And a large group of drivers showed up ready to race. It was a night of domination for some, a bit of anger and a whole lot of attrition among those racing.
After the dust settled on the IMCA Modified feature, winner Shawn Natenstedt said,” Back to back weekends feels good. I started third on that restart, knew the groove on the outside was good and I figured those guys would run right around the middle so I had enough room and I squeezed it in there. The car was pretty good, it was a little snug on entry, but we made it work and tried to miss all the potholes.”
When the green waved Gene Kay charged forward from his starting position and soon held the point with Will Vinn and the pack.
After a quick caution, racing resumed with Kay using this three-wheel style as he roared through the corners. Behind him track champion Natenstedt was working his way toward the front.
Then, around lap 10, a pair of back-to-back caution periods occurred. First, for a stalled car and that ended with another car sliding down the front straight wall before limping into the pits.
By now, Natenstedt was in third and when the green waved for the second restart he pounced, using an outside move to roar into the lead from which he was never challenged.
All during the race, cars fell out with various ailments and finally only six cars were around after the last caution. Behind Natenstedt, Russ Cazier used a steady, determined drive to claim second ahead of Will Vinn.
After the race Cazier said, “A good solid second and it was a lot of fun. Some of it was working forward and some of it was a gift from misfortune with some other drivers.”
The Pro Stock feature was decided by the second turn after the green flag waved. That’s when Jesse “The Rocket” Gonzalez lived up to his name making an inside charge from the second row and grabbing the lead.
Chris Nieman tried to make a race of it and for much of the race stayed within striking distance of the leader. And Gonzalez had to go through several restarts, as there were four cautions.
Both leaders also had to content with back markers that added some challenges to their race, sometimes working for one and against the other.
An altercation between Nieman and Dean Cichowicz brought a caution and changed the race. Contact spun Nieman, who then retaliated.
After that both drivers were called to the side where the officials had a short discussion with them and both were sent to the pits for rough driving.
After that the race was for second as Josh Ogg and Gary Nevers had a nose-to-tail duel for second, which ended in that order. Up front, Gonzalez won with a half-lap margin.
“It was definitely good, we were in the second row inside and going into Turn 1 in the lead,” Gonzalez said. “The lap cars were pretty fast and I was trying to figure out where they were going to be and where I needed to be to get around them. And I thought the track was excellent.”
Then he expressed appreciation for his sponsors, CFM Fabrication, Eternal Image, COD Garage, Camacho Auto Sales and J&M Custom Stacking.
Biggest field of the night was the Hobby Stock class and when their feature began Chris Neal soon took over the point. Behind him, in the pack, Carl “Fireball” Barlow was moving toward the front.
Soon Neal had Barlow on his back bumper and the chase was on. On Lap 13 an outside move gave Barlow the lead while Neal fell into the clutches of Brian Moore.
Two quick cautions bunched the field and when racing resumed Barlow streaked into the lead as he roared off to the victory. Behind him Moore finished second while Neal slipped back to third followed by Royce Goetz.
“It was a lot of fun, Chris Neal and is a hell of a driver,” Barlow said. “I figured I would get around him in time but he ran a very good race.”
The Dwarf Cars ran a caution free race with the first part featuring a battle between teammates Race Wilson and Shane Ramthun. In the end Wilson won followed by Roy Peterson and Ramthun.
Later Wilson said, “It was quiet a race for me with Shane as he’s a substitute driver for my brother. All together it was a great night for Ramthun and Wilson Racing and I just want to say, great job with the track as it was amazing.”
When the Pure Stock Mini race began North Valley High School student Travis Barr jumped into the lead then fell back. Inheriting the lead was a charging Al Bishop.
After the event’s only caution, Bishop sped away while Barr was on the move and soon held second. From there the chase was on but at the finish Bishop was able to hold on to score a narrow victory over Barr.
In the trophy presentation Bishop said, “It was fun, it was a challenge and I didn’t think it was going to be like last week and it wasn’t. At the end I felt him Barr nudge me so I knew he was there and I had to be careful in the corners and just stay on the gas.”
For his part Barr said, “I was leading the race for a little bit after starting, and all of a sudden everyone behind me was in front of me and I don’t really know what happened. Then I worked my way up front again, if I had about one or two more laps I probably could have given Al a run for his money.”
All the classes suffered attrition with several cars falling out but the greatest example of that came in the Mini Mod feature.
Right after the start Stephen Crook took over the lead and seemed on his way to a win. That is until the final lap.
As the field took the white flag Steve Crook made it around until he came to a stop in Turn 4. By that time Steve Crook’s car has also stopped and Kenny Martin took the victory, only to have his motor blow up on the cool off lap.
So after the checkered only Justin McIlvain was able to get back to the pits under his own power.
Adding to the show were the Outlaw Karts. They race on a track named for “Grandpa Rogers,” who has been a fixture in local racing for many years.
Young Cody Callahan won both his heat and the first Outlaw Kart feature on the new track while Cole Reid was the other heat race winner.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•This weekend only Rattlesnake Raceway will be in action. While the Outlaw Karts won’t be racing there will be a demolition derby to entertain the crowd during intermission.
•Racing history was made on the other side of the world Saturday night. When Nico Rosberg, driving for Mercedes, won the F-1 race in China. The last time Mercedes won a F-1 Grand Prix was in 1955 at Monza when the great Juan Manuel Fangio topped an all Mercedes podium.
Fernley 95A Speedway, April 14
Heat Winners - #1 Cole Reid, #2 Cody Callahan
Main Winner - Cody Callahan
Pure Stock Mini:
Heat Winners - #1 Al Bishop, #2 Justin Schilling
Main - 1. Al Bishop, 2. Travis Barr, 3. Logan Cologna, 4. Justin Schilling, 5. Shawn Burton
Heat Winners - #1 Race Shelton, #2 Roy Peterson
Main - 1. Race Wilson, 2. Roy Peterson, 3. Shane Ramthun, 4. Chase Nieman, 5. Calira Ryle
Heat Winner - Stephen Crook
Main - 1. Kenny Martin, 2. Steve Crook, 3. Stephen Crook, 4. Justin McIlvain, 5. Robert Reader
Heat Winners - #1 Paul Sephens, #2 Richard Italiano, #3 Jacob Baker
Main - 1. Carl “Fireball,” Barlow 2. Brian Moore, 3. Chris Neal, 4. Royce Goetz, 5. Dean Clark
Heat Winners (25 Laps) - #1 Rob Grace, #2 Chris Nieman
Main - 1. Jesse “The Rocket,” Gonzalez, 2. Josh Ogg, 3. Gary Nevers, 4. Scott Deutsch, 5. Dwight Bolton
Heat Winners - #1 Shawn Natenstedt, #2 Gene Kay
Main (30 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Russ Cazier, 3. Will Vinn, 4. Dave Wood, 5. Mike McMordie