It’s Right Here
Ventura Raceway
September 18, 2010

Signed and Numbered Print Available At Wagsdash Auction

The Memorabilia Store is finally opening. I’m trying to get it working by this weekend. I have an outstanding web designer in 310 Productions in Simi Valley and they are a huge help. I want to shout out to Trudy, Sanjay, Élan, Doug and everybody over there. We are going to launch the Memorabilia Store by donating two items to this weekend’s Wagdash auction. The first item is the 2009 All Coast Challenge poster, designed by Bernie Hammer, signed by almost every driver that participated, including Cory Kruseman, Henry Clarke and Jesse Hockett. There are only three of these posters signed as all of the drivers came into the pits. One is being gifted to Jim Naylor, one is being donated to the Wagsdash and one will remain in the Memorabilia Store, not for sale at this time. This poster is matted, framed and fitted with UV resistant glass. If I am successful in keeping this contest going for another twenty-five years, this will become a real collector’s item. The second item being donated is a 13” x 19” print of Damion “the Demon” Gardner winning the 2009 Oval Nationals, photographed by surfnsprint. It was the lead photo in the race review titled “The Demon and the Snowman”. This is an archival print signed and numbered (five copies) by both Damion Gardner and the photographer. Of the eight copies printed, two were gifted to the driver, one is being donated to the Wagsdash and the remaining two will stay in the Memorabilia Store for sale, price to be determined. All surfnsprint memorabilia will be catalogued extensively, the site maintaining a “chain of ownership and value” spreadsheet. The site will also contain anecdotal and technical information on each item. Each item has a certificate of authenticity attached and is numbered for easy reference. I believe in sprint cars and I am excited to start contributing to the storied history. All proceeds from the Memorabilia Store will go into funding the purse for the All Coast Challenge. 100% of funds raised will go to racers. Am I trying to make something out of nothing here? You bet I am. Support the Wagsdash and bid on these two items. Ken Wagner’s Wagsdash is the original template for helping sprint car drivers and teams.

Available at Wagdash Auction

Let’s take a quick lap and look at what happened in Ventura last week. Starting with Sport Compacts, that was Mike Dyer, our faithful pit gate guard, driving the 71 on the heat race. The car is owned by Terry Nunley (former Rookie of the Year) who hauls it from San Francisco to participate in Ventura on frequent occasions. Terry let Dyer race the car in the heat race by previous arrangement. When Nunley was ready to race in the main, there was a problem. Cody Greisman had car trouble and was going to miss the race. Cody is second in points to Superman, uh, I mean Trevor Fitzgibbon, and so Zak Peterson stepped up and put Cody in his car. Nunley saw that and put Zak in his car, despite driving 1000 miles round trip. Nunley is a respiratory assistance specialist working the Bay Area. That’s because he has a huge heart and he races Ventura because this Sport Compact crowd is all about having a great time and helping each other out. Trevor dominated the main event with Brent Underwood finishing second, Micheala Stanton finishing third. Mike Dyer finished top five in his five-car heat race!

Cool Cat Terry Nunley

Troy Rutherford is nuts on racing and has been strapping himself into a Go-Kart to get back to his roots! He took the pole and beat seventeen other cars over the head with it on Saturday night. Despite a valiant effort by David Pankratz who finished second, Troy was never caught and finished in a blistering fashion. George Ito, who has an excellent point average in only three races finished third. Robert DelGaudio had a tough sixth place finish, but continues to lead the points. Saw some pushing and shoving in the pits after the race, I would offer the same advice to all classes. If you are tempted to hit somebody in the pits, don’t. You’re not Jack Hewitt and this is not 1970. It’s 2010, everybody carries a video camera on their phone and lawyers roam the land like vicious dinosaurs. Calculate the odds and walk away. Somebody is going to get hit with a civil lawsuit for assault and that’s going to hurt more than a Go-Cart, I assure you! Just stating the facts, maam.

Cody Kershaw Will Be There.

Northern interloper Danny Lauer tore into the IMCA Modifieds again. Danny’s hard charging carried him from the fifth row to the front in short order. This driver’s muscle and stamina is impressive to watch from the stands. Not sure I’d want to be on the receiving end! Thanks from a fan, Danny, for making the drive down several times this year and delivering the mail. But the real news on this last race of the Modified season was the 2010 IMCA Modified Championship going to Austin Rodarte. Austin finished second in this race but dominated the point’s race. He was followed in third by younger sibling Aaron Rodarte who finished second in the Championship run. The Rodarte boys exemplify Ventura greatness with driving talent, toughness and decency. They bring the thrills to all of the Modified races and perpetuate on the Rick Rodarte legend. He raised those boys right. Civil servant and lawman Brad Prows finished third in points with an excellent season. We are not worthy, Brad. Ever present Rob Green is fourth, which I believe matches his previous best in 2008. Eternal champion Jack Parker finished fifth. All I can say is God Bless the Modified Mess.

He Raised Those Boys Right!

Senior Dwarf Champion Kevin Alverson came out with the Pro Dwarfs Saturday and dominated. In the tradition of great drivers like Jim Scribellito, Ed Neidzwiecki and Brain Saxton, you cannot let Kevin Alverson get out front. He will not make mistakes. He drove it with confidence and verve from the front row to the checkered. Curt Cook was relentless in second, never gaining advantage over Alverson but clinging like rock crab. Angel Figueroa put on another amazing speed clinic, coming back from a tire that spit the bead, going from last place mid race to third at the finish. Angel is so far out in the point’s race they might classify him as a planet. Four to go, every one will be a barnburner.

Troy Rutherford and Crew Roll On

The VRA Sprint Cars rolled out onto a track that was host to drifting fog and haze. It had that cool autumn vibe with Halloween coming and summer fleeing. Terrible for pictures but the action was fierce. The heat races seemed especially impassioned with a lot of hard bumping and grinding. But the action really started sizzling in the semi main where Don Gansen got on the gas and grabbed that race by the throat. A tremendous battle for the final transfer developed with Kyle Smith, Marcus Niemela and Bruce Douglas showing tremendous skill and barely besting Jeff Fillingame and Charlie Butcher. Butcher gave the crowd a classic wheelie out of four. As moisture trails flitted about the track and gave way to clean night skies, Troy Rutherford took his pole position and was never headed as he pulled a green white checker and piled up his championship booty. Greg Taylor has not yet salvaged his red #7 from last week’s crash, so he jumped into Victor Davis’s blue 31 meanie and delivered a smoking second place finish. Now a green white checker often fails to deliver the intense one on one battle at the finish. But to watch local maniacs Troy and Greg excel in their own backyard is it’s own reward. The slicing and dicing power sweeps were worth the price of admission. Brian Camarillo continued his late season surge with a third, Josh Ford continues to tune up for the Challenge in fourth and perpetual shining hope Brandon Thomson rocked his way to top five. Will somebody please hook up this punk with a championship car! 2008 and 2009 VRA Champion Kevin Kierce has decided to retire effective immediately. I will miss the intensity and dedication he and car owner Ray Swann brought to every race!

Rick Hendrix Will Give Everyone Hell Saturday Night

Ventura Raceway today sits silent as drifting fog winds its way through the stands and the track. Saturday night an explosion is scheduled with the screaming roar of 410 engines. The USCA/CRA 410 sprint cars are coming to Ventura after a 24-month hiatus and we are thrilled at the occasion. I would urge all USAC/CRA drivers to make the trip and grow your sport. Every one of you will be appreciated. The privilege of having champions like Williams, Jones and Spencer here is not lost on us. I consider the Ventura fan a savvy and experienced fan. We are accustomed to great racing. We get around and have seen the best from Perris to Skagit. However, we also have a love for this track that is unmatched. We know it’s small. We know a lot of stuff gets wrecked here. But we love this track and we love great drivers. We know our rules are a little quirky and hey, sorry about that muffler. But if you race here, smart and critical fans are watching carefully. They will be slouched against the fence in the pit stands, huddled in turn one, sitting on top of the tower and crouching in the infield. It’s our chance to share with our Perris cousins, Wags, Chris Holt, the Ralphie section, Turn 4 Rob and all of the hard working USAC officials. Everyone that matters will be here with a discerning eye and opinion. Jim Naylor is determined to give you an awesome track (watch out for turn four, it seems like a short distance to that flag, but many greats have ended up on its rocky shores as the Sirens sing sweetly in the mist). We know what you need. We know what you want every time you strap into that cage. We have what you deserve. It’s right here.

USAC/CRA Champion Mike Spencer Is Coming To Ventura