Sprint cars and more provide family entertainment

Larry F. Douglas

Terry Schank Jr. reached speeds of more than 70 miles per hour to win first place in the sprint car exhibition at American Valley Speedway last Saturday night, May 19. Photo by Dan McGee

American Valley Speedway

The Saturday night races of May 19 offered an evening of family entertainment and family supporters. Families and teams came from Susanville and Reno-Sparks to the points races of DART Dwarf cars and IMCA Modified cars. American Valley Speedway’s staff were pleased to see the return of favorites like Bill Pearson. Unfortunately, he hit the wall in turn one preventing him from competing in the main event.

We saw track manager Curt Nieman come out of racing retirement to help his son Chase keep in the points race in the Dwarf class. We saw a preview of the speed and performance of Sprint cars. The California Civil War Sprint Car Series is coming June 16.

The Pure Mini main event had the four reliables. They had an average speed of 53.911 mph on the dirt oval. Lance “Slick” Bain had the best lap time: 23.730 seconds or 56.890 mph. Lary Whitebird won the main event with a margin of victory of 0.704 sec over Jon Busslen. “Slick” was in third with Brittany “Spears” Nieman in fourth.

The DART Dwarf main event was a 15-lap race with 20 cars running for points. Joe Frock took first and had the fastest lap speed: 66.105 mph in 20.422 sec. Derek Rosse was in second with a difference of 1.741 sec. Quincy’s Jason Crosby was in third with a difference of 2.654 sec. Gamin Ryle was in fourth. Curt scored points for his son with a 13th place finish. A red flag out with the collision of Race Wilson and Jesse Van Kol. All in all, it was a good exciting race.

The IMCA Modified main event was a 20-lap race with 18 cars. The No. 1 car of Shawn Natenstedt took first over the No. 1w car of Adam Walters by 2.705 sec and a best speed of 66.313 mph. Chris Nieman returned to form with a third place and a difference of 2.987 sec. Matt Murphy was fourth and Wade Kennemore was fifth. Bobby Higgins nudged out Erica Harmon for sixth. Of local interest, Justin “the Rookie” Saltel finished in 15th and Joe “AAA” Wood finished in 17th.

The feature main event was the exhibition of five “spec” Sprint cars. Terry Schank Jr. was first in car No. 1 with a lap time of 19.247 sec and a best speed of 70.411 mph. Rowdy McClenon was in second with a difference of 3.12 sec. Tony Taylor was in third with Aaron Gustin in fourth.

The next race joins the County Picnic June 2. For more information call 283-2175 or visit



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