September 5th, 2009

Powerful stuff. You have one the great drivers in Ventura history in the middle of a steamy and sizzling run; a growing cacophony of cymbals, guitars and speed pounding like only comes as often as Haley's comet. That comet is burnished by a sky overflowing with stars, new stars being born, exploding novas, black stars and the lingering glow of stars that burned out light years ago. This track is stuffed with sprint cars every Saturday night because this is where the action is. If you have to measure the light level, let's be honest. Wrenches that have been spinning for decades. Car owners and that's all they own. The fans are your family, that's your mother, your son, your wife in the stands. Hug your kids. They're gone faster than a heat race. Enjoy the track, your friends, the gentle air scented with alky igniting. It's all moving in gentle arc, like our world with a horizon that never shifts, all tilting, all imperceptibly being pulled into a black hole of speedů.

Luis Espinoza Has Reinvented Himself

McGraw Clan and Friends

Let's spin through the divisions. Kyle Edwards is starting to make a name for himself. He won the USAC Junior Focus Midgets event at Hanford. He has now repeated for the VRA event in Ventura. Casey Martinez finished second and Tanner Kershaw took third. Edwards is second in VRA points right behind Ethan Quinn. VRA Mini Dwarfs Pistons had Kyle Peterson take his first main event this season. After eleven races and a million second place finishes, kudos on your grit and determination. Joe Snyder and Cole Wakim in second and third. Oliver Blades aced the Superchargers, with Cameron McCauley in second and Tommy Velasquez in third. Ricky Lewis, who took a mind-blowing flip in Hanford, leads the points just ahead of Oliver. Four races to go. Luke Boles won the VRA Junior Midgets, followed by Riley Helland and Brennan Rogers. My buddy Austin Figueroa is still leading the points. At this point, Jim Naylor shut down the show for thirty minutes and cut in one of the best tracks we've seen in awhile. The VRA Senior Dwarfs came out and went the distance without a yellow. The incredibly consistent Kevin Alverson led all twenty laps. Steady Ed Niedzwiecki finished second with Lee Majors in third. Not bad for Lee's first outing with the Senior Pros. Look for Alverson in a sprint car next year! Next the Senior Sprints came out for another non-stop green white checker. When the track is this good, it's hard to pass. The first seven cars finished in the exact order they started. That would be, uh, Kershaw, Culver, Denome, Wiley Miller, Douglas, Warren and Richards. The point's lead shifts from Douglas back to Kershaw. Three to go. IMCA Modifieds is all about Randy McGraw. The talented driver came out again this week and destroyed the competition. Jack Parker escaped the major cluster on the front straightaway and drove to second with Doug Thorton in third. That mess took out Austin Rodarte and diminished his point lead to less than one race. Jack is hungry in second. There is only one race left. See you September 26th.

Boles Family Is Having Nothing But Fun

Cody Kershaw Before The Main Event

They need to focus that Hubble telescope on this track. It might be the only camera big enough to capture all the greatness here. This VRA Sprint Main is loaded front, back and middle. Kierce and Crawford pack the front row; Brian Camarillo and Hendrix are taking care of business in the back. You have center cuts like Greg Taylor and Troy Rutherford. Insanely talented drivers like Espinoza, Woodward, Mero, Wakim and Conrad are liberally sprinkled throughout. Track sweet as rhubarb pie. Scotty cackles on the radio "line up is good". Phillip Stevenson taps his foot and holds out his flag one to go. Jeff Kristensen and I are in the tower and we can almost see the end of summer. The entire grandstand draws one long breath holds it and then all hell breaks loose. Crawford and Kierce hit the gas and it is Crawford through the mouse hole. He was actually looking good but got loose on the second lap and fumbled all through turn two. You can beat Kevin Kierce but you can't make any mistakes. Kierce takes over but he's picked up a little shadow called Cody Kershaw. Kershaw has been suffering through a mid season slump and he was determined this race was going to be redemption. Another Ventura brat with no fear and the ability to back it up! John Nock and Cory Kruseman were also right there, scrambling for position. Kierce, Kershaw, Kruseman and Ronnie Case all banking high, Nock and Rutherford are grinding the bottom, Rutherford never left it the rest of the race. Cody Kershaw is filled with a will to lead and is smothering Kierce. He tries a massive slide job out of one and it nearly works. Kierce appears startled by the audacity and brakes hard. Everybody behind him scatters. Kierce has massive acceleration down the back and wicked into three and four. He beats Cody to the flag stand and clutches the lead to his chest. Kruseman is third behind Kershaw and also appears flummoxed by this young kid's spunk. He is looking for an opening but Cody shuts every crack. The entire crowd is watching this kid cocked between seasoned champions Kierce and Kruseman and we are thrilled. You can almost see Kierce's brain spinning as fast as his tires, he is the Calculator and he is all in. He is on the top but clearly mixing it up to stymie stalking assassins. Kruseman is the litmus test at Ventura (or just about anywhere). That's not to say he always wins, but if he is on your ass and can't pass, there's about a thousand drivers that will tell you you're doing pretty good. Again Cody is blistering in three and four; again Kierce gets the text, hangs up the cell phone and gets back on the gas. Further back I see spectacular racing between Taylor and Rutherford, I'm sure there were many others, who can take their eyes off the front? Now the leaders are in traffic and Cody and Cory get a whiff of opportunity. Kierce is like quicksilver through the pack. It's the three amigos, Kierce, Kershaw, and Kruseman with Rutherford in fourth and Taylor in fifth when Guy Woodward spins in turn three. We have twenty-one laps completed with nine to go. Phillip flips the flag and the chase is back on. Cody tries another slider and is completely rejected. They are nearly in a dead heat but Kevin won't give up that lead. Hobie Conway spins and gathers Case. We have completed twenty-six laps with four to go. It's Kierce, Kershaw, Kruseman, Taylor and Rutherford. They all go high on the flag except Rutherford who is setting backfires all along the bottom. Four laps and Rutherford is clipping one car per lap. He is past Taylor, smokes Kruseman and is bearing down on Kershaw. White flag is out and the audience is in rapture. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Kierce, Kershaw, Rutherford and Kruseman) gallop thru turn four and head for the checkers. Rutherford hits overdrive and in the last ten yards he passes Kershaw for second, but Kevin Kierce is starting his victory lap. Cody Kershaw really brilliant in third. Track legend Kruseman is fourth and amazing Steve Conrad in fifth, most passes with twelve positions gained. The audience stumbles home ranting, raving and mumbling. Kevin Kierce continues to take down all comers, doesn't matter if you're a rookie, USAC champion or a supermodel.

Kierce Delivers The Mail