(September 23) The top two drivers in the USAC/CRA sprint cars
headed through the final turn in the 30 lap feature race on Manzanita Speedway's
half mile track Saturday night but made contact that sent both cars flipping and
Jeremy Sherman, who was running third at the time, came through to get the win
in the 7th Annual Hall of Fame Vintage Classic.
Damion Gardner started eighth, took the lead on the fifth lap and held off
repeated charges by Cory Kruseman until that final lap. They encountered a
slower car and Kruseman dove between Gardner's car and the one driven by Josh
Ford. Running three abreast, they ran out of room, made contact and Gardner did
at least four flips while Kruseman did one. Kruseman was able to run the final
lap and hang on to his narrow point lead over Gardner.
Finshing behind Sherman, the local favorite, were West Coast drivers Danny
Sheridan, Rickie Gaunt, Blake Miller and Mike Spencer. Local drivers R.J.
Johnson and Charles Davis, Jr. were next across the finsh line then came Casey
Shuman, Tony Jones and Chad Boespflug. Ford and Kruesman were the only other
drivers on the lead lap in the fast paced race.
Gardner, as usual, turned in the night's quickest qualifying time, his 17th
fast time of the year. The top four drivers in each of the four heat races
transferred directly to the feature and the fastest eight in that group were
inverted in the first four rows in the feature.
Rickie Gaunt came out of the second row to win the first ten lap heat race
with Sheridan, Gardner and Matthew Rossi taking the other main event berths. Tom
Ogle, last year's top ranked rookie with the Arizona sprints, also came from
fourth to win the second heat over Kruseman, Mike Leslie and Brandon Lane. Casey
Shuman led all ten laps in the third heat as he beat Johnson, Ford and Miller.
In the final heat Mike Spencer made it no contest as he ran away from the field.
Behind him were Boespflug, David Cardey and Davis.
Some heavy hitters had to run the semi to get a spot in the feature. Jesse
Hockett, winner the previous night at USA Speedway in Tucson, made it look easy
in the 12 lap event. Trailing Hockett and making the feature were Tony Jones,
Sherman, Michael Trimble, Ben Gregg and Eric Ferren.
Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and a two hour
autograph session for ten popular drivers from a bygone era helped fill the
grandstands for the USCA/CRA show that served as a final tune-up for the Checker
Auto Parts/Budweiser Western World Championships at Manzanita November 9-12.
USAC/CRA HALL OF FAME VINTAGE CLASSIC
Main Event: ( 30 laps) 1. Jeremy Sheman 2. Danny Sheridan 3. Rickie Gaunt 4.
Blake Miller 5. Mike Spencer 6. R.J. Johnson 7. Charles Davis, Jr. 8. Casey
Shuman 9. Tony Jones 10. Chad Beospflug 11. Josh Ford 12. Cory Kruseman 13.
Damion Gardner 14. David Cardey 15. Mike Leslie 16. Brandon Lane 17. Ben Gregg
18. Keith Williamson 19. Jesse Hockett 20. Matthew Rossi 21. Eric Ferren 22. Tom
Ogle 23. Johnny Rodriquez
Semi Main: ( 12 laps) 1. Jesse Hockett 2. Tony Jones 3. Jeremy Sherman 4.
Keith Williamson 5. Ben Gregg 6. Eric Ferren 7. Michael Trimble 8. Nadine Keller
9. Seth Wilson 10. Johnny Rodriquez 11. Todd Hunsaker 12. Mike Martin
1st Heat (10 laps) 1. Rickie Gaunt 2. Danny Sheridan 3. Damion Gardner 4.
Matthew Rossi 5. Nadine Keller 6. Michael Trimble 7. Seth Wilson (no time)
2nd Heat: (10 laps) 1. Tom Ogle 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Mike Leslie 4. Brandon
Lane 5. Jesse Hockett 6. Tony Jones 7. Todd Hunsaker (Time: 3:21.71)
3rd Heat: (10 laps) 1. Casey Shuman 2. R.J. Johnson 3. Josh Ford 4. Blake
Miller 5. Jeremy Sherman 6. Keith Williamson 7. Eric Ferren (Time: 3:19.16)
4th Heat: 1. Mike Spencer 2. Chad Boespflug 3. David Cardey 4. Charles Davis,
Jr. 5. Ben Gregg 6. Johnny Rodriquez 7. Mike Martin (Time: 3:22.75)
Qualifying: 1.Damion Gardner (19.131) 2. Jesse Hockett (19.309) 3. Blake
Miller (19.418) 4. Johnny Rodriquez (19.428) 5. Danny Sheridan (19.464) 6. Cory
Kruseman (19.536) 7. Jeremy Sherman (19.561) 8. David Cardey (19.592) 9. Matthew
Rossi (19.693) 10. Tony Jones (19.847) 11. R.J. Johnson (19.868) 12. Charles
Davis, Jr. (19.993) 13. Rickie Gaunt (19.952) 14. Tom Ogle (19.970) 15. Josh
Ford (19.981) 16. Chad Boespflug (20.022) 17. Seth Wilson (20.065) 18. Brandon
Lane (20.163) 19. Casey Shuman (20.282) 20. Mike Spencer (20.285) 21. Michael
Trimble 20.298) 22. Mike Leslie (20.345) 23. Keith Williamson (20.360) 24. Ben
Gregg (20.368) 25. Nadine Keller (21.113) 26. Todd Hunsaker 27. Eric Ferren
Did not qualify: Mike Martin, Bob Ream, Jr.