Leave The Light On
The All Coast 360 Challenge
Ventura Raceway
October 29th, 2011

Greg Taylor And Crew Chief Bernie Hammer
Win The All Coast Challenge Championship

Very low key and heartfelt contest at the All Coast Challenge. Twenty four sprint cars showed up to start closing shop and putting away the tools. I remember how last year we were a little disappointed when only forty showed, what a difference a year makes. Forty would have flooded us this year. At the end of the night, I crawled out of there with some leftover t-shirts, a country western CD from David Day who was playing for the fans on the midway, 946 digital photos in the camera, program with Nic Faas on the cover, some advance copies of Norm Bogen articles with an especially intriguing Billy Albini piece, basket of cookies with a cover cloth that said thanks and signed by a hundred nut jobs, Rutherford stickers, birthday party invite from the coolest race chick, posters signed by drivers, the latest smoking hot DVD from Loudpedal Video, couple thousand memories, mud in my hair, sense of wonder and some string, not sure about that.

Nick Carlson Rips The Ford Focus Main Event.

Danny "Hollywood" Farria Jr. Brings It Every Time And He Is Everywhere

Danny Faria Jr. left the Central Valley about mid morning and found himself on the pole at 8:42 pm. “It’s not about the money” he told me “I’m here to support the race.” Exactly how I felt. He had the Kruser on his shoulder, Jace VanderWeerd and Greg Taylor (best lap time of the night @11.934 during heat 4) right behind them. Double threat Brent and Brian Camarillo right behind them. West Coast 360 Champion Richard VanderWeerd was next and Jonathan Henry flanking him. Troy Rutherford was stuck all the way somewhere in the summer, but he knew his way. They fired that thing and it was that comforting roar and calming speed. Track so fast passing was going to be difficult. Cory out front but Faria was right there applying pressure. Cory high, Danny low and here comes Taylor. He is the All Coast points leader and he’s looking at a10K payday if he wins this race. Cory gets out a bit as Faria deals with Taylor. Faria over steers in turn four, balks for a second and both Taylor and Camarillo get by. Taylor is slowly reeling in Kruseman and it’s two of Ventura’s greatest doing what they do best lap after blistering lap. Brian Camarillo is hot on their heels and there’s no quit in Faria. Brent Camarillo spins in turn one and we are yellow.

Troy Rutherford Was The Hard Charger In The Sprint Race And Also Ran His Midget Preparing For The Chili Bowl.

Nothings Better Than An Afternoon At The Track, Just Ask Bob Alderman.

Line up is Kruseman, Taylor, Camarillo and Faria. Both Jace and Richard VanderWeerd are still coming, Jonathan Henry and Tom Hendricks are also there. Hendricks has been on the gas lately but now comes into turn four too hard and flips. We are yellow. Green flag, the Kruser and Taylor resume their high speed debate. Sheer amazing beauty and speed as these two veterans show off Ventura’s seductive closeness. Greg tries to set up for some tentative slides, but Kruseman is not even interested. With twelve laps complete, Jace spins in turn one and we are yellow for the third time. Still no change in the line up and we are green. More Kruseman schooling as Taylor is now being challenged by Brian Camarillo off the restart. Likewise Faria is battling with USAC West Coast Champion Richard VanderWeerd. And people say these guys won’t travel! Now there is traffic and Brian tries to slide Taylor coming through three and four. But Taylor has bigger problems coming at him. Going through turn four, Kruseman makes contact with Ed Schwarz. Kruseman clears but Schwarz starts fishtailing down the front and Taylor catches a wheel trying to clear him. He doesn’t flip but there is damage and he is spun and stopped. The party was just getting good and Taylor is sent to the work area. Ten thousand fun tickets are cancelled but he is still in the points race for 5K if he gets back out and stays ahead of Steve Conrad and Brian Camarillo. He refires and joins the restart at the back.

Many Thanks To The Killer VRA Staff.

Nobody Forgets Christian Stover.

The line up is Kruseman, Camarillo, Faria, VanderWeerd and Jonathan Henry. With nineteen laps completed, Brian Camarillo has been fast all night and now he takes it to Kruseman. Immediately tries to slide him at three and four, Kruseman deftly slides under him. Right away it seems we are back in traffic and Kruseman and Camarillo are slicing with uncanny speed and daring. Brian Camarillo is ending his year with some of the most ferocious and inspired racing I have seen at Ventura ever. But that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi he is chasing and Cory is wide when he needs to be and thin through the keyholes, morphing and shifting as he chases his paycheck. Brian finally hits the back wall hard enough to lose a second (beautifully captured by Loudpedal) and Cory cashes 5K at the checkers. Greg Taylor had gamely raced from the back to tenth and barely beats Brian Camarillo for the points win and cashes his 5K. Ironically, I realized post race that had Brian passed Cory and with Greg finishing tenth, Brian would have collected the entire ten grand. After his best drive I've ever seen, he was pounding his steering wheel in frustration! Top five is Kruseman, Camarillo, Faria, VanderWeerd and Rutherford. Troy Rutherford is hard charger from 11th to fifth but unbelievably the stinking sponsor has no hard charger award in these hard times and Troy is once again spanked for greatness. It really was an awesome race. Watching from a distance, the riverboat gambler shrugs, turns and makes his way east towards Perris.

Danny Ebberts Won The Battle Of The Beach Midget Main Event.

Corey Kruseman Wins The All Coast Challenge Main Event.

I dig the fall because it’s all about ripping sunsets, traditional races, holidays, warm homes and taking care of people you love. Without doubt the coolest scene came with Jim Naylor paying tribute to Grand Marshall Harlan Willis. Cars were in the chute were ready to launch some kind of main, but Naylor froze the track and started talking to his friend over the loudspeaker. As they talked, Harlan all soft spoken, the whole place quieted down and for the first time I can ever remember, you could have heard a pin drop in that place. A crowd of people actually gathered in front of the flag stand staring up at the announcers booth as these two longtime renegades reached deep and compared notes. Jim gave him a beautiful pedal car decorated like the famous #45 that Harlan, Cory and Nigh campaigned in. Harlan was surprised and grateful. It was one of those sincere and touching moments; kind of surreal and weird like the whole place was plugged into the same outlet and some gentle 60 watt bulb was burning on the coastal racing porch. We’re all coming home for the holidays, leave the light on.

Harlan, Naylor And The Storied #45.

White Flag