Crawford Notches VRA Victory

By Cliff Morgan, photo

Past VRA Sprint Car Champion Jimmy Crawford returned to Ventura Raceway Saturday night to add his name to the seven 2010 season VRA 360 Sprint Car winners. In 10 races there have been eight different winners who have put their cars into the winners circle. 2010 has been a year of streaks set and streaks broken. Crawford’s win sets the stage for another streak to begin when VRA Sprints return to action on June 19.

The Sprint car portion of the racing program Saturday night saw a total of 37 360 sprint cars signed into the pits for the night’s action. Last week’s winner Greg Taylor, point leader Troy Rutherford , Kevin Kierce, Josh Ford, Rick Hendrix, the Camarillo brothers, Brent and Brian, Steve Conrad and all the rest of the VRA racers were on hand to go for victory. Jimmy Crawford who has not competed in all our events this season as he has been running a varied program of 36o0 and 410 sprint events signed in and immediately made his presence known as he won his heat race setting the stage for the feature. Crawford started from the pole position along side point leader Rutherford, due to a 4 invert pick for the night. Rutherford jumped out to the lead and led the first 20 laps until Crawford passed him to take the lead on lap 21. From that point on the battle continued with Rutherford and Crawford battling to the finish line with Crawford taking the win. Following Crawford and Rutherford to the line were Kevin Kierce, Brian Camarillo and Greg Taylor. There were four heat races run on Saturday night. The LRB Manufacturing Heat Race #1 went to Greg Taylor, The Steve Watt Enterprises Heat # 2 went to Troy Rutherford, the Kaeding Performance Heat #3 went to Jimmy Crawford and the Fast Undercar Heat #4 went to Brian Camarillo. Ventura Raceway and all our drivers want to thank our new contingency sponsors that have come on board to help out our fine drivers. There were two semi main events run with the win going to Marcus Niemela in the ITI Performance Semi and Brent Camarillo in Semi number two. Troy Rutherford maintains a 240 point lead over Kevin Kierce after Kierce’s third place finish.

IMCA Modifieds were back again this weekend with 16 cars in attendance. Two heat races were run with wins going to Danny Lauer and Doug Thorton. The 20 lap feature was another barn burner with two drivers leading the event during the running. Dave Phipps led the first lap but Thorton took the lead on lap two and led to the checker. Following Thorton across the line were Lauer, Mike Johnson, Damon Redman and Joe Weaver. Redman’s fourth place finish combined with past point leader Austin Rodarte’s 13 place finish allowed Redman to take the season point’s lead by 6 points over Rodarte.

VRA Dwarf Cars were in action Saturday night with 25 cars in two divisions signed in. In Seniors the two heat race wins went to George Calve and Tom Stephens Sr. The feature ran 17 laps due to time restraints with the win going to Bill VanPraag followed by Calvo, Kevin Alverson, Mike Neal and George Sack Jr. In Pros, the two heat races went to point leader Angel Figueroa and 2009 series champion Ray Estrada. The 20 lap feature went to Estrada who made it two in a row with Figueroa second followed by Thomas Velasquez, Lee Majors and Eric Moore.

The California Lightning Sprints were back for their second 2010 appearance at Ventura. They ran two heat races with wins going to A J Bender and his brother Bobby Bender. The 20 lap feature was all Bender with Bobby Bender dominating the event taking the lead from Alexander Bissett on lap 4 and leading from that point on to the finish as he lapped several cars. His brother A J Bender finished second followed by Peter Benker, Dan Hillberg and Kevin Michnowicz. These fast winged cars will return to Ventura on September 11 for their final appearance this season.

Our kid’s classes were also racing Saturday. Wins in the Mini Dwarf Super Charger Class went to Joseph Magana in their heat race and Joey Freshour in the 12 lap feature. In Pistons, the heat race and feature win went to Troy Rutherford’s daughter Logan Rutherford who has a three main event winning streak surpassing her dad’s earlier two win streak in sprints giving her family bragging rights. In Junior Midgets, heat race wins went to Austin Figueroa and Chase Lippert. Their 15 lap main event went to Brennan Rogers who led all laps to take his third win of the year and maintain his season point lead over Cody Majors by 180 points.

Next week June 12, Ventura Raceway will host our second Flat Track Motorcycle event of 2010. Our VRA Sprints and other car classes will return to action on June 19.

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

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.

June 19 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California