Leffler, Kirby Handle Lead Roles Well in Ventura Feature Events


For several drivers, the lead was not a good place to be during Saturday night's 20-lap Dwarf Car feature race at Ventura Raceway.

An exception was Steve Leffler of Glendora, who inherited the lead on the 15th lap of the quarter-mile clay oval and went on to record a narrow victory over Mike Sweeny of Whittier.

Mike Kirby of Lomita was another exception, going wire to wire in the 30-lap Sprint Car Racing Assn. main event for a clean sweep. Kirby earlier led from start to finish in a six-lap trophy dash and also won a 10-lap heat race.

Ray Stansberry of Tehachapi was the first leader to fall by the wayside, spinning out in a corner after leading for the first five laps of the Dwarf Car feature.

Scott Hansen of Simi Valley took over for four laps, but his car slowed in the front straightaway, allowing Stansberry's son, Tom, to take the lead as Hansen pulled into the infield and stopped.

Tom Stansberry opened a quarter-lap lead before the caution flag came out on Lap 13 so officials could inspect the car driven by Brian Saxton of Lakewood.

After the restart, Tom Stansberry led for three-quarters of a lap before a large smoke cloud billowed out from under the hood of his car, and the lead passed to Leffler.

The biggest cheer of the night from the crowd of 2,791 was for Sprint Car driver Cory Kruseman of Ventura.

Kruseman received skull and arm fractures after his car flipped 14 times in a Midget race at Sacramento on Oct. 7. He was making his first public appearance since the accident.

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