SLICK NIC FAAS WINS 2ND CRA RACE OF THE YEAR MAKING QUICK WORK OF FIRECRACKER 30 AT THE PAS ON THE 4TH.
FIREWORKS IN THE SKY AT THE PAS THE NORMAL SPECTACULAR EXPLOSIONS.
July 4, 2013
By Ken Wagner
Nic Faas drives one of the two fast Alexander silver bullets very well and sometimes takes the back seat to his teammate, Damion Gardner, as the two of them have nearly dominated the competition this season. Together they have run in the top five positions all but one race (Tulare) with Damion ahead of him in 8 of those, but not this week! Starting 3rd on the main event grid, after winning his heat from the back, Nic showed his mettle as he was fast and furious rolling into the lead. For the last dozen or so laps he held off the 5 time CRA Champion Mike Spencer as they threaded their way thru traffic to the end of the 30 lap main event. Nic was on the gas from the get go and ďfastĒ should be his moniker as in Fast Nic Faas! Nic was taking a few chances to squeeze his way around lap cars as he banged the cushion on more than one occasion and almost gave Spencer an opening on one of those heart stopping wheelstands, but he just kept it aimed for his goal, the checkered flag. Having his teammate to spur him on, Nic has come alive this year and been more consistent as he won his 8th all-time victory with CRA and all of them have been at Perris.
For my pics from THE PAS click here to view. For Doug Allens quality photo's Click here to see.
Mike Spencer looked like he is back to normal after some unbelievable hard times for the little red sucker the first half of the season with several motor explosions and an errant flat tire at the wrong time or two. He set his third fast time of the season with a hot pass of 16.341 and ran a close second in his heat to David Cardey. After the green flag start of the main, he worked his way methodically thru the hot dogs in front of him and then chased the winner hard thru lapped cars as the race was on! As remarkable as it sounds, out of the 12 races so far this season, he has only one win and four other podium finishes. The crew did well this week without crew chief Bruce Bromme Jr who was home on doctorís orders from some painful injuries suffered in a fall that ultimately caused some serious infections that he has to get well from. He sounded great when I talked with him today and vows to be back by the August 9th date at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville.
David Cardey looked like he had something going when he led the first 16 laps, that is until Faas passed him on lap 17, where they touched wheels and Spencer was also able to get by an out of shape Moosemobile. David didnít blink as he continued on to third with the Demon breathing down his neck. David was 5th quick and won the first heat before starting on the front row of the 30 lap main event. He lost the lead on that close pass, but charged for the flag in third place on the podium for the third time this season. In other action, David has won two of the five URA events this year and finished no worse than 5th there. The Victory Chassis seems to work just fine for the Moose people as David is charging hard every race.
Ronnie Gardner brought out his brand new "Sled" car this week and he says thanks to all who made that happen because it was a long wait getting it all together. Even when he has been off winning USAC midget shows and leads the points there, he always comes home to work on the car. To hear him tell it, getting this car together was as slow as molasses dripping off the table. He only got one qualifying lap when they missed their spot, but was 15th and started near the back of his heat that he won with some hard running. He started 14th in the main and worked his way to 8th keeping out of trouble and rolling the red, white and blue beauty back on the trailer and that made Grandpa Jack smile. Ronnie could be very good in this car as long as he has the $upport to get the car to the races often enough.
With a heavy heart Seth Wilson came to race this week after his mom passed away from a long illness. Deciding to race in her honor, he unloaded 2 cars and he and Ryan Devitt worked hard to do well. Seth was 17th and Ryan 19th as they fought a pesky fire stopping one of the two cars twice. They both qualified thru the semi and had their work cut out for them in the main.
Marcus Niemela qualified 21st and started in the back of the main, but ran it up to 10th for a good run. He was third in his heat as he continues to run with the 410ís. Matt Mitchell started 10th and drove hard to get 6th in the end after qualifying 12th and running 2nd in his heat. Austin Williams beat his dad and brother this race with a 7th place finish in the main. He qualified 9th, missed the transfer in his heat, but won the semi to get to the big show. His dad Rip was 9th and brother Cody dropped out finishing 20th. His brother Logan won the young guns feature in this family affair.
Toby ďOkieĒ Sampson returned to the sprint car wars with a refurbished sprinter of his own design complete with pieces from a multitude of other sprint cars. Like most sprint car drivers of this world, Toby wants to race and with limited funds, it took a while to piece this one together. The California Lightning official ran 5th in his heat and dropped out early in the semi and ran the senior main later, but had a great time back in the saddle for a change.
Greg Alexander was one of the 13 cars qualifying in the 16ís and ran third in his heat. He had a good run in the main finishing 12th, but looked like he had more in him. Greg continues to run hard on his limited funding and yes, is related to the silver bullet Alexanderís. Cory Kruseman started on the pole and finished 5th this week in the beautiful yellow Mark Priestley car. He was 6th in qualifying and 3rd in his heat.
The warm day cooled off in the evening as the racing at the PAS is always fun to be there and watch. A little cool breeze helped the large crowd settle into enjoying both the racing and the fireworks. The annual ďbig show of brilliant color in the skyĒ was entertaining as usual and put on by the city of Perris. The 19 firefighters who lost their lives in a fire recently were honored in a ceremony with the 19 fastest drivers and the EMT firefighters lined up on the front stretch as God bless American and our National Anthem were sung with two planes smoking above the grandstands and hundreds of American flags few in the breeze all around the track. It was a beautiful sight to see and made me proud to be a part of it. It was Independence Day and we have our soldiers serving our country all over the world to thank for our prosperity and freedom! Oops, almost let my head get lost on my soapbox there, but let Freedom ring!
The month of July only has but one race on the schedule with Route 66 hosting the URA unlimited Sprint Cars on the 27th in Victorville. Iíll be there because itís a 410 race and I guess Iím addicted to that flavor. Then August gets real busy with the CRA at Ocean Speedway the 9th, then Santa Maria the next night on a two race weekend. Add Perris on the 17th and the URAís first visit to Santa Maria on the 24th and were not done yet. The annual Louie Vermeil Classic starts on the 31st and runs two nights at Calistoga Speedway where the Midgets $10,000 payout both nights was recently announced. Itís rare when the midgets cash more than sprints at an event, so I wonder what the sprints will be running for? With Steve Howard not doing his collecting for the first time for this event, who will step up and build the sprint car purse?
My new/old Wagtimes T-shirt arrived on the 4th and it is very bright with a yellow sprint car with the American flag background, and I like it more than when it was first released back in the last century. I ordered a few extras, but only have a few sizes. There are some childrenís Large, a few Medium Adult and some Large and XLís left. They are $15 each or 2 for $25 if you want some. E mail or text me and Iíll set emí aside for you.
My granddaughter Zoie arrives from Missouri this coming Friday and one of her visit desires is to see Disneyland. I am looking for discount tickets and maybe some younger than me kids to go with her and wear themselves out at the park I use to love going to. Now itís a chore, but I know she will love it.
Speaking of Mrs Wags, she is going to retire on August 30th in time for the Calistoga trip so she will be coming along to the races and weíll try to visit all of our friends after the races when we hang around Northern California for a few days, look out. Maybe weíll get to meet the Barberís new wife? Just because she is retiring, I donít expect her to keep up the hectic racing schedule I do, but she promises to go more often in the future.
Perris Firecracker 30 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Nic Faas, (3); 2. Mike Spencer, (6); 3. David Cardey, (2); 4. Damion Gardner, (5); 5. Cory Kruseman, (1); 6. Matt Mitchell, (12); 7. Austin Williams, (9); 8. Ronnie Gardner, (14); 9. Rip Williams, (4); 10. Markus Niemela, 11. Brody Roa, (10); 12. Greg Alexander, (8); 13. Josh Pelkey, (12); 14. R.J. Johnson, (14); 15. Rickie Gaunt, (7) 16. Matt Rossi, (20) 17. Seth Wilson, (16); 18. David Bezio, (17); 19. Ryan Devitt, (21); 20. Cody Williams, (15); 21. Kenny Perkins, (18); 22. Jay Waugh, (22). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-16 Cardey, Laps 17-30 Faas.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-D.Gardner-803, 2-Faas-759, 3-Spencer-628, 4-Bud Kaeding-564, 5-Mitchell-519, 6-A.Williams-461, 7-C.Williams-441, 8-Roa-420, 9-Ryan Bernal-359, 10-Johnson-330.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: August 9, 2013 Ė Watsonville, CA - Ocean Speedway
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