NARC NEWSLINE – September 30, 2022. By Jim Allen … For all of you loyal 410 sprint car fans out there, you probably noticed that our NARC schedule got a little choppy during the heat of the summer. From March through mid-July, the NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car Series powered through 15-races like a runaway train … only to come to a screeching halt when the temperatures in the Central Valley hit triple-digits. That may have been a good thing or bad thing – depending on your perspective.  When the original 27-race schedule was negotiated last December, there was supposed to be a smooth ebb and flow to the schedule. But then the two-day Louie Vermeil Classic dropped out. Then we subtracted three rain outs, two tire outs, and one high wind advisory out. That’s way too many “outs!” Only one of those has been rescheduled. Barring a tornado, hurricane, or an unfilled tire supply chain, the Northern Auto Racing Club 2022 history book will eventually log 20-events this season. The best part of that is the final five racing events promise to rock your world. Need proof?  Here is a little of what is on tap:

October 8th – Morrie Williams Memorial at Keller Auto Speedway. It’s hard to believe this is already the third annual event honoring the late Mr. Williams. It may have been the only good thing to come out of the covid-year.  What makes this show unique is it features a pair of 20-lap main events. One is lined up straight up by times (except for the inversion and finish of the dash.) The second main event is lined up completely inverted based on the finish of the first, except for lapped cars that go to the back. Although the first race is the only official NARC championship points race, the second event is the most unpredictable. The Swift Metal Hardcharger Award is guaranteed to be a tossup with many superheroes will be charging from the back.

Another way to end up in the back for the second feature is to change a tire or go to the pits after the first checkered waves. That means tire management is in play as these 40-laps must be run on the same set of tires. Wear out a Hoosier H-series right rear early in the night and you’ll be passed faster than a NHRA dragster blowing past a parade float. It will be interesting to see strategies put in play.  All teams must pit in the designated infield pit area between events and will be given about 10-minutes to work on their cars – or the amount of time it takes me to interview the top three finishers – whatever comes first.

As usual, Ashley Smith has put forth a stellar effort to hustle up money for the show. Each 20-lapper will pay $3,000 to the winner and the overall champion will pocket $1000. Fast time is also worth $400, plus a custom timepiece courtesy of Katie Williams. The Champion Mechanic will pocket $400. Overall, there is more than $30,000 up grabs, plus a bevy of other awesome awards. Last year’s winners were NARC champ Dominic Scelzi and first-time NARC winner Mitchel Moles.

October 14th – Anthony Simone Classic at you got it:  Keller Auto Speedway again. The Simone race was rescheduled to become part of a rich Friday-Saturday NARC double-header weekend. Saturday’s show moves down the road 24-miles to Tulare for the inaugural Dennis Roth Classic. Due to the amount of racing taking place over the weekend (think tires) and the fact it is crunch time for teams chasing championship points, this show will only feature a winged 30-lap main event. The non-winged show will have to wait until 2023. I should point out that to qualify for the Simone headliner will take work – very quick work. The four heat races are only six laps in distance, lined straight up by qualifying times. The top two finishers qualify for the 10-car dash. That means the slightest hesitation at the start can be the difference between the first row of feature and lining up 20th. The phrase “snooze, you lose” will become more than just an old saying if a driver doesn’t stomp on the pedal.

As far as the dash is concerned, it will consist of the eight transfers, plus the next two fastest qualifiers who finished in the top five in their heat. Those two can’t start any better than ninth and tenth in the 8-lap Sunnyvalley Bacon/Mr. Excitement Dash. If there are 30+ cars, there will be five no-holds barred heat races and only the top two advance to the dash. Although the official purse has yet to be announced, the 2021 Simone Classic paid $10,000 to winner Shane Golobic.

October 15th – The Dennis Roth Classic at Thunderbowl Raceway. Finally! A long overdue and well-deserved event for his nationally-known car owner icon. Over the years, a total of 59 different drivers have piloted a number 83 Roth Motorsports sprint car, either locally or nationally with the Outlaws. In the process, Dennis Roth’s sprint cars have won 100’s of high-profile sprint car events, including the 1998 Knoxville Nationals. For his contributions he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. What was really missing was a local event in his backyard and now we have it. This one will have a lot of flair and Beef Packers protein. In addition to prize money, the driver who sets quick time will earn ten pounds of New York Strip steak. Each heat race winner will get an ice chest with 20 lbs. of Tri-Tip. In addition to a $8,300 paycheck, the man standing on the podium at the end of the night will take home 30 pounds of Ribeye. It’s a meat-fest in this $830 to start A-Main.  And let us not forget about the dash winner who will earn ten pounds of Sunnyvalley Bacon. Anybody posting a clean sweep may need to get their cholesterol checked in a couple of weeks.  When you add it all up, the purse will be over $35,000.

Speaking of the aforementioned 1998 Knoxville Nationals, that #83 ride has been fully restored to its original condition. It will be used as the pace vehicle at the event – driven by none other than Brent Kaeding.

Backtracking to the 59-drivers, there is one awesome Dennis Roth Classic t-shirt in the making which will read like a Hall of Fame in its own right. A special autograph session will take place around 4:00 p.m. under the grandstands with the likes of former Roth drivers Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Brent Kaeding, Dominic Scelzi, Shane Golobic, Tim Kaeding, Mitchel Moles, Kyle Hirst, and Jonathan Allard. All will be sporting commemorative hero cards so don’t miss out.

This Roth show also features the Kings of Thunder 360’s, just a week before the Trophy Cup, so you can expect a gaggle, or herd, or pack, or whatever you call a ton of cars at the Thunderbowl. Double duty will be the name of the game for many teams doing a little TC tune-up!

October 29th – The Sprint Car Showdown at the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park. NARC will make the trip down I-5 to Bakersfield for their lone appearance at the 1/3-mile oval. The Sprint Car Showdown pays $3500 to win, $500 to start the A, AND, every team will also receive a $100 gift card courtesy of Fujitsu General Heating & Air Conditioning. If you haven’t been to this track yet, it’s time for a road trip. The Dirt Track is always multi-grooved and racy and worth the price of admission.

November 5th – The Tribute to Gary Patterson at the Stockton Dirt Track. This popular show has taken another step towards greatness with its new Triple Crown status. Three championships will be finalized on this night and the Stockton grandstands and pits should be packed. This program will decide the titles for the JW Hunt Wingless Series, the Sprint Car Challenge Tour and of course, the NARC Fujitsu General 410 series. It doesn’t get much better than that.

NARC CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION:  Another good thing about the NARC season is that when it’s over – it’s really over! No waiting a couple of months for point fund checks with a post-Holiday hangover. The Stockton Triple Crown is Saturday night and the awards celebration crowning of our “King of the West” champ takes place the next afternoon at a local country club.

It all takes place on Sunday, November 6th at the private Brookside Country Club (one of the few places I have not golfed at.). Fans, promoters, sponsors, heck – EVERYBODY – is invited until the fire department says we have 140 people in attendance. The show includes a massive brunch spread, tons of videos, a fair share of comedic events, an auction for the NARC Benevolent Fund, championship awards for the top ten and a preview of what is in store for 2023. Teams in the top 15 in points can reserve a table for eight at a discounted rate of only $200 (if purchased by October 15th.)  Otherwise, tickets are $50 each. To get yours contact me at 714-397-7417.

NARC NOTES: Yes, it was depressing that we missed racing at the Louie Vermeil Classic again. But it might have been a slight reprieve as it was 113 degrees over the Labor Day weekend at Calistoga Speedway. There is slow progress taking place between the City and the County regarding the sale and getting the historic half-mile opened up again. The key word in the sentence is “slow.” And even when the ink dries on the contract, there will be a ton of work to do to get the place race ready. Need proof? Check out the August 29th post on our Facebook page. Mother nature has taken over anything that resembles dirt with 3’ tall weeds. It’s heartbreaking in its own right. …

First, it’s Kanye and Kim. Who is next? Tom and Gisele? Maybe! How about car owners Joshua Bates and Roger Hamilton who split the sheets with Tim Kaeding. They enjoyed a nice five-year run together, which is an eternity in the sprint car world. Sometimes change is good as proven by that statement made by my lawyer to my first-wife. … The Bates-Hamilton team will be looking for a new pilot, and TK will search for a ride that can get him 13 more wins and a chance to pass Brent Kaeding on the all-time win list. … The future is extremely bright for sprint car racing as was proven during the Outlaws West Coast swing. Blake Carrick, Ryan Timms, Max Mittry, Corey Day and Joel Myers Jr. all put together stellar performances against the big boys. Along those lines, Carrick, Timms, Mittry and Myers are overdue for their first NARC win. Who is going to be first? … Joel Myers Jr. will be headed to New Zealand in December for their sprint car season.  How cool is that for a 16-year-old? Have you ever noticed there is a substantial amount of moaning, groaning and sometimes a bit of whining, during the pill draws for qualifying order? Some want an early number; others want a late number. That mentality may change during the final five events of the season because Mettec Titanium is now paying $100 to the driver who pulls the number one pill (or the lowest number). That right, all you must do is pull the lowest number. Mettec and Dirk Van Cott also sponsor the NARC lap leader award which pays $10 for every lap led in the feature. …

Dominic Scelzi is the current NARC point leader. He holds a manageable 34-point lead over Willie Croft in his quest for his second consecutive NARC title. Scelzi started the season red hot, stringing four wins in a row at one point, but Croft has actually scored more points during the past five shows (519-509.) So has Bud Kaeding and Mitchell Faccinto, Shane Golobic, Tim Kaeding and DJ Netto. What does all that mean? How about anything is possible – and I have a calculator. … Idaho driver Logan Forler should finish in the top ten in NARC points if he competes at the final five races.  That would be a nice accomplishment.

RANDOM OPEN WHEEL NOTES: Pennsylvania has the Posse when the Outlaws come to town. California teams need a nickname as well. The “California Cartel” made a short run and continues to circulate, but is that really our top choice?  Got any ideas? … How many of you have played the new World of Outlaw: Dirt Racing game on PS or Xbox? It’s addictive, especially with several Golden Stater’s represented in the game! … How cool is it that Carson Macedo has won 11 WoO features this season? He will soon be nipping at the door of his first national championship. BTW, it would have been 12 wins had it not been for a “bump and run” at the Hanford show. … Watching the scary cockpit fire in the number 121 driven by Caeden Steele at Hanford was enough to make my heart jump out of my chest.  Caeden has serious burns on his legs and has a lengthy recovery process ahead of him.  Our hero of the month award goes to DJ Netto who came to Caeden rescue in a valid effort to smother the flames before safety crews arrived.  This is why fire suppression devices will be mandatory in sprint cars in the very near future.  Get well Caeden. … Austen Wheatley, who was seriously banged up at the Dirt Cup at Skagit in a frightening accident, has reported his recovery is on track.  His ribs have healed enough that he can start physical therapy and strength training.  Good to hear!

Coming to you live from Auburn, CA.  We will catch up at a track near you. See ya!