"I didn't have an idea how close B.J. (Pearson) was to me but I knew if he wasn't beside me I was ahead of him," Travis Petersen said. "The car was hooked up but you had to feather it through Turns 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4."
When the green waved to start the Pro Stock feature Petersen jumped right into the lead with B.J. Pearson in hot pursuit.
The pace slowed three laps later then after three more laps of racing everything came to a screaming halt. That's when the car of Brent Lawrence may have lost its steering sending him into one of the tractor tires that mark the track's inside edge.
Impacting the tire the car took off and did a complete roll landing on its wheels. While Lawrence wasn't injured in the accident the same can't be said for his car, which appears to be a loss.
When the green waved Petersen took off with Pearson trying to catch him. They would cross the line in that order and after the finish Petersen took a victory lap and showed he intends to defend his title.
For the past few years North Valley resident Bill Pearson has been in a victory drought, despite some good finishes. When the Modified main began he trailed Jake Holland through the first two turns.
Exiting Turn 2, Pearson took the inside line and made what was the winning pass. Coming back through Turn 2, Pearson hit some water that almost brought his car to a halt but he was able to hang on to the lead.
After that Pearson kept extending his lead and eventually had a three-second advantage. In the final laps Holland close the gap but was never able to get past him. And the checkered ended a dry spell of victories for Pearson.
"There was some water in Turn 2 and I about spun out," he said. "Except for the lap after a caution, I lost my brakes after the 10th lap so at the end I slowed down a little bit. Still it's been a good two weeks with the car still in one piece."
The Mini Stock feature kicked off the night's main events. This turned into a battle of cousins as Chris and Chase Nieman battled side-by-side for the lead.
The first lap ended with contact that spun Chase and put him to the back of the pack. After that the race was to try and catch his cousin, a three-time former champion.
Lap after lap, Chase cut his way through the traffic until he was in second. Up front however Chris Neiman was having a bit of a problem when Matt Steward briefly took but then lost the lead.
Later Steward spun out of contention while Chase Neiman was on his cousin's back bumper. At the checkered Chris, who also attends Quincy High School with his cousin, beat Chase at the line.
"This was a lot of fun and the track was very good," Chris Nieman said.
•On Sunday the Northern Nevada Kart Club staged round three of its points season. While the kart count the afternoon was filled with hard racing to go along with the day's heat.
The Tag Jr. main was a pretty close battle although earlier it took five attempts to get their heat race started. The feature needed only two tries and once the green waved Cody Kay took off with Austin De Ment and Chelsi Wagner giving chase.
Wager soon fell off the pace as her kart had been plagued with electrical problem. Up front Kay and De Ment were running inches apart as they tore around the course.
After a few laps where he would close on the leader De Ment finally drafted into the lead as both boys streaked down the front straight. Now it was Kay's turn to hound the leader.
With only a few laps remaining, both Kay and De Ment caught two slower karts. Unfortunately for Kay he couldn't get past them as easily as De Ment did.
Finally, after clearing the slower karts Kay set off in hot pursuit but had to settle for second after he ran out of time while De Ment reached the checkered flag first.
"That was exciting and close but I guess Cody got a little unlucky at the end," De Ment said. "He drove me a clean and that was really fun to race with him."
Later Cody Kay scored a runaway victory in the HPV 2 Junior division.
During the day two of the three 125 shifter karts had problems but when it was time for their main three took the track. Right after the standing start Mark Nason held the lead, that is until the Grand Master of the class Mitch Kennedy, flew past him on the way to scoring the victory.
In years past Kennedy has been the master of Desert Park for the 125 shifter class and again proved he's not lost any of his speed despite being off the track for a couple of years.
Another close race was in the Tag Senior division. During the heat races David Brant and veteran Mike Botelho Jr. would run close and swap the lead so anticipation was high for a good race.
Well it turned out that way but an incident in one of the corners kind of took the luster off their battle. Still at the end Brant reached the finish line first just head of Botelho.
Earlier in the afternoon the Jr. 1-2 Cycle heat race was the scene of some good nose-to-tail racing. But when their main began Tyler Burk, from Auburn, Calif. took off when the green waved.
After that, the 11-year-old was in the catbird seat as he just powered away from his competitors on his way to scoring the victory. Taking second was J.R. Raczko followed by Danny Rubino and Justin Hoekman.
"We used a taller gear than J.R. (Raczko) and I got in front," Burk said after the race.
NNKC President Brian Rivera told this writer about some more developments for the Sprint Nationals the club is going to host at the end of July.
Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 winner is bringing his kart team to compete as some other big teams. If negotiations go well another Indy 500 champion, Dan Weldon might also attend the event but it's unknown if he or Rice will drive.
Grand Am driver Memo Gidley and pro racer Joey Hand might also be on hand and might even race their karts.
The event will be held at Desert Park during the week of July 22-26 and will bring kart racers from across the country to compete and stay in this area.
•Memorial Day weekend is a feast for motorsport fans and it will be no different for this area.
The action begins Friday evening at 7 p.m. when the Reno-Fernley Raceway hosts a four-division show featuring the IMCA Modifieds.
There is a pair of two-day shows in the area with the local Over The Hill Gang club hosting and competing in one of their national rounds at the Fernley motocross track. The first motos should begin around 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Top Gun Raceway is also hosting a two-day drag race meet for its Summit ET Series, with an 8:30 a.m. start to qualifying Saturday and a 9:30 a.m. start on Sunday.
Saturday night, at 6 p.m., Rattlesnake Raceway hosts a seven-division show featuring both kids rides, 360 sprint cars and IMCA Modifieds.
The Lovelock Speedway stages its final daytime race Sunday, starting at 1 p.m., in a show that also features IMCA Modifieds.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•NASCAR's Nevada Quartet spent the weekend at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. In Friday night's Camping World Truck race Kyle Busch finished second after being involved in penalties, spins and a wreck while T.J. Bell, who ended up 30th, was knocked out of the race after an accident he couldn't avoid.
Kurt Busch finished third in Saturday's Sprint Cup All Star Race while Kyle ended up seventh after starting 13th.
•American Valley Speedway - May 16
Modified Main (25-Laps) - 1. Bill Pearson, 2. Jake Holland, 3. Jim Turner, 4. Erica Harmond, 5. Mike Compton
Pro Stocks Main (20-Laps) - 1. Travis Petersen, 2. B.J. Pearson, 3. Tom Brennan, 4. Brian Wood, 5. Jack Randall
Mini Stock Main (15-Laps) - 1. Chris Nieman, 2. Chase Nieman, 3. Matt Steward, 4. Brian Hughes, 5. Perry Green
•Desert Raceway Park - May 17
Northern Nevada Kart Club - Round 3
Kids Karts - 1. John Paul Maxwell, 2. Tyler Dean
F 80 Masters - 1. Darrel Dean, 2. Mike McMullen, 3. David Schilt, 4. John Thorton
F125 - 1. Mitch Kennedy, 2. Mark Nason, 3. Chris McCabr
Tag Jr./Nov. - 1. Austin De Ment, 2. Cody Kay, 3. Chelsi Wagner, 4. Bob Hoekman*, 5. Marty McNew*
Tag Senior - !. David Brant, 2. Mike Botelho Jr., 3. Curt Baker
Jr. 1-2 Cycle - 1. Tyler Burk, 2. J.R. Raczko, 3. Danny Rubino, 4. Justin Hoekman, 5. Jeremy Kay, 6. Christian Maxwell
HPV2 Jr. - 1. Cody Kay, 2. Deven Sanchez, 3. Logan Wyman