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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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October 2, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 2, 1997
 

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by Geoff Kreis and Andy Holtmann As cars spun, tumbled, and rolled, the racers at the Pahrump Valley Speedway Saturday night gave all they had to carry the checkered flag as they fought for the win. There were three different types of racing divisions that took place, the Street Stocks, IMCA, and the Dwarf cars. The f'trst races of the night featured the dwarf cars. The first heat began with car number 9x, James Bonetti in the first place slot, until number 30, Bob Clark gave Bonetti a fight and took the lead, keeping it for the win. Car number 25, Corey Lasiter in second and Jay A. Thorn, number 10 in third. In the second heat, car number 4, Kurt Busch, took the lead in the beginning and held it to the end. Second place went to Angelo Monticelli (number 5) and Ronnie Williams (number 2x) grabbed third. The IMCA's hit the dirt next and made some noise. Don Berger (number 67) took the win in the first heat after passing car number 82, Bradley Hopper, on the turns early on. Hopper finished second and Jim Perkins (number 75x) took third. Steve Giannini (number 25)jumped out to an early lead in the second --t, but was eventually passed by car 77, Michael Berger. Berger went win, with Jason Pike (number 23) placing second and Levi Keifer (number 17) grabbing third. In the third heat number 72, Frank BridweU, started in first, but Raymond Elam (number 1B) quickly overtook him and sped far away from the rest of the pack. Bridwell managed to fend off the rest of the racers and settled for second, with Wyatt Ehrp (number 3) coming in third. Larry Mechek won the final IMCA heat, holding off strong conten- tion from both Phil Clendennin (number 88) who took second and the third place finisher, Jerry Walton (number 5). The street stocks proved to be the most exciting and most controver- sial race of the night. The heats featured strong finishes and wild rollovers that had the crowd on edge. In the first heat, Harley Cook (number 72) took an early lead. Car number 27, Clay Woods, spun out and hit the wall. The crash allowed for other racers to catch up to Cook when they relined the cars. Wyatt Ehrp (number 3) overtook Cook shortly after the race resumed. He went on to win, with Homer Rush (number 46) in second. Cook had to settle for third. Tom Baird's spectacular crash mid-way through the race woke up any sleeping race fans. Baird's number two car was in second place at the time. Right behind him was Steve Gertson (number 51), constantly testing Baird and trying to pass on the corners. When Baird had to slow down on the number three turn to maneuver around traffic, Gertson hit him hard from behind, lifting his front end into the air and subsequently flipping the car. Baird landed on his side and rolled another full circle before his car came to a stop. All drivers on the track stopped immedi- ately and over the hushed crowd could be heard the voices of other drivers saying, "get out of there Tom!" "Tom, are you allright?" Baird would walk away from the crash, but his car was totaled. He threw his helmet in anger and exited the track. When the race resumed, number 8, Steve Hamrick maintained his first place position to win the checkered. Gertson took over Baird's second place position and Jimmy Kimball (number 0) took a distant third. The last Street Stock heat had another wild rollover, but this time the outcome was much better. Number 99, Steve Taylor was in first' but found his position threatened by a daring Michael Hildebrand (number 17). When Taylor came out of the number four turn, halfway through the race, he found a much slower James Ray (number 28x) in front of him. Taylor and Ray bumped, sending Ray into the infield and Taylor into the air. Taylor landed fight side up and was uninjured. Determined to stay in the race, Taylor got his car running and back into the lead he went. Hildebrand and Anthony De Blase (number 52) had been battling for second place the whole race. In the end, Hildebrand came out ahead and De Blase settled for third, The trophy races were next. In the Dw'ves. Bob Clark (number 30) took first, Kurt Busch (number 4) took second and Corey Lasiter (number 25) took third. In the IMCA, Don Berger (number 67) took first, with his brother Michael (number 77) taking second and Elam Busch (number4) grabbing third. In the Street Stocks, first place went to Ehrp, with Hamfick taking second and Steve Taylor placing third. The main event races were up next after a brief intermission. The Dwarves hit the dirt first with Williams (number 2x) in the lead. Monticelli (number 5) passed him and held on for the win. Williams placed second, with his teammate Jim Bonetti (9x) placing third. After the Street Stocks had run one quarter of their 25 lap race, they exited the track and officials brought th IMCAs out to compete in a two part 50 lap race. Mechek took an early lead but was passed by Elam. Car number 50, Donovan Allison became the third victim of a rollover as he and Keifer (number 17) collided near the grandstands. The crash occurred on the last lap before their 10 minute pit break. When the race resumed, both Keifer and Allison had returnedto the track. There were numerous minor bumps and spinouts, but the excitement came when Pike (num- ber 23) came from sixth place to battle it out with Elam. On the 48th lap Pike passed Elam and raced ahead to a big lead, amid cheers from the audience. Pike went on to grab the checkered. Elam finished second and Ehrp's number 3 car finished third. When the Street Stocks were brought back out, Steve Gertson (number 31 ) had the lead. He spun out forcing him to the back of the pack. Ehrp' s number 3 car jumped into the lead. Alan Levinson and Kimball had been fighting each other the whole race. When Levinson passed De Blase to take third, Kimball moved in fight behind him. On the number two turn, the two bumped each other and Kimball spun out. The flagmen sent him to the back of the pack. Kimball apparently complained to the flagman that Levinson had bumped him and he was sent to the number three position. Levinson, irritated stopped his truck in front of the flag tower and refused to move. Other racers appeared to follow his lead and also stopped. When Levinson refused to move, flagman Dave Hall waved the checkered flag and ended the race. The officials scoring the race placed Ehrp in first' Di Blase in second, Levinson in third, and Kimball in fourth. When it was all said and done, race fans had witnessed spectacular rollovers, heated battles, odd controversy, and strong competition. What more could be asked of a Saturday night at the races? Hygienist is now Available 14zo E. state mghway P./et P/ 'I ff I Infusion , Tube Feedir, Catheter Care, Injections,  Tremmm, Blood T-6"fu- som, Wound Care and Dressing . I-Ilm. 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