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Kruseman Claims Bakersfield  
by Ronnie Gardner

October 23, 2004... A season low 21 cars showed up for Bakersfield for the last warm up race before the Oval Nationals. Ventura was rain out by Wednesday so there were some extra new faces on hand for the night. Two time VRA champion was in the house Tom Stansberry  running for Ron Bach along with Steve Conrad and Dennis Rodriguez. USAC national sprint car driver Bud Kaeding made his first start with USAC/CRA aboard his own Loan City, High Five Pizza Maxim.
 
The night started with Qualifying as 21 cars took time on the tacky ľ mile Oval. Fast time was point leader Rip Williams circling the track at a 12.571. Second quick was fast improving Bobby Cody who held fast time till late in qualifying. Third quick was second in points Damion Gardner.
 
 With there only being three heats cause of the small car count the heats were packed with action. The track was tacky and fast so it was hard to pass. The first heat went to Campbell Californiaís Bud Kaeding. Rookie point leader Ronnie Case took the second spot followed by Bragg and Hermansader. Point leader Rip Williams ran into trouble on lap eight when he got a big bit off of turn two and clipped Bragg and spun to a stop this resulted in not starting any better then 9th in the A main.
 
  Second heat was exciting behind winner Mike Kirby who ran away, winning by a half a lap. Second was Tom Stansberry but the action was behind him with Spencer, Cody and Ziehl. About half of the race was down when Cody made a run at Spencer in turn number one but hit a hole and bounced into to Spencer they both bounced high in the air but came down and kept going. Cody dropped back to fifth but made a last lap last corner pass on Rick Ziehl for the transfer.
 
 Heat number three went to Mike English in the Moose Racing number 92 as he lead from start to finish. Second was Bill Rose in the Keller #5 third went to Alan Ballard and Kruseman got the last transfer spot.
 
 Cause there was no B main we went to straight to the A main. Pole starter Greg Bragg jumped out to the early lead but was stop quickly as Bobby Cody Flipped in turn number four on the first lap this ended his night fast. Just as we got going again we were stop again as Bill Rose hit the turn one wall and flipped hard ending his night also. Finally we got going with Bragg leading them to the green flag on lap three. He lead for a strong seven laps when Kruseman took over with a turn one pass on the outside. Back in the pack there was a tight battle with Hermansader, Kaeding, English, Spencer, Gardner and Williams just as Kaeding had moved around English for third the yellow came out once again for point leader Rip Williams when he looped it in turn one after he got crossed up and just lost it. Kaeding quickly got by Hermansader after getting by lap cars Keller who had her best finish of the year a 13th and Stansberry . Kaeding set his sight on Kruseman and was running about a second behind in till the lap 22 yellow for Bragg and Conrad who came to a stop in turn one. On the restart Kaeding went for a slide job in turn one on Kruseman but couldnít get it done. The order stayed almost the same till the lap 25 yellow for Conrad witch put him out for the night cause of the two spin rule. On the restart Kaeding went for the slide job again but this time Kruseman protected the bottom but hit the hole and pushed up but when he protected the bottom it killed Kaeding momentum and he wasnít able to take advantage if Krusemanís mistake and Kruseman lead the last 5 laps to take the win. Second was Kaeding and third was Damion Gardner with Hermansader fourth and Spencer fifth. It was Krusemanís 5th USAC/CRA win of this year.
 
USAC/CRA SPRINT CARS...
BAKERSFIELD SPEEDWAY - OILDALE, CA...
OCTOBER 23, 2004...
 
20 CARS
 
QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-12.571; 2. Bobby Cody, 41, Cody-12.669; 3. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-12.709; 4. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-12.750; 5. Rick Ziehl, 14, Lancaster-12.818; 6. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-12.843; 7. Jordan Hermansader, 4, Alexander-12.943; 8. Mike Spencer, 44, Engstrom-12.967; 9. Cory Kruseman, 4, Alexander-13.023; 10. Rodney Argo, 91, Ferro-13.030; 11. Clark Templeman, 18T, Templeman-13.122; 12. Mike English, 92, Sertich-13.131; 13. Greg Bragg, 12, Pratt-13.143; 14. Mike Kirby, 38, Crossno-13.220; 15. Bill Rose, 5, Keller-13.246; 16. Ronnie Case, 33, Blair-13.517; 17. Tom Stansberry, 48, Bach-13.585; 18. Nadine Keller, 6, Keller-13.745; 19. Steve Conrad, 56, Conrad-14.057; 20. Dennis Rodriguez, 20, Rowher-14.694.
 
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Kaeding, 2. Case, 3. Bragg, 4. Hermansader, 5. Williams, 6, Argo, 7, Conrad. NT
 
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Kirby, 2. Stansberry, 3. Spencer, 4. Cody, 5. Ziehl, 6. Templeman, 7. Rodriguez. NT
 
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps)
1. English, 2. Rose, 3. Ballard, 4. Kruseman, 5. Gardner, 6. Keller. NT
 
FEATURE: (30 laps)
1. Cory Kruseman (3rd), 2. Bud Kaeding (7th), 3. Damion Gardner (10th), 4. Jordan Hermansader (5th), 5. Mike Spencer (4th), 6. Mike Kirby (14th), 7. Rick Ziehl (11th), 8. Rip Williams (9th), 9. Mike English (2nd), 10. Clark Templeman (13th), 11. Ronnie Case (16th), 12. Tom Stansberry (17th), 13. Nadine Keller (18th), 14. Dennis Rodriguez (20th), 15. Steve Conrad (19th), 16. Rodney Argo (12th), 17. Greg Bragg (1st), 18. Alan Ballard (6th), 19. Bill Rose (15th), 20. Bobby Cody (8th). NT
------------------------------------------------
**Cody and Rose flipped during the feature.
 
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-6 Bragg, Laps 7-30 Kruseman.
 
NEW VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS:
1-Williams-1,488; 2-Gardner-1,427; 3-Kirby-1,389; 4-Troy Rutherford-948; 5-Bragg-847; 6-Spencer-796; 7-Ostling-774; 8-Tony Jones-773; 9-Cody-756; 10-Hermansader-696.
 
NEXT VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE:
October 28-30 - Perris (CA) Auto Speedway - "Budweiser Oval Nationals"

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