By Lance Jennings and surfnsprint.com
VENTURA, CA – JUNE 8, 2010… Newbury Park’s Jimmy Crawford scored his first victory of the year at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway last Saturday night. For Crawford, the win marked his first Ventura win since the $5000-to-win All Coast Construction Challenge on October 24th. It was not an easy victory for the 2002 series champion as he battled with point leader Troy Rutherford to lead the final nine laps and earn the 30-lap feature win at “The Best Little Dirt Track In America.”
Driving the Twister X / Steve Gresham Racing Engines #3X entry, Crawford not only won the main event, but also claimed his first heat race victory of the year. The Kaeding Performance Heat Race #3 winner started on the pole position on the feature alongside Rutherford. Troy led the first twenty laps with Jimmy chasing after him all the way. Crawford challenged with a few slide jobs for the lead as Rutherford battled back. Crawford was able to get a hold of the bottom line of the racetrack coming out of turn four to take the lead on lap twenty-one. From there, the former track champion led the rest of the way. “The car was really good. We could not have hit it any better,” remarked Crawford. “We found something last week in the 410 car. It was just as good, which is amazing.” Jimmy was followed by Troy Rutherford, Kevin Kierce, Brian Camarillo, and Greg Taylor.
Ojai’s Troy Rutherford was looking for his third feature win of the season. The pilot of the Trench Shoring / L&H Consulting #11 car won the night’s second heat race, sponsored by Steve Watt Enterprises. That victory was his series leading seventh heat race triumph of the year. Starting on the outside front row position of the main event, Troy got the jump to lead the first twenty circuits until passed by Crawford. Rutherford still battled tough with Crawford, but finished second at the checkered flag. This was Troy’s tenth top-10 finish as he now has a 240 point advantage over Reseda’s Kevin Kierce.
For Kierce, his third place run in the main event was his eighth top-10 finish of the year. Driving the Fast Undercar / Direct Tire #1 entry, the 2-time and defending series champion was looking to cut into Rutherford’s point lead. The 1999 IMCA Sprint Car Champion was second in his heat race to Jimmy Crawford and started sixth in the main event. Kierce worked his way forward to pressure the leaders and settled in to third place at the checkered flag. Kevin has one feature win and three heat race victories on the season.
Camarillo’s Brian Camarillo had another strong performance in his #22 Agromin / Waste Management machine with a fourth place finish. Camarillo won his third heat race of the season with a victory in Fast Undercar Heat Race #4. Currently seventh in the point standings, Brian has five top-10 finishes and one semi-main victory to his credit.
Last week’s feature winner Greg Taylor of Ventura was working for his third main event victory of the year. The pilot of the #7 Taylor Trucking & Crane Service / Four Paws Pet Grooming car recorded his ninth top-10 finish with fifth place. Earlier in the evening, the 2007 champion won the LRB Manufacturing Heat Race #1, his second 10-lap triumph of the season. Sitting third in the point standings, Taylor is poised to make another championship run.
With thirty-seven cars in the pit area, the night’s format called for two Semi-Main Events. Santa Barbara’s Marcus Niemela won the ITI Performance Semi-Main Event. Earning a transfer to the main event along with Quartz Hill’s Steve Conrad, Niemela took the Polly Gallimore #3 machine to a nineteenth place finish in the main event. Gaining valuable experience in his first year racing sprint cars, Niemela already has one heat race win to his credit as he is twenty-second in the point chase.
Camarillo’s Brent Camarillo recorded the win in the night’s second Semi-Main Event. Earning a spot in the feature along with Simi Valley’s Scott Hansen, Camarillo took his #51 Agromin / Waste Management car to a seventeenth place finish in the main event. Brian is currently eighth in the point standings and has five top-10 finishes, to go along with three heat race wins on the season.
Gardena’s Greg Alexander earned the “Sushi Fresh Hard Charger” award with a seventh place run after starting sixteenth. Driving the Tyler Pool Service / Barnes Systems Inc. #72 entry, Alexander was fourth in his heat race and is currently twenty-seventh in the point standings.
The VRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Fast Undercar, ITI Performance, Kaeding Performance, LRB Manufacturing, Lucas Oil, Snap On Tools, Steve Watt Enterprises, Sushi Fresh, and Twister-X for their support.
Ventura Raceway held seven other companion features during the night’s action. Doug Thorton won in IMCA Modified action, while Ventura’s Bill Van Pragg won with the Senior Dwarf Cars. Yucaipa’s Ray Estrada recorded his second straight victory in the VRA Pro Dwarf Car division and A.J. Bender won with the California Lightning Sprints. Joseph Magana of Port Hueneme scored the victory with the Mini Dwarf Super Chargers and Ojai’s Logan Rutherford won her third straight main event in the Mini Dwarf Piston class. Camarillo’s Brennan Rogers led all fifteen laps to claim his third win of the year with the VRA Junior Midgets.
This Saturday, June 12th, Ventura Raceway will host their second Flat Track Motorcycle event of the year. The VRA Sprint Cars will be back in action on June 19th with the Senior Sprints, Senior Dwarf Cars, IMCA Modifieds & Go Karts. For more event information, please visit www.venturaraceway.com.
VRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
June 5, 2010
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
1 Kevin Kierce 220; 3 Marcus Niemela 105; 3x Jimmy Crawford 260; 5K Kenny Perkins 15; 7 Greg Taylor 205; 7G Don Gansen 145; 08 Johnathon Henry 130; 8 Ronnie Case 115; 09 Luis Espinoza 15; 11 Troy Rutherford 240; 14 Tom Hendricks 10; 15 Rick Hendrix 125; 19 Brandon Thomson 175; 20K Dakota Kershaw 20; 22c Brian Camarillo 215; 24 Guy Woodward 5; 25 Danny Venegas 5; 25x Cliff Warren 5; 26 Rob Kershaw 160; 27K Cody Kershaw 145; 29K Hobie Conway 5; 29s Michael Steele 5; 31 Bruce Douglass 10; 33 Scott Hansen 120; 43 Justin Kierce 185; 49x Jeff Fillingame 0; 50 Ed Schwarz 5; 51 Brent Camarillo 115; 55s Kyle Smith 5; 56 Steve Conrad 120; 65 Austin DeBlauw 10; 72 Greg Alexander 170; 73 Josh Ford 165; 76 Derek Buckley 15; 83 John Nock 15; 91R Brody Roa 150; 96k Charlie Butcher 5.
HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Greg Taylor, 2. Ronnie Case, 3. Justin Kierce, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Marcus Niemela, 6. Luis Espinoza, 7. Steve Conrad, 8. Cliff Warren, 9. Charlie Butcher, 10. Guy Woodward.
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Troy Rutherford, 2. Brandon Thomson, 3. Josh Ford, 4. Cody Kershaw, 5. Brent Camarillo, 6. John Nock, 7. Tom Hendricks, 8. Michael Steele, 9. Danny Venegas.
HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Jimmy Crawford, 2. Kevin Kierce, 3. Rob Kershaw, 4. Greg Alexander, 5. Dakota Kershaw, 6. Kenny Perkins, 7. Bruce Douglass, 8. Ed Schwarz, 9. Hobie Conway.
HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Brian Camarillo, 2. Rick Hendrix, 3. Don Gansen, 4. Johnathon Henry, 5. Scott Hansen, 6. Derek Buckley, 7. Austin DeBlauw, 8. Kyle Smith, 9. Jeff Fillingame (DNS).
SEMI-MAIN #1: (10 laps)
1. Marcus Niemela, 2. Steve Conrad, 3. Dakota Kershaw, 4. Kenny Perkins, 5. Cliff Warren, 6. Bruce Douglass, 7. Charlie Butcher, 8. Ed Schwarz, 9. Luis Espinoza, 10. Jeff Fillingame, 11. Hobie Conway.
SEMI-MAIN #2: (10 laps)
1. Brent Camarillo, 2. Scott Hansen, 3. Derek Buckley, 4. Austin DeBlauw, 5. John Nock, 6. Tom Hendricks, 7. Michael Steele, 8. Kyle Smith, 9. Guy Woodward, 10. Danny Venegas.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Jimmy Crawford (1st), 2. Troy Rutherford (2nd), 3. Kevin Kierce (6th), 4. Brian Camarillo (3rd), 5. Greg Taylor (4th), 6. Justin Kierce (11th), 7. Greg Alexander (16th), 8. Brandon Thomson (5th), 9. Josh Ford (9th), 10. Rob Kershaw (10th), 11. Brody Roa (13th), 12. Cody Kershaw (15th), 13. Don Gansen (12th), 14. Steve Conrad (19th), 15. Johnathon Henry (14th), 16. Scott Hansen (20th), 17. Brent Camarillo (18th), 18. Rick Hendrix (8th), 19. Marcus Niemela (17th), 20. Ronnie Case (7th).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Troy Rutherford, Laps 21-30 Jimmy Crawford
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: (6/5)
1. Troy Rutherford 2320; 2. Kevin Kierce 2080; 3. Greg Taylor 1945; 4. Josh Ford 1850; 5. Rick Hendrix 1770; 6. Steve Conrad 1720; 7. Brian Camarillo 1495; 8. Brent Camarillo 1475; 9. Justin Kierce 1355; 10. Don Gansen 1325; 11. Guy Woodward 1165; 12. John Nock 1105; 13. Ronnie Case 995; 14. Cody Kershaw 970; 15. Brody Roa 920; 16. Kenny Perkins 890; 17. Dakota Kershaw 885; 18. Scott Hansen 705; 19. Luis Espinoza 695; 20. Brandon Thomson 650.
NEXT VRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
June 19 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California