Olympia, WA The “Hitman” Ryan Diatte captured the Nor-Cal Unlimited All-Stars season opener Saturday night at Cycleland Speedway. Diatte aboard the Joe Cervantes Motorsports Phantom Triton, captured the pole with an 11.756/ 65.410 mph effort. Defending 2016 UAS National champion “ES7” Eric Stansberry completed the front row .179 behind Diatte. “Rocket” Ronnie Cox put the Uncle Chucks Racing Ultramax Rival in the third quick spot, and BK9 Champ “Bad” Brad Berg and “Rippin” Ron Bolles rounded out the top 5 qualifying spots. In his maiden voyage both at Cycleland and in his new machine, Kevin White qualified a very respectable sixth quick. White bought the machine that was the day two winner of the 2016 Holiday Classic from Tim and Stephen Chase who had their entire operation up for sale, and was taking delivery…it will be interesting to see how White and Team 31 do the rest of the year as he acquainted with his new equipment. If his maiden voyage is any indication White, with a respectable seventh place finish in the feature quite possibly could be ruffling some feathers by seasons end.
From the wave of the green it was all Diatte as he rolled his PK-250 powered up to the upstairs groove and never looked back. Cox and Bolles had got together in turn three before completing a lap, which had the field under caution for several laps. Bolles continued on after the mishap, and would go on to finish fourth, but for Cox it was a night ender. Cox would be credited with ninth. “Definitely wasn’t our night” said Cox with disgusted chuckle and shoulder shrug, “But, that’s racing…we’ll just go back and get ready for the next one.” Stansberry who ran second and gave Diatte a couple of tries down low had some issues right at the mid way point and wasn’t a factor the rest of the night, he would eventually finish sixth. Derrick Wallace, a very capable wheelman who qualified tenth, went to work picking up five spots to capture a top five in his Unlimited All-Stars debut. Scott Smith rolled from his seventh starting spot to finish in the runner-up spot and Mana Sydara Jr. rolled from the eighth starting spot to finish third. Brad Berg struggled most of the night, completing only five laps giving him an eighth place finish. It was also a tough night for Trevor McAlister who did not start.
The next Nor-Cal UAS event will be April 29th at Hills Ferry Speedway in Newman, California. While the for the NWUAS their season does not open June 10th, with most of the NWUAS regulars planning to attend the Idaho UAS season opener April 19th at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho. For more info on the Idaho UAS and the NWUAS you can check out the Idaho Speedway Karting and the NW Unlimited All-Stars pages on Facebook
FEATURE: 1. Ryan Diatte-20 2. Scott Smith-20 3. Mana Sydara Jr.-20 4. Ron Bolles-20 5. Derrick Wallace-20 6. Eric Stansberry-20 7. Kevin White-18 8. Brad Berg-5 9. Ronnie Cox-0 10. Trevor McAlister-0 Time of Race: 11:08.702 Quickest Lap: Diatte 12.142 Quick Qualifier: Diatte 11.756/65.410 mph