WagsWorld text images



October 26, 2013

By Ken Wagner

On a bright and sunny “fair day”, when food wasn’t an issue with all the choices around the midway, and as the teams rolled out of the pits during the break searching for something more fattening than usual, it was a pause some could use from the tough day race attitude that has become common during the annual Perris fair event each year. When all the shoutin’ was done, David Cardey made history that only has one more chapter in it before his retirement at the end of the year from sprint car racing. The Tom and Laurie machine had it’s ups and downs as usual, but when it was all said and done, David was the one shouting at 10:30 PM when the checkered flag flew with him in the lead, but it wasn’t easy.

For my latest pics Click here to view. For Doug Allens quality photo's Click here to see.

This weekend I had some chores to do in LA as I went early on Friday to get er’ done. I hooked up with the Kittle crew at Randy’s work on Saturday for the ride to the races in total comfort. This has been a welcome part of my racing these past few years and I relish the welcome they give me each time I travel in the hauler with them, but sadly those days are about over as the team emptied out the race shop recently with no place to go and no money to go there with. It might be their swan song, but they would go out with a bang! Nevertheless, watching racing or a movie on the TV while reclining tastefully on the couch is the best way to go racing! An old movie was on the tube as we made the short hour trip to Perris. A quick stop to grab some pizza before pulling into the racetrack and parking next to the pole that has been home to the blue car for years. Saving a spot for the little red sucker was next as we chowed down and relaxed for a bit. I got my Mule moving around the pits as I took a few pics and visited with many. It was going to be interesting as Tony Jones was going to attempt a comeback in the # 18 and he was raring to go. His wife came with him so her smile was sure to encourage the crew to get it right. The brand new Maxim was rolled out of the trailer as Paul Dean and the rest went to work. Ahhh, but could it get any better?? That is a good question.

As fair days go, the day started early with wheel packing and then qualifying happened starting at noon, and yes the sun is still baking at that time on the racetrack, but the track prep was good all day and night because of how hard Don Kazarian and his boys work the dirt relentlessly for this annual split show event. No surprise for fast time as Sizzlin’ Nic Faas beat the 5 time champ Mike Spencer by 2 ticks of the clock (15.997 to 15.999) as they both flirted with a new track record. With 30 other cars vying for good spots, it was a frantic afternoon of qualifying, but we got thru it with only one crash! Tony Jones was making a return to the scene of some of his best runs as he took the brand new Kittle Motor Sports # 18 entry into the wall hard in turn one as a rut flipped him up to the top of the wall where he slid down on the track to a stop and climbed out a little woozy. Tony later said the car was soooooo good, he thought he would set a new record, But alas, the often absent crew chief Randy Shiosaki flew in from Nashville to help the crew of the little blue bugger, only to see them spend the time rolling out the backup car for the heats. I got a great shot of it as I was up on the top of the concession stand where I am always welcome.

Before the break would be the heats and they looked ready. In the first one, fast timer Nic Faas was off and running behind teammate Damion Gardner as they slipped up thru the pack to overtake early leader Marcus Niemela. After Marcus got wide in turn 4 on lap 9 and came to a stop, there was a restart with the two silver bullets leading the way. Damion had the lead and Nic made his signature slider going into turn four to take the first heat in a photo finish. Awesome!

In the second heat Danny Faria took 3 laps to overtake Kenny Perkins for the lead and go on to win as Kenny smoked it back to the pits with a motor problem this week. The third heat saw Brody Roa and David Cardey batting it out up thru the pack with Cardey getting there first, but Brody getting a little help from a lap car to get by for the win. In the last heat David Bezio and Ronnie Gardner started side by side in the 4th row and the battle was on at the green. They passed each other several times until Ronnie “G” put a slider on Bezio and took his first heat race win of the year. Of course he has won 12 midget races this season, but only gets to the 410 world occasionally.

Now comes the hard part, the 4 hour intermission! Myself, I am not very interested in fair walking any more, but I headed out with the Kittle crew to watch them eat. A pinks hot dog, some cotton candy, a corn dog or two and some ice cream were the favorites as we wandered around with eyes wide open until it was time to head back to the trailer to cool off.

When it was again racetime, and the track had been reworked, I headed up to the grandstands to sit and visit with the big crowd of Wagtimer’s and we were ready to go when the National Anthem was sung by Bobby just like normal. There would be a special 4 lap dash with $500 to the winner in honor of the last year for the soon to be retired David Cardey who notched 9 CRA wins in his sprint car driving history with the first here at Perris on September 1, 2007. His only CRA win away from Perris was at Petaluma on June 20, 2009. Among those wins were two big races with the Salute to Indy in 2010 and the Firecracker 30 the same season. In addition he is the point leader in the new URA and has two unlimited wins there, one at Victorville and one at Orange Show in San Bernardino! David also won some open shows at Victorville in Don Blair’s car in years past. The Cardey Dash was inverted with Ronnie Gardner taking it from the pole quickly for the win!

The semi had a little excitement as Tony Jones would start last in the 16 car field and amaze the crowd by surging to the lead after a couple of years away from us. He was the story as Austin Williams tried to reel him in to no avail and Tobey Sampson took the last spot on the last lap with a good move on Hub Cap Mike Collins. His Frankenstein # 82 was having some smoking problems near the end, so he planned to start the main and pull in so his motor could get refreshed soon.

Time to get started as the main event line-up would have Bazio and Cardey on the front row, with Gaunt and Damion next, then Ronnie G and Roa next with Spencer and Faas in the 4th row. I couldn’t wait, but it was now showtime and the cotton candy was making my stomach upset! Tony Jones would still be on the back row as he didn’t get a qualifying lap in, but he would be a show.

At the green Bazio took the lead as Cardey got sideways and spun out, just taping the wall. No apparent damage to the Moosemobile, but they looked it over and sent him to the back with Jones waiting for their adventure. The next restart saw Super Rickie Gaunt take the lead and head out to a nice lead as Damion Gardner swooped in behind him. Ronnie “G” took third as lap 5 ended with Austin Williams clipping the 4th turn wall and getting upside down to be the first car out.

As they lined up for the restart, Damion’s tire was going flat, but he stayed out there too long and when he finally went in, they left without him. The restart went on and Rickie was leading from the point with Ronnie G, and now Matt Mitchell pushing him. In the back Cardey was 15th with “Cowboy Jones” 16th as they were on the move.

The top three added Spencer and the Ripper behind them as we neared half way, but Bud Kaeding, who had replaced a tire on lap 5 and was up to 10th, ran over a wheel and backed it upside down into turn three. The lap 16 restart would see Super Rickie leading Ronnie G for a half a lap before the # 93 red, white and blue sprinter drove around on the outside in turn 4 for the lead. Cardey and Jones were now in 5th and 6th behind Gaunt, Mitchell, Spencer and Ripper as Rickie’s right front tire was going down.

Ronnie was pulling away from Matt as Spencer put a move on him for second and succeeded to head forward. Meanwhile, Rickie stalled in the middle of the track long enough for those behind to do a Chinese fire drill maneuver that put Cardey in second followed by Mitchell, Spencer and Jones. Rickie managed to get off the track as lap 23 went by. With 5 laps to go A J Bender and Cody Swanson got together and that left both pointing backwards and a yellow came out.

Ronnie led the last restart with Cardey, Spencer, Mitchell and Jones following. With a lap to go it was getting crazy as Ronnie and Cardey swapped the lead several times with Ronnie up high and Cardey down low as the crossed the start/finish line with a wheel length separating them each time. Going under the white flag Ronnie was leading and dove low to block David, but the Moosemobile pilot went to the top and pulled even with the # 93 going down the back stretch. Also right behind them was Mitchell who was trying his patented slider that put him right on Ronnie’s tail as they went into turn three.

Without seeing the tape it was hard to tell who did what to who as they blasted out of turn four, but all three had a piece of the lead somewhere in the last corner with Cardey a little behind on top and Ronnie in the middle just behind the bottom feeder Mitchell. As they neared the finish line The Moosemobile got the bite and came by both as the checkered came out with David winning by a wheel and second too close to call with Scott Deloisio’s yell of Cardey wins with Ronnie G and Mitchell in a dead heat! Later Ronnie got the nod for 2nd by viewing the tape, but the fair day race was the bomb! I love a good race.

If you missed this one, well life is just fun sometimes! By my account, it could have been April 1st, but it wasn’t and I just was too bored to let the week go by without a race! And below is how it would have gone in my minds eye, maybe. If you thought they had a race without you, the joke’s on you, but more likely most of you wouldn’t have been there anyway, get the point. I made it all up, GOTCHA!

Only 2 more days left at the PAS for CRA and you’re all invited to see the season ending Oval Nationals. Try putting it on your schedule! Oh, quit smiling and see ya at Tulare next for me on October 17 for the non-wing portion and you won’t be disappointed if you make it out! Stay for the two days of Wing racing and again, you won’t be disappointed as the main on Saturday will be inverted by points earned both nights, so it’s a come from the back racing experience you won’t believe! See you there. Bring your change, green stuff or check to me for the Wagtimes/Lafond Hard Charger Award to BE presented at The Ovals on Saturday night.

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-15.997; 2. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-15.999; 3. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.178; 4. Ronnie Gardner, 7, Gardner-16.244; 5. Damion Gardner, 4a, Alexander-16.235; 6. Rickie Gaunt, 66, Miller-16.308; 7. David Cardey, 92, Sertich-16.310; 8. David Bezio, 37x, Bezio-16.427; 9. Greg Alexander, 72, Tyler-16.454; 10. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-16.469; 11. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.488; 12. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-16.494; 13. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.527; 14. Danny Faria Jr., 17v, Faria-16.605; 15. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-16.684; 16. John Aden, 7a, Aden-16.684; 17. Seth Wilson, 1x, Wilson-16.745; 18. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.782; 19Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.803; 20. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-16.845; 21. Cody Swanson, 14, Springstead-16.863; 22. John Bluntach, 58, Bluntach-16.895; 23. Jimmy Crawford, 3x, Crawford-16.965; 24. Toby Sampson, 82, Sampson-16.975; 25. Mike Collins, 04, Collins-16.994; 26. Kenny Perkins, 0k, Perkins – 16.995; 27. Don Gansen, 7G, Gansen – 17.000; 28. Jerry Welton, 62, Welton – 17010; 29. Markus Niemela, 81, Watt-17.123; 30. Matt Stewart, 27, Stewart – 17125; 31. Tony Jones, 18, Kittle -NT. 32; Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-NT

Heat 1: (10 laps) 1. Nic Faas, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Greg Alexander, 4. Cody Williams, 5. Seth Wilson, 6. Cody Swanson, 7. Mike Collins, 8. Marcus Niemela.

Heat 2: (10 laps) 1. Danny Faria Jr, 2, Rickie Gaunt, 3. Rip Williams,4. Mike Spencer, 5. Richard Vander Weerd, 6. Kenny Perkins, 7. Johnny Bluntach, 8. Matt Stewart.

Heat 3: (10 laps) 1. Brody Roa, 2. David Cardey, 3. Matt Mitchell, 4. Bud Kaeding, 5. Austin Williams, 6. Jimmy Crawford, 7. Don Gansen, 8. Tony Jones.

Heat 4: (10 laps) 1. Ronnie Gardner, 2. David Bezio, 3. Jace Vander Weerd, 4. A J Bender, 5. John Aden, 6. Toby Sampson, 7. Jerry Welton, 8. Chrs Gansen.

Semi: (12 Laps) 1. Tony Jones, 2. Austin Williams, 3. Seth Wilson, 4. Cody Swanson, 5. Richard Vander Weerd, 6. Tobey Sampson, 7. Mike Collins, 8. Marcus Niemela, 9. Johnny Bluntach, 10. Matt Stewart, 11. Jimmy Crawford, 12. Don Gansen, 13. John Aden, 14. Matt Stewart, 15. Jerry Welton, 16. Chris Gansen.

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. David Cardey, 2. Ronnie Gardner, 3. Matt Mitchell, 4. Mike Spencer, 5. Tony Jones, 6. Rip Williams, 7. Brody Roa, 8. Greg Alexander, 9. Cody Williams, 10. Nic Faas, 11. Richard Vander Weerd, 12 Jace Vander Weerd, 13. Seth Wilson, 14. Danny Faria Jr., 15. Jake Swanson, 16. David Bezio, 17. A.J. Bender, 18. Cody Swanson, 19. Bud Kaeding, 20. Damion Gardner, 21. Austin Williams, 22. Tobey Sampson. NT

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1,107, 2-Faas-1,008, 3-Spencer-960, 4-Kaeding-753, 5-Mitchell-745, 6-C.Williams-708, 7-A.Williams-692, 8-Roa-659, 9-Ryan Bernal-551, 10-R.Vander Weerd-447.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: October 25-26 – Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park

Wagsworld Back Issues: