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Ruggles Wins First CRSA Series Title In Land of Legends Raceway Shocker

9/26/2020
Ruggles Wins First CRSA Series Title In Land of Legends Raceway Shocker

Ruggles Wins First CRSA Series Title In Land of Legends Raceway Shocker

CRSA Sprints Media Contact: Steven Ovens – turnfivemedia@gmail.com
Press Release – September 30th, 2020 – Makenna Hansen photo

(CANANDAIGUA, NY) – Land of Legends Raceway 305 Sprint Car dominator Darry Ruggles set out in 2020 to win his first Super Gen Products CRSA Sprints title. Not a COVID-19 shortened season, not a serious hand injury, not a mechanical failure in the second to last round and not even a feature at his home track where didn’t lead a lap in the first 24 of 25 laps could stop the Hopewell, NY from accomplishing his goal.

Ruggles won his heat race with a thrilling last lap pass to make sure that none of his challengers would gain any heat race points on him during the end of the night tally. But he would have a great challenge in the 25-lap A-Main from his team car driven by his daughter Alysha who appeared to have dad’s kryptonite in winning the series title with the ultimate exclamation point.

Josh Pieniazek was slated to go away from the pole position in the main event, but his No. 56 would not fire during the initial push-off and would relegate him to starting in 25th. This gave the pole position to 2020 Land of Legends Raceway 305 sprint track champion Alysha Bay- the first female track champion in the track’s storied and legendary history.

Ruggles would waste no time jumping to the runner up spot, but the race has an incident before the first lap went on the board. Ethan Gray got upside down for the first time in his career in a 305 sprint after wheel-hopping Josh Flint’s No. 41J in turn one. Both drivers would be ok, but their night would be done.

Once the race resumed, Bay took the early advantage with Ruggles moving into the second spot quickly from the drop of the green. Bay was committed to her usual bottom lane while Ruggles pushed and pushed the outside lane higher in the turns. The two dodged a bullet early as a trio of cars spun just ahead of them in the first turn, that included Dan Craun, Peter Dance and Massachusetts driver Alex Adamsky who made his first CRSA start of the shortened season.

Once back under “The Rooster” Scott Hixson’s green flag, the top five in the running order was truly a who’s who of CRSA competition with Bay leading Ruggles, three-time and defending series champion Jeff Trombley, two-time 2020 winner Bobby Parrow and July’s Land of Legends winner Cory Sparks.

As the race approached the final laps, Bay had gapped the competition behind her as Ruggles settled into second position knowing he would lock up the title doing so. Jeff Trombley made it a great race for second place, but caught the fourth turn wall hard with the right rear tire with under five to go and ending his great run.

With Bay taking the white flag with a big lead, the check was written, the stats were being updated and it appeared that Bay would tie her father for most CRSA wins at the Canandaigua speed plant. But trouble struck entering Turn 4 for Bay and her highlighter pink No. 48A.

With the brakes on her car starting to fail her, Bay approached and closed in quickly on two cars ahead who were in the process of failing a lap down. When Bay reached Ronnie Greek’s No. 56v in the apex of the corner, Greek took the low lane not being able to see Bay who peeked underneath his left rear tire. With Bay not able to whoa the car up in time, the two made pretty significant contact which folded up the front end on Bay’s Batzel’s Auto Sales, Danny Willmes Enterprises machine.

The caution was displayed with a lap remaining and Bay’s dominant performance ended on the Land of Legends Raceway tow truck. Trombley and Bay’s departure really shook up the top five in the running order for the one-lap dash to the finish with Ruggles leading Parrow, Ontario, NY’s Steve Glover, new up and comer Kyle Pierce and title contender Dana Wagner filling out the top five.

That is how they would finish as Ruggles took off and hid off a perfect restart to secure his fourth CRSA Land of Legends Raceway win, his 40th Land of Legends 305 sprint victory and his ninth career CRSA win. It was without a doubt a bittersweet moment for Ruggles as not 50 yards away he saw the dominant car of the race that he prepared sitting idle on the hook.

“We put a lot of effort into both of these cars this week so they would both be solid and Alysha’s certainly was,” noted Ruggles, visibly torn about the victory on one hand and bitter defeat on the other.

“At Penn Can we didn't go as good but all the other races we ran well. Only running four races, the title is not as gratifying as if we had gone12 or 15, but we still worked hard every race and we finished up front.”

Ruggles even noted a problem they discovered after the heat race that has been their nemesis seemingly all season long.

“(We) tore everything apart, completely apart from top to bottom the last couple weeks. Found something just before the feature and we changed it and that is what I've been struggling with for four weeks. Just fixed it about five minutes before the feature. We had the wrong brake rotor, too aggressive with the brakes. It was always fine in the heat but the longer we ran in the feature the hotter the brake fluid got and the brakes just got locked up.”

It was a great night for Ruggles, but a great night for Kyle Pierce as well. The first-year 305 Winged Sprint driver out of Spencer, NY finished his season with a handful of top five finishes including Saturday night. Though he finished highest in points as a Rookie, CRSA officials have decided, that with only four races in 2020 that all Rookie status drivers in 2020 will carry their Rookie status into 2021. CRSA rules allow for up to five starts in a season without losing their Rookie status.

It was a bittersweet night for the CRSA Sprints as Series directors and great friends of racing Peter and Dale Meskill announced that 2020 would be their final season at the helm of the series owned and promoted by Mike Emhof. They will still assist the series with marketing and have already gotten a verbal commitment for their first sponsor for 2021. Thank you to this dynamic duo who has been instrumental in the growth of the CRSA Sprints for the last three seasons.

The CRSA 305 Sprint Tour is powered by Super Gen Products with their Champion Power Equipment located in Newark, NY. Associate sponsors for the 2020 CRSA 305 Sprints include Midstate Basement Authorities, CNY Farm Supply, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, Eagle Enterprises, LLC, Hoosier Racing Tires and is owned and operated by Mike Emhof Motorsports.

For more information on the series, results, points and 2020 schedule please visit our website www.crsa.myracepass.com

Please visit the Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA 305 Sprint Tour on Facebook (@CRSAsprints) and on Twitter (@CRSAsprints).

SUPER GEN PRODUCTS CRSA 305 SPRINTS @ LAND OF LEGENDS RACEWAY OFFICIAL RESULTS- Saturday September 26th, 2020:
25-Lap A-Main (26 cars): 1. 48jr.-Darryl Ruggles, 2. 53-Bobby Parrow, 3. 9k-Kyle Pierce, 4. 121-Steve Glover, 5. 25w-Dana Wagner, 6. 56-Josh Pieniazek, 7. 29-Dalton Herrick, 8. 13t-Trevor Years, 9. 38-Jason Whipple, 10. 112-Mike VanPelt, 11. 44-Jacob Lynch, 12. 56v-Ronnie Greek, 13. 48a-Alysha Bay, 14. 75-Brandyn Griffin, 15. j27-John Cunningham, 16. 18c-Dan Craun, 17. 22m-Matt Priscott, 18. 56d-Peter Dance, 19. 77-Matt Rotz, 20. 3a-Jeff Trombley, 21. 1hd-Cory Sparks, 22. X-Dan Bennett, 23. 66-Erik Karlsen, 24. 98-Alex Adamsky, 25. 41j-Josh Flint, 26. 17e-Ethan Gray.

Lap Leaders: Bay 1-24, Ruggles 25

Heat 1 (8 Laps): Ruggles, VanPelt, Bay, Bennett, Griffin, Herrick, Craun, Gray, Priscott

Heat 2 (8 Laps): Pierce, Trombley, Pieniazek, Parrow, Lynch, Cunningham, Adamsky, Karlsen, Flint.

Heat 3 (8 Laps): Sparks, Wagner, Greek, Dance, Glover, Years, Whipple, Rotz.

Eagle Enterprises Hard Charger Award $50: Jason Whipple.
K3 Remodeling Halfway Leader (lap 13) Bonus $50: Alysha Bay.
Maquire Family of Dealerships Magnificent Move of the Race $50: Jeff Trombley.
Whipple Race Team Last Car On Lead Lap $25: Ronnie Greek.
Midstate Basement Authorities 1st Driver Out Of The Race $50: Ethan Gray.
Pickering Farms/Rotz Racing Hard Luck Award $40: Alysha Bay.
Karlsen Racing Position 8/Lap 13 Bonus $50: Dana Wagner.
Karlsen Racing 10th-Place Finish Bonus $50: Mike VanPelt.
Karlsen Racing 15th-Place Finish Bonus $50: John Cunningham.
Ruggles World of Auto Body/Alysha's Cut & Curl Heat Finish Awards $180:
H1-Ruggles($30), VanPelt($20), Bay($10)
H2-Pierce($30), Trombley($20), Pieniazek($10)
H3-Sparks($30), Wagner($20), Greek($10)
Karlsen Racing Longest Tow Award $50: Alex Adamsky.
Rob Noaker 2nd-Longest Tow Award $50: Peter Dance.
$320 Lap Money:

  1. Team Radivoy $10
  2. Warren’s Auto Body $20
  3. Dance Motorsports $10
  4. Ruggles/Bay Racing $10
  5. Turn 5 Media- Steven Ovens $10
  6. Ronnie Greek $10
  7. Sparks-FKR $10
  8. Ruggles/Bay Racing $10
  9. Jashembowski Motorsports $10
  10. Ruggles/Bay Racing $10
  11. Sparks-FKR $10
  12. Warren’s Auto Body $20
  13. Years Racing $10
  14. Flint Motorsports $10
  15. Wagner Racing $10
  16. Tom- CRSA $10
  17. Gray Racing $20
  18. Craun Racing $10
  19. Mike Emhof $20
  20. Griffin Racing $10
  21. Heidi- CRSA $10
  22. Priscott Racing $10
  23. Peter & Dale $10
  24. Mike & Debbie VanDusen $20
  25. Prestige Pool- Frank $10
Article Credit: Steven Ovens
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