Ridiculously Fast and Sure Thing
Perris Auto Speedway
March 31st, 2012

Faas - Surfnsprint
All Thrill and No Fill
Faas Too Hot Coming Into Three (Recovered)

Cody Williams is on the pole and Ronnie Gardner on the outside. There arenít two hungrier rookies in the joint, unless you want to count Bernal directly behind Gardner. Or Roa further back, or Bezio or Alexander or take your pick from a bakerís dozen. All these guys are busting down the door. The Chairman of the Board tells me this is most new talent in fifteen years and donít we know it. Second row is Arizona stalwart R.J. Johnson with ďFlying RyanĒ Bernal (thanks Truex) on his outside shoulder. Third row is equally matched spoilers Matt Mitchell and hardy David Cardey. Both drivers are like inviting gasoline to a BBQ. In the fourth row is Ridiculously Fast Faas with Sure Thing Spencer to the outside. There must be a God and he said ďletís make this fair, put Ďem side by sideĒ. Further back is row upon row of spit, talent, hope and determination. As they stack up four wide for a final pass you can feel the thunder coming. Roy Orbison is up in the tower gently explaining to the crowd that someone is going to get their heart broke tonight. But we donít care, we are young, we are foolish and we are walking that special girl home. The possibilities are endless.

Kenny Perkins Proving It
Kenny Perkins Proving It

Green and Ronnie Gardner just screams down the backstretch; such a huge heart. Something weird is happening with Cody Williamís car early down the back, starts to shimmy and shake well before turn three and finally loses control in a hard flip into the chain link. Cody jumps out like itís just another day. Restart; Johnson, Mitchell and Faas all advance a row for the green. This time itís experienced Johnson out front with Gardner in second and a confident and quick Bernal in third. Pelkey stops on the front and we are yellow. Competent Perris crew gets things sorted out promptly and we are green again. David Cardey is fast getting by wunderkind Bernal for third. Itís running Johnson, Gardner, Mitchell, Cardey and Bernal. All the way back to row four, itís Spencer and Faas feeling each other out as they drag down the backstretch. Spencer has the advantage. Then he passes Bernal. Then in a stunning burst of skill and determination, Spencer catches and muscles past Cardey and Mitchell in one supersonic lap. He did it with a gorilla glue grip on the track between turns one and two, driving around them, no slide, no dirty tricks, no weaving, just hardcore pedal to the metal pass on the outside like they were kittens on the freeway! With hardly a glance, Spencer also blows past Gardner and begins contemplating RJ Johnson like he is a rosary bead between his fingers. From sixth to second in a few quick laps and then almost instantly clears the leader just as Seth Wilson spins for a yellow. One thing is clear, Mike Spencer ainít f@#*ing around.

Hugely Successful Driver Meet and Greet Before Qualifying

Weíre green and licketey split Spencer takes the lead, exhibiting a slight bobble as he makes the pass in turn four, maybe the only imperfection he demonstrates all evening. Doesnít matter though and the racing from second all the way back to 90th is raging. Spirited battles including Mitchell moving past Johnson for second and here comes Cardey taking third just as Gardner clips Johnsonís right rear trying to make a name for himself. Thatís sends Gardner into the wall and he get the hook. Something happened to Cardey as he made that incredible pass for third and he pulls to the infield. Cardey is my favorite driver; I like the way the track knocks him down and he just keeps coming back. Nine laps are completed, itís 9:55 pm and the band is just warming up. Line up is Spencer, Johnson, Mitchell, Faas and here is the Ripper, methodically getting it done.

Victor Davis Is Having A Spectacular Year - Surfnsprint
Victor Davis Is Having A Spectacular Year

Green flag and now Faas is on the move. He quickly passes Mitchell and Johnson and starts to rock Spencerís boat. Bernal clears the Ripper and then takes Johnson. The Hollywood dream scene everyone has been fantasizing about is taking shape on the track with Spencer, Faas, Mitchell and Bernal up front and brawling. Bernal slides Mitchell for a position, but the real news is Faas appears to have something for Spencer! No decisive moves, but he is slowly reeling the leader in. Itís track record versus quick time like Godzila versus King Kong along with Machine Gun Mitchell firing bursts and Bernal tossing brilliance bombs. Spin in four and the tower takes us yellow.

Bernal Meets New Life Long Race Fans - Surfnsprint
Bernal Makes New Life Long Race Fans

Fifteen laps completed and select rain drops are being hand delivered here and there. The line up is Spencer, Faas (scheming), Mitchell, Bernal and Johnson. Green and Spencer gets a little run ahead. Austin Williams looms large coming from the back. We are under ten laps to go and everybody hunkers down. Faas starts his final assault and puts real pressure on leader Spencer. They come up on lapped traffic and the last firefight begins. Faas under Spencer in turn one and two but Spencer hangs tough. Massive speed down the back with side by side banging, but Spencer refuses to relinquish. Faas demands the lead in turn three, Spencer takes it back coming out of four. I look over and see car owner Ron Chaffin jumping up and down and pounding the wall where he is standing. Heavy traffic now as these heavyweights pound rage through the corners. Spencer is driving with a championís honed defensive skills, Faas is unbelievable with speed and agility and an almost a perceptible sense of manners and sportsmanship. Both drivers have had opportunities to hamstring each other, but instead opt for racing around each other cleanly. With two laps to go the traffic is so thick itís a rolling catfight in a roller derby cage. White flag and Faas has a chance down the back but Spencer splits two lapped cars so perfectly we are stunned. They come off turn four; Faas grabs for his last shard of hope as Spencer digs for the win. At the flag stand, Faas mind welds his car alongside the Champion but itís Spencer by a hood length! In the Loudpedal Video miked to the tower, you can hear the authorities hooting and hollering. In the stands, we are thunderstruck.

Blockbusters - Surfnsprint

After the flag it is a sea of emotions on the front stretch. Spencer thrilled and pumping the air atop the 50 car. Faas is massively disappointed with himself getting out of the car, but he gets his game face on and congratulates his new nemesis. Third place Mitchell is visibly incredulous in third, telling announcer Chris Holt ďI gotta go home and do my homework (to catch these guys).Ē Bernal delivers the promise in fourth and trust me, heís coming like a bullet train. They hand out the trophies and we take the pictures. But the best part is seeing these guys disappear into the pits swapping details and laughing like school kids who just pulled off some huge prank right before summer vacation. This summer stretches out in front of us like the magical blockbusters of our youth. Smooth drivers, cool cars and danger is everywhere. Forget the real world; weíre all just kids getting to the track this Saturday night. Will it be ridiculously fast? Sure thing.

Like School Kids Playing a Prank - Surfnsprint
Like School Kids Playing a Prank