By Lance Jennings
VENTURA, CA – JUNE 25, 2011… Starting from the tenth starting position, a determined Greg Taylor scored the second round of the All Coast Construction 360 Challenge at Ventura Raceway. The 30-lap victory was the second triumph of the 2011 campaign for the point leader, as the series will take a short break until returning to action on July 16th.
With thirty-three cars checked in for the $3000 top prize, teammates Jimmy Crawford and Josh Ford shared the front row of the main event. At the drop of the green flag, Ford used the outside line to his advantage to grab the lead. Last year’s All Coast Challenge Champion was followed by Crawford, visiting driver Richard VanderWeerd, last week’s winner Brian Camarillo, Greg Taylor, and Markus Niemela at the completion of the first lap.
Taylor, up from tenth, soon dropped Camarillo to fifth as VanderWeerd and Crawford battled side by side for second. Riding the high line of the Ventura oval, Greg soon caught VanderWeerd and motored his way into third. As Ford continued to lead the way, Taylor executed a successful turn one “slide job” on the next circuit to secure second from Crawford. Josh’s lead began to shrink as Taylor gave chase.
A few laps later, the VRA point leader used another turn one slider to take the lead from Ford on lap seven. Josh tried to battle back, but Taylor was too strong on this night. As the leaders reached the back markers, the order was Taylor, followed by Ford, Crawford, VanderWeerd, Camarillo, and Niemela. As the laps counted down, Taylor continued to dominate and took the checkered flags, trailed by Ford, VanderWeerd, Camarillo, and Johnathon Henry.
After claiming a win on May 14th after Cory Kruseman had muffler issues, there was no doubt that this was Greg Taylor’s night. Piloting the #7 Clark Engineering Construction / Westco International Consulting Inc. special, the series point leader not only put $3000 in his pocket, he earned the program’s “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors, and now leads the All Coast standings. With $5000 up for the October 29th race winner and an additional $5000 to the Challenge point champion, Greg can potentially earn an outstanding payday. To date, the former track champion has six heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and led eighty-seven main event laps on the season.
Camarillo’s Josh Ford got the better of teammate Jimmy Crawford to lead the first six laps before falling to Taylor. The former USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year held tough and claimed second in the #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machining entry. Currently second in the VRA points battle, Josh was second in his heat race to Brent Camarillo and is now 355 points behind Taylor. With three heat race victories, one hard charger award, and ten top-10 finishes to his credit, Ford is fourth in the All Coast standings will be looking for the next Ventura feature win on July 16th.
Richard VanderWeerd of Visalia finished third in Tommy Horne’s potent #13 Steve Watt Enterprises machine. A regular with the USAC/CRA 410s and the West Coast 360 Series, VanderWeerd won the night’s third heat race and is now twenty-sixth in the VRA championship points. In limited action, Richard has one semi-main victory, two top-10 finishes, and is now thirteenth in the All Coast Challenge points.
After winning the night’s fourth heat race, Camarillo’s Brian Camarillo took the #22 Agromin Soil / Waste Management car to fourth in the main event. Last week’s feature winner is currently fourth in the VRA standings with five heat race victories, one semi-main win, and six top-10 finishes in 2011. Camarillo is twelfth in the All Coast points and will have his eyes set on the next Ventura main event on July 16th.
Stockton’s Johnathon Henry took Kevin Kierce’s #3 sprinter to a fifth place finish after starting twelfth in the 30-lap main event. Henry was third in his heat race and is now twenty-second in VRA points despite only having three starts. With three top-10 finishes to his credit in 2011, the young driver is also second in the All Coast Challenge, forty-five points behind Greg Taylor. Look for Johnathon to have strong performances at Ventura Raceway, including his shot for a $10,000 paycheck on October 29th’s All Coast Construction finale.
Camarillo’s Brent Camarillo won second heat race of the season by taking the night’s first 10-lap event. Driving the #51 Agromin Soil / Waste Management machine, Camarillo scored twelfth in the night’s feature and is now seventh in the VRA standings. Brent is currently sixth in the All Coast points and has one semi-main victory, one hard charger award, and five top-10 finishes in 2011. The young driver will be ready when the Ventura Racing Association returns to action the July 16th.
Markus Niemela of Santa Barbara won his first heat race of the year in the #69 Steve Watt Enterprises / Christian Stover Foundation special. Niemela claimed sixth in the night’s main event and sits eighth in the series point chase. Now fourteenth in the All Coast points, Markus has one hard charger award and seven top-10 finishes on the year.
Buena Park’s Brody Roa won the night’s 12-lap semi-main, earning a transfer spot with Derek Buckley, Tom Hendricks, and Tom Harper. Roa was fourteenth in the main event, while Buckley finished tenth, Hendricks scored nineteenth, and Harper scored seventeenth.
Ventura Raceway had four other companion classes scheduled on the night. Josh Lakatos won the “Battle at the Beach,” featuring the VRA versus USAC Midgets. Parker Colston won the USAC Young Guns (Junior Ford Focus Midget) twenty lap feature and Nick Carlson led all twenty laps to claim the USAC Ford Focus Midget main event. James Locy claimed the VRA Go Kart feature victory.
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.
Ventura Raceway and the VRA Sprint Car Series will be idle until July 16th as the Ventura County Fairgrounds will host special events. The July 16th showcase will feature the VRA Sprints, VRA Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Junior Ford Focus Midgets, VRA Sport Compacts and VRA Go Karts. The Pit Gates will open at Noon, Front Gates 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
June 25, 2011 -“All Coast Construction 360 Challenge Round #2”
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
3 Johnathon Henry 195; 4 Chris Gansen 5; 6 Jesse Denome 5; 7 Greg Taylor 250; 10 Kevin Kierce 130; 11 Troy Rutherford 175; 11R Ronnie Gardner 10; 13 Richard VanderWeerd 225; 14k Tom Hendricks 100; 16 Tom Harper 115; 19 Brandon Thomson 10; 21K Cory Kruseman 110; 22 Brian Camarillo 215; 27 Shawn Kautz 15; 33 Terry Nichols 0; 33x Raymond Potter 10; 37x David Bezio 5; 51 Brent Camarillo 160; 55 Tony Everhart 15; 55s Kyle Smith 150; 56 Steve Conrad 170; 57 Steve Hix 10; 62 Adam Frith-Smith 5; 65 Austin DeBlauw 20; 69 Markus Niemela 195; 71 Richard McCormick 140; 71K Don Gansen 15; 72 Jimmy Crawford 135; 73 Josh Ford 235; 76 Derek Buckley 150; 88 Jace VanderWeerd 165; 91R Brody Roa 130; 96 Justin Kierce 125.
HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Brent Camarillo, 2. Josh Ford, 3. Jace VanderWeerd, 4. Steve Conrad, 5. Derek Buckley, 6. Tom Hendricks, 7. Ronnie Gardner, 8. Jesse Denome.
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Markus Niemela, 2. Jimmy Crawford, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Kyle Smith, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Tony Everhart, 7. Brandon Thomson, 8. Adam Frith-Smith.
HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Richard VanderWeerd, 2. Troy Rutherford, 3. Greg Taylor, 4. Kevin Kierce, 5. Austin DeBlauw, 6. Don Gansen, 7. Steve Hix, 8. Chris Gansen.
HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Brian Camarillo, 2. Justin Kierce, 3. Johnathon Henry, 4. Richard McCormick, 5. Tom Harper, 6. Shawn Kautz, 7. Raymond Potter, 8. David Bezio, 9. Terry Nichols (DNS).
SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Brody Roa, 2. Derek Buckley, 3. Tom Hendricks, 4. Tom Harper, 5. Shawn Kautz, 6. Don Gansen, 7. Ronnie Gardner, 8. Adam Frith-Smith, 9. Jesse Denome, 10. David Bezio, 11. Steve Hix, 12. Austin DeBlauw, 13. Chris Gansen, 14. Raymond Potter, 15. Tony Everhart, 16. Brandon Thomson (DNS), 17. Terry Nichols (DNS).
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Greg Taylor (10th), 2. Josh Ford (2nd), 3. Richard VanderWeerd (4th), 4. Brian Camarillo (3rd), 5. Johnathon Henry (12th), 6. Markus Niemela (5th), 7. Steve Conrad (14th), 8. Troy Rutherford (7th), 9. Jace VanderWeerd (11th), 10. Derek Buckley (18th), 11. Kyle Smith (13th), 12. Brent Camarillo (6th), 13. Richard McCormick (16th), 14. Brody Roa (17th), 15. Kevin Kierce (15th), 16. Jimmy Crawford (1st), 17. Tom Harper (20th), 18. Justin Kierce (8th), 19. Tom Hendricks (19th), 20. Cory Kruseman (9th).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Josh Ford, Laps 7-30 Greg Taylor.
HARD CHARGER: Greg Taylor (10th to 1st)
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Greg Taylor 2635; 2. Josh Ford 2280; 3. Steve Conrad 2085; 4. Brian Camarillo 1960; 5. Don Gansen 1940; 6. Derek Buckley 1935; 7. Brent Camarillo 1870; 8. Markus Niemela 1815; 9. Kyle Smith 1480; 10. Cory Kruseman 1445; 11. Jimmy Crawford 1330; 12. Tom Harper 1285; 13. Austin DeBlauw 1265; 14. Brandon Thomson 1175; 15. Dakota Kershaw 1080; 16. Brody Roa 1055; 17. Guy Woodward 1005; 18. John Nock 955; 19. Clark Templeman III 920; 20. Justin Kierce 765; –. Steve Hix 765.
ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION 360 CHALLENGE POINT STANDINGS:
1. Greg Taylor 465; 2. Johnathon Henry 420; 3. Derek Buckley 390; 4. Josh Ford 365; 5. Steve Conrad 335; 6. Brent Camarillo 325; 7. Cory Kruseman 305; 8. Jimmy Crawford 295; 9. Kyle Smith 275; 10. Justin Kierce 270; 11. Brody Roa 235; 12. Brian Camarillo 230; 13. Richard VanderWeerd 225; 14. Markus Niemela 195; 15. Mike Spencer 190; 16. Don Gansen 175; 17. Jon Stanbrough 165; 18. Jace VanderWeerd 165; 19. Austin DeBlauw 155; 20. John Nock 140.
NEXT VRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
July 16 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
NEXT ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION 360 CHALLENGE RACE:
October 29 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California