By Bill Foland
03/17/02 ...Hello once again from a rather frigid Mountain View, California after the 2nd week of March. A couple of weeks ago, the weather was beautiful with temperatures in the 80's, and shorts the dress code for the day. After this past weekend in blustery Marysville, we have gone full circle. It was downright cold last night, with a little bit of wind that just went right through you. Oh well that is enough of the weather talk, lets get down to the races.
It had been a couple of years since I went to Mark Hall's Twin Cities Raceway in Marysville and I have to say it has been improved a whole bunch since I was last there. The track stayed good not only throughout qualifying, but the whole night also. The track finally became two grooves by the B-Main as Greg DeCaires played alphabet soup and went from the C to the B to the A-Main before getting up to 9th at the finish. This was a great effort for Greg in Lee Lindgren's nice looking number 94.
It seems like the first race blues were there for most of the night as the driver's had a hard time making it more than 5-6 laps without a caution or a red. Chad Riolo was impressive, leading the A-Main until mechanical woes sidelined him for the night. Roger Crockett then took over and led the remaining distance with relative ease. Mark Hall stayed in the lead draft, and picked up and impressive 2nd, followed by fast timer Johnny Rodriguez, always-exciting Mike Henry and Andy Forsberg.
As for last weeks Mini-Gold Cup in Chico, it turned out to be a one-night show as a severe rainstorm washed out Saturday. Friday night was uneventful as Roger Crockett led flag to flag to pick up his first GSRS race in a while driving for his NST car owner from Oregon. The rest of the top five was filled with drivers that aren't going to compete full time on the GSRS tour as Andy Forsberg took home the 2nd place honors, holding off the fast closing Sammy Swindell (Beef Packer 83JR), Johnny Rodriguez and the highest finishing GSRS regular Tim Kaeding.
Tim came from the C to the B to the A-Main after contact with the unmoving tractor tire in the heat race. Always exciting at Chico, Tim made some strong high side moves to get up to the front after starting 12th. Other GSRS hopefuls with problems included Brent Kaeding (back in the familiar black 69) who had an eventful heat race as Shawna Wilskey drove over the back of his car and sent it into the pits with contact being made with Danny Ochs trailer. Wilskey's car was said to be damaged heavily.
Brent was able to make transfer into the A-Main BK was running 4th in the A-Main when a sticking brake forced him to the pits but not before contact with Jonathan Allard that sent Allard spinning into the infield. Tommy Tarlton made his debut with his brand new 2002 Big Max car with mixed results as he struggled to a 11th place finish. Jason Meyers is supposed to be running the entire GSRS schedule as funding never came through to run with the WoO and after some spectacular bicycles at the beginning of the A-Main, Preston and Darren freed the car up enough for Jason to make it back up to 10th.
Craig Stidham had a great heat race run going as he went from 4th to 2nd on a restart then tried to pass for the lead until he fell off of turn 3 and tipped over to end his night. Mike Faria had a strong run going until mechanical woes sidelined his car before the halfway signal. It should be a very competitive year in the Golden State, I am looking forward to seeing some great racing.
One of the reasons that I have not been able to write a regular column (even though I catch some serious grief from some of my regular readers) is my dad purchased one of the Flynn Racing Beast USAC Western States Pavement Sprint Car's for the upcoming season. I have been very busy trying to get that deal going. Even though he bought a roller, there were some things that we couldn't make work and some other things that just take more time than anything. One thing for instance is if any of you have ever seen me, you know I am not a small person, and those cars are not really made for someone that is 6'1". So we had to move the seat back in the car to give me some much needed room to operate. After the completion of that project, we moved on the paintwork etc.… so it is coming along as I hope to make it to El Cajon on March 30th but more realistically it will be Madera on April 6th.
We really need to make some practice laps in the car before we go to the race as I am still learning how to drive every time I get in the car. The car will be painted mostly red with some blue stripes with the number 78 on it. The number 78 is my dad's hardtop number from the 50's-60's. We will still keep the 101 with the Stealth car and run it at a later date. Hope to see some of you out there and feel free to come by and say hello at the races sometime.
B.F.'s notes: Lance Dewease has settled into the Hamilton 77 rather nicely with 5 wins already this season…Johnny Herrera took Billy Wilburn's 2W to a win in the maiden voyage at Las Vegas… Daryn Pittman had a serious crash at the new race track in New Mexico and will be sidelined for a few weeks…Jeff Shepard has landed the ride in the Ashworth 92 for the All-Star Series…Dave Steele took both ends of the Copper World Classic driving Dino Tomassi's Mopar midget and the Gratton 19 Silver Crown car…Congrats goes out to James Chesson on a very impressive run in the midget portion of the Copper World… Jeremy Sherman took both ends of the Gary Sokola Classic at Manzanita…Damion Gardner has taken a liking to the non wing racing and has a dash win to his credit and two top 10 finishes so far…Condolences go out to the Hannagan family as Randy lost his brother Jimmy to a lengthy illness, then lost his Grandfather just a couple days later…Brad Furr took home a preliminary night race at Devil's Bowl last Friday…Johnny Rodriguez will be piloting a Beast pavement midget that he purchased from Danny Olmstead at selected races this year with Esslinger the motor of choice…If anybody has seen Trevor LaSpina would you tell him that his buddy Ken Costa is looking for him as well as some people in Washington…Luke Beberia took the Rebel Cup opener at Hanford over the weekend…Tony Jones could be poised to make a run at the SCRA title with some great runs already this year. That is all I have for today, hope to see you at the races very soon….BF
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