"It was hard. I saw that #07 car coming around the outside and kept seeing him poke his nose in there," Derek Rosse said after the pro race. "I knew if I could keep it down low, and get a good drive coming out, I'd be all right."
It took two attempts to get the 24-car field racing but in the end Rosse held the point, followed by Patrick Weger and Ryan Winter. As they gapped the field, the three leaders were either nose-to-tail or side-by-side.
Behind the leaders, Daniel Weger was moving forward and soon joined the battle for the lead. He had some help when a slower car blocked Rosse for a couple of laps.
Due to several cautions, the field was stopped at the halfway point and allowed to refuel. After they got into the proper order, the chase resumed.
In the final laps, Weger found his car liked the high line, while Rosse clung to the bottom where some moisture remained on the drying track. Going into the corners Weger seemed to have the advantage but then Rosse took it exiting.
At the checkered, Rosse had a gap between himself and his rivals as he crossed the line first followed by Weger and Winter.
Earlier, the Sportsman feature turned into a father-son battle. When the green waved, Josh Pires jumped into the lead with his father Dean right on his back bumper.
Lap after lap, they ran away from the field as they dueled for the point. In the last laps Dean got past his son Josh and stormed away for the victory.
"He was in front of me a lot and behind me a lot," the elder Pires said. "We were battling out, the track was really hooked up and it was a driver's track. I was waiting for him to make a mistake and capitalize on it."
Kelly Gutches was the runaway winner in the Vets event.
Rounding out the show were some 410-sprint cars. Their numbers were reduced due to the passing of Dave Tabor earlier in the week, so his son Mark Sr. and grandson Mark Tabor Jr. weren't present.
To honor the elder Tabor's memory, the evening's show began with Sparks racer Mike Monahan first taking a slow lap with the checkered flag then a flying lap in his sprint car.
The sprint car main almost ended on lap 5 when two cars spun and Jim Richardson couldn't stop in time, hit the car of Johnny Gray that wound upside down. The incident appeared to have eliminated all but the leader.
Fortunately most of the cars were quickly repaired, except for Gray's, and returned to the track. Up front Joey Magaruh led from green to checkered followed by Monahan and Brad Bumgardner.
"It was my first time here, I've never seen the place and we came out with just an idea for the set up. We were a little bit off but got it pretty dialed in for the main event," Magaruh said. "It's a neat race track, a little bit dry but it was starting to patch a little rubber and getting a bit faster.
He added this racer isn't the one he usually drives as Magaruh is replacing the regular driver, who is recovering from a broken arm.
"I'm actually driving two cars for two different owners, "he said.
Friday's show had a full slate of Dwarf Car races plus the track's regular classes, Mini and Pro Stocks that rounded out the racing card.
This time Michael Grenert was the pro winner as he led the entire event while Kelly Gutches won the Veteran's class.
After his win Grenert, who is in the Air Force, said, "The track was good but it could have been a different scenario if I had to start in the back as it was a little bit of a one laner and not a lot of passing was going on behind me. The car was great but I totally destroyed it in hot laps, came back, threw parts at it, went out with it not set up, won my heat race and that gave me the opportunity to start on the pole."
In the Sportsman feature, it was all Dean Pires as the San Jose, California based driver ran away from the field.
After the dust settled, Pires said, "It was good, nice dry-slick and there was a lot of throttle control going on there."
It took a couple of attempts to get the Pro Stock race going but once the green waved for the last time B.J. Pearson was on the point followed by Travis Petersen and Jay Sears.
As they rocketed around the track, Pearson put a gap between himself and the other two as they ripped around the track. Eventually Petersen's handling kind of went away and allowed Sears to take second.
There were cautions and at every restart Sears pulled right behind Pearson, who would just drive away. In the end Petersen, who actually had a good night, finished third behind Sears and winner Pearson.
"This is the second one I've won here this year. The car's working pretty good but it was really dry-slick," Pearson said. "You could run real high but no body wanted to try it because of the wall."
Asked if he could catch Pearson, runner-up Sears said, "It was a follow-the-leader track tonight, way dry-slick and the only line was on the inside. The only way you could get by somebody is if they bobbled or you could root them out of the way.
For Petersen, not winning wasn't too hard to handle as he locked up the division title.
"Tonight we clinched our second American Valley Speedway championship," he said. "In the race I washed up a little bit in Turns 1 and 2, Jay got my me and the car was real, real loose so we just held on the got third. I have to give thanks to Reno Mazada-Kia, Prospect Mortage and the guys on the team that make this possible."
Earlier Petersen allowed that next season he'd race both his Pro Stock and an IMCA Modified.
The Mini Stock main appeared to be another family feud as cousins Chase and Chris Neiman battled for the lead. In the end Chase, who is now back in his car after a knee operation, won followed by Mathew Stewart and Mandy Ellsworth, a North Valleys High senior celebrating her 18th birthday with what will probably be her only drive this season.
•This weekend the local chapter of the Old Timers Motorcycle Club hosts its traditional round of their national series at the Fernley Motocross track. Riders, except the oldest, race three motos Saturday and two on Sunday with a 10 a.m. start time both days.
Rattlesnake Raceway hosts the only oval track race in the region Saturday with a 6 p.m. start time. All the regular classes will be in action.
MORE RACING NEWS
•With the Sprint Cup off this weekend, only three of NASCAR's Nevada Quartet were in action.
In Friday's Camping World Truck race at Chicagoland Speedway, Kyle Busch won while Sparks native, now living in North Carolina, started 23rd and finished 15th. Rain marked the Nationwide event in Montreal and a late race spin dropped Kyle Busch from second to 10th while Brendan Gaughan overcame a few spins to end up ninth.
American Valley Speedway
•Saturday, Aug. 29
Dwarf Car Regional:
Heat Winners - #1 Race Wilson, #2 Joe Frock
Dash Winner - Patrick Weger
B Main - 1. Race Wilson, 2. Joe Frock, 3. Reece Wilson, 4. Josh Hiatt, 5. Billie Canham
Main - 1. Derek Rosse, 2. Kelly Gutches, 3. Ryan Winter, 4. Michael Grenert, 5. Billy Wilson
Dash Winner - Kelly Gutches
Main - 1. Kelly Gutches, 2. Dominic Gabiola, 3. Skip Hempler, 4. Leroy Kay, 5. Bobby Niles
Heat Winner - Cedlia Dillie
Dash Winner - Josh Pires
Main - 1. Dean PIres, 2. Josh Pires, 3. Frank Hinds, 4. Blake Olsen, 5. Cedlia Dillie
410 Sprint Cars:
Heat Winner - Jim Richardson
Main - 1. Joey Magaruh, 2. Mike Monahan, 3. Brad Buimgarner, 4. Jim Richardson, 5. Pat Harvey
•Friday, Aug. 28
Dwarf Car Regional:
Heat Winners - #1 Dean Pires, #2 Frank Hinds, #3 Kelly Gutches, #4 Gilbert Toste, #5 Kevin Bender, #6 Michael Grenert
Mains: Sportsmen - 1. Dean Pires, 2. Rick Davis, 3. Frank Hinds, 4. Blake Olsen, 5. Josh Pires
Veterans - 1. Kelly Gutches, 2. Skip Hempler, 3. Dominic Gabiola, 4. Bobby Niles
Pros - 1. Michael Grenert, 2. Gilbert Toste, 3. Ryan Winter, 4. Kevin Bender, 5. Patrick Weger
Heat Winner - Travis Petersen
Main - 1. B.J. Pearson, 2. Jay Sears, 3. Travis Petersen, 4. Craig Nieman, 5. Thomas Brennan
Heat Winners - #1 Mathew Stewart, #2 Chris Nieman
Main - 1. Chase Nieman, 2. Mathew Stewart, 3. Mandy Ellsworth, 4. Brittny Nieman, 5. unlisted