The SCRA made their last run before the long tow back east to PA and other points of interest. The club will run nine races at seven tracks in five states along the 6500 plus mile maxi-trip. This week's 21st race of the season was a good trip launcher for the club with most surviving any problems that might need extra attention before the trip. Tony "Cowboy" Jones was all over the checkered flags this week and he dedicated his 4th win of the year to his son Kyle, who lives in Indiana and was with him at Bloomington Speedway the night before when Tony raced there. The dustless Perris track provided some great action and some nasty crashes for the packed house that sent the racing club on the road!
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Tony, driving the Ferreira Dairy, Quedow Spring Water, Avenger Racecars, # 87 sprinter wrenched by his dad, the legendary Bubby Jones, had a brand new car out this week complete with a silver chassis instead of the familiar blue. It looked pretty racy! It was certainly fast out of the box, as they say, but this young man can drive. He won his heat, then was 2nd to the Gasman in the JE Pistons Passing Masters Dash, and later started on the outside of the front row in the main event. He got the jump on Richard at the start and that was all she wrote! For thirty laps the Cowboy skated thru traffic with that "little red sucker" hot on his trail and came away with his 14th SCRA win. Even with the extra cash won here, Tony reported the team is short the needed money to make the trip. Don't know what that figure is, but it's more than a few thousand, and they won't go if it doesn't appear. For the Cowboy, it is important that he goes, but more important that he drives his own car, not like the two races he ran in Indiana this week in a strange car. He is ready for the challenge.
What can you say about the Gasman that hasn't already been said? He has been hot on the road recently and still pretty good at the PAS, too! The former SCRA champion has 4 wins this season and leads Steve Ostling in the points chase by 96 points. Richard, always a popular driver, and driving the Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Arizona Race Mart, Circle C Marketing, # 50, was right on the winners fuel cell until a late race shuffle. They call it a "pick" in basketball where you rub a defender off and break free, but Richard went from being a mere few inches behind Tony to suddenly having 6 lap cars between them. That ended his quest for his first win at the PAS this year. He was very busy in the pits afterwards as the shipment of die-cast Gasman cars were delivered to his trailer.
Rip Williams never got into position to challenge for this one, as the top two took off and handled traffic too well for anyone to catch them. Rip spent his night setting fast time, and that just barely .003 quicker than teammate Mike English, and generally running fast all night. He went on to capture third in the main event with guess who right behind him, yes that teammate again, English. Rip looked fast but this was not a night for a lot of movement on the track as the main groove was cluttered with lap traffic all night. Rip, driving the black John Jory Corp, AMA Plastics, Tomarco Fasteners # 3, made some amazing moves in his heat to get the transfer before he ran 4th in the dash and finished off a good night standing on the podium. In addition for the team, Mike chased the boss most of the race, but did not pass, showing his struggles with motor problems appears to be over with his 4th in the main. Both black Gambler's are very quick and looking for the winner's circle. Their "Big Bad John" hauler will be on the road next week.
Steve Ostling almost used up the Fischer Motorsports motor this week, getting fifth on the night, as they reported it is ready for a refresher coarse at Shaver's. While most of the team goes off to do their own R & R as the tour gets it on, Steve will drive a 360 with the VRA to keep sharp. He was unable to get a ride for the tour, so his point championship aspirations will go out the window as each race is run back there. Tough break for the driver of the # 29 car and the fun crew who work hard to make it one of the sharpest and best running cars on the track.
Bobby Cody's numbers for the night were 6, 4, 5 and 6! That's where he placed in qualifying, his heat, the dash and the main event. Wow, he continues to really improve and look good on the track. He says he is seeing things really well out there, almost in slow motion, and has been making the right moves to go forward each week. He is passing people and fighting hard to keep the veterans from getting by. Great action out of the former motorcycle racer as this team gets ready to go back east.
Damion Gardner made another guest appearance in the Wilkerson # 11a car and fought his way into 7th before the end. He was 2nd in his heat and 7th in the dash before finishing where he started in the main trying to sort out the difference between this and his own cars. Damion will be taking his own # 20 car on the tour and is ready to go, as he is more like dynamite in his fast silver and green car. Mike Kirby debuted a brand new Stinger this week and promptly got the hard charger award. He was 16th quick, won his heat and started 14th in the main. The Statewide Towing # 5 was charged a stop when an accident in front of him forced his momentary pause. He restarted and ended up 8th for the $100 bill.
Brian Venard has been struggling from almost since last year's NWWC tour when he rode on the wall aat the Granite City track. It has been one thing, then another as they chased different malladies, until the team took a few weeks off to repair a re-occurring drive train problem. Finally, the team said it all with their smiles this week, when he was 9th quick, then just barely missed transferring from his heat, went on to win the Semi and raced to 11th in the main. Maybe they got the blues out of their system. That Mopar is fast and should begin to show much better in the future now that all seems well with the car. They are doing a shortened version of the tour.
Jarrett Chaney showed up in the Lin & Lee Robison # 42 car this week and did well in a sprinter that was probably last seen with Bill Rose in the seat last year. Jarrett dropped out of his heat, ran 5th in the semi and 17th in the main after the car was starving for fuel at the end. They said it was a fuel pick-up problem because there was fuel still in the cell. Jimmy Thornell returned to the 410 wars with an old '92 Shrike that was once owned by Billy Felts, among a few others, and made the Gardner clan happy to see one of their "old" cars still around. The bright orange # 80 put Jimmy in the main event where he ran 21st. Rodney Argo had a new TCR out and ready for action this week. The red car, sans all graphics yet, was pretty good with Rodney able to win his heat going away and run 13th in the feature featuring that famous tape created number 19 on the fuel cell.
Cory Kruseman continues to ride roughshod over his USAC counterparts in the Indiana Sprint Week competition driving Keith Kunz special # 67 sprinter. After sweeping the first 3 races, he came in 7th, 5th and 8th before grabbing his 4th win of the 7 races that will be run, this one at Terre Haute. Now with Kokomo raining out the last race, he has won the title, finishing ahead of former fellow SCRA rookie, J J Yeley, by 33 points for the SprintWeek championship ! Although he has probably given up his goal to win a second straight SCRA championship, he is definitely doing well in hostile territory. You can check all the SCRA drivers results by clicking here! His own # 45 Harlan Willis owned sprinter will be in Iowa waiting for him for the $30,000 to win monster race on August 6th put on by Terry McCarl at the Oskaloosa track.
The bad news noise continues this week with several continuing their "why me" routines. From last week's 2nd motor problem in two weeks, comes bad news from the Ron Didonato / Danny Sheridan camp. It is busted and bad! The crank and block are history. It is the team's only motor. No word on when they can get a new motor to come back to the track, but this one was expensive! Charles Davis Jr took a week off to build a brand new car for the tour and promptly turned it over in the Semi, after it was a little "pushy" in his heat. The car wasn't battered too much and will be ready to go on tour next week. Charlie received $117 of Wagsbucks collected to help him with dinner on the way home. John Scott arrived with a brand new trailer this week, but his motor woes returned when he was third in the main and smoke poured out of the very wounded bullet. He was not going to be passed this week and it was too early to see if he was going to be passing the Gasman in front of him. Lance Gremett had a rear-end come apart in hot laps and thus it ended his night early, again, and the beat goes on for him.
Several crashes lowlighted the night, but the worst was Randy Waitman, the rookie who has shed his wing for the last few races, but this time he had a doosy of a ride. He took a bad tumble in qualifying that knocked him unconscious. He was later transferred to the hospital. No word at this time if he has been released, but the SCRA web page should have the first news on him. Others having some crunch time on the track were Dan Hillberg, who crashed in the Semi, and Tony Everhart, who was nailed on a yellow flag situation that developed slowly.
It was a great shiny tire night as many participated with each race that pushed off. When the picks were done, Rodney Argo and Keith Williamson were the excited winners. Mike English, John Scott, Brian Venard, Rickie Gaunt, Bill "Magilla Gorilla" Goforth and more were sharp. Thanks guys!
The week was highlighted by the arrival of the two new die-cast sprinters of Cory Kruseman and Richard Griffin cars. The boxes disappeared fast as the two new models were popular in the pits. The Wagtimes sticker appearing on the black # 45 personally pleases me to no end!!! All I can say is thanks, we are proud because it is cool! These cars are so detailed, it is spooky looking at them. They look like they can fire up and take off. I already have mine in clear cases to protect them from the grandkids, hah! Call Mike at Die-Cast Garage at (909) 881-6697 to order yours. He has the new die-cast cars in two different sizes. Get them now because they are limited production models!
The tow money collections jumped nicely this week with a super job done by Julie Shiosaki and Terry Bliss in the pits. That along with many other cash donations handed in, we have now reached over $4300 for the SCRA racers going on tour. Rumor has it the girls told everyone they were donating to the fund, or else! You don't want to mess with them. Remember now, for those who don't get it, the Wagtimes tow money will be divided up based on race appearances by trailer, not just making the trip back there. So to get the full benefit of the cash collected, they have to race each event.
Before I head back East on the NWWC Tour, I will be at the PAS for the VRA show this Saturday. I will still collect tow money from anyone who has missed me. I will do tow money and Wagsbucks at each SCRA race on tour to add to the total. I don't know the final total of cars heading out next week, but we still don't have enough money to go around. You can also see me at the Ventura Fair this Wednesday night watching Mike Kirby's unbelievable figure eight show. See me and donate, they will need it. You can always get raffle tickets to the beautiful RC sprint car by Dave Keller and the Snap-on toolbox anywhere along the road.
The Bowling event set-up by Jeff Kohler and his wife Cindy will be one of the highlights of the tour activities. Jeff and Cindy have been long time non-wing fans and drive and fly long distances away from their home track of Williams Grove to see their favorites run in Indiana and California to satisfy this non-wing need. Jeff can be remembered as the organizer of the bus ride from PA to Eldora for the first CRA visit there. Anyway, he has organized a bowling event (SCRA vs the PA Posse) on Saturday morning, August 10th prior to the race that night at Lincoln. For fans it means you get to bowl with these heroes and help raise more money for the SCRA teams that towed across the country. There will be door prizes, autograph tables set-up for fans to get autographs of the stars, plus the SCRA racers will have their t-shirts available, and the local media has been invited. It should be a happening! Many sprint cars will be on display, so it's gong to be a fun morning with the racers. Everyone is welcome to come and meet and bowl with the best of the East and West, what an opportunity! It will be at the ABC West Lanes & Lounge located at 6454 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, PA from 10:00 Am to 1:00 PM. See you there!
Don't forget tha Jim Naylor's Ventura Racing Association 360 show will appear this Saturday at the PAS while we are gone. A midget show the next week will be sandwiched betweeen their 2nd appearance. These two appearances will include the over 45 class that point leader Wiley Miller, plus Orin Prosser and Eddie Wirth run in. Don't let the motor size fool you, it is still great sprint car racing and these 360's can put on a super show. Keep in mind some of these guys have never been on a bigger track than Ventura, so will need some settlin' in time, but most have already run or practiced at the PAS. They will be fun to watch and need your support! Stars like point leader Jimmy Crawford, Greg Taylor, Josh Ford, Tony Dighera, Chris Wakim, Luis Espinoza, Ronnie Case and Uncle Danny's son Chris Tramel will be there to show their stuff! They expect 50 to 60 cars, so there will be plenty of action.
I will be updating the Wagsweb with nightly results from the NWWC Tour, plus the pics I take in Mrs Wags absence will go up as soon as possible each day. Tune in, as I have put a tab on the front page to click on, See YA!!!
DRIVER Point Standings as of: 07/27/02 1. Richard Griffin 1278, 2. Steve Ostling 1182, 3. Tony Jones 1159, 4. Rip Williams 1068, 5. John Scott 1008, 6. Cory Kruseman 999, 7. Damion 949, 8. Rickie Gaunt 917, 9. Mike Kirby 916, 10. Jeremy Sherman 847, 11. Mike English 795, 12. Bobby Graham 767, 13. Charles Davis, Jr 728, 14. Troy 609, 15. Rodney Argo 548, 16. Gary W. Howard 547, 17. Bobby Cody 429, 18. Mike Spencer 398, 19. 57 Danny Sheridan 394, 20. Adam Mitchell 355.