Prior to Saturday’s show beginning the entire field of 43 Dwarf Cars performed a four-wide salute to the crowd.
After the dust settled from Saturday’s Pro feature, winner Ryan Diatte said, “I saw 24b (Shawn Jones) one time but other than that I never saw anybody but I could hear them. It was one groove so you put your left front on the berm and let her eat. I also need to thank my Mom and Dad, who was my crew chief, my grammy the car owner, my financie Melissa, my sponsors including North County Plastering, APE and the others.”
When the green waved Diatte, who lives in San Jose, Calif., took off with Jones in hot pursuit. Those two soon gapped the field, which was full of cars battling to improve their positions.
Behind the leaders members of the Reno and Lovelock Posse were moving toward the front. By Lap 7 Derek Rosse was fifth with Friday’s winner Joe Frock and Lovelock driver Rodney Sweet not far behind.
Six more cautions would slow the race and bunch the cars. Jones accidentally caused one of them when his car blew a fuse causing it to suddenly slow in Turn 4. Fortunately all the cars involved, except the one driven by Jones, were able to continue.
With eight laps to go, another caution slowed things and allowed Sparks driver Joe Frock and Rosse to line up behind the leader. Once again Diatte smoked everyone at the restart.
One final caution, with three to go, gave Frock his best chance of sweeping the weekend. But it wasn’t to be as Diatte took off and sprinted to victory followed by Frock and Rosse.
Back in the pits, Frock explained that he just couldn’t get enough grip to close and pass the flying Diatte, who went on to win his first regional event. But it’s wasn’t all bad for the Sparks driver as he won Friday’s pro race.
In that earlier race, Frock started from the front row and grabbed the lead when the green waved. It wasn’t easy as Spanky Grenert, from Fairfield, Calif. challenged and kept the pressure on for the entire race.
After winning Friday’s pro feature Frock said, “The race was tough as it’s super dry-slick, very one groove and I knew the only chance I had was to get a good start. And luckily I did and got out in front. Grenert tapped me a few times with five to go and made me drive a little faster so I didn’t feel him after that.”
The only driver to sweep the weekend was Kelly Getches, from Central Point, Oregon. He won every race he competed in including both Veteran Main events
After Saturday’s victory Getches said, “It was easy s I started on the pole so all I had to do was to stay out in front. I’m a bottom feeder and the track was where I wanted it. And I do need to thank my sponsor Advantage Tire in Medford for their support.”
For both days the lower groove was where the traction was as a car trying an upper groove his loose dirt and usually would slide and loose some momentum.
The most carnage occurred in the Sportsman division, which is filled with the younger drivers. Friday’s main literally began with a bang as at least four cars had contact as they tore down the front straight.
In the melee, Giancarlo Cuciz’s car had its left front wheel and suspension torn off while the car of Cody Gibson from Lovelock, was sent barrel rolling onto the infield.
The officials immediately stopped the race as they and the emergency crew from the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department rushed to Gibson’s aid. It took a while to extract him from the car and he was sent to the hospital as precaution.
Fortunately, except for a concussion, the young Lovelock driver suffered mainly bumps and bruises.
Two of the cars involved they were able to continue. However Gibson’s car iwas totaled while Cuciz had to replace the front suspension so he could race on Saturday.
Two more cautions slowed the pace but in the end, after several lead changes, Cecilia Dillie, from Henderson, Nevada, won the race followed by John Chrisman and Alan Heeney.
When Saturday’s Sportsman main began Tasia Hamann led the charge with Bobby Gibson, from Lovelock, giving chase. And it soon became a three-way battle for the lead until Alicia Youngblook used an outside pass to take the point,
On lap 5, two cars tangled in Turn 4 with both winding up on their sides. Once again the officials stopped everything as they, and the emergency crew, raced to check on the drivers.
While Jason Marshall was unhurt the same couldn’t be said for Jason Gandzjuk, who might have had his bell run in the incident. On Friday he backed his car into one of the large tractor tires that line the inside of the track and hurt one elbow so it wasn’t a good weekend for the young driver from Prunedale, California.
After the track was cleared racing resumed with Quincy native Chase Nieman grabbing the point and rocketing away from the pack. His restarts always put him well ahead of his rivals and he roared off to claim the victry followed by Oregon driver Brock Peters and John Chrisman from Yreka, California.
Back in the pits Nieman said, “I just waited for everybody else to crash then I passed them.”
He also commented on how the bottom was the place to race as it was way too slick up top.
And his secret for those great restarts, “I’d just start in first gear and I think everyone was in second. But you can’t just floor it or you’ll spin the tires.”
All in all it was two days of hard fought racing, with some excitement thrown in. In two weeks the track ends its season with the annual Timber Cup Races where, if they get a field of 20 Dwarf Cars, the winner will receive $1,000 for that victory.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•Off-road racers in the VORRA series begin this weekend’s action as they compete in a 24-hour event on a 41-mile course outside of Fallon..
Both Saturday and Sunday competitors start at 8 a.m. with an 8 p.m. finish to each day’s segment. Then they get to either work on their vehicles or rest during the 12-hour break between both days.
Rattlesnake Raceway, just east of downtown Fallon, also has a two-day show to start September, which features the track’s regular classes. Saturday has a 6 p.m. start time and Mud Bogs are part of the show while Sunday begins at 4 p.m. with a mechanics race on tap.
•NASCAR’s Las Vegas Trio spent the weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway. In Wednesday’s Camping World Truck race Kyle Busch had problems that dropped him to 30th while Brendan Gaughan ended up 20th.
In Friday night’s Nationwide event, Kyle started on the pole and won the race setting a record for series wins then he came from 23rd to 14 in Saturday’s Sprint Cup event while his brother Kurt started 10th and ended up 17th.
•Area motocross racers are mourning the loss of one of their own, Chris Sampson, who died a week ago on August 23rd.
This writer remembers him as a young teenager that found a place for himself in the rough and tumble world of motocross. He graduated from Reed High School in 2009, joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.
Prior to the SMRA event Sunday at the Lion’s Fernley Motocross track there was a lap of honor for Sampson led by fellow rider Jesse Sanchez.
Sampson’s funeral is this Wednesday at The Rock Church, 4950 Vista Boulvard, at 11 a.m. with a reception following the service.
We wish to offer our condolences to his mother, immediate and extended racing family as well as his long time girl friend. Sampson was well thought of and will be missed.
American Valley Raceway - 3rd Annual Dwarf Car Regional
•Saturday, Aug. 27
Qualifier Heat - 1. Eric Alton92, 2. Jason Crosby2d, 3. MitchSheeler59s, 4. Shane Stannard61h, 5. Frank Hinds15
Fast Dash - 1. Ryan Diatte57b, 2. Shawn Jones24b, 3. Gene Pires74b, 4. Monte Morris17h, 5. Rodney Sweet10, 6. Ryan Winter4n, 7. Chris Dorto16d, 8. Spanky Grenert12n, 9. Kevin Bender9n, 10. Derek rosse40
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Ryan Diatte57, 2. Joe Frock16d, 3.Derek Rosse 40d, 4. Monte Morris17h, 5. Gene Pires74b, 6.Ryan Winter 4n, 7. Jesse Vanol84d, 8. Mitch Sheeler59w, 9. Shane Stannard51w, 10. Chris Dorto61b
Qualifier Heat - 1. Skip Hempler00d, 2. Dan Youngblood5b, 3. Dan Mortensen61h, 4. Jimmy Hogue28h, 5. Leroy Kay8d
Fast Dash - 1. Kelly Gutches07s, 2. Henry Corbin90z, 3. Igor Gandzjuk9b, 4. Dave Richardson95d
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Kelly Gutches07s, 2. Henry Corbin90z, 3. Igor Gandzjuk9b, 4. Skip Hmpler00, 5. Dan Youngblood5b, 6. Leroy Kay8d, 7. Dave Richardson95d, 8. Dan Mortensen61h, 9. Jimmy Hogue28h
Qualifier Heat - 1. Chase Nieman1d, 2. Jason Gandzjuk50b, 3. Brock Peters07x, 4. Jason Marshall44d, 5. Dylan Chrisman88s
Fash Dash - 1. Bobby Gibson73, 2. Tasis Hamnn22n, 3. Dylan Chrisman88c, 4. Greg Richardson10b, 5. Alicia Youngblood05b
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Chase Nieman1d, 2. Brock Peters07x, 3. John Chrisman88c, 4. Cecilia Dillie4x, 5. Mason Lewman9s, 6. Tasia Hamann22h, 7. Dylan Chrisman88s, 8. Greg Richardson10b, 9. Alicia Youngblood05b, 10. Giancarlo Cuciz62n
Heat Winner - Lance Bain
Main (10-Laps) - 1. Lance Bain, 2. Jon Bussler 84, Chris Nieman
•Friday, Aug. 26
Heat Winners - #1 Rodney Sweet10, #2 Joe Frock16D
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Joe Frock, 2. Spanky Grenert12n, 3. Rodney Sweet10, 4. Gene Pires74b, 5. Ryan Winter4, 6. Shawn Jones24, 7. Ryan Diatte57, 8 Derek Rosse40d, 9. Kevin Bender9n, 10. Mark Dillie17
Heat Winner - Kelly Gutches07s
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Kelly Gutches07s, 2. Henry Corbin90z, 3. Igor Gandzjuk9b, 4. Dave Richardson95d, 5. Dan Mortenson61h, 6. Jimmy Hogue28h, 7. Dan Youngblood5b, 8. Leroy Kay8d
Heat Winners - #1 John Chrisman88c, #2 Chase Nieman1D
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Cecilia Dillie4x, 2. John Chrisman88c, 3. Alan Heeney34b, 4. Alicia Youngblood05b, 5. Greg Richardson10b, 6. Tasia Hamann22h, 7. Bobby Gibson73, 8. Brock Peters07x, 9. Dylan Chrisman88s, 10. Greg Richardson10d
Mini Stock Division:
Heat Winner - Lary Whitebird97
Main (10 Laps) - 1. Lary Whitebird97, 2. Lance Bain43, 3. Jon Bussler84, 5. Brittney Nieman8