(November 9) Bud Kaeding got a leg up on the 60 car
field of USAC sprint cars when he edged Levi Jones in round one of the Checker
Auto Parts/Budweiser Western World Championships Thursday night at Manzanita
Speedway. The Campbell, CA driver, winner of the Western in 2002 and again in
2004, grabbed the lead from the 2005 Western winner Dave Darland on the fifth
lap and held off Jones, the 2005 USAC national sprint car champion, as they
worked their way through heavy traffic. Kaeding had a two car length advantage
when the checkered flag dropped on the 25 lap qualifying main event.
Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson out qualified the field then came
from the back row to win the first 10 lap heat race. He then started sixth in
the feature and ran a strong third. Darland finished fourth ahead of Daron
Clayton. Damion Gardner, the 2005 USAC/CRA driving champion, finished sixth
ahead of Jones' team mate in the Tony Stewart Racing stable, Josh Wise. Wise
entered the Western, the final USAC sprint car race of the year, with an 87
point advantage over Jones. He sliced 19 points off the lead keeping his hopes
alive of repeating the championship he won last year. Coons' strong run
propelled him to sixth in the standings.
The half mile track had two distinct grooves and was
exceptionally fast as witnessed by Coons time of 18.443 which was just a tenth
of a second slower than the one lap record set by Jones last year. Coons also
flirted with the long standing ten lap record which he stopped the clock at
3:12.85, just 1.75 off the record set by J.J. Yeley in 2001.
The track provided the lanes for the fast cars to get to the
front in the heat races. Finishing second to Coons in the first ten lapper and
qualifying for the 25 lap feature were Mike Leslie, Tracy Hines and Rickie
Gaunt. Jones also came from eighth to first in the second heat and he beat
pole sitter Josh Ford, third row starter Cory Kruseman and Brady Short. The
third heat was a wire to wire win for Robert Ballou with R.J. Johnson, eighth
starting Shane Cottle and Darland in pursuit. Heat #4 was won by Charles
Davis, Jr. with Dickie Gaines taking second ahead of the fourth quickest
qualifier Josh Wise, up from eighth, and Damion Gardner. The final heat gave
Kaeding a chance to show the field that he was again going to be tough as he
drove out of the eighth starting berth to beat Jon Stanbrough, Ricky Gaunt and
Four more spots remained open for the main event and they
went to the top four in the 12 lap semi main. Daron Clayton slipped past Tony
Jones for the lead and then had to hold off a late charge by second generation
driver Casey Shuman to seal the deal. Jones maintained third as Brad Sweet and
Darren Hagen fought for the final transfer spot with Hagen getting the
position on the final lap.
The first competitive race of the evening was a 10 lap
consolation race with the top four going to the semi. Mike Spencer, ranked
fourth in USAC/CRA points, shot away from the 16 car field at the drop of the
green and easily beat Nathan High, Scotty Weir and David Cardey who nipped two
time champion Jeremy Sherman ending his night early.
KRUSEMAN EDGES DAVIS, JR. AND STANBROUGH IN 360
QUALIFYING MAIN EVENT
Cory Kruseman earned a front row starting berth in Saturday night's Parker
Store 360 feature as he wrested the lead from Josh Pelkey on the 13th lap and
then held off a determined Charles Davis, Jr. for the win the in the 25 lap
feature. Kruseman won the event on Manzy's one third mile track last year. He
edged Davis, Jr. who will start in the second row Saturday night. Others who
earned berths in the Saturday night feature were Jon Stanbrough, Danny
Sheridan, Josh Pelkey, Bill Rose, Chad Boat and Darland.
While the battle for the lead was hectic, much of the
attention was focused on Jon Stanbrough who was wheeling the Jimmy Norman/Lois
Colcord sprinter. He had run at record speeds in winning the semi main and
then flew through the field from his 13th starting position to run with the
leaders. He blew a radiator hose as he came off the final turn but coasted
across the finish line in third. Shon Deskins took the final main event berth.
Half of the 360 field ran their qualifying races while the
remaining half will repeat the process Friday night. Pelkey, who almost won it
all in 2005 came out of the fourth row to win the first ten lap heat race with
West Coast driver Danny Sheridan in second ahead of Shane Golobic and Nathan
The second heat was won by crowd favorite 14 year old Chad
Boat. The youngster started fouth but had the lead by the third lap. He then
held off Andy Reinbold, Mike Martin and Darren Bolton. The final heat went to
Charles Davis, Jr. who drove the Fred Bryan car from fourth to first in
beating Bill Rose, Kruseman and Bobby Ream. Davis beat Jeremy Sherman's ten
lap record of 2:29.48 when he stopped the clock at 2:27.66.
Stanbrough exploded out of the second row and ran laps at
unbelievable clockings on his way to winning the 12 lap semi main. He was
timed at 14.34 seconds on the sixth lap, the fastest lap ever clocked on a
sprint car on the one third mile track. The steel block sprinter was a tenth
of a second faster than the one lap record for a 410 sprinter that is held by
Tony Elliott at 14.442. The top eight cars from the semi transferred to the
feature. Kelly Dennison, Tom Ogle, Shon Deskins, R.J. Johnson, Mike Leslie,
Jeff Henry and Dave Darland earned those positions.
USAC NATIONAL & USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE
November 9, 2006 - Phoenix, Arizona ? Manzanita Speedway -
39th Checker Auto Parts/Budweiser "Western World Championships"
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Jerry Coons Jr., 69, Dynamics-18.443; 2.
Levi Jones, 21, Stewart-18.461; 3. Shane Cottle, 10E, Edison-18.526; 4. Josh
Wise, 20, Stewart-18.572; 5. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-Leffler-18.695; 6. Brad
Sweet, 3J, Yeley-18.773; 7. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-18.846; 8. Dave Darland,
11, Walker/Guiducci-18.849; 9. Casey Shuman, 12az, Massey-18.931; 10. Tony
Jones, 4, Alexander-18.935; 11. Darren Hagen, 67k, Kunz-18.936; 12. J.T.
Imperial. 6, Imperial-18.991; 13. Don Droud Jr., 44, Pace-18.995; 14. Damion
Gardner, 50, Chaffin-19.013; 15. Jon Stanbrough, 44s, Pace-19.024; 16. Dustin
Morgan, 11D, Walker/Guiducci-19.028; 17. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-19.039;
18. Matt Mitchell, 29k, BK/Leffler-19.094; 19. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-19.111;
20. Mat Neely, 92m, Clayton-19.121; 21. Rickie Gaunt, 2a, Smiley-19.156; 22.
Brady Bacon, 67, Kunz-19.160; 23. Bret Mellenberndt, 97m, Mellenberndt-19.164;
24. Charles Davis Jr., 8a, Smiley-19.168; 25. Jesse Hockett, 2az,
Massey-19.182; 26. Tracy Hines, 7, Priestley-19.182; 27. Critter Malone, 7c,
Seven-19.184; 28. R.J. Johnson, 15, Martin-19.185; 29. J.J. Yeley, 2B, 2B
Racing-19.193; 30. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-19.217; 31. Mike Leslie, 76,
Montgomery-19.233; 32. Brady Short, 36, Short-19.260; 33. Chad Boespflug, 90,
Gatten-19.319; 34. Dickie Gaines, 2H, Woodward-19.362; 35. Tom Ogle, 5az,
Turner-19.399; 36. Mike Martin, 57, Martin-19.497; 37. Josh Ford, 73,
Ford-19.504; 38. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-19.520; 39. Bill Rose, 11w,
Walker/Guiducci-19.568; 40. Rick Ziehl, 75, Stansberry-19.612; 41. Mike
Spencer, 44x, Engstrom-19.612; 42. Blake Miller, 94, Keller-19.668; 43. Jeremy
Sherman, 75J, Jake?s-19.668; 44. Nathan High, 0, Price-19.673; 45. Jeff Henry,
12, Allen-19.675; 46. Scotty Weir, 22w, Weir-19.691; 47. Michael Trimble, 15T,
CTR-19.714; 48. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-19.802; 49. Matt Stewart, 85,
Stewart-19.827; 50. Chuck Buckman, 61a, Carsten-19.843; 51. Brandon Lane, 97H,
Lane-19.851; 52. Seth Wilson, 17, Wilson-19.867; 53. Bruce St. James, 7k, St.
James-19.996; 54. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-20.139; 55. Royal Adderson, 40,
Adderson-20.339; 56. Rick Johnson, 65, Johnson-20.969; 57. Travis Cooley, 67T,
Cooley-21.061; 58. Steve Ostling, 21x, Dorathy-NT; 59. #71, Kunz-NT; 60. #90T,
"C" MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. High, 3. Weir,
4. Cardey, 5. Sherman, 6. Trimble, 7. Henry, 8. Buckman, 9. Wilson, 10. Lane,
11. Stewart, 12. St. James, 13. Keller. 14. Cooley, 15. Adderson, 16. Johnson.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Leslie, 3. Hines, 4.
Gaunt, 5. Sweet, 6. Hagen, 7. Morgan, 8. Martin. 3:24.47
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. L.Jones, 2. Ford, 3. Kruseman, 4.
Short, 5. Bacon, 6. Malone, 7. Clayton, 8. Imperial. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. R.J. Johnson, 3. Cottle,
4. Darland, 5. Boespflug, 6. Mitchell, 7. Droud, 8. Mellenberndt. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Davis, 2. Gaines, 3, Wise, 4.
Gardner, 5. Shuman, 6. Rose, 7. Williams, 8. Yeley. NT
FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kaeding, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Hockett,
4. Ziehl, 5. T.Jones, 6. Sheridan, 7. Ogle, 8. Neely. 3:22.84
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Clayton, 2. Shuman, 3. T.Jones, 4. Hagen,
5. Williams, 6. Sweet, 7. Sheridan, 8. Bacon, 9. Spencer, 10. Droud, 11.
Imperial, 12. Cardey, 13. Neely, 14. Mellenberndt, 15 Ogle, 16. Weir, 17.
High, 18. Martin, 19. Mitchell, 20. Yeley, 21. Morgan, 22. Boespflug, 23.
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Bud Kaeding, 2. Levi Jones, 3. Jerry
Coons Jr., 4. Dave Darland, 5. Daron Clayton, 6. Damion Gardner, 7. Josh Wise,
8. Darren Hagen, 9. Cory Kruseman, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Tracy Hines, 12.
Casey Shuman, 13. Jon Stanbrough, 14. Tony Jones, 15. Jesse Hockett, 16.
Dickie Gaines, 17. J.J. Yeley, 18. Charles Davis Jr., 19. R.J. Johnson, 20.
Robert Ballou, 21. Mike Spencer, 22. Rickie Gaunt, 23. Josh Ford, 24. Brady
Short, 25. Brady Bacon, 26. Mike Leslie, 27. Rick Ziehl. NT
PARKER STORE 360 CUBIC INCH WESTERN
1st Heat: (10 laps) 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Danny Sheridan 3.
Shane Golobic 4. Nathan High 5. Kelly Dennison 6. Jeff Henry 7. R.J. Johnson
8. Brian Hacker 9. Dave Darland (time: 2:41.00)
2nd Heat: (10 laps) 1. Chad Boat 2. Andy Reinbold 3. Mike
Martin 4. Darrin Bolton 5. Shon Deskins 6. Tom Ogle 7. Dennis Krob 8. Chuck
Buckman (no time)
3rd Heat: (10 laps) 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Bill Rose 3.
Cory Kruseman 4. Bob Ream, Jr. 5. Jon Stanbrough 6. Mike Leslie 7. Chris
Bonneau 8. Bryan Swinehart (time: 2:27.66--new track record)
Semi Main: 1. Jon Stanbrough 2. Kelly Dennison 3. Tom Ogle
4. Shon Deskins 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Mike Leslie 7. Jeff Henry 8. Dave Darland
9. Bryan Swinehart 10. Daniel Williams 11. Brian Hacker 12. Chuck Buckman 13.
Chris Bonneau 14. Dennis Krob (no time)
Feature: (25 laps) 1. Cory Kruseman 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3.
Jon Stanbrough 4. Danny Sheridan 5. Josh Pelkey 6. Bill Rose 7. Chad Boat 8.
Dave Darland 9. Mke Leslie 10. R.J. HJohnson 11. Andy Reinbold 12. Jeff Henry
13. Shane Golobic 14. Shon Deskins 15. Darrin Bolton 16. Mike Martin 17. Kelly
Dennison 18. Bob Ream, Jr. 19. Nathan High 20. Tom Ogle
Lap leaders: laps 1-12 Pelkey, laps 13-25 Kruseman