Race day at SCSN 16 was wild to say the least. Every racer pushed their car to it’s very limit, some sent beyond that point, and that led to some downtime here and there. At the end of the day Mel Roth and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway crew put on an outstanding event despite every curveball they had thrown at them in the COVID-19 era.
Ed Thorton absolutely dominated Pro Mod qualifying by going number one with a 5.54 at 273 MPH, but when eliminations started things got interesting. Thorton fell in the semi-finals and Steve Summers was able to pick up the win after defeating Sean Renteria in the final round. Outlaw 10.5 was the Gilly Bobby show all weekend long as the Washington-based racer set the pace during qualifying and eliminations. In the final round, Art Raz couldn’t make the call, and bobby unleashed a 3.93 to show his number one qualifying effort of 3.92 wasn’t a fluke.
John Urist owned the X275 class at SCSN 16 with a string of passes in the 4.20s during qualifying and elimination. In the final round, Urist faced off against number two qualifying Kenny Hubbard and picked up the holeshot win with a 4.29 to Hubbard’s 4.25. The XDR class saw its share of tight racing and Sergio Gonzalez found himself in the winner’s circle in this class along with the Pro 275 No Time category as well. There were a lot of female competitors at SCSN 16 and Wendy Gonzalez represented the well with her victory in the Limited 235 class. Jason McLean battled his way through a tough 8.5 class to pick up the victory at SCSN 16.
A race car usually takes months to build and the more complex the car, the longer the build is going to take. Lance Kniggie had a deadline to make SCSN 16, so he took a bare chassis and created a four-second Outlaw 10.5 car in just over a month.
The car Kniggie was racing just didn’t fit his goals, so he purchased an RJ Race Cars chassis after SCSN 15. Kniggie got all of the tabs on the chassis and set it off to paint, but he got the call to start filming a show with JJ Da Boss and the Nova wouldn’t be ready in time for the show. Another car was purchased for filming, and Kniggie slid the nova into a corner of his shop until he had time to work on it.
“Our goal was to make this race with the Nova, so as soon as we finished filming with JJ we started working on it. I built this car in my shop in the back in just about a month and a half starting from a bare chassis. We actually finished the car here at the track mounting the hood, plumbing the fuel system, mounting the wheelie bars, and finished all the other little stuff,” Kniggie says.
Chris “Kamikaze” Day has been a huge part of this project and has been elbows deep in getting it finished up at SCSN 16. With Day’s assistance, Kniggie piloted the Nova to a 4.40 at 176 MPH on it’s third pass, followed by a 4.32 at 183 on its fourth pass. The car showed even more potential during eliminations dipping into the 4.20s. Kniggie plans on racing the car at big tire no prep events and any small tire race where it fits the rules.
Kristopher Dollinger went for a terrifying ride during the first round of Pro Mod eliminations. After a five-second pass at over 250 MPH, Dollinger pulled the chutes in his Pontiac but the throttle hung wide open causing the engine to expire. Dollinger began sliding around and made hard contact with the wall on the driver’s side and was headed for the sand trap, but in an unprecedented turn of events ended up hitting the safety truck at the top end. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured in this freak accident, but Dollinger did go to a local hospital to be checked out.
Rod Tschiggfrie brought his wild Oldsmobile known as the “Sorceress” to SCSN 16 to race in Pro Mod, but don’t let the class fool you, this car is a legit street car. When we say street car we mean it, Tschiggfrie takes his wife out to dinner in the Sorceress since it can run on 91 octane thanks to a killer tune-up by Shane Techlenburg.
At SCSN 16, John Howitz was strapped in and drove the Sorceress into the five-second zone with a booming 5.98 pass at 250 MPH. Howitz made that hit in full street trim, just with slicks on the car and some high-octane fuel in the tank. Being able to pull off a new personal best meant a lot to Tschiggfrie since that’s something he’s always striving for at the track.
During eliminations, Tecklenburg loaded the big tuneup into the car but it shook the tires and threw the fuel pump belt causing it to shut off. According to Tschiggfrie, the plan is to keep pushing the Sorceress even harder to see how quick and fast it will really go.
“Our ultimate goal and reality are probably two different things. I think the car could run over 270 MPH and in the 5.80s. John Howitz drove the car this weekend and got acclimated to it quickly. He did a great job and made the 5.98 look easy so I think we might have a shot at the 5.80s”