A field of California Asphalt Sprintcar Association (CASA) racers will highlight the 42nd, and final, running of the Silver State Classic tonight at Champion Speedway.
The 100-lap sprintcar feature race will cap off an evening in which the Hornets, Legends and Late Model Sportsmen will compete in the final show since the speedway has been sold and is scheduled for demolition within the next month. Qualifying starts at 5 p.m. and racing at 7:15.
"Forty-two years down and one to go," track promoter Les Kynett said of the final show.
The speedway is hosting a free picnic today from noon to 3 p.m. that is open free of charge to all present and past drivers, car owners, sponsors, officials and fans. Co-host Model Dairy will have burgers, sausages and ice cream available, though anyone who attends is invited to bring chips, dips, or cookies as a side dish.
"We wanted to do something special to thank everyone for all the support they've given to the track out here since 1964," Kynett said.
With three races left on CASA's 2005 schedule, Nick Rescino Jr. leads a four-way battle for the championship. Rescino has 589 points, followed closely by Glenn Hopper (565), Nick Green (558) and Tony Iacobitti (545). Rescino won the last 100-lap sprintcar feature race at Champion on July 30.
Tim Barber of San Francisco won the last race on an Aug. 27 show at Stockton 99 Speedway that was co-sanctioned by the United States Auto Club (USAC) and CASA.
The season concludes with races on Oct. 1 at Altamont Raceway in Tracy, Calif., and on Oct. 8 at Madera Speedway.
Fifteen-year-old Mackena Bell leads the Legends standings by a 596-578 margin over Terry Madjeski. Jack Randall is third with 508 points, just ahead of Fred Handley (503) and Chris Handley (478).
Bell is in position to become the youngest champion ever at the Carson City track, so needless to say, this has been a memorable season.
"This year has been great for me," she said. "I never thought at the beginning of the year that I would be racing for the championship. I was hoping for top 10, not knowing how many cars ran out there. I wasn't sure if that could even happen for me in my first year. I remember thinking the first time I qualified fast time (April 30) ... 'Maybe I can run with these guys.' And the rest, I guess, is history.
"Whether I end up winning the championship or not, I will always have really great memories of my racing experience at Champion," she added. "The great competitors I have raced with this year have made me work hard to stay in the points battle. Everyone has been really great and the fans have been so supportive. It is such a cool feeling to sit in the car and hear them cheer for me."
Al Goss is in the driver's seat to finish with his third straight Late Model Sportsman championship. Goss has 621 points, followed by Joel Worley (593) and Vince Malone (589). Chet Danburg holds fourth by a 485-475 margin over Ed Goss.
Kim Robbins has the Hornet division title wrapped up with 707 points. Tiffany Mans is second with 525 points, just six ahead of 16-year-old Chris Walton. Sandy Clark is fourth with 488 points and Bill Bernard is fifth with 480.
CORRECTION: Last week, it was reported that Denny Hadler was hit from behind by Jovon Halen going into Turn 1 during a restart on the 19th lap of the Legends main event. Hadler was actually hit by Dallas Colodny, who was sent to the back for the next restart. Hadler had his lead restored and went on to win the race. Halen moved up from third to second and held that position the rest of the way. For Halen, 24, it was his first appearance at Champion after racing his Thunder Roadster in Las Vegas all year, but he is a familiar face at the local track, having been one of the drivers who participated in the original Legends driving school in Carson City in 1996. Halen was a 15-year-old Carson High student at the time.
n Contact Dave Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1220.