Fast timer John Scott gets 2nd and The Podium Cowboy was the hard charger!
John Scott set fast time at 16.803 and then had to run the semi when he couldn't get the transfer to the main from his heat. He started 9th in the Pace Electronics, Pro Prep, Design Works # 83 and let it all hang out. Shining well in the main, John worked into 2nd place, but was never able to reel in the winner. After some bad luck earlier this year, John looks like a serious contender for the other hot dogs to deal with.
Tony Jones didn't get a very good qualifying lap in, so he started 14th in the main event. After dropping back to about 18th after the start, he turned the wick up and was able to storm up to 3rd with 5 laps to go. There, a red flag stopped the action, and when it resumed, he had lost his momentum, or John blocked his groove, and settled for another podium appearance in third. It was the best action on the track if you didn't want to watch the leader. Tony finds ways to go to the front as he said during an interview, "I don't know where I am starting, it's way back, but I will get on the podium"! Driving the Ferreirra Dairies, Avenger Race Cars of El Paso, VGI Graphics # 87, Tony continues to impress and run to the podium as he leads the early SCRA point chase.
Mrs Wags is done at last click here.
The cool night had few crashes, but in the main Robbie Flock and Adam Mitchell both went airborne and crunched their cars. Adam's mount looked bad in the pits with the front end needing serious clipping. A joking comment heard in the pits noted the price of powder coating would go up at Adam's biz this week. Robby was in his first night driving the Pratt/ Blair # 12 entry and made the main only to be the first car out. Wrenching on both cars will be heavy duty this week.
Rip Williams was racy this week trying to get into the win column, but fell short in his 4th place finish. He won his heat and was 6th in the dash to set up the good night. Steve Ostling and Jeremy Sherman, two drivers who were hot last weekend at Manzanita, both had to go to the back after some extra curricular activity had them stop on the track. Sherman came back to get 8th and Ostling 10th.
Brian Venard finally had a racing weekend after two non-starts this year. The big Mopar motor ran flawlessly all night as he got in some much needed laps. Although he missed the main, he looks like he is ready to put the fast # 47 out front soon. Brian is taking time off soon to get married.
The Gasman, Richard Griffin, hasn't had any good luck this season, yet he is 3rd in points and not going away. So far he has only two top five finishes in six races, very un-Gasmanlike. Richard is driving as hard as ever, but this week he seemed to have a "red flag stop change" backfire on him and his crew. On the opening laps he was running for the lead, chasing Cory, but trying to find the best line to pursue in. After the 1st red flag restart, the # 50 was not forgiving at all. Sudden wheel stands, hoping over the cushion and generally "point it and hang on" antics kept him concentrating to just keep it going forward. He fought it to the end, bringing home a 9th that would have been much worse with any other driver. The car just wasn't responding, yet he hung in there. With two weeks off, Richard is running the USAC opener at Eldora this coming weekend. Good Luck Gasman, we know you run that place fast and furious.
Troy Rutherford and the Gardner clan didn't have the best week, but all in all, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Troy was 6th in qualifying and ran 5th in his heat to just miss the dash. Then in the Semi, he ran 16th after a tire problem. What to do, well ask Tony Elliott to step out of the back-up car and allow Troy to start on the tail of the main. He ended up 12th and is now 4th in points. P> Charles Davis Jr loves to race. Last week he was very unhappy to miss the main on Saturday at Manzy. This week he towed over the desert road to get 7th quick, then ran 2nd in his heat, 5th in the dash and 6th in the main. Good going Charlie, maybe that makes up for it.
Damion Gardner had another of those tough nights after the long tow down from Concord, Ca. He was hot in his heat as he passed three cars to win going away. The car is very fast and some of the regulars are finding it hard to keep up with his motor. In the main he got innocently involved, so I heard, with another car and ended up with a broken steering arm. He replaced that and went back to work, but stopped on the track after another car crashed hard, and was done for the night. His skills are improving in our non-wing action, and with that strong car, he could surprise many of the SCRA vets very soon.
Lance Gremett continues to run the high line. The Red Rocket can really go fast up on the top groove. He was at it again in his heat, moving well in a transfer spot, when a car he was passing moved up and said "oh no you don't", pinning him into the wall and sending him to the semi. He ran fifth to get into the main and got 15th when the smoke cleared. When this father/son and John Baumann team get their set-up down, watch out, he will be the young one passing the heroes. The short field of only 35 cars didn't include the new team of Didonato and Sheridan. They blew the motor at Manzy on Friday last week and it won't be back for a week or so.
We had our English visitors in the stands with us tonight. George Rimmer, a serious American sprint car fan, brought his wife Susan, and sons Kieran and Stewart for a visit to the colonies from near London. Although freezing in the windy stands, his family stayed to the end before getting off to eat their first meal of the day! George didn't get to say hi to the many he intended to visit with in the pits. There are some drivers and crew people who he has visited and corresponded with over the years, but he sent his regrets with me to the pits. It was not his first trip to the Americas, but it was a family outing with Perris quietly thrown in. Disneyland and more sightseeing will happen before they return home to bloody ol' England later this week. He has a bulging library of autographed photos from most of the sprint car drivers in the USA going way back. He is always on the lookout for more photos and he collected a few while in town.
Shiny Tires were picked by George and Susan this week with Rodney Argo getting the big one and Charles Davis Jr the runner-up. Susan was impressed with John Scott's car as well, as he is a favorite of the family. Krista Bandy made the trip this week as she reports Grandpa Willie is doing well on his cancer treatments. She and her entourage made the presentations in the pits afterwards.
With two weeks off, who knows what trouble I might get into. The Wagsvan has been putting on the miles with trips to Phoenix and Las Vegas the past two weeks, so maybe another trip is on the horizon. Ventura will be running their outstanding sprint program, so check it out. Those 360's put on a great show. Speaking of excitement, Gregg Taylor is now the point leader and might rethink his commitment to SCRA this season. Maybe if he wins a championship in the 360's it would give him more experience to tackle the big bad SCRA boys. HA HA. He is very talented and can probably kick some butt in time with them, so it looks like he will stay put for now.