Heading the association this year is Maury Nelsen, who said, “I’m the president and they changed the rules so now the term is for two years to help with continuity.”
A couple major improvements are in the pits.
“This year we’re putting in two brand new bathrooms,” he said, “They are metal, flush bathrooms and are going to be nice additions. One is in the pits and one on the fan side and we’ll have running water, which we haven’t had before.”
By the time this article was filed, the bathroom buildings were up and fixtures may have been installed.
In addition a new road has been cut and graveled through the pits leading to the pre grid area just outside of the oval. This will allow an easier and safer access by the cars to the track.
The track itself is getting its share of enhancements.
Nelson explained that, after hearing complaints about the front straight being a bit too dark, the lighting there will be brighter due to higher intensity units that are being installed.
And the track’s surface will be much improved over last year.
“Mr. Ron Ward, who owns Lovelock Land and Development here in the valley, has been gracious enough to let us go onto his property and dig up all of the clay we wanted,” Nelson said.
When the track opened, it had a dirt surface, which was later covered by 96 loads of iron fines from a local iron mine.
“That’s the same material we used to use on the track at the rodeo grounds in the old days and it worked well,” he said. “But a lot of drivers complained it was so corrosive they were using up a lot of tires. So we changed and found this clay deposit and put that on last year.”
He explained that they didn’t dig deep enough so there were rocks in the 51 loads of clay added to the surface last season.
“This year we went out and I think in the pile there’s like 70 loads,” he said. “It’s deeper down in the vein, no rocks in it and we’re going to start hauling that pretty soon.”
One problem with the current surface was that it would dry out, turn powdery then begin to have holes in it. Nelson explained the secret is to keep the clay moist.
“We were given another water truck that has a blown motor in it and we think we found another one so we might have two water trucks this year, which will help a lot,” he said.
Between the added clay and with two water trucks, Nelson feels the surface will be much better to race on. As soon as the bathrooms were completed the volunteers will start hauling new clay to the track.
The go-kart track, inside the car oval, is also being changed.
“The track now is fine for the box stocks but the 250’s want to run and since they’re going to be running in Fallon our kart guys are going to make ours bigger also,” he said. “Fallon says theirs is going to be a full 1/8th mile but I’m not sure we’ll make that or not but it’s going to be real close. And ours will have banked corners.”
He added the go-kart people are also looking at a set of turns that will give the beginners a short track to race on.
“If they want to make another turn for the little guys then they need to tell us what they want,” Nelson said.
Last year the track added a beer garden, which Nelson explained was a success.
“That actually worked really good and it came from the Frontier Coalition, which is an anti-drug, anti-alcohol thing. It’s mainly pointed for the younger people and the idea was to separate alcohol sales from the concessions to they wouldn’t be mixed in together,” he said. “And it worked really well.”
A billboard type sign will be erected on the outside of Turn 2, which will make sponsor’s signs easier to view from the stands. So far there is a growing list of supporters.
Some of those appreciated sponsors are Dynamic Diesel, Rock Auto, the Standard Station and Sturgeons Casino. The track is also receiving help from the Pershing County Tourism Department for the Evenson Law Office Iron Man series, which will visit the track this summer.
That series begins with a Friday-Saturday, June 7-8, show in Fallon and then moves to Lovelock for a Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10, set of races before moving to tracks east of here.
Nelson also gave a heart felt thanks to the volunteers that are making these improvements possible as they contribute the labor.
Asked about last season, he said, “ It went really well as far as participants and things went.”
With the season beginning in April, his focus is on the future.
With three tracks in the area, Lovelock, Fallon and Fernley, Nelson feels everyone will have enough competitors.
“I think there’s enough cars to go around for everybody and we have guys from Winnemucca that are talking about coming down,” he said. “And of course we have people that like to race with us and people that like to race other places but that’s the way racecar drivers are.”
Finally, looking at the 2012 season, he said, “We did all right last year and I think we’ll do that well or at least a little bit better this year. We’ll be good.”
•Another track improving its lighting is Rattlesnake Raceway and the brighter units should help the new go-track on the infield.
•The oval at the Reno-Fernley Raceway has been renamed as the Fernley 95A Speedway. Work is still continuing as volunteers are cleaning and getting the facility prepared for an April opening to its 2012 racing season.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•For the first time in its history the Daytona 500 had to be postponed due to rain. It will be broadcast Monday on FOX beginning at 9 a.m. local time.
•NASCAR’S Nevada Quartet spent this past week at the Daytona International Speedway for the opening of the organization’s top three series. Up to Sunday it has been a crash fest.
In Sunday’s Camping World Truck race, that needed several green-white attempts at a finish Brendan Gaughan had as high as sixth but ended up 20th after starting 11th.
Saturday’s Nationwide event was marked by a record number of lead changes and its share of wrecks. Sparks native, now living in North Carolina, T.J. Bell started 39th, was involved in a melee with 14 to go and ended up 24th.
The Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle had teamed and appeared to be on their way to a possible win. In the last 1,000 feet or so of the race all the leaders were taken out in a massive wreck dropping Kurt to 10th and Kyle to a 18th place finish.
•The road course, now the Reno-Fernley Race Track, has a new group using it and headed by Rich Hill, the oval’s 2007 IMCA Modified champion.
This group is the Great Western Race Series where the cars are grouped by qualifying times and not type of cars. So far there are three events planned, May 5-6, August 4-5 and September 1-2.
Race prepared cars of all types are welcome and those wishing further information should go to: www.GWRaceSeries.com. Sign ups begin in April.