Check Out Our Sports Photo Galleries Contact Us
Racers ready for upcoming season
by Dan McGee
Mar 14, 2010 | 2823 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - Kart racer Dave Schilt stands in the NNKC booth that featured several types of karts, including one from new Clone class. The club was showing its type of racing and equipment for those attending this week's International Motorsports and Recreation Expo at the convention center.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Kart racer Dave Schilt stands in the NNKC booth that featured several types of karts, including one from new Clone class. The club was showing its type of racing and equipment for those attending this week's International Motorsports and Recreation Expo at the convention center.
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - Ty Erquiaga, the director of Octane Fest, stands in his booth promoting the annual motorsports festival. On display was an off road racer, motocross bike, drag racer (behind him) and an off-road racer.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Ty Erquiaga, the director of Octane Fest, stands in his booth promoting the annual motorsports festival. On display was an off road racer, motocross bike, drag racer (behind him) and an off-road racer.
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - Veteran drag racer Ricky Ruiz is celebrating his 49th season of competition this year and is standing by his racer an AA Alcohol Altered called the "Nevada Rattler."
Tribune/Dan McGee - Veteran drag racer Ricky Ruiz is celebrating his 49th season of competition this year and is standing by his racer an AA Alcohol Altered called the "Nevada Rattler."
slideshow
Tribune/Dan McGee - Greg Jones stands beside his racing boat, a Top Alcohol Fuel dragster that carries him to around 170 mph at the end of the liquid quarter mile. He races the boat in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series, a series of races that goes across the country during the season.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Greg Jones stands beside his racing boat, a Top Alcohol Fuel dragster that carries him to around 170 mph at the end of the liquid quarter mile. He races the boat in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series, a series of races that goes across the country during the season.
slideshow
RENO - This week's Lockett and Sullivan hosted the International Motorsport and Recreation Expo at the Convention Center. The show offered racing groups a chance to display their wares for the public and provide information to interested spectators.

The Northern Nevada Kart Club had a booth with several of types of karts on display along with members explaining this very affordable type of racing to people that stopped by.

After hosting the Sprint Grand Nationals last year the club is looking forward to another banner year. One member at the NNKC booth was Dave Schilt, who races in the 80cc Masters and will compete in the new Clone Class.

Asked about the response at the show he said, "The interest is definitely more than I anticipated. And this season we feel the turn out at the track is going to be better than the last two years."

This season there will be a few new classes added and one is the Clone class.

"It's a very inexpensive engine package, run with very tight rules and no modifications to keep it competitive. It's a Chinese copy of a Honda engine that's been in production for years and you can get them through Harbor Freight and other similar outlets. And with slight modifications they're ready to race in what's called the Box Stock Clone Class," he said.

He also mentioned that the club continues to upgrade its track, Desert Park Raceway located a quarter mile after the pavement's end on Lemmon Valley Drive.

This season begins with a non-points tune-up race on March 28.

"It's just to get out there, get warmed up, work out any bugs and just have a fun day of it," he said.

The day allows any new comers, as well as veterans, to actually participate in a race-day environment without the fear of coming in last and losing a lot of points. And is usual at an NNKC event spectators are always welcome as there are plenty of places to watch the action from and food is available.

Those wishing further information on NNKC should check out its Web site at, www.NNKC.com.

Displayed were several karts from different classes as well as information and schedules. And NNKC members were on hand for all three days of the Expo.

Close the Sports Car Club of American's Reno Region had two booths with cars on exhibit. One area allowed youngsters to sit in a vintage front engine formula car and get a free photograph of them selves.

Over in the main booth regional executive Dave Deborde explained this year's schedule. On the racing side changes at the Reno-Fernley Raceway and a lack of cars due to the economy has shortened that part of the season.

Deborde explained the club scheduled three timed events, which aren't races, as the RFR road course isn't really ready for a full out competitive event right now. However the club's Solo schedule will continue as usual.

In a Solo event drivers run their cars through a slalom course marked by cones in a race against the clock. Knock one over and there are penalty points so the goal is a clean run as fast as the car is capable of negotiating the course.

One booth offering different disciplines of motorsports was there to advertise the annual Octane Fest in Fallon. Promoter and director Ty Erquiaga was on hand to explain what's in store for fans this year.

"The event is June 10th through 13th and it's four days of motorsport fun at four different venues in Fallon," he said. "We have the Lucas Oil racing at Top Gun, Rattlesnake has a dirt track event on Saturday, Hurricams Car Club has their 6th annual car show at Oaks Park on Saturday and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday we have the motorsport jamboree at the fairgrounds."

He added that technically Hurricams is the oldest car club in Northern Nevada.

A celebrity dinner on Thursday, to benefit the Churchill Country High School, gets things started and NHRA as well as off road drivers should be attending.

The NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional event starts Friday at Top Gun with Alcohol qualifying as well as a test and tune session. Qualifying continues Saturday as well as the next round of the track's Summit Racing series and the finals eliminations on Sunday along with diesel truck racing.

Friday night there will be a truck and tractor pull at the fairground as well as a monster truck demonstration.

"On Saturday night our feature event at the Fair Grounds is Endurocross, Tuff Truck racing and we're really excited to announce that we have Speed Technologies going to bring out the trucks and we're going to have the Super Lite Invitational," he said. "And we'll have rock racing as well."

He added the county acquired 36 acres next to the fairgrounds and that's where Saturday's mud drags and rock crawling will be held. It's also the site of a new motocross track that's going to be used.

Sunday's motocross event at the new track will actually be a points double header as it's the final round for the Nevada GFI series and the kickoff for a summer series that's still being worked on.

Asked about the cost Erquiaga said, "We're going to make it really affordable again so it's only twenty bucks for all three days."

Those wishing further information on the festival should check its Web site, www.OctaneFest.com.

Among the exhibits were two drag racers showing their colors and giving their sponsors some exposures. Both men are veterans of very different types of straight-line competition.

For veteran Spanish Springs drag racer Ricky Ruiz, it's going to be a very special season.

"This is my 49th season and next year when it's a half-century I have to buy her a gold medallion specially made for the car," he said.

His racer is an AA Nitro Altered named the "Nevada Rattler."

At present, Ruiz said his schedule is still coming together and the only dates confirmed are at Palmer City, Oregon and two races in Alaska.

Asked about locally, he said, "We hope to do Top Gun but we're not sure what they're doing with their schedule. We ran out there in 2008 but they didn't do anything with us in 2009 so we have no idea of what 2010 brings."

Asked why he's at the Expo, Ruiz said, "I love the people and we come out to promote our sponsors, put the car on display, have sponsors literature on the table and talk to the public. It's basically a totally marketing deal."

Ruiz is also helping the next generation of family drag racers get started.

His grandson Tatum is now in the beginner junior dragster class while his granddaughter is about to start racing.

"My other grandson, Chris is still driving but he'll be getting out of the junior dragsters this year and he's actually going into a full sized car," he said. "We'll probably put an alcohol burning altered together for him as he'll be 16 this year."

The difference between a dragster and altered is that the former is rear engined, and can have a wheel base of up to 300 inches while the latter is a front engine machine whose wheelbase can only be 125 inches in length.

And he added it takes a bit more driving skill to drive an altered.

"It's a little more challenging handling the short wheel based car with the motor in front over the long one with the motor over the rear tires in back," he said. "The altered rear end becomes light and it wants to spin the tires more."

The other drag racer, Greg Jones gets his speed fix on water.

Asked to describe his drag boat he said, "It's a Top Alcohol Flat Bottom boat, runs the Lucas Oil Drag Boat series and our season starts at the end of April."

The series takes him from Phoenix, Arizona, Texas where there are six races, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Missouri, San Diego and finally back to Phoenix.

"I've been driving since 1993 and my dad started racing in 1967, so I've been around it pretty much all my life," he said.

The boat, powered by a supercharged alcohol fueled motor clock around 170 mph at the end of the quarter mile. He added it pulls about 4 and a half G's off the starting line.

One safety feature of boats like this have is a pod the driver sits in and is designed to break free of the boat in case of a wreck.

"It's called a capsule, I have 20-minutes of oxygen and I wear like a diver's mask/helmet in case it fills up with water. It's also equipped with a sonar pinger, a diver buoy and the bottom is painted yellow. And the rescue crews are awesome and on us real fast," he said.

In addition several rock crawling and 4 Wheel clubs were on hand with a large display that included many types of vehicles. The idea was to show what they offer in the way for motorized recreation and competition.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•This week racing continues as Nevada GFI hosts its second round at the Stead Motocross Track. As usual, 10 a.m. Sunday is when the racing begins after short practice sessions.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Featured Businesses