Sprint Car Insider- VISALIA, Calif. (April 15, 2019) – Dalton Parreira raced in the Restricted class for just the third time ever Friday night at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park.
He was supposed to still have his rookie flags on.
But that all quickly changed after qualifying.
Rookies wear a small flag on the back of their car to signify to other drivers that they are just that, rookies. It tells other drivers that they are inexperienced, may not navigate traffic well, and usually have to revert back to the tail of the field during cautions so that they gain more experience with drivers of their same stature. Very rarely does a race director make the call that the stripes come off early. But Friday night they did.
It was about half way through qualifying when Dalton the Sherriff Parreira drove his #51 out onto the track to take time. When the #51 lit up the scoreboard that only displays the top three, everyone’s jaws dropped. The Sheriff still had authority. By the end of the session his 11.710 was just 1/2 a tenth off of quick time and stood for fifth quick on the night.
It was right then the race director decided he get to keep the time he earned and race heads up. There would be no reverting to the tail end of the field for the Sheriff.
In his heat race he got the chance to battle with a driver who has been instrumental in his career so far, Gauge Garcia. At the end of eight laps Parreira wound up second to Garcia and was primed for his first career Restricted main event at Plaza Park and just his third ever.
“We would not be here today without the help and support of the Garcia and Macedo families,” said Jennifer Parreira, Dalton’s mother. “Gauge Garcia, Dog Garcia, Norman Macedo and Cole Macedo. The support and encouragement from them is huge!!! The Garcia’s and Macedo’s are the best people and I couldn’t of ask for better support than them.”
All of that support and encouragement ended up paying off big time in the main event. Parreira took the green flag of the 25-lap main event from the third position. As the race got under way there was no shortage of threats from the field. Parreira went back and fought his way forward numerous times but was never rattled. It didn’t matter who it was Parreira raced them hard, and gave them a run for their money. He was not intimidated. As is the case with any race there were also some mistakes, but the way he recovered from them, and gathered himself back in spoke volumes to the natural ability of the Sheriff and the race director who made the discretionary call to let him run strait up.
At the end of 25 laps Parreira put himself on the podium with a third place run. The transition from Jr Sprint racing is generally a tough one. The power gap, and tendencies of the car are a lot to get used to. It takes some drivers seasons to adjust. But not Parreira. What’s even more impressive is that it came at Plaza, one of the most technical tracks around.
“I was worried about this one all week,” Jarrod Parreira said. “I’m sure I’ve got some more grey hair, I’ve been shaking the whole time, I can’t believe this is how it ended up.”
The Sheriff himself was even caught a bit off guard. When asked to thank his sponsors Parreira shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know, I haven’t practiced them yet, I didn’t expect to be here.”
Everyone laughed with the young man as the look of pure joy gleamed in his eyes. Everyone laughed, everyone but the competition that is. The Sheriff showed that’s he’s here to stay.
Only three races in and he’s already lost his stripes and landed on the podium. From the looks of things right now it won’t take long for Dalton Parreira to find his way to the winners circle.
Up next Dalton the sheriff Parreira travels north to Stockton, California to take on the famed 1/5th mile of Delta Speedway for the first time. He comes into Delta as the reigning Jr Sprint Champion as well with a strong string of success at that facility as well. Saturday night will be his maiden voyage to the San Jauquin County Fairgrounds and fourth overall race in the 600 ranks.
Does he back up last weekends Results or earn that coveted first career win? Only few have ever made this transition successful so quickly. The few that have went on to make big names for themselves. Is the Sheriff next?
Keller Auto Raceway Plaza Park
Friday April 12, 2019
Dalton Parreira #51
Heat Race: 2nd
Main Event: 3rd
Saturday April 20, 2019
Delta Speedway race 2
Top 5′s: 1
Top 10‘s: 2
JJ Cox -
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