That Whodinger Thingy
Ventura
May 1, 2010

Nowboly gobbley good, forbidily and forgetilly allboly everly gonerly. Or as the htpqgasman proclaimed, “probably adjusting the whatchamacall it that opens the whodinger thingy”! That whodinger thingy got out Saturday night and shredded everything that came before and cracked the whole future hiding behind the now. Car count was so low we called for medics. Except those sprints. Twenty-nine forever-lost apostles show up rain or shine, sun or moon. The Kids took a clue; rookie Piston Logan Rutherford kicked the whole shebang into gear, announcing I Am Here and just knocking everybody out. Figueroa took four but gave more. Dwarf monsters Benson and Vanpraag destroyed. Fitzgibbon showed everybody how bad you have to want it. Redman owns the joint but still has to pay rent. Then the sprints came out and just slaughtered everyone’s expectations. On maybe the raciest track in years, the toughest SOB in Ventura pound for pound endured thirty merciless laps of what he lives for….


All Thrill No Fill
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I was in the backfield watching the kids leaving the track. That’s a steep incline on the exit ramp and it was beautiful watching those little mini dwarf putt putts struggle up that hill to get back to the pits, children barely peering over the hood just trying to get home. Lots of controversy always with the kid classes, parents protective like they should be, officials wanting to be fair. Hope everybody works it out. Logan Rutherford beat back a determined Destyn Garcia. Lauren Velasquez of the famous Velasquez Racing Family in third. As good as any sprint car race I’ve ever seen. Joe Snyder took down Miles Hedrick in the hotly contested Supercharger event. I’m not sure about that pass down the back, but I respect anyone pushing the envelope! You’ll have to check it out for yourself at surfnprint.com. Tommy Velasquez of the famous Velasquez Racing Family in third. Junior Midgets were a riot with Brennan Rogers waving “see ya” as he passed hard charging Austin Figueroa. Ever-faster Cody Majors in third.


Some Of These Kids Will Be Racing Each Other All Their Life


It’s a lot better with just the rear wheel drive in sport compacts. Brandon Reta got out in the main event but couldn’t hang with Brent Underwood, not many can. But it’s that pesky Trevor Fitzgibbon pushing hard on the bottom. Mike Frazier is right there. Underwood way out front with Fitzgibbon and Frazier battling. Yellow when April Banvelos drives straight into front wall. That reels in Underwood and gives Fitzgibbon his shot! He is all over Underwood when Frazier stalls in turn four. Green and it’s Underwood, Fitzgibbon, Reta and Cody Grieman. Fitzgibbon is pushing hard for the lead but gets stuffed in the backstretch by Underwood. He tries to get in four, he tries to get under in turn one. Tremendous job by Underwood but Fitzgibbon is rabid! Drag race down the back, Underwood drifts ever so slightly in four and Fitzgibbon pounces like a cheetah! Underwood comes roaring back but he can forget about it. Jason Marshall slips in at the end for third, Underwood second. It’s Trevor Fitzgibbon in a doctorate degree of how bad you have to want it! This could be Trevor’s year!


Fitzgibbon Dominating




Redman Hard Into Every Corner

Only twelve modified but Damon Redman delivered the thrill with able assists from Austin Rodarte and Brad Prows. It’s stunning how hard these gentlemen drive into the corners. Austin has a big lead in points, but math major Jack Parker seems to know that you just need to finish top five every week to stay up there. He finished sixth this week, but is second in points. Senior dwarfs have heated up with Kent Benson on the scene. It used to be owned by Ed Niedzwiecki (where is Ed this year?) and then by Bill Vanpraag.
But Kent is leading the points with powerful performances this year and Vanpraag has a battle on his hands. Vanpraag was leading on lap twenty, they were having such a good time they let it run a few laps over and it was Benson at the checkered flag?!? I saw Bill at breakfast and he was still shaking his head. Angel Figueroa, undefeated in four events, is dominating Pro Dwarfs. Nice to see Chris Olson in the line up, on a break from serving our country, but unfortunately crashing out in the second lap. I wish I had time to write about this whole race, just a bruising battle between Steven Benson, Curt Cook, Mike Lewis, Ray Estrada and the indominatable Figueroa. Estrada is still dialing in that new car. Figueroa wins, Benson second and Cook third. Keep watching as Figueroa has a fairy tale year.


Benson Family Is Coming Like A Train




Brian Camarillo Is Focused

A lot happened in the sprint main event that will reverberate throughout the year. There was such a low car count in all the other classes that the afternoon felt like spring break. There was no rush and we all lolled around while Naylor took an hour and groomed that track until it looked as smooth as the greens of Augusta. It gave all the classes a beautiful main and delivered in spades for the main. Brody Roa on the pole with Rick Hendrix riding shotgun. Twenty of the true faithful stacked two wide; these are guys I see week after week, race after race and I love them like brothers. Hendrix nicked the rookie in the first turn but Austin Deblauw got turned around and we had a doublewide restart. Again Hendrix to the front with Greg Taylor and Troy Rutherford on the gas. We all knew Troy had to come out strong to preserve a thin points lead and it looked like he knew it too. Troy gets under Taylor in turn two and takes second. Hendrix, Rutherford, Taylor, Cody Kershaw and Brian Camarillo. Kierce is back there but just getting stuffed by Brent Camarillo and Guy Woodward. The track is unbelievably fast and everybody is fast. Seems to be one groove in the middle. Taylor hooks a bump in turn tow and Brian Camarillo capitalizes for third. Kierce gets past Brent. Camarillo clears Rutherford and is off and after Hendrix. Big yellow when Dakota Kershaw gets into trouble. Catches a wheel in turn two, takes an inverted helicopter flyer but miraculously lands on his feet. Must be that Roll Control that Kershaw is peddling around town. Luis Espinoza to the infield with high oil pressure. This is Camarillo’s big chance as they reel Hendrix in and start fresh. Camarillo is all over Hendrix but Rick beats him off with a stick. Bloody freaking fast and Rutherford is hanging over both of them like a bomb threat. Rick gets a grip and the fight is now in second between Camarillo and Rutherford. Troy hammers down on the backstretch and takes him going into three. It’s Hendrix, Rutherford, Camarillo (who is still pounding on Rutherford), Taylor and Cody Kershaw. Hendrix drifts ever so barely in turn two but throws on the afterburners. He sees the white flag and never looks back. Rutherford second and Camarillo third. I watch as Rick Hendrix diffidently climbs out his rocket and grins at all the punks around him. Yumiko (wife and crew chief) rushes up and doesn’t even look at him, she’s checking tire pressure. Father Jim raises his hands and blesses the whole amazing mess. Funny how you can take a gentle summer evening and dump the whole thing on it’s head. You gotta watch out for that whodinger thingy.


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