CRA: Tucson recap, Perris preview

CRA POINT LEAD EXPANDS; PERRIS NEXT 10/22 Damion Gardner's Valvoline/USAC CRA Sprint Car point lead has expanded to 90 points over defending series champion Rip Williams following Saturday night's event at USA Race Park in Tucson,...

CRA POINT LEAD EXPANDS; PERRIS NEXT 10/22

Damion Gardner's Valvoline/USAC CRA Sprint Car point lead has expanded to 90 points over defending series champion Rip Williams following Saturday night's event at USA Race Park in Tucson, Ariz. The two will renew their battle for the championship Oct. 22 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway, but now have Cory Kruseman to worry about.

Kruseman, of Ventura, Calif., won Saturday's race at Tucson and has closed to within just four points of Williams and 94 of Gardner! A total of 74 points will be up for grabs at Perris and seven subsequent races are still on tap in the 2005 series.

Kruseman led only the final seven laps at Tucson after passing Jeremy Sherman on lap 24 in his ITI Performance/Sander Engineering TCR/Downing. Gardner finished second ahead of Jerry Coons Jr., Mike Kirby and Sherman. Danny Ebberts, Sherman and Coons took turns leading the first 23 laps of the race.

In terms of Perris appearances in the 16 races there so far this year, Kruseman and Gardner would appear to have the advantage. Cory has had 11 podium finishes (1, 2 or 3), which includes five wins. Gardner has had 10, but eight of those have been wins. Williams, on the other hand, has had seven, but only two triumphs. Gardner was the fastest qualifier for the first nine Perris races this year and for three more! Ironically, neither Kruseman nor Williams have posted the fast time at The PAS, the other four fast qualifiers there being Johnny Rodriguez, Mike Spencer, Charles Davis Jr. and Rickie Gaunt.

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Damion Gardner-1,672
2.-Rip Williams-1,582
3.-Cory Kruseman-1,578
4.-Mike Kirby-1,444
5.-Charles Davis, Jr.-1,244
6.-Rickie Gaunt-1,181
7.-Mike Spencer-1,115
8.-Josh Ford-975
9.-Seth Wilson-880
10.-Danny Sheridan-876

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Series USAC
Drivers Danny Ebberts , Cory Kruseman , Johnny Rodriguez , Charles Davis Jr. , Seth Wilson , Rip Williams , Josh Ford , Damion Gardner , Mike Spencer , Danny Sheridan , Jerry Coons Jr.
Teams Williams