MERIDIAN, Idaho - S&S Motorsports of Carson City made the 400-mile drive to Idaho Thursday to compete at Meridian Raceway Park Friday and Saturday at Chapparal Speedway.
The team's driver, Troy Regier from Dinuba, Calif., who has two championships with the Western Supermodified Racing Association (1998-1999) and two with the Supermodified Racing League (2000-2001) entered Friday's race with a 20-point lead over second place driver Jim Birges of Fresno, Calif.
Regier tied the track record of 11.66 seconds on his qualifying time, which was fast time for the 19 cars that qualified.
In the first of three heat races, Regier started at the rear of the field and quickly diced inside cars, smoothly rode the high line to pass on the outside and found himself challenging for the lead spot on lap 4.
As Regier tried to make an outside pass for the lead out of turn 4, another racer rode a bit high and pinched Regier back to second. Regier tried the same into turn 1, a pass to the high side of a flat track, pulled even with the racer only to have him move high again and the two came together with nasty results.
Both cars were heavily damaged and towed to the pits. Rick Veenstra won the 8-lap race with A.J. Russell taking second and Mike Murgoitio finishing third.
Eric Silsby of Carson City driving a car owned by Courtney Davis of Reno, won the second heat with Jeff Russell finishing second and Birges third.
Jim Tartaglia won the third heat with Kenny Hamilton finishing second and Ron Burger taking the third spot.
To get the No. 98 car back in for the main event, owners Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw had to replace (by welding) the top shock mount on the left rear of the car, and bolt on the botton mount; reset the toe-in, repair the fuel tank, and survey damage to the left front wheel, muffler and exhaust. With a lot of sweat and hard work, the crew had the car ready to take the main event's green flag, but with no hot laps to see how the car would perform.
"I knew definitely they could get the car fixed, we've been in a few similar situations before," said Regier. "But we've won and I was confident we could do the same. I knew if the car was half-way close to how it was earlier in the day, we could make a top-3 finish."
With an 8-car invert, Regier started in the fourth row outside position for the main event, which was booked at 40 laps.
At the drop of the green, Regier hammered the accelerator and immediately challenged the position ahead of him. A caution was called for debris on lap 2, and Regier was up to the seventh spot.
Going green for the next 32 laps, Regier picked off sixth through fourth and was taking second from A.J. Russell as another caution was brought out for a solo spin on lap 34.
The race went green with a caution to fly on lap 35 for yet another solo spin. At the drop of the green with five laps to go, Regier passed Russell again using the high side and set his sights on Birges, who was leading after starting from the pole position.
Regier tried for two laps to ploy Birges to the high side and sweep under him, but Birges held him off just long enough for the win.
Regier finished second and Russell third.
"I'm happy with the second-place finish, but I'm still looking for that next win," Regier said.
When Regier records his next Supermodifed win, it will be his golden, No. 50.
Chapparal is a 3/8-mile, high-banked track and has a 12.8 second lap record Regier is eager to disregard.
"We've got a few things to go over on the car before Saturday's race," Shaw said. "But I think we'll be OK."