THE KRUSER MAKES A HOUSECALL AT BAKERSFIELD! By Ken Wagner -West Coast USAC correspondent
The Valvoline USAC/CRA series made the first ever visit to Bakersfield this week while Cory Kruseman made a family visit to Grandma's house nearby in town. While he was there, he slipped over to Bakersfield Speedway and won the 30 lap main event, his fourth of the season in the Mark Alexander car. It looked easier than it was, but he later said "the Alexander's set-up the car so easy to drive, anyone can win in it".
Cory jumped into the lead on lap seven and was "kruising" until late in the race when Bud Kaeding, a fellow National USAC points chaser, moved up to challenge him from second place. On the last two restarts, Bud gave him a wheel, but Cory stayed in the fast groove and pulled away for the win, with Kaeding settling for second. Kaeding had showed his tenacity in his heat when he jumped above the cushion to go for the ten lap win. No one else dared make that move in the heats as the track was very narrow early on.
Cory will take on the $30,000 challenge at the Temecula Valley Pipe and Supply Oval Nationals this coming week in the Tony Stewart sprinter. The Demon, Damion Gardner, quietly made his move from tenth to third in the Main Event, that is until the last lap when he jumped by two cars, to make the podium for the second week in a row. He and point leader, Rip Williams, both missed transferring directly to the main from their heats to miss out on any points in this championship battle that is heating up.
Earlier, Rip set fast time on a lap that he pulled a giant wheelie coming to the checkered flag and still stayed on the gas! That woke up the crowd! In the feature, Rip spun out and had to go to the back for a restart. He finished eighth and Damion picked up 13 points on the Ripper, so the next two weeks will be very important for both. Jordan Hermansader, in the team car to Kruseman's, ran fourth with Mike Spencer and Mike Kirby rounding out the top six.
Bobby Michnowicz won the 25 lap USAC Ford Focus event, leading all the way.
VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 23, 2004 - Bakersfield, California - Bakersfield Speedway QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-12.571; 2. Bobby Cody, 41, Cody-12.669; 3. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-12.709; 4. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-12.750; 5. Rick Ziehl, 14, Lancaster-12.818; 6. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-12.843; 7. Jordan Hermansader, 4, Alexander-12.943; 8. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-12.967; 9. Cory Kruseman, 4, Alexander-13.023; 10. Rodney Argo, 91, Ferro-13.030; 11. Clark Templeman, 18T, Templeman-13.122; 12. Mike English, 92, Sertich-13.131; 13. Greg Bragg, 12, Pratt-13.143; 14. Mike Kirby, 38, Crossno-13.220; 15. Bill Rose, 5, Keller-13.246; 16. Ronnie Case, 33, Blair-13.517; 17. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-13.585; 18. Nadine Keller, 6, Keller-13.745; 19. Steve Conrad, 56, Conrad-14.057; 20. Dennis Rodriguez, 20, Rowher-14.694.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kaeding, 2. Case, 3. Bragg, 4. Hermansader, 5. Williams, 6, Argo, 7, Conrad. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kirby, 2. Stansberry, 3. Spencer, 4. Cody, 5. Ziehl, 6. Templeman, 7. Rodriguez. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. English, 2. Rose, 3. Ballard, 4. Kruseman, 5. Gardner, 6. Keller. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cory Kruseman, 2. Bud Kaeding, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Jordan Hermansader, 5. Mike Spencer, 6. Mike Kirby, 7. Rick Ziehl, 8. Rip Williams, 9. Mike English, 10. Clark Templeman, 11. Ronnie Case, 12. Tom Stansberry, 13. Nadine Keller, 14. Dennis Rodriguez, 15. Steve Conrad, 16. Rodney Argo, 17. Greg Bragg, 18. Alan Ballard, 19. Bill Rose, 20. Bobby Cody. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Bragg, Laps 7-30 Kruseman.
NEW VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Williams-1,488; 2-Gardner-1,427; 3-Kirby-1,389; 4-Troy Rutherford-948; 5-Bragg-847; 6-Spencer-796; 7-Ostling-774; 8-Tony Jones-773; 9-Cody-756; 10-Hermansader-696.