WagsWorld globe image WagsWorld text images




Cory Kruseman won his first Valvoline USAC/CRA event of the year, and sixth overall with the club, at Bakersfield Speedway this week. Cory started third in the 30 lap feature and took the lead on lap thirteen, crossing the finish line comfortably ahead of Damion Gardner, who came in second after an uphill battle all night. Cory drove the ITI Performance, Sander Engineering, TCR, Downing # 38 up to the top groove early on in the race. He utilized all of the quick and narrow racing surface to make it work for his 69th west coast 410 sprint win.

Mrs Wags pics are up. Click here.

Cory had struggled in changing teams this season, as he came home to race after two years on the USAC circuit that can surely wear out anyone. In the winners circle he said his crew worked hard to make some changes that made him happy and so “anyone could have driven the car tonight”! That’s hardly true as the challenging track sent him all over it searching for the fast groove that continually changed throughout the night. Cory looked very comfortable as he had his first taste of success for the year.

Damion Gardner had one of his toughest nights of his non-wing career when he flipped in his heat and crunched the Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Arizona Race Mart, Eagle, Shaver # 50 badly. A new front end and various other bolt-on parts put him in the semi where he ran second to Rickie Gaunt just checking it out. He started ninth in the main event and had to wait for the track to come to him and the pack got adjusted to running the small oval. In the feature the Demon put on another sterling passing show for the fans, moving up thru the pack with some lightning quick surgeon like moves that made the crowd cheer him on. He just nipped Danny Ebberts at the flag for second after starting that last lap in fifth! Damion set fast time for the third race in a row, even though he qualified at the end of the 32 car field, and is becoming the one to beat in the series. His 12.356 beat out Bobby Cody by .004 seconds! At times he looked like he was in a bumper car race with all the wheel banging that went on around him, and as he says, “they get pumped up when they see the little red sucker coming”. It was an exciting night of racing for the fans and they sent some “rollover money” to Damion and his crew for his major crash in his heat.!

Danny Ebberts was planning to run for CRA rookie of the year until he did well enough in the USAC Silver Crown opener to make the sprinter secondary in his goals. He might have to rethink that as he led for six laps before surrendering to Kruseman’s charge and still made his first podium with the CRA on an outstanding night for the rookie driver. He put on a great drive in the Spintech, Outlaw Graphics, Stinger, Blair # 77 owned by Sal Acosta, so maybe he will run more often than he planned? Note the Ebberts name on the front of the trailer in big block letters, it lets you know who’s coming.

Mike Kirby had his problems this week when he failed to transfer from both his heat and the semi to make the main as the car didn’t seem to get up to speed. He used a provisional to tag the main event field in the Alexander entry, but developed a problem, I think it was motor, and dropped out on lap 15, surrendering his point lead to Charles Davis Jr. Mike will be loaded for bear at Manzanita this coming week as he loves that track, if they get the motor back.

The Bakersfield track was great for some and difficult for others as the racy surface had some mystery spots that changed the order often during the night. Jordan Hermansader was looking like he wanted a win bad here, wanting to add to his four midget wins he has here, but after leading the first six laps, a rut popped him over the cushion allowing several to slip by him before he finally settled for eighth in the Sertich Moosemobile # 92.

Alan Ballard had his best finish of the year in Dad Ernie and Mom’s # 97 as he powered his way to fifth. He was fifth quick and fourth in his heat to make the top eight inversion. Remember, USAC/CRA inverts the top eight who transfer from the heats so the fast guy, if he makes it thru, gets the fourth row outside position to start. Alan is improving as he hopes to make an impression to move on some day in his future.

Two rookies, Matt Stewart and Terry Foster, put on some interesting laps for newcomers. Matt is the son of a former CRA driver, Dennis, and the new team looks pumped and ready to go at it as the youngster gets accustomed to the difference between motocross and the sprinters. As for Terry, I only know he is in one of the old red Argo cars and he looked like he had some experience or practice as he kept his foot in it very well when he was on the track. More from these two in the future.

Bobby Graham has been missing in action for nearly two seasons. His last event rendered his eye’s suspect from a crash and it took a long time to get over. Last Wednesday at practice, he jumped back in a sprint car and looked very fast, according to reports, and could possibly be back in a car very soon. Life has gone on for him, so he might have to make room in his busy schedule to get up to speed back in racing.

Ronnie Case hasn’t spun a wheel yet this season as the Blair crew sorts out their future. Crew chief Jim Blakesley has some health issues that don’t allow him to work the long hours required to keep the car up and more help is needed if they are to come back strong this season. Ronnie was the rookie of the year in 2004 and wants to step it up for this year. As he says, he is weighing his options and trying to figure out what’s best for him in the future. The likeable young driver still has his own car, but motor costs are his only downfall there. If he could get a strong motor, he might consider going back to running his own deal, but for now he waits to see what will happen next as he is anxious to get back to racing now.

Bill Rose the fun loving Indiana driver who loves to travel, still has his own car based here in the southland for now. He just got back from driving a stock car in New Zealand last week, and plans to race the next two CRA events. Bill is fun to be around and can drive a race car on top of it all. He won his heat and ran 14th in the main event.

Many suffered tough luck during the night beginning with Mike Spencer. He qualified seventh and then crashed in his heat and loaded it up for the night. Peter Murphy had a shot in the Warren Dorathy # 21 that Danny Sheridan drove last year. He qualified the car but was a scratch the rest of the night. Bobby Cody was second quick on the night but ended up on the hook in the semi sending him home early. Nadine Keller got parked in the wall in the semi and couldn’t proceed with her front end pointed sideways. These were the main oopsies that will require surgery over the next few days if they plan on a trip to Phoenix.

Mark Heidenreich crew blew the Buick motor up at the first race and are struggling to get back to racing. The low buck team reports racing will be on a “as funded” schedule and will still be based on as much used equipment and tires they can scurry up. When they can’t go racing, they can be found riding motorcycles in the wind. This resilient group always seems to have fun at the races, but like many others need help to do this stuff.

Sammy Bahr reports that the 5th annual Sokola Classic at Manzanita is this coming week and will be a two day show paying $5000 to win and $300 to start because of his extra money raising. He can always use more, so if you can, get involved. The racers appreciate the extra money and Mark and Gary Sokola will always be remembered by the racing family. Give now.

For you cheapo’s out there that can’t go racing unless it’s free or damn near it, take heart. The PAS is featuring a night of fun for only $5 admission. Bring the family, Neighbors, friends and anyone else to check it out. Support the racing you love and help the growth we are working to make happen.

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: March 12, 2005 – Bakersfield, California – Bakersfield Speedway

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-12.356; 2. Bobby Cody,41, Cody-12.360; 3. Rip Williams, 3, Jory 12.416; 4. Charles Davis, Jr, 8A, Smiley-12.670; 5. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-12.778; 6. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-12.780; 7. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-12.801; 8. Troy Rutherford, 5, Keller-12.808; 9. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-12.836; 10. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-12.859; 11. Dwayne Marcum, 12, Pratt-12.894; 12. Greg Bragg, 11, Wilkerson-12.933; 13. Jimmy Crawford, 17c, Crawford-12.970; 14. Mike Kirby, 4, Alexander-12.971; 15. Danny Ebberts, 77, Acosta-13.002, 16. Jordan Hermansader, 92, Sertich-13.009; 17. J Hicks, 66, Miller-13.078; 18. Dave Darland, 42, Cheney-13.082; 19. Rick Ziehl, 14, Lancaster-13.182; 20. Tony Jones 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-13.295; 21. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-13.338; 22. Josh Wise, 7, Priestley-13.345; 23. Bill Rose 6R, Rose-13.365; 24. Peter Murphy, 21A, Dorathy-13.404; 25. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-13.551; 26. Seth Wilson, 17, Racing Optics-13.719; 27. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-13.760; 28. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-13.895; 29. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-13.925; 30. Dan Hillberg, 82, Hillberg-14.082; 31. Matt Stewart, 85, Stewart-14.978; 32. Terry Foster, 19X, Foster-15.254.

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ford, 2. Stansberry, 3. Sheridan, 4. Ballard, 5. Hicks, 6. Crawford, 7. Keller, 8. Gardner. NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Wilson, 2. Wise, 3. Darland, 4. Kruseman, 5. Cody, 6. Gaunt, 7. Kirby, 8. Hillberg. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Rose, 2. Ebberts, 3. Rip Williams, 4. Ziehl, 5. Marcum, 6. Rodney Argo, 7. Stewart, 8. Spencer. NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Hermansader, 2. Cardey, 3. Davis, 4. Rutherford, 5. Bragg, 6. Jones, 7. Foster. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Gaunt, 2. Gardner, 3. Crawford, 4. Hicks, 5. Kirby, 6. Jones, 7. Hillberg, 8. Argo, 9. Foster, 10. Stewart, 11. Marcum, 12. Cody, 13. Bragg, 14. Keller. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cory Kruseman, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Danny Ebberts, 4. Rip Williams, 5. Alan Ballard, 6. Rickie Gaunt, 7. Charles Davis, Jr, 8. Jordan Hermansader, 9. Troy Rutherford, 10. Josh Wise, 11. Dave Darland, 12. J.Hicks, 13. Josh Ford,14. Bill Rose, 15. Jimmy Crawford, 16. Seth Wilson, 17. Tom Stansberry, 18. David Cardey, 19. Rick Ziehl, 20. Mike Kirby, 21. Danny Sheridan. NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Hermansader, Laps 7-12 Ebberts, Laps 13-30 Kruseman.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Davis-215; 2-Gardner-210; 3-Rip Williams-206; 4-Kruseman-194; 5-Kirby-183; 6-Ballard-119; 7-Wilson-113; 8-Steve Ostling-109; 9-Rick Williams-103; 10Gaunt-102.

NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: March 18-19 – Phoenix, AZ - Manzanita Speedway – 5th “Sokola Classic”

Wagsworld Back Issues: