Wednesday, February 15, 2017

R.I.P. Gary Cressey

Former promoter of Shasta Speedway and the man known as The Golden Voice of west coast racing, Gary Cressey passed away the morning of February 15, 2017 at the age of 80.

Cressey was born and raised in Seattle, Washington but was a graduate of Shasta High School in 1950. Cressey was the promoter and lead announcer of Shasta Speedway throughout the late 70s, 80s and 90s. His final year promoting the speedway was 1996. Cressey was also an ordained minister and beer distrubutor.

In addition to his duties as a promoter, Cressey also served as the lead announcer of some of the biggest events up and down the west coast. In addition to calling events at Shasta Speedway, Cressey served as the voice of NASCAR's biggest events in the west including races in NASCAR's Winston West, Northwest Tour and Southwest Tour series. In addition, Cressey announced many of the biggest open competition events during the hey-day of open comp racing. Cressey also announced televised auto racing for Sports Channel Northwest. In all, Cressey's voice was heard at 51 different tracks in the region for over 50 years.

Cressey served on NASCAR's rules and competition committee which garnered him honors over the years including Top NASCAR Short Track "Promoter of the Year" and NASCAR "Team Player of the Year". Cressey was the first recipient of the City of Redding "Volunteer of the Year" award in 1994 for his community service. In 2003, Evergreen Speedway honored Cressey with an induction into the speedway's Hall of Fame. In 2006, Cressey was inducted into the Northern California Auto Racing Alumni Hall of Fame. Cressey was also inducted into the Shasta County's Sports Hall of Fame. In 2015, Shasta Speedway renamed a boulevard near the track to Gary Cressey Boulevard.

Everyone involved in racing throughout the years mourns the loss of one of the greatest announcers in all of sports.

Link To Christening of Gary Cressey Boulevard:

Pacific Challenge Series To Race At Ukiah Speedway July 29th

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (February 15, 2017) - The Pacific Challenge Series presented by has completed its 2017 schedule announcements with Ukiah Speedway set for July 29th. The touring Super Late Model series is set for ten races at five tracks in 2017, spanning across northern and central California.

Located on the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds, the quarter-mile Ukiah Speedway has been a fixture on the series calendar from its inception. PCS and Ukiah Speedway officials aim to make the most of the sole appearance at the track compared to three visits in 2016. 2012 and 2016 champion Jeremy Doss of nearby Upperlake, CA won two of last year's races while series runner-up and 2014 champion Mike Beeler won the July race to be the event's defending winner.

Drivers such as Hunter Corbitt and Chris Scribner earned their first career series wins at the track while JR Courage led 48 laps last July en route to a second place finish and 2016 Rookie of the Year Matt Wendt ran up front early in the May race. The smaller track has produced some of the closest racing and creates perhaps the most even playing field in the series.

The 2017 Pacific Challenge Series fires off March 18th at Madera Speedway before traveling to Roseville's All American Speedway on April 15th, Shasta Speedway on May 6th, and Stockton 99 Speedway on May 20th.

For more information on the Pacific Challenge Series, visit or follow them on Facebook or YouTube

The Pacific Challenge Series is presented by: Penney Racing Supply, Penney & Associates, American Racer Tires, Maita Chevrolet, Compact-It, Northwest Compactors, Naake Suspension, Sunoco Fuels, Five Star Bodies, BrakeOMeter, Lefthander Chassis, ARP Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Bassett Wheels, Frank's Radio, WrapStar Pro, and Blakesley Sports Media. All PCS Super Late Models race ABC Bodies or Muscle Car bodies on American Racer Tires with Sunoco Racing Fuel.

2017 Pacific Challenge Series Schedule

March 18th - Madera Speedway (Madera, CA)

April 15th - All American Speedway (Roseville, CA)

May 6th - Shasta Speedway (Anderson, CA)

May 20th - Stockton 99 Speedway (Stockton, CA)

June 24th - All American Speedway (Roseville, CA) w/ North State Modified Series

July 1st - Stockton 99 Speedway (Stockton, CA) Ron Strmiska Memorial

July 29th - Ukiah Speedway (Ukiah, CA)

August 12th - Madera Speedway (Madera, CA)

September 2nd - Stockton 99 Speedway (Stockton, CA)

October 14th - All American Speedway (Roseville, CA) *2017 Championship Finale* w/ North State Modified Series & NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Right Move In Traffic Nets Barnes A Win At Kern County

By James Short

BAKERSFIELD, California (February 11, 2017) – The seas parted for Austin Barnes Saturday night.

That’s what Scott Winters said in explaining how Barnes had passed him in lapped traffic with 15 laps to go and sped away to easily win the Spray Nine Race of Champions and open the 2017 season for the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by RAM Mounts at Kern County Raceway Park.

“He did a good job,” Winters said. “He made a good decision, the seas parted for him and he got by. We took a conservative position and it just didn’t work out.”

“We were running out of laps and I was going to have to do something pretty quick to move on him, but we ran into traffic,” Barnes said after picking up $5,000 for finishing 0.983 seconds ahead of Winters with Ryan Partridge third, Jason Irwin fourth and Travis Thirkettle fifth.

“I saw he went to the bottom and I threw it on the outside and tried to pinch him behind the lapped cars, use all of them as a pick, and cruised right on by him. That made it pretty easy.”

The pass in a way was overdue.

Winters got the benefit of a seven-car invert and started the 50-lap contest on the pole in the 23-car field while Barnes rolled off sixth, on the outside of the third row, and Winters was able to get a comfortable early lead while his pursuers sorted themselves out.

After 5 laps the order was Winters, Irwin, Barnes, Thirkettle, Dylan Cappello and Partridge and as that group began to pull away from the rest of the field it was clear that one of those six would be the winner. Barnes became the best candidate when he moved into second on lap 7, following the race’s only yellow caution flag and began pressuring Winters for about 15 laps.

“When we got on that run and I knew he was right there, half a car (length) or a car behind, I was holding the bottom, making sure we could go and trying to get a good run off the corner,” Winters said after debuting a new Ferrari Farms STR Chevrolet. “I was running it pretty hard but I didn’t want to give the bottom up. I figured I could hold the bottom the whole time and it just didn’t work out.”

Barnes said the lapped traffic was a major factor not only in his pass but in what happened next.

“I guess he (Winters) got stuck in traffic and couldn’t get by as quick and it gave me a pretty good lead right off the bat,” said Barnes, who averaged 63.676 miles per hour in his About Service Automotive/ElectroTech Powdercoating STR Chevrolet. “I kind of went into cruise control and as the laps went down I kept backing down more and more, and with about two laps to go I still couldn’t see him in my mirror all the way down the straightaway and I just didn’t want to do anything crazy.”

Barnes was able to take the cautious approach then because Cappello had fallen off the pace with carburetor issues, Thirkettle was struggling with the handling on his Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Race Car Factory Chevrolet and Partridge said he was anticipating the same kind of late-race cautions flags that had factored into his win in this event a year ago.

That made Barnes feel even better about the win, because he had led the race last year until Partridge used a caution flag restart to take the lead and the win.

The race did not count in the Hoosier Tire West point standings that will determine the series champion but it was the first of the three that make up the Spray Nine Race of Champions. The others will be at Irwindale (California) Speedway August 19 and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bull Ring November 18.

The series 10-race championship season will get under way March 11 at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Kern County Raceway Park, Bakersfield, California
50 laps on 1/2-mile high-banked paved oval
Saturday, February 11, 2017

1. Austin Barnes (51A), Escondido, Ca.; 2. Scott Winters (24A), Tracy, Ca.; 3. Ryan Partridge (9), Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.; 4. Jason Irwin (9i), Albuquerque, N.M.; 5. Travis Thirkettle (5t), Newhall, Ca.; 6. PJ Pedroncelli (33), Sonoma, Ca.; 7. Eric Hamilton (11h), Hanford, Ca.; 8. Doug Hamm (9x), North Las Vegas, Nevada; 9. William Camara (57), Fremont, Ca.; 10. Chris Cook (2), Tabiona, Utah; 11. Eric Price (57x), Rio Linda, Ca.; 12. Tom Elam ( 8), Powers, Oregon; 13. Sierra Furia (37), Lakeport, Ca.; 14. Jerry Toporek (40), Venice, Ca.; 15. Jim Coffey (8c), Bakersfield, Ca.; 16. Sal Lopez (02), Sacramento, Ca,; 17. Dylan Cappello (11), Peoria, Az.; 18. Linny White (99), Colton, Ca.; 19. Kyle Cline (98), Hesperia, Ca.; 20. Cameron Morga (54), Albuquerque, N.M.; 21. Michael Womack (3), Troutman, N.C.; 22. Dave Arce (5), Santee, Ca.

Margin of victory – 0.983 seconds; . Average speed – 63.676 mph; Lead changes – 1; Caution flags – 1; Fast qualifier – Partridge (9), 18.366/98.168 MPH