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by Steve Turnross

It has been a big month of racing in the golden state for true gearheads. The annual Memorial day weekend trek up to the scenic half-mile at the Napa County Fairgrounds produced a few surprises. The track was lightning quick for the Saturday program with alot of side by side racing and passing. This is not usually seen at Calistoga when the track is heavy with a somewhat narrow racing groove. Jim Skinner shocked everyone with his 30 lap romp to victory as he showed the way the entire distance. A lap 21 red for a Rob Johnson flip gave the pack a chance to regroup and take one last shot at Skinner. On the restart Kent gave it a try, to no avail as Jimbo checked out and walked off with the Walt Ross Memorial trophy. Kent settled for 2nd with Mike Faria having a solid run to a 3rd place finish.

The Sunday show gave the fans something special on a night honoring a fallen star, the great Gary Patterson. BK sure did make GP proud as he darted from 10th starting, up to the cushion and by everyone. Once in front it was more evident that Kaeding was feeling comfortable as he repeatly charged wide open through the corners on the edge. This had to be the best run for the champ at Calistoga in 10 years. For those who say Brent Kaeding is washed up....it's time to dry up! Many teams encountered mechanical woes on Sunday. Tommy Tarlton and crew spent most of the evening chasing a magneto problem. Saturday nights winner Jim Skinner, had a camshaft failure. The big blow of the weekend went to Damion Gardner and the DG Motorsports team which lost a motor in hot laps and will be out of action for a few weeks.

It was great to see childhood friend (and fellow 70's Calistoga bratpack member) Jimmy Patterson in the house on Sunday for the race to honor his father. A slim car count was a bit of a bummer, but the racing action more than made up for it.

It's off to the midwest for the SCRA Non-Wing World Championship tour as Ron Shuman takes his hard chargin' bunch to Eagle, Wichita, Granite City, and Lakeside. Six nights of racing at four tracks will make up the first half of the 2001 NWWC.

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