By Lance Jennings and surfnsprint.com
VENTURA, CA – SEPTEMBER 15, 2010… On another wild night at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway, Rialto’s Don Gansen drove to his first career feature victory with the VRA Sprint Car Series. The popular win made Gansen the tenth different driver in seventeen races at “The Best Little Dirt Track In America.”
Pacing the twenty car feature to the green flag were Santa Paula’s Jeff Fillingame and Guy Woodward of Santa Clarita. With both drivers looking for their first 30-lap main event win, Fillingame got the jump on Woodward. Roaring through the first turns, Santa Barbara’s Marcus Niemela dropped Woodward to third and used the low line to chase after Fillingame. On the next lap, Niemela executed a turn two slide job to take the lead as Fillingame tired to battle back. Niemela was too strong and held the lead as Ventura’s Greg Taylor charged to third from his sixth starting spot. Before the action packed lap was completed, Woodward flipped his #24 Woodward Kitchen & Bath entry. Guy walked away uninjured, but was done for the night.
As action resumed, Fillingame paced the field in his #49X Ron Bach Construction machine with Niemela, Taylor, Brian Camarillo, and John Nock close behind. Fillingame led the next circuit on the low groove as Marcus took to the high line of the Ventura clay oval. Gaining momentum, Niemela powered by Fillingame for the lead and Taylor used the same tactic to race into second.
Niemela led the next seven circuits in his #3 Polly Gallimore entry until Taylor took command with a turn one slide job. Looking for his fifth win of the year, Taylor favored the high line in his #7 Taylor Trucking & Crane car. Setting a fast pace, Taylor was driving past slower traffic and Brian Camarillo reeled in the leader. Powering into turn four, Camarillo and Taylor made contact, launching Taylor into the catch fence. Both drivers were out of the race and walked away uninjured.
Don Gansen inherited the lead with point leader Troy Rutherford, Marcus Niemela, Josh Ford, and John Nock in single file. Rutherford motored by Gansen heading into turn one as Niemela gave chase. In a quick instant, Marcus turned his car over after contact with Gansen. Niemela’s night was over and he was credited with a sixteenth place finish.
Once again with the lead, Gansen made the best of the opportunity in his #81 Christian Stover Foundation machine. Don managed to hold off the field by leading the last eleven laps to the checkered flag. Following Gansen across the finish line were Troy Rutherford, Josh Ford, Brody Roa, and John Nock.
Taking the victory from the eight starting spot, Don Gansen sits eighth in the point chase. Earlier in the program, the former California Lightning Sprint Car champion finished second in his heat race to Brian Camarillo. To date, Gansen has three heat race wins and seven top-10 finishes on the season.
Ojai’s Troy Rutherford continues to march to his first series crown with another strong performance. After finishing second in his #11 Trench Shoring / L&H Consulting entry, Rutherford has a 470 point advantage over Greg Taylor. The former SCRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year finished second in his heat race to Justin Kierce and has four feature victories, twelve heat race wins, and sixteen top-10 finishes on the year.
With his third place finish, Camarillo’s Josh Ford recorded his fourteenth top-10 finish. Driving the #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machining car, Ford was third in his heat race and is currently third in the point standings. The former USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year has one feature victory, five heat race wins, and one semi-main triumph in 2010.
Buena Park’s Brody Roa had his best run of the season with a fourth place finish after starting nineteenth. Earning the Sushi Fresh Hard Charger Award in his #91R L.A. Prep / Crow Safety Gear entry, Roa was seventh in his heat race and third in the semi-main. The Rookie of the Year candidate is eleventh in the point chase with four top-10 finishes.
Newhall’s John Nock in another driver that scored his best performance of the year with a fifth place showing after starting tenth. Piloting the #83 Nock Drywall car, Nock was third in his heat race and is currently sixteenth in the point standings. To date, the former main event winner has five top-10 finishes on the season.
Santa Barbara’s Marcus Niemela won the 10-lap LRB Manufacturing Heat Race #1. Looking strong in the early going of the main event, Niemela led seven laps before falling to Greg Taylor. The young driver’s night ended early with a sixteenth place finish. Marcus is seventeenth in the points with two heat race wins and three top-10 finishes on the year.
Greg Taylor won the Steve Watt Enterprises Heat Race #2 and led seven laps in the feature before his crash on lap eighteen. Scored sixteenth in the main event, the former champion is second in the point standings with four main event victories, five heat race wins, and fourteen top-10 finishes in 2010.
Reseda’s Justin Kierce won the 10-lap Kaeding Performance Heat Race #3. Driving the #43 JDCE Transportation / Concrete Specialties machine, Kierce was seventh in the main event. Justin is tenth in the point chase with two heat race wins and six top-10 finishes on the season.
Camarillo’s Brian Camarillo won his eighth heat race of the year with a victory in the Fast Undercar / Lucas Oil Heat Race #4. Camarillo challenged Taylor for the lead until the lap eighteen crash ended both of their nights. Piloting the #22 Agromin Soil / Waste Management entry, Brian was credited with an eighteenth place finish. Sitting seventh in the point standings, Camarillo has one semi-main victory and nine top-10 finishes.
“The Rocket” Ronnie Case of Camarillo won the 12-lap ITI Performance Semi-Main Event. Driving the #8 Engle Racing Engines / Front Line Medical entry, Case was fifth in his heat race and finished sixth in the feature after starting seventeenth. The former USAC/CRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year is nineteenth in the points with one heat race win and three top-10 finishes. Following Case to the main event were Steve Conrad, Brody Roa, and Jesse Mack. Conrad finished eighth after starting eighteenth and Mack finished ninth after starting twentieth.
Ventura Raceway held six other companion main events on the night. Rob Kershaw won the VRA Senior Sprint Car feature, while Angel Figueroa scored the Pro Dwarf Car victory. Kent Benson won in Senior Dwarf Car action and Brennan Rogers won with the Junior Midgets. Tommy Velasquez claimed the Supercharger Mini Dwarf Car main event and Destyn Garcia won in the Piston Mini Dwarf Car division.
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.
This Saturday night, September 18th, the VRA Sprint Car Series are back at “The Best Little Dirt Track In America. Joining the traditional 360 Sprint Cars will be the VRA Pro Dwarf Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Sport Compacts, and Go Karts. For more event information, please visit www.venturaraceway.com.
VRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
September 11, 2010
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
2T Ken Marini 10; 3 Marcus Niemela 140; 3k Kevin Mahoney 10; 3M Denny McVey 15; 5K Kenny Perkins 135; 6 Brent Camarillo 20; 7 Greg Taylor 135; 8 Ronnie Case 175; 11 Troy Rutherford 235; 15 Rick Hendrix 160; 20K Dakota Kershaw 15; 22c Brian Camarillo 130; 24 Guy Woodward 115; 27K Cody Kershaw 15; 29K Hobie Conway 145; 33 Scott Hansen 150; 43 Justin Kierce 185; 49x Jeff Fillingame 140; 55s Kyle Smith 20; 56 Steve Conrad 160; 65 Austin DeBlauw 10; 71m Jesse Mack 150; 73 Josh Ford 215; 81 Don Gansen 255; 83 John Nock 195; 91R Brody Roa 185; 92 Brandon Thomson 110; 96k Charlie Butcher 145.
LRB MANUFACTURING HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Marcus Niemela, 2. Guy Woodward, 3. Rick Hendrix, 4. Kenny Perkins, 5. Steve Conrad, 6. Dakota Kershaw, 7. Austin DeBlauw.
STEVE WATT ENTERPRISES HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Greg Taylor, 2. Jeff Fillingame, 3. Charlie Butcher, 4. Hobie Conway, 5. Ronnie Case, 6. Jesse Mack, 7. Kevin Mahoney.
KAEDING PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Justin Kierce, 2. Troy Rutherford, 3. Josh Ford, 4. Brandon Thomson, 5. Brent Camarillo, 6. Cody Kershaw, 7. Brody Roa.
LUCAS OIL / FAST UNDERCAR HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Brian Camarillo, 2. Don Gansen, 3. John Nock, 4. Scott Hansen, 5. Kyle Smith, 6. Denny McVey, 7. Ken Marini.
ITI PERFORMANCE SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Ronnie Case, 2. Steve Conrad, 3. Brody Roa, 4. Jesse Mack, 5. Brent Camarillo, 6. Cody Kershaw, 7. Austin DeBlauw, 8. Kyle Smith, 9. Denny McVey, 10. Kevin Mahoney, 11. Ken Marini, 12. Dakota Kershaw.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Don Gansen (8th), 2. Troy Rutherford (7th), 3. Josh Ford (12th), 4. Brody Roa (19th), 5. John Nock (10th), 6. Ronnie Case (17th), 7. Justin Kierce (5th), 8. Steve Conrad (18th), 9. Jesse Mack (20th), 10. Rick Hendrix (9th), 11. Scott Hansen (16th), 12. Hobie Conway (14th), 13. Charlie Butcher (11th), 14. Kenny Perkins (13th), 15. Jeff Fillingame (1st), 16. Marcus Niemela (3rd), 17. Greg Taylor (6th), 18. Brian Camarillo (4th), 19. Brandon Thomson (15th), 20. Guy Woodward (2nd).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Jeff Fillingame, Laps 3-10 Marcus Niemela, Laps 11-18 Greg Taylor, Laps 19-30 Don Gansen.
SUSHI FRESH HARD CHARGER: Brody Roa (19th to 4th)
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: (9/11)
1. Troy Rutherford 3820; 2. Greg Taylor 3350; 3. Josh Ford 3325; 4. Kevin Kierce 2910; 5. Rick Hendrix 2905; 6. Steve Conrad 2810; 7. Brian Camarillo 2785; 8. Don Gansen 2485; 9. Brent Camarillo 2410; 10. Justin Kierce 1985; 11. Brody Roa 1805; 12. Cody Kershaw 1770; 13. Guy Woodward 1730; 14. Kenny Perkins 1725; 15. Dakota Kershaw 1690; 16. John Nock 1595; 17. Marcus Niemela 1385; 18. Brandon Thomson 1375; 19. Ronnie Case 1335; 20. Scott Hansen 1330.
NEXT VRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
September 18 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California