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By Ken Wagner 10/1/05

What can you say after another carbon copy victory by the Demon? For the 19th record setting time Damion Gardner set fast time and started eighth in the main Event. For the 13th time this season, and 21st in two years, he won a Valvoline USAC/CRA race and took over the point lead from Rip Williams in the process. In the winners circle he said “ all I am trying to do is get smart about it and the wins will continue to come.”

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Damion drove the Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply – Arizona Race Mart, Eagle, Shaver # 50, to the front with authority again and left no doubt who is the baddest of them all in this territory for now. He holds the USAC record for most fast times and actually broke Tom Begelow’s record of 13 set in 1978 on July 23rd at the PAS. He is now 12th on the all time west coast win list with 34, passing Eddie Wirth and Mike Sweeney this week. Mike Spencer continues his dazzling driving this week and captured second behind the new point leader. “Slick Mike” has really been in the thick of things in recent races. He was third quick and won his second Snap-on Tools Trophy dash, and his heat to set his sights on the “Dean Thompson award” which will be awarded to the first driver who wins the dash, a heat and the feature. Mike was just a tick away from it, and put on a show after falling back to about seventh and rolling up on the podium to second. Driving the Murrieta Development – Spenco Machine, TCR, R.C. Performance # 44 owned by Hal Engstrom, this young driver is destined to win soon!

Cory Kruseman is one of the most accomplished drivers in the country with 75 victories and 12 with USAC/CRA. Add his USAC National wins, plus the two Chili Bowl, two Indiana Sprint Week and two Oval National wins and you have a proven winner. This week he drove the ITI Performance – Sander Engineering, Bullet, Downing # 38 into position to challenge the winner, but an ill fated change of lane towards the wall ended any hopes of getting his 8th win this season when he lost a spot late in the race and finished third.

Tony Jones continues to charge forward to get his elusive first win of the year. The team works hard on the Ferreira Dairy sponsored # 87 and a new bullet showed excellent promise this week when he was second quick and started seventh in the main. On the second lap a groan was heard in the crowd as the blue car slowed to a stop. He restarted in the back and then lit the tires up as he climbed to fourth at the end, once again showing the skill that won him an Oval Nationals and 15 other big wins in his career. He looks like he is about to break out of the year long slump and bring one home for the team.

Several weeks ago Mike Kirby decided to leave the Alexander Trucking car and go on his own again. In the two weeks he took off, he reunited his old crew and they thrashed together his new TCR coil over car. They fired it on Wednesday night and when they hit the track this week there was a small problem. With Crew Chief Brett Roa off in the desert with his son Brody’s racing adventures and arriving a little late, they finally traced it to an electrical problem, but not before he got only one slow qualifying lap on 7 cylinders. He won his heat and started last in the main, but ended up fifth for a grand night for the new team with the hard charger award. The black # 96 will no doubt be out to get some of the glory left this year for the LA PREP sponsored beauty.

Wally Pankratz came for another run in Rip Williams backup car this week and finished the main in 20th with some help. He was very aggressive in the semi to make the transfer and had a big smile for everyone as he wraps up his final year of racing.

The Wagsdash will be very special this year with this week’s announcement of the Grand Marshall for the 15th annual event. Parnelli Jones graciously accepted the honor of being recognized this year by the Wagtimer’s and fans who will come to see this man and get his autograph. Also added to the sponsors this week are The PAS, Black Widow Racing, and JAF Photos.

Steve Lafond of Tear Off Heaven Fotos sent me his Lafond Jar of Change that goes to the hard charger in this years Wagsdash. It will be on display at the Legends of Ascot event at Perris on September 29th plus at the Wagsdash and will need addition coinage to fill it up. Just drop your change in and see how big we can make it by race day.

The trip to the new USA Race Park in Tucson, Arizona is up next before a week off VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 1, 2005 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-16.273; 2. Tony Jones, 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-16.557; 3. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-16.613; 4. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-16.736; 5. Steve Ostling, 45, Willis-16.753; 6. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-16.811; 7. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-16.835; 8. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-16.915; 9. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-16.935; 10. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-16.938; 11. Mike Leslie, 76, Montgomery-16.967; 12. Danny Ebberts, 77, Acosta-16.975; 13. Greg Bragg, 33, Blair-16.987; 14. Seth Wilson, 17, Racing Optics-17.025; 15. Adam Mitchell, 14, Lancaster-17.080; 16. R.J. Johnson, 15AZ, Martin-17.103; 17. J. Hicks, 4, Alexander-17.110; 18. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.122; 19. Kevin Urton, 51, Urton-17.130; 20. Charles Davis Jr, 8A, Smiley-17.149; 21. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-17.181; 22. Dan Hillberg, 82, Hillberg-17.290; 23. Johnny Rodriguez, 7, Priestley-17.395; 24. Wally Pankratz, 3X, Jory-17.400; 25. Jordan Hermansader, 5, Keller-17.402; 26. Rick Becker, 25, Ruth-17.440; 27. Randy Waitman, 64, Waitman-17.460; 28. Ryan Devitt, 35R, Blenkarn-17.554; 29. Mike Kirby, 96, Kirby-17.565; 30. Robert Ellis, 43, Ellis-17.600; 31. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-17.603; 32. Mark Heidenreich, 22, Heidenreich-17.765; 33. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-17.923; 34. Jim Giradina, 58, Giardina-17.989; 35. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-18.059; 36. Joshua Williams, 34, Williams-18.078; 37. Nate Ziegler, 8N, Ziegler-18.265; 38. Matt Stewart, 85, Stewart-18.329; 39. Dan Tedrick, 88, Tedrick-18.730; 40. Ludvig Solverg IV, 13, Yamaha-20.249; 41. Jason York, 25N, York-NT.

TROPHY DASH: (3 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. Gardner, 3. Jones, 4. Kruseman. :51:28

CONSI: (8 laps) 1. Giardina, 2. Keller, 3. J.Williams, 4. Everhart, 5. Stewart, 6. York, 7. Tedrick, 8. Solverg, 9. Ziegler. 2:26:39

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kirby, 2. Cardey, 3. Gardner, 4. Ford, 5. Hermansader, 6. Bragg, 7. Ostling, 8. Hicks, 9. Giardina. 2:55:59

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. R.Williams, 2. Hillberg, 3. Sheridan, 4. Jones, 5. Wilson, 6. Becker, 7. Ellis, 8. Keller, 9. Ballard. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. Waitman, 3. Rodriguez, 4. Urton, 5. Argo, 6. Stansberry, 7. J.Williams, 8. Leslie, 9. Mitchell. NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Davis, 2. Kruseman, Gaunt, 4. Ebberts, 5. Devitt, 6. Pankratz, 7. Johnson, 8. Heidenreich, 9. Everhart. 2:54:55

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Argo, 2. Ostling, 3. Ballard, 4. Bragg, 5. Wilson, 6. Pankratz, 7. Johnson, 8. Hermansader, 9. Devitt, 10. Hicks, 11. Ellis, 12. Keller, 13. Leslie, 14. Stansberry, 15. Becker, 16. Mitchell, 17. Heidenreich, 18. Giardina, 19. Everhart, 20. J.Williams. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Tony Jones, 5. Mike Kirby, 6. Rickie Gaunt, 7. Seth Wilson, 8. David Cardey, 9. Greg Bragg, 10. Johnny Rodriguez, 11. Danny Ebberts, 12. Danny Sheridan, 13. Dan Hillberg, 14. Randy Waitman, 15. Rip Williams, 16. Josh Ford, 17. Charles Davis Jr, 18. Alan Ballard, 19. Kevin Urton, 20. Wally Pankratz, 21. Steve Ostling, 22. Rodney Argo. NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Ford, Laps 12-30 Gardner.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Gardner-1,602; 2-R.Williams-1,581; 3-Kruseman-1,505; 4-Kirby-1,385; 5-Davis-1,214; 6-Gaunt-1,137; 7-Spencer-1,080; 8-Ford-975; 9-Sheridan-858; 10-Wilson-851.

NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: October 8 – Tucson, AZ – USA Race Park

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