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On a weekend that the SCRA was dark, and Richard Griffin and Cory Kruseman were "snowed out" at Eldora's opening USAC event, an SCRA driver racked em' up at Ventura. Although this wag was in Phoenix for Wagtimer Jim Herdrich's 60th birthday party on Saturday, word from the raciest little track by the sea had local driver, Troy Rutherford, cherry pickin' in the raciest 360 class on the west coast.

Richard "the Gasman" Griffin had planned to fly into Ohio and run the USAC opener in a Keith Kunz prepared car. Bad weather, or more appropriately SNOW, forced that to the curb. Cory Kruseman was also forced to stay home, missing out on a chance to run Eldora, and then he ran with the "local" boys on Saturday at Ventura, so racing continued as the USAC plotted their next opener at Anderson, IN.

With three SCRA regular drivers in the house at Ventura Raceway, only two would make the main event. Troy Rutherford won the 30-lapper and Gary W Howard took 5th on a night that was reported to be littered with tip-overs. Cory Kruseman was taken out in is heat by another car and then was unable to avoid the spinning leader in the semi while running 2nd, and was done for the night. Word is the action was the usual, outstanding, and I missed another good one. They will do it again this Saturday, as the SCRA is dark again.

Carey Davis has been a long time Wagtimer and much more to me and many other race fans. His racing library is second to none, and was featured in a monthly editorial in the old "paper" Wagtimes several years ago. His large library includes all the racing books and magazines one could imagine, plus some selective die cast cars. Carey has always been interested in a lot of things and was often off racing antique autos several years ago. He traveles to many book fairs to both sell and buy automotive books. He was committed to enlarging his library by buying better in-shape books than he had in the library and then marketing the old not as good copies and so on, until he had what is today one of the largest collections anywhere.

There is another side of Carey and that is the business side. In the mid 80's he became a partner in Auto Body World, a body & fender repair shop in the Phoenix area. That small business has grown tremendously over the years and has expanded to several stores today. A few years ago he discovered that body shop execs like him, never retired until they were too old to enjoy the good life. With that in mind, Carey has officially sold out his interest in the business and is now building a new home in Payson, AZ where it is a little cooler than his Phoenix home. There, he and his wife can do the things they have always dreamed about. Congratulations to the retired mid 50's exec and big race fan. Look for him to be on the road and enjoying the good life while he is young enough to do it.

Jim Herdrich's 60th birthday party was spiced up with 5 boyhood chums, and their significant others, for another fun night together. This bad boy six-pack of friends were mischief gatherers in their youth, and they still get together several times a year to rehash the good ol' days. They even have a bottle of Thunderbird wine that is over 10 years old that goes to the next birthday boy until the last one is standing. He will then drink a toast to the rest. Interesting and a long life full of fun has been had by these guys. We learned another side of Wagtimer Jim as he and his wife Fran hosted the large group in an outdoor setting at their home that included food, drink, cake and even some racing talk. We got the long tow award much to the amazement of the crowd. Nearby Manzanita was showcasing a 360 win by SCRA regular, Charlie Davis Jr, while we partied until the old boy's went off to their respective homes. I told him to save all the traditional black gag stuff as my 60th approaches too soon.

We spent Easter dinner with the Bandy family and got in a great visit with Wagtimer Willie. Willie was in good spirits and remarked his baldhead will grow back as he stared suspiciously at my head! He has had three nasty Chemo treatments and plans to be at the next Perris SCRA race if it isn't too windy. It's working as he says he is really feeling better and is walking more and longer, even though he is still a little weak. He mowed the lawn this week, but got in trouble. He also drove the car and again, got in trouble. He's still got a long way to go, but things are looking up. He is looking good, but keep the prayers coming for him.

Perhaps Ventura is in my plans this week, but our 11th grandchild is due Thursday, so who knows. I will be in Phoenix on "Biz" the early part of next week, but will keep in touch. See you at The PAS on the 13th.

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