After a season long battle, the Travis Petersen Racing entry primarily piloted by Reno, Nevada hotshoe Jay Sears has claimed the prestigious Nevada Pro Stock Association title. All year long, the Petersen Racing ride and IMCA Modified star Robert Miller were locked in a heated competition to bring home the series crown. In the end, the team’s unmatched consistency and win total earned them the championship.
The year began with another one of Nevada’s most recognizable racers, Cory Sample, behind the wheel for the first race at Rattlesnake Raceway. Sample unsurprisingly had the car up front all night, just falling short in a spirited battle with Bill Pearson. From there, it was on to a 2 day weekend at Lovelock and Winnemucca, with Sears returning to the driver’s seat. The team struggled the first night despite having a fast car, finishing 9th after pulling off with 6 to go.
Night 2 would shift their attention to the Winnemucca Regional Raceway for their only trip to the track in 2018, and it could not have gone any better. The car was fast from the moment the team unloaded, dominating both the heat race and feature to claim the team’s first victory of the season. After a strong 3rd place run at Quincy, it was time for arguably the biggest race of the tour’s season, the Gordon Russell Sr Memorial race at Cedarville. Like the race at Winnemucca, Sears was able to sweep both the heat race and main event, but this time, Sears faced serious competition in the form Jeff Olschowska. Fortunately, Sears was able to hold off Olschowska’s challenges to claim the big victory.
The team would follow up their victory with 2 consecutive 2nd place finishes, the first with Richard Papenhausen piloting the car at American Valley Speedway in Quincy, followed by Sears returning the seat with another runner up finish at the first annual Al Miller Memorial at Lovelock. The next 3 weeks would help clinch the series title, as Sears was able to bookend a 4th place finish at Rattlesnake with two big wins at Fernley 95a Speedway. The strong stretch of finishes gave the Petersen Racing entry a commanding advantage going into the season finale, which turned into an insurmountable lead when the Travis White Racing entry didn’t show up to final race of the season, handing the Petersen team the series title.
When asked about 2018, team owner Travis Petersen had this to say: “As the 2018 comes to an end I couldn’t be more proud of our year! 4 wins & 2018 NPSA Champions!!! Teamwork makes the Dreamwork and that’s what TPR is all about. Season full of making great memories and watching Jay Sears and the team put on some amazing shows! Thank you to all that allow us to Live this Dream!! We are truly blessed! Looking forward to 2019!” The fact that the points battle was still as close as it was with the team’s dominance just further testifies to the war that Sears and Miller went through in pursuit of the series championship. If the team performs even close to this level in 2019, you may just see them repeat as champs. At this point, they have to be the heavy favorites going into next season.
The Petersen Racing team would like to thank all of their sponsors and supporters, including:
Reno Tahoe Auto Group
Rini Insurance Agency
Bruce Rayburn Racecars
Vatos Locos Performance
Top 5’s: 9
Top 10’s: 11
Heat Race Wins: 8
Nevada Pro Stock Association Champion
May 20th: 1st (Sears)
April 28th: 2nd (Sample)
August 25th: 4th (Sears)
October 6th: 7th (Sears)
May 19th: 9th (Sears)
July 28th: 2nd (Sears) Miller Memorial
August 11th: 1st (Sears)
September 15th: 1st (Sears)
June 23rd: 1st (Sears) Russell Memorial
June 2nd: 3rd
July 14th: 2nd (Papenhousen) Wainscott Memorial
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