By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Fernley, NV
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Fernley, NV -- Defending track champion Robert Miller from Gardnerville, a former NASCAR Pacific Coast Regional champion when he lived in San Jose, made it 7 wins in 8 starts at Reno-Fernley Raceway with his IMCA Modified feature victory Saturday night. Miller's relationship with California car owner Ira Compton ended in July, but he traveled to Compton's Chico shops to purchase a Dirt Works car to end the 2002 in and tonight's win made him two for two at Fernley in the new car. Rich Hill chased Miller to the win with former dirt late model racer James Thibodeaux in third. Having moved into the IMCA Modifieds in 2002, Dean Cichowicz has suffered through a tough street stock season, but he finally scored his first win and it followed a dash win and a second place heat run. Danny Collins closed ground on the hobby stock point leaders by winning his 2nd feature with fast improving Angela Lewis second. Lewis won the dash and ran second in her heat. Point leader Joey McKnight was third. Stephen Crook added to his small modified compact point lead with wins in both his heat and the feature. Jeremy Arnold ran second with Justin McIlvain third. Danyale Urban also gained a little ground on the pure stock compact point leaders with her second feature win, but point leader Melissa Natenstedt was second and point runnerup Nick Reid third.
The 23 IMCA Modifieds were divided into three heat races. In addition to Las Vegas star Dan Fitzgerald, other visitors included the Petaluma area trio of Bill Henry, Ron Palombino and Ron Dickerson. Steve McGee beat Fitzgerald in heat 1 with Miller edging out Hill in heat 2. Thibodeaux won heat 3 over Nick Rogers, who added another dash win. Miller was the feature winner with Hill second over Thibodeaux, Rogers, Wayne Richards, Conrad Wilson, McGee, Carl Barlow, Shawn Marlow, Mike Darnall and Darren Manning. Track title contender Robert Smotherman was indefinitely suspended by the track after he was disqualified for his upsportsmanlike actions on the night. The 20 street stocks were placed in two heat races. David Ellsworth beat Cichowicz and Reldon Hatch in heat 1 with Kevin Mills the heat 2 winner over Andrew Cartwright and Allen Boles. Cichowicz was the dash winner. Point leader Russell Rosario ran last in his heat and invader Jesse Gonzalez was 6th in his. Cichowicz was shadowed in his feature win by Gonzalez, Roy Peterson's truck, Ellsworth, Don Spence, Hatch, Cartwright, Kenny Schmitt and Rosario. Rosario lost his point lead to Ellsworth with the night's finishes.
The hobby stock class again led the way with 26 entries and they used three heat races and a B Main to limit the A Main to 18 starters. Galen Reese beat Dean Clark in heat 1 with Richard Italiano in heat 2 as Michael Ellison ran second. McKnight beat Lewis in heat 3. Lewis was the dash winner. Joe Speechio won the B Main over Matt Potts, DeeDee Pierson and Chris O'Neill. O'Neill was blackflagged out of the A Main for rough driving and Collins won ahead of Lewis, McKnight, Ellison, Clark, Reese, Potts, Dale Earixson and Dave Williams. There were 15 modified compacts, but top running Demetrius Chesnut broke in hot laps and Byron Hutchinson was placed last in his heat for ignoring a blackflag. Jeremy Arnold beat Dennis Crook in heat 1 with point leader S Crook on top of the heat 2 ahead of McIlvain. D Crook won the dash, was completely disqualified from his feature efforts in a rough driving car. S Crook won the main for the third time in 2002 with J Arnold second over McIlvain, Chris Oberman, Shawn Natenstedt, Mike Arnold, Robert Triplett and Richard Scott. S Crook was just a single point ahead of Natenstedt starting the night. The 12 pure stock compacts were divided into two heats with Reid beating Doug Hast in heat 1 and female star Urban winning heat 2 over fellow female racer Melissa Natenstedt. Urban won the feature with Natenstedt second over Reid, Kyle Arnett, Lynda Crook, Shawna Woosley, Kim Neese and Robert Gemmel. Natenstedt maintained her one point lead over Reid with Urban closing to within 9 points of the point leader.
Summary Pure Stock Compact Dash-T J Creiglow. Heat 1-Nick Reid, Doug Hast, Creiglow, Robert Gemmel, Kim Neese. Heat 2-Danyale Urban, Melissa Natenstedt, Kyle Arnett, Lynda Crook, Shawna Woosley. Main-Urban, Natenstedt, Reid, Arnett, Crook, Woosley, Neese, Gemmel, Steve Singley, Christine Martin, Hast, Creiglow. Modified Compact Dash-Dennis Crook. Heat 1-Jeremy Arnold, D Crook, Shawn Natenstedt, David Arnold, Cyril Escallier. Heat 2-Stephen Crook, Justin McIlvain, Robert Triplett, Steve Young, Kevin Knight. Main-S Crook, J Arnold, McIlvain, Chris Oberman, Natenstedt, Mike Arnold, Triplett, Richard Scott, Knight, D Arnold, Byron Hutchinson, Escallier, Young. Hobby Stock Dash-Angela Lewis. Heat 1-Galen Reese, Dean Clark, Dave Williams, Ryan Serr, Joe Speechio. Heat 2-Richard Italiano, Michael Ellison, Danny Collins, Dale Earixson, David Rauscher. Heat 3-Joey McKnight, Lewis, Jim Ligouri, David Pearce, DeeDee Pierson. B Main-Speechio, Matt Potts, Pierson, Chris O'Neill, Rauscher, Mike McGovern, Frankie Smith, Terry Whitehead, Barry Wenward, Jason Chapman. A Main-Collins, Lewis, McKnight, Ellison, Clark, Reese, Potts, Earixson, Williams, Rauscher, Serr, Pierson, Speechio, Pearce, Italiano, McGovern, Ligouri, O'Neill. Street Stock Dash-Dean Cichowicz. Heat 1-David Ellsworth, Cichowicz, Reldon Hatch, Robert Cramer, Kenny Schmitt. Heat 2-Kevin Mills, Andrew Cartwright, Allen Boles, Curtis Elliott, Bob Neese. Main-Cichowicz, Jesse Gonzalez, Roy Peterson, Ellsworth, Don Spence, Hatch, Cartwright, Schmitt, Russell Rosario, Mike Colvin, Jerry Johnson, Elliott, Boles, Curt Ainsworth, Mills, James King, Neese, Tim Carr, Cramer, Eddie Levan. IMCA Modified Dash-Nick Rogers. Heat 1-Steve McGee, Dan Fitzgerald, Shawn Marlow, Matt Ramthun, Steve Evenson. Heat 2-Robert Miller, Rich Hill, Conrad Wilson, Wayne Richards, Darren Manning. Heat 3-James Thibodeaux, Rogers, Joe Rigsby, Duane Cramer, Mike Darnall. Main-Miller, Hill, Thibodeaux, Rogers, Richards, Wilson, McGee, Carl Barlow, Darnall, Manning, Rick Davis, Cramer, Ramthun, Bill Henry, Fitzgerald, Evenson, Rigsby, Ron Dickerson, Ron Palombino, Bob Boles.
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