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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
June 23, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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June 23, 2010

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Bulletinl Progressive, Record. Reporter Wednesday, June 23, 2010 lC SPORTS AND RECREATION INSIDE SECTION C: FEATURING THE ACTION AROUND PLUMAS COUNTY Sprint cars do battle at American Valley Speedway Larry Douglas Contributor, American Valley Speedway American Valley Speed- way has become a New Age Coliseum for motor sports. Modern gladiators drive re- designed chariots powered by engines equivalent to hundreds of horses around a 0.375 mile dirt oval track in Quincy. Only Calistoga has a longer track in California. Saturday night, June 19, approximately 500 specta- tors felt the quake of 33 sprint cars with some of the champions of the sport in one of the coliseums set up for the California Civil War Sprint Car Series. Sean Becker, two-time defending champion, drove car #25b. Four-time champion Mike Henry drove car #18. Two- time champion Andy Fors- berg drove car #47. Local legend Jim Richardson drove oar #8. The difference in the fast lap times of the top twenty cars in the final main was 1.26 seconds. The competition is intense for every victory. Unlike the American Civil War of the nineteenth centu- ry, these battles are for points and a championship. Contestants come from the western United States but are centered in the Sacra- mento Valley and Bay Area. Bradley Ferrell in car #43 is the points leader in the Petaluma area and was run- ning sixth in the overall se- ries. Steven Tinner in car #94 came from Visalia. Bob Clark in car #30 is from Pahrump, Nev., but vaca- tioning in Quincy. The "civil" war of sprint cars is waged by sportsmen with high techequipment and crews. Wings have evolved on these cars to keep them grounded. The battles began with qualifying laps and then with four heat races. The leaders would go on to a "B" Main, and then a final "AI" Main. The fastest qualifying lap was 16.541 set by Herman Klein in car #91. Theheat races were composed of 8 cars running 10 laps. Mike The wing on a sprint car provides downward force to increase traction. The wing can also serve as protection for the driver if the car flips. Photo by Shannon Morrow Henry showed his champi- onship skills by winning the first heat race. His best lap time was 16.643. Trent Cane- les in car #5c took the sec- ond heat with a best lap time of 16.083 and the fastest lap time of the night. Kolby Weisz in car #21 won the third heat race. His best lap time was 16.861. The fourth heat race was won by Jere- my Butt in car #2b with a best lap time of 17.433. The "B" Main was won by Herman Klein with a total time of 8:08.633 for the 12-lap race. Steven Tinner was in second with Justin Sanders in third with car #83. The final main or "A" Main was composed of 22 cars running a thirty-lap race or 11.25 miles of sprints on an open field of competi- tion with occasional contact. The mortality of the cars and the ability of the teams to keep them running at top performance levels is a ma- jor factor in these battles for points. The driver's determi- nation and skill then take the reins of these modem chariots of speed. The final outcome may rest in the hands of the old Roman gods. Jim Richardson, who has already been memorialized at AVS, had the pole posi- tion in the final main event of Saturday night. Jim drove like the Roman gladiators leading 21 laps and taking fifth place at the checkered flag. At 63, he is the active veteran of sprint car racing. Steven Tinner was the top performer and winner of the final race. He came from twelve cars back to take the victory over some very equally matched competi- tors. Stephen Allard, 14s, came in second with on- ly .447 of a second difference. Justin Sanders came in third. Scan Becker took fourth place. Nichole Miller, in car #20, took eighth place. She was the only female competing. Kenny Allen, at the age of 15, took 19th. Dri- vers commented that the track was "fast." The Pro Stocks also ran for points on Saturday night with their own gladiators in the coliseum. "Shake and Bake" Tom Brennan showed his skills in the heat race as he defeat- ed veteran gladiator Craig Nieman. The Final Main was in- verted, putting Tom at the back along with Craig. Both became front-runners with Brennan leading most of the race until Craig jumped in front. In the last turn of the final lap, "Shake and Bake" made his move and Craig was spun out with Brennan taking the checkered. Bren- nan was black-flagged giving Craig Neman the victory. "Shake and Bake" de- Stocks running. The Pure Mini "Luck of the Draw" race had new competitors that gave the regular gladiators a surprise in the heat race. Jon Busse- len of the new MaddBuzz Team (formerly the Madden team) took first with the team's econo-pickup #84 in the first heat race. Matt "MaddBuzz" Stewart took first in the second heat race. The main event had seven cars running. Jon Busselen took first place with Bran- den James in car #21 in sec- ond. Larry Whitebird in car #97 took third. Matt ran with a fiat tire before retir- ing to the pits. The Nieman girls still remain as the point leaders in the Pure Mi- ni class. The audience got a bonus on Friday night with the ap- pearance of Mini Modifieds. They accepted AVS's invita- tion to come to race. Six dri- vers put their helmets on to give the crowd an introduc- tion to Mini Mod racing. Their lap times were two second faster than the Pure Mini cars. Dennis Clook in car #34 took first in the first and sec- ond heat race. His fastest lap time was 22.326. Larry Miller in car #1 took second in both heat races with a fast lap time of 22.415. Clook and Miller continued their win- ning streak into the main event where they were one and two again. Preston Ir- win took third in car #26x. These Friday and Satur- day night races gave fans an entertainment normally not found in rural communities. American Valley Speedway serves a...J;ro31hy_:L;q.t_AJa.cwant s to thank the fans, dri- "Most Improved Driver in vers, crews and sponsors for Pro Stock." B.J. Pearson has had a rough season. His water pump broke during qualify- ing. AVS hopes that the Ro- man gods are smiling and will bring him better luck. His determination and forti- tude is an inspiration to all. The racing at Quincy's col- iseum began on Friday night with the Sprint Cars warm- ing up and the Pure Mini their support. These races are also supported by volun- tedrs and local businesses. The next race on July 10th is a memorial race to honor volunteer firemen and their departments; there will be DART Dwarfs, IMCA Modi- fieds, Pro Stocks and Pur Mini Stocks. For more info call 283-2175 or log on to americanval- Trail seasotcbrings outings, classes and worhdays DELAINE FRAGNOLI Managing Editor Although we still have snow at higher elevations, trail season has definitely begun in earnest for Plumas County. Time to grab your hiking boots, bicycle, boat, horse -- whatever your pre- ferred mode of conveyance and headto the hills! One of the nicest trails in the area, the Lake Almanor Recreation Trail, is getting a facelift. The Lassen Na- tional Forest, Almanor Ranger District, is paving the section of trail through Rocky Point Group Camp. When this section of trail is complete, hikers and cyclists will have approximately 11 miles of paved non-motor- ized trail to enjoy this sum- mer: In addition to this new connection, crews began work the week of June 7 to repair portions of the trail that have been damaged by root heave and animal holes. Once these areas are patched, the older section of the trail (approximately 9.5 miles) will be chip sealed, and the newer section (from Rocky Point to Canyon Dam) will be fog sealed. All of this work should be done before the Fourth of Ju- ly weekend. Funding for the work comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information contact Almanor District Resource Officer Jane Goodwin at 258- 2141. Lassen Land and Trails Trust will host a series of outings this summer. The next event explores the nat- ural history and restoration of Lassen Creek Conserva- tion Area. Frank Hall, a re- tired wildlife biologist from the Department of Fish and Game, will lead the outing July 10. He is also the vice- president of LLTT, which owns Lassen Creek Conser- vation Area. The trust is working on a restoration project that be- gan after the Pine Fire in 2007. Participants will learn about the property andits inhabitants, such as mule deer and bitterbrush. Orga- nizers say the walking will be easy, less than 1 mile, on this half-day field trip. Meet at 8 a.m. at the his- toric train depot in Su- sanville, 601 Richmond Road. Bring water and binoculars. For more infor- mation, visit bizzjohnson- or call 257-3252. The Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society also has a number of outings planned in our area. All are open to the public. The group will explore Brady's Camp on the Plumas National Forest this Sunday, June 27. Plumas National Forest botanist Jim Belsher-Howe will join the group for an ex- ploration of a Special Inter- est Area consisting of a large meadow within a red fir zone. On the way from Quin- cy participants can stop by two rare plant sites to see Constance's rockcress and mountain lady's slipper. A short climb will take you to a viewpoint at Argentine Rock. Bring lunch, water, in- sect/sun protection and money for ride sharing. Meet at the SaveMor Gro- cery store parking lot in East Quincy at 10 a.m. or the Chico Park and Ride west lot at 8 a.m. Call leader Mar- jorie at 343-2397 for more in- formation. The plant society's next venture is Saturday, July 10, at the Babbitt Peak Resource Nat- ural Area in the Tahoe Na- tional Forest. Babbitt Peak is located 16 miles by road southeast of Loyalton in northeastern Sierra County. At 8,700 feet, the peak is the highest point in the Bald Mountain Range and is California's represen- tative of the Great Basin Mountains of Nevada. Organizers say you can ex- pect to find species endemic to the "inner-mountain, se- mi-desert floristic province." The site is unusual for its pure stands of the uncom- mon Washoe pine. The area also supports a pure western white-pine forest, rarely found in pure stands. The group will drive di- rectly to Babbitt Peak and walk about 1 mile along a ridge to the Washoe pines, where participants will lunch. After lunch You'll re- turn to the summit and visit with the lookout. Vistas there are spectacular. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring water, lunch and money for ride sharing. Meet at Chico Park and Ride west lot at 7 a.m. Call leader Gerry at 893- 5123 for alternate meeting place and time. If you've wanted to try backpacking but weren't quite sure how to get start- ed, then check out the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for its Backpacking 101 class. Led by seasoned guides, this class will go over all the ba- sics of backpacking, from what to bring and how to pack, to choosing a campsite and cooking your meals. Backpacking 101 is de- signed to equip you with the confidence to plan a safe backpacking trip. This course will start in the class- room, but then you get to practice your skills in an overnight experience. In- structors will cgver: trip planning; packing; basic ori- entation skills; bear aware- ness; campsite selection and set-up; cooking hints and demonstrations; principals of Leave No Trace. Guides will lead partici- pants to Gray Lake on a 5- mile hike with 2,000 feet of elevation gain. You must be able to hike 5+ miles per day at elevation with a 20- to 30- pound backpack. Partici- pants must provide all their own gear, food and clothing. The class is scheduled for Sunday and Monday, July 11-12. Cost is a suggested do- nation of $60. For more in- formation, and for prerequi- sites for this course, call the TRTA office at (775) 298-0238 or mail pro- The trail gurus at Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship are joining forces with the Pa- cific Crest Trail Association for a series of trail workdays beginning Monday - Thurs- day, July 5 - 8. You can come out for the day or the full trip. Volunteers will join the SBTS crew on the Long Lake Trail between the Mount El- well Trail intersection and the spillway of Long Lake. (This is in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area outside of Graeagle.) They will do heavy trail maintenance and restoration, which will in- clude the construction of rock walls, rock steps and drainage structures. The crew will camp near Mud Lake (the camping loca- tion will be accessible by car) and hike 2-5 miles daily to the worksite. Elevation will be between 6,500 and 7,500 feet. No experience nec- essary. Tools, training and meals provided. This project is r,aenm- mended for volunteers with advanced fitness levels due to significant elevation change and/or strenuous work activities. Advance registration is re- quired. To register or if you have questions about the project, contact Merrit Hoeh at (916) 285-1838 or I try to focus on the fun and adventure of being on the trail and stay away from politics in this column, but I thought I should note that proponents of the State Parks and Wildlife Conser- vation Trust Fund Act have submitted enough valid vot- er signatures to qualify it for the Nov. 2 ballot. Backed by the California State Parks Foundation, the measure proposes an $18 ve- hicle registration fee to fund state parks. In return, Cali- fornia motorists subject to the fee would get free year- round admission to all 278 state-owned beaches and parks. It's estimated the fee could generate $500 million for park funding and mainte- nance. I know most of us don't like the idea of new fees, but considering it costs $I0 just to park your vehicle at some state parks, the fee would pay for itself If you use a state park twice a year. Even with three vehicles ($54), I know my family would come out ahead. Hope to see you out on the trail. Send any event infor-