This Week in Motorsports - June 3

This Week in Motorsports - June 3

by David Vodden

 I assume most people do. For the rest of us the schedule below shows what is happening hereon the tracks for the remainder of 2022. If you own a restaurant or a motel, clip this out and use it to staff up when needed.

Last weekend the presence of Thunderhill activity was felt in a big way as the auto parts stores were humming and all the hotel nights were booked, which is good when you realize that a room night in Willows goes for as high as $250.  The fast food places, Starbucks and even Wal Mart felt the presence of all the men and women from allover the state who came to race in the Lemons event at Thunderhill Park.

This goes on in varying degrees all year long with some big events doing for Willows what the Lemons race did last weekend and many smaller events that still take up all the hotel nights on most weekends. This is why we desperately need a dinner house in Willows. I hope to have an updated Economic Impact study done this year so anyone who wants to see the effect of the track on the economy of the area will have the benefit of a current, independent study showing the facts.

Do not forget that we welcome your young adults for summer jobs here and are particularly happy to get retired people who just want to get out and earn pocket money and have fun.  You may not know that we have the best meeting rooms with full audiovisuals and the best catering service that can make anything terrific and provide the room at no charge if the catering meets a certain level. This has worked will in the past for high school reunions held here.  The property is clean and unique which adds to the value of Thunderhill Park as your venue for any gathering. Last but not least we have 92, 96 and 100 octane unleaded fuels here that you cannot get anywhere else. Just in case you were looking.

 The Indy 500 was a great race, very traditional and impressive. Marcus Ericsson won the race and took home $3.1 million dollars. Pato O’Ward took second followed by Tony Kanaan, Felix Rosenqvist, and Alexander Rossi. The race took two hours and fifty one minutes to complete and had twenty-two cars complete all 200 laps. There were six incidents taking up thirty-one laps including Jimmy Johnson who spun and hit the wall. No one was injured in the race. The lead changed hands thirty-eight times. It was a good, clean race!

The NASCAR 600-mile race that I predicted would be a boring grind was not. It was entertaining with lots of action including wrecks, lots of passing, driver drama and so much more than it has been in recent years that I take back all the bad stuff I said. I still feel it is too long. I would go to timed races if I could make that happen. The military recognition was classy and at the right level at the Indy race, but too much at the NASCAR race.  I know this depends on one’s point of view on the subject, but to me the NASCAR military recognition program bordered on the melodramatic. The television announcers did not help with their voice delivery of the material. One fan who liked it all said that it almost made him cry -- at a NASCAR race?

Denny Hamlin, by his own admission, won by sheer luck. He said he had a fourth place car, but when the seas parted as Austin Dillon threw a hail-Mary effort to win that crashed then leader Kyle Larsen and several others, Hamlin slipped through for the win. Kyle Busch raced him to the line in a good overtime finish as Kevin Harvick, Chase Briscoe and Chris Bell followed. All of this late race drama made the almost six-hour event most endurable.  Josh Berry won the Xfinity race on Saturday over Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer.  Ross Chastain won the truck race in an overtime effort that saw Grant Enfinger and John Hunter Nemechek close at the line.

NASCAR CUP cars race in Illinois this weekend with the Trucks while the Xfinity cars travel west to run at Portland International Raceway for the first time that I can remember. One week later the trucks will join the CUP cars for the first time in years at nearby Sonoma Raceway where you can get your up-close and personal exposure to the new NASCAR for 2022. Everyone feels the new car is far more acclimated to road racing than its predecessor and that it will put on a great race on the Sonoma twisty course. Contact Sonoma Raceway for tickets.  The INDY cars are in Michigan this weekend and can be seen on the USA channel on Sunday.

Silver Dollar Speedway is racing this Friday and Saturday night for the only time in June so go see thewinged-warriors in action on the Lowell Morell prepared quarter mile dirt oval. Gates open at 5pm.

Go to to see what we are doing this weekend and next.

Thunderhill Park

5250 Hwy 162

Upcoming in June

4-5           Hooked on Driving                           Street Cars               3-mile

4-5           Pacific Track Time                            Motorcycles             2-mile

4-5           North Bay Corvettes                       Corvettes                 Big skid pad

9               SCCA Track Night in America           Streetcars                2-mile

11-12       American Fed. Motorcyclists           Motorcycle racing    3-mile

11-12       Porsche Club                                    Autocross                Big skid pad

11-12       Bay Area Drifting                             Drifting                     Big skid pad

18-19       Sports Car Club of America             Car racing                 3-mile

18-19       SpeedSF                                          Streetcars                2-mile

24-25       Pacific Track Time                            Motorcycles             3-mile

24-25       SCCA Sacramento Chapter              Autocross                Big skid pad