By Lance Jennings
VENTURA, CA – SEPTEMBER 13, 2011… There is an old saying that goes “it is not over until it is over.” That was certainly the case last Saturday night at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway. After taking the white flag, point leader Greg Taylor of Ventura took the lead from Camarillo’s Josh Ford in turn two to claim his third feature victory of the season. Ford, who led twenty-nine laps, took second with Steve Conrad, Dakota Kershaw, and Jimmy Crawford rounding out the top five drivers.
Officially leading one lap and starting from the twelfth starting spot, Greg Taylor currently holds a stout 245 point lead heading into next Saturday’s action. Piloting Tommy Horne’s potent #13 sprinter, the 2007 Champion claimed fourth in his heat race and had to start deep in the field. Steadily working his way to the front, Taylor was not to be denied on his night and has seven heat race victories, two hard charger awards, and thirteen top-10 finishes to his credit.
With his second place run in the #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machining car, Josh Ford raced to his series leading fourteenth top-10 finish of the season. Last season’s All Coast 360 Challenge Champion was third in his heat race and is second in the chase for the championship. To date, Ford also has four heat race victories and one hard charger award on the season.
Quartz Hill’s Steve Conrad had another solid performance with a third place finish behind the wheel of the #56 Roy Miller Freight Lines / SC Grafix special. The former USAC TQ Midget graduate was second in his heat race to Brent Camarillo and currently sits third in the point standings. In the 2011 campaign, Conrad has two feature wins, one heat race victory, three hard charger awards, and thirteen top-10 finishes.
Dakota Kershaw of Oak Park returned to action and scored a fourth place finish in the #28 Interprize Capitol / Roll Control entry after starting sixth. The young driver claimed the night’s third heat race and is now thirteenth in the point chase. In limited action, Kershaw has two heat race victories and five top-10 finishes on the year.
Newbury Park’s Jimmy “Neutron” Crawford took fifth at the checkered flags after starting ninth in the 30-lap feature. Piloting the #17 Twister X special, the 2002 Champion was third in his heat race and is currently tied for eighth in the standings with Markus Niemela. To date, Crawford has two heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and with fourteen feature laps led on the season.
Young Austin DeBlauw of Ventura earned his second Hard Charger / Best Passing Job honors with a sixth place run after starting eighteenth. Driving the #65 DeBlauw Racing entry, Austin was sixth in his heat race and currently sits twelfth in the point chase. This year, DeBlauw has four top-10 finishes and is gaining valuable racing experience.
Another driver returning to action is Markus Niemela of Santa Barbara. Piloting Steve Watt’s #69 surfnsprint.com machine, Niemela won the night’s first heat race and was eighth in the feature. Tied for eighth in the points with Jimmy Crawford, Niemela has two heat race victories, one hard charger award, and eight top-10 finishes to his credit.
Camarillo’s Brent Camarillo won the night’s second heat race behind the wheel of the #51 Agromin Soil / Waste Management entry. Camarillo went on to score seventh in the main event and currently sits fifth in the standings. This season, Brent has three heat race victories, one semi-main win, one hard charger award, and six top-10 finishes.
Ventura Raceway scheduled eight other companion classes on the night. Richard McCormick won the Senior Sprint Car feature that honored driver John Jewett, who passed away last month. Rich Lapka raced to the Senior Dwarf Car victory, while point leader Ray Estrada won in the VRA Pro Dwarf Car division. Trevor Fitzgibbon scored another Sport Compact main event, as Mike Neal claimed victory in the Mod Lite class. In Junior Midgets, Brennan Rogers was victorious while J.D. Brown took the Piston Mini Dwarf main event. Nick Velasquez scored the Supercharger Mini Dwarf feature win.
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 night, September 17th, Ventura Raceway will host the VRA Sprint Cars, VRA Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Junior Focus Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, and VRA Go Karts. For more event information, please visit www.venturaraceway.com or call (805) 985-5433.
VRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
September 10, 2011
ENTRIES: ( Car / Driver Name / Points)
3M Jake McVey 130; 8x Richard Ortega Jr 95; 13 Greg Taylor 245; 14K Jay Waugh 160; 17 Jimmy Crawford 195; 17x Jeff Fillingame 105; 22 Brian Camarillo 120; 24 Guy Woodward 130; 27 Cody Kershaw 150; 28 Dakota Kershaw 215; 33 Scott Hansen 125; 51 Brent Camarillo 185; 55s Kyle Smith 135; 56 Steve Conrad 220; 57 Steve Hix 155; 65 Austin DeBlauw 170; 69 Markus Niemela 180; 71K Tom Hendricks 140; 73 Josh Ford 230; 76 Derek Buckley 105.
HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Markus Niemela, 2. Kyle Smith, 3. Josh Ford, 4. Brian Camarillo, 5. Scott Hansen, 6. Tom Hendricks, 7. Jake McVey.
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Brent Camarillo, 2. Steve Conrad, 3. Jay Waugh, 4. Derek Buckley, 5. Steve Hix, 6. Jeff Fillingame, 7. Richard Ortega Jr.
HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Dakota Kershaw, 2. Cody Kershaw, 3. Jimmy Crawford, 4. Greg Taylor, 5. Guy Woodward, 6. Austin DeBlauw.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Greg Taylor (12th), 2. Josh Ford (2nd), 3. Steve Conrad (5th), 4. Dakota Kershaw (6th), 5. Jimmy Crawford (9th), 6. Austin DeBlauw (18th), 7. Brent Camarillo (8th), 8. Markus Niemela (7th), 9. Steve Hix (14th), 10. Jay Waugh (1st), 11. Tom Hendricks (16th), 12. Jake McVey (19th), 13. Cody Kershaw (3rd), 14. Guy Woodward (15th), 15. Scott Hansen (13th), 16. Kyle Smith (4th), 17. Brian Camarillo (10th), 18. Jeff Fillingame (17th), 19. Richard Ortega Jr. (20th), 20. Derek Buckley (11th).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-29 Josh Ford, Lap 30 Greg Taylor.
HARD CHARGER: Austin DeBlauw (18th to 6th)
VRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Greg Taylor 3355; 2. Josh Ford 3110; 3. Steve Conrad 2950; 4. Brian Camarillo 2695; 5. Brent Camarillo 2445; 6. Derek Buckley 2365; 7. Don Gansen 2290; 8. Markus Niemela 1995; -. Jimmy Crawford 1995; 10. Kyle Smith 1980; 11. Cory Kruseman 1805; 12. Austin DeBlauw 1665; 13. Dakota Kershaw 1550; 14. Tom Harper 1385; 15. Guy Woodward 1255; 16. Troy Rutherford 1235; 17. Brandon Thomson 1175; 18. Tom Hendricks 1150; 19. Cody Kershaw 1130; 20. Steve Hix 1075.
VRA SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE:
September 17 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 24 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
October 1 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
October 15 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
October 29* – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 12 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
*All Coast Construction 360 Challenge.