Giants racing Dwarfs
Giants from the Western states and our local drivers converged at the Quincy fairgrounds for the Dwarf Car Regionals on Friday and Saturday night. One of those quiet giants is Quincy’s own Chase Nieman who became a David among the Goliaths. Chase is in his second season as a competitor in the Dwarf car series. He is an example of growth from child of a racing family to a quiet man making his mark in their sport.
The skies were filled with the dust of three classes of Dwarf cars and the screams of their engines.
Novices like Chase drive in the Sportsman class. Experienced drivers like Quincy’s Jason Crosby and Portola’s Jesse Van Kol drive in the Pro class. Veterans of the sport like Truckee’s Dave Richardson and Zephyr Cove’s Skip Hempler drive in the Vet class.
The Sportsman class is demonstrating the future diversity in Dwarf car racing. One size or sex does not fit all in the Dwarf cars. Sportsman are individuals with cars of all colors and shapes. Tasia Hamann, from Vernal, Utah, makes a statement in her hot pink car.
Friday night was the beginning of two nights of points competition to lead the winners on to the Nationals. Friday night had 43 cars in competition. Each class had heat races to warm up the drivers to the track and to establish the starting order for their main event.
On Friday night the Sportsman class had 13 cars running. Cecilia Dillie, of Henderson, Nev., was the victor. John Chrisman, of Yreka, was in second with Alan Heeney, of Oakdale, in third. The Pro class had 18 cars competing. Reno’s Joe Frocks took the checkered. “Spanky” Grenert, of Fairfield, was second with Rodney Sweet, from Winnemucca, Nev., in third. The Vets had eight cars. Kelly Gutches, from Central Point, Ore., was first. Henry Corbin, of Molalla, Ore., was second with the Russian Igor Gandzjuk, of Prunedale, in third.
The Mini Stocks did not scream like the Dwarfs on Friday night but had a good race with four cars. The Maddbuzzes had brothers in stinging competition. Roy Busselen won with Jon Busselen in second.
Saturday was the sequel to the Friday night races with points still up for grabs. The Sportsman had 14 cars in the class. Quincy’s Chase Nieman drove furiously from start to finish to win the checkered for local fans. Brock Peters, from Eagle Point, Ore., was second with John Chrisman in third. The Pro class grew to 10. Teams from San Jose took the top three spots. Ryan Diatte won the main with Shawn Jones in second. Gene Pires was in third. The Vets class again had eight cars. Kelly Gutches took the checkered and Henry Corbin took second with Igor Gandzjuk in third. It was a replay of Friday night.
On Saturday Chris Nieman separated the Maddbuzz team in the Pure Mini class with Lance Bain winning. A grudge match was made near the end of the Saturday night races. Lance Bain, of Quincy, challenged the 427 Pure Hobby Stock driven by Joe Wirtz, of Portola. Track officials made a four lap handicap race with Lance getting a 100 yard lead at the start. The four laps were just enough for Joe to pass before the checkered.
August has been a full month of racing for American Valley Speedway fans. The season is coming to a close with the Timber Cup Sept. 10. It will have a lineup of Dwarfs, Pure Mini Stocks and IMCA Modifieds. For more information call 283-2175 or visit americanvalleyspeedway.com.