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October 27, 2012

By Ken Wagner

Would you believe a local 360 driver won the big bucks at the 12th Annual Parker Store Hall of Fame Classic? Would you believe there was only one pass for the lead in two 30 lap features over the weekend? Would you believe only 7 CRA drivers and 8 CRA cars made the trip? Would you believe 6 CRA drivers were advertised but didn’t make the trip? Would you believe 12 USAC cars made the tow out from Indiana? Would you believe the Semi on Friday was the raciest event of the weekend? Would you believe that Lealand McSpadden was the Grand Marshal with the biggest smile there? Would you believe the gathering of old timers and new inductee’s signing autographs out front was the warmest gathering of the weekend? Would you believe any of this? Believe it, it’s all true!

Canyon Hall of Fame Friday Click here to view. Canyon Hall of Fame Saturday Click here to view. For Steve Stroud's Arizona Racing Hall of Fame tour Click here to view. For Doug Allen's work Click here to view those.

Double D Mike Martin took the one advantage he had over the baddest of the traditional drivers in the house and ran 30 laps non-stop to win hands down with no one laying a bumper on him. He took the only groove that he claimed on the opening start and stayed in it without making a mistake and beat the bad boys of our racing with his 360 motored # 16 sprinter. What a hoot! With a smooth slick surface thwarting the rest of the field, he had no problems on every restart and pulled away for his first ever USAC/CRA win and probably the biggest payday in his career. Taking his fast little motor to the front looked easy and watching the big 410’s chase was interesting and probably frustrating to those following him. What can I say, no one expected that he would do the deed this weekend. On Friday he was 13th in the feature after qualifying 30th. Saturday was different as he qualified 12th and was 4th in his heat to start on the pole where he took it from there! Can you believe it?

How Dave Darland passed his way from 3rd to 1st to win the prelim was amazing on Friday! There was no top groove working and only patience and skill made it work for the man who still can drive these things! He was like a knife sliding thru warm bread and once he got the lead, he was gone! Even Bryan Clauson couldn’t reel him in. Kevin Thomas Jr had the lead for 17 laps until Double D got by him.

Robert Ballou towed his own car on an open trailer to race the last two weekends with us. He even got a little fan $upport to help with gas and was excited to be here. He said he would go on to California depending on how things went. A fifth on Friday and runner-up Saturday should help, if the pay window is open now, and he should be able to run the Oval Nationals now. He held off a fast green # 71 car to the end Saturday night.

Damion Gardner is glad to be back in California because it signals the end of the long Indiana year and will allow him to get working on 2013 at home. Damion was third quick both nights and ran 10th the first night using the “going nowhere hereboss” outside groove that had a lot of customers to no avail. On Saturday he started in the third row and quickly ran up to third where he parked it in place the rest of the night with no passing for him from there. Jon Stanbrough had a tough weekend where on Friday he ran 13th after running 2nd in his heat. Saturday he qualified 27th and couldn’t transfer in his heat or the semi to the big main. He took a provisional and started 23rd. He rolled it up to 5th at the checkered flag with the hard charger run of the weekend and he did it up top where no one had gone successfully all weekend.

Five time CRA Champion Mike Spencer set a new track record on Friday and ran 4th in the main. That would be his best effort in this weekend. On Saturday Bryan Clauson lowered the record to 13.418, and that after Damion and Darland had lowered it before him. Spencer missed the transfer in his heat and was later mangled in an incident in the Semi, so he missed the main for the first time in I don’t know when. He later said he was just along for the ride when several cars whacked him and one crashed over him, before he hit the showers.

Bad things happen to good people, as the above paragraph shows us. Brody Roa got tangled up with another car and nailed a big white tire on Friday. It hurt the car bad and on Saturday he qualified 5th, missed his transfer and got the last transfer in the Semi. He was 12th after all that. Chase Stockon blew his motor on Friday and brought out a different car Saturday and ran 21st. Charles Davis Jr had a rough time with a 15th in the prelim and 22nd in the finale when he got whacked hard in the feature. Cory Kruseman was 11th the first night and got into a bad crash on the second one. His helmet was broken on the lower front part and it was reported he got his bell rung as his crew guessed he hit the steering wheel with his helmet.

Jeremy Sherman drove the Kittle # 18 car and was very entertaining in the opening night Semi as he came from midpack to battle for the lead and win the 12 lapper in the best race of the weekend to me. His feature experiences were 19th and 13th with the track doing him no favors like most out there. Driving a car he built and sells was probably fun for him.

Being seated in the “suites” was interesting as no wind or dust bothered me for two nights as I nursed a nasty head cold. The view is good and the food and drink service was nice. It was like being in a bar and watching racing on a big wide screen TV, but the motor noise was not really muffled that much so it was still live. I’d do it again, especially if it were hot because the room had air-conditioning.

We spent the week at the Ellis Hacienda with two people who have become very dear to us over the years, Joe and Ellen. The Manzy trips were always special, but now we only get over there about twice a year as we miss Manzanita!!! We arrived early on Wednesday so we could go to the grand opening of Steve Stroud’s Arizona Racing Hall of Fame. That was really a big surprise as Steve Stroud did race fans proud with one of the nicest racing museum’s I have ever seen. Inside a large building with a big front room and big back room, a movie theater with a bar, and a Racers Advantage sales room with all kinds of race gear including helmets, gloves, driver suits, t-shirts and so on, it was very special to all who attended.

When we arrived, parking was in the back, and we entered by the rear door and were greeted by many familiar faces including Mark & Bethany Thrasher at the sign in desk. I was immediately enthralled and headed off to take my pictures of the totally decorated walls and displays so thoughtfully placed everywhere. Off I went to visit with many and take tons of pics on what was unfolding before my very eyes. It was magnificent and makes me want to help create a California Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, I have neither the money nor connections to get the job done, nor the influence, but hopes for something like this in So Cal still dances in my head.

Steve himself caught me and took me to show me something that really, really humbled me. One of my well used polka dot hats was enshrined under glass next to a picture of future Hall of Famer Richard Griffin and myself seated in my Mule. My Mule made the hall of fame, WOW! When Steve asked for my crazy racing hat from me, I was flattered, shocked and surprised big time. When I saw it in his museum, I wanted to not be too emotionally because it’s just a hat. I am proud for all that has happened to me in my racing life, and seeing that wild hat there representing, was unbelievable. Thank you.

There were some famous cars showcased including a Richard Griffin driven red # 70 sprinter, a Dave Manes Bellville winner midget, an outlaw sprinter from Donny Shautz, a Tony Stewart driven pavement car, a Denise Bennett driven Quarter Midget and much more. Driver suits from Lealand McSpadden and Rickie Gaunt were there, and more. Helmets from many famous drivers and pictures and posters mounted with care everywhere. It is a must see the next time you are in Phoenix!

The last gasp Wags event comes this weekend at the Oval Nationals with the Wagtimes/Lafond Hard Charger Award both nights. A large 1.75 bottle of specially labeled Crown Royal will be awarded both nights to the hard charger who passes the most cars from his line-up announced position on the grid. We have nearly $2000 at this point to pass on to the local CRA racers. There will be a booth set up to collect more. Bring your change, your cash or even a check if you have to, and we will add to the cash awards.


October 26, 2012 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park - Parker Stores “Hall of Fame Classic”

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.545; 2. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byrum-13.583; 3. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.703; 4. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-13.719; 5. Bryan Clauson, 7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.739; 6. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-13.783; 7. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, Black Jack-13.854; 8. Thomas Meseraull, 5x, Baldwin-13.914; 9. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.931; 10. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-13.966; 11. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-13.984; 12. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-14.007; 13. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Leer-14.040; 14. Bruce St. James, 7k, St. James-14.042; 15. Cory Kruseman, 7x, Priestley-14.043; 16. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-14.046; 17. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-14.060; 18. Charles Davis Jr., 4G, Cook-14.111; 19. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-14.179; 20. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-14.200; 21. Ronnie Clark, 6, Clark-14.231; 22. Chris Windom, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-14.238; 23. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-14.250; 24. Casey Shuman, 2a, Yeley-14.312; 25. Wes McIntyre, 5, Baldwin-14.321; 26. Jeremy Sherman, 18, Kittle-14.339; 27. Josh Pelkey, 4jr, Regals-14.405; 28. Tom Ogle, 48, Ogle-14.543; 29. Dalton Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-14.581; 30. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.661; 31. Stevie Sussex, 1, Sussex-14.729; 32. Michael Dayney, 3D, Dayney-15.242.

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Hines, 4. McIntyre, 5. Spencer, 6. Clark, 7. C.Williams, 8. Gabbard. 1:53.87

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Davis, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Darland, 5. Faas, 6. St. James, 7. Martin, 8. Sherman. 1:53.54

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Johnson, 3. Gardner, 4. A.Williams, 5. Kruseman, 6. Hodges, 7. Sussex, 8. Pelkey. 1:55.52

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Stockon, 3. Roa, 4. Ballou, 5. R.Williams, 6. Shuman, 7. Ogle, 8. Dayney. 1:55.45

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Sherman, 2. Spencer, 3. Faas, 4. Hodges, 5. R.Williams, 6. Kruseman, 7. St. James, 8. Shuman, 9. Pelkey, 10. Ogle, 11. Clark, 12. Gabbard, 13. Martin, 14. Dayney, 15. Sussex, 18. C.Williams. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Bryan Clauson, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Mike Spencer, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Thomas Meseraull, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Josh Hodges, 10. Damion Gardner, 11. Cory Kruseman, 12. Chase Stockon, 13. Jon Stanbrough, 14. R.J. Johnson, 15. Charles Davis Jr., 16. Rip Williams, 17. Nic Faas, 18. Wes McIntyre, 19. Jeremy Sherman, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Austin Williams, 22. Brody Roa, 23. Cody Williams. NT ----------------------------

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-17 Thomas, Laps 18-30 Darland.

NEW AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,942, 2-Clauson-1,920, 3-Stanbrough-1,852, 4-Hines-1,735, 5-Gardner-1,669, 6-Stockon-1,629, 7-Levi Jones-1,615, 8-Ballou-1,600, 9-Schuerenberg-1,554, 10-Thomas-1,513. NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Spencer-1,292, 2-Faas-921, 3-Roa-900, 4-Ryan Bernal-816, 5-R.Williams-814, 6-A.Williams-775, 7-Kruseman-724, 8-C.Williams-619, 9-David Cardey-465, 10-Matt Mitchell-461.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: October 27 – Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park - Parker Stores “Hall of Fame Classic” October 27, 2012 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park – Parker Stores “Hall of Fame Classic”

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bryan Clauson, 7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.418; 2. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-13.535; 3. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.542; 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byrum-13.595; 5. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-13.686; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-13.736; 7. Charles Davis Jr., 4G, Cook-13.778; 8. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.808; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, Black Jack-13.811; 10. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-13.861; 11. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-13.896; 12. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-13.914; 13. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-13.960; 14. Chris Windom, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.976; 15. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.978; 16. Thomas Meseraull, 5x, Baldwin-13.995; 17. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-14.029; 18. Wes McIntyre, 5, Baldwin-14.085; 19. Cory Kruseman, 7x, Priestley-14.085; 20. Dalten Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-14.093; 21. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-14.127; 22. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-14.208; 23. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.223; 24. Jeremy Sherman, 18, Kittle-14.424; 25. Tom Ogle, 48, Ogle-14.442; 26. Ronnie Clark, 6, Clark-14.464; 27. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Leer-14.503; 28. Bruce St. James, 7k, St. James-14.614; 29. Stevie Sussex, 1, Sussex-14.712; 30. Josh Pelkey, 4jr, Regals-14.896.

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. A.Williams, 2. C.Williams, 3. Clauson, 4. Johnson, 5. Roa, 6. Thomas, 7. Sussex, 8. Ogle. 1:51.72

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. McIntyre, 2. Faas, 3. R.Williams, 4. Windom, 5. Darland, 6. Clark, 7. Stockon, 8. Pelkey. 1:51.65

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hodges, 2. Hines, 3. Ballou, 4. Gardner, 5. Davis, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Kruseman. 1:51.97

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Gabbard, 2. Sherman, 3. Meseraull, 4. Martin, 5. Schuerenberg, 6. Spencer, 7. St. James. 1:52.97

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Schuerenberg2. Stockon, 3. Thomas, 4. Darland, 5. Davis, 6. Roa, 7. Stanbrough, 8. Clark, 9. Ogle, 10. St. James, 11. Sussex, 12. Spencer, 13. Kruseman, 14. Pelkey. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Mike Martin, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. Rip Williams, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Tracy Hines, 10. R.J. Jo8hnson, 11. Nic Faas, 12. Brody Roa, 13. Jeremy Sherman, 14. Wes McIntyre, 15. Josh Hodges, 16. Chris Windom, 17. Dave Darland, 18. Austin Williams, 19. Dalten Gabbard, 20. Cody Williams, 21. Chase Stockon, 22. Charles Davis Jr., 23. Kevin Thomas Jr. NT

**Kruseman & Pelkey flipped during the semi. Darland flopped during the feature. Davis flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Martin.

NEW AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Clauson-1.974, 2-Darland-1,967, 3-Stanbrough-1,901, 4-Hines-1,778, 5-Gardner-1,732, 6-Ballou-1,663, 7-Stockon-1,646, 8-Levi Jones-1,615, 9-Schuerenberg-1,612, 10-Thomas-1,528. NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Spencer-1,293, 2-Faas-959, 3-Roa-932, 4-R.Williams-865, 5-Ryan Bernal-816, 6-A.Williams-800, 7-Kruseman-725, 8-C.Williams-639, 9-David Cardey-465, 10-Matt Mitchell-461.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: November 2 – Perris (CA) Auto Speedway – “Budweiser Oval Nationals”

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