uh huh, yeah, right
Ventura Raceway USAC Midget Main Event
May 22, 2010

All Thrill No Fill
Robby Josett Takes It To Ventura

First five rows were stunning. Popular and fast Jake Swanson on the pole. USAC Western Midget point leader Cory Kruseman outside. Tough veteran Josh Lakatos second row inside. Injury plagued Robby Josett on the comeback trail is outside. Ventura sprint hotshot Troy Rutherford inside row three, journeyman Sean Dodenhoff to his outside. USAC triple threat Rick Hendrix inside, midget wizard Josh Ford to his outside. Row five had explosive Brent Camarillo inside and Kruseman protégé Alex Schutte outside. It is Schutte that is second to Cory Kruseman’s point lead and the leader of a shape shifting pack of former students to challenge the Master. And there is no one to dispute that Cory is the Master. His Ventura academy has turned out droves of fast and well equipped Jedi Warriors. His own racing credentials are impeccable. His presence and school bring a hard earned respectability and cutting edge to the best little dirt track in America. But it seems every race he has to face a rift of former students who would like nothing better than to bust his chops. Every race he suits up and goes out to face his hungry children ….

Jedi Master

Kruseman Leads 28 Laps

Kruseman perfect on the green, although he hooked the berm slightly in turn three. Swanson spectacular lifting out of two, rocketing down the backstretch. But Lakota passes in the back for second place, loses it into turns one and two. Lakota and Swanson did that back and forth a few times, Lakota was getting the upper hand when Robert Harr spun turn two and we were yellow. Lineup had Kruseman, Lakota, and Swanson with Josett in fourth and Troy Rutherford ruthless in fifth. Track was drying rapidly and a single file paralysis was threatening. Green and it looks like Swanson blows an engine and goes to the infield. Kruseman is leading the speed train when Lakota drifts slightly in two. Rutherford also loses grip in the same corner. Robby Josett and Brent Camarillo capitalize moving to third and fourth respectively. Kruseman has checked out and watches from a distance. Lakota and Josett battling for second, Rutherford and Camarillo pitching for fourth. Rutherford suddenly slows in the back to a stop (we find out later a two dollar nut spit it’s bolt!). We are yellow as Lakota also breaks and quits. Man, these Midgets have high-strung nervous systems. Line up is Kruseman, Josett, Camarillo, Josh Ford and Schutte. Mike Truex comments to me that Jonathan Henry (stuffed in the back due to heat race blues) needs five yellows to make it to the front. He started seventeenth, he is now eighth after two yellows. Smart money is watching front, back and center. Gas on and Camarillo drives the bottom under Josett for second. They go at it but Austin Smith spins after one lap. In that short lap Henry had passed three cars but they put him back and we have thirteen laps completed. Kruseman clean on the restart but Josett gets under Camarillo for second. Camarillo comes back swinging with another pass but yellow number four as Randi Pankratz spins turn two. Line up is Kruser, Josett, Camarillo, Ford and Schutte (from tenth). Henry sits seventh at the mid race point and fast forwarding. Green and Kruseman takes the middle line, Josett on the bottom followed by Camarillo. Josh Ford has showed up and starts biting at Camarillo’s heels. He get around him at turn two with pure skill. Kruseman is pulling away as Ford tries to catch Josett. Suddenly Brian Camarillo and Sean Dodenhoff tangle in turn three. Camarillo refires but Dodenhoff gets the hook. We are twenty-six laps completed and four to go. Cars are idling around the track as Dodenhoff gets pulled to the pits. Perhaps Cory starts thinking about Sunday’s class and perhaps Cory loses that perfect concentration. Something happened. We are green and as they come down the back, Josett drives hard to the bottom on turn four and clears the Kruser. He drifts up slightly and bangs wheels with Cory just enough to pass. Perfect? No, but he has the lead! They clear a lap and then Bruce Douglas spins for yellow number five. Henry has been struggling (car kept stalling in the corners) but looks to be cracking top five. Astute Truex notes there is one place you don’t want to be in a midget race. That’s sitting in front of Cory Kruseman on a restart. I imagine Josett sitting tight and thinking “bring it!”. It’s a green white checker as Josett drives a perfect line stuffing the Master at all radius points. White flag comes out but Kyle Smith turns around in turn two and we are back to a lineup. Cory couldn’t capitalize on the previous yellow but he has one last shot. I can’t imagine what’s going through Josett’s head. He takes the green and again executes all lap points perfectly. Kruseman is digging but it is slipping away from him. White flag and Robby Josett only has to do this one more time. Again, technically perfect execution with a long burning fire in his belly. Kruseman is right there but Josett takes it all in and almost floats across the finish line. Josh Ford is third, Schutte is fourth and Jonathan Henry is fifth. That’s pretty good for back starting Henry but the real hard charger was driving and set up legend Mike English. An amazing fifteen passes as he went from twenty-first to sixth. With some striking similarities to Robby Josett, English was again competing after a debilitating injury and hardcore recovery. I love this track.

Family and Friends Have Josett’s Back

Robby Josett went to hell in 2009. Horrific flip at Manzanita in February broke his neck, back, some ribs and pelvis. Cat scans after the accident divulged a small brain tumor they’re still keeping an eye on. Six months of his mother Laurie’s loving care and he was back in a midget. Preparing for the Mitchell Fall Classic in November of the same year a drill bit splintered and sent him to the hospital for eye surgery. Preparing for the 2010 USAC Western Midget Series he tapped longtime friend and recuperating Garret Hansen for coaching. Garret has been at every race and now Robby sits in a three-way heat for first with Kruseman and Schutte, the master and students. Should be good. His dedicated father Ron told me a story a few years back about the high school baseball coach telling Robby it’s either baseball or racing! Uh huh, yeah, right.

The Tenacious Josett

Harr Mixes with Douglas Turn One

Carlson In Turn Three

Mini Dwarf Winner Joey Freshour with Family

Cody Majors Junior Midget Main Event

Devon McCree in Turn Three

Junior Midgets Launch

Nick Velasquez On The Backstretch

Logan Rutherford Mini Dwarf Piston

Tanner Kershaw Waits To Load

Trevor Fitzgibbon Owns The Sport Compact World

Ford Junior Focus Winner Blondel

Brennan Rogers VRA Junior Midget Winner

Pops Hammer

Coming Soon