By: Gary Jacob and Rich Baum|
Where: Fallon, NV
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Fallon, NV -- IMCA Modified track and Western Region point leader Robert Miller from Gardnerville enjoyed a huge night at Rattlesnake Speedway on Saturday night. By winning the IMCA Modified main event and its $500 prize, Miller wrapped up the track championship with one race remaining for that class. He then borrowed Blake Ramthuns hobby stock that dominates the winners circle at Reno-Fernley Raceway and drove it to a $1000 win in the 60 lap Bomber-Hobby Stock Challenge event. Miller won the 60 lapper with a last lap contact pass on Chowchilla Speedway regular Dan Stephens from Merced CA despite falling to the rear of the field at the mandatory lap 40 pit stop. Stephens ended up spinning across the finish line backwards as he fell to a $400 third behind track bomber point leader Shannon Morris who nipped him for the $600 second place prize. The event pitted the Fallon bombers against the hobby stocks from surrounding tracks and was a success with 28 cars towing in for the action.
The IMCA Modifieds had their best car count in several events with 13 cars on hand. The winner of the last feature race, racing attorney Steve Evenson captured heat 1 over teenaged Steve McGee and Robert Smotherman, who was returning from a one year IMCA suspension. Miller beat Shawn Marlow and Wayne Richards in heat 2. McGee beat Marlow in the dash. Miller was able to quickly take the lead from Evenson in the feature and he went on to win with Evenson second ahead of Reno veteran Wayne Richards and Marlow. Truckee CAs Russell Rosario made a rare Fallon visit and ran fifth in the former Ron Parker car. Winnemucca regular Rodney Sweet was sixth ahead of McGee and Smotherman. Miller holds an uncatchable 51 point lead on Bill Smith III. Smith had a tough night and finished 13th to see Evenson climb within 10 points of him. Richards is a distant fourth in the standings.
With the large turnout of competitors for the rich Bomber-Hobby Stock Challenge, the track ran four heat races and a B Main to determine the 18 feature starters. It took a top 3 in the heat races or a top 6 from the B Main to make the cut. Track regulars Morris, Ken Mayes and Ken Gotchal ran 1-2-3 in heat 1. Having raced Friday night at his home track in Chowchilla CA, Stephens made a hurried tow over the Sierra Mountains to win heat 2 over Wes Washburn and Merced CA travelmate Ray McCann. Miller raced to a win heat 3 over Hawthornes Bob Vaden and Danny Collins. Another Hawthorne racer Tom Teters won heat 3 ahead of Reno-Fernley competitors Frank Crandell and Jon Crandell. Female ace Morris beat Stephens and Mayes in the dash. Brian Milburn scratched to leave a 13 car B Main battling for the six transfer spots. Wade Lumsden was blackflagged from the action as Dwayne Inlow won ahead of Kevin Boles, Jeffrey Macedo, Bob Kaster and Larry Shearin. Bill Fletcher nipped Truckee Paxton and Andrew Howells for that last A Main starting slot.
The 60 lap special required all the teams to make a live pit stop in the infield at a lap 40 yellow flag and change one tire without power tools with the standings shuffled as teams raced through their pit action. Gotchal led the first few laps of the 60 lapper through three early caution flags. Miller patiently worked his way through the pack to take the lead on lap 25. Top runners Morris and Vaden were both forced to pit early as Morris had a loose rear bumper and Vaden a flat. Both made repairs and returned at the back of the lead lap. Stephens was also forced to tag the field after being involved in an incident. Miller was leading Collins with Vaden climbing up to 3rd ahead of Stephens. A yellow flag fell on lap 39 just before the work stop. Miller was slow to fire on this restart and Vaden raced by both Miller and Collins to pace the field at the lap 40 mark with Stephens in fourth. Morris was in 7th place as all the cars pulled into their pit stalls. She came out first, a whooping 20 seconds faster than the next car. Millers car was one of the last to leave pit road after a long stop. With just 20 laps left to run, Morris set the pace until she was passed by Stephens. Miller spent a lot of laps behind Vaden and Collins before he could finally work his way back to 3rd. He made short work of Morris for 2nd and closed onto the rear bumper of Stephens with just 3 laps to run. At the white flag, Stephens held the bottom line ahead of Miller through turns 1 and 2, but Miller ducked underneath as they entered turn 3. Stephens was still slightly ahead of Miller as they exited turn 4 but slightly out of shape. Miller got into Stephens rear quarterpanel and Stephens spun across the finish line with Miller edging ahead for the $1000 win. Morris nipped Stephens for the $600 second and Stephens crosseed the line backwards for his $400 third. Vaden was a $300 fourth and Collins collected $200 for fifth. Teters ran sixth ahead of Washburn, Inlow, Gotchal and Shearin with Californias McCann in 11th.
The night also included a Truck Tug O War that drew 11 entries. John Frankie won with a Dodge 3/4 ton flatbed using a 383. Jeff Miessler Ford one ton diesel was second ahead of Chris Clarks Ford half ton.
Summary Bomber-Hobby Stock Dash-Shannon Morris, Dan Stephens, Ken Mayes. Heat 1-Morris, Mayes, Ken Gotchal, Bob Kaster, Jeffrey Macedo. Heat 2-Stephens, Wes Washburn, Ray McCann, Dwayne Inlow, Bill Fletcher. Heat 3-Robert Miller, Bob Vaden, Danny Collins, Brian Heldt, Mike Ellison. Heat 4-Tom Teters, Frank Crandell, Jon Crandell, Larry Shearin, Chris Jimenez. B Main-Inlow, Kevin Boles, Macedo, Kaster, Shearin, Bill Fletcher, Truckee Paxton, Andrew Howells, Jimenez, Heldt, Ellison, Jimmy Berhorst. A Main-Miller, Morris, Stephens, Vaden, Collins, Teters, Washburn, Inlow, Gotchal, Shearin, McCann, Mayes, Boles, Macedo, J Crandell, Kaster, F Crandell, Fletcher. IMCA Modified Dash-Steve McGee, Shawn Marlow, Steve Evenson. Heat 1-Evenson, McGee, Robert Smotherman, Allen Boles, Bill Smith III. Heat 2-Miller, Marlow, Wayne Richards, Russell Rosario, Michael Saxon. Main-Miller, Evenson, Richards, Marlow, Rosario, Rodney Sweet, McGee, Smotherman, Saxon, Boles, Douglas Adams, Jim Foley, Smith.
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