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Hot, dry-slick racing adds challenge
by Dan McGee
Jun 26, 2011 | 1512 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - Jesse James (53) races toward the checkered flag and victory with Kevin Reuter (69) hot on his heels. They spent the final laps of the Gen-X feature at Rattlesnake Raceway dueling for the lead.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Jesse James (53) races toward the checkered flag and victory with Kevin Reuter (69) hot on his heels. They spent the final laps of the Gen-X feature at Rattlesnake Raceway dueling for the lead.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - On his way to winning the IMCA Modified race, Shawn Natenstedt (1) is about to lap the modified of Steve McQueen (27).
Tribune/Dan McGee - On his way to winning the IMCA Modified race, Shawn Natenstedt (1) is about to lap the modified of Steve McQueen (27).
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Tribune/Dan McGee - During the final half of the 360 Sprint Car feature, leader and eventual winner Bob Cooney (6B) had to hold off a determined Jeff Macedo (3L) as they battled for the lead.
Tribune/Dan McGee - During the final half of the 360 Sprint Car feature, leader and eventual winner Bob Cooney (6B) had to hold off a determined Jeff Macedo (3L) as they battled for the lead.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - A very happy Steve McGee takes a victory lap after winning Saturday night's Mini Mod feature race. For this season, he's driving the car owned by Dennis Crook.
Tribune/Dan McGee - A very happy Steve McGee takes a victory lap after winning Saturday night's Mini Mod feature race. For this season, he's driving the car owned by Dennis Crook.
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FALLON — Summer weather, coupled with a dry wind, made racing at Rattlesnake Raceway a challenging affair for the drivers on Saturday night, and a busy water truck driver. The result was very slick conditions, with little grip, during the heat races.

But after the sun went down, the surface began to gain grip although it was still somewhat dry-slick thus keeping the water truck going. But the best drivers seem to thrive in these conditions.

The race was good, started fifth, fell back to almost last and was trying to make sure the cars didn't wreck me going through," Shawn Natenstedt said after winning the IMCA Modified feature. "I got bottled up but figured we had 30 laps so took our time to get to the front."

When the green flew to start the Modified feature, Wade Lumsden grabbed the point until Eddie Scarberry took the point. Behind the leaders, Natenstedt was in the high groove but fell back.

In his charge toward the front, Natenstedt made up several spots during a three-wide charge down the front straight. Two laps later, he was second and drawing a bead on Don Childs, who had taken the lead.

After a short duel, Natenstedt used an inside move to grab the point as he and Childs flew down the backstretch. After that the Fernley driver roared off to the victory.

Only one caution slowed the race and that came with less than 10 laps to go when Lumsden spun but was able to recover. In the end Natenstedt took the win followed by Childs and Brian Milburn.

Back in the pits Natenstedt commented on the conditions when he said, "The track was good, tacky in one and two but dry-slick in three and four but it was cool to race as it was two totally different corners. And I need to thank Silverado Casino and TSM Shocks for their support."

It took a pair of attempts to get the Hobby Stock feature going. Once again this division featured the largest field of the night.

Just like the first time, Bryan Kaster took the lead from the pole and took off with Aaron Benham and Lance Roberts in hot pursuit. Giving chase was the pack.

After a dozen laps, Kaster was still holding the point with Chris Neal closing in and eventually taking the lead. Now there was a three-way duel for second between Kaster, Pete and Mike Olsen.

With less then three laps to go Neal spun out of the lead bringing out a caution. When the green waved again Mike Olsen jumped into the lead followed by Pete Olsen with Benham not far behind in third.

They finished in that order.

When the 360 Sprint Car main began Bob Cooney grabbed the point starting what became a four-car duel for the lead. After six laps points leader Tommy Teeters took the point as the others gave chase.

Unfortunately, from the sound of it, something was amiss in Teeter's motor and two laps from the end it seemed to quit on him. In the final dash to the checkered Cooney held off a determined Jeff Macedo, who had to settle for second, while heat winner Galen Reese came home third.

After the checkered Cooney said, "It was a good battle but I had fun and that's what the name of the game it. I've been having problems ever since I got in a wreck over here and we're just trying to dial it in. I kind of figured it out a little bit and the car was running good.

"I need to thank my crew chiefs, my son Robert as he really worked on this car and my brother Jack. My boy is putting another car together and hopefully we'll have it at Lovelock."

Just prior to the Sprint Car main the track's corners were watered in hopes of improving the surface for the upcoming race.

When asked Cooney said, "Oh yes, it helps quite a bit as you get a bit more bite."

Once again Steve McGee drove the car belonging to Dennis Crook in the Mini Mod main. When that race began Larry Miller, who had Crook as a passenger, jumped into the lead.

Charging up from the back was McGee, who grabbed the point on Lap 6. From then on the race was for second between Stephen Crook, Miller and Justin McIlvain.

Up front however, it was all McGee as he showed everyone his heels and roared away to the win. At the checked Stephen Crook held on for the runner-up spot with Miller and McIlvain close behind.

"It went pretty smooth, I started last, got to the front pretty quick and the car was awesome," McGee said back in the pits. "The track was a little sloppy wet but it was a lot better than the heat so the main was real good and I'm having a lot of fun."

Only four Rat Mods were on hand and Glenn Lee dominated both the heat race as well as the main event.

Another close race was the Gen-X feature. Kali Pope led when the green waved only to surrender the point Sharlee Kaster three laps later. That was short lived as a charging Jesse James soon took the lead a couple of laps after that.

The next duel was between Kevin Reuter and Kaster as they dueled for second. When Reuter got that spot he then set his sights on the fleeing leader.

Two cautions bunched the cars and erased the leader's advantage. One more would lead to the green-white-checkered sprint to the finish.

The final laps were marked by Reuter's efforts on catching James, who held the bottom and seemed to have better traction exiting Turn 4. And the battle went right down to the final charge to the checkered flag.

Back in the pits James said, "It was great, especially on the bottom. And, yea, Kevin showed me his bumper so I knew he was coming and it was time to start going. I also need to thank Raber Fabrication for their support.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•The 4th of July weekend is big for oval track fans as all three regional tracks will be in action over the three-day span.

On Saturday evening, starting at 7 p.m. the Lovelock Speedway will host another of its points races that includes the 360 Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds. That same evening, starting at the same time, the Reno-Fernley Raceway oval kicks off another of its NASCAR sanctioned nights.

Rattlesnake Raceway has a double header planned with the first points race beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The second race, beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, features the regular divisions, kids rides, and Fallon's fireworks show to end the weekend with a bang.

•The Busch Brothers spent the weekend at Infineon Raceway, just south of Sonoma, California, where they competed in Sunday's Sprint Cup event. Kurt Busch dominated the race after starting fifth and winning his first ever road course victory while younger brother Kyle started 19th, had an eventful race and ended up 11th.

RESULTS

Rattlesnake Raceway - June 24

IMCA Modifieds:

Heat Winners - #1 Shawn Natenstedt, #2 Don Childs

Main (30 Laps) - 1. Shawn Natenstedt, 2. Don Childs, 3. Brian Milburn, 4. Alex Childs, 5. Eddie Scarberry

Hobby Stocks:

Heat Winners - #1 Wes Washburn, #2 Skeeter Donaldson, #3 Pete Olsen

Main (30 Laps) - 1. Mike Olsen, 2. PeteOlsen, 3. Aaron Benham, 4. Skeeter Donaldson, 5. Richard Shamlain

360 Outlaw Sprint Cars:

Heat Winner - Galen Reese

Main (15 Laps) - 1. Bob Cooney, 2. Jeff Macedo, 3. Galen Reese, 4. Mike White, 5. Aaron Gustin

Rat Mods:

Heat Winner - Glenn Lee

Main (15 Laps) - 1. Glenn Lee, 2. Marri Andrews, 3. Steve Young

Mini Mod:

Heat Winner - Stephen Crook

Main - (15 Laps) - 1. Steve McGee, 2. Steven Crook, 3. Larry Miller, 4. Justin McIlvain, 5. Steve Singley

Gen-X:

Heat Winners - #1 Al Bishop, #2 Kevin Reuter

Main (20 Laps) - 1. Jesse James, 2. Kevin Reuter, 3. Sharlee Kaster, 4. Kali Pope, 5. Yolanda Kaster

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