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There is a lot of recent news I wish to comment on this week as the 17th annual Chili Bowl ended with disappointing finish for the Kruser and his fans as the sunny southern California weather is hot! I didn't make the trip to Tulsa, but got lots of feedback from many who did, and watched the replay of it on Sunday morning. It is "the" midget race of the year to me so it was too bad I missed it. The large crowds and sometimes toxic fumes are still a big part of the event I hear, but $45 seems a bit pricey to me for the Saturday night finale. I can't believe what the great race has become, and look forward to going next year.

My hats off to Dan Boorse, who must have had some help in the cockpit, as he overcame what might have been a line-up blip to pass two Mopar guys going for the $10,000 bonus to win this race. After running the bottom as the Kruser flew away on the top, Dan made an adjustment with five laps to go and made it pay off at the finish line checkered flags. He really did himself proud with this victory. Dan was in the hunt all night as he and several others, some who came from afar, to challenge the one driver nobody could catch, Cory Kruseman. It looked like Cory had this one totally under control, but a bad break put him out with only a few laps to go when he experienced battery failure? Cory was the fastest rocket out there this year and car owner, Andy Bondio, can be proud of the perfect two races they ran, right up until the "oh noooo" happened! Cory takes off for Australia in a few days so we wish him well there. Sammy Swindell's charge ended tooo soon for his fans as he passed a lot of cars through several lower mains to get to run 2nd in "the" main, only to have something break and end his night after over 50 passes.

Other SCRA racers taking their shots this year were Rickie Gaunt, Josh Wise, Jeremy Sherman, Tony Everhart, Troy Rutherford and Damion Gardner. The Demon did the best as he ran 9th in the "A" main in a car he had never seen before his qualifying night. Not bad for the No Cal resident who plans on commuting again this year with a new owner. Rickie had his troubles finishing too far back in a non qualifier race to make the main. Tony, Josh, Jeremy and Troy were also denied main slots in earlier rounds. Josh Ford, a rookie in SCRA this season, was among that list of near misses.

I guess the most anxiously awaited news for the non-wingers on the west coast was presented at the Chili Bowl. Earl Baltes announced his million dollar purse race would be a non-wing version on September 19 and 20th at Eldora taking over the 4 Crown date for this year only. Next year, it will have it's own date. The race will pay $200,000 to win and $10,000 to start, making it the richest race in the history of sprint car racing. Yes, Perris does have a SCRA race that weekend, but I bet that Donnie and his brothers would love to see this one, so they might make a change. Make your plans now because there are few motels close by Rossberg.

Harlan Willis said goodbye to Cory Kruseman as his driver at the end of last year as Cory is moving on to racing full time in the mid-west looking to move up even more in the future. He joins the BWB Racing Team, the same one that Jay Drake drove for last year, in sprint car and Silver Crown entries. Jay has moved back to the Keith Kunz team where he dominated USAC two years ago. BWB Racing travels, and have come West several years in a row, so maybe we will see Cory in that car locally, if not he will be driving a familiar car that also calls Ventura home on the rare occasions he runs with SCRA? Cory will continue his driving school in Ventura at our favorite bullring as he racks up his frequent flier miles while still calling California his home.

The concerns about who would drive for Harlan Willis this season were answered last week as he made two announcements, one a little surprising and the other not. Damion Gardner drove Harlan's car at the last race last year and now seems to be locked in for the 2003 season in the black TCR Performance chassis, Gaerte Engines, Weld Racing, Advanced Racing Suspensions, Simpson Race Products, # 45. The surprising note was that Josh Ford's SCRA effort will be teamed with Harlan Willis Racing for 2003. Josh will compete on a limited SCRA schedule that will include the NWWC tour. It's good to see Damion found a ride with SCRA, but I will miss the green and silver bullet on the track!

My B-ball days are still going on as Terry headed to Tulsa for a family visit this week. While she is gone I can get in a few more games to add to my 76 total, but I guess I won't make 100 games because only 6 weeks are left in the high school season and the multigame tourneys are virtually over. The weather is great as me and my "boys" hang out and rest before the season starts. Good luck to Mike Kirby as he is looking to get at least a motor sponsor for SCRA in 2003. Don't look for the Gardner Motorsports team to emerge soon, as the perils of divorce delay that effort. You do know the PAS opens with the VRA and other "stuff" on February 8th, don't you? Gates open at 2 PM, racing starts at 4 pm. The same format will also be the next weekend, the first race for SCRA, on February 15th. The VRA/SCRA double header follows on March 1st. Get your warm jackets on and head to the PAS. More soon!

The SCRA Banquet was held in Las Vegas again this year. Here is the report by Robert Mayson. click herefor the story.

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