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Dunn tops NNKC marathon at Desert Park
by Dan McGee
Aug 10, 2008 | 1402 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - After taking the lead, Travis Dunn (2) was chased to the checkered by early leader Sean Forbes as they competed in the money race at Saturday night's NNKC event.
Tribune/Dan McGee - After taking the lead, Travis Dunn (2) was chased to the checkered by early leader Sean Forbes as they competed in the money race at Saturday night's NNKC event.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - For Mark Nason, it was a night of mixed results. Here he's shown tearing down the front straight on the way to winning the 80 Master's event but would run out of time and finish third in the 80cc money event.
Tribune/Dan McGee - For Mark Nason, it was a night of mixed results. Here he's shown tearing down the front straight on the way to winning the 80 Master's event but would run out of time and finish third in the 80cc money event.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Heading to the checkered flag, Chelsi Wagner (12) leads Christian Scholz as they round the final turn. The victory was an early birthday gift Wagner gave herself as she turned 15 on Sunday.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Heading to the checkered flag, Chelsi Wagner (12) leads Christian Scholz as they round the final turn. The victory was an early birthday gift Wagner gave herself as she turned 15 on Sunday.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - All season long, the only two racers in TAG Cadet have run this close to each other. On Saturday evening, Justin Hoekman (7) had the advantage as he claimed the victory over Trever Listman (38).
Tribune/Dan McGee - All season long, the only two racers in TAG Cadet have run this close to each other. On Saturday evening, Justin Hoekman (7) had the advantage as he claimed the victory over Trever Listman (38).
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STEAD - Northern Nevada Kart Club's annual night race, now the Rick Jerome Memorial - a tribute to one of the club's founders - is usually a marathon. And this year was no different with the 20-lap pro race taking the green about 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning.

Topping the racing card was a pro 80cc shifter event with a big cash prize for the winner. This drew several drivers from California but a Nevadan, and NNKC member, defended the club's home turf.

For the winner it was a night of two very different results in a pair of races.

"Really I was a bit faster then he (Sean Forbes) was, I was patient, found a good spot to pass him and made my move. The track was definitely cold and it took a while to get my tires warmed up but after they were, it definitely seemed like the kart was on rails," Travis Dunn said after winning the race.

Oddly enough the driver that came up with the cash prize idea fell out in the first lap. A broken gas pedal sidelined Cody McKinney before a lap had been completed.

When the green waved Forbes led the charge with Dunn right behind him as the pack checked the leaders through Turn 1. At first it seemed as though Forbes held the winning card but after several laps Dunn, who comes from Minden, began to make his move.

Lap after lap he would draft and almost get beside Forbes as they ripped into the first turn. Finally, Dunn used an inside move as they flew down the front straight to claim the lead.

Behind the leaders, Mark Nason was first trapped in traffic then finally got clear of the pack. In the end, Nason tried but had to settle for third when he ran out of time to reel in the leaders.

Forbes ended up a close second, while Dunn reached the checkered first, did a victory lap and several donuts to the delight of his crew.

"Every driver likes to think they'd be number one out on the track," Dunn said. "I had confidence in myself that I could go out there and win it."

Runner-up Forbes, who comes from Santa Cruz, Calif., said, "We tried to make some axle changes but we couldn't get it dialed and I think my tires started to fall off."

Even though he led most of the TAG Senior event, things didn't go well for Dunn. A battle for the lead ended when contact sent David Brant into the Turn 2 wall and hay bales. The officials took a dim view of this and disqualified Dunn and this handed the win to Zachary Dericco.

Dericco, a Reed High School graduate is attending junior college in San Luis Obispo, Calif. with the eventual goal of studying engineering at Cal Poly. He heads back to school in the next week or so and this summer be his final time racing for quite awhile even though Dericco just won a pro karting championship in Southern California.

For Nason, it was a mixed night. Earlier in the evening he dominated the 80cc Masters main leading from green to checkered.

"I finally hit on it tonight for the set up but I just don't know if it's too later for the money event," Nason said.

One very happy driver was Chelsi Wagner as she celebrated her 15th birthday Sunday with a victory in the Tag Jr. main but it wasn't easy.

After getting the hole shot, Wagner and Christian Scholz swapped places a couple of times. Finally Wagner made the winning pass and made it stick as she roared off to claim the victory.

"I got the lead back when I just dove in on Turn 2 and he (Scholz) went too wide and lost it. I was able to keep it here, make it stick and came out in front him going into three," she said. "I knew exactly where he was, right on my back bumper. I've got to give it all to my Poppa (Her Grandfather Ed Diederich) as he had my kart running great, and I just had to do the rest."

TAG Cadet class only has two racers competing in but both boys have staged some of the closest races of the season and came into the night tied in points.

After 12 laps of racing, so close a large beach towel would have covered both of their karts, Justin Hoekman reached the checkered flag first with Trever Listman almost beside him.

"I knew he (Listman) was very close behind me," Hoekman, an 8-year-old from Truckee, said. "The key is to don't overdrive it and you don't want to panic."

Once again Austin DeMent not only set a new track record but also won the Jr. 1-2 Cycle main. After running the first half-lap behind Nicky Prichard, DeMent lit took the lead and checked out on the field.

Since this is an annual special race, three classes were added to the racing card. One of them was F200 that brought in some karts not usually seen at a NNKC event.

Tim Johnson won that event with a runaway victory over a field that saw the return of NNKC champion Dan Allen to competition, although it might be his only appearance this year.

There was one special added race that brought thee 125cc karts to the track. The trio was headed by many time 125cc champion Mitch Kennedy, who put Mike Botelho Jr. in a second kart while Chris McCabe brought his own machine.

At first it appeared Kennedy was going to have everything his own way, especially after Botelho missed a shift and fell back. However, things changed late in the race.

"I got beat by my own kart as I blew up three laps from the end," Kennedy said.

After laughing about the whole affair, Botelho said, "I actually beat the old man by default. The bottom line was that I had a guy that properly prepped the kart and of course Mitch is the car owner and mechanic. Driving a 125 was a lot as the wind was blowing so fast my eyes were watering. This was physical and I'm going to be sore tomorrow."

The Kids Kart class is a NNKC division that's run for fun and has the youngest drivers in the club. Here, three 6-year-olds compete in low power karts in an event that's not scored as it's for track time and each of these racers gets at least a medal at every race.

Those young drivers are T.J. Johnson, Nickolas Persky and Zach Corbitt.

The final checkered flag waved around 1:40 a.m. Sunday completing this annual marathon for the club.

•This weekend two tracks host double headers while another hosts its regular Saturday show.

Top Gun Raceway kicks off its show with grudge racing with a test and tune session starting at 5 p.m. Friday then hosts round 10 of the Summit ET series, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The American Valley Speedway hosts an Enduro race Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. then on Sunday, at 7 p.m., stages more oval track racing when the Dwarf Cars join the regular three divisions.

Further east, at 6 p.m. Saturday the new Lovelock Speedway kicks off another of its regular races with double points for al but the IMCA Modfieds.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•NASCAR's Nevada Quartet was in action this weekend at two different tracks. On Saturday, at Nashville Speedway, T.J. Bell finished 19th in the Craftsman Truck event while Brendan Gaughan ended up 24th.

The Busch Brothers spent the weekend at the historic Watkins Glen road course where Kyle Busch ended up second in Saturday's Nationwide event. On Sunday, Kyle won the Sprint Cup event while his brother Kurt finished 11th.

RESULTS

Desert Park Raceway - Aug. 9

Northern Nevada Kart Club - Round 7

80cc Senior (Pro) (20-Laps) - 1. Travis Dunn, 2. Sean Forbes, 3. Mark Nason, 4. Robert Towne, 5. Gerry Williams, 6. Bobby McCort, 7. Cameron Bellamy, 8. Ben Fisher, 9. Jay Neely, 10. Kyle Gimplie

80cc Masters - 1. Mark Nason, 2. Cody McKinney, 3. Gerry Williams, 4. Ben Fisher, 5. Jay Neely

Jr. 1-2 Cycle - 1. Austin Dement, 2. Nicky Prichard, 3. Garrett Dixon, 4. Travis Barr, 5. Trever Listman

TAG Cadet - 1. Justin Hoekman, 2. Trever Listman

TAG Nov/Jr - 1. Chelsi Wagner (Jr.), 2. Christian Scholz (Jr.), 3. Rick Adams (Nov.), 4. William Sewell (Nov.), 5. Marty McNew (Nov.)

TAG Masters - 1. Billy Bowerman, 2. Barry Wellard, 3. Kerry Matthews, 4. Kevin Listman, 5. Brian Rivera

TAG Senior - 1. Zachary Dericco, 2. Mike Botellho Jr., 3. Tyler Wamre, 4. David Harwin, 5. Ph Giffels

ROTAX - 1. Eric Dean, 2. Nick Wadlow, 3. Dan Harris, 4. Chris McCabe, 5. Pete MOrley

F200 - 1. Tim Johnson, 2. Brad Wunder, 3. Paul Viacrucis, 4. Matt Dixon, 5. Dan Allen

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