KRUSER RETURNS TO SCRA WARS AND TIES THE RIPPER IN MOST SCRA VICTORIES!!!!!!!
OVAL NATIONALS MOVED UP ONE WEEK - 13TH ANNUAL WAGSDASH IS A QUIET GO.
If you don’t count last Sunday night’s main event which he missed, Cory Kruseman has now won 4 out of the last 5 races he has run with SCRA. The fifth was the ill fated tangle he and the Gasman had at Lakeside when he was leading with three laps to go. Cory came home to teach at his sprint car school on Sunday, so he was free on Saturday night and borrowed the Alexander # 4 car again after last weeks Ventura win. He is two for two in that race car. He was just plodding along in third when he found a sweet spot on the track to overcome Damion Gardner and Rip Williams late in the 30 lap race and win his 61st SCRA main, tying him with Rip.
Mrs Wags pics are up now! Click here to view.
Cory, driving the Alexander Trucking, Ray’s Trucking, Larry Murakami Cont., # 4, won his heat and was 6th in the JE Pistons Passing Masters Dash and then started on the third row of the main event. He pulled into third early in the race and watched the Demon/Ripper show until he made his moves late, as the crowd got excited. The track started slicking up on the bottom except for one route that Cory found accidentally. With the race drawing to an end, he banged the wall in turn two and cut back down across the track, exploding into a wheelie that surged him forward very quickly. He was surprised because he had tried that favorite move earlier and it just wasn’t there yet. He began using that diamond action out of turn two to pull around Damion. He then stalked the Ripper until the black # 3 car went into a spot on the track that was like a “black hole”, it just wouldn’t turn loose of the car. While Rip was spinning in place there, Cory slid under him to take the lead and too the white flag. The Kruser then was able to keep the 26 year veteran from beating him with only one lap to go. Rip put on a monster slide job that closed the top groove, but Cory used that diamond routine one more time and it worked! It was an exciting finish to a good race for the crowd.
Rip was on his game again this week and probably wished it was another 50 lapper after last weeks big win. He took the lead early in the John Jory Corp, AMA Plastics, Tomarco Fasteners # 3, and looked like he might run away with it until the Demon passed him on lap 8. Damion looked like a runaway as he weathered a couple of yellow flags and led for over a dozen laps. Then Rip came back and grabbed the lead with 8 to go an then Damion faded a little back to 3rd. Rip was making the black car very wide as he used as much of the track he could searching for the moisture that would make this his 62nd SCRA victory. And if it hadn’t been for that “black hole”, Cory might have had a tougher road to get around him, but ultimately Rip settled for his 2nd podium in a row. Getting old, hardly, he’s just getting started!
August was not very kind to Damion Gardner and his team. Since winning his 7th race of the year on July 26th, Damion only hit the podium twice thru the rough month. He seemed to get out of the groove, but the last three home cookin’ races have cured what ails the team. A fifth at Ventura was only a tire change away from being a potential win, a top ten in the fifty lapper that ended the month, and a strong 3rd this week in September’s first race means things are looking up. The Demon took the lead in the Willis Machine, TCR Gaerte, # 45 from Rip before settling back to third at the end. He looked strong running the top, but tires came into play as the race wound down. His were pretty bad after the checkers, but he was still trying to get back up front when the race ended. The team’s sharp new red crew shirts stand out when they swarm the car in the work area and signify the professional attitude the Harlan Willis team has. Watch out when the “Demon” and the boys get it rolling like early I the year.
Charles Davis Jr almost hit the podium again this week, but he finished 4th in his wife Gayle’s car and the big time traveler says he will run SCRA the rest of the year. There are times when he is as fast as anyone in his car, but things have kept him back. Maybe now he will continue to run up front and make good things happen, maybe even a win! Super Rickie Gaunt was 5th, his best finish since he started driving for Tony Smiley from Arizona, and had a smile as usual for all who came by. The Extreme Chassis is totally different than the Stingers and Okie’s he’s been driving, but he says he likes it and feels comfortable, so look for more out of him soon. Mike Spencer ran in Illinois the night before, but traveled back to get 6th this week at Perris. He looked like he had the line early in the race, and still was in the hunt at the end.
Josh Wise returned from a nasty crash last week with a new Mike Sala car and did OK, finishing 7th ahead of the Gasman, Richard Griffin. Josh has done an outstanding job running several divisions this year and is a very promising young driver. He has won against the SCRA, the Bandits, then added wins at the Belleville Midget Nationals and the VRA 360 Nationals in the last two months. Not bad and Jake Argo has been crewing with him on all of these, so our hats off to both young men. Richard didn’t have the best of nights, but a top ten and the points lead are not chopped liver.
Tony Jones was loaded for bear this week, but an incident in the feature shuffled him back to a 14th place finish after a restart at the back. He was on the gas and running strong, but like they say, better luck next week. Troy Rutherford also had a tough night. It all began when the hauler slid down the hill coming into the pits and banged a light pole. They had just watered that path and there was nothing the driver could do to stop the big sled before the crunch that we all heard rang out loudly. Troy was third quick on the night and ran 8th in the dash and 9th in the main. He missed a chance to close the gap between himself and the point leader Griffin, and remains 102 points behind in 2nd place. Adam Mitchell had a strong night going until something on the motor “backed out” and allowed the coolant to escape and they retired due to the overheating that followed. He was in the top five at the time.
The Legends of Ascot continues to gather speed. The event is scheduled at Perris on October 4th and will feature a lot of “old timers” in an afternoon of eating and bench racing. It will honor some of sprint car racing’s finest heroes. Don Weaver has the October 4th day all planned out for everyone's enjoyment. For only $35 you can get admission to that nights great SCRA and VRA race, plus a bench racing snack time starting at 11 AM, followed by lunch at 1:00 PM with tri tip, chicken, baked beans, salad and a roll with a drink before the ceremonies that start at 2:30. There will be some other special inaugural goodies included in the fee for prepaid admissions, ONLY. There will also be a collectors item program that is a must for all! This event is a bargain and is open to all who want to come and enjoy the inaugural event. There will be many cars from the old days on display so bring your cameras. Currently there is a drawing for a mini-Sheby motorcycle that is pretty sharp looking. it's a small sized bike and only a few hundred were made. Tickets are $5 and you can get them at Perris the next few races. You can be a part of all this by sending a check for $35, made out to Gator Supply-Legends, to: P.O. Box 5331, Torrance, CA 90510. Or call 310-549-3562 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Send a donation if you can't make it. This could be the start of an annual big event, so be a part of it!!!!
Yes, Virginia, the Oval Nationals has been moved one week forward to November 13 thru 15 and now let’s get our tickets. Actually, for those who have already scheduled their trips west, take heart, it will be worth the change as the racing will be fabulous like always.
And now a word from our sponsor. The Wagsdash is firmly in place and all is well in Ventura. The muffler situation will be resolved by the next race there as the quiet mufflers required for Ventura were not installed last week. This caused some “noise” by the fairboard who will be the one’s to give Jim Naylor another contract for racing next year, so compliance is a must. Ron Didonato has the under 95 DBA models for sale as does another local Ventura brand named Extreme. Racers can call the track if they don’t know what brand will work best. There will be only one warning, and if the car doesn’t pass the quiet zone expected after a change, it will go on the trailer!
The current Wagsdash purse totals about $4,200 and obviously needs climbing. In these tough economic times, I will do everything I can to increase it. The annual T-shirt quilt is ready for raffling and tickets have been on sale for two weeks. If you can’t be here to get one, you can send me the money and I’ll fill out tickets for you and put in the bucket. We can Fed Ex it anywhere, and have on more than one occasion, so take a chance on this great quilt everyone would be proud to own. Tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5 or an arms length for $20!!! The annual Wagsdash t-shirt artwork is almost done, so if you want your name or business on it, call me. There are $200, $300 and $500 spots available and for $100 we’ll put your name somewhere special! Also, auction items are needed for the Wagsdash auction, so pictures, die cast stuff or other race items will be appreciated. Don’t give me anything you value or want to keep, but if you have stuff to donate, do it by Wagsdash day.
Please help if you can and the following drivers are eligible for the Wagsdash: Tom Wilhelm # 64, Trevor Brilman # 10, AJ Reyer # 31, Bob Ferro # 91, Brian Venard # 47, Lance Gremett # 85, Mel Murphy #62, Brian Stanfill # 14, Dan Hillberg, # 49 Steve Venard, # 18 Jimmy Crawford, #17 Seth Wilson, # 62 Mel Murphy, # 55 Tony Everhart and # 66 J Hicks. Add to that list Cal Smith, one of our really low buck racers who might chuck the more expensive sprint cars for a smaller Ford Focus machine in the near future. He says it’s cheaper and might work better in his budget.
There is an event each year that Kenzo Okubo, longtime sponsor and crewman for Verne Sweeney, supports for sprint car racing. It’s the annual Japan Expo that is to be held this year on November 15 and 16th in downtown Los Angeles. There will be several sprint cars and drivers there to show the Japanese community what all the excitement is all about. Video’s will be shown and driver autographs will be part of the action that the Wagtimers support each year. It’s an off week before the final race, so plan on it. I will put more info in as we near that date.
With this off weekend, I think I shall do some resting up. We will be back at the PAS on September 20th, the night of the Mopar Million, so maybe there will be a new winner!!! Maybe I’ll get to do a little more yardwork!
A FEATURE (30 Laps)
1. Cory Kruseman. 2. Rip Williams. 3. Damion Gardner. 4. Charles Davis, Jr. 5. Rickie Gaunt. 6. Mike Spencer. 7. Josh Wise. 8. Richard Griffin, 9. Troy Rutherford. 10. Josh Ford. 11. Seth Wilson, 12. Mathew Rossi. 13. Jordan Hermansader, 14. Tony Jones. 15. Verne Sweeney. 16. Dan Hillberg. 17. Bobby Graham. 18. Ron DiDonato, 19. Alan Ballard, 20. Brian Venard. 21. Adam Mitchell. 22. Duane Marcum. Laps Led: Williams 1-7, Gardner 8-21, Williams 22-28, Kruseman 29-30
2003 SCRA points as of 9/7
1. Richard Griffin 1806 2. Troy Rutherford 1704 3. Damion Gardner 1676 4. Rip Williams 1539 5. Mike Spencer 1143 6. Steve Ostling 966 7. Rickie Gaunt 944 8. Cory Kruseman 868 9. Mike English 838 10. Tony Jones 832 11. Josh Ford 832 12. Levi Jones 750 13. Adam Mitchell 717 14. Alan Ballard 669 15. J.J. Yeley 552 16. Verne Sweeney 527 17. Seth Wilson 520 18. Jimmy Crawford 503 19. Charles Davis, Jr 487 20. Bryan Stanfill 462