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 Rich C's SCRA Report

02.17.01 - Perris Auto Speedway
This indeed is another sad time for racing.  I would like to send along my condolences to the Earnhardt family.  On a somewhat related note a huge supporter of the SCRA in general and Cory Kruseman in particular Don Barnes, suddenly passed away since my last column.  Don was one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your lifetime.  Don left behind a wife Diane and two children, Stephanie and Derek.  Teenagers should never have to bury their parents.  Don was 43.

It's very hard to filter down into words all that one person achieved while on this earth.  As I've gone through life meeting different types of people, I look at people I like and try to take some part of their character with me.  Maybe since I feel this person is a real likeable person and I'm taking on some part of them, I'll be liked too.  I can't recall anybody I've met in my life that was as proud as Don was to tell his kids how much he loved them.  It didn't matter if he was in the middle of a big crowd or whatever.  He did it often and it did it in a way that you knew was directed only at either Steph or Derek and not to show off.  I don't have any children but when I do, I hope it's okay with you Don that I take that little part of you with me and use it. I'll end this with a saying I found.  I don't know whom it's from.

"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Since JJ was back in Indiana preparing for the USAC season, I was helping Casey Shuman in the Lake Motorsports #6 for the Perris SCRA opener.  Over 50 cars were on hand.  The track was very fast on this night.  Casey was the first car out and ran a 16.45.  Ordinarily, this would be plenty good for fast time but as I said the track was fast.  A 17.0 time put you in the C main.  17.0 has also been quick time on many occasions last year.  Quick time kept getting faster and faster.  Troy Cline threw down the gauntlet and ran a new track record with a 16.15. Then Cory Kruseman beat it with a 16.12.  Troy Rutherford blasted in the 16.0's with a 16.08.  And then the man of few words, Rickie Gaunt. 16.00.  Amazing.  I said last year that I thought that somebody would eventually get into the 15's but it looks to be coming sooner rather than later.  The other Lake Motorsports car with rookie Michael Hinrichsen ran a very credible 16.83.

Richard Griffin ran away with the first heat.  Anybody notice that this guy gets through the traffic?  He might turn out to be pretty good. Verne Sweeney won the second heat in one of his infrequent starts.  The surprise of the 2nd heat was that Rip Williams was unable to transfer. That doesn't happen often, especially at Perris.

The 3rd heat had both Lake cars in it with Michael being relegated to a back starting spot because he's a rookie.  Casey ran in a transfer spot until having it muscled away by John Scott.  I didn't catch the 4th heat.

Richard Griffin won the dash and the right to start on the pole over John Scott.  Talk about putting the fox in the henhouse.  Rip ended up winning the semi main.  Casey's motor started shaking real bad going into turn one and he switched it off during the semi.  The wheels locked up and he slid into the fence, bending the right rear wheel.  They are running different chassis this year and we didn't have to change a thing on them all night.  They were good to go out of the trailer.  Michael looked to be having a blast out there passing cars left and right and ended up 8th.

As I expected, Griffin jumped into the lead and appeared ready to make his way through the henhouse.  However, Cory Kruseman was racing with a heavy heart and a determination to win this one for Don Barnes.  Cory was running the bottom and moved up from his 4th starting spot to challenge Griffin about 6 laps in.  Griffin was running the top and Cory scooted (cleanly, for the skeptics out there) underneath Griffin in turns 3 & 4.  It was Cory's henhouse now and he sliced and diced his way through traffic for the win.  I believe it was a new track record to boot.  I can't think of anyone who made a big charge up through the pack behind these two.  Oh sure, Stevie Ostling does that every week but it gets boring to say he qualified 22nd and ended up 11th.  If he did one of those last to near first's like Jeremy Sherman did last year, okay. 22nd to 11th just isn't enough to float my boat anymore.  I've become kind of jaded haven't I?

The SCRA takes the weekend off so those guys with those funny looking sprint cars can come run at Perris this weekend.  I spoke with JJ last week.  We were talking about the Snider/Foyt cars that got stolen last year.  Seems they had some guy under surveillance and arrested him. There wasn't much left to recover.  All that was left was a partial short block and about 80% of another motor.  The guy cut the frames up. Makes you want to cry.  The insurance company owns all this stuff now.

Do you remember how they recovered one of the tail tanks the day after the cars were stolen?  The insurance company sold it on eBay for $250. 250 bucks!  Do you know how much a tail tank costs for a Silver Bullet car?  Makes me want to cry again.  Anyway, the Snider/Foyt car lost its True Value sponsorship and they now have no motors thanks to our little thief friend.  So, they have no motor and no money to buy a motor for the Copper Classic.  So if you know anyone who would like to sponsor this car, George Snider would be very happy to hear from them.  I would imagine it would be a relatively inexpensive way for a business to get their name on TV (a lot of these races are on TV) and also be associated with a personality like AJ Foyt.  Oh yeah, and there's some kid named Yeley that drives the car.  He also mentioned that the IRL team was looking for a sponsor for their car too.  And he lastly mentioned that the weather in Indiana is considerably cooler than Arizona at this time of year.

The SCRA returns to Perris on February.., ur...uh...  well I tried to get the schedule from the SCRA website and it refuses to run on Netscape.  I tried to use Explorer and it wants me to download a bunch of plug-ins in order to view the site.  Geez.  That just leaks me off when people design their websites that way.  A little hint for the would-be webmasters out there.  And I pass this along from the highly paid consultant types that do this for a living.  Not everyone has a DSL quality Internet connection.  People, dumb your sites down so that it loads in a reasonable timeframe on something like a 28.8 modem.  Also, check to make sure your site runs on a minimum of Explorer/Netscape 3.0 and AOL 4.0.  Why?  Because believe it or not, the vast majority of the population still runs those browsers.  I was amazed when I found that out.

Okay, I went to to get the schedule.  The next race is March 3 at Perris.  It looks like we'll be doing the Perris/Manzy shuffle for the next few months.

So until the week after next....

See ya at the races.







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