Ventura, Ca...June 12......Former
track champion Jimmy Crawford, now a regular with the USAC/CRA unwinged 410
sprint cars, returned to the VRA unwinged 360 sprint car battles in a new
Twister owned by senior sprint car racer Richard Terry and won the 30 lap A Main
Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. Crawford led all 30 laps despite starting
fifth and had to fend off a stiff challenge from both point runnerup Steve
Conrad and point leader Tom Stansberry in the closing rounds. Crawford won
$1000, Conrad $750 and Bakersfield youngster Stansberry protected his solid
point lead with a $500 third. Still tired from a flight from Hawaii, senior
sprint car point leader Bruce Douglas became the first repeat winner of 2004
when he captured the 20 lap feature from 4th starting. 70 year old Ron Butler
was second and 2003 track champion Ron Bach ran third. Donald Houghton continues
to take advantage of his front row starting spots as he is being rewarded for
his early season bad luck. He won his fourth 20 lap IMCA Modified main event and
again did it from the front row as Brad Prows got a division best second ahead
of point runnerup Chris Tonoli. Tonoli had to battle from 12th after having
problems in his heat race. Brad Long won his first 20 lap pony stock feature for
2004 as he led all 20 laps from the pole. Adam McPhail came from fifth to finish
second ahead of Jim Evans and Jon Everhart.
The 31 VRA unwinged
360 sprint cars were divided into four qualifying heat races with the top four
finishers in each moving into their 30 lap A Main. Chris Wakim came from sixth
to win heat 1 over front row starter Blake Miller and Rob Kershaw. Stansberry
started on the pole of his heat 2 win with fourth starter Luis Espinoza
finishing second. Crawford also turned a pole start into a win in heat 3 as
Jesse Denome came from sixth to place second over Chris Tramel. Conrad turned an
outside front row start into a win in heat 4 ahead of fourth starter Ron Wade
and pole starter Larry Lloyd. Four more transfers came from the B Main where
Bill Welch outraced Bill Camarillo, Mike Whitcomb and Brett Butler. Just missing
the move up were Dennis Rodriguez and John Nock. The 30 lap feature had an 8 car
inversion that put B Miller and Wade on the front row with Crawford, Stansberry,
Conrad and Wakim in the third and fourth rows. Crawford struck quickly into the
lead and was never headed. Conrad and Stansberry eventually climbed to the 2-3
slots and was faster than Crawford in the closing laps. Crawford did a good job
of protecting his turf and picked off his first 2004 win in four VRA
appearances. Conrad nipped Stansberry for second and Kershaw came from 9th to
finish fourth ahead of pole starter B Miller, Espinoza, Wakim, 15th starter
Clark Templeman III and Josh Ford, another USAC/CRA racer in 2004. While the
very consistent Stansberry has stretched his point lead to 1745 points over
Conrad, Kershaw is now just 50 points back of Conrad. Bill Welch and Kevin
Kierce round out the top five in points with Wakim just 175 points back of
The Senior Sprints run the same
cars as the VRA class, but the drivers have to be at least 45 years old. Douglas
started outside front row in his heat 1 win over sixth starting Danny Miller.
Mike Cook turned a pole start into a win in heat 2 over sixth starter Wiley
Miller and the ageless R Butler also startred pole position in his heat 3 win.
Bach shared front row and ran second ahead of sixth starting late model legend
Oren Prosser Sr. Douglas took the 20 lap feature from 4th starting as front row
starter R Butler was second ahead of sixth starting Bach, pole starter D Miller,
fifth starter W Miller, Jim Porter, Dayle Henry and Prosser. Ventura's Douglas
holds a 255 point lead over W Miller with D Miller another 1365 points back in
third. Bach is just 285 behind D Miller and 160 ahead of Rick Lewis.
The IMCA Modifieds fielded 13
cars and D Houghton won the first heat from 2nd starting ahead of Will Smith and
point leader Gary Curtis. Outside front row starter John Aitken won heat 2 over
sixth starting Ed Shelton and former street stock star Prows. That placed Prows
and D Houghton on the front row for the 20 lap feature in the point average
driven IMCA lineup procedure. J Aitken and Brett Lynsky were in row 2. D
Houghton got his second straight win and fourth overall while Prows ran second
ahead of sixth row starter Tonoli, 8th starter Kathy Pierson, 9th starter Curtis
and 7th starter Wes Richardson. Smith also finished lead lap with both Luke
Ailken and Aitken one lap down. Curtis came out of the night with a 7 point lead
on Tonoli, 10 aheaad of Pierson and 17 in front of Richardson. Smith is just 2
points back of Richardson.
stocks fielded 16 cars and Long had a perfect night as he won heat 1 also from
the pole ahead of fifth starter Mike Frazier and outside front row starter Jim
Evans. David Peterson came from 4th to win heat 2 over third starter Adam
McPhail and Joel Chavez. Long then won the 20 lap main also from the pole as
McPhail ran second ahead of Evans, Jon Everhart, 10th starting Garnett Baril,
9th starter Dave Revard, Frazier and Peterson. Frazier holds down the point lead
by just 60 points over Everhart, 195 ahead of Revard and 270 in front of Chavez.
Lucinda Strub won the most recent Bakersfield race and returned to Ventura with
a 13th place run as the top 12 finishers were all on the lead lap.
Heat 1-Brad Long, Mike Frazier, Jim Evans, Jon Everhart, Dave Revard.
Heat 2-David Peterson, Adam McPhail, Joel Chavez, Jon Mortenson, Garnett Baril.
Main-Long, McPhail, Evans, Everhart, Baril, Revard, Frazier, Peterson, Chavez,
Paul Johnson, Eric Hedlund, Jon Mortenson, Lucinda Strub, Jake Vail, Ashley Utts,
Heat 1-Donald Houghton, Will Smith, Gary Curtis, Kathy Pierson, Brett Lynsky.
Heat 2-John Aitken, Ed Shelton, Brad Prows, Josh Houghton, Wes Richardson.
Main-D Houghton, Prows, Chris Tonoli, Pierson, Curtis, Richardson, Smith, Luke
Ailken, Aitken, Lynsky, J Houghton, Shelton, Steve Bulpit.
Senior Sprint Cars
Heat 1-Bruce Douglas, Danny Miller, Tim Moon, Mark Chulahoff, Dayle Henry.
Heat 2-Mike Cook, Wiley Miller, Dale Harwood, Richard Terry, Dave Marini.
Heat 3-Ron Butler, Ron Bach, Oren Prosser Sr, Jim Porter, Bob Alderman.
Main-Douglas, Butler, Bach, D Miller, W Miller, Porter, Henry, Prosser, Marini,
Rick Lewis, Terry, Moon, Cook, Alderman, John Richards, Harwood, Curtis
Richards, Grady Winkler, Chris McArthur, Chulahoff, Hedlund.
Unwinged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat 1-Chris Wakim, Blake Miller, Rob Kershaw, Josh Ford, Steve Chulahoff.
Heat 2-Tom Stansberry, Luis Espinoza, Kevin Kierce, Clark Templeman III, Bill
Welch. Heat 3-Jimmy Crawford, Jesse Denome, Chris Tramel, Mark Weitzman, John
Nock. Heat 4-Steve Conrad, Ron Wade, Larry Lloyd, Mike Broome, Bill
B Main-Welch, Camarillo, Mike Whitcomb, Brett Butler, Dennis Rodriguez, Nock,
Victor Davis, S Chulahoff, Mike Knopf, Tom Hendricks.
A Main-Crawford, Conrad, Stansberry, Kershaw, B Miller, Espinoza, Wakim,
Templeman, Ford, Tramel, Kierce, Welch, Lloyd, Broome, Camarillo, Denome, Wade,
Weitzman, B Butler, Whitcomb.