CRA: Weekly racing news 2006-07-10

CRA LEADERS KRUSEMAN, GARDNER & SHERIDAN SET FOR "INDIANA SPRINT WEEK" OPENERS; CLAUSON, HINES, SWINDELL & SANTOS ALL WIN USAC/CRA Sprint Car point leaders Cory Kruseman, Damion Gardner and Danny Sheridan will join USAC National...

CRA LEADERS KRUSEMAN, GARDNER & SHERIDAN SET FOR "INDIANA SPRINT WEEK" OPENERS; CLAUSON, HINES, SWINDELL & SANTOS ALL WIN

USAC/CRA Sprint Car point leaders Cory Kruseman, Damion Gardner and Danny Sheridan will join USAC National Sprint car regulars for this week's "Indiana Sprint Week" openers Thursday through Sunday respectively at North Vernon, Bloomington, Haubstadt and Kokomo.

Kruseman, of Ventura, Calif., leads the CRA points, while Gardner, of Concord, Calif., is second and Sheridan, of Santa Maria, Calif., ranks fifth. Gardner has five CRA wins so far in defense of his 2005 CRA title, while Kruseman has won three times out west.

Five former "Indiana Sprint Week" champions are expected to compete for this year's title, including two-time champions Levi Jones (2004-05), Dave Darland (1998 & 2001), Tony Elliott (1999), Jay Drake (2000) and Kruseman (2002).

Thursday's venue is Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, where Kruseman won last year's opener. Bloomington Speedway hosts Friday's race, where Tracy Hines is the defending race winner. Kruseman also won last year at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, which hosts Saturday's event. The newly-refurbished Kokomo Speedway rejoins the tour this year after a two-year hiatus. Bud Kaeding won there in 2003. "Indiana Sprint Week" concludes with events July 19-21 at Gas City, Lawrenceburg and Terre Haute.

Bobby Santos III and Tracy Hines are the most recent winners in the USAC National Sprint Car Series. Santos, of Franklin, Mass., won Saturday's 30-lap 7th Annual "Hemelgarn/Super Fitness Open Wheel Classic" at the Toledo (Ohio) Speedway in his Sander/Advanced Racing Beast/Mopar. Dave Steele led the first 28 laps before Santos made his winning pass, and Steele finished second ahead of Ron Gregory, fast qualifier Bryan Clauson and Levi Jones. Hines, of New Castle, Ind., passed Clauson on lap 21 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway and led the final 10 laps of Wednesday's 30-lap "Salute to the Red, White & Blue Kroger" feature, which had been postponed from the previous night by rain. Clauson finished second behind Hines' Kroger/Tide, Bounty-Pringles Beast/Mopar, ahead of NASCAR star Ryan Newman, Josh Wise and Michael Lewis. Wise led the first 11 laps of the race.

Kevin Swindell and Santos are the most recent winners in the National Midget Series, which resumes July 21-22 at the Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile. Swindell, of Germantown, Tenn., recorded his initial USAC triumph in Saturday's Toledo 30-lapper in the Super Shox/Sanders Spike/Stanton Mopar. The son of legendary racer Sammy Swindell led all 30 laps to beat Clauson, Steele, Jones and Tom Hessert III. Santos grabbed a last-lap victory in Wednesday's Columbus 30-lapper, passing a slowing Wise on the final lap in his Wirtgen America Beast/Esslinger Ford. Wise's engine expired after he took the white flag. Brad Kuhn, Newman, Todd Beach and Swindell rounded out the "top-five."

Wise emerged from last week's races with a 41-point lead over teammate Jones in the Sprint Car standings, while Clauson cut Jerry Coons Jr.'s National Midget point lead to just one. Coons finished 13th and 18th in the Columbus and Toledo features.

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Series USAC
Drivers Ryan Newman , Kevin Swindell , Brad Kuhn , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Sammy Swindell , Cory Kruseman , Tom Hessert III , Jay Drake , Ron Gregory , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Bobby Santos III , Todd Beach , Bryan Clauson , Danny Sheridan