ANDERSON, CALIF. - The daytime high may have been 108 degrees in Anderson, Calif. Saturday, but it didn't deter the Carson City-based S&S Motorsports super modified racing team from showing the race fans at Shasta Raceway Park just how hot they are.
The Supermodified Racing League visited the 3/8-mile oval for the very first time, which meant whoever set fast time in qualifying would own a new track record.
Far be it from the man who has set seven other track records to not want this one, too. Troy Regier from Dinuba, Calif., driver of the S&S Motorsports baby blue No. 98, added another record to his credit by posting a 13.650 on his second qualifying lap.
A.J. Russell of Clovis, Calif., posted second-fast with a 13.722 and Mike Baisch of Salt Lake City, driving for Courtney Lewis of Reno, was third with 13.845.
A trophy dash, though not common for the SRL, was offered as a bonus for race fans. A $200 award was given to Jeff Russell for winning the dash over Regier, Mike McCann and Baisch.
Two heat races were held with the six slower cars in heat 1 and the seven fastest in heat 2. Each heat was eight laps. The first heat was won by A.J. Russell with Jeff Russell finishing second and Rick Veenstra third.
Heat two saw Regier start at the rear of the seven-car field and make his way to the second spot on lap 2 as the car of Rob Carlotto spun on the back stretch.
At the restart it was Kirk Wartman with the lead, Regier second and Baisch third. Regier took to the high side in turn 3-4 on lap 4 for the lead and win. Baisch finished in the second spot and Wartman third.
As fast qualifier, Regier drew from five cards to determine the inversion of the lineup. His draw was 10. With a 1-second rule invoked on qualifying times, (only those who qualified within 1 second of fast time would be inverted), Regier began in the sixth position.
The race began clean and was running fast. McCann was the early leader of the race, but Regier quickly and cleanly began picking off cars one by one, passing on the inside then the outside for position. Regier came upon McCann on lap 9 in turn 3-4, pulled even in 1-2 and dove low to take the inside advantage and lead of the race, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
"I didn't thing there'd be an opportunity to pass," Regier said of the development of two racing grooves on the track. "But it worked if you carried your speed. I knew if I got a good lead and played it safe we would have a good race."
The race saw only two cautions - the first for a solo spin by A.J. Russell on lap 21, and when the car of Jeff Russell slowed and came to an eventual stop on the back stretch on lap 32.
Regier won the race with a 1Ú4-lap lead over the second-place car of Baisch, who had a fantastic battle with McCann for more than 15 laps, who finished in the third position.
Rounding out the field were Veenstra, Pat Whittet, Dave Marsili, Jeff Russell, A.J. Russell, Fred Kohlmeier, Carlotto, Willy Northhammer and Lonnie Adamson. The cars of Jim Birges and Wartman did not make the start.
"I knew we'd be good in the main event," said co-owner Tom Silsby. "I thought the track would be hard to pass on, but Troy did it pretty easily. Good team, good driver, and the end result was excellent."
"I've got to thank my crew for giving me such a good car," Regier added. "It was fun. I'm fortunate they hired me. I'm having the time of my life."
Owners Silsby and Steve Shaw gave thanks to their sponsors: Ron Burdg of Sierra Racing Products, Paughco, Capital City Auto Parks (NAPA), Mr. Gasket and Mike Thiem of Valley Chevrolet.
The SRL returns to California's Central Valley for an Aug. 20 race at Madera Speedway. Regier leads the 2005 series with an 88-point advantage (541) over the second place driver Baisch, who has 453. McCann holds third position in the points with 426.
For information, visit www.supermodifiedracing.com.
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