CITY, Kan. (August 18, 2006) – The trend of different winners in
each night of the O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N Topless Midwest
Swing continued at Lakeside Speedway Friday night with Cory Kruseman becoming
the fourth winner in as many nights after making a late pass of Robert Ballou in
the 20-lap feature.
Kruseman closed in on race-long
leader Ballou past the midway point and challenged several times before edging
into the lead as the pair raced through traffic at the completion of the 18th
circuit. Kruseman led the remaining
two laps to post the triumph aboard Glenn Crossno's Downing-powered ITI
Performance Racing No. 38 Bullet, with Ballou and Brad Sweet giving California
drivers a sweep of the podium.
"I was trying like hell to
catch him on open track, but I knew lapped traffic would bring him to me since
he'd never left the cushion the whole race until traffic," Kruseman
commented after his third Sprint Bandits TNT win of the year, with the other two
coming in East Bay competition including a $10,000 victory on February 1.
Just one night after destroying
a car in a wild flip at Lucas Oil Speedway, Ballou bounced back in a new mount
to earn the pole position for the feature. Ballou and fellow front row starter
Jon Stanbrough dueled in wheel-to-wheel fashion on the opening round until
Stanbrough pushed to the high side exiting turn four and brushed the
frontstretch wall, falling back to the middle of the pack as Ballou took
After starting third, Kruseman
took second from Charles Davis, Jr., on the fourth lap, just one circuit before
the race's only caution flew for Ron Lefholz, who spun to a stop on the
backstretch with front end damage. Under
the caution period, Ken Stolfus came to a stop with his machine ablaze.
Crews quickly doused the flames and there were no injuries.
Back under way, Ballou motored
to a ten car-length advantage in short order on the top side of the ½-mile clay
oval, as Kruseman raced in second in front of Davis and Dickie Gaines.
Kruseman soon began to close the gap on Ballou and was within striking
distance by the 14th lap, as Mat Neely and Sweet surged forward in a
heated battle for third.
Kruseman raced alongside Ballou
on the backstretch on the 15th lap, with Ballou fending off the
challenge. Kruseman challenged
again on the low side of turns one and two on the 16th lap, only to
have Ballou once again motor into the lead down the backstretch.
But with lapped traffic in
play, Kruseman got underneath Ballou exiting turn four two laps later and edged
into the lead as the pair raced across the start-finish line on the 18th
lap. Kruseman took full command
through the next two corners and raced away to the win.
Sweet battled past Neely for
third in the final handful of laps then chased down Ballou, only to fall a
car-length short of the runner-up slot at the line.
Neely settled for fourth behind Kruseman, Ballou and Sweet, with Shane
Hollingsworth advancing from twelfth to round out the top five.
Chris Morgan posted a strong
sixth place run, with Gaines, Jesse Hockett, R.J. Johnson and Stanbrough
completing the top ten.
Stanbrough, Morgan and Ballou
topped heat race action, with Davis, Hollingsworth and Hunter Schuerenberg
victorious in the qualifying races.
Lee Stark flipped in turn one
in the second heat race. Stark was
uninjured but done for the night.
With the triumph, Kruseman
moved into the thick of the O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N Topless
Midwest Swing championship points race. Kruseman
is tied for second with Hockett, with the pair just six markers behind Gaines.
Neely is just ten points behind Gaines in fourth entering Saturday
night's $10,000 to win Ron Shuman Classic at Lakeside Speedway.
Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour ‘N Topless Lakeside Speedway Friday Results:
Heat (8 Laps): 1. 14-Jon Stanbrough,
2. 3J-Brad Sweet, 3. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 4. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 5. 57-Mike
Martin, 6. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 7. 96c-Jim Cameron, 8. 21-Mike Lefholz, 9.
Heat (8 Laps): 1. 7c-Chris Morgan,
2. 92-Daron Clayton, 3. 15-R.J. Johnson, 4. 121-Ken Stolfus, 5. 92J-J.R. Topper,
6. 4-Robby Ross, 7. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 8. 16-Lee Stark.
Heat (8 Laps): 1. 12-Robert Ballou,
2. 38-Cory Kruseman, 3. 2b-Mat Neely, 4. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 5. 71-Hunter
Schuerenberg, 6. 75-Jesse Hockett, 7. 55-Tony Everhart, 8. 20-Ron Lefholz.
Qualifying Races –
Combined Passing Points from Heats & Qualifiers Determine “A” Feature
Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 21s-Charles
Davis, Jr., 2. 75-Jesse Hockett, 3. 3J-Brad Sweet, 4. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 5.
7c-Chris Morgan, 6. 96c-Jim Cameron, 7. 97-Bret Mellenberndt.
Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 10-Shane
Hollingsworth, 2. 92-Daron Clayton, 3. 12-Robert Ballou, 4. 15-R.J. Johnson, 5.
57-Mike Martin, 6. 121-Ken Stolfus, 7. 5ma-Mallory Armfield.
DNS: 1k-Kim Kennedy, 16-Lee Stark.
Third Qualifier (8 Laps):
1. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 3. 38-Cory Kruseman, 4.
2b-Mat Neely, 5. 4-Robby Ross, 6. 92J-J.R. Topper, 7. 55-Tony Everhart, 8.
Bandits COMP Cams TNT Lakeside Speedway Friday “A” Main
Main (20 Laps): 1. 38-Cory Kruseman,
2. 12-Robert Ballou, 3. 3J-Brad Sweet, 4. 2b-Mat Neely, 5. 10-Shane
Hollingsworth, 6. 7c-Chris Morgan, 7. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 8. 75-Jesse Hockett, 9.
15-R.J. Johnson, 10. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 11. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 12.
71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13. 96c-Jim Cameron, 14. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 15.
21-Mike Lefholz, 16. 4-Robby Ross, 17. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 18. 5ma-Mallory Armfield,
19. 57-Mike Martin, 20. 121-Ken Stolfus, 21. 20-Ron Lefholz, 22. 55-Tony
Everhart, 23. 92J-J.R. Topper, 24. 92-Daron Clayton.
DNS: 16-Lee Stark.
Leaders: Robert Ballou 1-17, Cory
Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing Points (Top Fifteen):
1. Dickie Gaines 568, 2. (tie) Cory Kruseman and Jesse Hockett 562, 4.
Mat Neely 558, 5. (tie) Jon Stanbrough and Shane Hollingsworth 544, 7. R.J.
Johnson 510, 8. Charles Davis, Jr. 504, 9. Robert Ballou 503, 10. Bret
Mellenberndt 456, 11. Mike Martin 442, 12. Lee Stark 439, 13. Levi Jones 426,
14. Tony Everhart 423, 15. Bud Kaeding 420.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top Ten):
1. Cory Kruseman 1,134, 2. Jon Stanbrough 1,082, 3. Dickie Gaines 1,037,
4. Mat Neely 975, 5. Bud Kaeding 938, 6. Charles Davis, Jr. 931, 7. Daron
Clayton 868, 8. Jesse Hockett 688, 9. R.J. Johnson 585, 10. Levi Jones 554.