Griffin Enjoys Eagle Sweep EAGLE, NE, June 9 -- The Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) portion of Eagle Raceway's "33 Days of Money" came to an end Saturday with three-time Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) Champion Richard Griffin winning...
Griffin Enjoys Eagle Sweep
EAGLE, NE, June 9 -- The Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) portion of Eagle Raceway's "33 Days of Money" came to an end Saturday with three-time Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) Champion Richard Griffin winning the 30 lap main event for the second consecutive night.
Although the end result was the same, Griffin's victory on this night was very different from his Friday night triumph where he was the first driver to ride near the guardrail. Griffin again started fifth, but found his winning line from a night ago now being used by most of the cars starting in front of him. Never one to just follow, Griffin resourcefully, although uncharacteristically, moved to the front using the low groove. .
"Starting fifth both nights gave us a chance to see where everybody's running. There's nothing like leading a race, but having to search around both nights to find the fast way around might have been the key to winning," Griffin said after upping his main event winnings to $7,500 for the weekend. "I went down to the bottom on about the tenth lap and it was just as fast or faster than the top. I don't like it down there, but I knew it was the place to be. It's not typical for us to be on the bottom, but it worked out for us tonight."
Cory Kruseman and Troy Rutherford occupied the front row for the finale for the second night in a row. Kruseman again got the jump on Rutherford and led the 24 car field into turn one. Rutherford followed Kruseman on the bottom, while second row starter Mike Kirby stayed high and moved the Mark Alexander & Brad Geurin / Statewide Towing No. 5 Stinger into second place heading down the backstraight. Griffin ran sixth at the end of the opening lap behind Mike English and Charles Davis, Jr.
Kirby was charging hard on the top, but Kruseman wasn't going to be trapped on the bottom for the second race in a row while leading. Switching to the top on lap two, Kruseman was able to stifl Kirby's momentum and kept the Harlan Willis / Omni Turn No. 45 TCR securely out front.
By the end of the fifth lap, Griffin was in fourth and now ahead of the California Clutch & Gear No. 7 Stinger driven by English. Third place runner Rutherford bicycled in turn two on lap eight. Rutherford avoided flipping, but could not avoid the wall and slid to a stop bring out the first caution flag of the race. Rutherford restarted and earned a sixth place finish.
The race restarted with the Ron Chaffin / Madera Produce No. 50 Jon Boy driven by Griffin running third and hunting for a way around Kruseman and Kirby who were running near the fence in his line of preference. Knowing that he couldn't pass either of the two leaders on the top, Griffin moved to the bottom on the ninth lap.
Griffin wasn't the only driver searching for a line to win the race. Out of nowhere, Kirby hooked-up in the middle of the track and after a good run exiting turn four took the lead on lap 13. Griffin remained low and also passed Kruseman one lap later. Kruseman immediately went back down stairs and was about to take advantage of a Griffin miscue on lap 16 when sixth place Davis clipped a Troy Cline wheel and flipped violently up the turn one banking bringing out the red flag. Davis was not hurt.
Still running the bottom, Griffin took the lead for the first time one lap after the restart. Kirby battled back and regained the lead on lap 20. Kirby looked like he was about to get some separation from Griffin on lap 22 after the "Gasman" hooked the inside berm exiting turn four. As if it was meant to be Griffin's night, the yellow flag waved for Bob Ream, Jr. who spun to a stop in nearly the same spot Griffin had his bobble.
Making no mistakes on the restart, Griffin dove low exiting turn two and took the lead down the backstraight. Griffin then secured the lead by sliding up to the turn three cushion. Kruseman drove to the bottom of that same turn and moved Kirby back to third. Once out front, Griffin pulled away using the high line where he admits he's most comfortable.
As Griffin continued to extend his lead, all eyes turned to the Sharon Jory / Vista Paint No. 3 Gambler driven by Rip Williams who was now up to fourth after starting 22nd. Not finished yet, Williams executed a perfect turn one slide-job on Kirby for the third position three laps from the finish. Coming down to accept the white flag, Williams slid ahead of Kruseman for the runner-up spot, but never had a shot at Griffin who handily accepted starter Lee Jaskowiak's checkered flag. For his efforts, Williams was rewarded the TW Metal Hard Charger Award. Kruseman finished third ahead of English and Kirby.
Griffin's victory came on a night when his Crew Chief Bruce Bromme, Jr. had taken ill and was unable to be at the races. By cell phone, Bromme did assist the team throughout the night with the set-up. Griffin's Eagle Raceway sweep gave him the early NWWC point lead when the series resumes in three days at 81 Speedway in Kansas.
"This is a 12-race deal, so this is certainly nothing sit around and dwell on," Griffin said. "Cory's running good and he's right there behind us in the points. Rip came from 22nd to second tonight, so he must have a good car and Kirby's running good. None of these guys are just going to let us have it. It's good to win, it's good to lead the (NWWC) points, but we've still got ten more races to go." <pre> SCRA RACE #16 - EAGLE RACEWAY, EAGLE, NE (NWWC #2) Date of Race: 06/9/01
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS 1. Charles Davis, Jr, Morales 94, 14.588 2. John Scott, Scott Mtrsprts 83, 14.625 3. Mike English, Priestley 7 , 14.670 4. Steve Ostling, Fischer Mtrspts 29, 14.770 5. Hank Winter, Winter 33, 14.790 6. Troy Cline, Cline 11, 14.826 7. Michael Hinrichsen (R), Lake Mtrsprts. 16, 14.871 8. Danny Sheridan, Sertich 92, 14.953 9. Brian Venard, Venard. 47, 15.006 10. Lance Gremett, Gremett 85, 15.035 11. Bob Ream, Jr., BRAT Racing 8, 15.064 12. Adam Mitchell, Escondido CA, Mitchell 99 , 15.139 13. George Gervais, Gervais 9 , 15.161 14. Mike Spencer (R), Engstrom 44, 15.187 15. Kevin Doty, Dooling 6x, 15.188 16. Tony Everhart, El Cajon CA, Everhart 55, 15.198 17. Glenn Crossno (R), Crossno 38, 15.198 18. Casey Shuman, Lake Mtrsprts 6, 15.251 19. Rip Williams, Yorba Linda CA, Jory 3, 15.354 20. Kevin Frisbie, Frisbe 38k, 15.800 21. Ronnie Clark (R), Winter 138, 15.883 22. Jon Robertson, Pratt 12x, 16.019 23. Rickie Gaunt, Pratt 12 , 16.605
Note: Richard Griffin, Mike Kirby, Cory Kruseman & Troy Rutherford already qualified for JE Pistons Dash
HEDMAN HEDDERS HEAT 1 1. Gervais, 2. Gremett, 3. Hinrichsen, 4. Ostling, 5. Davis, 6. Williams, 7. Everhart
SHAVER ENGINES HEAT 2 1. Sheridan, 2. Scott, 3. Winter, 4. Ream, 5. Spencer, 6. Crossno, 7. Frisbie, 8. Gaunt
KSE PRODUCTS / SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS HEAT 3 1. Shuman, 2. Venard, 3. English, 4. Cline, 5. Mitchell, 6. Doty, 7. Clark
JE PISTONS DASH 1. Kruseman, 2. Rutherford, 3. English, 4. Kirby, 5. Griffin, 6. Davis, 7. Scott, 8. Ostling ,
JB ENTERPRISE B FEATURE 1. Williams, 2. Doty, 3. Crossno, 4. Gaunt, 5. Clark, 6. Frisbie, 7. J. Robertson.
A FEATURE (30 Laps) 1. Griffin, 2. Williams, 3. Kruseman, 4. English, 5. Kirby, 6. Rutherford, 7. Ostling, 8. Gremett, 9. Doty, 10. Gaunt, 11. Shuman, 12. Scott, 13. Spencer, 14. Mitchell, 15. Venard, 16. Crossno, 17. Clark, 18. Gervais, 19. Hinrichsen, 20. Ream, 21. Cline, 22. Davis, 23. Sheridan, 24. Winter.
Laps Led: Kruseman 1-12, Kirby 13-16, Griffin 17-19, Kirby 20-22, Griffin 23-30
SCRA Point Standings as of: 06/10/01
CAR NAME HOMETOWN POINTS 1. 45 Cory Kruseman Ventura CA 1116 2. 50 Richard Griffin Silver City NM 918 3. 4 Troy Rutherford Ojai CA 880 4. 5 Mike Kirby Lomita CA 824 5. 83 John Scott Hesperia CA 778 6. 29 Steve Ostling Corona CA 761 7. 3 Rip Williams Yorba Linda CA 740 8. 4X Tony Jones Corona CA 710 9. 7 Mike English Norwalk CA 678 10. 12 Rickie Gaunt Torrance CA 582