CRA Sprint Car
Wednesday, 5 April 2017


#4 "The Demon" Damion Gardner #4 "The Demon" Damion Gardner Photo by Doug Allen


By Lance Jennings

APRIL 3, 2017... Slipping past Richard Vander Weerd on the eighth lap, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) led the rest of the way to claim last Saturday’s “So Cal Showdown” at Perris Auto Speedway. In addition to the $2,500 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win, the five-time champion set fast time and won his 10-lap heat race. Vander Weerd, Brody Roa, Jake Swanson, and Mike Spencer chased Gardner to the checkered flags.

Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Weld Racing Spike, Damion Gardner continues to make USAC/CRA history. By setting the standard over the twenty-two car roster, Gardner earned his series leading 70th career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. After winning the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, “The Demon” started sixth and scored his seventy-first USAC/CRA main event triumph. By taking the 30-lap win, Gardner heads to Tulare with a 13-point advantage and moves car owner Mark Alexander into a tie with Ron Chaffin for the series lead with 66 victories. 

After taking the lead from Brody Roa on lap seven, Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) had to settle for second at the “So Cal Showdown.” Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard qualified sixth overall and ran third in his heat race. Vander Weerd left Perris ranked second in the point standings.

Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) led the first six laps and scored third at Perris Auto Speedway. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Frank Baldozier Racing Maxim, Roa was fifth quick in time trials and claimed third in his heat race. Last season’s USAC West Coast Champion has climbed to fourth in the chase for the championship.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) claimed fourth in the “So Cal Showdown.” Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging & Transfer XXX, Swanson qualified second overall and won the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. The 2012 Rookie of the Year heads to Saturday’s race at Tulare ranked third in the point chase.

Mike Spencer (Temecula, California) took fifth at the checkered flags. Racing the Gansen Engineering Motorsports #4S Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing Maxim, Spencer was third fast in time trials and won the night’s Circle Track Performance / Keizer Aluminum Wheels Heat Race #3. The five-time champion left his “home track” sitting fifth in points. 

Making his first career USAC/CRA start, James Heling (San Bernardino, California) earned the night’s Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job” honors with a fourteenth place run from twenty-first. Driving John Bellegante’s #23 Persall Masonry ITI, Heling qualified twenty-first overall and took sixth in his heat race. 

This Saturday, April 8th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will head to the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets, Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars, and Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars will join the action packed card. Located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, more event information can be found at or calling 559.688.0909.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products,, 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information on USAC/CRA, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at 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 and 805.407.7229.


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: April 1, 2017 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “So Cal Showdown”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.568; 2. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.609; 3. Mike Spencer, 4S, Gansen-16.626; 4. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.745; 5. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.765; 6. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.808; 7. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-16.916; 8. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-16.958; 9. Brady Bacon, 73, Ford-17.035; 10. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.082; 11. Verne Sweeney, 98V, Tracy-17.169; 12. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.282; 13. Ronnie Gardner, 81X, Watt-17.303; 14. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-17.450; 15. Eddie Tafoya, 51T, Tafoya-17.676; 16. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.780; 17. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.851; 18. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-18.074; 19. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-18.132; 20. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-18.298; 21. James Heling, 23, Bellegante-19.436; 22. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. D.Gardner, 2. L.Williams, 3. Malcolm, 4. R.Gardner, 5. McCarthy, 6. Gansen, 7. Dyer. 3:01.36.

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Swanson, 2. J.Vander Weerd, 3. Roa, 4. Colston, 5. Edwards, 6. Sweeney, 7. Everhart. 3:01.74.

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. C.Williams, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. Ellertson, 5. Tafoya, 6. Heling, 7. Bacon. 3:02.82.

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. Damion Gardner (6th), 2. Richard Vander Weerd (1st), 3. Brody Roa (2nd), 4. Jake Swanson (5th), 5. Mike Spencer (4th), 6. Tommy Malcolm (3rd), 7. Cody Williams (12th), 8. Jace Vander Weerd (8th), 9. Ronnie Gardner (13th), 10. Verne Sweeney (11th), 11. Parker Colston (14th), 12. Chris Gansen (10th), 13. Matt McCarthy (16th), 14. James Heling (21st), 15. Logan Williams (7th), 16. Eddie Tafoya (15th), 17. Jeff Dyer (19th), 18. Kyle Edwards (17th), 19. Austin Williams (22nd), 20. Jeremy Ellertson (18th), 21. Tony Everhart (20th). NT. 


**A.Williams flipped during time trials. L.Williams flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Roa, Lap 7 R.Vander Weerd, Laps 8-30 D.Gardner 


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner-164, 2. Richard Vander Weerd-151, 3. Jake Swanson-141, 4. Brody Roa-138, 5. Mike Spencer-134, 6. Cody Williams-113, 7. Jace Vander Weerd-102, 8. Tommy Malcolm-97, 9. Austin Williams-94, 10. Logan Williams-87, 11. Verne Sweeney-86, 12. Chris Gansen-80, 13. Kyle Edwards-76, 14. Matt McCarthy-73, 15. R.J. Johnson-71, ... Parker Colston-71, 17. Eddie Tafoya-65, 18. Jeremy Ellertson-63, 19. Chad Boespflug-51, 20. Cal Smith-33.



April 8: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA

April 15: Bakersfield Speedway - Bakersfield, CA

May 6: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA

May 27: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Salute to Indy)

June 24: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

July 1: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Doug Fort Memorial)

July 22: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

August 5: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA

August 26: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)

September 2: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

September 3: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

September 4: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma CA (California Sprint Week) 

September 7: Silver Dollar Speedway - Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions / California Sprint Week)

September 8: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 9: Keller Auto Speedway - Hanford, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 23: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)

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.