KRUSEMAN TAKES THE HIGH ROAD TO VICTORY by Robert Mayson VENTURA, CA., September 5 -- Cory Kruseman excited the hometown crowd with a spectacular high groove charge from the seventh starting spot Saturday night at the ...
KRUSEMAN TAKES THE HIGH ROAD TO VICTORY
by Robert Mayson VENTURA, CA., September 5 -- Cory Kruseman excited the hometown crowd with a spectacular high groove charge from the seventh starting spot Saturday night at the Ventura Raceway. "I knew if I followed (everyone on the bottom) that I was going to finish fourth or fifth, so I thought I might as well be the one that gives the top a shot. It's just nice to be able to come home and do this in front of all our fans and sponsors," Kruseman said surrounded by a mass of autograph seekers. The victory was Kruseman's second Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) win in his last three starts. Had it not been for a late yellow flag one week ago at the Perris Auto Speedway, the Harlan Willis owned Selway Machine Tool / D&M Rebar No. 45 Okie would have just posted the team's third straight win. "After getting beat by Mike Kirby with two laps to go last week, I don't think I slept one night this week," said Kruseman. "You hate giving them up like that because they're just to hard too get." Earlier, Richard Griffin won his sixth JE Pistons Dash of the season to give the Ron Chaffin / Boot Jack Equipment No. 50 Ellis the pole for the 30 lap feature. Griffin immediately jumped out to a comfortable lead after beating outside front row starter Verne Sweeney into turn one. At the completion of lap one, Griffin and Sweeney were chased by Rickie Gaunt, Troy Rutherford and Michael Smith. A miscue by Sweeney on lap two dropped him to fourth after he slid wide exiting the second turn. With Jeremy Sherman already having muscled his way into the fourth spot, Kruseman broke into the top-five on the tenth lap. Rodney Argo, who started 17th, had aggressively moved to the tenth position before he spun to a stop in turn three bringing out a lap eleven caution flag. Griffin once again assumed control of the race and rode around the cushion relatively unchallenged through the midway mark. Shortly thereafter, "The Gasman" started developing motor problems. Driving the Gaunt Construction No. 40 Okie, Gaunt used the low line to closed-in on Griffin with 17 laps already into the record books. All too aware that he was slowing, Griffin moved down to the bottom attempting to protect his lead. With Rutherford having fallen to fifth, Sherman and Kruseman narrowed the gap to make it a four way battle for the lead. Of the four, only Kruseman elected to run the cushion. It was a decision that would ultimately win him the race. With ten to go, Kruseman's first high-side victim was Sherman. Carrying more momentum than anyone on the track, Kruseman passed Gaunt heading down the backstraight on the following lap. Still riding tall on the cushion, Kruseman launched off the second corner and took the lead from Griffin on lap 23. "I just about kick the floor pan out when I went by Griffin because I was so excited," Kruseman recalled later. Griffin went back up stairs for a moment, but realizing that he was much better served on the bottom with his current mechanical situation. While in the process of extending his lead, Kruseman had a close call five laps from the finish when Smith came to a stop in turn two as Kruseman was rounding the first corner. Hard on the binders, Kruseman avoided contact with the parked car and somehow kept from stalling as the yellow flag appeared. Exercising the demons of last week, Kruseman sped away on the restart and handily drove to victory. Gaunt slipped under Griffin on the final corner for second. Griffin managed to finish third only to have his engine quit and catch fire shortly after crossing the line. Meanwhile, fourth place Sherman nearly spun in the infield heading to the checkered flag. Rutherford and Troy Cline darted by, dropping Sherman to sixth. Rutherford's fourth place finish completed a good evening for the local driver who gave car owners Bill & Lida Lloyd's their first ever Sander Engineering Fast Time Award. _________________________________________________________________ RACE #27 VENTURA RACEWAY- VENTURA, CA Date of Race: 9/5/98 SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS 1. Troy Rutherford, Ojai CA, Lloyd, 41 , 11.842 2. Rickie Gaunt, Torrance CA, Gaunt Const. 40 , 11.884 3. Richard Griffin, Silver City NM, Chaffin 50 , 11.910 4. Marc Hart, Ventura CA, Hart 15 , 11.958 5. Mike English, Norwalk CA, Priestley 7 , 12.009 6. Michael Smith, Trona CA, Smith 121 , 12.022 7. Steve Ostling, Corona CA, Pratt 12 , 12.051 8. Verne Sweeney, Lomita CA, Sweeney 98 , 12.079 9. Cory Kruseman, Ventura CA, Willis 45 , 12.093 10. Jeremy Sherman, Phoenix AZ, Clark 78 , 12,096 11. Rip Williams, Yorba Linda CA, Jory 3 , 12.106 12. Troy Cline, Hawthorne CA, Cline 11 , 12.119 13. Tony Jones, Corona CA, Cowherd Racing 48 , 12.119 14. Chris Wakit, Simi Valley CA, Wakis 9X , 12,168 15. Gary W. Howard, Fontana CA.,Lloyd 34 , 12.175 16. Danny Ent, Big Bear City CA, Ent Racing 81 , 12.180 17. Mike Boat, Peoria AZ, Sertich 92 , 12.185 18. Brian Venard, Tustin CA, Venard 97 , 12.211 19. Ed Patterson, 111, Oakview CA, Patterson, Jr 56 , 12.213 20. Rodney Argo, El Segundo CA, Argo 19 , 12.295 21. Mike Kirby, Lomita CA, Geurin 5 , 12.328 22. Chris Smith, Trona CA, Glover 8X , 12.411 23. Dwight Cheney, Arcadia CA, Cheney 42 , 12.449 24. J Hicks, Torrance CA, Sweeney. 98S , 12.522 25. Rick Hinrichsen, Lakeside CA, Core Mtrsprts. 22 , 12.538 26. Steve Alexander, Torrance CA.,Alexander 89 , 12.545 27. Rick Cresse, Castaic CA, Cresse 18 , 12.572 28. Jordan Hermansader, Long Beach CA,Gardner Jr. 96 , 12.595 29. Jim Thomson, Norwalk CA, Thomson 37X , 12.643 30. Paul Beregszaszy, Glendale AZ.,Bereg Racing 54 , 12.941 31. John Franklin, Huntington Bch. CA, Franklin 20 , 13.207
SUPERTRAPP HEAT 1 1. Mike Kirby, 2. Cory Kruseman, 3. Tony Jones, 4, Troy Rutherford, 5. Mike Boat, 6. Jim Thomson, 7. Rick Hinrichsen, 8. Mike English,
SHAVER RACING ENGINES HEAT 2 1. Jeremy Sherman, 2. Rickie Gaunt, 3. Michael Smith, 4. Chris Wakim, 5. Brian Venard, 6. Paul Beregszaszy, 7. Chris Smith, 8. Steve Alexander,
SYSTEM ONE HEAT 3 1. Ed Patterson, 111, 2. Rip Williams, 3. Richard Griffin, 4. Gary W. Howard, 5. Steve Ostling, 6. Dwight Cheney, 7. Rick Cresse, 8. John Franklin,
KSE PRODUCTS HEAT 4 1. Troy Cline, 2. Rodney Argo, 3. Verne Sweeney, 4. Marc Hart, 5. J Hicks, 6. Jordan Hermansader, 7. Danny Ent,
JE PISTONS PASSING MASTERS DASH 1. Richard Griffin. 2. Verne Sweeney. 3. Troy Rutherford. 4. Rickie Gaunt. 5. Michael Smith. 6. Jeremy Sherman. 7. Cory Kruseman. 8. Marc Hart.
B FEATURE 1. Mike English. 2. Steve Ostling. 3. J Hicks. 4. Danny Ent. 5. Brian Venard. 6. Jordan Hermansader. 7. Dwight Cheney. 8. Chris Smith. 9. Steve Alexander. 10. Rick Hinricbsen. 11. Paul Beregszaszy. 12. John Franklin. 13. Mike Boat. 14. Jim Thomson. 15. Rick Cresse.
A FEATURE 1. Cory Kruseman. 2. Rickie Gaunt. 3. Richard Griffin. 4. Troy Rutherford. 5. Troy Cline, 6. Jeremy Sherman. 7. Mike English. 8. Steve Ostling. 9. Mike Kirby. 10. Tony Jones, 11. Rip Williams. 12. Marc Hart. 13. Gary W. Howard. 14. Danny Ent. 15. Ed Patterson, III. 16. Chris Wakim. 17. J Hicks. 18. Michael Smith. 19. Rodney Argo. 20. Verne Sweeney. Laps Led: Griffin 1-22, Kruseman 23-30