By Lance Jennings
VENTURA, CA – APRIL 26, 2011… Last Saturday night, Buena Park’s Brody Roa charged from the fourteenth starting spot to claim his first career victory with the Ventura Racing Association. Taking the lead from “The Animal” Derek Buckley on lap twenty-four, the young driver maintained his rhythm, survived a last lap charge from Cory Kruseman, and powered to the 30-lap feature win. “My dad (Brett) had it dialed in,” remarked Roa, “It was a tough night, but definitely worth it in the end.”
Oak Park’s Dakota Kershaw and point leader Troy Rutherford of Ojai shared the front row of the twenty car main event. Looking for his fifth win in six starts, Rutherford took command at the drop of the starter’s green flag. Behind the leader, Steve Conrad shot to second as “The Animal” Derek Buckley and Greg Taylor dropped Kershaw to fifth. Using the high line of the Ventura clay oval, Buckley quickly raced past Conrad for second and began to chase after the leader. Now sitting in the third spot, Conrad was under attack from Taylor.
Conrad held tough, but Taylor was able to wrestle third away from the former USAC TQ Midget graduate. After falling back to fifth, Kershaw looked to regroup and began to pressure Conrad for fourth. Seventh starting Brian Camarillo saw an opportunity to advance and went for a slide job pass on Kershaw. Unfortunately, contact between the two sent Dakota into the fence and a series of rollovers. While Kershaw’s machine was in the air, he was tagged by Brian’s younger brother Brent. Action was halted with a red flag displayed on the speedway and Dakota walked away uninjured.
On the restart, Rutherford set the pace with Buckley, Taylor, Conrad, and Brian Camarillo tucked close behind. As the cars picked up the throttle, Troy got the advantage as second was now a three way battle. Running the outside lane, Taylor shot to second and set his sights on the leader. Motivated to score his first win of the season, Greg closed in and launched a successful slide job pass on Troy at the east end of the track. With ten laps down, Taylor was out front, Rutherford in second, Buckley held third, and Camarillo sat in fourth.
As Rutherford looked to reel in Taylor, Camarillo shot for third with a turn one slide job that caught the inside berm. The move upset Camarillo’s car and Buckley narrowly missed disaster by climbing the fence. Brian came to a stop bringing out the yellow flag, as Derek continued on. As the cars lined up in single file, Taylor was in command, followed by Rutherford, Buckley, Conrad, and Cody Kershaw. With the green flag waving, Taylor worked to shake free from Rutherford, as fourteenth starting Brody Roa motored past “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman for sixth.
The two leaders began to put some distance between themselves and the field and action was soon halted for Kyle Smith, who spun to a stop in turn four. Once again in single file formation, Taylor was out front, but Rutherford stayed close this time and pulled off a slide job pass. As the duo roared down the back chute and into the turns at the west end, it was a drag race in tight racing quarters. Rutherford tagged the outside fence causing front end damage to his car and his streak of four wins in a row would end on this night. Another yellow flag was displayed.
Taylor led the single file parade, followed by Buckley, Conrad, Roa, and Kruseman. Heading into turn three, Roa took third from Conrad. As the laps started to count down, it looked to be Taylor’s night, but his car soon slowed giving the lead to Buckley on lap twenty-three. Roa was on the attack and pulled off the turn one slide job pass for the lead. Derek tried to battle back, but Brody was too strong. Kruseman shot past Buckley for second on the next lap with his own slide job and gave chase.
With the white flag waving, Kruseman had closed the gap on Roa and shot for the lead. The slide job pass did not work, resulting in a Kruseman spin. From there is was all Brody Roa, followed by Derek Buckley, Steve Conrad, Brandon Thomson, and Richard VanderWeerd. After the victory, a happy Roa stated “I just stayed patient and avoided all of the crashes that were happening on the fence. I kept looking forward and got around them. Somehow I got up there.”
Driving the BR Performance #91R machine, backed by L.A. Prep and “Biker” Bruce Fischer, Brody Roa won his first career VRA Sprint Car feature. Earlier in the evening, last year’s Wagsdash Champion had problems in his heat race and scored eighth place. Relegated to the semi-main, Roa took second in the twelve lap event. Starting fourteenth in the feature, the young driver earned “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with the victory. To date, Brody has two top-10 finishes, led seven main event laps, and is now fifteenth in the point chase.
Ojai’s Derek Buckley claimed second place on this night after starting fourth. Piloting the #76 Fatheadz Eyewear / Competition Suspension Inc. entry, “The Animal” claimed second in his heat race and is currently seventh in the points. In the 2011 campaign, Buckley has four heat race wins, three top-10 finishes, and has led one main event lap.
Steve Conrad of Quartz Hill came home third in the #56 Roy Miller Freightlines / SC Grafix car after finishing second in his heat race. The March 12th feature winner has one heat race victory, one hard charger award, five top-10 finishes, and eighteen main event laps led to his credit. Now second in the standings, Conrad is eighty-five points behind Troy Rutherford.
Norwalk’s Brandon Thomson raced to fourth after starting tenth in the night’s action. Driving the #92 ThunderHead Apparel machine, Thomson was fourth in his heat race and is currently sixth in the point chase. To date, Brandon has one heat race win, one semi-main victory, and one hard charger award on the season.
Richard VanderWeerd of Visalia claimed fifth after starting thirteenth in his first Ventura appearance. Piloting Tommy Horne’s potent #13 sprint car, VanderWeerd was fifth in his heat race and won the 12-lap semi-main. Also earning transfer spots to the feature were Brody Roa, Don Gansen, Josh Ford, Clark Templeman III, John Nock, Kyle Smith, and Austin DeBlauw. Roa won the 30-lap event, Gansen was seventh, and Ford took ninth. Templeman claimed sixth, Nock scored tenth, Smith was eleventh, and DeBlauw finished eighth after starting twentieth.
Camarillo’s Brian Camarillo won the night’s first 10-lap heat race and is tenth in the points. Driving the #22 Agromin Soil / Waste Management car, Brian scored an eighteenth place finish in the feature. To date, Camarillo has two heat race wins, and two top-10 finishes on the year.
Ventura’s “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman won his second heat race of the year. Piloting the #21K Lucas Oil / Sander Engineering car, Kruseman spun on the last lap while in second, resulting in a twelfth place finish. Now eighth in the point standings, Cory has three top-10 finishes to his credit.
Cody Kershaw of Oak Park won the program’s third and final heat race. Driving the #26 Interprise Capitol Investments / Maxima Racing Oils car, Kershaw was seventeenth in the 30-lap feature. In limited action, the young driver is twenty-fifth in the championship points.
Ventura Raceway had five other companion classes scheduled on the night. Cory Kruseman won the VRA Midget feature and Aaron Rodarte won in the IMCA Modified division. The Ford Focus Midgets held two features, with veteran Wally Pankratz taking the win in the March 19th makeup race and Nick Carlson claimed the night’s main event. Cole Custer won in Junior Ford Focus Midget action and Richard Renken took the Go Kart main event.
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.
The VRA Sprint Car Series will be off this weekend, but this Saturday, April 30th, Ventura Raceway will host the VRA Senior Sprints, VRA Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, Dwarf Cars, and Sport Compacts. 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
April 23, 2011
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
3M Jake McVey 20; 4 Chris Gansen 130; 7 Greg Taylor 145; 11 Troy Rutherford 130; 13 Richard VanderWeerd 185; 14 Tom Hendricks 10; 18T Clark Templeman III 170; 21K Cory Kruseman 160; 22 Brian Camarillo 130; 24 Guy Woodward 10; 26 Cody Kershaw 135; 28 Dakota Kershaw 115; 51 Brent Camarillo 110; 55s Kyle Smith 130; 56 Steve Conrad 220; 57 Steve Hix 140; 65 Austin DeBlauw 160; 67K Taylor Price 10; 71K Don Gansen 160; 73 Josh Ford 140; 76 Derek Buckley 235; 83 John Nock 145; 91R Brody Roa 225; 92 Brandon Thomson 200.
HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Brian Camarillo, 2. Greg Taylor, 3. Brent Camarillo, 4. Brandon Thomson, 5. Richard VanderWeerd, 6. John Nock, 7. Tom Hendricks, 8. Brody Roa.
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Cory Kruseman, 2. Steve Conrad, 3. Dakota Kershaw, 4. Steve Hix, 5. Jake McVey, 6. Clark Templeman III, 7. Guy Woodward, 8. Josh Ford.
HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Cody Kershaw, 2. Derek Buckley, 3. Troy Rutherford, 4. Chris Gansen, 5. Austin DeBlauw, 6. Don Gansen, 7. Taylor Price, 8. Kyle Smith.
SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Richard VanderWeerd, 2. Brody Roa, 3. Don Gansen, 4. Josh Ford, 5. Clark Templeman III, 6. John Nock, 7. Kyle Smith, 8. Austin DeBlauw, 9. Guy Woodward, 10. Jake McVey, 11. Tom Hendricks, 12. Taylor Price.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Brody Roa (14th), 2. Derek Buckley (4th), 3. Steve Conrad (3rd), 4. Brandon Thomson (10th), 5. Richard VanderWeerd (13th), 6. Clark Templeman III (17th), 7. Don Gansen (15th), 8. Austin DeBlauw (20th), 9. Josh Ford (16th), 10. John Nock (18th), 11. Kyle Smith (19th), 12. Cory Kruseman (8th), 13. Steve Hix (11th), 14. Greg Taylor (5th), 15. Chris Gansen (12th), 16. Troy Rutherford (2nd), 17. Cody Kershaw (6th), 18. Brian Camarillo (7th), 19. Dakota Kershaw (1st), 20. Brent Camarillo (9th).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-9 Troy Rutherford, Laps 10-22 Greg Taylor, Lap 23 Derek Buckley, Laps 24-30 Brody Roa.
HARD CHARGER: Brody Roa (14th to 1st)
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Troy Rutherford 1265; 2. Steve Conrad 1180; 3. Greg Taylor 1160; 4. Josh Ford 1035; 5. Don Gansen 985; 6. Brandon Thomson 965; 7. Derek Buckley 940; 8. Cory Kruseman 885; 9. Brent Camarillo 875; 10. Brian Camarillo 790; 11. Dakota Kershaw 700; 12. Kyle Smith 675; 13. Clark Templeman III 650; 14. John Nock 630; 15. Brody Roa 625; 16. Marcus Niemela 610; 17. Justin Kierce 605; 18. Austin DeBlauw 545; 19. Guy Woodward 480; 20. Jimmy Crawford 460.
NEXT VRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
May 7 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California