Thrill Seeker
Ventura Raceway
October 1st, 2011

Years Of Dedication And Effort Is Finally Paying Off For The Camarillo Race Team

Brent Camarillo’s first VRA Sprint Car win came Saturday night after years where he demonstrated an exhilarating lack of patience. In a society of manners and political correctness, Brent Camarillo drives on the edge. He has earned and endured years of alternating scorn and praise as he took the mean streets of Ventura and learned how to get to the front. His victory Saturday night was a graduation class in patience and driving skills. But the most satisfying characteristic is not that he can win; it’s that he seeks and delivers thrills to the audience. Much like his compatriot Troy Rutherford, Brent Camarillo’s lust for life and hard racing takes away your breath and puts your heart in your throat every time he hits the track. He is the type of driver that can wow an audience.


Greg Taylor Testing Tires

The tire tests happened at Ventura and the results were not unexpected. The Hoosier Medium shaved almost a half second off the average lap and delivered a smoother ride. Test driver Greg Taylor tells me “you can lean into it a bit more”. With time to change his car setup, he thinks the lap time would get even better. Markus Niemela reported “more bite in the straights, less skittish in the corners, a smoother ride”. Although there was overwhelming enthusiasm for the change in most drivers I spoke to, some drivers feel it will give more of an advantage to higher dollar engines. Mr. Naylor refused to confirm his intentions this week, citing some confusion about whether they actually had the exact tire the USAC 360 West Coast Sprints will be running. I am on this subject like salsa on chips. I will keep you posted.


Mike Lewis Is In A Heated Points Battle With Ray Estrada

Mood at Ventura was relaxed and I saw some outstanding racing in all the classes. Car count was down, some people are boycotting, some people are parked for economics and some people are traveling through Tibet. Congratulations to Senior Sprint Driver Richard McCormick for his impressive main event win. Also an incredibly skilled and intelligent pass by Cody Nigh for the Go-Kart main event win. Mike Lewis busted my chops about covering the dwarfs. He’s right, these guys are awesome and I’m putting up some pictures this week. Sadowski, Lewis, Wolf, Calvo, VanPraag, Estrada, Sack, etc.. these owners, drivers and cars are a valuable part of the Ventura scene and put on some amazing racing. Congratulations to Mike Neal in Senior Dwarfs and Lars Wolf in Pro Dwarfs. Kids class were won by were won by Oliver Blades and Destin Garcia. Kevin Alverson notched the Mod-Lites.


Bill Badger Is Becoming A Fan Favorite At Tracks Across The Southland

When I try to follow the money from Greece through Afghanistan to Wall Street, I am amazed we are here at all. It’s a savage and global recession that has crippled our sport. The Knoxville Nationals reported a historically low count. Our saving grace will be the determined and fiercely independent track operators at Victorville, Tulare, Perris, Ventura and Santa Maria. They have been here before and they will lead us out of the wilderness. Don’t point fingers; hold out your hand.


Steve Conrad Exits After A Vicious Flip

The Dalai Lama says that if you want to be happy; practice compassion. If you want others to be happy; practice compassion. I don’t know if Richard VanderWeerd has ever experienced compassion in four corners of the Tulare Thunderbowl or if His Holiness the Dalai Lama has ever raced sprint cars. I just wanted to write a sentence with the words “Dalai Lama”, “VanderWeerd” and “Tulare Thunderbowl” all in it. Richard will be at Tulare this Saturday trying to lock up his first USAC West Coast 360 Championship. Although I believe he just needs to start and finish the Main Event, I expect it will a bit more explosive than that. Second place in points, Ryan “the Breeze” Bernal will be doing his non compassionate best to destroy Mr. VanderWeerd’s plans. Associated die hards such as Wes Guiterrez, Danny Faria Jr. and Justyn Hamblin bring the lemon and vinegar to this central valley salad bowl. Perris also going off with the Southern California fair. Split schedule runs qualifying and heat races in the afternoon and Main Event in the evening. Matt Mitchell and Nic Faas have brought the championship fight to Mike Spencer and fair visitors should get an eyeful. Ventura and Victorville are dark. Great racing in the Central Valley and great racing in the Southern California. Every weekend I am confronted with outstanding choices and dedicated racers. I check the gas in the tank, load up my brother and we hit the road. I am a thrill seeker.


Car Owner Bill Camarillo and Chief Wrench Steve Watt Getting Impressive Results



Qualifying