A solid turnout of cars and some competitive races made for a good night of racing as Pahrump Valley Speedway closed out its season Nov. 21, although most of the season points races already had been decided.
A notable exception was in the Hobby Stocks, where Jared Ward went into the final night of the season leading Debbie Ward by 27 points and Adam Tiscarao by 29 points. But Jared Ward chose to run in Super Stocks, where he led wire to wire in his heat race and then finished fifth in the main event.
But while the stage was set for a dramatic finish in Hobby Stocks, it wasn’t meant to be. Jordan Shelton took the checkered flag in his third start of the year, leaving Tiscarao to claim the season title with his fourth-place finish. Debbie Ward ran ninth in the 13-car field to claim second place for the year.
Matt Gillum finished second, while Jay Ward took third to close the season in fourth place overall after not running the first six weeks.
In another anti-climactic contest, Tanner Reynolds won the points chase in Mini Stocks without even making it to the finish line. Reynolds’ car was given a ride off the track after being run into a wall during the race, but he had a sizable lead going in and won the season title by 35 points.
RJ Smotherman won his fourth consecutive Mini Stock race and wound up fourth for the season. Smotherman was followed by Aaron Pike-Ceballos and Vinny Raucci Jr. Pike-Ceballos finished second for the year, one spot ahead of Michael Wills, who finished fourth in the race.
Usually the smallest race at the speedway, Coupes featured five cars on closing night, and, for the 13th time this season, Mark Daub crossed the finish line first. Daub and Daniel Bruner were the only consistent participants in the Coupe class, but on this night Scott Halloway took second, Red Kowal was third and Dan Hatfield fourth, all in their third Coupe race of the year.
All Joel Dean had to do to win the Sport Mod points chase was show up, as even 40 points for a win by Jeff Murphy wouldn’t have been enough to surpass him as long as he competed. As it turned out, Joe Wabsis claimed victory, followed by Clifton King, Dan Snowden and Rafael Flores.
The top three in the standings were all but locked in before the race started, so Dean won despite a sixth-place finish and Murphy claimed second place despite running 10th.
None of the top four drivers in Modifieds raced after Oct. 10 — two of them not since September — so the top four of Brady Gladd, Rick Durica, Aaron Keller and Bryan Wulfenstein remained the same. Only three cars competed on closing night, with Kyle Renberger outrunning Donald Riley and Shaun Moore in the main event. It was Renberger’s second win of the season.
Tyson Talkington took the checkered flag in Super Stocks, his second win in three races. Talkington wound up fourth in the season standings, trailing champion Ron Moffatt by 114 points. Moffat finished seventh but also was in a position to maintain his points lead as long as he showed up, and the 33 points for finishing seventh kept him on top by 35 points over Timothy Murphy, who finished one spot ahead of him.
Dennis Woodridge ran second in the race, ahead of Matt Belcher, Dale Daffer and Jared Ward.
During the drivers’ meeting before the racing, Pahrump Valley Speedway owner Chad Broadhead noted that the facility had been visited twice by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration checking on compliance with COVID-19 safety directives, and it passed both times.
“Pahrump Valley Speedway would like to thank all of those who complied with our face mask and COVID-19 safety guidelines this past race season,” read a statement on the speedway’s website. “We know it was a difficult season, and we hope to have satisfied our race fans and drivers.”
The 2021 racing season is expected to begin in February, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.