...Continued from front page
"It was a nice run", understated Torrence's
Kirby. "The Crossno's have a car with the best of everything. Great engines,
a great crew, and we are looking forward to a full season."
Before the feature started, Jimmy Crawford,
the pole sitter bowed out with mechanical woes, moving Chico driver Jason
York to the coveted inside front row starting position. York outgunned fellow
visiting Northern California star, Andy Forsberg to lead the opening two
circuits. Kirby was right on York's rear nerf, and drove hard enough to
make contact with the wall exiting turn two on lap two. Kirby then took
the lead in spectacular fashion on lap three with a hair raising 'needle
thread' move on the back chute, splitting the 'No-Cals'.
As Kirby ran away, Rip Williams was making
moves in the John Jory #3. On lap eight, Williams took over third from Forsberg
on the backstraightaway. One lap later, Cory Kruseman also moved by Forsberg
to place the Alexander Racing #4 into the top four. By lap 12, Kirby was
in deep traffic as the battle for the runner-up spot intensified. Williams
pressured York, and made his runner-up pass in turn two. Meanwhile, quick
qualifier, Troy Rutherford ventured into the top five from his ninth starting
Kruseman started to get hooked up by mid race,
leading to some of the most entertaining dicing of the night. On lap 18
and 19, Williams and Kruseman swapped the second spot twice to the delight
of the large and enthusiastic crowd. The only caution flag of the race appeared
on lap 22 when Greg Bragg in the Pratt #12, suffered a flat tire in turn
Kirby controlled the final laps to win convincingly
over Kruseman, Williams, Rutherford, and Damion Gardner. Sixth through tenth
were, York, Tony Jones, Rick Ziehl, Forsberg, and Jordan Hermansader.
Kruseman, driving a scattered 2004 schedule,
told infield announcer Chris Holt, "It's exciting to go to the racetrack
with these people (Alexander's). It is great to know that when my schedule
permits, I will have a fast car to race here."
Heat race winners included Gardner, Bragg,
and Josh Ford. Gardner's Heat One win was the most exciting race of the
night. He and Ziehl dueled side by side, and passed and repassed each other
before a photo finish gave the nod to Gadner in his first race as driver
of the Ron Chaffin #50. The car was vacated by Richard Griffin who retired.
The Last Chance race was snared by Rutherford.
27 cars timed-in for the first race of the newly formed USAC-CRA series.
The night was flip-free, and efficiently executed. The feature event was
over by 9:15 PM. Past Indy 500 winner, Parnelli Jones took in the action
on a cool night in Southern California.
The series has next weekend off but returns
to action March 19th in Phoenix, AZ. The internationally famous Manzanita
Speedway will host the "Sokola Classic".
VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE
RESULTS: March 6, 2004 Perris, California Perris Auto Speedway
"Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply Showdown"
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Troy Rutherford, 7, Priestley-17.115;
2. Cory Kruseman, 4, Alexander-17.216; 3. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.283;
4. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-17.370; 5. Mike Kirby, 38, Crossno-17.425;
6. Tony Jones, 2, Vermeer/Ferreria-17.454; 7. Dwayne Marcum, 25, Ruth-17.478;
8. Jordan Hermansader, 91, Ferro-17.495; 9. Jason York, 25N, York-17.495;
10. Andy Forsberg, 92, Forsberg-17.497; 11. Greg Taylor, 19, Sala-17.514;
12. Tony Elliott, 42, Cheney-17.625; 13. Jimmy Crawford, 18, Crawford-17.657;
14. Levi Jones, 38J, Crossno-17.673; 15. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-17.725; 16.
Jon Stanbrough, 0, Shoemaker-17.748; 17. Adam Mitchell, 14, Lancaster-17.760;
18. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-17.785; 19. Brian Venard, 47, Venard-17.795;
20. Greg Bragg, 12, Pratt-17.828; 21. Ron DiDonato, 77, Acosta-17.862; 22.
Mark Heidenreich, 22, Heidenreich-18.193; 23. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-18.382;
24. Ronnie Case, 33, Blair-18.470; 25. Rick Ziehl, 7s, Scott-18.632; 26.
Duane Feduska, 23, Bellegante-18.847; 27. Matthew Rossi, 16, Rossi-18.942.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Ziehl,
3. Stanbrough, 4. Forsberg, 5. Crawford, 6. Heidenreich, 7. Marcum, 8. Venard,
9. Rutherford. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bragg, 2. Mitchell,
3. Kirby, 4. L. Jones, 5. Kruseman, 6. Ballard, 7. Hermansader, 8. Feduska,
9. Taylor. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ford, 2. T.Jones,
3. York, 4. Case, 5. Williams, 6. DiDonato, 7. Rossi, 8. Cardey, 9. Elliott.
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Rutherford, 2. Hermansader,
3. Marcum, 4. Cardey, 5. Taylor, 6. Ballard, 7. Elliott, 8. DiDonato, 9.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Mike Kirby, 2. Cory
Kruseman, 3. Rip Williams, 4. Troy Rutherford, 5. Damion Gardner, 6. Jason
York, 7. Tony Jones, 8. Rick Ziehl, 9. Andy Forsberg, 10. Jordan Hermansader,
11. Greg Taylor, 12. Jon Stanbrough, 13. Greg Bragg, 14. Dwayne Marcum,
15. Josh Ford, 16. David Cardey, 17. Adam Mitchell, 18. Ronnie Case, 19.
Levi Jones, 20. Jimmy Crawford. NT -----------------------
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 York, Laps 3-30
NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Kirby-68;
2-Kruseman-66; 3-Williams-62; 4-Rutherford-61; 5-Gardner-59; 6-York-51;
7-T.Jones-50; 8-Ziehl-46; 9-Forsberg-41; 10-Hermansader-36.
NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: March 19
Phoenix, AZ Manzanita Speedway "Sokola Classic"
Racer's Racing Series