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Topic: Spencer wins Thursday's Oval Nationals Preliminary
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Marty Boyer
November 03, 2006 at 04:08:19 PM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 246

Spencer Wins Thursday Oval Nationals Preliminary

by Dick Jordan

PERRIS, Calif. ? In a battle of drivers sporting the same numbers from opposite ends of the nation, the West Coast prevailed over the Midwest in the Thursday preliminary at Perris Auto Speedway, with Californian Mike Spencer winning his third CRA Sprint Car Series race of 2006 and first career National victory.

Driving the No. 44 Hal Engstrom owned car, Spencer held off Jon Stanbrough in the Pace Brothers owned No. 44P machine to win by more than four car lengths over the nation?s highest winning traditional Sprint car driver in a night that saw more action than most can remember.
?I?ve been excited about this race since May,? said Spencer, who led the final 23 laps on the half-mile. ?This is the Super Bowl or World Series for us, so it?s a great feeling to come out and get one for the West Coast guys.?

Spencer was involved in a three-car battle for the lead early before running off to more than a straightaway lead late in the race. Starting third, he sat behind polesitter Bud Kaeding and outside front row starter Dave Darland and watched the pair battle for the opening two laps before getting involved.

Darland dived under Kaeding in Turn 2, and Spencer followed. No sooner than Darland had established he owned the point, Spencer charged under him in Turn 3, no more than a lap after looking to split the pair at the flag stand.

When he took the lead, he started running away. That is, until frequent stoppages kept the race from being completed quickly.

Flips by pre-race favorites Tony Jones (Lap 3), Darren Hagen (Lap 13) and National Sprint Car Series point leader Josh Wise (Lap 14) stopped the race and allowed drivers to work on their cars, as well as sit and wander what to do on the restarts. Those three flips were part of a dozen barrel rolls or tip overs that set a USAC record for flips in a program, besting the previous mark (11) set on two different occasions.

During one of those red flag periods, Spencer?s crew made some adjustments to the front of the car to free it up. It worked beautifully in the end.

But on the restarts, it didn?t quite show. Despite getting good jumps early, Spencer was a mistake away from allowing Stanbrough to snatch the point away at any given moment.

However, during the long runs, it didn?t matter. The last yellow came on Lap 22, when Jesse Hockett stopped on the frontstretch.

Spencer didn?t get a great jump ? in part because USAC officials made it a point to tell him not to jump the start ? but Stanbrough was unable to challenge and get under him on the bottom.

Instead of moving to the front once again, Stanbrough had to settle for second, holding off a hard-charging Cory Kruseman, who made his way from 13th starting position. Kruseman had caught Darland and Stanbrough by Lap 11, but couldn?t find his way past them until the waning laps. His high finish helped him increase the CRA point advantage over defending series champion Damion Gardner, who suffered more than his fair share of bad luck during the night?s festivities.

Gardner was charging to the front of his heat race before coming to a stop in Turn 1. He couldn?t get back to the front and instead pulled off the track, transferring to the B Main, which he won.

But he slowed again on Lap 13 of the feature after a torrid three-wide battle for fifth. With nowhere to go, reigning Thursday night prelim winner Hagen ran into the back of him and flipped.

Wise flipped a couple restarts later, doing nothing to help his pursuit of the National title. Teammate Levi Jones, the closest to him in the National standings, finished sixth.

Spencer said all he needed to do was run his race.

?I thought if I ran my rhythm, I?d be all right,? Spencer said.

Stanbrough, who shaved his moustache prior to the race, said he was a little disappointed with the outcome, but will be back searching for a victory Friday, which will consist of the same program.

?I?m a little disappointed,? Stanbrough said. ?I didn?t want to see those yellows, but that?s just a part of racing. We?ll be back tomorrow and hope to pick up one more spot.?

Trailing Kruseman in third were Kaeding and Darland.

Wise was the fast qualifier, while Scotty Weir and Brady Short won the 10-lap D and C Mains. Ten-lap heat winners included Kruseman, Hagen, Tony Jones, Dickie Gaines and Garrett Hansen.

The 25-lap Friday preliminary kicks off with practice around 4 p.m.

USAC National and USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series Results from Perris Auto Speedway

PERRIS, Calif. -- USAC National and USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series results for Thursday, November 2, 2006 from Perris Auto Speedway's 11th ?Budweiser Oval Nationals? Presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply.

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Josh Wise, 20, Stewart-16.385; 2. Johnny Rodriguez, 7, Priestley-16.521; 3. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-16.543; 4. Levi Jones, 21, Stewart-16.575; 5. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-16.696; 6. Jon Stanbrough, 44s, Pace-16.723; 7. Mike Spencer, 44x, Engstrom-16.726; 8. Dave Darland, 11, Walker/Guiducci-16.758; 9. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-Leffler-16.769; 10. Andy Forsberg, 93, Filipich-16.779; 11. Rickie Gaunt, 2a, Smiley-16.797; 12. Matt Mitchell, 3m, Jory-16.865; 13. Blake Miller, 94, Keller-16.882; 14. Cary Faas, 37, Faas-16.903; 15. Casey Shuman, 12az, Massey-16.905; 16. Cory Kruseman, 38, Crossno-16.920; 17. Brady Bacon, 67k, Kunz-16.946; 18. Jesse Hockett, 2az, Massey-16.961; 19. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-16.964; 20. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-16.985; 21. Shane Cottle, 10E, Edison-16.991; 22. Jerry Coons Jr., 69, Dynamics-17.003; 23. Tony Jones, 4, Alexander-17.020; 24. R.J. Johnson, 15, Martin-17.048; 25. Shain Matthews, 2x, Fontaine-17.054; 26. Don Droud Jr., 44, Pace-17.085; 27. Jimmy Crawford, 51, Crawford-17.137; 28. Michael Trimble, 15T, CTR-17.156; 29. Troy Rutherford, 11R, Rutherford-17.157; 30. Jayme Barnes, 9x, Barnes-17.203; 31. Jack DeArmond, 9, DeArmond-17.225; 32. Darren Hagen, 67, Kunz-17.228; 33. Greg Taylor, 47, Taylor-17.272; 34. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-17.279; 35. Seth Wilson, 17, Wilson-17.280; 36. Charles Davis Jr., 8a, Smiley-17.303; 37. Bret Mellenberndt, 97m, Mellenberndt-17.335; 38. Jesse Mack, 71m, Mack-17.360; 39. Dickie Gaines, 2H, Woodward-17.377; 40. Garrett Hansen, 70, Hansen-17.383; 41. Mat Neely, 2B, 2B Racing-17.387; 42. Brady Short, 36, Short-17.397; 43. Brian Venard, 12, Blair-17.413; 44. Tyler Brown, 34, Brown-17.422; 45. A.J. Anderson, 66, Miller-17.466; 46. Jeremy Campbell, 10c, Campbell-17.474; 47. Bobby Cody, 92x, Sertich-17.478; 48. Kevin Kierce, 11K, Kierce-17.495; 49. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-17.550; 50. Jason York, 25N, York-17.570; 51. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.580; 52. Critter Malone, 7c, Malone-17.626; 53. Todd Hunsaker, 6x, Hunsaker-17.632; 54. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-17.640; 55. Bill Rose, 11w, Wilkerson-17.668; 56. Ryan Devitt, 35, Devitt-17.733; 57. Scotty Weir, 22w, Weir-17.815; 58. Travis Rilat, X, Minks-17.819; 59. Ross Millar, 67M, Millar-17.848; 60. Nadine Keller, 16, Keller-17.848; 61. Brian Camarillo, 73c, Ford-17.940; 62. Mike Leslie, 76, Montgomery-17.945; 63. Danny Faria Jr., 87, Vermeer/Ferreira-17.953; 64. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-17.978; 65. Matt Stewart, 85, Stewart-17.985; 66. Zak Hawthorne, 1, Hawthorne-18.225; 67. Jerome Warmerdam, 90T, Gatten-18.277; 68. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-18.484; 69. Matt Forstie, 72, Forstie-18.681; 70. Royal Adderson, 40, Adderson-18.747; 71. Chad Boespflug, 90, Gatten-NT; 72. Dustin Morgan, 11D, Walker/Guiducci-NT; 73. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-NT; 74. Danny Ebberts, 77, Acosta-NT; 75. #71, Kunz-NT.

?D? MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Weir, 2. Keller, 3. Leslie, 4. Faria, 5. Rilat, 6. Ballou, 7. Ford, 8. Stewart, 9. Millar, 10. Adderson, 11. Forstie, 12. Warmerdam, 13. Everhart, 14. Hawthorne. 2:56.31

?C? MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Short, 2. Neely, 3. Brown, 4. Venard, 5. Anderson, 6. Malone, 7. York, 8. Kierce, 9. Cody, 10. Cardey, 11. Devitt, 12. Keller, 13. Weir, 14. Rossi, 15. Leslie, 16. Hunsaker, 17. Rose, 18. Williams, 19. Campbell, 20. Faria. NT

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kruseman, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Wise, 4. Davis, 5. Gaunt, 6. Cottle, 7. Droud, 8. DeArmond. 2:53.92

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Hagen, 2. Crawford, 3. Bacon, 4. Spencer, 5. Coons, 6. Rodriguez, 7. Mitchell, 8. Mellenberndt. 2:52.81

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. T.Jones, 2. Taylor, 3. Hockett, 4. Darland, 5. Miller, 6. Trimble, 7. Mack, 8. Gardner. NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gaines, 2. Johnson, 3. L. Jones, 4. Kaeding, 5. Ballard, 6. Argo, 7. Faas, 8. Rutherford. NT

FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Hansen, 2. Shuman, 3. Wilson, 4. Sheridan, 5. Forsberg, 6. Clayton, 7. Barnes, 8. Matthews. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Rodriguez, 3. Gaunt, 4. Cottle, 5. Mitchell, 6. Forsberg, 7. Ballard, 8. Trimble, 9. Droud, 10. Short, 11. Neely, 12. Miller, 13. Venard, 14. Mack, 15. DeArmond, 16. Mellenberndt, 17. Brown, 18. Coons. NT

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Mike Spencer, 2. Jon Stanbrough, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Bud Kaeding, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Levi Jones, 7. Rickie Gaunt, 8. Brady Bacon, 9. Danny Sheridan, 10. Casey Shuman, 11. Dickie Gaines, 12. Johnny Rodriguez, 13. R.J. Johnson, 14. Jerry Coons Jr., 15. Seth Wilson, 16. Charles Davis Jr., 17. Greg Taylor, 18. Darren Hagen, 19. Jesse Hockett, 20. Blake Miller, 21. Mat Neely, 22. Garrett Hansen, 23. Josh Wise, 24. Damion Gardner, 25. Shane Cottle, 26. Tony Jones, 27. Jimmy Crawford. NT

**Faria flipped during practice. Ballou flipped during qualifying. Boespflug flipped during qualifying. Morgan flipped during qualifying. Ford flipped during qualifying. Faria flipped during the C Main. Matthews flipped during the fifth heat. Clayton flips during the fifth heat. Barnes flips during the fifth heat. Tony Jones flipped on lap 2 of the feature. Gardner flipped on lap 13 of the feature. Wise flipped on lap 14 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Kaeding, Laps 3-25 Spencer.

NEW USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Wise-1,515; 2-L.Jones-1,431; 3-Darland-1,385; 4-Neely-1,313; 5-Hagen-1,206; 6-Bryan Clauson-1,196; 7-Coons-1,068; 8-Stanbrough-901; 9-Short-824; 10-Jay Drake-800.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Kruseman-1,820; 2-Gardner-1,738; 3-T.Jones-1,645; 4-Spencer-1,620; 5-Sheridan-1,519; 6-Miller-1,166; 7-R.Williams-1,161; 8-David Cardey-992; 9-Josh Ford-971; 10-Gaunt-869.

NEXT USAC NATIONAL & USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: November 3 ? Perris (CA) Auto Speedway ? 11th ?Budweiser Oval Nationals?

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