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Nason sweeps at NNKC night race
by Dan McGee
Aug 16, 2009 | 1463 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - When the F 80 Masters feature began, Jeremy Abshire (76) was the only driver to get this close to winner Mark Nason (85), who motored off to claim both the victory and money offered to the winner.
Tribune/Dan McGee - When the F 80 Masters feature began, Jeremy Abshire (76) was the only driver to get this close to winner Mark Nason (85), who motored off to claim both the victory and money offered to the winner.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - During the Jr. 1-2 feature race two boys put on a place-swapping duel for the lead and victory. Here, eventual victor Tyler Burk (88) leads J.R. Raczko (4) as they tear past the pits.
Tribune/Dan McGee - During the Jr. 1-2 feature race two boys put on a place-swapping duel for the lead and victory. Here, eventual victor Tyler Burk (88) leads J.R. Raczko (4) as they tear past the pits.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Battling for the lead in the Tag Masters feature were eventual winner Brian Rivera (2), who is being chased by runner-up Nick Wadlow.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Battling for the lead in the Tag Masters feature were eventual winner Brian Rivera (2), who is being chased by runner-up Nick Wadlow.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - One highlight of Saturday's night race for the NNKC was the rare appearance of the 125 Shifters and past champion Mitch Kennedy, who wound up second in the feature.
Tribune/Dan McGee - One highlight of Saturday's night race for the NNKC was the rare appearance of the 125 Shifters and past champion Mitch Kennedy, who wound up second in the feature.
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STEAD - The late Rick Jerome helped found the Northern Nevada Kart Club and after his untimely passing a few years, the club named it annual night race in his honor. It's the only time during the year NNKC races under the lights.

The race is usually well attended but this year the driver and kart count was down. One reason might be a consequence of the membership spending two weeks staging the recent Sprint Grand Nationals.

Those present however, put on an evening of spirited racing with the final main literally being a money round.

Like last year the F80 Senior drivers issued a challenge and put money into a pot. They even challenged some California drivers, who showed up and appeared to be on their way to taking the money.

In the end, a local driver smelled the money and won the pot. However it wasn't easy by any mans.

"I won them all tonight and these kinds of days are few and far between," a delighted Mark Nason said. "I fought all day, had to climb up hill to catch these guys that were ahead of me in practice and qualifying. It took experts like Mitch Kennedy and some others guys around the track to give me a few tips I might consider."

After his first two heat races Nason didn't like the way his kart was performing. His adjustments, based on the advice he received, seemed to do the trick. One factor he had to consider was when the track cools it picks up grip and that can upset a kart's handling.

Shifters use a standing start and when the lights turned green Nason took off followed by Jeremy Abshire. But after the second corner everyone else was racing for second as the Reno driver began to pull away.

At one time the gap was at least three seconds while behind him there was a five-kart train disputing second place. Any little mistake by a driver would cost him at least one to four positions.

A delighted Nason reached the checkered flag first followed by two California visitors, Abshire and Tony Mangini while NNKC member Cody McKinney coming home fourth.

Just like last year, the 125 Shifter class made one of its rare appearances at the track. One of the three drivers was many time champion Mitch Kennedy, who battled problems with his kart all night.

Once again Nason got the hole shot with Kennedy in hot pursuit. Lap after lap they tore around the track with speeds rarely seen these days, including reaching around 80 mph on the front straight.

Cornering speeds are higher as these karts come with front brakes while the other classes on have brakes on the rear axle.

In the end, Nason completed his sweep with Kennedy finishing a close second.

"I cheated a look and Mitch was so close I didn't even know he was back there," Nason said. "The 125 is very physical and at night, when you get a lot of grip, it really requires a lot of finesses or you'll just beat yourself to death."

Another hard fought race was in the Jr. 1-2 Cycle class where J.R. Raczko and Tyler Burk finished one-two in both heats.

When the green flag waved for their main, both boys took off and staged a place-swapping duel for most of the 14-lap event.

One lead change occurred when they were passing a slower kart that wound up spinning by the chicane. Then they exchanged the lead again while heading into Turn 1, where the deciding moment of the race happened.

Heading into the Turn 1 kink, contact sent Raczko onto the infield and out of the race while Burk kept going and claimed the win. The incident elevated Garrett Dixon to second in the final standings.

For Burk, the victory wasn't the way he intended.

"I never want to race with someone crashed out like that, I don't want that to happen as I'm a clean driver," he said

Then he gave his perspective of the incident.

"That was unfortunate but I had 50% on him and he tried coming over on me," he said. "The track comes to a part where it kinks over so if he wasn't going to give it to me then I was going to force the issue."

Then he thanks his sponsors: Bill McAnally Racing, Dan Haywood, Rocklin Hydraulics and Paul Haraka, who came out from North Carolina to help correct some problems with the kart.

Both the Tag Masters heat races had their share of action, as well as some pushing and shoving. So it appeared the main might be action packed.

One favorite was NNKC president Brian Rivera, who was racing a kart normally driven by Cody Kay. Getting an adult's frame into the seat a 14-year-old usually occupies was a bit of a challenge but Rivera was able to squeeze into the seat.

When the feature race began, Rivera soon had the point with Nick Wadlow in hot pursuit. Back in the pack Dan Harris was moving through a line of karts, finally took third and began to reel in the leaders.

Once again a slower kart helped decide the race.

Late in the race, coming down the hill from Turn 5, Rivera got past the slower kart but Wadlow wasn't able to make the pass until they reached the front straight. This allowed Rivera to escape and put Wadlow in the clutches of Harris and they finished in that order.

"It was exciting as there's some great competition in Tag Masters," Rivera said. "Nick Wadlow was on my back the whole time, I knew he was there but I needed to play my race the way I knew it had to be run and luckily I came out on top. Everything worked out great, what a night."

Then he expressed his appreciation to Chad Kay and RC Electric that donated the kart Rivera raced. Turning wrenches for him was three-time Duffy champion, and the kart's regular driver, Cody Kay.

Other winners were Mike Roes in the F80 Master race and Ray Andrews in Tag Senior.

Now everyone gets a week off until NNKC's next race, Sunday, August 30.

•This week two ovals and one motocross track are in action. Starting at 6 p.m. the Lovelock Speedway hosts another of its regular shows while, up in Susanville, Calif. at 7 p.m., the Diamond Mountain Speedway ends its points season.

Area motocross racers will head for Gardnerville and the new Nevada Motorsports Park, located by the fairground. On Saturday, starting at 3 p.m., the 50's, 65's and Quads race while the other classes run on Sunday with a 8 a.m. start to practice.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•This weekend's drag races at Top Gun Raceway had to be cancelled after the track suffered an electrical failure.

•Three of NASCAR's Nevada Quartet raced at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. In Saturday's Nationwide race Kyle Busch wound up third after a last lap, near tangle with Brian Vickers that allowed Brad Keselowski to sweep past them and win the race.

Brendan Gaughan didn't do so well starting 15th and falling to 29th at the end.

In Sunday's Sprint Cup race Kyle Busch was involved in a crash that ended his race and dropped him to 36th while younger brother Kyle had a better day and ended up 23rd.

RESULTS

Desert Park Raceway - Aug. 14

Northern Nevada Kart Club - Round 6 (Rick Jerome Memorial Night Race)

F125 - 1. Mark Nason, 2. Mitch Kennedy, 3. 15 Chris McCabe

F80 Master - 1. 7y Mike Roes, 2. 61 Darrel Dean, 3. 31 Mike McMullen,

80 Senior (Money Race) - 1. 85 Mark Nason, 2. 76 Jeremy Abshire, 3. 5 Tony Mangini, 4. 3y Cody McKinney, 5. 3 Adam Booker

Tag Masters - 1. 2 Brian Rivera, 2. 41 Nick Wadlow, 3. 16 Dan Harris, 4. 15 Chris McCabe, 5. 10 Derrick DeLong

Tag Sr. - 1. 38 Ray Andrews, 2. 84 Curt Baker, 3. 12 Lionel Fayet

Jr. 1-2 - 1. 88 Tyler Burk, 2. 94 Garrett Dixson, (dnf)3.4 J.R. Raczko, 4.48 Dean Andrews. 5. Isacc Wyett

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