BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Nitro fumes will fill the air once again at Auto Club Famoso Raceway on Saturday night for the third -- and final -- Saturday Night Nitro event of the year.
Twenty nostalgia Funny Cars are expected to be on hand for the event, which will serve as tune up for the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion Oct. 19-21.
"The show has turned into what I wanted," said Famoso's Blake Bowser. "It's worked out well."
The only problem, competition-wise, Bowser said, was that the final run to determine the overall winner in each of the two previous events took place after 1 a.m. -- with the crowd long gone.
All cars will make a run starting at 8 p.m. and, as in the past, the quick eight will return for a shootout. But instead of the two quickest winners coming back to race in front of empty grandstands, the quickest winner from that round of competition will be declared the overall winner.
Among those competing will be Zane Messenger, who won the first SNN show, and James Day, who won the last event. There will also be a four-car A/Fuel shootout along with two jet cars.
The show is part of a West Coast Hot Rod Association event for nostalgia door slammers, which starts at noon on Saturday. As usual, Friday night is a Street Legal and Test-n-Tune session which starts at 7 p.m. and runs until midnight.
Derek Thorn of Bakersfield will be looking to extend his points lead and come away with his fifth win of the season as the Spears Southwest Tour Series heads to The Bullring at Las Vegas Speedway on Saturday night for the Century Boatland 125.
With three races remaining to decide the championship, Thorn holds a 39-point lead over defending champion Jim Pettit II. Former champion M.K. Kanke of Frazier Park is third, 58 points behind Thorn.
Two other Bakersfield drivers will be making their 2012 Southwest Series debut -- David Mayhew and Brennan Newberry. Mayhew has focused on the NASCAR K&N West Series this year while Newberry has been competing in selected ARCA and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events.
Speaking of David Mayhew, he will be driving in four NASCAR Camping World Truck races for Brad Keselowski Racing.
"We've been working on it for a while," said Mayhew, noting Kevin Harvick helped in putting Mayhew in touch with Keselowski. "It should be pretty fun. I'm looking forward to it."
Mayhew will race Keselowski's No. 19 truck Sept. 19 (Iowa Speedway); Sept. 21 (Kentucky) and then at Texas on Nov. 2 and Phoenix on Nov. 9.
Mayhew also noted he has sponsorship help from Steve McGowan and MMI, who he drives for on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West circuit.
In addition to those races, Mayhew expects to be competing in the Sept. 29 race at Las Vegas, although he could not say for what team.
Dallas Montes of Bakersfield is a benefactor of Mayhew's Truck race on Sept. 29 as he will be making his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut. Montes will drive the No. 17 MMI car normally driven by Mayhew at NAPA Speedway in Albuquerque, N.M. Montes competed in some races back East last year and has been running a Late Model at Madera this season.
Bakersfield's Shannon McQueen finished fifth and ninth in a pair of USAC Western States Midget races at Calistoga Speedway last weekend. She holds a 90-point lead in the championship race heading into pavement action at Madera Speedway on Saturday night.
Street Stocks, American Stocks, Mini Dwarfs and NMRA Midgets will be in action on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. Three-time American Stocks winner Matt Lewis holds a commanding 62-point lead over Dale Fyre Sr. in the championship race with just two events remaining. Racing starts at 6.