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Source — Gerald Laurie
Date Posted — October 04, 2004
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Troy Regier came into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring Saturday with a slim lead in the Supermodified Racing League Point Standings. With Jim Birges and A.J. Russell in hot pursuit, Regier merely went out and took every possible point in the season’s last event to insure his championship. Troy set fast time, won his heat race, and stormed to victory in the forty lap feature to max out his point gain.

The evening started with Regier’s(98) new track record on the 3/8 mile banked oval. Troy’s tour too a quick 12.732 seconds. Jim Birges(32) was next at 13.000 followed by Ken Hamilton(1) at 13.019, Mike Ford(56) at 13.033, and Bobby Dalton(36) at 13.053.

The first heat lined up with Coloradans Joe Priselac(51) and Ira Castor(22) on the front row. The rest of the field consisted of Jeff Russell(85), Jim Tartaglia(83), Mike Ford(56), Troy Regier(98), and Dave Maseli(19) for the ten lapper. The first attempt at a start saw Maseli spin in turn two. There was a complete restart sans Maseli when gear oil was found under the 19 car when it was pushed off. At the next drop of the green, Regier took off like he was on a crusade. He had moved from sixth to second on the first lap. By lap two, the 98 was in the lead followed by Tartaglia, Castor, Ford and Russell. Ford and Russell got around Castor on lap three and that was the race. Regier pulled steadily away with the transponder system recording 12.6 second laps as the race wore on. At the checkers, it was Regier over Tartaglia, Ford, Russell and Castor.

Heat two featured Rich Castor, Jr.(2), Tom Adler(11), Eric Silsby(96), Bobby Dalton(36), Jim Birges(32), Harold Evans(37), and Rob Carlotto(41). Again there was a spin on the first attempt at a start when Carlotto executed a 360 and kept going in turn two. On the second attempt, Castor took off at the green and pulled out a quick lead as the pack sliced and dices. Silsby got around Adler on lap two and Birges got Dalton on lap four. At half distance it Castor over Silsby, Adler, Birges, and Dalton. Birges appropriated third on lap eight and Dalton dropped Adler to fifth at the white flag. Finishing order was Castor over Silsby, Birges, Dalton, and Adler.

Heat three was paced by Harry Stone(40). He was pursued to the green flag by Ron Burger(89), Ricky Otts(3), A.J. Russell(7), Ken Hamilton(1), and Rick Cameron(24). Stone led the first two laps while Otts moved to second on lap two with Hamilton moving to third, Otts took the lead on lap three and Russell moved to third on lap five. Stone and Russell contested second for four laps until Russell took the position on the final lap. Otts was the winner over Russell, Stone, Hamilton, and Burger.

Regier drew twelve as an invert position and had his work cut out for him in the forty lap feature. The front rows were occupied by Ron Burger and Tom Adler followed by Jeff Russell, Ricky Otts, Eric Silsby and Jim Tartaglia. Rows four through six consisted of A.J. Russell, Bobby Dalton, Mike Ford, Ken Hamilton, Jim Birges, and Troy Regier. The last eight spots were held by Ira Castor, Rich Castor, Jr., Harry Stone, Joe Priselac, Harold Evans, Rick Cameron, Dave Maseli, and Rob Carlotto. Adler led early from his outside position followed by Jeff Russell, Burger, Otts and A.J. Russell. Jeff Russell took the lead as Otts moved to third on lap four and then the yellow flew on lap five when Rich Castor looped it in turn two. The restart showed Russell in the lead followed by Adler, Otts, Burger, and the other Russell. Regier was in eleventh at this point. Carlotto spun in turn four after a lap and another restart ensued. When racing resumed, Otts moved to second on lap seven and A.J. Russell and Ford had both passed Adler by one quarter distance. A.J. moved to second on lap eleven and Ford took third as A.J. displaced Jeff for the lead on thirteen. Ford grabbed second on lap fifteen. Regier was now in seventh. Troy grabbed sixth on lap sixteen, fifth on lap seventeen and fourth on lap eighteen. Then Otts spun in turn four to bring out a yellow. On the restart, Mike Ford drifted to the inside on the backstretch and stopped with over heating.

At half distance A.J. Russell, Jeff Russell, Regier, Adler, and Dalton occupied the top five spots. On lap 22, Regier passed Jeff Russell for second. On lap 23, Harry Stone spun in four to bring out a yellow. On the restart, Regier went after the lead with a vengeance. A.J. was holding a middle line denying the bottom to Regier and keeping him from flying in high. However, Troy was not to be denied. On the second lap after the restart Regier took the 98 car up into no man’s land in turn three, somehow got the car to stick, and powered out of turn four inches from the wall with a half car length lead. With a good line into turn one, he completed the pass and had the crowd roaring over the 800 horsepower engines. Regier then proceeded to put on a driving clinic turning numerous laps in the 12.6 second range and then tearing off a 12.496 for the fastest lap of the race. That’s a quarter of a second faster than his track record qualifying time.

The last action of the race occurred on lap 31 when Birges broke the rear axle tube and wound up in the backstretch wall. Regier again pulled out a good lead on the restart and that was the extent of the passing near the front. The order at the end was Regier, A.J. Russell, Jeff Russell, Bobby Dalton, and Tom Adler. Eric Silsby, Harry Stone, Ron Burger, Harold Evans, and Rich Castor rounded out the top ten.

All of the drivers enjoy the Las Vegas Bullring. This 3/8 mile oval seems to be the perfect track for Supermodifieds. The place is wicked fast, has good grip and is wide enough for occasional three wide passes. The crowd was wild about the speed and the close racing as well as the daring passes. Hoping to return to Vegas more than once in 2005, I am the Racing Widow’s Husband.####

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Article posted by staff on October 04, 2004.