FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series
DAMION GARDNER CLAIMS 75TH USAC/CRA SPRINT WIN AT HISTORIC 200TH PERRIS EVENT
By Lance Jennings
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017... Continuing his assault on the record books, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) scored his 75th career AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win last Saturday night. The 30-lap “10th Annual Glenn Howard Classic” was the 200th series event at Perris Auto Speedway and marked Gardner’s fifth triumph of the campaign.
Racing past outside front row starter “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams on the fourth lap, Gardner faced heavy pressure from Williams and “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. for the top spot. Just before the halfway mark, “The Demon” nearly lost the lead to Faria and avoided disaster after climbing Danny’s rear wheel as the caution flag waved. Back out front, the fourth starting Gardner was able to shake free from his challengers and looked to run away from the field. Entering the closing laps, Arizona’s R.J. Johnson mounted a late race charge to earn his fourth straight Perris win that fell short at the checkered flags. Johnson, Mike Spencer, Jake Swanson, and Richard Vander Weerd rounded out the top-five drivers.
By claiming his series leading 43rd “home track” victory, Damion Gardner left the Lake Perris Fairgrounds with a 94-point advantage. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 S.P. Beagle Plumbing / Weld Racing Spike, the five-time champion qualified third out of twenty-five races and won the night’s Circle Track Performance / Keizer Aluminum Wheels Heat Race #3. To date, Gardner has posted five feature wins, five Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, ten heat race victories, fourteen top-10 finishes, and 148 feature laps led on the season.
R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) started seventh and closed to within striking distance of Gardner for a second place finish. Driving Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson was seventh fast in time trials and won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. In limited starts, the four-time USAC SouthWest Champion is tied with Geoff Ensign for eighteenth in the USAC/CRA point chase with three feature wins, two heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 89 feature laps led.
Mike Spencer (Temecula, California) fought hard for a third place run at the “Glenn Howard Classic.” Racing the Gansen Engineering Motorsports #4S Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing Maxim, Spencer qualified fourth overall and placed fourth in his heat race. At press time, the five-time champion is fourth in the standings with one feature win, four heat race victories, twelve top-10 finishes, and 45 feature laps led on the year.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) had a solid night with a fourth place finish at Perris Auto Speedway. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer Triple X, Swanson was second quick in time trials and took third in his heat race. The 2012 Rookie of the Year is third in the point standings with four Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, four heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. Semi-Main win, one Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, fifteen top-10 finishes, and 13 feature laps led in 2017.
Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) charged from ninth to score fifth in the “Glenn Howard Classic.” Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Vander Weerd was ninth fast in time trials and ran second to Damion Gardner in his heat race. At press time, the 2011 USAC West Coast Sprint Champion is tenth in points with one feature win, one heat race victory, seven top-10 finishes, and 31 feature laps led.
“The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Corona, California) earned the night’s Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job” honors with a ninth place run from twentieth. Racing Jack Jory’s #44 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams did not post a qualifying time, taking twenty-third, scoring eighth in his heat race, and placed eighth in the semi-main. To date, the second generation driver ranks sixth in points with three heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and 14 feature laps led on the year.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) posted his first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the season. Piloting the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa took third in his heat race and rebounded to score eighth in the main event. At press time, last year’s USAC West Coast Sprint Champion is second in points with one feature win, three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Incorporated Semi Main Win, one Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, sixteen top-10 finishes, and 57 feature laps led on the season.
Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) raced to victory in the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. Driving Dwight Cheney’s #42 Racing Optics / Sander Engineering Maxim, Sussex qualified seventeenth overall and charged to seventh in the feature after starting fifteenth. In limited starts, the two-time Hank Arnold Memorial Winner is twenty-seventh in points with three top-10 finishes, and 23 feature laps led.
Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) won the night’s 12-lap Competition Suspension Incorporated Semi Main Event. Racing the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Vander Weerd was eighth fast in time trials, scored sixth in his heat race, and placed eleventh in the main event. The 2010 Rookie of the Year is fourteenth in the point standings with one heat race victory and three top-10 finishes.
On Saturday, October 21st, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway. Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds in Perris, California, the PAS Senior Sprint Cars and PAS Young Gun Sprint Cars will join the action. More event information can be found at www.perrisautospeedway.com or calling 951.940.0134.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, surfNsprint.com, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on USAC/CRA, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC/CRA DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 23, 2017 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “10th Annual Glenn Howard Classic”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.756; 2. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich- 16.769; 3. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.787; 4. Mike Spencer, 4S, Gansen-16.834; 5. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.979; 6. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-17.032; 7. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.050; 8. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.186; 9. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.221; 10. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.241; 11. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.292; 12. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-17.303; 13. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-17.338; 14. Trent Williams, 52, Williams-17.345; 15. Eddie Tafoya, 51T, Tafoya-17.392; 16. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.431; 17. Stevie Sussex, 42, Cheney-17.441; 18. Landon Cling, 21K, Kruseman-17.475; 19. Verne Sweeney, 98V, Tracy-17.614; 20. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-18.119; 21. Sterling Cling, 7K, Kruseman-18.551; 22. Gary Marshall Jr., 72, Marshall-18.554; 23. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-NT; 24. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-NT; 25. Matt Stewart, 23, Bellegante-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Johnson, 2. Adams, 3. Roa, 4. Spencer, 5. McCarthy, 6. Gansen, 7. Sweeney, 8. Stewart, 9. Marshall. 2:51.07
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Sussex, 2. L.Williams, 3. Swanson, 4. A.Williams, 5. T.Williams, 6. J.Vander Weerd, 7. Waitman, 8. C.Williams. NT
CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Gardner, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Faria, 4. Malcolm, 5. Ellertson, 6. L.Cling, 7. S.Cling, 8. Tafoya. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED SEMI: (12 laps)
1. J.Vander Weerd, 2. Gansen, 3. T.Williams, 4. Ellertson, 5. L.Cling, 6. Sweeney, 7. Waitman, 8. C.Williams, 9. Stewart, 10. Marshall, 11. S.Cling, 12. McCarthy. 3:31.38
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Damion Gardner (4th), 2. R.J. Johnson (7th), 3. Mike Spencer (3rd), 4. Jake Swanson (5th), 5. Richard Vander Weerd (9th), 6. Danny Faria Jr. (1st), 7. Stevie Sussex (15th), 8. Brody Roa (6th), 9. Cody Williams (20th), 10. Logan Williams (11th), 11. Jace Vander Weerd (8th), 12. Tommy Malcolm (21st), 13. Max Adams (13th), 14. Chris Gansen (10th), 15. Jeremy Ellertson (12th), 16. Trent Williams (14th), 17. Matt McCarthy (23rd), 18. Verne Sweeney (17th), 19. Landon Cling (16th), 20. Matt Stewart (22nd), 21. Gary Marshall Jr. (19th), 22. Randy Waitman (18th), 23. Austin Williams (2nd). NT
**Tafoya flipped during the third heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 A.Williams, Laps 4-30 Gardner
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Cody Williams (20th to 9th)
USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Damion Gardner-1217, 2. Brody Roa-1123, 3. Jake Swanson-1121, 4. Mike Spencer-941, 5. Austin Williams-831, 6. Cody Williams-778, 7. Logan Williams-725, 8. Max Adams-667, 9. Chris Gansen-649, 10. Richard Vander Weerd-560, 11. Matt McCarthy-554, 12. Jeremy Ellertson-535, 13. Kevin Thomas Jr.-415, 14. Jace Vander Weerd-409, 15. Chase Johnson-391, 16. Ronnie Gardner-386, 17. Danny Faria Jr.-383, 18. Geoff Ensign-381, ... R.J. Johnson-381, 20. Tyler Courtney-370.
2017 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
October 21: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA
November 3: *Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 4: *Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 9: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)
November 10: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)
November 11: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with AMSOIL USAC National Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.
#4 Damion Gardner in Perris Victory Circle. Photo by Mike Grosswendt / surfnsprint.com