Racing is a sport that requires more dedication than most. All racers know this, or at least the successful ones do. So it should come as no surprise that dedication is a word often associated with one of the most successful midget and sprint car racers on the west coast, Cory Kruseman.
USAC Midget Driver Cory Kruseman
The Ventura, CA native is one of the most popular open wheel drivers in the history of the sport, and has garnered national accolades for his talent. The 2010 season was status quo for Kruseman, who captured 9 wins in 40 starts. His season was highlighted by a preliminary night win at the Chili Bowl, as well as a win at the Dick Vermeil classic, and a start in the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix on Thanksgiving.
Cory Kruseman in the 2-Seater Midget
"We ran the whole season with our own team this year, which was great," said Kruseman, who has won multiple Most Popular Driver awards. "I think the biggest thing for our team this year was learning the asphalt. We spent our entire career on dirt, which is way different."
Kruseman pursued the USAC Western States Midgets championship in 2010. He finished second in that battle, just behind champion Alex Shutte. Kruseman also finished fourth in the USAC CRA Sprint Car points. Kruseman built a new team from the ground up after a disappointing 2009, which was highlighted by missing the A Main at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK. The new midget team took off with the help of sponsors K&N Filters, Lucas Oil and Sander Engineering.
"I think our preliminary win at the Chili Bowl was a huge statement, the moment of the year for us," Kruseman added.
A two-time winner of the Chili Bowl Nationals, a race also won by the likes of Tony Stewart, Sammy Swindell, Billy Boat and Tracy Hines, Kruseman also runs his own driving school at Ventura Raceway, his home track. The school is considered one of the top dirt open wheel schools in the country.
"The school has its pros and cons. It makes me a better driver and spokesman for our sport when I spend seven days a week on the track. But it also takes a lot away from family time, and I have the best family in the world. It can also be difficult when you go out and beat a driver who came to your school, because they might think 'Hey, why didn't you teach me that?'"
When asked to pinpoint his single greatest accomplishment, it wasn't any one of his races or championships that Kruseman pointed out. He simply answered, "Being voted the number one driver in the world by the fans."
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