NARC NEWSLINE – January 6, 2022

NARC NEWSLINE, January 6, 2022, By Jim Allen … It’s been a busy off-season for the Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC) and many of this organizations New Year’s resolutions are about to become reality in 2022.  That means more races with one of the most aggressive and big-show laden schedules in recent memory. The 27-event campaign is set to roll into 15 different facilities, including five which are not even in California.  No, that is not a misprint.  Yes, the NARC sprint cars will be headed to Oregon and Washingtona couple of times this year.

The game plan was to maximize the 410-sprint car racing footprint on the West Coast.  This can be best interpreted as streamlining rules with other national touring groups and competing for big-purses with a schedule that is not as choppy as it has been in recent years.  All we need for total success is for this pandemic to fade away, weather to cooperate, and fans to come out and support us with big numbers.  That’s not much to ask.

The Stockton Dirt Track bookends of this annual crusade are the April 2nd $6,000 to win “Duel at the Dirt Track” and the November 5th 39th Annual Tribute to Gary Patterson.  And like an Oreo cookie, there is a whole lot of good stuff in between.  Whether it’s the Peter Murphy Classic and Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial or the Morrie Williams Twin-20’s and the Howard Kaeding Classic, it’s all got star power. Another overdue and very welcome addition to the schedule is the creation of the October 15th $8,300 to win Dennis Roth Classic.  Few, if any, can match the contributions this man has made to open wheel racing, and it is an honor to put him on the pedestal. The David Tarter Memorial in Chico is also back as a 410 race on April 30th and the second-annual winged & non-wing Anthony Simone Classic will cash out at $10,000 to the winger winner.  Here is a collection of other schedule highlights:

FASTEST FOUR DAYS IN MOTORSPORTS – PACIFIC NORTHWEST EDITION:  This four-day blast was three-years in the making.  It was originally planned for 2020, but somebody ate a raw bat in Wuhan and coughed and we all had to stay home. And 2021 was too soon to take any chances. So here we are in 2022 with the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports headed to the Pacific Northwest over the Memorial Day weekend (May 26-29.)  And let me tell you, the promoters up there view us as a breath of fresh air and are more excited to see us than Cousin Eddie was to see the Griswold’s visit in National Lampoons Vacation.

This adventure features $5,000 to win shows at Southern Oregon Speedway (May 26 – Central Point, OR), Willamette Speedway (May 27 – Lebanon, OR); and a pair at Bert Johnson’s Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington (May 28-29). That’s a Thursday through Sunday for those of you taking notes.  Monday is a rain date if needed. Tickets can be purchased online shortly, and camping is going to be available across the board.  With that in mind, it’s time to expand your horizons by marking your calendar for a trip to some new places.

There are tentative plans for a point fund and a special bonus for a four-race sweep by a single team.  Also, a special BBQ/luncheon by the Elma Auto Racing Hall of Fame is being worked into the two-day show at Grays Harbor.  More on that later.

As far as race teams go, the first 15 NARC teams from California to officially commit to the FFDM will EACH be paid $1000 in travel money and have a guaranteed (minimum) winnings of $2,500 for the four-day road trip.  A commitment is an email (info@NARC410.com) and a 2022 membership.  So far, and this is the first “official” announcement outside of our December 14th Zoom general meeting, DJ Netto (Netto 88N)Willie Croft (Croft 29), Bud Kaeding (Kaeding 69), Mitchell Faccinto (Tarlton 21), Billy Aton (Aton26)Joel Myers Jr. (Vertullo 83V) and Mike Phulps 56 car (Driver TBA) are among those committed.  The next eight will come just as quick.  Membership forms can be found at NARC410.com

50TH ANNUAL JIM RAPER DIRT CUP:  What is happening up at Skagit Speedway in Burlington, WA these days is simply amazing.  As we all know, once businessman and car owner Kevin Rudeen gets involved with a project, it reaches a whole new level.  Rudeen and car owner Mike Anderson purchased the place from Steve Beitler and added Hanford’s Peter Murphy to the promotional team.  Now they are figuratively – “off to the races.”  Their company is appropriately named “Fifty-five Promotions,” tying the three together via car numbers.  Rudeen is best-known for his number 26 car; Anderson owns the Shaylen Raye 18, and Murphy and the number 11 go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Add it all up and there is a plan to totally transform Skagit into a West Coast version of Knoxville or Eldora.  Or to clarify even further, a West Coast 410 version of Knoxville or Eldora.  Think about that for a second!  That’s pretty cool!

What’s even better than that is the NARC sprint cars are involved.  The June 23-25th Dirt Cup are King of the West championship points races.  Although the total purse amounts haven’t been published, the three-day show is expected to pay close to a quarter of a million dollars, including a $50,000 payday to the 50th Anniversary Jim Raper Dirt Cup winner.  Those both would be NARC records.  And once again, the Dirt Cup is back as a 410 event.

To help support the Dirt Cup process, the new Brad Sweet-Kyle Larson-Colby Copeland venture at Silver Dollar Speedway booked a Friday night (June 17th“Road to the Dirt Cup” Chico event.  Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon follows that up with a “Battle at the Bullring” Saturday show on the 18th.  Those two are also NARC events.  And just to make sure nobody gets bored hanging out during the week, Fifty-Five Promotions has added a non-sanctioned Monday night show at Skagit.

When you start working together the pieces, you can see there are wonderful things on tap for 410 sprint car racing on the West Coast.  You’ve got NARC’s efforts, promoters stepping up to make 410 racing more lucrative, plus Skagit’s efforts, and Brad Sweet’s plan to rebuild the Gold Cup to its three-days of Outlaws glory days.  Those are all WINS and we are just getting started.

OTHER SCHEDULE NOTES:  When not dodging rainstorms this winter, Rick Faeth has been busy with improvements at Petaluma Speedway.  This includes reshaping the 3/8-mile oval and making changes that will improve competitor safety. … The Louie Vermeil Classic is still looking for a “temporary” place to call home.  According to the official NARC calendar, the two-day NARC/USAC-CRA extravaganza is slated for September 3-4th but still shows as “location TBA.”  There are no plans for a LVC sequel in Chico.  In a true test of our patience, and the challenging work of Tommy Hunt, Calistoga Speedway and the Napa County Fairgrounds are still stuck in non-operational bureaucracy limbo. (It’s California, try to act surprised!)  In the meantime, the popular event is homeless.  Keep your fingers crossed and hope HMC Promotions makes an announcement soon.

Not that anyone wants it, but in my opinion, the longer the city of Calistoga doesn’t hear the sounds of motors, the greater the chance it has of listening to a construction site building over-priced condominium’s on what was once the greatest half-mile track in the Golden State. While we wait, someone needs to secure the future use of corn harvester. If the half-mile does get an eventual greenlight, it will take a significant amount of work to mow down the cornstalk-tall weeds on what was once the racing surface.  … Schedules can be downloaded on the NARC410.com website.  Speaking of which, our website is in the process of getting a facelift.  It’s going to be even easier to get the information you need.

RULE CHANGES:  NARC has changed the existing tire rule to the Hoosier “H-series” tire package.  This is a move that had been on the Hoosier table for a few years, but the timing wasn’t right.  However, tire shortages made it an easy transition away from the HTW tires. Team will have until June 1st to burn off any existing HTW inventory, before the H15 and H12 tire package becomes mandatory. This will allow for an easy tire and wheel conversion for local teams when the Outlaws come to town.  Teams can begin running these tires at the season opener if they desire.  All the other winged sprint car sanctioning bodies and tracks in California have adopted the same rule. … There is also a strong push to only allow “flat-top” wings and make “dish-top” wings obsolete.  A handful of tracks will require the flat wings at their tracks (similar to a specific muffler rule), after June 1st.  NARC will make flat-top wings mandatory in 2023, since wearing out wings is harder than burning off tires. (“Hey buddy, you need to flip at least once before June 1st!”) … Fire suppression systems are highly recommended this season and will be required next year. Competitor safety is key to our success.

MUSICAL CHAIRS:  If you didn’t pick it off earlier in this column, we have some new faces in new places. David Vertullo, who has a great reputation for providing top young talent (aka – Kyle Larson & others) a shot in the big show, has partnered up with 15-year Joel Myers Jr. in 2022.  It should be an interesting pairing with a nightly shot at victory lane. … Mitchell Faccinto is now the man in black in the Tarlton Motorsports 21.  With longtime Tarlton crew chief Paul Baines moving up the road to the Roth Motorsports team, Mitchell will have brother-in-law Drew Warner turning the wrenches.  An early season prediction for this team will see Mitchell doubling his three career NARC-KWS victories this season. … That means DJ Netto is looking for a crew chief. …  Sean Becker and Chase Johnson are looking for 410 rides. … Stan Greenberg has an open seat in his #37 car. …

NARC NOTES:  Open wheel racing lost two of its icons in December with the passing of promoter John Padjen and car owner Clyde Lamar.  Their exploits were legendary and helped shape sprint car racing in California.  May we continue to build on the foundation they helped lay. … MyRacePass.com will be the official scoring software for NARC this season.  Drivers need to go online and claim their profile, if they haven’t already done so. … Tire prices are going up, but then again, what isn’t going up? … Here’s a trivia question we hope we never want to hear in our lifetime: “Who won the last race ever run at Calistoga?” …  All of our races will be on Floracing.com.

And finally …, as part of our five-year business plan, NARC (Northern Auto Racing Club) is going to play more prominently in our marketing from this point forward.  Yes, we are still going to crown a “King of the West,” but this is now officially the NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car Series.  For 410 sprint car racing to continue to thrive in the future, we need to continue to build on the club environment.  This encourages the support and input of its members with the continuing goal of putting on the best show in California.  There is power in numbers.  Help us do that!

Coming to you live from Auburn, CA.  See ya!

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