WagsWorld globe image WagsWorld text images



By Ken Wagner 10/23/05

Josh “Finally” Ford made up his own history page at Perris this week when he won the 30 lap Valvoline USAC/CRA Main Event and it was his first ever with the club. When Josh came back from Indiana to race closer to home this season, he had some tough times, but rallied to get back in the groove again with a revamped program and some hard work. Driving the Berry Pack Agricultural Pckg –Temecula Valley Pipe& Supply, Edson, Downing # 73 sprinter, Josh won the trophy dash and ran second in his heat before starting on the third row of the main.

No Mrs Wags photo’s this week! Broken camera, but here are some of Doug Allen’s Click here.

Josh was a tiger on the top of the cushion and used it to go to the front and dog the leader R.J. Johnson until a lap 18 pass gave him the lead. He pulled away to a big advantage before winning his first big main event against a strong 51 car field. There was no denying him this race and look out for him now, as he brands his way into the record book. Josh is getting ready for the big money races at the right time. I am still surprised it took so long and where are my strawberries?

Runner-up Tony Jones is also heating up. He drove the Ferreira Dairy – Standard Feeding, Maxim, RC Perf # 87 like the Cowboy he is giving it a great ride. He worked from his 16th starting spot up to the podium runner-up spot, but was never able to reel in the winner. He was smooth and aggressive as he took home his 4th podium on the season. He started 16th and was able to inch closer to that first win of the year. Tony could be a big threat at the Ovals with this kind of action.

It has been June since R.J. Johnson made the podium, but this week he was in a new, to him, orange car and he hammered it home in third. He drives the Arizona Race Mart – Weiler Farms, Ellis, Pro Flyer # 15. Johnson has been quiet since a crash took his favored car to the trash bin in July. He was second in his heat and started on the pole of the main to make this a great day with his 3rd place finish. The Rookie of the year will be looking to win the Wagsdash this coming week.

Showtime Danny Sheridan did it again. He started 22nd in the main event after winning his heat and missed the scramble on the opening lap and charged his way to 4th at the end. Charles Davis Jr was fifth after leading the opening nine laps. His teammate Super Rickie Gaunt took a provisional start when he failed to transfer form the semi, started 23rd and came in 7th on a fine run.

What was intended to be the Oval Nationals tune-up race was more like a scrambles event as the green flag was followed by a 14 car pile up coming around turn four on the start. The top three had major surgery to do on their cars, plus many more were involved and made hasty repairs. It all started when a car got totally sideways and splat, red flag and away we go to bolt-on repair land. The crew’s of the three point leaders,Damion Gardner, Cory Kruseman and Rip Williams, had their hands full and all three experienced additional major problems keeping them off the podium. Bobby Cody was caught in the melee and was one of two cars that did not restart.

Damion would restart the little red sucker for the line-up, but the drive train gave up before he could make a warm up lap and his car was done. The crew quickly signaled his buddy Kevin Urton to stop. They put Damion in the bigger roomier cockpit, where he was barely visible from the stands, and he restarted to get 13th instead of last. It was the first night for a brand new car for Urton, so it wasn’t easy for either. Damion had his record 20th fast time and still leads the points by 59, so all is not bad.

Rip was charging hard after his restart from the back, but late in the race the gas pedal linkage broke and he idled to the end, finishing 16th and dropping to third in the points standings. Before that he won his heat and started 4th on the first start of the main.

Cory had a nightmare of passing on his plate this week. He started 8th on the original start and 12th after the major repairs before a lap got in. He rolled up to 7th before another red flag flew. An inadvertent jack under the car sent him to the back, again, and he put on another dazzling show to get 6th at the end. He moved into second in points, only 59 behind the Demon.

Two motors left the pits in the back of a pickup truck this week, a result of motor breakage. Steve Ostling had only a few minutes with the motor running before his Harlan Willis owned # 45 broke what they think was a camshaft. Mike Spencer was second in the dash and was ready to start in the third row of the main when he pushed off and something broke. Both teams pulled the motors immediately to get them on the way to the repair shop and loaded empty sprinters back in their trailers.

Rodney Argo got his mount up on the wall in turn two and ended up on his head and done early in the main. Mike Kirby was running fine in his new black car until it started vibrating and not tracking well, so he pulled in to check it out for next week. Wait until you see the back-up car in yellow! Dan Hillberg had a nasty looking snap roll sideways flip for 4-1/2 revs in his heat, probably a 10, and was a little dizzy for a bit. Last year that endo would have earned him the Wagsbucks for the night and an automatic trip into the Wagsdash. We haven’t done Wagsbucks this year, but maybe it will come back next year. He still got his invite to the dash later.

And speaking of the Wagsdash, the line-up is more secure now that Steve Conrad qualified at Ventura this week and we drew for the balance of the field. That drawing was at the Wagtimes booth on Saturday night, and Hillberg was the sixth car drawn for his invite to the $2500 to win race coming up this week. The field is set with R.J. Johnson, Josh Williams, Matt Stewart, Nate Ziegler, Blake Miller, Dan Tedrick, Greg Bragg, Mark Heidenreich, and Steve Conrad already in. Now the drawing puts the first seven of the following list in to make the 16 car field. Those not in will be the alternates, in the order drawn, if someone can’t make it. They are: Adam Mitchell, Ryan Devitt, Bobby Cody, Rick Becker, Alan Ballard, Dan Hillberg and Tom Stansberry officially in, with alternates David Cardey, Eric Severson, Randy Waitman, Brandon Springstead, Jeremy Ellerston, Ronnie Case, Danny Ebberts, J Hicks, Jimmy Thornell, Nadine Keller, Jimmy Crawford and Jordan Hermansader. I need a few cars to challenge the defending champions “The Gardner Boys” as they say they will break the record they set last year. Can anyone stop them? Every one needs to get their early to unload and get ready for the fun.

One more reminder, Parnelli Jones will be the Grand Marshal of the 15th annual Wagsdash on Saturday October 29th at Ventura Raceway. The Mrs Wags Chili Feed starts at noon with a silent auction, a sexy driver contest, a pit stop contest during the afternoon. The regular night of USC/CRA racing follows with the main event paying at least $7500 to win, still collecting, and then topped off with the 15 lap Wagsdash and it will be great racing all night. The Big Dawg Pot is up to $5,000 on the way to $10,000 so bring your money and add to the purse by getting involved with the fund raisers.

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 22, 2005 ¬ Perris, California ¬ Perris Auto Speedway

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-16.498; 2. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-16.632; 3. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-16.713; 4. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-16.740; 5. Seth Wilson, 17, Racing Optics-16.820; 6. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK/Leffler-16.820; 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Alexander-16.829; 8. Bobby Cody, 92, Sertich-16.855; 9. Kevin Urton, 51, Urton-16.860; 10. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-16.875; 11. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-16.947; 12. J. Hicks, 66, Miller-16.983; 13. Josh Wise, 7, Priestley-17.003; 14. Charles Davis Jr., 8A, Smiley-17.011; 15. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-17.026; 16. Michael Trimble, 15T, CTR-17.051; 17. R.J. Johnson, 15AZ, Martin-17.086; 18. Alan Balalrd, 97, Ballard-17.110; 19. Wally Pankratz, 3x, Jory-17.140; 20. Troy Rutherford, 5, Keller-17.175; 21. Bill Rose, 11, Wilkerson-17.198; 22. Tony Jones, 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-17.200; 23. Dan Hillberg, 82, Hillberg-17.205; 24. Ryan Devitt, 35R, Blenkarn-17.215; 25. Greg Bragg, 33, Blair-17.245; 26. Davey Pombo, 3P, Pombo-17.289; 27. Mike Kirby, 96, Kirby-17.293; 28. Josh York, 25N, York-17.342; 29. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-17.415; 30. Josh Williams, 34, Williams-17.490; 31. Robert Ellis, 43, Ellis-17.530; 32. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-17.569; 33. Mark Heidenreich, 22, Heidenreich-17.607; 34. Danny Ebberts, 77, Acosta-17.610; 35. Tyler Spath, 35, Spath-17.618; 36. Evan Suggs, 33E, Suggs-17.769; 37. Cal Smith, 23, Bellegante-17.807; 38. Jim Giardina, 58, Giardina-17.942; 39. Gene Manhire, 4x, Kittle-17.947; 40. Nadine Keller, 5x, Keller-17.967; 41. Dwight Cheney, 42, Cheney-18.135; 42. Peter Murphy, 48x, Sander-21.078; 43. Brandon Thomson, 24, Thomson-18.311; 44. Randy Waitman, 64, Waitman-18.380; 45. Matt Stewart, 85, Stewart-19.003; 46. Jeremy Ellerston, 98, Ellerston-19.477; 47. Nate Ziegler, 8N, Ziegler-19.732; 48. James Evans, 76, Evans-21.078; 49. Jim Thomson, 91, Thomson-NT; 50. Rick Williams, 6, Williams-NT; 51. Steve Ostling, 45, Willis-NT.

TROPHY DASH: (3 laps) 1. Ford, 2. Spencer, 3. Gardner, 4. Kruseman. :51.26

CONSOLATION (8 laps) 1. Spath, 2. Ebberts, 3. Heidenreich, 4. Keller, 5. Smith, 6. Ellerston, 7. Waitman, 8. Suggs, 9. Ziegler, 10. B.Thomson, 3:35.65

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bragg, 2. Johnson, 3. Wise, 4. Urton, 5. Wilson, 6. Gardner, 7. Spath, 8. Ellis, 9. Rose. NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kruseman, 2. Pombo, 3. Ballard, 4. Jones, 5. Argo, 6. Gaunt, 7. Kaeding, 8. Stansberry, 9. Ebberts. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. R.Williams, 2. Ford, 3. Kirby, 4. Davis, 5. J.Williams, 6. Coons, 7. Hillberg, 8. Pankratz, 9. Heidenreich. 2:55.09

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Sheridan, 2. York, 3. Devitt, 4. Spencer, 5. Cody, 6. Rutherford, 7. Trimble, 8. Hicks, 9. Keller. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Wilson, 3. Kaeding, 4. Coons, 5. Cody, 6. Argo, 7. Gaunt, 8. Rose, 9. Rutherford, 10. Ebberts, 11. Hicks, 12. Stansberry, 13. Trimble, 14. Spath, 15. Heidenreich, 16. Ellis, 17. Keller, 18. J.Williams, 19. Pankratz, 20. Hillberg. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Josh Ford, 2. Tony Jones, 3. R.J. Johnson, 4. Danny Sheridan, 5. Charles Davis Jr., 6. Cory Kruseman, 7. Rickie Gaunt, 8. Josh Wise, 9. Bud Kaeding, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Ryan Devitt, 12. Kevin Urton/Damion Gardner (#51), 13. Jason York, 14. Alan Ballard, 15. Seth Wilson, 16. Rip Williams, 17. Greg Bragg, 18. Davey Pombo, 19. Mike Kirby, 20. Rodney Argo, 21. Mike Spencer, 22. Damion Gardner (#50), 23. Bobby Cody. NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-9 Davis, Laps 10-17 Johnson, Laps 18-30 Ford.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Gardner-1,695; 2-Kruseman-1,636; 3-R.Williams-1,611; 4-Kirby-1,465; 5. Davis-1,297; 6-Gaunt-1,223; 7-Spencer-1,136; 8-Ford-1,046; 9-Sheridan-935; 10-Wilson-908.

NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACES: October 29 - Ventura (CA) Raceway

Wagsworld Back Issues: