By Mike Henle
Special to the Pahrump Valley Times
A few miles away on the western slope of the mountains near Pahrump, there lies a detention center/prison that is usually quiet.
However, the serenity of the area changed on the evening of March 3 when an impressive field of ground-thundering, fire-breathing IMCA Modifieds and Super Stocks gathered at Pahrump Valley Speedway for a showdown that could be heard for miles.
With the Stormin’ Mormon Showdown for the IMCA Modifieds and the Sam Stringer Memorial Super Stock Shootout, PVS attracted a strong field of 31 Modifieds and 17 Super Stocks along with youngsters competing in the Mini Dwarfs.
The site of a strong field of race cars and a collection of hearty race fans who braved cold winds and threatening skies, the quarter-mile dirt track that opened in 1985 saw Bakersfield charger Brad Pounds collect first-place money of $3,000 for capturing a very competitive 40-lap feature.
The 33 year-old Pounds won by about six car lengths over a very fast quarter-mile dirt track.
“That was one of the better paydays,” said Pounds, who is a welder-fabricator in Bakersfield. “It was a good race. I didn’t run as well as we did last year. We did some testing at Bakersfield a few weeks ago and it all paid off.
“Our season opener is in Bakersfield this weekend, so we’ll be at Bakersfield Speedway. I’m sure we will be back to Pahrump for the same race next year.”
Run in memory of the late Ray “Stormin Mormon” Wulfenstein, who captured track titles at Craig Road Speedway in 1969 and 1971, the showdown of Modifieds included a strong contingent of participants from several states including Wyoming, Nevada, California, Arizona and Montana.
In addition, the event coat-tailed a pair of World of Outlaws events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s half-mile dirt track for what became double duty.
Among those saluting the scheduling of events was veteran auto racing mind Paul Vetter, the western region director for IMCA Racing that is headquartered in Vinton, Iowa.
“This is all about location,” explained Vetter. “Vegas was the lead. It was a multi-faceted effort.”
Austin Kiefer captured the Super Stock feature and pocketed $1,000 in the Sam Stringer Memorial Super Stock Shootout. His victory came by only about two or three car lengths.
“That was one of the biggest races I have won in my career,” said the 19 year-old Kiefer, who works construction with Wulfenstein Construction Co. “I am going to run my Sport Mod throughout the year in California and try to get a track championship.”
Jim Wulfenstein said the race drew many plaudits.
“I had people coming up to me all night long to thank us for the Stormin’ Mormon Showdown,” said the 57 year-old Wulfenstein, who competed in the Super Stocks. “I had a great time. The track was fast and it was smooth. Not one car was torn up in the Modified race.”
Wulfenstein’s son, Bryan, echoed his father’s statement.
“Everyone had a good time,” Bryan Wulfenstein said. “Levi Kiefer told me that many of the drivers said they’d be back for future events.”
Stormin’ Mormon Showdown
March 3, 2018
IMCA Modifieds Stormin’ Mormon Showdown (40 laps) – 1. Brad Pounds; 2. Cody Laney; 3. RC Whitwell; 4. Alex Stanford; 5. D.J. Shannon; 6. Clint Reichenbach; 7. Bobby Hogge; 8. Zach Olsen; 9. Robby Sawer; 10. Danny Laver; 11. Josh Combs; 12. Rich Horibe; 13. Randy Thornell; 14. Casey Delp; 15. Joey Price; 16. James Thibodeaux; 17. Bryan Wulfenstein; 18. Rob Sanders.
Sam Stringer Memorial Super Stocks (30 laps) 1. Austin Keifer; 2. Billy Simkins; 3. Jim Morris; 4. David King, Jr. 5. Jerry Buesig; 6. Alex Williams; 7. Jim Wulfenstein; 8. Don Snowden; 9. Alfred Hillins; 10. Rafael Flores; 11. Dale Daffern; 12. Josh Stringer; 13. Gene Henrie; 14. Aaron Keller; 15. Steve Wulfenstein; 16. Matt Belcher; 17. Aaron Smith.