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March 16, 2013

By Ken Wagner

If you thought unlimited sprints and midgets meant blowerís and turboís and other unconventional bolt-ons for the opening URA event, you will never know what was under the covers on 18 sprint cars taking part in the historical event last Saturday night. What we do know is that the fans who came to see the first ever URA event were the oneís who got it, and later they were cooled off by a strong cool wind, yet they didnít leave until they saw it all!

For my pics from RT 66 Click here to view. For Doug Allens quality photo's Click here to see.

What they saw was a nice wide racing surface with no ruts and a battle for the only chance at the first ever win of a new era event. The racers that came had visions of something new and maybe an alternative opportunity for 410 racing in the existing sprint car world in So Cal, and they were the big story of the night. The racy track gave up some scintillating action from the elite 18 who came to play and the fans enjoyed it all.

David Cardey chased the leader, Damion Gardner the entire race in his Moosemobile ride. The # 92 was fast from the get-go, and he pressed the issue, passing him at least once and pulling next to him several times, until he moved by him with a couple of laps to go. The emotional outpouring from the team in the winners circle could be felt by all who knew how Laurie Sertich, Mrs Moose, had been injured seriously in Arizona at Canyon Raceway Park a few weeks ago, and the stories of what she went thru so far in her recovery. She was talking to one of the crew the last lap of the race and we know she was excited! Davidís win was very popular and should help Laurieís recovery a lot!

The only down side of the night, besides the wind, was the lack of those fans who chose to stay home and miss out, and I wonder why. I also wonder why some might have gone to a wing show, that is what it is, they didnít get it, and thatís that. Victorville will do it again this coming Saturday night, so go check it out, the purse is equal to the USAC/CRA purse so the racers have no reason to not come out and get it. and the fans should support the racers, who got paid after the races, by the way.

The day was nice and sunny and warm, but when the winds picked up later, the answer was ďit is the desertĒ so letís play on. They ran 3 heats when the sprinters got on the track with some having their first experience on the track. Damion Gardner was a first timer and he managed to bang the wall hard enough to go off on the hook, but came back later to run 3rd.

The call was by announcer Doug Bushey as the feature started out with Damion and Ripper on the front row followed by Cardey and Cody with Nic in the third row. Damion took charge right away and took the lead with Cardey jumping up behind him. They went around the oval like they were tied with a chain and on one occasion, Cardey took the lead only to have the Demon quickly come back by him. Cardey pressed him every lap until Damion faltered and David roared by to take the white flag and win the first ever URA main event.

Action was exciting on the track as everyone was fighting for the best they could do and the end came with excitement for the Cardey/Sertich Moosemobile team. There were other open wheel cars with TQís, Midgets and a few others to test the URA rule book. A good night of racing and the fans who came enjoyed themselves.

I think the Williams clan enjoyed themselves as the father and son trio became the fearsome foursome with Logan Williams on the track with Ripper, Cody and Austin for the first time. Logan looked pretty racy and made no mistakes I saw, as he was smooth in running his heat and then the 30 lap main event. He ran 11th behind Ripper and Cody and ahead of Austin who got in an incident and was done early. This means the first time the Fearsome foursome raced together in a sanctioned event, Ripper beat his boys and Logan finished ahead of one of his brothers. Pretty special if you ask me.

A shockingly sad story out of the pits came to us early in the afternoon. I had spent a good 45 minutes or so with Bobby Kimbrough before he had to go to the pits to interview David Cardey. Bobby gives his best to everyone he goes by and is a photographer and Technical Editor for Power Automedia in Murrieta, CA. Imagine my shock after hearing someone had a stroke in the pits and it turned out to be Bobby. The word on him was he was ďsavedĒ in the pits and had a stint put in at the hospital later. My best to him with a speedy recovery, everyone was asking about him. Get well Bobby!

The Victorville track is a family affair and everyone has a piece of the pie while Scotty Burns is the boss, that is if his wife April isnít around! You know the drill as Scotty is working the two tracks hard and it ainít easy! His mom and dad have chores, his son A J has chores and so do others not in the family to make it work. And if it were told, Don Flanders was a part of the family as is Walt Boyd. Both had a lot to do with getting both tracks up and started with their business sense and sponsoring efforts. It takes a lot to do all that is required for a race track and nobody has much time to do much else. Scotty could use some help and anyone wanting to volunteer to help, e-mail him at dirtentertainment.com! By the way, all the racers were paid at the track by 11 pm on Saturday night.

This was the first trip by Mrs Wags racing in a while. She woke up and said she felt good and wanted to go. Lucky I didnít have a date for the ride down there, HA! She is feeling much better these days and the 2-1/2 hour trip wasnít too bad. The whole day was enjoyable up until the wind blew, but she was a trooper and stuck it out. Itís nice to have my racing buddy with me for a change.

The Don Flanders Night went well as we honored the man for his good works in racing. Don passed away February 12, 2013. We sold raffle tickets for the Don Flanders quilt, watched fans sign up for auction items and collected donations for the Racer Bucks we collected to honor Don. Before the night was over, we had $1300 in hand and were poised to pass it out. First we allocated $500 to the Moose team to help with their Mrs Moose get well fund as she is still in the hospital recovering from a serious injury 3 weeks ago. The first car out, Adam Frith-Smith, received $400 and Seth Wilson was deemed the hard luck driver of the night and received $400. A very good ending to the first part of the Don Flanders honors that will conclude at Perris on May 4th.

Until then, we will continue to sell raffle tickets and sign up people in the silent auction and collect any donations from fans and friends who want to be involved. I will be at Victorville this week, then Perris April 6, Cocopah in Yuma April 19 and 20, Orange Show Stadium on April 27 before the final night at Perris and the Don Flanders Classic scheduled for May 4th. That night the silent auction will end and the quilt will be drawn for. I doubt the silent auction will be set up again until the last night, but you can track it on wagtimes.com at click here to view and e-mail any new bids. Thanks to all who participated.

It was a short ride home in comparison to many of my jaunts and I enjoyed everything but Bobbyís escapade. I had fun and enjoyed visiting with Ken Flanders, Donís brother, and his wife Diane during the day. They will be at Perris on May 4th. The season has started, so letís all get going and see some racing. See you at RT 66 this weekend!

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