BOISE, Idaho — June 13, 2011) The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series returned to Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho this past Saturday night for round four of the championship series and it was Dan Rhodes making the long tow from western Washington picking up his first series victory. Cris Muhler out of Colorado making his first series start came home in the second position followed by John Nesmith, Steve Jones, and Jeff Hillock.
" Competitor From Washington State has Magical Night"
Defending series champion Steve Jones laid down the fastest lap in qualifying with a quick lap of 14.482 seconds/82.779 mph. Current point lead Jeff Hillock was second quick followed by Zan Sharp, Bruce Quale, and Devin Lahorgue out of Redding, CA. Heat race winners included Jim Wulfenstein, Eric Rhead, and Cris Mulhler.
The customary series invert put Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award winner Jones at the tail of the field and Rick Fowble on the point to start the 100-lap race. Fowble held the top spot for the first two circuits before 2007 series champion John Newhouse grabbed the lead.
Newhouse led the field through lap 17 when he lost the top spot to Cris Muhler who moved up from his fourth starting position to lead two laps. Newhouse fought back and retook the lead on lap 20 and led through lap 37. Dan Rhodes then made his first appearance at the front of the field on lap 38 but quickly lost the lead to Steve Jones who made his way up from the tail on lap 39.
Jones quickly built a two second lead on Rhodes who started seventh. Several cautions bunched the field up but Jones was able to keep his lead intact while negotiating lapped traffic. Jones had it going his way in the race until lap 62 when he slid high allowing the train to speed by on the bottom groove. Rhodes then took command of the race and cruised to victory leading the final 37-laps.
"Those cautions at the end were tough", Rhodes said. "My car took a couple of laps to hook up and get going but it sure feels great to win in this series. This is a tough series with a lot of great drivers and winning is certainly no easy deal."
Finishing second was Cris Muhler out of Colorado followed by John Nesmith who collected his best finish of the year. Steve Jones battled back to finish fourth while series point leader Jeff Hillock rounded out the top five finishers. Zan Sharp had a gritty performance to finish sixth after breaking several ribs last month in a recreational vehicle accident. Lynn Hardy kept his championship hopes alive with a seventh place performance with Devin Lahorgue finishing in the eighth position. John Wong and Rick Fowble rounded out the top ten.
With his fifth place finish, Jeff Hilock maintains the point lead by 31-points over Steve Jones (who shaved 13-points off Hillock's lead). Zan Sharp moves up one position to third in the standings 39-points behind Jones with Lynn Hardy in fourth place and Bruce Quale rounding out the top five. John Wong sits sixth in the standings followed by Eric Rhead, Jim Wulfenstein, Lonnie Lowder and John Newhouse.
Steve Jones was the top point earner for the event (196) with Jeff Hillock earning 183-points. Dan Rhodes scored 180-points with John Nesmith earning 179-points to Zan Sharp's 172-points. The RMCS pays its purse based on total event point accumulation. Five states were represented in the race.
The next event on the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series schedule is Saturday June 25 at Meridian (ID) Speedway. Brett Thompson won last year's event while two-time series champion Dave Minegar is the track record holder at the tricky quarter-mile paved oval. Minegar is expected to make his first start of the season at Meridian.
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The top qualifiers are inverted for every race putting fast time at the rear of the field to start each race. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards at each race. Century Boatland in Twin Falls, ID is a major sponsor of the series providing significant event and point fund contributions.
The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types of racetracks. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” For all the latest news and information regarding the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series log on to our website at www.rmcsracing.com .