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June 12, 2010 By Ken Wagner

With just a few weeks away from the annual packed house Firecracker event at the PAS, the warm-up race this week was pretty outstanding. A lot of great racing action and a late race pass for the win by one Dynomite David Cardey that will stand out in the minds of fans for a long time. David took the 30 lapper for his third race win in a row and 2nd at the PAS. David started on the second row behind pole sitter Danny Sheridan and toiled along until he landed in second behind a very fast Mike Spencer. Mike had separated himself from the field after he took the lead from the speedy Showtime Sheridan, but a late race yellow changed everything.

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Amazingly the first 25 laps of the main went non-stop and featured all out “gas it up” action with drivers clawing their way forward for a better payday. Because the fast timer Spencer pretty well had it under control from lap 11 on, when he slipped by Sheridan, it looked like a foregone conclusion the point leader was set to score again, but NO! On that last restart Mild Mannered Mike was passed by a determined Cardey with a bold move down the front stretch and the Cardeyman just pulled away for his 7th all time CRA win and left Spencer and Sheridan to battle for 2nd place. David was 7th quick in qualifying and ran second in his heat to Greg Bragg. He has led 4 of the 5 Perris races this year and the two he dropped out of could have swelled his budget cache substantially for his team. David is on the throttle running up front in the Perris races this year, even with his limited schedule.

Mike Spencer looked really fast tonight as he set quick time at 16.927 and won his heat race from the back to start in the 8th inverted spot on the main event grid. A great track this week seemed to be made for him as he went high and low to seemingly dominate the action up until the late race restart move by Cardey. The little red sucker was workin’ great as he just ran it out to a big lead. Boy, it looks like the season is heating up with several others trying to knock the defending champ off the block!

Showtime Sheridan had the pole this week after qualifying 9th and getting a gift when Bullet Blake Miller didn’t transfer directly to the main from his heat. Showtime led the first 10 laps running strong on the top groove until Spencer reeled him in. From there he got squeezed on a back stretch melee when a slower car blocked his path and he dropped to fifth. Ah Mrs Calabash, it ain’t over until……., as they say, until it’s over! Danny’s late race moves this season have now put him on the podium for the 4th race in a row at the PAS. This time he made several passes including one going by Cory Kruseman and then almost zapped Spencer on the last lap. His consistency this season doesn’t hide the fact that their racing budget is almost busted. Showtime vows to get his next win soon in the little blue bugger.

It was a well prepared track, they all are except when mother nature blows away the moisture, and the resulting racing put on by 30, count em’ 30 sprint cars was exceptional. Surprisingly the racers seem to realize they need to step it up so the fans will do likewise and come out to see what is still the best racing in the land.

The “Aw shucks” gang had its usual unhappy candidates this week. Probably the worst of the lot was Ronnie Gardner’s plight when he spit out a rod in their motor in his heat. The patchwork car from out back in the weeds, was required after the last race crash destroyed the pretty blue one. Ronnie was lookin’ fast until the smoke poured out behind him and he slowed to a stop. They need a little help as their budget is toast as well. The first car out of the main was Nic Fass in his fast hot rod as he pulled off early after experiencing some problems. Last race it was an overheating problem that he worked hard to eliminate during the past two weeks, but I didn’t hear what it was this week. Kenny Perkins had his problems and was also out early. Ludwig Solberg IV spun after contact and was wreckered off. Super Rickie Gaunt also slowed and pulled off early. Steve Conrad in Bobby Ferro’s # 91 car didn’t turn a wheel in racing this week after towing 250 miles. Randy Waitman and Cody Kershaw both got upside down in the semi and were done for the night. Tony Jones was in the mix early, but a flat tire sent him to the back where he recovered to run 7th as he Cowboy’d it up from back there.

Greg Bragg started in the back of the feature and rolled up to 6th for the best passing job after winning his heat. They also had very shiney tires in the main as did David Cardey’s # 59 and Ludwig Solberg IV’s # 13. Good job to those three for showing off for the fans.

I talked with Toby “Okie” Sampson this week about his record altitude setting ride he took in a Lightning Sprint two weeks ago. He had a bad concussion from the landing, but like the macho man he is, didn’t manage to get to the hospital to get checked out until the next day. He suffered some dizzying effects, but was walking around fine in the pits this week with some bruises and a sore head. He destroyed the little car and will think about his future driving experiences when he is fully recovered. He also drives a modified and says that is a kick, so he’ll be back one way or the other. In the meantime, his race car building nighttime business will be busy catching up.

Many of you know Mark Spivey and his sweetheart Marcie who had a baby boy last year that is thrilling them both. Mark works on David Miller’s # 66 driven by Super Rickie, And Marcie is always in the grandstands watching the racing. Unfortunately recently Mark has experienced some bad stuff that has knocked him back a bit. He had a large tumor removed from under his arm in a lymph node that was cancerous. He was back this week working in the pits like normal and awaits some Kemo to ferret out any other bad stuff as soon as his body can handle it. A little prayer here for man would be helpful.

I had a little talk with the Vander Weerd twins Jace, Richard and their dad Ron this week and was surprised to learn that they had no racing background when several years ago they moved up north and found the little Plaza Park track outside of Visalia. It looked cool to the family and they started going to watch the races. It wasn’t long until they had one 600 CC racer, but not only did both boys want their own car, their attractive sister wanted in on the action, too. It wasn’t long before the boys had 360’s and now 410’s grace their trailer as these two youngsters are improving every race. Glad to see more new blood in our ranks!

It was nice to see some new faces out there as the car count was up from the last race. Kenny Perkins and Cal Smith came down from the high desert and Mad Dog Shedarowich got his broken motor problem solved with help from their sponsor and returned to action. Troy Rutherford showed up in the Josh Ford # 73 car this week. He was 12th after experiencing some “unluck” at times. Jonny Bates returned after a long pause and missed the main by one spot. David Bezio showed up, but I didn’t get to talk with him. He ran 14th in the main. Greg Alexander drove the Bellegante # 23 this week and had some good moments. He was 15th in the feature. John Aden said this might be his last trip for a while as his business is just too busy to keep coming down from Victorville to race. He runs the little dirt track next to the sprint oval at the Victorville Fairgrounds that runs speedway bikes, those little tiny baby sprint cars and much more. Ronnie Case made a rare appearance and looked strong in his # 8 car. And last, but not least, Tony Everhart continues to love racing his sprint car and returned for another experience this week.

In order to ward off this persistent “410’s are dead” rumor that spills out every time we go under 20 cars in our beloved racing, we must continue to find ways to promote our stuff and get cars to come and race with us. As the economy seems to be coming back a little for some, hopefully we can get more cars and fans and the growth will push the direction to the positive. This die hard Wag wants to help to make it grow back to what it was and can be in the future. Yes you can get involved. Every race team out there needs help and we can all do what we can do and it will go greener!

As long as I am on my soap box, let’s talk Wagsdash 2010! Last night I collected $205 for the annual race bringing my total for the event up to a whopping $1605. That’s way low so I am looking to make that total grow with everyone who believes in my low buck quest jumping in to help. There are many ways to help the purse. Donate money, or stuff for the auction, or even stuff that might go to a racer in the event. Collect your change for the Lafond Jar of Change and get it to me! Mrs Wags is working on two calendars for 2011, a sexy driver version and the more traditional top 12 cars one. Jim Fargo is financing the regular one, so we will get the full $20 from each one we sell. Tom Touts and Jimmy Crawford are working on the 2010 Wagsdash golf tourney to be held on Friday the day before the September 25th race day. Take the day off and come join us as there will be loads of fun, even if you don’t know how to play the game, and really only one of your foursome does. Come help us out as you can laugh riding around in the golf cart all afternoon, then enjoy the prize awarding night at the banquet afterwards. I keep getting items added or promised for the annual auction, so keep em’ coming.

We are going to have the very first Wagsdash Kids Challenge this year for the youngsters who have never really had a chance to get involved. I don’t know what the age limit will be, probably 12 or 14, but on Wagsdash day, whichever youngster brings the most pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and or green stuff to Add to the purse, they will get to be in the winner’s circle and photographed with the Wagsdash Champion. They can save up ahead of time, or do some collecting from fans and family at the track that day!

Some items I have already in the house are an antique racer bell, a model car kit, a black helmet already autographed from two years ago that we never auctioned off, a number of programs and magazines, race tapes and some die-cast cars. I will have some pictures from some of the best sprint car photographers, but not an overwhelming amount like years past, so they will be good. I need more good stuff, so bring it on!

I am looking into getting some sprint car simulators for the Ventura Midway that day and will have an award for the highest scoring combatant during the afternoon. There will be a nominal entry fee, going to the dash, and you can enter as many times as you want up until intermission time with all the money going into the nights Wagsdash purse!

This year’s event will be an invitational and I will add names to the list from time to time for whatever reason seems pertinent. The first three drivers invited this year are Ronnie Gardner, Dennis Howell Jr and Randy Waitman. All are or could have been Wagsbucks recipients this year, if we had collected enough money. People will be invited in the spirit of the long time Wagsdash races and I want some Ventura drivers to be involved as well and maybe a Phoenix low bucker. I am starting to see some changes and driver improvements as we get father into the season. I am looking forward to the Watsonville/Petaluma weekend next and hope we get good car counts. I know the racing will be good, so see you at both tracks!

6/12/10 FEATURE at Perris: (30 laps) 1. David Cardey, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. Danny Sheridan, 4. Cory Kruseman, 5. Blake Miller, 6. Greg Bragg, 7. Tony Jones, 8. Austin Williams, 9. Richard VanderWeerd, 10. Jimmy C

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Sheridan, Laps 11-27 Spencer, Laps 28-30 Cardey.

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Spencer-400; 2-Sheridan-376; 3-Kruseman-300; 4-Miller-292; 5-Crawford-291; 6-Mitchell-288; 7-Jones-264; 8-Cardey-240; 9-Bragg-231; 10-R.VanderWeerd-213.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: June 18 – Watsonville, CA – Ocean Speedway

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