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What a night at the PAS! From the sensational Legends of Ascot overflow opening crowd celebration in Heritage Hall, then on to the VRA main event that saw Richard McCormick come back to narrowly beat Mike Kirby, followed by the SCRA main event winner Tony Jones grabbing the victory in the last few feet, it was an awesome day at the PAS! Don’t know if the packed house saw all I saw, but I am still buzzing over so much input I can’t get it all out! The day event was a delight and the night provided really great racing from start to finish.

Mrs Wags pics are here. Click now.

Tony “Cowboy” Jones waited all year for this podium landing and he had to earn it by coming from a half a lap behind. He warmed up with a 4th place finish in his heat and followed that up with a 4th in the JE Pistons Passing Masters Dash. As soon as the feature started, and Rip Williams took off to a healthy lead, the Cowboy ran his preferred “Chuck Gurney styled Rim Rider” line for 30 laps and never faltered. Driving the Ferreira Dairy, Standard Feeding, VGI Graphics, # 2 Maxim, Tony just cranked it up high while chasing the Ripper thru traffic until the very last lap. There, he surged even with the leader and ultimately claimed the win by inches at the checkered flag. It has been a long year for the young lion, but it looks like he will be a player again for the big bucks coming up. One more big smile epidemic broke out and rocked another pit after a long wait for a win!

Rip Williams looked like a sure winner this week as he won his heat and the dash before lining up on the pole in his John Jory Corp, AMA Plastics, Tomarco Fasteners # 3, Stinger car. He pulled away from a fast Troy Rutherford and set out to win his 62nd SCRA race as he danced thru the heavy traffic with ease utilizing the low groove all the way around the track. It wasn’t until late in the race that Jones had a look at him, and when it came down to winning time, Rip gave it all he had and came up just inches short. Rip has 30 CRA victories to go with his 61 SCRA wins, so is just a few shy of Ron Shuman’s 95 total for the combined two. He has at least seven or eight other sprint victories so he figures he will reach the 100 mark with a few more.

When Troy Rutherford started on the front row of the main event, he was in a good position to win in Mark Priestley’s, Roy Miller Freight Lines, Sander, Vital Express, # 7. Rambo reported they missed the set-up, but he still grabbed third comfortably ahead of the Gasman Richard Griffin on a great drive. The point leader ran a quiet 4th this week as he continues to add those points up for another championship that is about there. He is 131 points ahead of Rambo and time is slipping away.

Josh Ford set fast time with the only 16 second time of the night at 16.995, but said he didn’t have a great night later with 14th in the main. I say not a great night because he was disappointed with his finish, but still leads the rookie points and did a good job. Speaking of rookie points, one of his chief competitors is young 16 year old Alan Ballard. This week Alan’s motor went way south, something about the innards becoming the outerds, and ended up driving the Rick Becker # 67 car. It was nice of Rick, but something went wrong with the car in the Semi and Alan dropped out. If his dad Ernie gets a motor in the next two weeks, he will be in the Wagsdash.

Bobby Graham was in the Glen Crossno # 38 this week with regular driver, Levi Jones, off at Terre Haute running with “that” club that had another event in conflict with the PAS last night at Irwindale. You might have thought with a week off by SCRA next week, “they” would have allowed the fans who wanted to see both open wheel shows to have that opportunity. Anyway, with my sermon over, Bobby did real well running 2nd in his heat and 5th in the main. Good job Bobby, bad job “that” other club.

Mark Hart finished 10th this week on his best drive in a while with SCRA. He has really stepped it up recently with some veteran driving. Seth Wilson seems to be using grandpa’s foot lately, as the grandson of a former Indy driver is running better and better each time out. Maybe he’s just trying to sell those thin tear off’s that everyone is buying. Regardless, he is an effective billboard with a strong 12th in the main after winning his heat race against Graham and the Cowboy.

On the down side of the night, Mike Kirby didn’t feel well when he came to the track this week and still drove both of Buzz’s cars with some good and not so good results. In the 360 he moved from his 10th starting spot to take the lead and pull away until a yellow created a restart with two laps to go. Then after a spirited battle, he was edged by Richard McCormick at the line. In the SCRA main Mike pulled in early with a problem and left the track not well at all.

Ron Didonato let Jack Dearmond Jr hot lap his 360 car early in the night, but about a half a lap is all the crank lasted before it let go. Jack was just trying to see how it felt and wasn’t planning to drive at all. He reported later he was feeling really good and was almost done with his recovery from the bad crash earlier in the year. Ron went on to finish 16th in the SCRA main.

Adam Mitchell was trying out the car he crashed late last year that now has a new front end clip on it. He qualified well in 5th, but finished 20th in the main. Later the crew reported they were scratching their heads in trying to make it work like the other car he has been running so well in. Jason York returned as promised from his Chico home to run non-wing again. He made the transfer from his heat to the main, but broke a rocker arm and finished 19th. He is trying to get off from his new job to come to the Oval Nationals, but doesn’t think that is likely.

Damion “the Demon” Gardner had a tough night. He was 2nd in his heat and started in the fifth row of the main. He rolled up to about 5th when he “encountered” another car and spun out. The restart allowed him to get back to 11th before the end. He remains in third place in the points chase, but will have to really crank it to move into 2nd.

Dean Thompson is in the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, Ca. He is in ICU after a serious heart problem on Sunday night. Cards can be sent to Dean at the hospital at 4101 Torrance Blvd., Torrance Ca. 90503. Wish him well!

Don Weaver and his side kick Belita Michnowicz, pulled off something that was much needed here in the southland this week. Don had a dream, no, not a baseball dream, but a racing dream, and he wanted to give the local racing scene a shot in the arm and showcase the history of local racing and specifically, Ascot history and the people from that era. It would be The Legends of Ascot, properly blessed by the Agajanian’s, and had the makings of something special for all. For two years he mulled it over in his head until it finally took shape. He wanted to have an event that would do many things for the racing community. To bring together the “old timers” and celebrate their glory years was key, but he added several other things. The event would be for at least 300 people, if he could talk that many into coming for a nominal fee, and he would provide a free program, hat pin and other significant items. In addition, they would induct five "Legends" into the Legends of Ascot Hall of Fame.

Don sold tickets to a motorcycle he purchased from his boss, Carroll Shelby, to help defray the costs. He and Belita then sold tickets to the event at many SCRA races and slowly it began to gather momentum. When he got to 500 paid admissions, it outgrew the original tent he was planning to rent at the Perris track. When it went over 600, Heritage Hall was invoked for the big day and the event closed to any more signups. By this time many who had passed on it before, were now wanting to go. Don & Belita enlisted a lot of help to get auction items, door prizes, raffle items and more to give the attendees something for their money in addition to seeing some very famous race people have a day of their own. Just being there was worth the price of admission.

I can report it was a tremendous success! Harrison Hall was stormed by the large crowd of people anxious to get in. They all enjoyed the very excellent catered food by the Perris concession people. They got to rub elbows with many of our racing heroes. They checked out a few outstanding antique sprinters lined up out front and had a warm and fun day before the nights racing began. Seeing Harry Schooler, Ray Sheetz, and Parnelli Jones get their induction awards and hearing their response to the honor plus having Allen Heath and J C Agajanian remembered was very special. And unless I miss my guess, those who signed up this year will get first choice at tickets for next year! There were very few of today’s stars there, but it wasn’t their day anyway. Congratulations to Don’s dream being a reality and to future years of success for his Legends of Ascot!

Well, it is only two weeks until the 13th annual Wagsdash. I still have plenty to do and yet, it will work out like always, but I need some cash! The purse is about $6500 currently, and I am working on improving it. My goal is $ 18,000, so we shall see. So that you can plan your involvement, here is the list of what’s happening during Wagsdash weekend, and if you have any questions, call me at 949-472-WAGS. 1) The Wagsdash T-shirt has a Halloween motif this year (boooooooo) and wait till you see it, but it goes to press this week, so if you want your name or business on it, act now. 2) If you have any auction items or cash donations let me know. Also the annual “cookie sale” needs some of your special treats. Call Julie at 310-222-8690 to get involved. Danny Pivoveroff gave me an autographed helmet he got at one of our auctions many years ago to help raise some more money off it! I will have some of the best photos you ever saw from photographers like Jim Fargo, Mike Arthur, DJ Renwick, David Wolf, Steve Lafond, Stan Hanson and many more for the auction. Dino Estrada will have one of his hot custom prints for us and Dale Frye will have a “special” new framed hot one he just completed for the Wagsdash. If you don’t get this one, he’ll have more for sale.

3) The weekend starts on Friday night at a place to be named later in Ventura, probably Cronies, with the usual fans and racers invited to get together. Plans are for a few racers to show and bring some race cars. 4) Saturday starts off at noon with Mrs Wags Chili Feed and everyone is welcome to the free lunch. 5) Three special events will go on during the chow time. The sexy driver contest, the pit stop contest and the display of the antique race cars right next to the midway. Of course, the cars and their owners will be on display all night, so be sure and go visit these works of art and talk with the owners. There will be an entrance to their area. The sexy driver contest has two special entrants, Nadine Keller and Kim Lewis, you better be there early for this one. And by the way, Wilda says she can’t wait for her lap dance.

The pit stop contest is a contest for the crews to do a little pit repair work under a time restraint. Defending champ’s are from Damion Gardner’s crew and will defend! Others expected to challenge are Mel Murphy, Steve Ostling, Cal Smith and a few more to be named later. 6) The auction and many other things we do continue to add to the nights Wagsdash purse, so everyone’s help is appreciated as always. 7) We will honor Walt James as our Grand Marshall this year for all the years he has given us in racing, from his driving days to his work with keeping the WRA going today. All this and the regular SCRA show with 40 plus cars and the 30 lap Wagsdash to end the night. Cory Kruseman will be running his Mopar # 21 that night so everyone can see his new Tony Stewart ride up close. It will be the best Wagsdash yet and I hope there are many more. Oh by the way, I need to borrow a few EZ-UP’s to protect the auction items like normal, as I forgot to get that chore done Saturday night.

So you can see, we will be busy. The drivers already qualified for the race due to some down moments are: Tom Wilhelm, Trevor Brilman, AJ Reyer, Bob Ferro, Brian Venard, Lance Gremett, Mel Murphy, Brian Stanfill, Dan Hillberg, Steve Venard, Jimmy Crawford, Seth Wilson, Tony Everhart, J Hicks, Cal Smith, Chris Tramel, Will Perkins, Mike Spencer and Alan Ballard. Tom and Lance will not be running, but Tom’s motor will be in Mel Murphy’s car. A FEATURE (30 Laps)
1. Tony Jones, 2. Rip Williams. 3. Troy Rutherford. 4. Richard Griffin, 5. Bobby Graham. 6. Steve Ostling. 7. Mike English. 8. Charles Davis, Jr. 9. Rickie Gaunt. 10. Marc Hart, 11. Damion Gardner. 12. Seth Wilson. 13. Jordan Hermansader. 14. Josh Ford. 15. Brian Venard. 16. Ron DiDonato. 17, Verne Sweeney. 18. Duane Marcus. 19. Jason York, 20, Adam Mitchell. 21. Bobby Cody. 22. Mike Kirby. Laps Led: Williams 1-29, Jones 30

SCRA Point Standings as of: 10/04/03
1. Richard Griffin 1948, 2. Troy Rutherford 1817, 3. Damion Gardner 1783, 4. Rip Williams 1641, 5. Mike Spencer 1193, 6. Steve Ostling 1151, 7. Rickie Gaunt 1040, 8. Tony Jones 987, 9. Josh Ford 952, 10. Mike English 950, 11. Cory Kruseman 868, 12. Adam Mitchell 823, 13. Levi Jones 807, 14. Alan Ballard 749, 15. Charles Davis, Jr 620, 16. Seth Wilson 616, 17. Verne Sweeney 575, 18. J.J. Yeley 552, 19. Brian Venard 515, 20. Jimmy Crawford 503.

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