WagsWorld globe image WagsWorld text images



February 29, 2012

By Ken Wagner

The USAC/CRA season started off with a bang this week with some hot racing and a “Dean Thompson” sweep of the nights activities by our surging young star Nic Faas who has emerged as a serious threat to the CRA championship wars. Slick Nic set fast time at 15.833 early in the afternoon before winning his heat from the back and started 8th in the main event. It took 22 laps for Faas to chase down rookie Ryan Bernal who led up until that point in a Josh Ford # 73 team car. In winning his 5th CRA main event of his career, he was so dominating; it was hard not to watch the silver bullet move smoothly thru the field. It was not the first Dean Thompson award by the young driver, and probably won’t be the last as the Alexander # 4 car looks fast and sharp.

For my pics this week Click here to view. For Doug Allen's great pic's Click here to view.

Ryan Bernal comes to the CRA wars after running in his only 410 races late last year starting at Calistoga. The 360 star has won 35 races in his 4 year history of sprints and he looked like he might have earned his first 410 win this week, if not for a red flag stopping the action when he had a big lead two thirds of the way thru the 30 lap main event. Ryan will split his time this season with the # 73 Ford car and the Kittle # 18 in the CRA 410’s plus he will run for Ford in the West Coast 360’s, as there are no conflicts this season between the two groups. Danny Sheridan will run the little blue bugger at Santa Maria, Ocean Speedway and Calistoga with Ryan running at Perris, Canyon, Chico and Yuma. It will be very interesting for the Kittle Krew next race as Ryan came right out of the box this week to get 2nd in his 2012 debut. Look for his talent to shine whether in the black # 73 or the blue # 18; he is a real comer as we’ll see along the way.

Matt Mitchell showed off his wicked slide job this week as he ran up from 7th to get on the podium in third. He was 2nd quick on the night, ran second in his heat and worked hard in the finale. The 4 time defending champ Mike Spencer had his problems when he experienced a motor problem (rocker arm) and they had to swap out motors after hot laps. He ran 3rd in his heat, started 13th on the grid and ran up to 4th at the end.

Brody Roa was third quick this week with his new 410 power. He transferred from his heat to the main and started 6th and finished 7th for a great night in his new powered # 91. The 2011 WAG$CA$H winner showed off a little of what to expect from him this year as he continues to improve. David Cardey was 7th quick this week and finished 6th in the main. He continues to run on a shoestring budget and will run close to home again this year unless something good happens to his budget. His father Jim received the Wagtimes Shiny Tire Award from the Wagtimer’s this week as we bring back an award that tapered off a few years ago because I was too lazy. We will try to award this at every race as the Wagtimer’s make their pick from those who shine it up for the fans.

Several made the long tows this weekend to run with CRA and included R J Johnson and Josh Pelkey from Phoenix plus Bud Kaeding and Andy Forsberg from Northern California. R J transferred from the semi and started 14th to get 8th. Josh was 4th in his heat and started on the second row before drifting back to 11th at the end. Bud won the semi after qualifying 5th and missing the transfer. He was running strong when the first turn caught him in a flip and I don’t know if he had help. Andy won his heat and started 18th in the feature, then dropped out early. It’s good to see the traveler’s as they bring some stiff competition.

Several got on their head this week besides Kaeding. Verne Sweeney was jostled in his heat by a cluster of fishtailers and his car was too beat up to continue when he was forced upside down into the wall. Austin Smith went over in the Semi. Gary Potter got his car over also in the Semi. Austin Williams caught the berm in turn four and got over pretty hard in the main event on a restart. I think Rusty Carlile turned his car on its side in the Semi, too. In the old days, one of them would have received the Wagsbucks if we were still collecting it.

Jace VanderWeerd was 6th in his heat and 7th in the Semi, so he took a provisional to start 23rd in the main. He ran hard all the way up to 12th for the hard charger award of the night. Kenny Perkins and Greg Alexander both pulled out of the main after problems. Kenny ran 2nd in his heat and started 20th. Greg’s new bright paint job was seen in his heat race win and then his 15th place start in the main went for naught.

The new Larry Henry/Tony Jones team hit the track with Jake Swanson in the seat this week. Jake has midget experience, but no sprint car resume. He qualified 26th in the field of 37 and ran a strong 3rd in his heat. Something broke in the feature, but at no time did he look like a rookie out there. Larry and Tony carefully pieced this car together for the new driver who should feel proud as the power plant is one from the Bubby Jones glory days and has historical Hall of Fame credentials!

Seth Wilson came down from Las Vegas to run 14th this week as his recovery from a serious knee injury has been ongoing for almost a year. He must have been happy to be racing as he had a big smile on his face all night. Cory Kruseman started on the pole in the beautiful Mark Priestley owned # 7 and finished 5th this week. Casey Shuman plans to fly in each race to run the Moosemobile. This being the first week in the car, he just missed a transfer in his heat, then ran 4th in the Semi and started 11th in the main where he finished 15th.

Rip Williams rolled up from his 17th starting spot to get 9th in the main event and won the Williams war for the week ahead of his boys. Cody was 16th and his brother Austin 18th this week. David Bezio came out with a 410 motor this week and ran 2nd in his heat and finished 17th in the main as he looked smooth in the car.

It was a nice day and a very cool evening with just a touch of desert breeze to keep you covered up. The racing was spirited and fun to watch. The sprints always put on a good show and this week was no exception. Racing in the main was hard and exciting as more than the top five made the moves we want to see. Watching Ryan running out front trying to get his first win with some very smooth unrookie like moves was good. Seeing Nic roll him up and blowing the field away was also good to watch.

You might not be aware that the Fairground brain trust out did themselves this week as they continue to make it rough on the PAS trying to keep sprint car racing out there. They continue to overprice the food and drinks in their concessions like normal, making it hard on family’s racing budgets. The new parking deal was somewhat shocking, but not surprising. The parking went from $5 to $8 this year! Who would do that with anything in their brain? They do it because they can, and we know greed is a horrible thing! Just look at gas prices and you see this world in a clearer view. SHAME ON YOU Perris fairground hauncho’s, you outdid yourselves! I personally know several who called me to tell me they were not paying $8!

I collected nearly $100 in WAG$CA$H money this week as many see my new vision. Just remember August 11 and it will be a fun day. I am out of 2012 calendars now, so don’t ask. Look for me at Perris on March 31st and let’s get this thing going!


1. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-15.833 (New Track Record); 2. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.424; 3. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.513; 4. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.516; 5. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-16.549; 6. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.592; 7. David Cardey, 59, Cardey-16.632; 8. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.648; 9. Josh Pelkey, 12A, Allen-16.672; 10. Ryan Bernal, 73X, Ford-16.678; 11. Casey Shuman, 92, Sertich-16.681; 12. Cory Kruseman, 7, Priestley-16.726; 13. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-16.741; 14. R.J. Johnson, 51A, Martin-16.762; 15. Greg Alexander, 72, Tyler-16.838; 16. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-16.859; 17. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-17.026; 18. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-17.065; 19. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.095; 20. Andy Forsberg, 92, Forsberg-17.110; 21. Austin Smith, 14, Springstead-17.203; 22. Bobby Bender, 11, Bender-17.271; 23. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.292; 24. David Bezio, 37D, Bezio-17.468; 25. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-17.485; 26. Jake Swanson, 41, Henry/Jones-17.494; 27. Gavin Matlock, 25, Williams-17,620; 28. Johnny McCall, 44J, Morbitzer-17.658; 29. Royal Adderson, 40, Adderson-17.693; 30. Seth Wilson, 1X, Wilson-17.932; 31. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-18.088; 32. Raymond Potter, 33, Potter-18.221; 33. Corey Ballard, 20, Ballard-18.344; 34. Jerry Welton, 62X, Welton-18.426; 35. Mike Collins, 04, Perkins-18.759; 36. Gary Potter, 6, Potter-18.990; 37. Jon Kairot, 0, Perkins-19.273.

FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Nic Faas (8th), 2. Ryan Bernal (2nd), 3. Matt Mitchell (7th), 4. Mike Spencer (13th), 5. Cory Kruseman (1st), 6. David Cardey (4th), 7. Brody Roa (6th), 8. R.J. Johnson (14th), 9. Rip Williams (17th), 10. Richard VanderWeerd (12th), 11. Josh Pelkey (3rd), 12. Jace VanderWeerd (23rd), 13. Josh Ford (16th), 14. Seth Wilson (22nd), 15. Casey Shuman (11th), 16. Cody Williams (10th), 17. David Bezio (19th), 18. Austin Williams (5th), 19. Bud Kaeding (9th), 20. Jake Swanson (21st), 21. Greg Alexander (15th), 22. Andy Forsberg (18th), 23. Kenny Perkins (20th). NT.

Laps 1-22 Ryan Bernal, Laps 23-30 Nic Faas.

HARD CHARGER: Jace VanderWeerd (23rd to 12th)

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Nic Faas-74; 2-Matt Mitchell-66; 3-Ryan Bernal-62; 4-Mike Spencer-60; 5-Cory Kruseman-53; 6-David Cardey-52; 7-Brody Roa-51; 8-Rip Williams-42; 9-R.J. Johnson-39; 10-Richard VanderWeerd-39

Wagsworld Back Issues: