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By Ken Wagner – May 15, 2005

Damion Gardner, of Concord, California, won his third consecutive Valvoline USAC/CRA victory in a row this week, this one at Perrris Auto Speedway. The Demon came from the eight starting spot after setting his eighth fast time of the season out of ten. It was his fifth overall win of the year in the Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Arizona Race Mart, Eagle, Shaver # 50 as he said “things are going real well for us now as my team is putting a fast car on the track for me”.

Damion is now 4th in championship points with only 35 points between him and point leader Rip Williams, with Charles Davis Jr and Mike Kirby between them. Once again the Demon methodically worked his way to the front, passing Davis, who led from the start, on lap 22. He is making winning a habit and making it look easy, especially since he came from 23rd starting spot to win recently at the PAS.

Cory Kruseman continues his aggressive driving with his 5th podium finish of the year. He was 6th in qualifying, 3rd in his heat to start fifth in the main. Driving the red ITI Performance, Sander Engineering, Bullitt, Downing # 38 sprinter, the Kruser has his sights set on winning his second championship on the west coast.

Charles Davis Jr continues to drive like someone is chasing him as he led the first 21 laps of the main this week. He won his heat and looked like he was set to win his second race with this club. Driving the Smiley Crane Service, Extreme Chassis Co., Chargin, Extreme # 8A blue car, “Chargin Charles” is 2nd in points and looking good every week.

Mike Kirby brought out the Alexander’s brand new Stinger and did real well until he lost his brakes late in the race, and finished 4th. Tom Stansberry didn’t have a chance this week as he blew the motor in his Ron Bach car before qualifying. David Cardey crashed hard in the feature and finished 17th. Danny Ebberts announced he is running for rookie of the year in both the CRA sprints and Silver crown cars this season. Jordan Hermansader shredded a tire and got on the trailer too early finishing 20th. Bobby Cody continues to run hot and cold. The strong driver I sometimes call “Calamite Cody” can’t catch a break. He won his heat and then dropped out in the feature running 21st. It’s coming if he has patience! Seth Wilson was the hard charger of the week, coming from 18th to 8th as he continues to run fast and go forward.

Dwayne Marcum is doing his rehab and preparing himself for his return to racing. His crash several weeks ago led to some back surgery and now a lot of walking stairs and getting back to normal. He is anxious to return to the driver seat of a brand new Pratt owned car and looks forward to his return.

A trip across the desert is next as Manzanita Speedway looms in the near future as the USAC/CRA trail continues to move along. Perhaps you might want to see if Gardner can do four in a row? Make the trip!

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 14, 2005 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-16.210; 2. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-16.511; 3. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-16.563; 4. Tony Jones, 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-16.677; 5. Mike Kirby, 4, Alexander-16.683; 6. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-16.705; 7. Dan Hillberg, 82, Hillberg-16.753; 8. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-16.847; 9. Charles Davis, Jr., 8A, Smiley-16.934; 10. Jordan Hermansader, 92, Sertich-16.935; 11. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-16.987; 12. Steve Ostling, 5, Keller-16.993; 13. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-17.070; 14. Bobby Graham, 14, Lancaster-17.105; 15. R.J. Johnson, 15AZ, Martin-17.133; 16. Bobby Cody, 41, Cody-17.169; 17. Ronnie Clark, 33x, Clark-17.258; 18. Seth Wilson, 17, Racing Optics-17.275; 19. Jimmy Crawford, 17c, Crawford-17.295; 20. Randy Waitman, 64, Waitman-17.305; 21. Danny Ebberts, 77, Acosta-17.312; 22. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-17.495; 23. J.J. Ecse, 33, Blair-17.671; 24. Joshua Williams, 34, Williams-17.685; 25. Brandon Springstead, 36, Springstead-17.838; 26. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-17.905; 27. Jack Hawley, 10, Hawley-18.436; 28. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-NT.

DASH: (3 laps) 1. R.Williams, 2. Gardner, 3. Jones, 4. Gaunt. :51.50

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Clark, 2. Davis, 3. Gardner, 4. Ebberts, 5. Spencer, 6. Springstead, 7. Kirby. 2:56.50

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cardey, 2. Graham, 3. Kruseman, 4. Hermansader, 5. Gaunt, 6. Wilson, 7. Keller. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. R.Williams, 2. Johnson, 3. Hillberg, 4. Sheridan, 5. Crawford, 6. Ercse, 7. Hawley. NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cody, 2. Ostling, 3. Jones, 4. Ballard, 5. J.Williams, 6. Waitman. 2:57.64

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Kirby, 2. Gaunt, 3. Wilson, 4. Waitman, 5. Spencer, 6. Crawford, 7. J.Williams, 8. Springstead, 9. Keller, 10. Ercse, 11. Hawley. 3:31.13

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. Cory Kruseman, 3. Charles Davis, Jr., 4. Mike Kirby, 5. Danny Sheridan, 6. Rip Williams, 7. Rickie Gaunt, 8. Alan Ballard, 9. Seth Wilson, 10. Dan Hillberg, 11. Tony Jones, 12. Ronnie Clark, 13. Mike Spencer, 14. Bobby Graham, 15. Jimmy Crawford, 16. Danny Ebberts, 17. David Cardey, 18. R.J. Johnson, 19. Steve Ostling, 20. Jordan Hermansader, 21. Bobby Cody, 22. Randy Waitman. NT

Hard charger Seth Wilson from 18th to 9th.

**David Cardey flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Davis, Laps 22-30 Gardner.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Rip Williams-634; 2-Davis-598; 3-Kirby-595; 4-Gardner-593; 5-Kruseman-567; 6-Gaunt-445; 7-Jones-361; 8-Wilson-337; 9-Spencer-325; 10-Ballard-323.

NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: May 21 – Phoenix, AZ – Manzanita Speedway

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