Once again, the Clone division had the largest field, 13 karts, and staged the closest finish of the day. Close racing is something this class is known for, as these karts are relatively low powered.
“I was able to get by him (John Ryckebosch) after starting in the second row,” Mark Koerner said after winning the hard-fought race.
When the green flew, John Ryckebosch led the pack through the Turn 1, followed by Koerner and David Schilt. For several laps it appeared to be a five-way fight for the lead.
Eventually Matt Koerner took second, while Schilt would fade to fourth when Stephanie Lienay got past him. Up front, Ryckebosch had a gap and it appeared he might be headed for the victory.
Eventually Koerner caught and passed Ryckebosch, as they tore down the front straight. After that the chase was on.
In the final lap, Ryckebosch tried his best to get into the lead but had to ride the curbs to avoid spinning the leader. Further back, Schilt claimed third as he got past Lienay.
Coming out of the final complex of turns, Ryckebosch still managed to almost be side-by-side as Koerner reached the finish line first. The margin would have been less than half a kart length.
At the post race weigh in both drivers congratulated each other on a good race. Then Koerner expressed his appreciation for sponsor Nevada Kartsport and all the help they’ve given him.
Another race long chase came in the F-125 division. Unlike the Clones these karts are the most powerful and fastest of all.
Right after the start Mitch Kennedy briefly held the lead until Todd Thompson grabbed the point. Close behind was Gerry Williams, who made it into a three-way duel for the lead.
Later Williams faded to a solo third while, up front, Kennedy kept the pressure on Thompson. Lap after lap, they were so close a large blanket could have covered both of them.
There is a left-right-left complex that leads onto the front straight and heading to the white flag, that’s where Kennedy made his move. Then as they headed down the straight it seemed like Thompson missed a shift and that sealed his second place.
After the race and asked about his winning move, Kennedy said, “I could see he (Thompson) was getting tired and he was a little bad getting on the straightaway and that’s where his mistake was.”
The other shifter class, F-80, began with a duel between leader Mark Nason and Cody McKinney. But a few laps in Cody McKinney took over and pulled away.
Despite closing on the leader Nason had to settle for second as McKinney dominated the event.
“I knew I could get him as I’ve been faster than everybody all day,” McKinney said after the race. “Coming down he straightaway I got off the corner a little bit better than he did and went by. The track is great, another hot day and another win.”
Mike Ryckebosch won the TAG Masters main but the race was between second place Eric Westenberg, who managed to keep Dan Harris, who finished third, at bay. Don Faris won the Tag Novice main with Kelly Morley following in second.
The next NNKC event will be a day race on Saturday the 18th of August.
•On Saturday evening the IMCA Modifieds were in action at the American Valley Speedway in Quincy, Calif. Early in the program there was a “Dash for Cash,” won by Erica Harmon.
When the feature began Joe Wood led the charge with second place Russ Cazier right behind him. By the time they reached Turn 3, Cazier held the point.
Back in the pack Mark Skender, who crashed in qualifying but posted a second place finish in his heat came to grief as he exited turn 4. His car slid out and rolled upside down after hitting the K-rail that outlines the front straight.
The race was halted as officials rushed to Skender’s aid. After rolling his upside down car back on its wheels he climbed out uninjured, although his car was a bit mangled.
“It felt like it was on marbles then I felt someone tap be from behind and that was it,” Skender said.
While Skender’s car was towed to the pits another car had problems and was pushed to the pits. Now 11 racers would answer the green.
One racing resumed Cazier took off followed by Bobby Higgins and Chris Nieman. Behind the leaders Harmon was fifth while Adam Walters had moved up to third.
A short caution for a spin slowed the field but on the restart Harmon used an outside move to take second while Walters slipped back to fifth, then moved toward the front and took over second while exiting Turn 4.
During the final laps Walters kept the pressure on Cazier. Lap after lap they would get almost side-by-side, then nose-to-nose then spaced out.
On the last lap Walters almost got along side Cazier, who held on for his first victory at the track.
After he won Cazier said, “That was a good one and I enjoyed it very much, I went out there and did what we needed to do. I just held on to it, tried to stay on some of the tacky dirt and it worked it good.”
During the victory celebration second place Walters said, “I was better on the bottom than he was, he’d come into one and two and I’d try to get under him. He’s just hard to pass but I’m happy. We’ve run nine races this year and got seven seconds but I sure wish we could have won here tonight.”
OTHER RACING NEWS
•As the oval track seasons begin to wind down three tracks start the month of August.
Lovelock Speedway hosts its two-day Frontier Days races, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as the facility joins the town in celebrating its founding. Featured will be the IMCA Modifieds as well as 360 Sprint Cars and other classes.
Another track in action, and starting a 7 p.m. Friday, is Diamond Mountain in Susanville, California. On Saturday, and starting a 7 p.m., is American Valley Speedway in Quincy with a show that has both the DART Dwarf Cars as well as the IMCA Modified.
•A trio of Nevada drivers spent the weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In Saturday’s Nationwide event Kyle Busch started second and finished 22nd while older brother Kurt started 18th but dropped to 34th by the finish. The only one that moved up was T.J. Bell, who started 43rd but finished 39th.
At the Brickyard 400, Sprint Cup Race on Sunday, Kyle finished second after starting 7th while Kurt had engine problems that dropped him from 13th to 36th.
•Desert Park Raceway - July 29
Box Stock Clone/Clone Jr. - 1. Matt Koerner, 2. John Ryckebosch, 3. David Schilt, 4. Stephanie Lienay, 5. Steve Ryckebosch, 6. Dean Andrews (Jr.)
TAG Novice - 1. Don Faris, 2. Kelly Morley, 3. Dean Andrews
TAG Masters - 1. Mike Ryckebosch, 2. Eric Westenberg, 3. Dan Harris, 4. Randy Ryckebosch, 5. Mike McMullen
F80 Sr. - 1. Cody McKinney, 2. Mark Nason, 3. Steve Dow, 4. Ben Fisher, 5. Greg Jaime
F125 - 1. Mitch Kennedy, 2. Todd Thompson, 3. Gerry Williams, 4. John Morgan, 5. Alex Gray
•American Valley Speedway - July 28
Heat 1 - 1. Russ Cazier, 2. Wade Deburg, 3. David Johnson, 4. Matt Murphy
Heat 2 - 1. Bobby Higgins, 2. Mark Skender, 3. Chris Nieman, 4. Joe Wood, 5. Craig Nieman
Heat 3 - 1. Adam Walters, 2. Mitch Murphy, 3. Erica Harmon, 4. D.J. Short, 5. Steve Gordon
Dash for Cash - 1. Erica Harmon, 2. Adam Walters, 3. Matt Murphy, 4. Craig Nieman
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Russ Cazier, 2. Adam Walters, 3. Chris Nieman, 4. Erica Harmon, 5. Bobby Higgins