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 Press Release

Kruseman Takes Sprint Bandits TNT Lakeside Prelim

by Lonnie Wheatley

KANSAS 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 command.


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 -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.


OReilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour N Topless Lakeside Speedway Friday Results:


Heat Races:


First 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. 5ma-Mallory Armfield.


Second 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.


Third 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 Lineup


First 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.


Second 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. 20-Ron Lefholz.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Lakeside Speedway Friday A Main


A 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.


Lap Leaders:  Robert Ballou 1-17, Cory Kruseman 18-20.


O'Reilly 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.


2006 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.






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