Gardner bounces back, takes USAC/CRA at Skagit
night earlier, Damion Gardner had just made a pass for the lead, only to get
bitten by a slower car and spin out. Saturday night at Skagit Speedway Gardner
bounced back, leading all 40 laps to win the second night of the United States
Auto Club / California Racing Association double-header at the
roared to the initial lead with Friday night feature winner Cory Kruseman
of Ventura, Calif. and Mike Kirby or Torrance, Calif. following. On lap two,
Australian Peter Murphy moved around new
Following a lap three caution, Murphy and Statler both passed Kirby for third and fourth place, respectively. On lap six Murphy bobbled badly, allowing Statler to take the third position.
second caution flag of the race came out on lap nine for Tony Jones, who also
spun out on lap three. Rip Williams, one of the best wingless sprint car racers
ever to come out of
Marysville's Jeff Bell, the top local finisher on Friday, brought out another caution on lap 16 when he cut his right rear tire and was unable to move down around the other cars to reach the pit area.
Kirby moved into the fourth position on lap 27, making it Gardner, Kruseman, Williams, Kirby, and Statler the top five. Kruseman's night came to an end on lap 28 when he made contact with the turn two wall and came to a stop entering the back stretch of the 3/10-mile, high-banked, clay oval. Williams inherited the second place position as a result of Kruseman's misfortune.
The ensuing restart saw Bobby Cody pass Murphy for fifth, as the only foreign driver in the field starting struggling and fell back through the field quickly. Murphy would come to a stop on lap 30 to bring out another caution.
strong as Williams looked,
John Tharp of Snohomish was the highest finishing local driving, taking sixth place. Danny Sheridan, Bud Kaeding, Greg Bragg, and local racer Brock Lemley rounded out the top ten. Murphy and Kruseman were credited with 17th and 18th place finishes, respectively.
Rick Ziehl, who finished 13th in the feature, set fast time in qualifying with a time of 13.722 seconds around the track.
-lap heat races were run, each sending its top four finishers to the A-Main. Murphy, Gardner, Kirby, and Statler all claimed checkered flags, while the likes of Jones, Kaeding, Sheridan, and Bragg all had to run the 12-lap B-Main.
finished first in the 12-lap semi-feature, which sent the top eight finishers
to the A-Main. Taking the other seven transfer positions were Sheridan, Lemley,
sprint car races at Skagit Speedway are rare, and it showed on Friday as most
of the local racers struggled without the wings.
cars were on hand for the second night of the debut of USAC dirt sprint cars
Fast qualifier: 7s Rick Ziehl, 13.722 seconds
Heat 1 (10 laps): 1. 0K Peter Murphy, 2. 88 Jesse Whitney, 3. 4 Cory Kruseman, 4. 7s Rick Ziehl, 5. 5 Mike Spencer, 6. 44h Michael Harris, 7. 7o Roger Oudman. Top four finishers transfer to A-Main.
2 (10 laps): 1. 50 Damion
Heat 3 (10 laps): 1. 38 Mike Kirby, 2. 62 Axel Walker, 3. 8a Brian Ash, 4. 33 Ronnie Case, 5. 3v Dave Mead, 6. 26 Bud Kaeding, 7. 4x Jorden Hermansader. Top four finishers transfer to A-Main.
4 (10 laps): 1. 26R Jason Statler, 2. 9 Jeff
(12 laps): 1. 7K Tony Jones, 2. 21 Danny Sheridan, 3. 10 Brock Lemley, 4.
26 Bud Kaeding, 5. 69T John Tharp, 6. 12 Greg Bragg, 7. 44h Michael Harris,
8. 1 Jimmy Dietz, 9. 3v Dave Mead, 10. 7o Roger Oudman, DNS - 4x
(40 laps): 1. 50 Damion Gardner, 2. 3 Rip Williams, 3. 38 Mike Kirby, 4. 26R
Jason Statler, 5. 41 Bobby Cody, 6. 69T John Tharp, 7. 21 Danny Sheridan,
8. 26 Bud Kaeding, 9. 12 Greg Bragg, 10. 10 Brock Lemley,
11. 88 Jesse Whitney, 12. 6
Mike Spencer, 13. 7s Rick Ziehl,
14. 33 Ronnie Case, 15. 75
NOTE: Mike Spencer substituted for Nadine Keller in the #6 car.
NEW VALVOLINE USAC/CRA
SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Williams-873; 2-Gardner-847; 3-Kirby-801; 4-Troy Rutherford-675;
5-Jones-573; 6-Steve Ostling-476; 7-Bragg-472; 8-Kruseman-470; 9-Brian Venard-461;
NEW VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Williams-873; 2-Gardner-847; 3-Kirby-801; 4-Troy Rutherford-675; 5-Jones-573; 6-Steve Ostling-476; 7-Bragg-472; 8-Kruseman-470; 9-Brian Venard-461; 10-Hermansader-439.
NEXT VALVOLINE USAC/CRA
SPRINT CAR RACE: August 7 - Perris (CA) Auto Speedway
NEXT VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: August 7 - Perris (CA) Auto Speedway
USAC/CRA - www.usacracing.com