By – Rhonda Costa
LAS VEGAS – Troy Regier, driver of the No. 98 supermodified racecar based in Carson City, has been pretty lucky when it comes to racing in Las Vegas. Thursday proved to be yet another good day for Regier as he picked up his 77th career win at The Bullring.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It feels good to win another race,Ã¢â‚¬Â an exhausted Regier said after the 40-lap feature event. Drivers and crew worked in 108-degree heat with high humidity and the threat of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon. The temperature was still more than 100 degrees at the start of the main event.
Regier began the raceday by posting fast time in qualifying with a 12.743 on the 3/8-mile paved oval track. He placed second in his heat race, with Justin Belfiore of Ipswitch, Mass. taking the heat race win, and Bobby Dalton of San Martin, Calif. finishing third. AJ Russell of Clovis, Calif. won the second heat with Jeff Russell of Boise finishing second and Kirk Wartman, also of Boise taking third. Ray Stebbins of Kent, Wash. was out for the night after his heat with a broken rocker arm and a mess of shaved aluminum in the air cleaner and headers.
With nine cars taking the green flag for the main event, Jim Birges of Fresno found his way to the front on lap 2 from the third position and with a well-handling racecar, put about a 10 car-length distance between himself and the second place position of Bryan Warf of Meridian, Idaho. Regier moved to the fourth position by lap 3 after starting eighth and soon put pressure on Dalton for the third spot.
Regier made a move on the inside of Dalton for position and screamed to the high line to take the second spot away from Warf on lap 13.
But Regier still had to make up distance on Birges, who was holding a comfortable lead, as several drivers battled for position through the field.
A caution came out on lap 13 as DaltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s engine let go, blowing oil and making history of the oil pan on the car. At the restart, it was Birges with the lead, Regier second and Warf third. On lap 25, Regier took a look at the inside of Birges in turn 3-4 and Birges quickly dissed any chance for Regier to advance. Regier alsoÃ‚Â tried the high side to no avail.
Finally, on lap 33, Regier sweeps high out of turn 4 along the front stretch and dives to the bottom of the track to take position on Birges in turn 1-2. Regier made it stick and held on to win the feature event by a margin of about eight car lengths over Warf, who followed Regier and also successfully passed Birges, who finished in the third position. Rounding out the field were Belfiore, Jeff Russell, AJ Russell, Wartman, Dalton and Kenny White.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My car was good early on in the race, then just got loose as hell,Ã¢â‚¬Â Birges said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“During that caution, it started getting hot and overheated, blowing fluid all over the place and it made me loose. Way loose.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a tough fight out there tonight,Ã¢â‚¬Â Regier said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t breathe the airÃ‚Â was so hot. But with all the changes the crew made, the car was perfect. It was great. I feel good going into SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race at Rocky Mountain Raceways. And thanks to our sponsors; Sierra Racing Products, Capital City Auto Parts (NAPA)
and Regier Farms. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re great.Ã¢â‚¬Â
S&S Motorsports co-owner Steve Shaw, said by switching the tire combinations, they are using a more consistent set up and can work at establishing a better baseline that will allow the team to fine tune the racecar.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are happy with the win and think the car was pretty consistent tonight,Ã¢â‚¬Â Shaw said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“After all the changes, we think weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting to that sweet spot.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They made the right moves on the racecar,Ã¢â‚¬Â Regier confirmed.
The Supermodified Racing Association travels Friday to West Valley City, Utah where it will race a 50-lap feature event on Rocky Mountain RacewaysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 3/8-mile paved oval Saturday. Expected to join S&S
Motorsports representing Minden is Amy and Eric Silsby of DNA Racing.
Heat Race 1 finish: 8, 98, 36, 91, 26
Heat Race 2 finish: 7, 85, 56, 89, 28
Main Event: 98, 91, 89, 8, 85, 7, 56, 36, 26