From Bill Sullivan/Sullivan Images Media, image courtesy of Steve’s Racing Photos
ELK GROVE, CA (6-7-10) – For the first time in his racing career, Elk Grove’s Billy Strange strapped himself behind the wheel of a 410 cubic inch powered sprint car Saturday night at his home track of Placerville Speedway as the Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series came to town.
In the past, Strange has raced with the 410 sprint cars, however, he has always been aboard an under powered 360 cubic inch powered sprint car. While the two different classes are close in competition, the larger motors produce a great deal of torque and additional horsepower that is found very thrilling by experienced drivers such as Strange.
“I’ve always wanted to do some 410 racing and we picked up a motor earlier this year so and finally dropped it in to give it a try,” said Strange. “I came out of the car at the end of the night with a big a grin. Now that’s what driving a sprint car is all about.”
With motor specialist Rex Hutchison present in his pit area, Strange and the crew were diligent as they pushed off for the very first time with the new power plant in place. Early in the night they struggled somewhat getting it tuned to top performance but by the A-feature they were racing with the best of the best at speeds they had never reached before on the Placerville clay.
“We struggled with some issues in the motor early on,” said Strange. “Rather than messing up someone else’s night I wanted to make sure that the problem was manageable. The only way I was able to do that is with the help of both the Placerville and Golden State Officials. They gave us every opportunity possible to get it to run right and it paid off at the end of the night.”
In qualifying, Strange clocked the 10th fastest lap of the night with a 10:417 second trip around the bullring of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. After foregoing his heat race to continue working on the motor, Strange took to the track for the 30-lap feature event in the 11th starting position.
At the end of a wild feature event that saw the leaders dueling deep within lapped traffic, Strange wrapped up his maiden 410 voyage with an 12th place finish on the grid. His finish was just out of a top ten field that included the best drivers in California.
“I was really happy with the way the night ended for us,” said Strange. “I have to thank Rex Hutchison for being there with us. We couldn’t have solved the problem without him. We’re hoping to race this coming Friday in Chico if we can.”
Strange will be looking to compete in the Western Speedweek opener at Silver Dollar Speedway on Friday. He will then return to Placerville Speedway for Championship Point Racing on Saturday night.
Strange Motorsports has a number of marketing partners that they are thankful for. Among their supporters are QWK Racing Components, ART Enterprises, Rex Hutchison Racing Engines, Kevin Sharrah Designs, Swepco Lubricants, Pronol Race Fuels, MotoWear International, America’s Tire, High Country Painting and Amerikote.
. To learn more about Billy Strange visit his official website at www.billystrangejr.com.