BF's World

Steve-O's Scrapbook

The 40 Most Exciting Drivers in NARC History

All-Time Calistoga Speedway Winners List


Calistoga Speedway

Click Here for the 40th Anniversary NARC program.




Chuck Gurney, Jr. Racing /

Dirt America /

Golden State Challenge / /

MVP Video Online

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame /

Northwest /

SF Designs /

Trophy Girls


Yak Graphics

51 Racing






by Steve Turnross 07/27/02

As the California temperatures have heated up so has the open wheel action throughout the state. Some new blood has come to the front to challenge the old pros in many series. The most notable performances have been turned in by Damion Gardner and Tim Kaeding. These guys have been just plain fast. The versatile Gardner has gotten the job done in everything he's driven. Dwarf cars to 360 sprints; on to the tough Golden State Challenge series 410s. Followed by a stint on pavement with USAC western states sprints. He is now a star on the SCRA trail. The kid has also won in every division he's raced. The big money sponsor is the one thing the team is lacking.

Tim Kaeding is lookin' good in the Wright Construction team and their reunion tour. With his consistency at all tracks this could be the season T.K. takes his initial Golden State championship. One thing is for sure, he will be on the "go button" for all it's worth.

Madera Speedway hosted the annual Vuckovich Classic for the SRL Supers and USAC/BCRA Midgets. The Supers was another Troy Reiger benefit show. These guys have it figured out big time. The midget portion of the show was quite surprising as pavement newcomers Jerome Rodela and Rob Russell held off all of the challengers to run 1-2 ahead of veteran Wally Pankratz. Both Rodela and Russell have virtually no pavement experience which made their performances even more impressive.

A June 1st jaunt took us down 101 to Santa Maria for the USAC midgets and bandit non-wing sprints which provided some fast, exciting racing. The night was slowed by a late start and a long delay because of a scary crash in the Ford Focus midget's second heat. Vacaville's Garrett Andrews was the heat one winner in a walk as he checked out on the field. The win gave Andrews a last row starting spot for the second heat. After making his way up through the field a flip by Josh Lakatos going into turn three brought out the red just as Andrews was making a move on the frontchute. The outcome was horrific as Andrews climbed a wheel at full speed resulting in a hard series of flips into the first turn. Garrett received a broken back, two fractures in his neck and many bumps n' bruises. The best news is that Garrett suffered no paralysis. He will be slowed up for a while and his racing days are likely over. We're just glad that you're okay, Garrett.

The Antioch Speedway was the next stop on tour as the wingless spec sprints and BCRA midget Lites were on tap. Long time sprint car driver and friend, Darrell Hanestad was the class of the field as he methodically picked off cars to take the win, and continued his hot streak of four in a row at the reconfigured "bull ring". Brad Sweet was a repeat winner in the Lite's main event. Watch this kid, he's only going to get better as he gets more laps under his belt.

The Watsonville Speedway hosted the BCRA midgets on June 21st for a "Cowboy up" affair. The heavy and rough track conditions made for a exciting qualifying session for the non-wing cars. It seemed as though every car either bicycled, wheelied, or flipped sometime during their two laps on clock. Larry Brown brought his immaculate TCR chassis to the quarter-mile on the coast for a hard earned victory in the main event. Dallen McKenney looked to be a winner until mechanical woes cost him the race. A battle between Brown, Lee Yetter and Ronnie Day had the fans on their feet for most of the 30 lapper.

The next night the USAC sprints rolled into Altamont for a western states points race on the big half mile. Open Wheel--hero--turned--NASCAR--superstar, Tony Stewart was in the house for a little Saturday night fun. He had a lot of fun as he showed the fans who packed the stands why he is the man. A late race pass of Jason McCord in traffic sent the crowd home buzzing about Stewarts pure ability and desire to win. McCord held on for second followed by Rick Hendrix.

A Calistoga cancellation opened the door for an opportunity to catch SCRA at Tulare on July 6th. Damion Gardner was on a mission as he was leading by a bunch in the feature when disaster struck on lap 27. A slight push exiting turn four caused the DG Motorsports entry to get into the wall and flip hard backwards on the front stretch. The result was junk parts for the hard charger out of Concord. Richard Griffin won the race over Tony Jones. Eight weeks until SCRA will be in Williams Grove, Lincoln, and Grandview for the PA. Swing of the non-wing world championship. It is off for five races in seven days. The trip will take me to Placerville; Medford, OR; Cottage Grove, OR; and back to California for Watsonville and Antioch.

Remember to keep your elbows up and put the HAMMERDOWN! You can e-mail me at with your answers, comments, or questions. main page

Steve-o's Scrapbook