Racing News Links


-NASCAR West Series
-SRL Southwest Tour
-Local Racing Out West




2012 Lucas Oil Modifieds


March 24, 2012 Havasu Speedway


April 28, 2012 I-10 Lucas Oil Speedway


May 12, 2012 Las Vegas Motor Speedway


June 2, 2012 Toyota Speedway


July 28, 2012 Madera Speedway


August 25, 2012 Toyota Speedway


September 22, 2012 Las Vegas Motor Speedway


October 13, 2012 I-10 Lucas Oil Speedway
November 3, 2012 Havasu Speedway


November 17, 2012 Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Super Late Model Schedule


To be announced



Austin Barnes 2011 Stats


6 Wins

8 Poles

4 Track Records


Login Form


Racing News


E-mail Print PDF

 Austin Winners Circle


Source — Dave Grayson
Date Posted — August 15, 2011

When the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, dropped the green flag on its 75 lap feature at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, August 13th, one name quickly rose to the top of every one's attention. Escondido-California's Austin Barnes led every single lap of that feature for his second series win of season both, of which, came at Irwindale. Barnes took home the winners check worth $1,500 plus a $100 bonus for setting the Budweiser fast time in qualifying.

However the post awards didn't end with the winner's cash. This event was part of a special two race series known as the Dart Machinery LTD North-South Shootout held at the Madera Speedway and at the Toyota Speedway At Irwindale. The special shootout made it possible for teams from the northern section of the western states to compete with their colleagues from the southern section of the west.

When the points from the two events were tabulated. following the Irwindale race, it turned out that Barnes had won the Dart Machinery LTD North-South Shootout by a mere two points over reigning Lucas Oil Modified Series champion Jim Mardis. Barnes and his team will receive a set of small block heads from Dart Machinery, for either a Chevrolet or a Ford, a choice of either a set of PRO-1 or Iron Eagles Heads. The value of this special prize is approximately $1,000.

When it gets down to the Dart Machinery 75 at Irwindale, Austin Barnes made two very strategic moves that helped create his excellent evening in the Los Angeles basin. The first move occurred early in the afternoon during qualifying when the 16 year driver set fast time with a lap of 18.926 seconds/95.107 MPH around the speedway's half mile oval. The lap was a full 0.157 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

However, the pre race inversion ceremony turned up the number three and that's where Barnes had to start the race. He wasn't there very long. When the initial green flag fell on the Dart Machinery 75's 24 car starting field, Barnes dived to the bottom of the track and made a beautiful move that moved him from third to first by the time he exited turn two. It turned out to be the winning move. The sheer power of a well prepped race car allowed its driver to make quick work of pulling away the field. By lap 13 Barnes held a full straightaway lead on the field. It wasn't very long before he had a full one half lap lead on the field while in the process of lapping the vast majority of the field.

But, on lap 53, the massive lead evaporated when the race's first and only yellow caution flag presented itself. The car driven by Las Vegas veteran Chris Clyne suffered an unexpected mechanical failure and slowed dramatically in front of race traffic who did an excellent job of driving their way through a potential wreck.

On the restart Barnes had the presence of two lapped cars between himself and second place driver Chris Gerchman. That helped him establish an advantage while Gerchman had to deal with working his way past the slower traffic. With the leader now in his sights, Gerchman pushed his modified racer hard to eradicate the real estate between himself and Barnes. While it was a valiant effort, time just simply ran out. Following Barnes and Gerchman under the checkers were Jim Mardis, Doug Hamm and Scott Winters to complete the top five.

The scene was all smiles at the J E Pistons/Roush Yates Performance Parts winner's circle after Barnes arrived in his Master Craft Safety, STR, Electro Powder Coating modified. "This track is really working out for us," the young race winner said adding "I don't know if we're really doing anything that special, it just seems that we're really good here. We qualified first by quite a margin again and we were just hooked up. From the very first lap I knew that we were going to have a really hard car to beat."

Standing along side of his car, with a big smile on his face, was Ted Barnes: proud father and race team owner. For someone who resides in the San Diego area, you have to believe that the elder Barnes is starting to like coming to the Los Angeles area and in particular Irwindale. Laughing, he said "the last time we were here, Austin and I were talking about how much we love this track. We just couldn't have it any better: two wins, two poles and both times we've been here the track has treated us really well."

Gerchman made a mid to late race charge to get his second place finish in his open wheel modified sponsored by Peggy's Sunrise Cafe, G-N-G Automotive, STR, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Hoosier Tire, Lee Power Steering, Sign Source, Bridgewater Homes and Ezell Fleet Service. "This car was just on a rail tonight," Gerchman said adding "Our car was really hooked up and I truly think that all I needed was just a few more laps and we would have been a factor up front." Chris Gerchman also received the $100 bonus for the Magnaflow Exhaust Products Clean Pass Award. Larry Gerchman, the patriarch of this Arizona based racing family, received the $100 bonus for winning the E3 Spark Plugs Hard Charger Award after passing ten cars from his original starting position.

This was Chris Gerchman's first appearance in the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series in over two months. That's because he been very busy attending a technical school to provide him the skills to work with high voltage power lines. The bad news for his racing fans is the fact that he's moving to San Antonio-Texas to pursue that new career and it may be quite a long time before we get to see him in that #26 Gerchman family modified again. The really great news is Chris and his lovely fiance Lauren will be getting married on November 12th. All of us associated with the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series wishes the soon to be Mr and Mrs Gerchman the best with their new life.

After this third place finish, Jim Mardis noted that it sometimes got a little crowded while racing on the Toyota Speedway At Irwindale. "It's really great that our race had such a good car count tonight, but there was a little area there when some of the guys were a little off of the pace. But, that's just the way it goes sometimes," he said. We just missed it a little, we didn't quite have the fast hot rod we had the last time we raced here. We'll just take it back to the shop and find out why," Mardis added. The really good news for this team lies in the fact that their third place finish at Irwindale allowed them to pad their points lead in the quest for a second, consecutive, championship. Mardis also made it a point to thank his team sponsors which includes Rockstar Energy Drink, Makita Industrial Power Tools, Blue Water Technologies, Arce Engines, Premiere Wraps, Scoreboard 2 Bar and Grill, Lucas Oil, and Hot N Nasty Street Wear. "I want to also thank Dart Machinery for putting on this Shootout and giving us the extra incentive to come out here and race," he added.

Series race director Bill Rozhon was very pleased with the Dart Machinery 75 and asked "was Austin Barnes flying or what? The last time we raced at the Toyota Speedway At Irwindale we talked to our guys about the importance of racing each other clean. We saw that tonight, we only had one yellow flag for a mechanical failure. Our guys really had their act together tonight and I'm very proud of that."

Series Promoter Greg Scheidecker was also very happy with the performance of his series' teams and said "Steve Teets, (winning crew chief), Ted Barnes, (winning team owner), and obviously Austin Barnes really have their act together. Steve has a lot of experience as a crew chief here at Irwindale and it showed tonight. But, at the same time, Austin Barnes got up on the wheel and drove a very smart race. There was a lot of traffic, half the field did get lapped, but the man did a hell of a job."

Scheidecker also noted that he was very happy with the overall level of competition seen throughout the field during the Dart Machinery 75 and said " the race from fourth all the way back to tenth and eleventh was bumper to bumper. I saw one time where Roger Brown worked his way to fifth and then the following lap he was ninth. That's the kind of racing we like to see. I'm very happy with the entire race field over the way they drove this half mile track. We've got a very good class of drivers and it showed tonight."

The Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, returns to more larger track action with a September 17th race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This series is strongly supported by a highly potent marketing concept known as "Team Lucas." Team members include: Lucas Oil Products Inc, Magnaflow Exhaust Products, E3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, K&N Performance Filters, GEICO, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food, MAV-TV, Dart Machinery LTD, Rockstar Energy Drink and Master Craft Safety Equipment.

The series is also powered by a group of contingency sponsors featuring: Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tire West, Budweiser, Blue Water Resort and Casino, Sunoco Race Fuels, Frank's Radio, Racing Plus, Roush Yates Performance Parts and J E Pistons.

Racing West Logo

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2011 20:02


E-mail Print PDF

Lucas Oil Modified Logo

In a moment that all observers said was coming much sooner than later, Austin Barnes scored his first ever win in the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale June 4th. The teen driver, from Escondido-California led 46 laps of the 50 lap CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food Southern California Classic, presented by MagnaFlow Exhaust Products.

From the very beginning of the race it appeared that Barnes was the class of the field and was going to completely dominate the race. However Jim Mardis, the series' reigning champion and current points leader, had other ideas. The two drivers staged a torrid duel that began at the lap 35 lap mark. The side by side, passing, action was set up by a rash of three caution flags that occurred within a period of three laps.

On two occasions Mardis passed Barnes for the lead only to watch the eventual race winner come off of a low line and perform a skin tight cross over move to reclaim the point. All the while the fans were on their feet cheering on their favorite. By lap 40 Barnes was able to make what would turn out to be a winning move. He crossed under the checkers 1.286 seconds ahead of Mardis. Tim Morse, Dylan Kwasniewski and Tom Lovelady completed the top five.

Earlier in the day Las Vegas driver Doug Hamm won the Dart Machinery Trophy Dash and the $200 bonus. He crossed under the checkers, in the six lap event, a mere 0.138 seconds ahead of Mardis. Aaron McMorran was awarded the $100 bonus posted by E3 Spark Plugs. The Las Vegas driver started the race in 13th and finished eighth.

Tedd and Austin

 After climbing out of his MasterCraft Safety-STR-Electro Tech Powdercoating modified, the happy race winner said "we had the best car we could possibly have and that's why we got this win. We rolled out of the trailer and we were pretty quick. We knew, after qualifying, that we were going to have a really fast car."

Commenting on the cross over passing maneuvers with Mardis, he said "he did it on me first and I tried to cross him back over on the backstretch but I didn't have enough room while heading into turn three. Luckily we got another caution and I tried it again. This time it worked out for me and we just went on from there."

Sharing the celebration, in the Sunoco Race Fuels victory lane, was Ted Barnes, the winning team owner and more importantly proud father. "I'm speechless," he said adding "anybody that knows me is aware I'm never speechless. He drove a great race. He and Jimmy, (Mardis), crossed it up a bunch of times, had a great time and I'm just ecstatic especially here. He loves to go fast and this track is awesome."

Barnes' "Super Saturday" at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale began earlier in the afternoon when he won the $100 bonus for setting the Budweiser fast time in qualifying. He toured the speedway's half mile oval at 19.000 seconds, 94.737 MPH, and was a full two-tenths of a second ahead of the field. Series officials also awarded the race winner the $100 bonus for the Magnaflow Exhaust Products Clean Pass.

Ted Barnes admitted that, after watching qualifying, he had a sense that this might be the night his son gets his first series win. "He knew the car was good, everything was good about it and he was able to lay the lap he needed to. Just everything came together," he said.

Crew Chief Jimmy Dickerson also serves as a sounding board for the young driver. He's an experienced mentor who has won a lot of modified races, along with the Lucas Oil Series' 2008 championship. He also was thrilled to watch his driver win his first series race. "I'm really proud of Austin, he drove a really smart race," he said adding "I can't say enough about him, it was all him tonight. He drove a smart race and stayed out of trouble. Our car was really good, It's an STR cIrwindale carar and you can't beat them."


Following his second place finish, Jim Mardis said "It's our first time here at Irwindale and, for me, the first time on their half mile track. It was a good night overall. The track is fast and I think I adapted to it pretty well. We were fast here all day but clean air here means a lot and I didn't know that until we got out there to race. The car was fast and I'm glad to come home with some points."

Mardis also took the opportunity to thank a new sponsor to his team. "Blue Water Technologies is an audio visual company and we're so proud to represent them. They've come on board with us and that really helps us out. Rockstar Energy Drink, who supported us last year, came back again with us this year and I can't thank them enough. There's also Makita Power Tools and of course Arce Engines who built me that great engine. Scoreboard 2 Bar and Grill also helps us out a lot and we also have Premiere Wraps who helps us keep the car looking good so we can keep coming out here to go racing," he said.

After leading the first two circuits of the race, Burbank-California's Tim Morse was all smiles with his third place finish and said "it was very exciting out there and I'm glad to come home third. We really had a third place car all day. I struggled for a little bit and I got it better, then I got it worse and got it better again. I want to say congratulations to Austin Barnes, he did a great job and he had a great car. He really deserved this win and I'm proud for Austin. I want to thank Ron's Rear Ends, Slover's Porting, Charlie Wahl Shocks and Extreme Muffler. Dan Weir from Extreme helped me out a lot and helped everyone of these cars get quiet",( to meet local decibel requirements),

Series Race Director Bill Rozhon was thrilled with the result of the race especially in light of the fact that many of the series' drivers had never raced on the larger and faster speedway. "Our car count was actually very good considering what's going on with the economy. Irwindale wanted us to be here tonight and we really wanted to be at Irwindale. I can't thank Bob DeFazio and Lester Boyer enough for inviting us. I'm also very proud that we have a brand new winner tonight. By the way, that's four different winners in four races and that shows how competitive our series really is. Our guys did a really good job here."

The CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food Southern California Classic, presented by MagnaFlow Exhaust Products, began on a shaky start with a yellow flag due to Mike Salm's blown engine before the first lap was complete. A red flag followed to allow for some lengthy track clean up. Commenting on that situation, Rozhon said "I really feel for those guys. They've got to get the monkey off of their back. The Cole Racing team and their car runs so good and they work just as hard an anybody. To have something like that happen to them is got to be a heartbreak. I was disappointed over what happened to them, but sometimes that's racing and it can be a cruel world."

Also commenting on the race was series Promoter Greg Scheidecker who said "when you look down at the field with the finishes that the various guys got you have to start with Austin Barnes, that one's been a long time coming. He's been knocking on the door a lot and tonight was just his turn. Then there's Jimmy Mardis, what a smart race he drove. Obviously Mardis is in contention for the championship and I think his driving performance tonight showed that. Tim Morse had a great run as well as others all the way through the field. These guys aren't used to running on a track of this size. When we return here, August 13th, to run a 75 lap feature that pays $1,500 to win and $300 just to start it's going to be game on."

The Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, is strongly supported by a highly potent marketing concept known as "Team Lucas." Team members include Lucas Oil Products Inc, MagnaFlow Exhaust Products, E3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, K&N Performance Filters, GEICO, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food, MAV-TV, Dart Machinery, Rockstar Energy Drink and MasterCraft Safety Equipment.


Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2011 18:05

Steve Teets Crew Chief - Austin Barnes Racing

E-mail Print PDF
Steve Teets
Name: Steve Teets
Birthday: 12/19/65
Marital Status: Married to Barbara    
Children: Daughter and Son, Loren and James
Racing Competition: 30
Years Racing: 30
Career Wins: 10 Driver/ 40+ Crew Chief
Championships: 10+ Crew Chief
Special Awards:
                     As the owner of STR Race Cars Steve’s Modifieds have won 3 of 4 yearend championships in the Lucas Oil Series. Steve also is a crew chief for a NASCAR nationwide team and a SRL team. Steve continues to build the finest race car available. In 1997 Steve was named True Value Mechanic of the year by a vote of his peers. In 1998 he was named Cajon Speedway Mechanic of the year, again by a vote of his peers.  His knowledge has helped shaped Austin career beyond any measure.               
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 18:13

I-10 Speedway 10/2/2010

E-mail Print PDF

Pole setter 3 times in a row, I-10 speedway Blythe, CA

For the 3rd time in a row Austin set fast time at I-10 Speedway in Blythe California!!!. With a time of 14.42 only one tenth of a second off his track record set back in March of 2010. Austin felt pretty good about the night to come. As luck would have it Austin pulled a 5 in the invert to start on the inside of row 3. When the green lag was dropped for the start it was evident that the field wasn't going to change much. On about lap 40 the #10 car of Tim Moorse was able to get underneath of the #4x of Doug Hamm and Austin followed. This was the only change in the top 5 cars all night long.  Austin felt the car get loose and as the race progressed and just wasn't able to move any further forward than 4 place.  Austin moves into 3 for the year end standings with just the Havasu race left.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 October 2010 18:44

Heartbreak at the Orange show

E-mail Print PDF

Heartbreak at the Orange Show Topless 100

Austin Barnes 99 lap run at the Orange Show fair grounds in San Bernardino, CA was nothing short of amazing. With fantastic weather and the patriotic pride on the air on the anniversary of 9/11 the fan were ready for a great night of racing.Qualifjing began with Austin posting a time of 13.673 placing him 4th. After the invert of 4 Austin was on pole for the start and never looked back. On the start Austin inched out Dave Arce to get the lead. On lap 3 a yellow came out for a spin at the back of the pack and cars lined up for a single file restart. The restart showed Austin was the class of the field as he started pulling away and set fast time of 13.680 on lap 12. There were a total of 8 yellow flags and 2 reds with Austin continuing to pull away from the pack on every restart. Austin had a comfortable lead until lap 95 when a lapped car held him up and Jim Mardis was able to catch up to Austin's rear bumper. Lap 99 got very interesting when Austin spun his tire on turn 4 and Mardis was able to move up on the inside. On lap 100 Austin and Mardis drove hard into turn 1 but Mardis was unable to hold his car down and slide into Austin cutting his left front tire down. Austin was able to fininsh on a flat tire but only in 6th place. This was one of the most exciting yet heartbreaking races in the 15 year olds racing career to lead 99 out of 100 laps and then have it end on a flat tire is not something he will forget anytime soon but only gives him more determination to fininsh out the last 2 races of the Lucas oil Modfied Series at the front of the pack. He goes into the final two races in 4th place in the points standings and is still looking to move up. None of this would be possible without the support of his sponsors, his great spotter Eric Brucker, an his fantastic crew cheif Steve Teets of STR race cars.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 October 2010 18:32

Page 2 of 3