RACE: Las Vegas Regional report

The "Wave 'n' Save" Double Regional at Las Vegas Speedway 28-29 Jan 95 copyright (c) 1995 John Dillon The Las Vegas Region relies heavily on on-division (though out-of- region) workers to make their races happen. The local cadre works hand...

The "Wave 'n' Save" Double Regional at Las Vegas Speedway 28-29 Jan 95

copyright (c) 1995 John Dillon

The Las Vegas Region relies heavily on on-division (though out-of- region) workers to make their races happen. The local cadre works hand in glove with their frequent visitors for the joy and benefit of all participants. The region and the racers showed their appreciation for all these dedicated folks by hosting a "Wave 'n' Save" race weekend. The name, a spin-off of the old joke "No Wave, No Save", refers to the practice of the drivers and workers waving to each other on the cool-off lap. Special T-shirts (designed by Tom and Pam Grossman--Team Pokey) and autographed by the drivers were presented to the workers as an added reward for their support.

American Sedan racers were welcomed too with a special "half-off" entry fee, but only two competitors took advantage of the offer. The light turnout for A Sedans characterized the remaining groups as well, with most class winners running uncontested. The 38 drivers on Saturday (and 34 on Sunday) each received plenty of quality seat time, the light turnout assuring them fairly open track for dialing in their cars. The small entry count provided the added bonus of allowing the stewards to combine the classes into only 3 groups on Sunday. This in turn meant that everyone enjoyed beer with their lunch since the last race concluded at noon. Once again lunch was a Chinese buffet specially coordinated by Tech inspector Mike Hansen.

Saturday's first race gave Steve Anderson the opportunity to debut his new GT1 Firebird. Anderson, sponsored by Red Rock Communications, replaced his "traditional" black and white paint job with a sleek new black and silver design. When asked what prompted the new look, he said "Traditions are meant to be changed--just look at Willow Springs." The debut was sufficient to shatter the track record (with a time of 0:56.731 for the 1.6 mile circuit) and relegate Ross Lowande to second place ahead of Super Production winner Robert Kelley.

Ryan Hampton raced to fourth overall (first in ITS) in a Datsun 280Z rented from Lu Ryba. Hampton beat the first AS car of Kirk Robe to the line by over six seconds, who in turn had Gordon Laduke challenging for the class win. Rick Malone (ITA), Robert Dennard (ITB), and Gary Dicke (ITC) and Robert Renner (GT3) all earned class wins.

Renner broke with four laps to go on Saturday, but he kept the BMW together on Sunday to finish second overall behind the Robert Kelley. Other shuffling transpired in the Sunday event, with Laduke winning AS (third overall) just ahead of Hampton and Malone. Lowande endured mechanical woes but ran uncontested to a GT1 victory 20 seconds ahead of ITB winner Dennard. Milt Miner climbed into Robe's AS to finish second in the class, while Rod Turner finished second both days in ITA and Paul Broadway did the same in ITS.

Yorba Linda, CA resident Greg Walker demonstrated the horsepower of his Formula Atlantic by dominating his races both days. John Lombardo (FC) was the only guy to stay on the same lap on Saturday, but a late- race spin by Dan Weyland put Lombardo over the berm and into the Turn 1 weeds on Sunday. Nonetheless Lombardo took home class honors again since he ran uncontested.

Five of the new Toyota SmartRacers provided plenty of tight racing action, including a pair of machines sponsored by Fletcher Jones Toyota. Bob Swenson led the contingent on Saturday, finishing fourth overall behind Walker, Lombardo, and the Tiga (CS2) of Joe Moran. Lee Fleming took over the reigns on Sunday and finished second overall behind Walker.

With four classes and five cars, it was easy to see that Jim Stewart (FF), Reed Martin (CF), and Don McCoin (SF) would earn class wins on Saturday. Said Stewart "I was hoping Sherman Simmons would be here to race with," but Simmons had blown his motor two weeks before in Phoenix.

The only battle proved to be a juicy race between Lucien Le Blanc and Phil Hermann in the new Formula Vee 1600 class. At the end Le Blanc managed to open up about a second's worth of lead, but not without having to swap the point several times in the 20 lap race. Le Blanc manipulated other traffic and gained the win when race leader Walker came by to lap the two Vees just prior to the checker. On Sunday Hermann turned the tables, taking the class win with at least a four second margin.

Gene Rolfe won in DSR while Dave Frederikson duplicated Saturday's S2000 win on Sunday despite parking the Lola with four laps to go.

The Spec Racer contingent enjoyed three races over the weekend. Translated, it means that Scottsdale's Craig Reeder enjoyed three SRF wins (and set a new track record) while Las Vegas's Ed Raby enjoyed three Renault-powered victories. Doug Stewart finished second in SR just ahead of Ron Island on two occasions, but Island took second in the main event on Sunday. Stewart threw it away--twice--by spinning to last place on two occasions (once at Turn 3, once at Turn 6), but still managed to claw back up the ladder to third in class, just ahead of Pete Santini. Santini and Steve Bostic duked it out nicely all weekend, albeit low in the stack. Dan Weyland, who also campaigned a Toyota Smart Racer, raced his SRF to mixed results in the overall order, but finished second in class twice on Sunday. Saturday he came in third, well behind Sohah Brown who chose not to run on Sunday. The purple Team LaRue cars of Brown and Weyland choreographed simultaneous spins in Turn 2 on Saturday.

Las Vegas always offers a ton of fun with their racing program. The region's next event is another double regional on May 20-21. We hope to see you there!

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This race report was uploaded by the author. It will be published in the xxxxx 1995 issue of MotoRacing which is currently on sale at selected newstands in the west. Call 1-800-58-KELLY to subscribe ($18 per year). Regional SCCA magazines may publish this article without fee.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Dan Weyland , Ryan Hampton , Doug Stewart , Greg Walker