NARC NEWSLINE – May 16, 2019, By Jim Allen … Let’s talk about 1987 for a minute. Yup, like in 32 years ago. The god-awful ugly Ford Escort was the number one selling car in America and the Simpsons aired for the first time. Fox News was in the process of making its prime-time debut and Ronald Reagan made his famous Berlin Wall speech. To take it in a whole different direction, Prozac was introduced to the American public for the first time (and how is that working out for us?) Pop culture had us watching “Three Men and a Baby” on the big screen and the Bangles had us walking like an Egyptian. Seems like forever ago. It was! Unfortunately, open wheel fans will also remember 1987 as the year that Dave Bradway Jr. lost his life in a tragic sprint car accident at Skagit Speedway. That part seems like yesterday.
While the sprint car community was stunned by that incident, what has happened over the past three decades should be put on a pedestal. The May 4th Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial was the 29th annual running of the event at Silver Dollar Speedway! To put that in perspective, only three drivers in our top ten were even born when the inaugural race took place. But that hasn’t slowed things down. Over the years, the Bradway race has grown into one of the premier events in California. A huge portion of that is due to the selfless contributions of Dianne and Dave Durica, who have taken the show under their wing to rally the racing community into doing something special. Laps have been sponsored to honor some of our late friends and fans, others to promote businesses, and others just to show our loyalty to the sport. It doesn’t get much better than that and that is why the legacy continues.
Speaking of winners, how about Justin Sanders? He was on a mission all weekend, sweeping both Chico events in the yellow Joe Von Schriltz 121. Early race favorites were former Bradway winners Sean Becker or Tim Kaeding from the front row, or DJ Netto or 2018 winner Willie Croft from row two. Or eventual runner-up Shane Golobic who pulled out all stops during the final 10-laps. But Sanders raced to impress and claimed his first Bradway victory. His fourth career KWS-NARC victory fattened up his wallet to the tune of $4000, plus another $1370 in lap money. His 121 XXX-chassis sprint car was on a rail.
Speaking of Bradway lap money, here’s how it will be dolled out in cash at the Peter Murphy Classic (took us a while to figure it out): Tim Kaeding/Tiner 83SA – $1490; Justin Sanders/Von Schriltz 121 – $1370; Shane Golobic/Wood 17W – $530; Sean Becker/Menne 75 – $440; and DJ Netto/Netto 88N – $170. The B-Main money went to Stephen Ingraham/Ingraham 93 – $600; Tim Estenson/Netto 88E – $360; Gary Paulson/Paulson 45 – $220; and Kyle Offill/Offill 2K. That made a good payday even better for those teams.
And it’s also worth mentioning how everything in the world seems to go full circle – pardon the racing pun. If we roll back the clocks 30-years, the intense rivalry between the Kaeding’s and the Tiner’s were of the Hatfield & McCoy variety. (If you are a millennial, you might want to look that one up.) At Chico, two-time series champ Tim Kaeding was piloting the famous 83SA owned by Rod Tiner. That’s cool stuff right there. They finished third. Kaeding said he had just “one bad lap, and that cost me the race.” Either way, not a bad night for the former Hatfield & McCoys.
BRADWAY JR. RACE NOTES: If you’re going to nail quick time during the King of the West-NARC season, the Bradway race is the stop to do it. Just ask Willie Croft, who pocketed the Mike Avilla Fast Time Award for the second consecutive year. That was worth 15 crisp $100 bills. The Jagermeister trophy and Coor’s Light hat are also great keepsake items. When Croft found out that $500 of his winnings came by way of Clyde Lamar, he commented, “I’ll always gladly take Clyde’s money.” … Emma Gutierrez, Dave Bradway Jr’s niece was the trophy girl. … Tanner Thorson was seen roaming the SDS pits. He is still recovering from his horrible injuries and is anxiously awaiting a return to racing, once his body and doctors let him. …
… 2015 race winner Bud Kaeding stepped on it in qualifying and put together the timed lap from hell. In fact, he more than just stepped on it, he stomped on the proverbial “it.” Can you say 30th fast in the 31-car field? However, that set the stage for a charge from the back from his 22nd starting spot. He rode up on the high banks to a fifth-place finish in the Morrie Williams “0.” The good news was that the Hardcharger award was worth a cool grand. … Speaking of a driver with the last name of Kaeding, Tim took memorial laps to a whole new level. He did a couple of slow laps holding the checkered flag out the side. However, there was nobody to hand it off to, so he decided to do a few laps at speed, driving “one-handed” with the flag waving out the cockpit. Very impressive. Those laps honored super fans Michael “Mole” Wertz and Marcel Cassulo. … This statement has a nice ring: DJ Netto, King of the West-NARC championship point leader. He’s been super-fast this season, especially in qualifying. He leads Sugar Shane by one point … 229-228. …
… Nathan Rolfe scored a top ten, methodically marching from 15th to ninth. Nice job. … The 40-lapper was slowed by 10 caution flags and stopped by a red fuel stop with 10 to go! … Nobody got upside down all night – which was a great thing. … The driver introductions were awesome, featuring a “Super Cross” type of feel where each driver was introduced on the grandstand side of the fence and paraded down the main concourse. Each passed out thunder sticks and were mobbed by fans. The only thing that could have improved the intros would’ve been a different amp for the SDS sound system. This would have given it more of a WrestleMania type of feel with Troy Hennig at the microphone. It was more “AM Talk-Radio-ish.” Why? The amplifier came from West Capitol, vintage 1968 (true story according to a very reliable source!). …
… And before I change the proverbial gears, Dave & Dianne Durica informed me at SDS that next year’s 30th running of the Bradway Jr. race will be their last wearing the promotion/sponsor hustling hat! They are going to go into Bradway Jr.-race-retirement. I think they have earned that privilege after all their contributions. They have promised that it will be the best, including a Randy Frank designed 30th Anniversary t-shirt. Once again, thank you to the Durica’s!
PETER MURPHY CLASSIC PREVIEW: Mr. Murphy promised last year that he was going to continue to build the entertainment value his namesake event. Based on what I have seen so far, he has exceeded those expectations! With the loss of a major Indian Casino sponsor, the 2018 Dave Bradway Jr. Inspirational Award recipient has hustled up a $44,000 feature event purse, paying a sweet $11,000 to the winner – with a twist! His new Pole Shuffle Challenge can add another $10 G’s to that pile of money. All that must happen is the Pole Shuffle winner needs to elect to start 11th in the starting 24-car line-up … and WIN! No easy task, but the incentive is right there screaming to be taken! There are also some payoffs along the way for passing cars, but the big money is the Tom Tarlton bonus for winning! The standard SCCT purse has also been padded for their two-day show. Plus, there is fast time money, Hardcharger money, long tow money, Pole Shuffle money, and hard luck money. Now you’re speaking my language!
By the way, this is the first of four King of the West-NARC/SCCT combo shows this season. The others are at Placerville (June 29th), Hanford (October 12th) and the Stockton Dirt Track season finale on (November 2nd). The Double-Duty Challenge is in play for these events. It will pay a bonus to any driver who can win both features on the same night. Right now, that bonus is up to $800. If you want to participate, let me know.
So, with all that in mind, all that is left for us to do is support the Peter Murphy Classic this weekend May 17-18 (Since postponed to June 7-8th due to rain!). And to do that you need to “Bring a Friend.” (Updated) It’s USAC wingless 360’s and King of Thunder 360’s on Friday … and King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Cars and KoT on Saturday. It’s a class act put on by a class individual and racing ambassador. And Peter Murphy is promising some additional surprises! What’s else can the Aussie possibly dish up? Marching Bands? A blimp? The Clydesdales? A military fly-by? A Jumbotron? I would be impressed, but not surprised if some of those showed up this weekend.
NARC NOTES: All of the remaining events on the schedule will also be available via PPV on Speed Shift TV (except our October event at KCRP – which we are working on). That doesn’t give you a pass not to show up in person, as much as help you out when you can’t make it. …
Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. See ya!