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NARC News Line

by Jim Allen

https://wp.me/p8HUv9-1hI
 


 

NARC NEWSLINE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2019By Jim Allen ...  Although the marketing slogan reads the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports, it's actually four complete high-intensity racing programs jammed into a short 80-hour span.  Now .., deduct about 24 hours for sleep (hopefully); 28 hours at the race track; and depending on your location, about 14-16 hours of travel, and you're lucky to squeeze in a few meals and beers.  Then there were those of us who actually went to work between races, or those who wrenched on race cars between events.  Now that's dedication!  No matter how you slice it, after this sprint car blitz, it's was a good kind of tired!  Here's some of the highlights & low-lights:


 

PLACERVILLE SPEEDWAY'S GOLD COUNTRY SHOWDOWN:  Everybody knew Kyle Larson was going to win an event.  The real question was, how many?  In fact, everybody knew that he was capable of sweeping the quad-fecta with a small break or two.  As it worked out, Larson got his "W" out of the way early by scoring the Gold Country Showdown.  There were four different lap leaders in this one, but in the end Larson paced the last five to claim his sixth King of the West by NARC feature of his career.  Shane Golobic was second and Tim Kaeding was third in Rod Tiner's 83SA. ... If you thought that Andy Forsberg and Justin Sanders were the masters of the cushion at P-ville, Larson takes it up to a whole new level! ... Fast Time honors went to Andy Gregg. ...  Brad Sweet, who helped co-promote the FFDM promotion, made his only appearance of the week in the orange Kahne Racing 51.  He finished 18th.  ... Mitchell Faccinto won the Four CCCC's Construction Pole Shuffle and pocketed an extra $250 in cold hard cash - plus nine pounds of Sunnyvalley Bacon.  For those wanting a pole shuffle recap, Larson beat Andy Forsberg and then went on to beat Colby Copeland.  Tim Kaeding ended Larson's streak, only to lose to Shane Golobic in the next round.  Faccinto took it from there. ...


 

... In a strange twist that nobody could've predicted, the top five in points seemingly qualified with a sundial and found themselves lined up in the fifth row or further back in the feature.  Thirty-laps later, Dominic Scelzi, Willie Croft, Bud Kaeding, DJ Netto and Ryan Bernal freight-trained to 10th through 14th finishes, respectively.  That's about as normal as Antonio Brown being a model citizen for the Raiders!  ... Kaeding's 12th place finish came after starting 21st. ... Chelsea Blevins drove her 360 to a 16th place finish. ... Indiana's Spencer Bayston dropped out of the FFDM racing when plans for a Clayton Snow second car didn't come together as planned. ... Blake Carrick, Jenna Frazier and Matt DeMartini were red flag recipients.  None were hurt.  ... 32 cars. ... DJ Netto entered the event leading Ryan Bernal by three-points in the King of the West by NARC standings.  He drove out of the Placerville pits with a four point margin.  Only ten points separate the top five. ...  Kyle Larson is your FFDM point leader over Shane Golobic, Tim Kaeding, Andy Forsberg, Tim Kaeding, and Rico Abreu. ...  Only Placerville Speedway can draw a strong Wednesday night crowd!  Better than some track's Saturday night events. ...


 

SILVER DOLLAR SPEEDWAY'S THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER:  Could Kyle Larson make it two-in-a-row?  Or was somebody else going to step up their game?  Tim Kaeding gave it a shot and stopped the streak at one.  In fact, Larson was charging hard at the leader running second on lap 17, but jumped the cushion in turn two and did a 360 bringing out the yellow.  That cleared the way for Kaeding to outrun Mitchell Faccinto and Andy Forsberg to a $5000 payday. ... Speaking of Faccinto, he won his second Pole Shuffle in as many nights, not to mention another nine pounds of Sunnyvalley's best stuff in his freezer.  Might need to check his cholesterol levels in a week or so!  Rumor has it that Mitch makes the bitchin' BLT!  ... Stephen Ingraham took a nasty spill down the backchute.   He rode a wheelie worthy of a wheelie contest victory, but slid over the berm and barrel rolled.  It wasn't pretty which was best portrayed by the bruises on his knees. At that same moment, Cole Macedo turned over and race leader Shane Golobic's motor did its best impression of an Independence Day celebration.  Your head had to be on a swivel.  ... Larson rebounded to finish ninth, but Kaeding left SDS with the FFDM point lead. ...


 

... Willie Croft's championship aspirations took a shot to the sternum when he flipped on the second lap of the feature.  He was chasing Rico Abreu near the front of the pack when Abreu's sprinter checked up.  Croft did everything he could not to hit him, but that resulted in a flip over the second turn.  A 23rd place finish was not in the game plan.  Abreu had changed a motor in his 24 car about an hour earlier.  ... Nathan Rolfe posted his second sixth place finish of the season in the Rolfe Construction 28.   The new and improved 17-year old is starting to turn some heads.  ... Yes, that was the front wing which fell off the Geoff Ensign ride in qualifying. ... It was a strange hooked-up night that made it hard to pass.  Dominic Scelzi, Rico Abreu, Cole Macedo and Chase Johnson had to fight their way through the semi. ... 29 cars. ... Forsberg needed a motor change after leaving a trail of oil from Placerville's podium finish to his trailer.  So did Blake Carrick.  ...  DJ Netto is your point leader by seven over Bud Kaeding and 10 over Dominic Scelzi. ...  TK's wheelie at the checkered will be ingrained into sprint car history forever!  It was epic, along with the one he performed on his celebration lap. ... The crowd was late arriving, but turned out to be pretty good! ...


 

STOCKTON DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONS CLASSIC NIGHT ONE:  Have you ever looked at a feature event starting line-up and immediately predicted who is going to win before the initial green flag waved?  With Bud Kaeding and Willie Croft starting on the front row of this one, you had a 50-50 shot of getting this one right.  If you picked Bud Kaeding, well, let's just say you're a winner!  Willie Croft had other plans and dogged and shadowed Kaeding for the duration to keep it exciting.  However in the end, the $5000 winners check was made out to car owner Morrie Williams for leading all 25-laps.  Croft was second, and "Mr. Podium" TK was third. ...  By the way, Bud made a spectacular entrance at Stockton - by way of Watsonville.  Bud is leading the Ocean Sprints 360 points.  To protect that lead he needed to take a green flag in hot laps to earn show up points.   He did exactly that in the Kaeding Performance 69 car and then boarded a helicopter to Stockton.  At that point, 13-time champion Brent Kaeding  jumped into the car and finishing third behind Justin Sanders and Landon Hurst, and then quietly faded into retirement.  Bud's helicopter landed in the parking lot after a 30-minute flight and the pilot hung around to watch his first ever sprint car races from atop the Williams Motorsports hauler.  Kaeding broke Mitchell Faccinto's two-day bacon-envy streak and ended up giving the pilot nine pounds of bacon after winning the dash. ...


 

... The Clayton Snow team finished up another motor change at 4:30 p.m. on race day.  According to my unofficial tally, this team has changed more motors this season than Tom Brady has career Super Bowl appearances.  But you can't fault the dedication and effort as Geoff Ensign finished seventh ... Mag issues gave car owner Ed Butterfield and driver Kenny Allen fits. ... Everybody was fast.  How fast?  Colby Copeland won the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award by passing only five cars in the Antaya Motorsports 16A. ...  Motor issues ended Jenna Frazier's weekend early. ...  Tim Kaeding leads Larson by five points entering the Champions Classic finale. ... Kaeding's second KWS win of the season moved him within five-points of DJ Netto (who finished fourth) for the King of the West crown. ...


 

STOCKTON DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONS CLASSIC FINALE:  When in doubt, just win the damn thing!  That's exactly what Tim Kaeding did to finish his 80-hour adventure with a bang.  His official wrap sheet in Rod Tiner's Shark Racing Engines Helix-chassis shows a pair of victories, and a couple of thirds, by far the best performance by any team during the four races.  Not to mention, the duo left Stockton $12,000 richer.  That was ten grand for the Champions Classic victory and another $2000 for winning the FFDM title from Sunnyvalley Bacon. ... While many expected Kaeding to fire off some Tiger Wood's fist pumps in victory lane, he was rather subdued - humbled in fact.  He immediately apologized to Jace Vanderweerd for colliding with him in the waning laps.   While attempting to lap Vanderweerd, Kaeding cut it too close and clipped the front end, causing Vanderweerd to flip.  It was not the way they draw it up in the sprint car handbook.  Surprisingly, despite the velocity of the accident, Kaeding' car had no perceptible damage and was able to continue outrun Shane Golobic to the checkered.  DJ Netto posted his best finish of the FFDM run with a third to keep his series point lead a five-point advantage.  Kyle Larson was fourth. ...


 

... It was nice to hang out and visit with past champions (drivers and car owners) who made the trip to sign autographs.  This group included LeRoy Van Connet, Brent Kaeding, Johnny Anderson, Bob Neilson, Jason McMillen, Vern Kornburst, Jimmy Boyd, Howard Kaeding, Chuck Gurney, Jimmy Sills and the Hunt Family representing 1960 NARC champ Fred Hunt.  Fans later went out to the pits to add the autographs of Kyle Larson, Jason Statler, Bud Kaeding, Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard, Dennis Roth, Tom Tarlton, & Morrie Williams. ...  Yes, that was a right rear tire fire on the 88E driven by North Dakota's Tim Estenson.  The problem is I should never beat the fire crew to a fire with an extinguisher. ... 24 cars. ... The win was TK's 68th of his KWS career.  He only needs 16 more to catch the win master Brent Kaeding, who has banked 84. ... Dominic Scelzi earned the ARP Fast Time Award, won the Four CCCC's Construction/Sunnyvalley Bacon Pole Shuffle, and led the first 10-laps of the feature before finishing fifth. ...  Our compliments to Tony Noceti and Placerville dirt guru Scott Russell who finally managed to tame the Stockton Dirt Track beast.  It was racy as all heck. ... A huge crowd supported this two-day show which also included a Friday night chili feed, a car show, a live band, a special Kyle Larson meet and greet luncheon, and the Champions autograph session. Once again thanks to Tony Noceti and his entire crew who made the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports weekend a success. ... A great end to the FFDM and a fantastic preview of what is going to happen next season! ...  Also thank you to Peter Murphy for all of his promotional assistance! ...


 

CALISTOGA SPEEDWAY - NIGHT ONE OF THE LOUIE VERMEIL CLASSIC: The winged sprint cars finally returned to the Louie Vermeil Classic as part of our 60th Anniversary season celebration.  Even though the last 35-years of the Louie Vermeil's Northern Auto Racing Club have featured wings, the 11 previous Vermeil events have been USAC non-winged shows.  Well, the two worlds finally collided and collectively put on a successful Labor Day weekend show at Calistoga Speedway.  ...  There were 25 USAC-CRA cars and 20 competing for King of the West by NARC Fujitsu Racing Series points. ... The best way to describe the main would be to say:  It's Johnson, it's Bernal, it's Johnson, no wait, its Scelzi!  Chase Johnson was driving like a man possessed for the first 15 laps until Bernal picked him off.  But Bernal had his tire detonate like it got hit by a drone missle.  Johnson took over on the restart but started choking out in the fuel department allowing Dominic Scelzi enough of an open door to steal his fourth win of the season in Dennis & Teresa Roth's number 83.  ... The rest of the top five was Willie Croft, Bud Kaeding, DJ Netto, and Rico Abreu. ... Speaking of Abreu, he set quick time and earned $800 thanks to the tremendous support of Jim Gardner of Bullet Impressions, the Lincoln Avenue Bar, ARP, the Polston Family and Larry Vegas Insurance. ... Speaking of the Lincoln Avenue Bar, it is owned by Rick Downey.  Most of you recognize the name as a successful sprint car racer at the late Baylands Raceway Park. That's him! ...


 

... Bud Kaeding, Chase Johnson, Geoff Ensign, and Ryan Bernal were among those doing double-duty.  There was a $2000 bonus for any driver who could win with and without wings. ... Who is that guy?  None other than Santa Rosa's JoJo Helberg!  Making his first winged appearance in four years, Helberg picked up where he left off and posted a respectable seventh place finish. ... Chase Johnson faded quickly and sputtered to a 10th place finish.  It was heartbreaking to watch. ... Motor issues sent Jenna Frazier home early (again) after taking a heat race green in the Jim Paniagua number 18. ... Sean Watts finally got back on right track with a ninth place finish, his first top ten since scoring his June 22nd win at Stockton. ... Unfortunately, some additional track prep delayed part of the program and the USAC-CRA feature was cut short by three-laps at the 11:00 p.m. curfew.  They were some verbal fireworks in victory lane. ... Big crowd. ... Shane Hopkins made his first ever appearance at Calistoga driving for Ted Finkenbinder.  The deal was struck the night before at 11:30 p.m. ... Speaking of the night before, the Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame Dinner took place on the Napa County Fairgrounds.  Yet another first class event put on by Tommy & Jeanie Hunt, their family, and their dedicated cast of helpers.  The dinner serves as a real life history lesson of NARC sprint car racing and the personalities that drove it (pardon the pun.)  This years class of inductees were the Billy Albini, Marvin Faw, Ted Finkenbinder, Rich Govan, Wally Talbot, and the entire Tiner Family.  Listening to 1963 NARC champ Wally Talbot speak about the early days of open wheel racing makes one truly appreciate how the sport has evolved.  It's amazing that these drivers even survived. ...


 

... By the way, for those of you who want to know how the non-wing to winged transition actually happened at Calistoga, this is how it happened.  In reality, it wasn't much of a transition as much as it was a force fed deal.  It had nothing to do with racing politics or the perceived raping and pillaging of the purity of the sport against the will of Louie Vermeil.  This is how it went down:  Before the 1986 season, our insurance company informed the NARC Board of Directors that they would no longer provide liability insurance at "non-winged" events at Calistoga.  It was deemed too dangerous.  Leading up to the insurance company's decision was a string of serious injuries (think high medical expenses) and deaths that paid out more than 40 times the premiums being paid.  Not to bash insurance companies or anything, but there's really only one thing that you need to know about them.  They are in it for one thing - and one thing only - to turn a profit - and nothing else.  Don't be fooled by all of those "feel good" Geico lizards, Quacking Ducks, Mayhem, "Hall of Claims" and the happy cartoon General commercials.  They pick and choose what they want to insure based on risk and bottom line profitability.  We were informed that if the Northern Auto Racing Club decided to continue with non-winged racing at the half-mile, we would have to be self-insured.  That wasn't even remotely feasible for the sanctioning body. The rest is history and luckily the sport has greatly improved the safety of non-winged cars. ... As a respected attorney once told me: the best insurance policy to have is one you never have to use!


 

CALISTOGA SPEEDWAY - NIGHT TWO OF THE LOUIE VERMEIL CLASSIC:  We can sum up this event in only two words:  RICO ABREU.   Here is something else that I know for a fact:  If I interview you three times during a racing event, chances are you're leaving with a substantial amount of money.  Rico put together a dominate performance which featured fast time (interview one), a second in his heat, a Sunnyvalley Bacon dash win (interview two), and leading all 25-laps of main (interview three.)  By the luck of the draw, the Williams Roofing Lucky Fan Pill Draw was a "1" meaning the polesitter could win an extra grand with a win.  Rico started on the pole and ended up hitting the Calistoga Speedway ATM machine for a nice $7800 withdrawal, including his fast time money.  Not bad for a nights worth of work. ...  Next to cross the Ed Entz checkered was Bud Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Dominic Scelzi and DJ Netto.  And after all this racing, DJ Netto still holds a five-point lead over Bud Kaeding, while Dominic Scelzi looms seven-points back. ... It was Rico's ninth career King of the West by NARC win of his career and an even dozen at Calistoga Speedway. ... Sean Becker was done after the dash with major engine issues in Don Monhoff's 88M. ...  Chase Johnson didn't make the call for the feature with a broken rear end in the Shawn Thomas 68. ...  Thank you to Bianchi Farms who donated 10 free Hoosier right rear tires to competing KWS-NARC teams and 10 more to the USAC-CRA contingent! ... No curfew problems on this night - not even close!  ...  And once again, our hat is off to the Hunt's & HMC Promotions.  We thank them for allowing winged sprint cars to return to the Louie Vermeil Classic for a first class weekend.


 

NARC NOTES:  The autographed FFDM front wing was auctioned off and received a winning bid of $1000.  That money went directly to the NARC Benevolent Fund.  Hint:  There is another wing that will be auctioned off at the King of the West by NARC championship banquet on Sunday, November 3rd.  ... Speaking of the banquet/brunch, Mike Andreetta and Chris "Cajun" Good unveiled the Billy Albini Mechanic of the Year Award at the HoF dinner.  It's a gem which will be awarded from this point forward.  It also comes with a MoY ring and 10 Ben Franklins. ... News and tickets for the championship event will be released soon.


 

And finally, the King of the West by NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series is dark until October, allowing the World of Outlaws to run ramshod through California.  After that, we only have three more races left in the 2019 campaign.  Start off with a trip to the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park (October 5th), the Cotton Classic in Hanford on October 12th, and the season finale Tribute to GP at the Stockton Dirt Track on November 2nd.  Who will be the 60th Anniversary season champion?


 

Coming to you live from Auburn, CA ... See ya!

     


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