"Stevo" makes his presence felt for Fischer Motrosports team !!!!!!
Mrs Wags pit pics are limited this week, but are here!
Rickie Gaunt, driving the Alexander Trucking, Drake Inc, Doug's Auto Body, # 4, was racy early this week, but the Gasman, Richard Griffin, appeared to be the one to beat after winning the JE Pistons Passing Masters Dash and leading the feature as late as lap 22. The two swapped the lead several times, while Ostling moved in close and looked for an opening. The hard fought 3-car battle aroused the crowd, and it was anyone's race until the very end. When the checkers fell, Rickie had beat two of SCRA's finest. He was excited in the winner's circle with his two boys, Chasen and Maverick, joining the celebration. Super Rickie was 2nd in his heat and 5th in the dash before he closed the door on the night.
Steve Ostling, driving the Fischer Motorsports, Watt Enterprises, Pacific Coast Sportswear, Stress Relief Engineering, Drake Chassis, # 29, was looking for his first win since last June in Kansas City. Steve qualified 3rd, was 2nd in his heat, 4th in the dash for one of his best finishing nights of the season. Steve is really loving the new Shaver horsepower in his fast racer. It gives the team big smiles to see their hard work earning another podium finish. When interviewed early in the night, the two-time Mexican National Champion said "we are going to win some races this year" and he meant it. His performances already this year point to that, and tonight he almost got one.
Point leader Cory Kruseman had to battle hard for his 3rd place finish on the night. Driving the Worldgate Networks, Camland, TCR # 1, Cory was 2nd quick in qualifying, but it got harder from there. In his heat, he got involved in a three-car shuffle that ruined his front end. The Harlan Willis led crew worked furiously to get it ready for the Semi. In that 12 lapper, he had his hands full with the now realigned machine and finished a distant 5th, but Mike Nigh and the boys went back to work to make it right for the main. He started 9th and patiently worked his way onto the podium, while increasing his point lead over Tony Jones. Cory will be selling his $100 rides in his new TCR two-seater at Ventura this coming week. Sign up on his web page.
Tony "The Cowboy" Jones had another tough night this week. It hasn't been all peaches and cream for the young star this season, but it's early and he has plenty of time to put his veteran moves on the track. He was 6th quick and won his heat going away for a good start. He finished 3rd in the dash to set up what he hoped was his 2nd win of the year, but an incident in the main caused him to spin and then get run over by another car. That mangling of his front end eliminated any chance to get repaired in the short red flag stop, and return for a podium finish. He is still 2nd in points, but has his work cut out for him next week at Ventura.
The track was real racy on a night the full moon appeared and passing was the norm. Even though Rip Williams was caught up in a three-car tangle early in the race, flipping over another car in front of him that was sideways, he was able to get back out and restart at the rear before the next green flag start. Rip's qualifying effort was not a good one this week, so he was already on the back row for the original start. Before the checkers fell, Rip had worked his way all the way up into 6th and was the hard charger of the night! Great job, and if you could have looked at his front end after the race, you would have felt like me, "how he do dat"? The front axle was bent back an inch or two on one side and the steering bar rubbed against the front of the torsion bar tube. I guess you don't need steering to drive these things?
In addition to the Cowboy, the hard luck drivers were many on the night. The Gasman was having his problems with the twitchy little red sucker and it finally bit him. He spun while in 2nd and ended up 14th, but drove the wheels off the # 50. He really looked like a winner most of the night and don't be surprised when he comes back and wins a bunch of these wild features. Lance Gremett blew his motor in hot laps and was done for the night before he got started. He was the Wagsbuck "hard luck" recipient of $200 later. Charles Davis Jr again won at Manzanita during our time off, but, again, didn't finish the main. This time in his words" they checked up, and I checked up, then they checked up again, and I didn't"! He was referring to a restart that the leader, the Gasman, had an uncontrollable mount coming out of turn four, and the field had to pause while he collected it back in, thus the chain reaction mess.
Bobby Graham was doing well in Glenn Crossno's # 38 when Jones spun and he couldn't avoid him. Bobby had made the dash and was looking for more in the good running TCR car. His ride wasn't ready this week, so he and car owner, Ben Lancaster, were in the Crossno pit all night. Damion Gardner continues to show well in his fast # 20 car. He had quick time at 16.598, was 4th in his heat, 8th in the dash before a left front tire went flat and caused him to restart for a 16th place finish. That boy is fast and will continue to turn heads if he keeps improving and running wingless. By the way, he has apologized to all for his wordsmithing mistake a few weeks ago and promises to not get so excited in the future. Well, he says at least he will watch his words. Gary W Howard also had no luck after qualifying 4th quick, winning the Semi and then getting into two incidents, the 2nd one meant "go directly to the trailer", ending a very positive night in the Jim Ruth owned # 25 car. Rodney Argo had a problem with a foggy helmet faceplate and pulled in before the end, leaving the Ford entry in the 18th pay slot. It has not been a good year for the "Wildman". Troy Cline made a visit to drive Dwight Chaney's # 21J sprinter. After a great start in the main, where he was up to about 6th or so, something happened and he finished a distant 17th. His wife, Denise, ran his familiar 360 powered # 11 sprinter and made a good showing. She was 8th in her heat and finished 12th in the semi with some good moves. It would have been fun to watch if she had made the main, heh?
Two racing brothers couldn't make it tonight because one of them was getting married. Brian and Steve Venard were off celebrating Brian's marriage to long time girlfriend Nicol in a scenic outdoor setting in Lakewood. Brian and Nicol were pledged to each other in a very nice ceremony before a large crowd with the reception following immediately. The usual dancing, drinking and fun stuff went on and on as Grandma Rosie was having a ball. She had her own private Heineken stock that was never-ending, or so it seemed. I think the two young ladies sitting with her had a hand in all those empties! The boys naturally missed the racing, but it was a great day for a wedding and the entire Venard family. The lucky newlyweds will be back soon from their honeymoon in Oregon.
Alex Grigoreas was in the grandstands this week moaning about how busy he is at work. It seems that there is so much to do there, he doesn't have the time to come racing much for now, but vows to get back to driving sometime in the future. Alex misses driving, but doesn't have a ride and is pondering when he will be ready to start looking to return. Always a smile and a friendly hello, his work project is coming along fine, but isn't done yet.
Shiny tires this week were blessed by Misses Krista Bandy and Mallory Gardner with their decision final. John Scott got the big bottle and Rickie Gaunt the small one for tonight. Krista Bandy also passed out the bottles from the last race to Danny Sheridan (big) and Bobby Graham (small), as she had to leave early the last race and couldn't perform the award ceremony.
The next two weeks we are on the road. First, we are going to Ventura and I must tell you, if you haven't seen sprint cars on the "raciest little track by the sea", you haven't seen nuttin", honey! Jim Naylor is ready for the SCRA invasion, and so are some of the local drivers who will be out to protect their turf. Point leader Greg Taylor is looking forward to it! Others like Josh Ford, Chris Wakim and more will be waiting with high hopes for an upset. Don't bet against it. It looks like the Senior sprints will also run with us, so come see Eddie Worth, Wiley Miller, and the rest of those veteran's out to have some fun. Pack the house, then listen to Mr excitement describe the action, and watch some of the wildest racing anywhere, this Saturday night at Ventura Raceway.
The next week, May 11, we go from the jam packed small oval action to the big high-speed ½ mile wildness of Manzanita Speedway. What a difference between these two popular ovals with each having it's own brand of excitement. Only a short 6-hour drive from old Ascot Raceway, and you will see some fast action on the fastest track the SCRA runs on. Can Jeremy Sherman defend his 4 in a row win streak at Manzy from the likes of the Gasman, the Kruser, Super Rickie, the Cowboy and local favorite, Charles Davis Jr? Check it out, we will be there with bells on.
It looks like I will have Dubya's new home when we hit the PAS on May 18th. Yes, a motorhome is about to grace the Wags stable of vehicles. It will make the Wagsvan obsolete, so expect a change there in the near future as well. Anyway, it's on the road for the next two weeks, so come visit me at the tracks and bring Wagsbucks, tour tow money and get your tickets to the Oskaloosa $30,000 to win SCRA race in August. See ya on the road.