"It was good man, the track was really slick and we expected that," Shawn Natenstedt said after winning the second modified race of the night. "We started on the front row both races and we led from green to checkered. I need to thank TSM Shocks, Silverado Casino and it's good to be back at Fernley and winning."
When the first race began, Natenstedt took off with Jake Holland, Tom Purcell and Jay Sears right behind him. Things slowed on lap three when the race's first caution happened due to a spin- four laps later there would be another then the race ran green from that point on.
Up front it was all Natenstedt while Purcell and Holland battled for the runner-up spot the entire event. They would cross the line in that order closely followed by Sears and Travis Petersen.
When the night-ending second modified feature began, Natenstedt again was on poll but this time Purcell was on his back bumper. Petersen spun on the second lap and then had to sit there as cars ripped past him until it was clear and he could get going again.
That spin put Petersen out of contention for the race win. Just a few laps later there were two more cautions. The race would be slowed by two more but not Natenstedt didn't seem to be able to get away from those chasing him.
In fact, both Purcell and Holland kept the pressure on during most of the remainder of the event.
Eventually, Purcell faded out of the top five while visiting driver Chris Olexiewicz from Phoenix, Arizona had been working his way toward the front. He eventually had to settle for the runner-up spot as there would be no getting past Natenstedt on this night.
Holland and Sears ended up third and fourth ahead of fifth place Riley Simmons.
Asked about the second race Natenstedt said, "I don't think I adjusted enough for the end of the race. The car was good plus I knew it was toward the end of the race and I was protecting. And it's good to be back in the winner's circle here."
Runner-up Olexiewcz then said, "Just kind of sitting there, keep things clean, staying out of trouble and saving the tires for the end. But I was pretty used up by the time the race was done. The track was good and I like a dry slick track."
One of the unusual feature races was the Pro Stock main. When it started Dean Cichowicz and B.J. Pearson led the charge into Turn 1 with Al Goss soon taking second by the time the lap was over.
Behind the leaders, Jesse Gonalez was moving through the pack. The first of four cautions came when Chris Coclich spun in Turn 3 then had to sit there and hope everyone missed him.
They did and he soon was on his way. Several laps later the next caution came when Goss apparently made a mistake and spun Gonzalez after contact.
Drivers at RFR race to the yellow flag when a caution comes out and one driver realizing this was his key to victory. Late in the event Joe Specchio's car lost its drive shaft on the front straight.
The cars exiting Turn 4 slowed a bit while Gonzalez, seeing this and finding a clear lane kept his foot down and roared passed everyone to cross the line first giving him the lead. When racing resumed he just took off for the victory followed by the Goss brothers, Al and Ed as well as now fourth place Pearson.
"It was definitely interesting and I didn't think I was going to get it done with getting taken out like I did," he said. "I was just in the back and it's tough to pass guys when you're running side-by-side. We were coming off Turn 4 and I saw all the dust and the cars moving down so I was in the high line to see what was going on and Kenny was in the wall.
"I saw where he was and everybody went to the bottom and I was gas on as we hadn't taken the yellow yet. So they were sleeping and I wasn't so that's how I got the lead."
The Hobby Stocks once again had the largest field, 20 cars, and as expected put on an action packed feature. Although the front two cars probably saw more action at the beginning than they expected.
Exiting Turn 2 after the start there was contact between Royce Goetz and pole sitter Dwight Bolton. While both cars ended up in the wall, they were able to continue and took their front row places when the race was restarted.
The race itself was slowed by eight cautions with four coming in the first eight laps. Up front however Bolton held on to the point before and after every restart. In the final laps he had to fend off a determined Rick Miller, who eventually settled for a close second at the finish.
After the race Bolton explained his car suffered some damage to the steering and had hardly any brakes but he still held on for the victory.
Back in the pits he said, "The secret was holding the bottom line and keeping them from trying to get around me. I like running up on the high line but the bottom felt pretty good but you get in the middle and it was just loose. It was a good track, it was fast and fun."
Then he thanked his supporters, which included Silver Springs Napa, Auto and Truck Parts, Carson Valley Signs, Silver City Auto Body, special thanks to my pit crew and all my friends at 5051 Racing.
The Dwarf Cars once again gave fans a show these little but extremely fast cars can provide. And it came down to a battle of two Wilson Brothers.
First on pole was Bobby Wilson, the older one, who then had to contend with his younger sibling, Billy. Lap after lap they ripped around the track either nose-to-tail or sometimes side-by-side.
Behind the leaders lurked Jesse Vankol followed by Leroy Kay but up front it was the battling Wilson brothers.
In the end, Billy held off brother Bobby or the victory.
After the dust had settled the winning brother said, "The track was really dry-slick but it was fun racing against my older brother, Bobby. Usually he goes around the outside to get me but this time I returned the favor."
Once again young Travis Barr won the Pure Stock Mini race but he first had to get around a determined Al Bishop to accomplish that.
The only bad looking incident of the night occurred when Mikayla Hancock's car slammed into the back straight wall during her Pure Stock Mini heat race. It took a bit of time for the medics to remove her from the car but fortunately she was only shaken up in the incident.
•On Sunday, 258 riders showed up at the Exit 28 motocross track to contest the final round of the Dealer's Challenge Cup series. Not only were riders competing for individual wins but the dealers they represented were looking for winning the initial cup trophy.
The rain Saturday evening set up the track so it was fast and technical. Brian Sjogren was out to sweep all his pro motos during the meet.
After dominating the first 250/450 moto he said, "It felt pretty good, got the hole shot and led the whole thing. I couldn't have done it without my sponsors, Moto Innovation, EBR Racing, they provided me with great bikes and my whole family. The track was really slick in the morning but the sun came out and it's really good right now."
Later in the day, during his second 125/250 moto that was run with the Big Bike Open race, Sjogren had some stiff competition from three-time VCGP winner Ross Neely, who got the hole shot.
For the first three laps these two young lions ripped around the track almost nose-to-tail. Eventually Sjogren got the point and led to the checkerd.
Just prior to the final 250/450 moto there was a down pour that made the track very slick but once again Sjogren got the hole shot and left everyone to splash in his wake.
"It was super slick but I got the hole shot and was out front and I rode my race," he said.
One of the more unusual races were in the women's motos. Among the adults there was 11-yeard-old Sparks school girl Kaylee Darby riding a smaller 85cc bike.
This year young Darby has qualified for her first Loretta Lynn's Amateur Nationals and showed it was no fluke. When her first moto began she got the hole shot but was soon passed by Shalie Thorwaldson, who fell handing her young rival the victory.
In the second moto Thorwaldson got the hole shot with young Darby giving chase. It was a contest between a mother of three hounded by a pre-teen rider. Lap after lap they dueled for position.
In the end, Darby took the victory followed by Thorwaldson, who ended up third overall behind desert racer Beth Legenbauer.
Several MRANN regulars, including Neely, were on hand and one of them the "Desert Fox," Dennis Belingheri was having a successful day competing in motocross.
There were so many Pee Wee riders the 50cc Beginner and Junior race was split in half for these youngest of all riders.
Overall promoter Tim O'Brien was very pleased with the turn out as he said, "I couldn't be happier as we've got every dealer that's into the sport supporting it. We've got over $6,000 in give aways for an event that hasn't been done in years and the dealer support has been amazing. The turn out has been growing and this is our biggest yet."
Four dealers were almost neck-in-neck for the Cup and O'Brien said the riders turn out in droves to support them. This week the final results will be released.
Looking ahead Exit 28 is planning a series of night races, on an altered course, for July. That schedule will be released later this month.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•This week begins a marathon for modified racers as the10-day IMCA Ironman Challenge series begins. Thursday and Friday, beginning at 6 p.m., the racers will be at Rattlesnake Raceway in Fallon in a show that has some of the track's regular classes as supporting events.
Then the action moves to the Lovelock Speedway, once again beginning at 6 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday raees.
•As part of Octane Fest in Fallon the NHRA visits Top Gun drag strip, located south of town, in a meet featuring both alcohol funny cars and dragsters along with the regular ET classes. Saturday is for qualifying while the mains are run on Sunday.
•After being rained out this weekend, the American Valley Speedway moved its canceled show to Friday, June 17 as they'll run with practicing 360 Sprint Cars that will compete Saturday in a Civil War event.
All of these events will happen, weather permitting.
•Further north, at the Honey Lake MX Park, the WORCS series makes its annual visit to this hilly, technical track. The action, which starts early each day, begins on Friday and ends with the pros racing Sunday afternoon.
•Reno-Fernley Raceway's Oval - June 4
Division 1 - Modifieds:
Main #1 - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Tom Purcell, 3. Jake Holland, 4. Jay Sears, 5. Travis Petersen
Main #2 - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Chris Olexiewicz, 3. Jake Holland, 4. Jay Sears, 5. Riley Simmons
Division 2 - Pro Stocks:
Heat Winner - #1 Dean Chichowicz, #2 B.J. Pearson
Main (25 Laps) - 1. Jesse Gonzalez, 2. Al Goss, 3. Ed Goss, 4. B.J. Pearson, 5. Chris Coclich
Division 3 - Hobby Stocks:
Heat Winners - #1 Dwight Bolton, #2 Royce Goetz, #3 Carl Barlow
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Dwight Bolton, 2. Rick Miller, 3. Royce Goetz, 4. Carl Barlow, 5. Shane Ramthun
Division 4 - Dwarf Cars:
Heat Winners - #1 Bobby Wilson, #2 Race Wilson
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Billy Wilson, 2. Bobby Wilson, 3. Jesse Vankol, 4. Leroy Kay, 5. Bobby Niles
Division 5 - Pure Stock Mini:
Heat Winner - Travis Barr
Main (20 Laps) - 1. Travis Barr, 2. Alfred Bishop, 3. Kevin Rueter, 4. Justin Schilling, 5. unlisted
• Exit 28, June 5
Dealer Challenge - Round 4
— (Beg.) 1. Lux Turner, 2. Greg Bradshaw, 3. Wyatt Brixey
— (Jr.) 1. Casey Carmichael, 2. Benjamin Knoblock, 3. Dalton Hoyor
— (Open) 1. Casey Carmichael, 2. Dalton Hoyos, 3. Ezra Belingheri
— (Beg.) 1. Chase Durick, 2. Jaron Thompson, 3. Anthony Willis
— (Jr.) 1. Danny Hillyer, 2. Tyler Gunn, 3. Trever Tellez
— (Intr.) 1. Mikey Hillyer, 2. Alex Katzenbach
— (Open) 1. Mikey Hillyer, 2. Trever Tellez, 3. Danny Hillyer
— (Beg.) 1. Wesley McMullen, 2. Christopher Bradshaw, 3. Chase Durick
— (Jr.) 1. Auggie Roefer, 2. Mason Olson, 3. Dallas Dussault
— (Intr.) 1. Dylan Evans, 2. Chad Heishman, 3. Gavin Clouser
— (Open) 1. Dylan Evans, 2. Drake Evans, 3. Austin Johnson
— (Supermini) 1. Drake Evans, 2. Dylan Evans, 3. Gavin Clouser
— (Jr.) 1. Michael McGill, 2. Wade Bone, 3. Russ Peyrosky
— (Intr.) 1. Layne Kolbet, 2. James Lamonte, 3. Harry Trainer
— (Exp.) 1. Dennis Belingheri
— (Pro,) 1. Rich Thorwaldson
— (Beg.) 1. Jamie Bonner, 2. Erick Wipf, 3. Shalie Thorwaldson
— (Jr.) 1. Jeremy Rials, 2. Kurt Weil, 3. Nick Alosi
— (Intr.) 1. Dennis Belingheri, 2. Steve Tichenor, 3. Chris Ponsock
— (Exp.) 1. Aaron Bissell, 2. Jason Shakespeare
— (Pro.) 1. Rich Thorwaldson, 2. Matt Manha
— (Beg.) 1. Erick Wipf, 2. Jeremy Rials
— (Jr.) 1. 1. Jeramie Romero, 2. Steve Tichenor, 3. Evan Zahniser
— (Intr.) 1. Mitch Bellamy, 2. Jason Alosi
Women - 1. Kaylee Darby, 2. BethLegenbauer, 3. Shalie Thorwaldson
Schoolboy - 1. Alex Ficco, 2. Jesse Sanchez, 3. Tyler Moore
Big Bike Open - 1. Ross Neely, 2. Hunter Roberts, 3. Kort Johnson
— (Beg.) 1. Ryan Lehr, 2. Tyler Markuicka, 3. Zac Pelcher
— (Jr.) 1. Billy Adams, 2. Tyler Moore, 3. Justin Minsch
— (Intr.) 1. Chris Paras, 2. Kort Johnson
— (Pro) 1. Brian Sjogren,
— (Beg.) 1. Quinn Santana, 2. Jon Pelcher, 3. Brandon Brown
— (Jr.) 1. Zack Clauser, 2. Justin Minsch, 3. Tyler Moore
— (Intr.) 1. Mitch Bellamy, 2. Jesse Sanchez, 3. Alex Ficco
— (Pro.) 1. Brian Sjogren, 2. Adam Conway, 3. Nathan Tiearney