Drivers making just their first or second start of the season dominated the June 20 Sport Mod race, taking six of the top 10 places at Pahrump Valley Speedway.
Eric Shenberger finished second in his second Sport Mod race of the season, while fellow second-timers Josh Stringer (fourth), Haylee Little (sixth) and Gary Hunt (10th) joined him in earning at least 31 points on the night. Aaron Farrell took third and Nick Heilman placed seventh in their first outings of the year.
With half of the top 20 drivers in the points standings not running that night, there were opportunities to make major gains on the charts after five races. Joel Dean and Jeff Murphy took full advantage, moving up to second and third in the standings after Dean won and Murphy placed fifth that night. Both have run in four of the five Sport Mod races this season.
Alex Murphy continues to lead the Sport Mod standings with 171 points, 21 clear of Dean and 28 ahead of Murphy.
As in the Sport Mods, half of the top 20 drivers in the Mini Stock standings didn’t start June 20. Aaron Pike-Ceballos continued his steady performance, chalking up his first victory of the season to go along with previous third- and fourth-place finishes. Richie Hearn finished second, while Blake Albright took third.
Tanner Reynolds’ fourth-place ride kept him in first place in the season standings, with Michael Wills, who finished eighth, and RJ Smotherman, who did not run, in third.
It was a competitive night for the Hobby Stock class, with almost the entire top 10 on the track. Points leader Jared Ward added 40 more to his pile with the victory, and Aiden Murphy moved into second place by finishing second. Matt Gillum, Kirk Hance and Rory Bradley rounded out the top five on the night, with Bradley, a winner back on June 6, moving into the top five overall.
One of the largest fields on that earlier racing date was in the Modifieds, with 16 drivers in the field. This time, just four drivers scored points, led by Brad Hopkins, who moved into fifth place in the standings with his victory. Kyle Renberger placed second, with points leader Aaron Keller running third.
Super Stocks have been run only three times thus far this season, and Tyson Talkington’s victory pushed him into fifth place. Darius Mann is right behind after placing second, while points leader Timothy Murphy ran third.
Mark Daub has won all five races in the sparsely populated Coupe class, and Daniel Bruner has finished second four times. Mike Johnson’s first time out this season resulted in a third-place finish.
The Micro Sprints also were featured last time out, with Jason Funk beating out Blaze Silva and Eddie Chacon for first place. Ray Garnica, A.J. Klein, Gabriela Lee and Chase Silva rounded out the competition.
Racing canceled for July 4
Some local racing on the Fourth of July seems like an almost ideal slice of Americana, but this is no ordinary year, and Pahrump Valley Speedway announced that it will not be hosting races Saturday night.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases leading Gov. Steve Sisolak to issue a mandatory face mask order, and the high temperature Saturday expected to top 100 degrees, owner Chad Broadhead decided it was best not to risk it.
“We do not feel it is safe to require fans, racers and employees to wear a mask at all times in this heat, and we hope you understand,” Broadhead said on a statement on the speedway’s website.
Broadhead stressed that the cancellation applies only to Saturday, July 4, at this point, and he hopes to continue racing July 18.
“Stay safe so we can welcome you back to our stands,” the statement read.