TWO-IN-A-ROW FOR KRUSEMAN AT THE PAS By Robert Mayson Perris, CA., March 15-For the second straight race at the Perris Auto Speedway, Cory Kruseman lead every lap for a wire-to-wire 30-lap Sprint Car...
TWO-IN-A-ROW FOR KRUSEMAN AT THE PAS By Robert Mayson
Perris, CA., March 15-For the second straight race at the Perris Auto Speedway, Cory Kruseman lead every lap for a wire-to-wire 30-lap Sprint Car Racing Association win Saturday night.
On a night when many teams were happy just to be able to roll their cars back into the trailer, Kruseman rolled the Harlan Willis owned Del Mar Wire/Avenue Cable TV No. 45 Drake into victory lane and made it look easy. "I can't thank my crew enough," said a grinning Kruseman. "I have a great car owner and everything is coming together right now. I'm just going to take it and run, and hopefully we can keep it going."
The race started with J.E. Piston Dash winner, Steve Ostling, on the pole and Kruseman outside of him. At the drop of the green flag, Ostling and Kruseman battled into turn one, until Richard Griffin bicycled, clipped another car and flipped. Griffin was uninjured and amazingly the crew made enough repairs to allow "The Gasman" to rejoin the rear of the 22-car field.
The second restart was nearly the end of the night for Kruseman. After getting a good jump, Kruseman led into the first turn and bicycled high in the air. By the time Kruseman was able to regain control, he had lost several positions. But luck was on Kruseman's side this night as the red was displayed before the end of lap one after contact between Tony Jones and Bobby Michnowicz triggered a five-car pileup in turn three.
"I drove it in there pretty good and got Ostling getting into (turn) one," Kruseman later reflected. "When it bicycled I thought oh, boy here we go, but it came down and luckily we had a red. The red allowed us to re-block the car and change our whole set-up."
After another failed attempt to complete lap one, Kruseman again jumped into the lead on the fourth restart. At the much anticipated end of the lap one, Kruseman was followed by Ostling, Ron Shuman, Rodney Argo and Rip Williams. But racing would only last a single lap after Michnowicz's car broke a bolt on the steering arm and darted hard into the turn one wall. Despite a hard hit against the concrete and a subsequent flip, Michnowicz was not hurt.
Two laps after the restart, it was rookie driver Troy Rutherford who caused the crowd to hold their breath. Rutherford was attempting to overtake J.J. Yeley for seventh when he climbed Yeley's wheels and launched his Jordan Brothers sprinter near the top of the turn three billboards. Neither driver was injured, but both cars where done for the night.
Once racing resumed, Griffin moved his battered Ron Chaffin No. 50 Ellis up to seventh by lap five. Argo and Williams battled for the fourth position for several laps before they tangled exiting turn four on lap 16, bringing out another caution. An incident on the ensueing restart with Tom Ball forced Argo and Williams to retire to the pit area.
Prior to the latest caution, Ostling had closed on Kruseman using a lower groove. In fact, Ostling even showed Kruseman the wheel of his Bill Pratt No. 12 Drake on one occasion. So on the restart, Kruseman moved to the bottom and took control of the race.
"I saw Ostling's nose and I knew he likes the bottom, so we moved down to protected the race track," said Kruseman. "I guess we made it work a little better than he did." Kruseman went on to take starter Steve Vodden's checkered flag with a half a straightaway lead over Ostling and Mike Kirby.
DURA-Light Fast Time Award winner Shuman beat Griffin to the line for fourth. Earlier in the evening, Bubby Jones accepted the 1996 National Sprint Car Poll "Promoter of the Year" award on behalf of the Perris Auto Speedway and the Kazarian Family.
SCRA Race #4 PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY PERRIS, CA 3/15/97
Qualifying Pos Driver Car# Hometown Car Owner Time 1. Ron Shuman 2 Tempe Az Schuck 16.570 2. Rip Williams 3 Yorba Linda CA Jory 16.766 3. Richard Griffin 50 Silver City NM Chaffin 16.780 4. Mike Kirby 6 Lomita CA Geurin 16.795 5. Mike English 69 Norwalk CA M&M Motorsports 16.814 6. John Scott 83 Hesperia CA Scott Motorsports 16.818 7. Cary Faas 37 Yorba Linda CA Faas 16.849 6. Bobby Michnowicz 21 Harbor City CA Hasebe/MRT 16.855 9. Rodney Argo 19 El Segundo CA Argo 16.875 10. Tony Jones 20 Indianapolis IN Franklin 16.883 11. Lee Brewer Jr 46 Lomita CA Cowherd Racing 16.960 12. Troy Cline 11 Hawthorne CA Cline 16.964 13. Gary W. Howard 38 R.Cucamonga CA Jones 16.970 34. Verne Sweeney 98 Lomita CA Sweeney 17.007 15. Cory Kruseman 45 Ventura CA Willis 17.018 16. Rickie Gaunt 33 Torrance CA Blair 17.027 17. Steve Ostling 12 Lakewood CA Pratt 17.048 18. J.J. Yeley 4 Phoenix AZ Yeley 17.048 19. Marc Hart 15 Ventura CA Hart 17.203 20. Jim Giardina 56 Riverside CA Giardina 17.222 21. Ron DiDonato 57 Riverside CA DiDonato 17.243 22. Cal Smith 39 Montclair CA Pratt 17.273 23. Lynn Anderson 36 San Luis Obispo CA Anderson 17.327 24. Troy Rutherford 111 Ojai CA Jordan 17.435 25. Steve Venard 97 Tustin CA Venard 17.443 26. Tom Ball 16 Alberquerque NM MACH 2 Racing 17.447 27. Adam Mitchell 26 Escondido CA Teknidyne 17.467 28. Bob Meli 71 Ontario CA Meli 17.517 29. Jimmy May 72 Oxnard CA May\Schuck 17.628 30. Bob Walker 9W Canyon Country CA Walker 17.709 31. Wiley Miller 75 Yorba Linda CA Miller 17.923 32. Dwight Cheney 42 Arcadia CA Cheney 17.925 33. Gene Woods 3x Victorville CA Woods 17.928 34. Casey Shuman 92 Tempe AZ Sertich 18.016 35. Mike Boat 74 Peoria AZ Boat 18.043 36. Keith Williamson 95 Pomona CA Williamson 18.211 37. Danny Ent 61 Big Rear City CA Ent Racing 18.274 38. Ed Patterson Jr 56 Ventura CA Patterson Jr 18.581 39. Alex Grigoreas 25 Orange CA Ruth 18.662 40. Jim Blenkarn 46 Mission Viejo CA Blenkarn 18.857 41. Chad Jones 24 Murrieta CA Dakota Motorsports 19.017 42. Joe Custer 30 Fountain Valley CA Scott Motorsports 19.484 43. Rick Hinrichsen 22 Lakeside CA Hinrichsen
1st Heat 1. Ron DiDonato 2. Steve Ostling 3. Rodney Argo 4. Ron Shuman 5. Steve Venard 6. Gary W. Howard 7. Mike English
2nd Heat 1. Tom Ball 2. J.J. Veley 3. Tony Jones 4. Jimmy May 5. Verne Sweeney 6. John Scott 7. Cal Smith 8. Rip Williams
3rd Heat 1. Cory Kruseman 2. Adam Mitchell 3. Richard Griffin 4. Bob Walker 5. Cary Faas 6. Marc Hart 7. Lynn Anderson 8. Lee Brewer Jr
4th Heat 1. Troy Rutherford 2. Bob Meli 3. Rickie Gaunt 4. Bobby Michnowicz 5. Troy Cline 6. Jim Giardina 7. Wiley Miller 6. Mike Kirby
JE Pistons Passing Masters' Dash 1. Steve Ostling 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Rodney Argo 4. Ron Shuman 5. Richard Griffin 6. Bobby Michnowicz 7. Tony Jones 8. Rickie Gaunt
C Main 1. Mike Boat 2. Danny Ent 3. Keith Williamson 4. Dwight Cheney 5. Alex Grigoreas 9. Ed Patterson, Jr. 10. Joe Custer 11. Gene Woods
B Main 1. Mike Kirby 2. Mike English 3. Cary Faas 4. Troy Cline 5. Rip Williams 6. Wiley Miller 7. Jim Giardina 8. Steve V 9. John Scott 10. Gary W. Howard 11. Marc Hart 12. Verne Sweeney 13. Lynn Anderson 14. Mike Boat 15. Cal Smith 16. Danny Ent
A Main 1. Cory Kruseman 2. Steve Ostling 3. Mike Kirby 4. Ron S 5. Richard Griffin 6. Troy Cline 7. Ron DiDonat 9. 13. Rip Williams 14. Tom Ball 15. J.J. Yeley 16. Troy Rutherford 17. Rickie Gaunt 18. Bobby Michnowicz 19. Tony Jones 20. Cary Faas 21. Adam Mitchell 22. Jimmy May.
Laps Led: Kruseman 1-3
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