By Lance Jennings & surfnsprint.com
VENTURA, CA – MARCH 22, 2011… Defending track champion Troy Rutherford of Ojai took the lead from Moorpark’s Kyle Smith on lap five and led the rest of the way to score the first round of the All Coast Construction 360 Challenge. The victory earned Rutherford $3,000 and ranks him among the favorites for the mini-series title that will be decided on October 29th.
Kyle Smith paced the field from the pole position alongside Austin DeBlauw from Ventura. As the green flag flew, Smith got the jump to lead the twenty-car field into turn one. Third starting Troy Rutherford slid into second as DeBlauw settled into third. Rialto’s Don Gansen and USAC/CRA Champion Mike Spencer of Temecula battled for fourth with Ojai’s Derek Buckley close behind.
Spencer shook free from Gansen and took third from DeBlauw, who tagged the wall exiting the second turn. Heading into turn three, Rutherford executed “slide job” pass on Smith for the top spot and the pair drag raced across the start-finish line. Spencer used his momentum off turn two to drop Smith to third as the new leader looked to extend his lead.
Rutherford maintained the lead as Spencer gave chase. Smith was under attack from Derek Buckley and Newbury Park’s Jimmy Crawford for third. Behind them, Ventura’s Greg Taylor was in striking distance. Buckley and Crawford dispatched Smith to fifth and Smith’s bad luck continued as he spun and collected Gansen and Buena Park’s Brody Roa.
As rain threatened to end the race, Rutherford was in command. Buckley and Spencer had a spirited battle for second as Taylor took fourth from Crawford. Spencer’s car encountered problems and he lost positions to last week’s winner Steve Conrad of Quartz Hill and Ventura’s Cory Kruseman. Buckley began to reel in Rutherford and mounted a challenge, but it was not to be on this night. Rutherford took the win, followed by Buckley, Stockton’s Johnathon Henry, Taylor, and Kruseman rounding out the top five.
Driving the #11 Trench Shoring / State Ready Mix car, Troy Rutherford was second in his heat race to Johnathon Henry. With his second 30-lap main event victory of the year, Rutherford also has two heat race wins to his credit. The former SCRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year is second in the point standings heading into next week’s action.
“The Animal” Derek Buckley had his best finish of the year with his runner-up performance. Starting sixth in the feature, Buckley challenged for the lead but had to settle for second. Piloting the #76 Fatheadz Eyewear / Competition Suspension Incorporated entry, Buckley won the night’s second 10-lap heat race. Derek currently sits eighth in the championship point chase.
Johnathon Henry took third in the 30-lap All Coast Challenge feature. Starting seventh in main event, Henry took the #3 unsponsored machine past point leader Greg Taylor during the last laps to score the podium finish. Earlier in the program, the young driver won the night’s first heat race and is now eighteenth in the standings.
Greg Taylor claimed fourth in the night’s action after starting eighth. Piloting the #7 Taylor Trucking & Crane Service / Four Paws Pet Grooming car, Taylor won his second 10-lap event by claiming the program’s third heat race. On the strength of his fourth place run in the feature, Taylor now holds a fifty-five point lead over Troy Rutherford.
“The Kruser” Cory Kruseman scored fifth in the All Coast Challenge. Driving the #21K Lucas Oil / Sander Engineering entry, Kruseman charged from 12th starting spot. Earlier in the night, the 2006 USAC/CRA Champion was third in his heat race and currently sits tenth in the VRA point chase.
Don Gansen won the evening’s fourth 10-lap heat race. Piloting the #71K Sander Engineering / Lucas Oil car, Gansen scored twelfth in the main event. The California Lightning Sprint graduate is fifth in the championship points.
Justin Kierce of Reseda won his second 12-lap semi-main of the year. Driving the #43 JDCE Transportation / Concrete Specialties entry, Kierce was fifth in his heat race. Also earning transfer spots to the feature were
Brent Camarillo, Brandon Thomson, and Brody Roa. Kierce finished eleventh and Camarillo earned “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a seventh place run after starting eighteenth. Thomson claimed seventeenth while Roa was scored nineteenth. Nic Faas was the night’s alternate, but did not start the feature.
Ventura Raceway had three other companion features scheduled on the night. “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman won the VRA & USAC Midget “Battle of the Beach,” while Cole Custer claimed the USAC Young Guns victory. The main event for the USAC Ford Focus Midgets was rained out.
To catch all of the action of the VRA Sprint Car Series and Ventura Raceway, Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVD videos available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com. In addition, Ventura Raceway offers a live feed of every event at www.venturaraceway.com/live.html. The live feed will begin at 5:00pm PST.
This Saturday, March 26th, the Sprint Cars of the Ventura Racing Association will return to action. Also on the card will be the IMCA Modifieds, Dwarf Cars, Mod Lites, Mod Lite Juniors, Junior Midgets, and Mini Dwarfs. The Front Gates will open at 3:00pm with Racing to start at 5:30pm. For more event information, please visit www.venturaraceway.com or call (805) 985-5433.
VRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
March 19, 2011 – “All Coast Construction 360 Challenge – Night #1”
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
2 Robby Josett 20; 3 Johnathon Henry 225; 7 Greg Taylor 215; 11 Troy Rutherford 255; 11B Bobby Bender 15; 14 Tom Hendricks 15; 14K Mike Spencer 190; 17 Jimmy Crawford 160; 21K Cory Kruseman 195; 24 Guy Woodward 10; 25K Cliff Warren 140; 27 Nic Faas 15; 43 Justin Kierce 145; 51 Brent Camarillo 165; 55s Kyle Smith 125; 56 Steve Conrad 165; 57 Steve Hix 105; 65 Austin DeBlauw 135; 71K Don Gansen 160; 72 Brian Camarillo 15; 73 Josh Ford 130; 76 Derek Buckley 240; 81 Jon Stanbrough 165; 83 John Nock 140; 91R Brody Roa 105; 92 Brandon Thomson 105; 96k Charlie Butcher 0.
HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Johnathon Henry, 2. Troy Rutherford, 3. Steve Conrad, 4. Jon Stanbrough, 5. Justin Kierce, 6. Brian Camarillo, 7. Charlie Butcher (DNS).
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Derek Buckley, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. Jimmy Crawford, 4. John Nock, 5. Robby Josett, 6. Nic Faas, 7. Brandon Thomson.
HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Greg Taylor, 2. Austin DeBlauw, 3. Cliff Warren, 4. Josh Ford, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Bobby Bender, 7. Guy Woodward.
HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Don Gansen, 2. Kyle Smith, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Steve Hix, 5. Brent Camarillo, 6. Tom Hendricks.
SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Justin Kierce, 2. Brent Camarillo, 3. Brandon Thomson, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Nic Faas, 6. Bobby Bender, 7. Robby Josett, 8. Tom Hendricks, 9. Guy Woodward, 10. Brian Camarillo, 11. Charlie Butcher (DNS).
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Troy Rutherford (3rd), 2. Derek Buckley (6th), 3. Johnathon Henry (7th), 4. Greg Taylor (8th), 5. Cory Kruseman (12th), 6. Mike Spencer (4th), 7. Brent Camarillo (18th), 8. Jon Stanbrough (13th), 9. Steve Conrad (10th), 10. Jimmy Crawford (9th), 11. Justin Kierce (17th), 12. Don Gansen (5th), 13. John Nock (14th), 14. Cliff Warren (11th), 15. Josh Ford (15th), 16. Austin DeBlauw (2nd), 17. Brandon Thomson (19th), 18. Kyle Smith (1st), 19. Brody Roa (20th), 20. Steve Hix (16th).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Kyle Smith, Laps 5-30 Troy Rutherford.
HARD CHARGER: Brent Camarillo (18th to 7th)
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Greg Taylor 690; 2. Troy Rutherford 635; 3. Steve Conrad 520; 4. Justin Kierce 510; 5. Don Gansen 485; 6. Josh Ford 480; 7. Brandon Thomson 440; 8. Derek Buckley 430; 9. Brent Camarillo 425; 10. Cory Kruseman 400; –. Brody Roa 400; 12. Brian Camarillo 365; 13. Marcus Niemela 340; 14. John Nock 315; 15. Tom Hendricks 300; 16. Kyle Smith 285; 17. Austin DeBlauw 275; 18. Johnathon Henry 225; 19. Dakota Kershaw 220; –. Steve Hix 220.
NEXT VRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
March 26 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California