After the National Anthem had been sung, for some reason, a spectator backed his van into a pole that had the track’s meter on it. The impact damaged the spectator’s van and smashed the track’s meter, which cut all power to most of the track lights and the scoring booth.
With this in mind, the officials went into hurry-up mode and tried to get in the heat races and as many of the main events as they possibly could. It was a fast and furious show on a drying track as putting water down would have slowed the process.
The Olsen brothers, Pete and Mike won their respective Hobby Stock heat races. Going into the night they were a scant two points apart in the championship hunt with Mike and Wes Washburn tied.
Defending Rat Mod champion Glenn Lee won his heat race, while Steve Singley took the Mini Mod heat victory.
Kyle Babb won the first Gen-X heat and after a nose-to-tail battle Al Bishop was able to hold off points leader Jesse James for the second heat race.
Unfortunately the wheels came off the program during the 360 Outlaw Sprint Car heat. It took four attempts to get that heat race going and after the last green it appeared things were off and rolling.
But they weren’t.
Exiting turn 4 Aaron Gustin spun and was collected by Rusty Baglin, who wasn’t able to avoid him.
At that same time,, the tow truck ran out of gas and then refused to start. Out on the track, Gustin’s car had broke something in the front axle so it was dead in the water.
It took about 30 minutes to get most of the repairs completed on Gustin’s car; then the tow truck started and took his car to the pits.
The last heat race was for the IMCA Modifieds and Shawn Natenstedt needed only three laps to roar into the lead and run away with that victory.
All during this time the fans were in the dark as the sound system was also out due to the power being off and the announcer was unable to inform them what was going on.
Then the officials learned the NV Energy technician sent to fix the track’s problem was called off for a brush fire and wouldn’t be available. So with the sun having gone down over the hill by the track, it was a sprint to see if any races could be completed.
With light fading fast, the track was watered and the Hobby Stock field took to the track. In spite of limited time, they worked the water in and took the green for their main event.
First on point was Pete Baglin while back in the pack an almost game changing event was happening when the car of Pete Olsen came to a stop on the front straight. Somehow everyone missed him but it put his car a lap down, something the scoring crew, that was working in the dark may have missed.
Three laps later Baglin’s time at the front ended when possible contact sent him sliding onto the infield and onto the newly made Outlaw Kart track. Now Tony Taylor held the point but soon surrendered it to Wes Washburn, who gave it up to a charging Mike Olsen.
Back in the pack Pete Olsen was on a charge as he sliced his way through the traffic. A late caution bunched the field and when the green waved brothers Mike and Pete began a several lap side-by-side duel.
With two to go, Pete Olsen made up his lap, although at the time it appeared he might have taken the lead. Both brothers crossed the finished line 1-2 followed by Washburn, who was actually second, and Aaron Benham.
Back in the pits the results were protested and, according to officials, both brothers agreed that Pete was a lap down.
The officials did attempt to get the Rat Mod feature in but fading light and a first-lap wreck stopped everything, as it was getting too dark to safely run he event.
That wreck was caused when Greg Reid caught the Turn 3 inside berm then blew out his right rear tire. His car ended up on its side in Turn 4 and the officials stopped everything as they rushed to his aid.
Fortunately Reid was unhurt but all racing was done for the night.
The track’s board of directors then held a quick meeting and called the drivers together to tell them how the weekend was going to finish.
After telling the drivers what was going to be done, board president Chris Lumsden said, “We’re going to reschedule the IMCAs to run next Saturday night, a main event before they start their regular show. All the other classes that didn’t finish running, we’re going to run at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.”
For IMCA points leader Natenstedt it meant a night off but running two races this weekend. Something he’s gotten used to on the double points night at Reno-Fernley’s NASCAR nights.
Back in his trailer he said, “We’ve got either a 39 or 40-point lead, next week we’ll probably do hot laps if we get any. We’ll get in our first main and just go on with the night from there. The car’s been on this track many times so we really don’t need hot laps but they’re always good to shake things down.”
With only seven cars in Saturday’s main he can only lose seven points in case things don’t go well. However he feels there may be more cars next week.
“We’re pretty optimistic about what we do, we’ll look at the track and hope we can make the changes to fit the track and go from there,” he said.
•In Sunday’s main, Kevin Reuter won the Gen-X main while Sharlee Kaster, who sits third in points, hit wall and damaged her car. Fortunately she wasn’t injured in the incident.
And all the Mod Minis got their main events run.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•Next week racing fans will have three very different events to choose from.
The Northern Nevada Kart Club stages its annual Rick Jerome Memorial Night Race at Desert Park Raceway. It’s the only time the karts run under the lights and something to see.
Rattlesnake Raceway is also in action with a slightly different show. From 3:30 until 6 p.m. their new Outlaw Kart oval, cut on the infield of the big track, will be in action.
Then, starting at 6 p.m. those IMCA Modifieds that didn’t run their main this week will race it before the regular show begins. Down at the Churchill County Fair Grounds the final Exit 28 motocross will start around 6 p.m. as riders view for championships and finishes.
Finally, on Sunday beginning around 6 p.m., American Valley Speedway hosts its annual Fair Races. The event ends the annual Lassen-Plumas County Fair.
•Mark Tabor Jr. raced a non-winged sprint car this weekend as he tested the waters in the USAC series. On Friday he was at Chico where he qualified eighth, was third in his heat and finished 13th in the A main.
Moving to Placerville on Saturday, he was seventh quick, was fourth in his heat race and fifth in the feature race.
•NASCAR’s Las Vegas trio visited Pocono Speedway this weekend. In Saturday’s Camping World Truck race, which due to rain was run Sunday morning, Kyle Busch finished second while Brendan Gaughan didn’t have such a good run starting ninth and ending up 22nd.
The Sprint Cup event on Sunday was also rain delayed and at the finish Kyle Busch came from 11th to finish second ahead of his brother Kurt, who ended up 3rd.
•Rattlesnake Raceway - July 6
Heat Race - Shawn Natenstedt
Main (Postponed until l7-13)
Heat Winners - #1 Pete Olsen, #2 Mike Olsen
Main* (20 Laps) - 1. Mike Olsen , 2. Wes Washburn, 3.Aaron Benham, 4. Skeeter Donaldson, 5. Annette Rinehart
360 Sprint Cars:
Heat Race - Canceled
Main* - 1. Tommy Teeters, 2.. Larry Olivera, 3. Bruce Ferrier, 4. Aaron Gustin
Heat Winner - Duncan Lee
Main* (15 Laps) - 1. Scott Hammond, 2. Mark Rios, 3. John Scherer, 4. Wade Lumsden 81, 5. Marri Andrews
Heat Winners - #1 Kyle Babb, #2 Sadie Pope
Main* - 1. Kevin Reuter, 2. Jesse James, 3. Yolanda Kaster, 4. Sadie Pope, 5. Alfred Bishop
Heat Winner - Steve Singley
Main - Did not run a main on Sunday