Rutherford Takes $10K Lakeside Finale
KANSAS CITY, KS, June 16 -- Troy Rutherford and the Gardner Motorsports Team will head back to California a little richer after picking up $10,000 for their win in Saturday's 40 lap Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) main event at Lakeside Speedway.
For Rutherford, the win marked the first time since 1999 that he had claimed an SCRA feature. Saturday's Lakeside finale also marked the end of the Midwestern portion of the Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) tour. The NWWC series will resume on October 25th at the Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona.
"To win the last Non-Winged World Championship race out here and to win $10,000 sure makes it easier for the guys to enjoy the ride home," Rutherford smiled after a hard fought victory that consisted of ten lead changes among five different drivers.
Rutherford also won the JB Enterprise B-Main Event and earned a ninth place spot on the starting grid for the finale. Prior to the B-Main, last night's winner, Steve Ostling, flipped in the JE Pistons Dash. With work still being done in the pit area on Ostling's car, dash winner Rickie Gaunt and front row partner Cory Kruseman were only inches apart exiting turn four as they came down to accept the green flag.
Gaunt held the lead exiting turn two on the bottom and believed that he was clearly ahead of Kruseman when he moved to the outside line heading down the back straight. Unbeknownst to Gaunt, Kruseman had a good run off the banking and was carrying more speed when their cars touched tires. After the contact, Kruseman slid out of control before his car launched off the ground and flipped through the turn three billboards.
Kruseman's spectacular accident triggered flips by SCRA rookie point leader Michael Hinrichsen and George Gervais. Also collected were the cars driven by Ronnie Clark, Kevin Doty and Casey Shuman. Of the drivers involved, Kruseman appeared to be the most visibly shaken. Miraculously, Kruseman cleared the cobwebs, ran across the race track and jumped into the Cory Witherill / WSA Health Care #61 TCR that started the race with Jimmy May in the cockpit.
John Scott assumed Kruseman's spot for the restart. Gaunt held a slight lead coming down to complete the opening lap and ran nearly three-abreast with Richard Griffin to his inside and Scott to his outside. Rutherford took advantage of the jockeying going into turn one and moved his Sander Engineering No. 4 Sled into the second position behind Griffin.
Rutherford jumped into the lead for the first time after a lap three restart. Griffin fought back, however, and retook the lead before the end of the lap. With one set of corners being faster down low and the other set of corners being faster on the cushion, Rutherford and Griffin exchanged the lead at some point on nearly every lap. That is, until third place Scott suddenly slowed to a stop on the racing surface and brought out the caution light on the eighth lap.
Once racing resumed, Rutherford and Griffin continued to swap the top spot until Troy Cline shook-up their battle by slipping under Rutherford on lap 14. Two laps later, Cline passed Griffin for the lead. Before the end of the 16th lap, Lance Gremett spun to a stop causing the yellow flag to wave again. At that time, only Rutherford knew that he had been without power steering since the third lap of the race.
"We blew all the power steering fluid out at the beginning of the race," Rutherford later said. "It was kind of locking up, so I was afraid to go to the top because I didn't want to run the car into the fence. I found a nice groove on the bottom, but when Griffin and Cline went by me on the top I knew the bottom was getting too slow."
The complexion of the race quickly changed two laps after the restart when Cline slipped over the turn one cushion and slapped the wall. Griffin had no chance of avoiding contact and clipped Cline. As Griffin's hobbled car began to slow due to a punctured a right rear tire, the cars behind him all bunched up. Kruseman had worked his way back to sixth when Danny Sheridan inadvertently drove over his front end causing him to spin. Sheridan subsequently tumbled end-over-end, but was not hurt. During the red flag, Cline and Griffin both made repairs and joined Kruseman at the back of the field for the restart.
Like a man on a mission, Kruseman had once again worked his way back up to the sixth position when Cline flipped into the turn four catch fence on lap 25. Gremett had also fought back from an earlier spin and was running fourth on the restart when he flipped in nearly the same spot as Cline. Neither man was injured. Charles Davis, Jr. had been the man on the move since the lap 18 restart. Working the bottom, Davis officially put the Joe Morales / O'Reilly Chevrolet No. 94 Buckley into the lead on the 27th circuit. Kruseman passed Rutherford three laps later only to have a rim-riding Rutherford take it right back.
As if being briefly passed by Kruseman lit a fire under him, Rutherford pulled away from Davis for good after retaking the lead on lap 33. Kruseman drove around Davis as he passed beneath the white flag for what would result in a memorable second place finish. Griffin, who heads home with the NWWC point lead, nearly nipped Davis at the checkered flag, but had to settle for fourth as Mike Kirby finished closely behind in fifth. ### <pre> SCRA RACE #20 - LAKESIDE SPEEDWAY, KANSAS CITY, KS (NWWC #6) Date of Race: 06/16/01
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS 1. Richard Griffin, Chaffin 50, 17.335 2. Lance Gremett, Gremett 85, 17.503 3. John Scott, Scott Mtrsprts 83, 17.535 4. Troy Rutherford, Gardner 4, 17.634 5. Bob Ream, Jr., BRAT Racing 8, 17.658 6. Troy Cline, Cline 11, 17.710 7. Charles Davis, Jr, Morales 94, 17.723 8. Jimmy May, Witherill 61x, 17.735 9. Rip Williams, Jory 3, 17.753 10. Danny Sheridan, Sertich 92, 17.787 11. Michael Hinrichsen (R), Lake Mtrsprts. 6, 17.866 12. Mike Kirby, Geurin 5, 17.875 13. Brian Venard, Pratt 12 , 17.981 14. Shane Alach, Witherill 16x, 18.075 15. Adam Mitchell, Mitchell 99, 18.100 16. George Gervais, Gervais 9, 17.189 17. Kevin Doty, Dooling 6x, 18.206 18. Glenn Crossno (R), Crossno 38, 18.255 19. Ronnie Clark (R), Winter 138, 18.454 20. Casey Shuman, Pratt 12x, 18.471 21. Josh Davis, Davis 98d, 19.407 22. Hank Winter, Winter 33, No Time
Already qualified for JE Pistons Dash: Steve Ostling, Mike English, Cory Kruseman and Rickie Gaunt
HEDMAN HEDDERS HEAT 1 1. Venard, 2. Griffin, 3. Davis, 4. Sheridan, 5. Rutherford, 6. Clark, 7. Gervais.
SHAVER ENGINES HEAT 2 1. Ream, 2. Alach, 3. Gremett, 4. May, 5. Hinrichsen, 6. Doty, 7. Shuman.
KSE PRODUCTS / SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS HEAT 3 1. Kirby, 2. Cline, 3. Mitchell, 4. Scott, 5. Williams, 6. Crossno,
JE PISTONS DASH 1. Gaunt, 2. Kruseman, 3. Griffin, 4. Scott, 5. English, 6. Ream, 7. Gremett, 8. Ostling
JB ENTERPRISE B FEATURE 1. Rutherford, 2. Williams, 3. Hinrichsen, 4. Crossno, 5. Clark, 6. Doty, 7. Gervais, 8. Shuman, 9. Davis
A FEATURE (40 Laps) 1. Rutherford, 2. Kruseman, 3. Davis, 4. Griffin, 5. Kirby, 6. Ream, 7. Gaunt, 8. Williams, 9. English, 10. Alach, 11. Clark, 12. Venard, 13. Gremett, 14. Cline, 15. Sheridan, 16. Gervais, 17. Scott, 18. Shuman, 19. Mitchell, 20. Ostling, 21. Kruseman (#45 car), 22. Hinrichsen, 23. Doty, 24. Crossno,
*Note: Kruseman started the race in car #45, but drove car #61x after flipping on the opening lap.
SCRA Point Standings as of: 06/16/01
CAR NAME HOMETOWN POINTS
1. 45 Cory Kruseman Ventura CA 1375 2. 50 Richard Griffin Silver City NM 1191 3. 4 Troy Rutherford Ojai CA 1104 4. 5 Mike Kirby Lomita CA 1059 5. 83 John Scott Hesperia CA 951 29 Steve Ostling Corona CA 951 7. 3 Rip Williams Yorba Linda CA 900 8. 7 Mike English Norwalk CA 856 9. 5x Rickie Gaunt Torrance CA 788 10. 94 Charles Davis, Jr. Chandler, AZ 753
Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) Point Standings as of: 06/16/01
1. 50 Richard Griffin Silver City NM 412 2. 45 Cory Kruseman Ventura CA 383 3. 5 Mike Kirby Lomita CA 348 4. 4 Troy Rutherford Ojai CA 329 5. 5x Rickie Gaunt Torrance CA 278 6. 29 Steve Ostling Corona CA 273 7. 3 Rip Williams Yorba Linda CA 269 8. 94 Charles Davis, Jr. Chandler, AZ 253 9. 7 Mike English Norwalk CA 248 10. 83 John Scott Hesperia CA 238