B.S. 12/06/00 by Bill Foland
I am back in Mtn. View more than a month after my last column. I guess it
is my fault but I just kept putting it off until I thought I had enough
to write about. I will write about the races I went to over the past few
weeks along with the NARC Banquet held in Reno, Nevada last weekend.
So here we go.....
went to Chico for The Fall Nationals but rain canceled the first night activity.
It didn't look good for the weekend but John Padjen and his staff
were determined to get some kind of show in so they decided to split the
huge 90+ car field into two separate shows in one night. I thought they
were crazy and would never get it in by the 11:00 p.m. curfew. With hot
laps staring at 4:00 the races got going with all the cars being qualified
by 5:30. The "1st" night main event went fairly well except for one of the
NASTIEST, SCARIEST and HARRIEST crashes I have seen in years taken by Jeremy
Phillips. He got together with another car and started
flipping right past the flag stand with the tail tank coming out quickly,
it launched him skyward and off the end of the track. He went over the chainlink
fence that extends well off the race track and over where the carnival rides
usually are at.
Jeremy, luckily climbed out shaken but
uninjured. After they restarted Roger Crockett led on the fast surface
until he got into heavy traffic and was passed by Peter Murphy and
that was all she wrote as Pete went on to win over Crockett, Randy Tiner,
Gary Morgan and Kyle Schild. The "2nd" night show went a little
smoother with Brent Kaeding leading wire to wire to take the win
but not without pressure from Johnny Rodriquez who eventually was
taken out by a lapped car. Following Brent past the checkered was
Willy Croft driving for Gerald Hopping in his best effort
that I have seen. Shauna Wilskey, Billy Wallace and a v8 using Mark
Hall (instead of his normal v6) were next in line.
The next night would have been a classic
dual between Kaeding and Murphy but a huge storm came and
washed out the rest of the weekend. We headed the next morning for Primm,
Nevada where we would stay for a couple of days before heading to Las Vegas
for the WoO races. Las Vegas was supposed to be the final 2 races for the
Pennzoil World Of Outlaws but circumstances turned it into a one night show.
After staying in Vegas for a few days your wallet can either get thinner
or fatter so some people were probably ready to go home after the first
night was canceled. After everybody signed in, the track was deemed unraceable
and let me tell you that it was. I have NEVER seen cars bicycle down the
straightaway and I saw Joey Saldana's car do just that in a quick
5 lap hot lap session that sent everybody home.
The next night was better but still VERY
rough and very tricky to maneuver on. A lot of cars decided to pack it in
and go home and I don't blame them in the least, the cars that stayed either
had a stake in the points or just wanted to race that bad. The guys that
did stay should get a purple heart as they were beaten and battered all
night with cars picking up and turning over without any warning. The races
seemed to go on forever with numerous reds and yellows and the race was
mercifully stopped at 1:00 a.m. after 15 laps with Sammy Swindell taking
the win over Andy Hillenburg, Greg Hodnett, Craig Dollansky and Dean
Jacobs. Jac Haudenschild came all the way from 26th to 6th and
probably wasn't happy to see the race ended as he was still going forward.
After we left Vegas we headed to Hanford
to run the annual Cotton Classic with a good turnout of cars over 40 in
the pits. Blake Robertson continued his best season to date with
a win over Steve Kent, Brad Furr, Tommy Tarlton and Kevin Pylant.
The next weekend my guys went to Perris where I was a no show and I wish
that I could have made it but circumstances changed that. The first night
was rained out after the heat races so the remainder of the heat race and
main event from the first night would be held the following night. Mike
Kirby took home the top honors from the "1st" night main event over
Cory Kruseman, Rip Williams, Richard Griffin and Tony Jones.
The "2nd" night show was the big one and it paid $25,000 to win so it attracted
USAC's best to compete for the big prize with Tracy Hines, Tony Elliott,
J.J Yeley, Bud Kaeding and Derek Davidson in the house to name
a few. Add in California winged regulars Brent Kaeding, Peter Murphy,
Eric Rossi and Andy Forsberg and it was one heck of a field.
The finale went to Tony Jones who from what I heard was very excited
as he tried to jump out of his car while it was still rolling! Jones was
followed by Mike Kirby, Richard Griffin, Rip Williams and a fast
improving John Scott (with Bubby Jones as his crew chief).
Brent Kaeding came home a fine 6th after starting 18th and was the
only car in the top ten that didn't start in the top ten.
After a week off, we were back in action
at Tulare and Oildale for the NARC finale weekend over Thanksgiving. The
first night at Tulare was the debut of Jac Haudenschild in Dennis
Roth's Beef Packers Eagle and Haud didn't disappoint with a track
record run and a dominating performance in the main event beating out fellow
WoO regular Joey Saldana (in Rick Wright's #35 Maxim), Tim
Kaeding, in a fine run from the middle of the pack, Tim Shaffer
in Dennis Johnson's General Automotive #14D and Randy Hannagan.
The track was in fine shape but a major crash on the start sidelined front
runners Blake Robertson and Brad Furr after contact with Randy
Tiner. Another grinding crash on the front chute a few laps later spelled
disaster for Jason Statler, Brian Coehlo and Ryan Flynn.
The following night it was off to Oildale
Speedway for the NARC finale and the track was very racey and slick with
numerous grooves to race on. Haud once again barely beat out Kasey
Kahne for fast time honors on the 1/4 mile oval. The main event was
fast and furious with Steve Kent (who limped to a 4th place transfer
position with a flat tire for almost a lap) taking the early lead before
Haud would make him move in traffic to take the lead but it was short
lived as Haud got hung up behind Danny Faria Jr. and lost
allot of ground and two positions. Haud got going again and got into
2nd and had his sights set on Kent when he got squeezed into the
wall in turns 3-4 and knocked his front end out and ended his night. Kent
went unchallenged from there until Kasey Kahne made a bid and
was shoved into the infield in turn one by D.Faria Jr. Kahne
showed his displeasure on the following yellow by slamming into Faria
Jr. ...Kent won the $10,000
prize followed by Jason Meyers, Brad Furr, Joey Saldana and Randy
Hannagan. This put an end to the NARC season with Brent Kaeding
taking his 7th consecutive championship and his 13th overall.
The following weekend we celebrated the
NARC season with the year end banquet held in Reno, Nevada at the Silver
Legacy Casino. A fun time was had by all and a silent and live auction was
held to benefit the St. Judes Hospital. Allot of things go into making the
banquet a success and with people like Katie Williams, Carolyn McMillen,
Laurel Belton, Mrs. Caves and Mrs. Sarale it definitely was one
of the best to date. With spirited bidding going for items like a Jeff
Gordon Lithograph, Ronnie Day's helmet and Katie's awesome
cookies it was a huge hit. Ronnie Day took home his first Golden
State "King Of California" title that was well earned by Ronnie and
the rest of the Weldon Offill Country Builders team and congrats
to Ronnie for finally thanking his new wife Carol for all
the support over the years. They announced they won't be back next year
as Ronnie will be running some Southwest Tour stuff and other races.
I wish them all the best luck in the world, they are good people.
Brent Kaeding picked up his unprecedented
13th NARC title and thanked all his sponsors, crew and especially The
Peterson family for continued support over the past several years. The
club's highest honor the Louie Vermeil award went to the late Arlene
Fillipich as she passed away earlier this year from Cancer but she was
always at the pit window whenever she could make it to the races all the
way to the end. She was a great person and an asset to not only NARC but
to everybody that knew her, she will be missed. The Walter T. Ross
award went to Al Peterson for his unabashed love and support of California
sprint car racing over the past decade. The Sportsperson of the year went
to Tom Tarlton who came back from devastating injuries suffered in
a freak accident when a car crashed through the front of a coffee shop and
ran into him. He returned to not only field a team but promote a race at
Chowchilla that had been originally been dropped from the NARC schedule.
Rick Wright was presented the Most Dedicated Car Owner for not only
fielding a car at all the NARC races but sometimes 2 cars at the end of
the year and he also picked up the runner-up award in the car owners championship.
Mike Faria was chosen as the NARC Rookie Of The Year after a great battle
with Damien Gardner and Ricci Faria. All of them had a great
rookie season but Mike Faria stood out over the season long battle.
...Ashley Smith was chosen
the Crew Chief of the year for his efforts with Peter Murphy over
the past few years.
The Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Trophy
was a huge surprise as I listened to Bobby Gerould describe this
guy that has been around racing for 30+ years who eats, drinks and sleeps
racing..., I couldn't figure out who he was talking about until I saw the
video screen with my picture on it. To say that I was shocked would be an
understatement and to say that I was taken back with emotion would be another.
As I walked up to the podium to get my award I had so many things going
though my head with different memories as the walk seemed to take an hour.
As I look out at all my fellow competitors and friends I couldn't help but
cry at the great honor. I was hardly able to say anything while I was up
there so I will say it here. This was one of the best moments of my life
and I have to thank first of all Brent Kaeding who took a kid that
knew nothing and let him hang out with his team for 13+ years and has given
me a lifetime of memories over those years. Also to Al Peterson and
his entire family who has taken care of us of the past 5 years with open
arms and warm hearts. Bob Miller also was not only a car owner but
a friend to me over the years and the kind words after the banquet will
never be forgotten. To the rest of my team headed by Billy Albini with
Chris "Cajun" Good, Paul Reno, Bruce Homer, Rich Paulson, Dick Barshow
and Derek Overcamp. Also Ronnie Westphal, Denny Millard, Billy
Wentworth, Little Gary, Mike Bingham and the late Larry Maxwell.
They are not around anymore but will never be forgotten by me.
Now that I have rambled on long enough
that is it for this column and I will have a season review in a few weeks.
Condolences go out to the family of Steve Evans who passed away at
Las Vegas from an apparent heart attack...reports from PA have Greg Hodnett
back in the Apple Motorsports 12 next year leaving the Vasser V12 seat open
for next year...In the worst kept secret of the year Danny Lasoski
will be the new driver of Tony Stewart's World Of Outlaws team next
year with Jimmy Carr as his crew chief...Skip Jackson will
start the year off driving the Keen #53 before returning to Knoxville to
drive the #55 car weekly...Sounds like Tyler Walker has the inside
track on the Ray Evernham backed Mopar midget and Silver Bullet car...Kenny
Jacobs will return to the All-Stars to defend his crown once again...Cory
Kruseman will not defend his Chili Bowl title this year as he heads
over to Australia to run a midget...Steve Kinser not only won the
World Of Outlaws title but he also took the final 410 sprint car poll title.
Rounding out the top five was Sammy Swindell, Mark Kinser, Danny Lasoski
and Stevie Smith. ...Steve's son Kraig was voted "Rookie Of The Year"
in a vote that included Californian Damien Gardner...Kasey Kahne
won the "Wild Card" award for exciting performances throughout the year...Dave
Argabright won the "Media Member Of The Year" an honor that was well
deserved...The first non WoO member in the fianl Sprint Car Poll was Fred
Rahmer at 7th...Other notables included Gumout Champ Craig Dollansky
(6th), All-Star Champ Kenny Jacobs (10th), NARC champ Brent Kaeding
(16th), NCRA champ Gary Wright (18th) and Knoxville champ Terry
McCarl (22nd)...Ronnie Day was left of the top 25 but he should
be in there somewhere for winning the Golden State title...Kenny Adams
took the 360 title over ASCS champ Wayne Johnson...California notables
were Placerville and Civil War champ Andy Forsberg (15th) as Jonathan
Allard, Roger Crockett, Johnny Rodriquez, Kyle Schild and Tommy Tarlton
also received votes...Jay Drake was voted non-winged driver of the
year over SCRA and Non-Winged World Championship Champ Richard Griffin...Kasey
Kahne won the National USAC Midget Championship with Aaron Fike
being named Rookie Of The Year...Tony Elliott won The National Sprint
Car title with Bud Kaeding taking the Rookie Of The Year honors...Tracy
Hines took the Silver Bullet Championship with Kasey Kahne taking
home the Rookie honors...Maxim had a great year with titles being taken
by Steve Kinser (WoO), Mark Kinser (Knoxville Nationals),
Craig Dollansky (Gumout Series), Kenny Jacobs (All-Stars),
Joe Roe (IRA), Brent Kaeding (NARC), Wayne Johnson (ASCS)
and Terry McCarl (Knoxville and Huset's Speedway)... See ya next
Bill Foland (BF has been a key crew member for Brent
Kaeding's race teams for years in California. He is the son of Hall of Fame
Midget pilot, Burt Foland. BF also works at the Kaeding Maxim Center and
races a USAC Western States sprint car himself.)
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