NARC NEWSLINE, May 27, 2018, By Jim Allen … Okay …, it’s time to play the most popular game show on FS1 … it’s time for the … RACING FAMILY FEUD!!! Tonight’s category is “THINGS A RACING PROMOTER WOULD NEVER SAY!” … The top five answers are on the board.
Number 5: “Ahh .., don’t worry, one racing groove tonight will be more than enough.”
Number 4: “We don’t need a beer stand.”
Number 3: “I hope the power goes out in the middle of the show.”
Number 2: “You know what would be great? If the track goes rubber-down tonight.”
And the most popular answer: “Wouldn’t it be great if we went rubber-down two nights in a row?”
Once again, these are statements a racing promoter would never say or even think because they make absolutely no sense. Are we picking on someone here? Nope, I wouldn’t dare, as much as I’m trying to point out some of the obstacles that promoters and track crews have to deal with in order to convert a huge pile of dirt into an arena for exciting open wheel battles. As in most things in life, things don’t always go exactly as planned, despite the best efforts and intentions. With variables ranging from the sun, the wind, cloud cover, the temperature, possible rain, actual rain, the number of race cars, time gaps during the racing program, to just plain bad luck, you probably have a better chance of success getting naked with Taylor Swift in your hot tub. Am I making excuses for bad or marginal race surfaces? Nope, not going to touch that one either, as much as try to point out that track promoters have the best intentions and your best interest in play every race day. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out as planned.
Now .., back to our regularly scheduled program. Once again, we must tip our Peter Murphy Classic 2018 hat to Peter Murphy, who continues to boost his namesake Classic up several notches with each running. The May 18-19th event was the fifth annual edition and it was a high energy, sponsor-rich, entertaining, race track challenged and depending on your perspective, maybe even controversial event. Let me explain.
Danny Faria opened the weekend by claiming the West Coast Sprints non-wing affair, while Gio Scelzi ran away with his first Sprint Car Challenge Tour victory on a rubber-down track. For those of you needing a “rubber-down” definition, it basically means someone paved the track when you weren’t looking. Passing gets tough and if you happen to slide out of the groove, it will feel like a freight train is blowing past you.
Richard Vander Weerd took the non-wing honors on Saturday. As far as the King of the West-NARC race goes, this one will keep race fans buzzing for a long time. Sprint car racing once again proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is as unpredictable as ever. This one looked like it belonged to Kyle Hirst, or possibly Bud Kaeding, until Shane Golobic totally altered their projected podium positioning.
Here is how this one panned out. With less than a half-lap remaining in the 30-lapper, and all eyes on the freight train of leaders, Mathew Moles performed an (unintentional) 360 in turn four, before hopping up and bicycling on the front stretch wall. Per the KWS-NARC rulebook, the yellow automatically comes out for a 360 – whether the car continues on or not. This caution reset the field and set the stage for a wild green-white-checkered scramble to the checkered.
Hirst didn’t agree with the call and so did some fans as Bobby Gerould announced that the “yellow has come out” when Hirst was about 100 feet from the finish line. In reality, it was called into the racers helmets as they began to enter turn three. It takes a second or two to call yellow into race receiver, hit the yellow light and wave the yellow flag. And it needed to come out because about 20 other competitors would have had an issue if it wasn’t waved (per the rule book.) Everybody in the place agreed that it was a tough break for Hirst.
But think about this for a second. Hirst is your leader. It’s a single file restart on a narrow rubber-down track. And … it’s a two-lap sprint to the finish. I’m thinking my Vegas sports book says he pulls off the “W” 99 times out of 100 in that situation. Well, on this night, we witnessed the one out of a 100. Apparently they have different odds at the Tachi Palace & Casino in Lemoore?
On the restart, Hirst who was fighting a push, slid up on the track before moving down to protect the bottom motoring out of two. Kaeding was going low as well and next thing you know, the leaders are hung up and Shane Golobic blows past both on the outside in the Tarlton Motorsports (Tachi Palace-sponsored) KPC to take the lead and $11,000 victory. The place went bananas! (To keep with the Australian theme, I was going to say that the place went Vegemite – but that stuff tastes like dirt.)
The tires told the whole story on the front straightaway afterwards. Hirst and Kaeding competed at the front of the pack at a frenetic pace and “might” have had a lap or two left on their right rear. By comparison, Golobic’s tire wasn’t even close to that. Crew chief Paul Baines stated they could have gone another seven or eight. Said Golobic, who started 12th and earned another $500 as the PMC Hardcharger, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I was going to happy just running third up to that point.” We agree!
Overall, more than $50,000 in prize money was distributed to King of the West-NARC competitors at the Peter Murphy Classic. This was due to the tremendous out pouring of support from a long list of sponsors and friends of Peter Murphy. Make sure you check out the entire list on PeterMurphyClassic.com, so you can continue to support the businesses that back our great sport.
NARC NOTES FROM TULARE: Man .., the Tri-Tip sandwiches are the best! Yup, both of them! … Super high energy Aussie announcer Stu McCarthy had the Tulare crowd fired up throughout the weekend. If Starbucks or Five-Hour Energy ever needed an entertaining caffeine-rich spokesman, Stu is the man! He had the crowd chanting “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” on more than one occasion. He was a fantastic addition to the PMC. … Remember that statement about the power going out? It did! Right in the middle of the WCS main event. A car accident knocked out a nearby transformer and cut power to the Thunderbowl. It took about 15 minutes to restore power. By the way, I forgot to mention this about the Bradway race a couple of weeks ago. The water main that supplies the Silver Dollar fairgrounds burst and had crews scrambling to fix it during the 24 hours leading up to our show. No running water, no bathrooms, etc. SDS gave away free bottled water until everything started flushing again around 6:00 p.m. Just a few of the things promoters have to endure. …
… Bud Kaeding and Williams Motorsports earned $500 for quick time and another $500 for winning the Sunnyvalley Bacon Pole Shuffle. He gave the eight-pounds of bacon to his mom. … Kaeding was the only driver in the 34 car field to qualify in the 13-second bracket. … For those wanting a Pole Shuffle recap, here it is: Hirst won the team battle of the Roth 83 cars by ousting the Tim Kaeding 83JR in round one. He went on to skate past Tanner Thorson in the next shuffle before losing to brother-in-law Willie Croft in the third. In round number four, Croft had the battle of the night with Aussie Matt Dumesny, but couldn’t best the driver from down under. Kaeding and Dumesny locked horns in the finale, but Kaeding owned the high-line to claim the win. … Dumesny needs a full-time California ride. … The main event paid $1000 to start. … Kurt Nelson looked very impressive dominating the B-Main. … Word out of the Sean Watts camp is that the 98 team will be out of business for a while – despite currently sitting eighth in points. They recently hurt their motor and also got upside down at Tulare. Sponsor help would be gladly accepted by this team. … Jason Statler posted another top ten finish (eighth) and is sitting fifth in points standings. …
… Dumesny performed a little wall climbing action in the fourth corner while running second on lap six. The Rod Tiner 83SA was done for the night. … Tanner Thorson was also in the hunt running second until a tread bare Hoosier took him out of contention with three to go. … Burlington, WA driver Jason Sowold made his trip to Tulare worthwhile. He finished sixth and earned five Benjamin’s for low tow! … Speaking of Dumesny, he probably has the most misspelled last name besides Bobby McMahan (McMahon, MacMahen, McMahon, or his rapper name BobbyMac26) … Chelsea Blevins scored a $500 bonus from Peter Murphy as the highest finishing 360. … Another nice addition to the PMC was sprint car ambassador Brad Doty. He was selling t-shirts, telling stories, shaking hands and kissing babies! … Dustin Golobic has quietly moved into the seventh spot in the King of the West-NARC championship point standings. He has passed more cars in the five features than any other driver (28). … Make sure you pick-up one of the new Jenna Frazier shirts. … It was a tough luck night for car owner Shawn Thomas and Chase Johnson. They hurt the motor in their heat race. They barely managed to take the green in the feature, which allowed them to score points and a paycheck. They completed about 50-yards of the race before pulling into the infield. … In this weeks “Way Overdue to Win a KWS-NARC Feature Event” department, the top candidates are Tanner Thorson, DJ Netto and Dominic Scelzi. All three have been running strong up front, but just need a small break to get the deed done!
Special thanks to all of those who supported our recent NARC Benevolent Fund auction. The autographed front wing from the PMC wrapped up with a final bid of $500 – all of which is going to the fund. More auctions are on the horizon. Along these lines, have you seen the new NARC Benevolent Fund wheel display at our events? It’s pretty cool and allows race fans to make tax deductible donations to the fund. Thank you for your support.
June is a very busy month for the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Cars with five races on the calendar. First off, it’s a return trip to Tulare for the final time this season on Saturday, June 2nd. Taking into account the two wild finishes at the Thunderbowl so far this season, I wouldn’t recommend missing this one. From there it’s the first of two premium appearances on June 9th at the always-exciting Petaluma Speedway. The second half of the month will finish even stronger. The June 22-23 Ocean Speedway/Calistoga doubleheader weekend promises to be a gem. It’s the Pombo-Sargent Classic on Friday and the Wine Country Classic with the Civil War Sprint Cars on Saturday. By the way, Calistoga Speedway needs your support. Of all of the tracks that we race at, this historic track is probably on borrowed time. Part of that is my opinion, part of that is fact. The fairgrounds is bleeding red ink and developers are drooling all over the property. They should be slobbering all over the fantastic sprint car racing instead. The month will conclude at Placerville Speedway with the highly anticipated King of the West-NARC/Sprint Car Challenge Tour “Salute to the Fans” sprint car extravaganza. This one features should feature about 80 cars on the action-packed bullring. Tickets are on sale for just about every one of these events – so get busy!
Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. See ya.