Everything Was Delivered
Saturday July 25th, 2009

Racing, like life, is an amazing amalgam of contradiction. One minute you are licking speed just as sweet as ice cream, next minute you are choking on mud. That mud comes fast. They say racers put on a show, that racers entertain us. It goes way past that. I donít go to the races to be entertained, I go to be inspired. Nothing else. And what inspires me is watching how certain individuals handle a race. To win a race, you have to reach deep and show everybody your heart. There is that moment; down the straightaway, disaster to your right, hopelessness to your left, a small sliver of possibility fleeing in front of you. Not just that moment; but also the minutes, hours, days, weeks and years leading up to it. The garages, the tools, the trailers, the road trips, your father, your grandfather or maybe the father and grandfather you never had. The whole story is fascinating, the whole trip is golden and from what I can see, the price is brutalÖ.

Rutherford, Kierce, Kershaw and Faria Are Timeless In Turn Two.

This is maybe the best race photo I have seen in a long time. Newcomer Chris Eugster sat high in turn one and reached down and grabbed an incredible moment in the All Coast Challenge. He did Photoshop a stray Tyler Edwards out of the lower left corner, but who cares. To catch these four cars at this moment speaks volumes to me. Flying out of turn two, thatís eventual winner Troy Rutherford at the top, second place finisher Kevin Kierce just below him. Sensational Cody Kershaw charging right below him and then the picaresque Danny Faria Jr. making his own move. Theyíre all chasing Steve Conrad who had just inherited the lead from a tangled Brian Camarillo and Clark Templeman III. Classic.

Greg Tucker From Ojai Took His First IMCA Modified Win

Iím a message board junkie. Itís not for everybody, but I donít have a life (I seem to be spending all of my time studying the microbiology of an orange car)! What really jerks my chain is when somebody starts bashing my track and holds up another track or sanction as better. Like I have to choose! I havenít been to a track I didnít like. Santa Maria is awesome. Twice to Victorville and had the best time. Perris is the Cadillac; you are riding with the King. Iíve seen things dry slick and Iíve seen it hooked up. Iíve seen USAC bust their butt and knock my socks off. Loved the Bandits. Canít wait to meet the West Coast Sprinters. Everybody move over and make room for Chris Kearns. Never made it to Manzanita and I have to wear it like a scarlet letter the rest of my life. When I was a kid, you either liked the Beatles or the Stones. I liked them both, still do. Weíre drowning in greatness, give it a break.

Bob Alderman Before The Storm

Iíll get to the go-carts, sports, mods and dwarfs another day, but I have to talk about the Senior Sprints. Heat race was a disaster; so embarrassing I walked to the infield and put my camera away. Too wet, like watching a bird with a broken wing. Some drivers walked, I donít know if theyíll ever be back. The promoter does what he has to do. Man, the whole thing sucks. By contrast (or resultant of) the Senior Main had a perfect track that night. Damp, smooth and full of sharp teeth. I watched my friend Bob Alderman get into a tussle down the front stretch and take a flying crash in front of the flag stand. Bob is a contractor like myself and right now times are really hurting. To see that car take such a beating was like seeing a friend mugged and kicked. I wanted to throw up. Called Bob a few days later and all he could talk about was how fast his new set up is. Kevinís helping him with the frame and he will be back August 29th. You gotta have heart.

Victor Davis Puts One In The Book

Still with Senior Sprints, Victor Davis got out front early and never looked back. Bach wasnít there, no Miller boys and Douglas got tagged and put away early. Victor paid no mind; he had plenty of heat behind him. Chuhaloff, Alderman, Deblauw and Warren were all gunning for him. Kershaw had to go to the back and got to work. Victor was in open air and flying. Alderman suddenly gone. Kershaw battled his way to third and Warren muscles his way to second. Victor Davis stuck to his guns, drove a perfect line and wins his first VRA Senior Sprint Main Event. That what it takes to win a main event around here, just about a perfect race. If you know Victor, you were smiling like everybody on the western seaboard.

Awesome Effort By Clark Templeman III

The All Coast 360 Challenge had a clean start and it was Clark Templeman III who got out front. Brian Camarillo had started on the second row and he was right behind Clark. Conrad Taylor and Rutherford were also early movers. Danny Faria Jr. started in Tipton, made it to the fifth row and was now challenging for fifth. Rutherford has his hands full of Faria. Faria is aggressive down the front, brilliant pass under Rutherford and three others and comes out ahead down the back. Rutherford never lets up and they are dragging down the back. Faria hits the cushion hard in four, climbs and rides the wall and never seriously challenges again. Up front, Camarillo was fast, all over Templeman and looking for a pass. They came out of four, made contact and Camarillo lost it. He barrel rolled down the front straightaway and was finished. Templeman has suffered collateral damage to his front end and he is done. Your two fastest cars have left the track. Steve Conrad has no problem inheriting the lead and followed by Greg Taylor driving the Hammer 55. Rutherford is third, Kierce is fourth and a cool Cody Kershaw is fifth. Troy Rutherford is working the bottom on the restarts for the lead. But McCormick spins and we are yellow. Next Matt Mitchell gets sideways and gathers up hapless Jonathan Henry (has he lost the keys to the Magic Kingdom?). Next to me Tim Truex comments ďthis is insane, so much going on!Ē Another restart and again Rutherford is on the bottom before the top can get up to speed. It sticks and itís Rutherford out front, Conrad second, Kierce third and Faria fourth. Slide jobs everywhere and here comes Kruseman from the seventh row. Cody Kershaw hits the wall in two and sets off a chain reaction. Strong contenders from the back including Rick Hendrix (Frankenstein luck), Jimmy Crawford, Brandon Thomson and Richard McCormick get gathered and are done. Green again and Rutherford now goes high while Kevin Kierce dogs the bottom. Rutherford maintains the lead. They get their speed up and now we have a race. Kierce repeatedly tries to best Rutherford coming out of two but no dice. It is high speed, it is insanely close, it is clean and it is gripping. Armageddon is looming. These two talented veterans take it to the brink, hang toes over the edge and gaze down. Kierce never backs off, Rutherford never relinquishes and it finishes Rutherford with the big check, Kierce second and Kruseman third.

Troy Rutherford Made The Show

Itís all about heart. Spartacus took a horrific wipeout the week before which knocked him unconscious. They pried a cracked helmet off of that hard head and took him to the hospital for observation. Sent him home with some aspirin. He took his crew (Clive, Frank, Garrett, Dell and hardcore friend Derek) and thrashed all week on pulling old parts out and making a new car. Props to my buddy Jim Cherry. Troyís beloved 90 year old grandfather passed and he went to the funeral Friday morning. His grandfather was Navy so Troy was pleased to see the car was battleship gray. He was cleared to race on Friday afternoon (I hope he didnít have the same doctor as Michael Jackson). He showed up Saturday with some sort of cold, smoked his heat race and made the show. Photographing that heat race, I remember saying to myself ďboy, Troy has got some attitude goingĒ. He landed on top of that main, drove with his heart and was never in doubt. In hard times like these, everybody is looking for a little inspiration. Everything was delivered.