Stock car driver Nate Barnes (left) blamed his carburetor on this accident, which collected Jason Park (right). It occurred during a heat race at ½-mile I-70 Motorsports Park in Odessa, Missouri.
Barnes typically runs IMCA events, but this race used USRA rules.
“I pulled out a four-barrel carburetor from a few years back and installed it before the race,” Barnes, of Holt, Missouri, said. “In IMCA, we run two-barrel carburetors. I needed as much horsepower as possible for that big track.”
At first, everything was going well for Barnes before things went south.
“The carburetor started spitting and sputtering as I got into the second turn, where I needed the power of the engine the most,” said Barnes. It caused my tires to break loose and my car started spinning.”
Park had nowhere to go.
“My car had just a tire and wheel damaged — Jason’s front end got the worst of it,” Barnes said. “It was kind of my fault — I didn’t check the carburetor well enough.”
Barnes and Park fixed their cars after the wreck and made the feature. Barnes started 17th and finished 12th. Park started 20th and finished 17th.
“We never said anything to each other, both of us just got busy trying to get everything going for the feature,” Barnes said. “We’ve raced together years back at Lakeside Speedway [in Kansas City, Kansas]. I should have apologized to him — I’ll take the heat on this.”
Nate Barnes won the 2020 pure stock championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborne, Missouri. Last year he moved in stock cars.
“With a pure stock, you can’t do as much shock work and the engine is more limited,” Barnes said. “The IMCA stock cars are fun and competitive, and all of the cars are pretty close to being the same, which makes it a driver’s race.”
The Outside Groove Director of Photography has written hundreds of stories since the website’s inception. This year marks his 54th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.