“Man, that was a marathon race and they watered the track before the race started and I thought for sure we were going to be out in left field with our setup,” Shawn Natenstedt said after winning Saturday’s IMCA Modified main.
Dust was a problem due to a strong wind so the track was watered several times during the evening. Unfortunately stuck valves on the water track put down more than anticipated before the IMCA Modifieds ran their feature race.
After many laps to work in the moisture the green waved and Natenstedt took off followed by the pack. The first of several cautions came when Malen Gonzalez broke something in his car and limped to the pits.
Two cautions later, according to the flagman, contact with the wall and another car sent Jeff Elerick’s racer sliding into the pit entrance. He and his car were able to return after the officials made sure Elerick was all right.
For a large number of laps, Jay Sears and Natenstedt put on a show of wheel-to-wheel and side-by-side racing. And Sears did get the point at least once but Natenstedt quickly too it back.
Despite a couple more cautions Natenstedt claimed the victory with Sears close behind in second.
“It was awesome racing as we diced it up a few times and that’s what it’s all about so put on a good show for the fans,” Natenstedt said.
The Pro Stock event was a runaway for Jesse “The Rocket,” Gonzalez. Despite the best efforts of the other drivers he just ran away with the event and finished well ahead of Shawn LaRocque and Robby Grace.
Back in the pits Gonzalez said, “The car was great like always and the track was decent so I just tried to hit my marks and kept cruising.”
The need for water showed up early when the Hobby Stocks, which had the largest field of cars, took to the track. Despite the dry, dusty conditions, they took off after the green waved.
First on point was Mike Olsen with his brother Pete giving chase and eventually taking the lead after the first caution. Carl “Fireball,” Barlow also hounded the leaders as he attempted to grab the lead.
The brothers Olsen put on a good show with Mike trying to wrest the point from Mike but it was to no avail. At the end it was Pete and Mike Olsen followed by Fireball Barlow.
Unfortunately, with new cars at the track the Mini Mod winner’s name wasn’t available when this report was written. However that driver secured the lead on the final turn when he was able to get past Steve McGee, who had led for all but that final few yards.
Al Bishop won the Gen-X event while Scott Hammond scored the victory in the Rat Mod feature but it wasn’t easy.
When the green waved Hammond took off with Glenn Lee doing his best to catch him. Behind them Lee Ketten was on a charge and soon moved to second.
From that point the chase was on, as Hammond knew someone was behind him, but since these cars don’t have mirrors he wasn’t sure how close. A last lap slip by Ketten kept him second as Hammond reached the checkered flag first.
“It was a rough track as usual and I’m glad it’s over. I could hear Ketten’s engine whining back there, as it’s a pretty loud motor and I kept getting my signals he was close,” Hammond said back in the pits. “So I just kept driving and it was hard work but it felt pretty good.”
Due to the Sunday deadline the second round isn’t included in this report.
•The Northern Nevada Kart Club is winding up its 30th season but due to having their Sept. 11 race postponed this weekend wasn’t the final points race as originally planned.
Cool weather set the stage for some great racing and as usual the Box Stock Clone class fielded the largest amount of karts. They had a nose-to-tail duel going on until leader Mike Holmes had to pit on the final lap handing the lead, and the victory, to Joey Rivera, who was followed by David Schilt and Stephanie Lienay.
The fastest races of the day happened, as they usually do, in the two-shifter kart classes.
It appeared that Reno resident Joel Nelson, after a nose-to-tail duel with Mark Nason, won the F125 main. Sadly he didn’t qualify and was disqualified giving Nason his first victory of the day.
The F80 main also was a two-kart duel as Nason had his hands full holding off a determined Gerry Williams. Ben Fisher tried to make it a three-way battle but eventually fell out with mechanical problems.
After 12 laps of hard driving, Nason reached with checkered flag first with Williams close behind. Back at the post-race weigh-in both drivers congratulated each other.
“I knew Gerry was on me as he’s been going faster every week,” Nason said. “It’s good to have him up there to race with but I’ve just got to get the start as these guys are tough and it’s fun to be racing this close.”
For his part a delighted Williams said, “That was wicked. It’s always fun racing with Mark. He’s tough although I’m getting a little closer these days.”
Gavin VanCott won the Kid’s Kart main while Chelsi Wagner ran away in the Tag Masters/Jr./Senior combined race. Other winners were Turbo Sombatsiri in Jr. 1-2 and Mike McGaffrey, who took the Tag Novice honors.
Now the club will return on Saturday, Oct. 14 to Desert Park Raceway and complete this special anniversary season.
OTHER RACING NOTES
•This weekend the Reno-Fernley Raceway closes its year with the 2011 Shootout, a two-day show.
Racing begins Saturday at 5 p.m. when the heats and trophy dashes will be run. Then the action begins at 2 p.m. Sunday when all the mains events will run.
•Those that ride in the WSRA series will be at the Fernley Lion’s motocross track on Sunday as the Old Timer’s club hosts the next round of the fall series. As usual the first motos should start around 10 a.m. followed by the rest of the day’s racing.
•NASCAR’s Nevada Quartet was in action this weekend at two tracks. The Camping World Trucks were in Kentucky where Brendan Gaughan finished 19th.
The rest were at the Dover Monster Mile where Sparks native T.J. Bell fell victim to brake problems and ended up 42nd. In Saturday’s Nationwide event, Kurt Busch won Sunday’s Sprint Cup event while younger brother Kyle finished sixth.
•Rattlesnake Raceway - Oct. 1
Heat Winners - #1 Shawn Natenstedt, #2 Jeff Elerick, #3 Adam Walters
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Jay Sears, 3. Russ Cazier, 4. MitchMurphy, 5. Steve Evenson
Heat Winners - #1 Gary Nevers, #2 Jesse Gonzalez
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Jesse Gonzalez, 2. Shawn LaRocque, 3. Robby Grace, 4. Gary Nevers, 5. Joe Olschowka
Heat Winners - #1 Richard Italiano, #2 Pete Olsen, #3 Mike Olsen
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Pete Olsen, 2. Mike Olsen, 3. Carl Barlow, 4. Roger Donahue, 5. Aaron Benham
Heat Winner - Steve McGee
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Unlisted*, 2. Steve McGee, 3. James Foster, 4. Steve Singley, 5. John Burch
Heat Winner - #1 Glenn Lee
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Scott Hammond, 2. Lee Ketten, 3. Glenn Lee, 4. Loren Bianchi, 5. Duncan Lee
Heat Winner - Alfred Bishop
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Alfred Bishop, 2. Kali Pope, 3. Jesse James, 4. Sadie Pope, 5. Kevin Reuter
* - Driver’s name was not on available lists.
•Desert Raceway Park - Oct. 2
Northern Nevada Kart Club - Race #5
Kids Karts - 1. Gavin VanCott, 2. Matthew Sifling
Jr. 1-2 - 1. Turbo Sombatsiri, 2. Richard Stock, 3. Connor VanCott, 4. Issac Wyett
Box Stock Clone - 1. Joey Rivera (Jr.), 2. David Schilt, 3. Stephanie Lienay, 4. Dean Andrews (Jr.) 5. Dave Harwin
TAG Novice - 1. Mike McGaffey, 2. Javier Avila, 3. Raul Rodriguez, 4. Don Faris, 5. Kelly Morley
TAG Jr/Sr/Mstrs - 1. Chelsi Wagner (Sr.), 2. Matt Koerner (Sr.), 3. Mike Ryckenbosch (Mstr.), 4. Tom Koener (Mstr.), 5. Pete Morley (Mstr.)
F80 Senior - 1. Mark Nason, 2. Gerry Williams, 3. Dave Brant, 4. Orie Harman, 5. Greg Jaime
F125 - 1. Mark Nason, 2. John Morgan, 3. Todd Thompson