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June 1, 2013

By Ken Wagner

Even though ďthingsĒ happened or not, the new clay that was due this week, no trucks so it didnít happen but will next week, the pits were packed with fair trucks leaving less room for the racers, the daytime temps were near 99 degrees, the nighttime was so cool, as the usual race track incidents came to OSS, but overall it was a marvelous race night with support gaining for the Scott Burns URA world.

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

It was a nice day as 24 badass sprint cars appeared to scratch and fight for the $2550 up for grabs and the bragging rights to put the first name on the Don Blair Cup that will return next year to add another winner. David Cardey came in the point leader in URA and left the same way. David used the well prepared track to set a new track record at 13.797 on the new recently laid down dirt surface. He was fourth in his heat after surging to the back with an over the cushion move and returning to transfer to the main.

The race started with Don Gansen on the pole with Rip Williams. On the green the 360 powered # 7G driven by Gansen drifted up a bit and sent Ripís car up in the air to land and go back a ways and Don swept into the lead. Gansen led nearly half the race before the Demon was able to slide by for the lead on a quick move in his silver bullet. Gansen was still running up front for a while, but later had a flat and finished 13th, ruining what would have been a great run.

David Cardey scrambled up from his 6th starting spot to catch the new leader Damion Gardner and didnít relax as he stalked the Demon ready to pounce on him. On a two wide racy surface, Cardey tried underneath a few times, but no dice there, so he changed tactics. The high groove was precarious as several found it was the fastest way to go backwards, if you got too high. So with a feint low, David made a rush to the outside and flew up and around the silver bullet down the front stretch for the lead, but it wasnít over. Damion still had something in the tank and with the Crafty Cardey keeping his wheels on the very bottom of the track, Damion somehow managed to get under him several times, pulling almost even on the back stretch, but Cardey roared back in the lead each time. The race was in doubt until the checkered flag flew for the Moosemobile, where Cardey held on to the big win and became the first driver two win two URA events. In victory circle, David was presented the Don Blair Cup that his name will go on and be kept in the Orange Show Museum to be. David received a replica copy to take home for himself. Jim Blakesley was on hand to present the Cup in honor of Don Blair. Jim was his caregiver in the last few years of Donís life.

Damion Gardner was third quick in the Alexander # 4A silver bullet and won his heat before starting in the outside second row spot where he launched to chase the early leader. As is his nature, he never gave up and had a shot to the very end. His teammate Nic Faas was 7th quick in qualifying and chased to the end where he landed on the podium, again in 3rd place. Itís getting to be normal to see the two silver cars on the podium, but where were the little red sucker and the 360 champ?

The Williams clan were out in four force and dad, the Ripper, won the bragging rights for the family this week as he shook off a scary start to came back and get 4th. He was 5th quick and 3rd in his heat before he finished a good night off. His youngest son Logan did a bang up job this week as he finished 10th in the main and took home the Ron Schwarze Hard Charger $500 award. Cody took a sudden flip on the backstretch when he ran over a wheel I think, that ended his night and he lost his glasses. He was OK, but the car not. Austin was 18th as he was done early as well.

Normally Alex Bissett is a California Lightning Sprint veteran with much promise. Tonight he was a sprint car driver in a Seth Wilson back-up car. On Friday he had his first touch of the inside workings of a 410 sprint car and did himself proud in the practice. Saturday he qualified 14th and ran sixth in his heat, his first racing encounter. In the semi he made an awesome save up against the end of turn one and slipped to the tail before coming back to get 4th and a transfer to the main. He was 12th in his first main and should be happy with the results.

Brandon Thomson had a rough weekend as he came to the track suffering from the loss of his grandpa Fred and was remorseful, but ready to represent. He drove the familiar Don Blair car #12 with a touch of green, but dropped out of the main with a broken motor. Jim Blakesley, Blairís right hand man and caretaker of the respected giant in our racing, reports that we probably wonít see the car on the track again as the motor will be repaired and the car restored to its bright green color of days past. The rest of the parts and such will be sold and Blairís legacy will be retired. Adios to a legendary racecar that was once driven by Lealand McSpadden.

Brody Roa charged from his 5th row starting spot up to 5th at the end of the 30 lap main event as he had a good night. He had to run and win the Semi to make the main, but was still looking for more at the end. Greg Alexander came to show his skills and garnered 9th in qualifying and a third in his heat before finishing 6th in the main. Kenny Perkins had his best URA finish in 7th this week after running 3rd in his heat as he continues to improve. Matt Mitchell who won the last URA race, had a forced stop, but recovered to get 8th from the back on the restart.

This race was night and day from the OSS opener on April 27 when a lot of tremendous effort by Scotty and his friends happened just to open the doors. This time the track was so much better and very little dust blew up and that from the track infield, unlike the opener. The track stayed wet and wild until the end and the racing was excellent all night as the water truck worked just fine. The fans enjoyed a great show put on by some racers who supported this edition of the URA Unlimited racing experience. You have to see this place from the grandstands to see how great the viewing is making racing all the more exciting when you can see all the action from every one of the 8000 seats. Just imagine what Scott Burns and his worker bees have done to make it happen, and they have more to do to continue to make racing fun at his two tracks. Go check it out on June 29 when the next round of URA happens at the Macro Air Orange Show Stadium, you will be glad you did.

As usual trouble befell a few competitors like normal, but I spoke of most of those. A J Bender was doing very well after winning his heat and running strong in the main until something outside the motor gave up and he pulled to the infield done for the night. I was told it had something to do with harmonics and if I told you, Iíd have to kill you?

My day consisted of breakfast with friends at Tracey Johnsonís house and then picking up my mule at the Perris Auto Speedway. When I arrived there, there was some go cart action getting ready to start. I had to get the Coach to unlock the paddock where they thankfully let me leave my mule trailer and I had to go out to the track to find him. The pit area out on the track surface was full of carts and many friendly faces I knew. Cody Nigh greeted me before I rushed off to piece together the puzzle that gets my trailer hooked up and the mule loaded for the 25 mile trip north to San Bernardino. Once there, I was off to the front gate to greet all the fair arriving fans and try and induce them to buy the racing ticket for the night. I met a lot of people who thought the sprint car setting out there with me (# 1x of Seth Wilson) was an off road car, a midget car, or some other thing that they had no clue about. It was near 100 degrees and kept pretty warm out there. When Seth stole his car back to go racing it was time to cool down, eat a bite and watch hot laps.

My time off will be short, unless I find a race for this Saturday. I will be going to Watsonville and Santa Maria for more CRA action, and hopefully get to visit with a few people along the way. Look for me!

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. David Cardey, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Nic Faas, 4. Rip Williams, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Greg Alexander, 7. Kenny Perkins, 8. Matt Mitchell, 9. Rick Hendrix, 10. Logan Williams, 11. Wally Pankratz, 12. Alex Bissett, 13. Donny Gansen, 14. Seth Wilson, 15. Tony Everhart, 16. Chris Gansen, 17. Cody Williams, 18. Austin Williams, 19. A J Bender, 20. Brandon Thomson.

NEXT URA SPRINT RACE: June 29, 2013 Macro Air Orange Show Stadium

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