Race Shelton
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Bobby Niles, 2. Bobby Wilson, 3. Billy Wilson, 4. Glen Sciarani, 5. Race Shelton
Heat Winner - Al Bishop
Main (15 Laps) - 1. Travis Barr, 2. Justin Shilling, 3. Loghan Marie
•Rattlesnake Raceway - July 4
Heat Winner - Shawn Natenstedt
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Jim Turner, 3. Eddie Scarberry, 4. Steve Evenson, 5. Brian Milburn
Heat Winners - #1 Chris Neal, #2 Billy Church , #3 Tony Tayler
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Mike Olsen, 2. Wes Washburn, 3. Anthony Delvecchio, 4. Billy Church, 5. Pete Baglin
360 Sprint Cars:
Heat Winner - S White
Main (15 Laps) - 1. Tony Taylor, 2. Arne Martin, 3. S White, 4. Rusty Baglin
Heat Winner - Scott Hammond
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Scott Hammond, 2. Duncan Lee, 3. Steve Young, 4.Mark Rios, 5. Mark Lee
Note: Driver's names not listed on track's Web site.
Heat Winner - Sharlee Kaster
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Al Bishop, 2.Kali Pope, 3. Sharlee Kaster, 4. Yolands Kaster, 5. Sharlee Kaster