NARC NEWSLINE – FEBRUARY 24, 2019, By Jim Allen
Well …, based on my calendar, it’s time to get this party started. It’s time to get the show on the road. And it’s time for the big boys – and girl – of 410 winged sprint car racing to go out and play at the Fujitsu Spring Nationals at Stockton. Yes, after much hype and off-season anticipation, it’s time celebrate the 60th Anniversary KWS-NARC season and continue the open wheel vision of the famed Louie Vermeil.

And this one is shaping up to be a gem. First off, there is a bit of a vacuum at the top of the power rankings with four-time champ Kyle Hirst not defending his title. That one statement alone represents 25% of the victories over the past two seasons on the King of the West-NARC campaign. So who is going to fill that void? Trust me, you don’t have to walk down pit row and ask twice! There is a long line of championship contenders.

Now while Kyle might be enjoying semi-retirement, the potent Dennis Roth Motorsports championship 83JR team is not and is dialed in to chase team title number five. This attempt will come with Dominic Scelzi behind the wheel. And then there is that Bud Kaeding guy who has his sights set on what would be his second title in three years. And the let’s not forget about Ryan Bernal, who has proven he can win in any open wheel car on any track. He is piloting the Tarlton Motorsports ride. Now we could stop there, but how much fun would that be?  Let’s throw in Chase Johnson, Willie Croft, DJ Netto, Colby Copeland, and Mitchell Faccinto into the mix, plus an assortment of others, and you probably see that void filled quickly. That unpredictability pretty much guarantees that we will entertained for all 20-racing events.  It’s the real reason why you cut your grass during the week, miss most weekend family reunions and events, and have a collection of 40 or 50 racing shirts.  We’re going to the races!

NARC NOTES: Chico’s Kenny Allen has committed to racing the entire KWS campaign. He was the series rookie-of-the-year in 2011. Welcome back! … The “Double-Duty Challenge,” will be in play again this season. This is a cash award for any driver that wins a King of the West-NARC and SCCT feature on the same night. The Double-D Challenge is the brainchild of photographer Joe Shivak who kicked it off with the first Ben Franklin last season. Within hours it was up to over $1,000 in contributions from race fans and sponsors. We will start the process again in a few weeks. The first dual-sanctioned show is at the Peter Murphy Classic on May 18th. … Fargo, North Dakota driver Tim Estenson is expected to make several appearances this season in a Netto Racing sprint car. The 17-year old has been racing since he was seven and brings one heck of a racing resume. During the past two years, he’s notched 49 wins in INEX Legend cars, and multiple track championships. Yes, in just the last two years! This will be his first foray in a 410 sprint car and he is absolutely stoked about the opportunity. …

… Good luck to Cory Eliason, who is chasing the ASCoC title in the Rudeen Racing 26. … One of the best things about a new season is new color schemes on cars. Rico Abreu’s is the classiest one I’ve seen so far. … Tommy Tarlton is officially retired! (Until he gets the bug again. They should make that a prop bet in Vegas.) … Looking forward to the Jim Gardner-designed Bullet Impressions commemorative shirt for the 60th Anniversary season. … The fine people at Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats will once again be sponsoring the only trophy dash in the nation powered by Bacon. Yes, our two favorite smells, racing fuel and bacon cooking! As usual, one lucky fan will be leaving our events with about nine-pounds of man’s favorite food. … Bob Montoya and the gang over at Swift Metal Finishing is kicking in $150 per night to the feature event Hardcharger. The driver who passes the most cars this season in A-Main competition will pocket an additional grand at the November 3rd banquet. DJ Netto earned the money in 2018. …

… Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne are among some of the special entries that will be competing during the Four Fastest Days in Motorsports in August. A few other national entries are also expected. We have to thank Brad Sweet for helping us promote these events. … The $70,000 Champions Classic on August 23-24th at Stockton is shaping up to be more than just a high-paying pair of races, but into an event you can’t miss. Preliminary plans include a Friday night party with a live band and a KWS-NARC Champions Luncheon before the races on Saturday. We are inviting every living car owner and driver champion from our previous 59 years of racing. Spread the word. …

… We wish Craig Stidham a speedy recover after his nasty KoT crash at the Hanford season opener. Initial reports say he has a broken arm and several cracked ribs. That’s not the way he planned to start the season. … Along those lines, we are working hard to take competitor safety up to another level this season. Kris Robertson will be assisting with that cause as our new technical and safety inspector. He will be making the rounds at every event. … Speaking of safety, King of the West-NARC points chasers are being issued an excess medical insurance policy of $100,000 for the 2019 season. This is being at no cost to the racers and we hope it never has to be utilized. … Have you ever wondered why more teams don’t use a fire suppression system such as Safecraft?  I do! … Look for Sean Watts to take it up a notch this season. His Billet America, Maxima Racing Oils, Grizzly Cooler, Kaeding Performance ride is ready to roll. If that sounds like a blatant sponsor plug – it was!  We must support companies that support sprint car racing! … I’m banking on a break out year by Nathan Rolfe in his Rolfe Construction 28. … RIP Michael “Mole” Wertz. … Based on everything we’ve seen on social media, Jenna Frazier will be engaging fans with a lot of racing SWAG this season. … By the way, let’s hope all of those weather forecasters are wrong about their El Nino’ prediction this spring. Then again, they are usually wrong! They’ve got the only job on the planet where you can be wrong 50% of the time and never get fired. How is that even possible? … The Outlaws have eight California events in March. What’s your over/under on the amount of races California drivers will win? Three or four?

RULE BOOK NOTES: There are a few rule changes for the 2019 season. Here are a few of them: Wing T-post must be built from 1” X .083” minimum 4130 steel, or equivalent material. … 2” wickerbill allowed on flat wings. … Rock screens are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! By the way, they say you only need to do two things once during your lifetime. One is getting burned, the other is getting hit in the face with a rock. Both of them suck and both can typically be prevented. #justsaying. … Axle tethers and king pin tethers are now mandatory. … Left front radius rods must be constructed of 4130 steel with steel rod ends. … Traction control is not allowed, but you already knew that.  You also need to leave those Apple watches in the hauler or risk an immediate DQ … The Hoosier tire rule is the same as 2018. … It is mandatory that wheel covers have a minimum of five mounting points. There are some variations of this, so competitors need to download the rule book from … Of course seat belts and helmets must meet current safety specifications. … 24-car features. … Show up points increased to 75 per event. … And finally, Snow Chains are required on really muddy tracks. Okay, that part isn’t true! I was just seeing if you were still paying attention.

Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. We will see ya at the Stockton Dirt Track on Saturday (March 2nd).  $5000 to win and $600 to start the A.