Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw, owners of the No. 98 baby blue Supermodified Racing League racecar have taken excellence to a higher level.
For the second consecutive year, Carson City's S&S Motorsports won the owner championship in the SRL. Highly respected for their talent, expertise and insight into one of the most exciting open-wheel racing series in the United States, Shaw and Silsby smile when they reflect on a what is considered a blowout of a season.
Their driver, Troy Regier, 39, of Dinuba, Calif., won eight of 10 main events this year. Regier's talent with outstanding race preparedness by Shaw and Silsby resulted in domination.
"We won 80 percent of this year's races," Silsby said. "That's pretty remarkable. We batted .800."
Sponsors on the racecar are Ron Burdg of Sierra Racing Products, Mike Tiehm and Jay Bates of Valley Chevrolet, John, Chris and John Hendricksen Jr. of Capital City Auto Parks - NAPA, Marco Glush and Eric Zimmerman of Mr. Gasket, Jim and Norma Regier of Regier Farms, and Ron Paugh of Paughco.
Their trailer literally a traveling billboard, S&S is always looking for additional sponsorship. From a hotel chain to monetary support for tires or fuel, Shaw welcomes calls from potential sponsors. He can be reached at 722-2388.
Within hours after each race, the oil is drained, tires are removed and basic maintenance is completed.
"We like to take care of our own stuff," Silsby said. "We like to be prepared."
"You could say we like to be in charge of our own destiny," Shaw added.
Silsby has been around the supermodified world for more years than he may want to admit. His reputation precedes him wherever they go. He and Shaw have been friends the better part of 40 years.
"I used to be a driver, motor guy, chassis guy and owner. I was everything," Silsby admitted. "And everyone comes to us for parts when they break something - because they know we have it. We're always prepared."
"Tommy also likes to help out the other teams," Shaw said. "And is even happier when we still beat them."
Members of the elite S&S crew are John Stewart, Rick Barba, Sandy Galpin and Ed Silsby.
The team's motor builder is Tom Reitz of Sanger, Calif. Shaw said Reitz has been involved with racing engines for a long time as a race owner and engine builder and noted they have not ever had an engine fail.
"These cars are special compared to all the rest," Shaw said. "They are the fastest car on a paved oval, up to one mile."
"And the faster the better for Troy," Silsby said. "Troy said you have to sometimes scare yourself to make yourself better. Others get to your level and you have to go higher. So he pushes himself."
"That's the way he drives," Shaw said. "It's unfortunate he hasn't had the right breaks. Troy has the tremendous desire to win. You have to have that. He's there to win, every time."
Silsby and Shaw are looking forward to the 2006 season with the new league owners - Rick Cameron and Elizabeth Williams - in hopes of getting the league back to what is was, with more cars and more excitement.
"We have to give special thanks to Troy for doing everything he has for us," Shaw said. "We try to give him the best car we possibly can."
"We could give him better if we had deeper pockets, but we don't," Silsby said.
"We appreciate everything everyone has done for us," Shaw added. "Every little bit helps."
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.