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March 27, 2010

By Ken Wagner

Itís not often a driver sweeps every event he is in like this week. Mike Spencer was the car to beat after he set fast time in qualifying, won his heat and went on to win the 30 lap USAC/CRA main event at Perris Auto Speedway thus earning the Dean Thompson Award. Mike jumped into the lead and broke away from the pack when leader David Cardey suffered a rear-end gear failure and almost bottled up the field behind him. Mike reacted quickly and shot his way to the front and was never threatened after that.

For my pics Click here. For Doug Allen's work Click here.

Matt Mitchell started in the second row and hung in thru all the low groove battles to grab 2nd place on the night. He was 8th quick in qualifying, ran second in his heat and had a good night. He was the second car moving by the Cardey incident, making his finish easier.

Danny Sheridan had a great night after some low times recently. He was surprisingly 4th quick in the little blue bugger and ran third in his heat to start in the third row of the main. After Cardey took the opening lap lead, ďShowtimeĒ raced up to ride under him for the lead he held for 5 laps. On a restart, David came back under him to reclaim the lead with Danny right on his tail. When the gears broke in the Cardey car, Danny was still right on his bumper where the little red sucker tapped his fuel cell on his way to the front. Danny got seriously sideways with the love tap and dropped back to about 6th before recovering to get 3rd on the night. That melee could have been disastrous for the front bunch. It was Dannyís first podium since September of last year. You can see the missing major sponsor space on the side of the plain blue car, they are still looking and hoping they can finish the year strong.

There were the usual troubles for many during the night. Rickie Gaunt was back in David Millerís car this week, but ran over a wheel of a lap car and ended up on the hook. Dennis Howell Jr made his first 410 runs in his new (to him) car that he put together all by himself. The motor was purchased by his dad who sold a neat hot rod for the cash. It was a Johnny Herrera outlaw motor. He caught the berm coming out of turn three and ended up on the hook with relatively minor damage. The $150 Wagsbucks collected went to him. Cody Kershaw didnít start the main after the car apparently didnít fire? Blake Miller got the short end of the stick when he approached the early leader and they touched wheels and he spun to a stop. He came back to get 15th. Matthew Shedarowich got on his head in the feature, but they rolled him over and he restarted to get 12th. Greg Bragg had a nasty looking crash in qualifying, over and over and over, but the crew rebuilt the Moosemobile and he ran 6th in the main. The team won the shiney tire award, if this somebody ever remembers to make labels for the baby oil bottles!

As hard as Tony Jones drove the silver bullet this week, he still couldnít make his preferred high groove work for him. He gave it a monster try and later said he didnít want to tuck it in line and run third, he wanted to win as everyone was on the bottom the last half of the race but him.

Spencer, Kruseman and Cardey won the 3 heats with 25 cars in the house and no semi run this week. The heats were racy and the action pretty good all night considering the wind. After the bath the PAS took on the opening rainout race, they had a good crowd tonight, probably partly due to the Late Models running. Speaking of that, former sprint car champion Mike Kirby ran away with his heat and started 8th in their main. He sliced thru the traffic to take the lead in a few laps, but had a drive shaft lose itís connection with him working on seriously lapping the field. Letís hope the sprint car fans discover the sprint car nights at the PAS and come and pack the place!

It was a windy day when the competitors arrived and everyone had to deal with it. The track suffered from the wind like normal, and probably the Late Model 30 lapper. There wasnít much left for the 410 sprints on the top to make a second groove after the first half of the main and the bottom feeders rolled around until the deed was done. Several tried it up high a while, but running in place is kind of what it reminded you of after nobody could make it work in the slick high groove the big boys usually use to go forward on. At least after the wind blew straight into the grandstands at noon and for several hours, it switched to going left to right later in the night, or we would have had record goggle sales.

With the national boys now gone, Spencer leads the points with Danny in 2nd. Way too early to even talk about it, but the locals will fill the top ten in a short time. Next race is April 10, just before tax day, and the season is going now.

Remember the Wagsdash is September 25th and we need some help. Every week I collect Wagsbucks for the hard luck low buck racer of the week and the Wagsdash as it comes, come see me.

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