Running a bit late on this one but here’s the event that kicks off the truck and buggy off road season in our area.
MUSTANG (May 13) – Nor Cal Rock Racing brought its brand of short course racing to the Wild West Motorsports on Saturday. It was a day of some wild and wooly action around the course as well as over the rocks.
This time the course direction was reversed so the racers went from south to north along the front stretch. And after racing two heats the drivers were ready for the mains.
Saving the best for last the day ended with the 4400 Class, which are big racers in Ultra 4
At the victory ceremony winner J.P.Gomez said, “I tried to cut in on Cagliero and me and him tangled up a little bit. He was blocking pretty good the whole race, it wasn’t easy. The uphill you leave the first rock pile then hit the dust and you can’t see where you’re going. There was a stuck car there, me and him went on top of the stuck car, it was intense.”
Then he thanked his team, Gomez Brothers Racing, Mountain Enterprise, RCV, Nitto, Pro Comp as well as his family and kids.
This race began like the others from a standing start on the front stretch. From there the field roared up the hill, made a couple of sharp right turns and headed down the rocks.
Jon Cagliero was on point with Gomez close behind and not too far behind them was the rest of the field. The leaders would close up going down the front straight then spread out a bit as Cagliero seemed to get through an uphill rock section easier.
While everyone made it through the downhill section it was a different story for the uphill section. Several got stuck and had to back up while others found a way around several large rocks.
Up front however the lead duo was pretty much running nose-to-tail with Gomez doing his best to catch then pass Cagliero.
Finally going into Turn 5 Gomez thought he had a chance but made a mistake. In the ensuing contact he put a hole in the right rear tire of Cagliero’s mount and several of the tire balls came out.
Usually the tires on these racers are full of these tire balls so if a puncture happens the tire won’t deflate and give the drivers time to get back to the pits. However late in the race it was just enough to upset the balance of Cagliero’s racer so he was unable to catch Gomez once the pass was made.
At the checkered flag Gomez took the win followed by Cagliero, Cody Addington and Mike Bou. Later both leaders ribbed each other about what happened and posed for photos by the wounded tire.
When the 4500 main began Justin Hall grabbed the point but was soon under pressure by Brian Crofts. Their battle lasted throughout the race as they ripped through the rock sections and around the track.
Finally Crofts was able to make the winning pass and hung on to reach the checkered flag first. Hall was second ahead of third place Morgan Derodeft, whose right front wheel separated from his vehicle after crossing the finish line.
John Lay in his first Ultra 4 race, along with co-driver Rich Hedgecock took the point when the 4800 main began. Right behind them was Justin Day, who took that position on the first pass through the uphill section of rocks.
Lay and his co-driver are Deputy Sheriffs with San Diego County and chose 911 as their racer’s number. On this day they drover a steady race and finished first ahead of Day and James Hubbard.
After getting their trophy Lay said, “On the main I was out front the whole time. I had him in my ear the whole time, ‘keep in it, keep in it,’ so we kept the RPMs up and the wheels spinning and we didn’t have any trouble with it.”
Then he thanked Dan Wyrick, from DW Acoustic, who he bought the car from and gave them a bunch of support and coaching. He added his appreciation to sponsors DVA Offroad, Oceanside Drive Line and Off Road Warehouse for discounts on parts and his girl friend that allowed him to buy the car.
The Pre-Runner division was one that didn’t race over the rocks but around the Lucas Oil Track although in reverse of the usual direction. First on point was Justin Radford, who seemed to have a lock on the possible victory.
That is until Tom Flattery got the bit between his teeth and began to move from mid-pack to the front. In fact the winning pass was made flying over a jump on the front straight.
In the end it was Flattery, Radford, Dustin Jones and Matt Kinney. There was even a Group 10 buggy in the field but no name was listed in the results.
There were four classes of UTV’s but two were VORRA while the others were with ULTRA 4.
The UTV 170 class, which are low power starter racers for the youngsters raced up and down the front straight. Their course was around a long line of K-rails and was shaped like a flattened paperclip with 180-degree turns at each end.
The 170 winner was a very delighted 8-year-old Braden Judge,, who duplicated his father’s UTV victory. When asked if he was going to take his trophy to school on Monday, well he didn’t know.
The other UTV classes used the same course as the Pre-Runners so no rocks for them.
When the UTV Turbo race began Phillip Cagliero was on point with Casey Scherer and Darian Gomez giving chase. For a time it was a three-way duel for the lead until problems slowed Cagliero.
Soon after that the race was red flagged as, at the top of the first hill, one UTV rolled, was hit by another and that one was also hit by another that was unable to avoid the melee. While the UTV’s suffered some damage one driver was shaken up.
For the restart both Gomez and Scherer agreed to restart side-by-side. On the green, with two to go Sherer was on point but before the white flag Gomez got into the lead and stormed away for the victory.
There was another three-way fight for the lead when the UTV 1000 (Non Turbo) main began. At one time the lead trio were only two seconds apart.
But in the end Beau Judge pulled a gap and claimed the victory. Behind him it was closer but that the flag Cameron
Barbarick came home second with Bobby Hodges Jr. third.
Hodges is the son of man that used to race at the old Carson speedway and was not only a local but competing in his first off road event. He also competes in the Southwest Tour.
Unfortunately when this report was posted I had not found the results for the VORRA racers or the other two UTV divisions.
The day was a busy one for the track crew. Every chance they got the water trucks were out and when time allowed they groomed the track.
During the races the crew rolled several racers back on their wheels and towed others away.
At the end of the day series boss John Goodby, owner and operator of NorCal Rock Racing, was asked how the season and day has gone.
“It’s been amazing, had a huge car count for the first round, awesome spectator count,” he said. “We came to Reno, we increased our attendance here by 40%, car count is up by about 35 so we keep on growing up here in Northern Nevada and keep this race going. I think we’re good on Hawthorne, David Cole and I had a conversation and I think we’re going to go.”
One hiccup in the day was when an up to now reliable printer decided to give up the ghost.
“The day was amazing, we started out a little behind schedule, never thinking you need an extra printer. We lost a $60 printer this morning, she had a good run, did four years of transponding, timing and printing so she had a good life. Otherwise we ran pretty smooth through the day, caught back up, almost on schedule we had little incident with medical but we’re going to finish about 40 minutes behind schedule.
“We should be at the Hawthorne 250 in two weeks and then again at the Fallon 250. We also have the third and final round back at Prairie City on July 15th,” he said. “And we’ll be back here for the Nationals.”
For further information on the series go to, www.norcalrockracing.com.
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NORCAL ROCK RACING – ROUND 2
Wild West Motorsports Park – May 13
+ UTV 170 Winner: Braden Judge.*
+ UTV 1000: 1. Beau Judge, 2. Cameron Barbarick, 3. Bobby Hodges Jr., 4. Ben Booker, 5. Russ Tweed, 6. David Jones, 7. Steve Wilson, 8. Mark Olson, 9. Darren Mitchell, 10. Todd Fry, 11. Matt Lippman, 12. Mitch Higgins, 13. Jason Arnold, 14. Chris Perrin.
+ UTV Turbo: 1. Darian Gomez, 2. Casey Scherer, 3. Breckin Miramon, 4. Kyle Stanfill, 5. Jeff Barbarick, 6. Bryan Price, 7. Phillip Cagliero, 8. Justin Bor, 9. Kieran Cox, 10. Robert McCalla, 11. Paul Smith.
+ Pre-Runner: Tom Flattery, 2. Justin Radford, 3. Dustin Jones, 4. Matt Kinney, 5. Travis McCalla, 6.Mikey Morton, 7. Scott Mellor, 8. Mark Harris, 9. Matt Taylor, 10. Jeff Mello, 11. Zack Merrill.
+ 4800: 1. John Lay, 2. Justin Day, 3. James Hubbard, 4. Steve Lopez, 5. Christa Slawson, 6. Keith Ratzburg, 7. Ross Glave, 8. Kurtis Harryman, 9. Shane Smith, 10. Mike Stokes.
+ 4500: 1. Brian Crofts, 2. Justin Hall, 3. Morgan Derodeff, 4. William Milligan, 5. Jimmy Jack, 6. Jesse Balter.
+ 4400: 1. J.P.Gomez, 2. Jon Cagliero, 3. Cody Addington, 4. Mike Bou, 5. Gary Ferravanti Jr., 6. Biff Bowen, 7. Brian Wood, 8. Mark Nicholson, 9. Joe Hutchings, 10. Jake Yeoman.
- — Full results were not available when this article was posted.