By Ken Wagner – 5/8/05


Damion Gardner, from Concord, California won his fourth Valvoline USAC/CRA main event win of the season in his Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Arizona Race Mart, Eagle, Shaver powered # 50 sprinter. He came from the sixth starting spot riding the high groove and taking the lead with two laps to go from Mike Kirby who had led from the start in the 30 lap feature at Ventura Raceway.


Kirby had been enjoying a nice lead when a yellow flag flew with five laps to go and Damion in a close second place. The last restart quickly became a titanic battle for the lead. Damion passed Kirby twice before it stuck with two laps to go. The Demon was very patient and said in the winners circle “I was so high up on the cushion, it didn’t look like I was gaining on them at first, but then I started reeling them in and we won this one in the end”. He was followed by Kirby, Cory Kruseman, Blake Miller (the local 360 VRA point leader) and Mike Spencer, with his best finish of the year so far, across the stripe.


Point leader, Rip Williams, suffered a flat tire early in the feature and came all the way back to seventh for a great drive. Young Alan Ballard missed a transfer to the main when he was fifth in the Semi, but took a provisional to start 21st in the main. He immediately got on his head on the opening lap, but restarted and got the hard charger award coming back to 10th.


On a perfect night by the ocean, while other tracks around the state suffered rainouts, the big crowd enjoyed great racing and an early drive home. The 10 o’clock curfew gets everyone in and out early and you just can’t beat the racing on the small quarter mile bullring known as “the best little dirt track by the sea”.


Earlier in the night Damion took two hot laps to honor Marge Bromme, the mother of his crew chief Bruce Bromme Jr, who passed away last Tuesday. Marge, often called “Mom” by all those who loved her, was the heart of the Bromme Racing team from the beginning. She collected and organized albums of racing items like decals, programs, business cards, hat pins and more to document her love for the sport. She  leaves behind her son Bruce, his wife Pam and her pooch Misty. Any donations can be made to: Hospice Partners of Central Coast, 277 South Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 92401.



VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 7, 2005 – Ventura, California – Ventura Raceway 
  QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-11.999; 2. J.Hicks, 66, Miller-11.999; 3. Tony Jones, 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-12.018; 4. Charles Davis, Jr., 8A, Smiley-12.054; 5. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-12.065; 6. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-12.132; 7. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-12.137; 8. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-12.203; 9. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-12.226; 10. Mike Kirby, 4, Alexander-12.244; 11. Blake Miller, 5x, Keller-12.250; 12. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-12.250; 13. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-12.280; 14. R.J. Johnson, 15AZ, Martin-12.326; 15. Seth Wilson, 17, Racing Optics-12.369; 16. Dan Hillberg, 82, Hillberg-12.391; 17. Steve Ostling, 5, Keller-12.399; 18. Jimmy Crawford, 17C, Crawford-12.412; 19. Ronnie Case, 0, Shoemaker-12.431; 20. Clark Templeman III, 18T, Luport-12.457; 21. Bobby Graham, 14, Lancaster-12.489; 22. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-12.709; 23. Steve Conrad, 91, Ferro-12.795; 24. Ron Bach, 48, Bach-12.916; 25. Joshua Williams, 34, Williams-13.249; 26. Hobie Conway, 29x, Conway-13.273; 27. Dennis Rodriguez, 20, Rowher-13.402; 28. Shawn Kautz, 29, Kautz-13.431; 29. Ron Tjaarda, 0X, Kruseman-14.341. 
  FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1.
Gardner, 2. Ostling, 3. R.Williams, 4. Gaunt, 5. J.Williams, 6. Tjaarda, 7. Ballard, 8. Graham. NT 
  SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kirby, 2. Hicks, 3.
Sheridan, 4. Johnson, 5. Conway, 6. Keller, 7. Crawford. NT 
  THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Conrad, 2. Case, 3. Miller, 4. Spencer, 5. Rodriguez, 6.
Wilson, 7. Jones. NT 
  FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kruseman, 2. Argo, 3. Bach, 4. Templeman, 5. Kautz, 6.
Davis, 7. Hillberg. NT 
  SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Jones, 2.
Davis, 3. Crawford, 4. Wilson, 5. Ballard, 6. J.Williams, 7. Kautz, 8. Keller, 9. Rodriguez, 10.Hillberg, 11. Conway, 12, Tjaarda. NT 
  FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. Mike Kirby, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Blake Miller, 5. Mike Spencer, 6. Tony Jones, 7. Rip Williams, 8. Charles Davis, Jr., 9. Rickie Gaunt, 10. Alan Ballard, 11. Seth Wilson, 12. Steve Conrad, 13. Danny Sheridan, 14. R.J. Johnson, 15. Steve Ostling, 16. Ron Bach, 17. Ronnie Case, 18. J.Hicks, 19. Rodney Argo, 20. Jimmy Crawford, 21. Clark Templeman III. NT 
**Ballard flipped at the start of the feature. Rodney Argo flipped on the second lap of the feature. 
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-28 Kirby, Laps 29-30 Gardner. 
NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-R.Williams-571; 2-Kirby-541; 3-Davis-537; 4-Gardner-521; 5-Kruseman-503; 6-Gaunt-395; 7-Jones-321; 8-Josh Ford-310; 9-Wilson-299; 10-Spencer-297.