Mrs Wags Pics from Manzy are here.
Richard Griffin, driving the Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Arizona Racemart, Circle C Marketing # 50, was a rocket for sure this week. He was 2nd in his heat and then won the dash to start on the pole of the main event. Actually, he won the dash in spectacular fashion. He started right behind pole sitter Ostling and on the green slipped low, making it three wide down the front stretch. Before they passed the flagman, he was in the lead and on to the 6 lap win. Rip Williams was 2nd.
The main was interesting as the Gasman charged to the lead on the opening green, but a nasty 5 car crash halted things quickly. A car got sideways and that began the melee. The most spectacular part of the pile-up wasTony Jones doing an end over end that looked dreadful until he stopped. Bobby Cody, Allan Ballard, Seth Wilson and Jimmy Crawford were also involved, all meeting in a pile at the start of the entrance to the smaller track. When it was all done, Crawford, Cody and Jones were done for the night, but no one was injured.
The next restart sent Griffin back in the lead as Bob Ream Jr took him on and Rip started falling back. Before long, Griffin had a 6 second lead and then Jeff Branaman crashed in turn four. During the red flag, the Harlan Willis crew tilted Damion's car over, almost on it's side, to repair a water leak. No jack was used, so since they go by the "use a jack and go to the back" rule, they restarted in their earned spot.
Richard led until a sneaky Super Rickie showed up to keep him honest. On lap 19, Rickie found something in the middle of turns three and four, and zoomed by the fast leader. I suspect the Gasman was smiling as he reeled him back in and cruised by for the win. Rip had gotten mad at himself and pointed his black charger, the John Jory Corp, AMA Plastics, Tomarco Systems Fasteners, # 3 towards the front. He got into 2nd late in the race and couldn't fight his way thru traffic to get a chance at the leader, finishing there in 2nd.
Super Rickie, driving the Alexander Trucking, Ray's Trucking, Larry Murakami Cons. # 4, was strong in getting third this week. He was 2nd in his heat and 3rd in the dash as he put on a show for his fans and led 5 laps. Troy Rutherford needs to be called Rambo! No matter what happens on the track, who chases him, or what the conditions are, he somehow finds a way to get in the top 4. In 8 races this year he has one win, a third and six 4th place finishes. Only a Rambo could beat those odds each race.
Damion Gardner had a tough night. In his heat he was forced into the wall and had to run the semi, after a lot of repairs, which he won easily. In the feature he had some water leakage the crew tried to fix, but ended up pulling off not long after the restart. Thus never giving the crowd what it wanted, the chase down of the leader that the Demon is known to do. His crew worked hard to fix the bashed racer, but they didn't succeed in getting another win. There were several who put on their own show this week, beginning with Jimmy Crawford. Jimmy is driving the Jim Ruth # 25 and is a rookie with SCRA after winning the VRA championship last year. He had a problem in his heat and couldn't make the direct transfer, so ran the semi. In that 12 lapper, he was forced low on the track down the front stretch, causing him to jump the berm of the smaller track and fly onto the 1st turn. Great points for the ability to point it around the track, even with a busted shock on the front end. It looked like a Lakers practice as he literally dribbled the bouncing tire the rest of the race and still made the main! Great job, but it worried me to think the wheel was coming off.
Josh Ford had a great night on the big oval in the team car to Gardner's. In his heat, he was way back in the pack when he began to reel in the last transfer spot in Jeff Branaman. The laps got away from him before he got close enough, so he went to the Semi. There, he was back a ways again because he was 26th in qualifying, and began running smoothly towards the front of the 12 car field. He grabbed 5th and went to the back of the main event. Before he was done, he worked his way into 12th from 22nd, to get the hard charger award. He deserved more than the $100 for all the passing he did this week.
Another good job tonight was turned in by Buster's son, Brian Venard. In his dad's Mopar # 47, Brian charged hard to 4th in his heat after being on the bubble with a veteran driver trying to take the transfer spot from him. He made the right moves to cut the vet off each time, then made the pass to protect himself near the end. In the main event he had a hard earned 11th and put the family sprinter on the trailer in good shape.
Jeremy Sherman didn't have a 410 motor to run this race until race day, one he borrowed from Steve Cushman, the driver of the # 30a. Jeremy qualified in the middle of the field then went out and led nine of the ten laps of his heat. On that last lap, the car slowed him to a 3rd place finish and he was done with a burnt piston, they later said. Somehow he got Tony Smiley to hand over his car and Jeremy started on the tail of the main. He was able to get 10th in the drastically different car than the Ellis house-car he is used to.
Under the race infirmary heading, this weeks news is positive. Lealand McSpadden was in the pits to help winning crew chief, Bruce Bromme Jr, with set-up tips. Ha! Lealand just finished week two of six in his scheduled radiation treatments and was said to be looking great. He bailed out before us mere fans could get in the pits to talk to him. He still has more treatments to endure, so let's hope this nasty stuff works and he comes back and is a crew chief for one of our cars! Bubby Jones was at the Bagley Memorial service last Monday and looked quite dapper. He still has a ways to go in recovery from the stroke of a few weeks ago, but is looking very good. He says he tires easily, so do I, and has some pain in his joints, so do I, but looks on his way to a full recovery.
Jimmy Blanton, the Arizona Racemart boss, is also recovering from some heart maladies and is not supposed to come to the track at all. He snuck in last week, but got in trouble with his doctor! He is a very important person to a lot of racers, so they want him well and back soon. Jack Dearmond Jr is in a lot of pain with his halo on, but he too was at the Bagley services and is on the way to his recovery from the broken neck, back and ribs suffered in his crash at the PAS. He needs rest and bone healing before he can get back to the track. One of our Wagtimer's also needs some of the prayer action the above do. Bob Berg, a long time race fan and even more involved in racing, when he was young, is undergoing bypass surgery this week and hopefully he will be just fine. Recently Richard Watkins underwent the same operation and is now seen walking around in the pits with a hands off directive from his wife Silvia and his docs. Give all of these your thoughts as they go thru what most of the rest of us don't have to. Shiny Tires this week were on the # 98 of Verne Sweeney and # 44 of Mike Spencer. Good job by everyone else who participated as they continue to put a better looking product on the track for us fans! There were others who did well, but my helper, Bethany Thrasher, did her job well and presented the awards after the races. Wagsbucks of $200 went to AJ Reyer, who nailed the fence in his heat and crunched his car. The crew had it ready for the semi, but the car wouldn't roll! The team was happy to get the money and invite to the 13th annual Wagsdash at Ventura on October 18th.
The next two weeks are at the PAS, so a little home cooking will do for us dieters. I don't know how I am getting the Wagsmule home from Mr Naylor's design center, but I'll work something out. I need the thing especially at the PAS to get back to the pits and the dogs in the motorhome. I can't see anymore after a greeting from Dusty, lick - lick on my glasses, so see ya'll Saturday! SCRA points as of 5/10/03
SCRA points as of 5/10/03
Car # - Driver - Home town - Number of races - total points
1. 50 Richard Griffin Silver City NM 8 521 2. 7 Troy Rutherford Ojai CA 8 509 3. 45 Damion Gardner Concord CA 8 426 4. 3 Rip Williams Yorba Linda CA 8 397 5. 29 Steve Ostling Corona CA 8 373 6. 6 Mike English Norwalk CA 8 366 7. 4 Rickie Gaunt Torrance CA 8 353 8. 44 Mike Spencer Temecula CA 8 318 9. 38 Levi Jones Olney IL 6 249 10. 2 Tony Jones Garden Grove CA 7 237 11. 99 Adam Mitchell Escondido CA 7 232 12. 61 Cory Kruseman Ventura CA 6 211 13. 85 Lance Gremett San Marcos CA 7 179 14. 98 Verne Sweeney Lomita CA 8 174 15. 21 Jeremy Sherman Phoenix AZ 3 158 16. 19 Rodney Argo El Segundo CA 5 158 17. 8 Bob Ream Jr Glendale AZ 3 158 18. 94 Charles Davis, Jr Buckeye AZ 5 153 19. 47 Brian Venard Irvine CA 4 146 20. 54 Josh Ford (R) Camarillo CA 8 138