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May 4, 2013

By Ken Wagner

Another night of great racing blessed the PAS as Don Flanders was honored as Damion Gardner set fast time, won his heat and tracked down the little red sucker and won going away in the 30 lapepr for another Dean Thompson sweep. Having the Demon in the house now has raised the level for the other competitors, a lot like he did when he showed up at Perris years ago without a wing and a prayer. Quickly, Damion fit in then and now he is more than fitting in as they have a new target to shoot for.

For my pics from the PAS click here to view. For Doug Allens quality photo's Click here to see.

It has been 7 races in this season in CRA and the dual silver bullet Alexander cars have yet to finish worse than 4th. Wow, this week is was the 4th time they both were on the podium, but Damion was relentless as he won his 3rd CRA race in a row. His car has a new sound to me as he highballs it on the top and roars around the track. My spies tell me he has a new special header that is horsepower plus and the config of the header pipes going thru the muffler is what makes this sound a bit different to me. Damion pulled to within one win of 5 time champion Jimmy Oskie on the all-time So Cal list.

came in 3rd quick and won his heat before finishing 2nd in the 30 lap main event. He had a great battle with Nic Faas who chased him hard before roaring around him midway thru the race and then bobbling slightly awhere Mike regained his finishing spot. After a rough first four races, Mike has been on the podium the last three as he starts doing what he does normally, he goes to the front!

Donít feel sorry for Nic Faas as he continues to perform extremely well in the ďotherĒ Alexander silver bullet car. Nic has one win, two fast times and 7 podium finishes as he runs it hard each week. This is obviously his best year so far and having a veteran teammate to mix it up each week, his focus is drastically improved this season over last. The two silver bullets are very close and Nic is equally impressive as he continues to improve. His pass of the little red sucker was classic and gives you a feeling of what is to come. He can flat out drive and is second in points and is like a gunslinger each week as his quick draw leaves a lasting impression. It is great watching the weekly battles and Nic will be in every one of them.

Cody Williams led the first three laps before slipping back to 4th and still had a strong run as he won the Williams war this week. He beat his team cars of Austin (5th) and his dad Ripper (6th) as the three of them made a fast black line of speed around the track. Cody and his brother are real players this year as they both continue to improve and grab their own headlines while following in the still rolling footsteps of their father. It wonít be long until younger brother Logan starts giving them fits. This really will be a fearsome foresome when they are on the track together.

What can I say about Markus Niemela that can give you a look and feel of this man from Finland. Marcus started driving sprints with the VRA of Ventura and has stepped up to run with the CRA and the big bad 410ís. Marcus is getting really fast as he has started on the front row the last two races and has been clearly able to run up there for a time. His skill level has taken a couple of hits as he improves and doesnít want to back off, which can cause problems with his high speed wall action. All eyes are on him now as he drives Biggies car hard every race. Experience is the only thing keeping him from finishing up front and even from his first win, but keep an eye on him, he is something to watch.

Bud Kaeding again had some problems this week, but after qualifying 13th and running 4th in his heat, he encountered a problem in the main early on and had to go to the work area before starting on the tail. Coming from the back he looked great as he ran it up to 8th for his best finish at Perris this season. His best of the year with CRA was 2nd at Yuma. Look out for this young man as he is still 4th in points with all the problems heís had.

Mrs Moose was in the house for the first time since her horrendous accident at Canyon in Arizona. She looked great and was enthused to think she got to see her car race on the track instead of on a screen. Unfortunately her driver David Cardey had someone punch his left rear tire and he had to come from the back to earn 10th with some aggressive driving from that point. This team is locked and loaded and ready for their first CRA win this season, count on it. They won the historical first ever URA main event recently at Victorville.

We had a good field of cars from Arizona this week as R J Johnson got the best finish of the travelers with 12th. Mike Martin was 13th after running 2nd in his heat. Charles Davis Jr was third in his heat before pulling off in the main with a problem that left him at 17th. Josh Pelkey drove the Allen owned, bright dayglow orange, # 12a to 2nd in the semi and 21st in the main when he too went out early. There was one other car from AZ that unloaded, but since I didnít see anything but the feature I donít know his name or how he did.

The Don Flanders Classic went on as there were many notables in honoring the man many never got to know personally. His family was there with his brother Ken and his wife Diane, his daughter Ellen and granddaughter Ashley and a few of his work friends as they came to honor him. Ellen and Ashley went up to the flagstand to throw the green for the main and enjoyed that. Brother Ken was interviewed and said how proud he was of the Classicís honoring his brother. The end of the silent auction featuring some of Donís books and the raffle of the t-shirt quilt made by Diane finished up with raising $715. The quilt was actually won by a friend of Donís named Mike D. In Donís name $400 was passed to David Bezio who destroyed his car on a nasty crash, and Gary Potter who beat his car up in his own bad crash. Thank you to all who participated from his family, myself and my helpers.

This weekend on May 11 will be the third URA event is the series at Victorville as racers and fans get another look at Scotty Burns brainchild. The first event there was won by David Cardey and he will be back to test the best of the rest. The wide little oval is racy and fun for the fans. That little hill up to Victorville is really only 10 minutes, and you can make it, so go on treat yourself and come see me.

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. Nic Faas, 4. Cody Williams, 5. Austin Williams, 6. Rip Williams, 7. Markus Niemela, 8. Bud Kaeding, 9. Richard Vander Weerd, 10. David Cardey, 11. Matt Mitchell, 12. R.J. Johnson, 13. Mike Martin, 14. Jace Vander Weerd, 15. Brody Roa, 16. A.J. Bender, 17. Charles Davis Jr., 18. Seth Wilson, 19. Jesse Denome, 20. Billy Blinn, 21. Josh Pelkey, 22. Austin Smith. NT

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Gardner-471, 2-Faas-459, 3-Spencer-363, 4-Kaeding-356, 5-Johnson-300, 6-C.Williams-300, 7-A.Williams-276, 8-Roa-250, 9-Davis-232, 10-Mitchell-231.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: May 18, 2013 Ė Tulare (CA) Thunderbowl Speedway

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