By Lance Jennings
PERRIS, CA – MAY 27, 2012… Starting eighth, Mike Spencer of Temecula took the lead from Richard Vander Weerd on lap six, fought off a challenge by Nic Faas, and won the first “Salute to Indy” of his career. The $2,500 triumph at Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway was Spencer’s third Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car victory of the year as he was followed by Faas, Vander Weerd, Cory Kruseman, and Austin Williams.
Driving Ron Chaffin’s famed red #50 Madera Produce / Grubstake Mini Storage Maxim, Mike Spencer earned his fourth Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Fast Time Award of the campaign. The 4-time series champion placed third in his heat race and gave Chaffin and Crew Chief Bruce Bromme Jr. the third Perris “Salute to Indy” feature win of their career. “The Gasman” Richard Griffin won the Memorial Day Classic in 2000 and “The Demon” Damion Gardner took the checkered flags in 2004. Mike maintains the point lead heading to this Saturday’s race at Yuma, Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway.
Huntington Beach’s Nic Faas threatened Spencer for several laps midway during the feature, but settled for second after starting seventh. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Faas was second fast in time trials and won the Saldana Racing Products / Circle Track Performance Heat Race #2. The 2008 USAC Western Midget Series Champion will be looking to make up some valuable ground with a main event win in Yuma.
Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia led the first five laps from his pole position starting spot before falling to Spencer. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd dropped back to fifth and then charged forward to earn the LRB Inc. Race Products Award for his third place finish. Earlier in the night, last year’s USAC West Coast 360 Champion was tenth fast in qualifications and claimed fourth in his heat race.
After Vander Weerd scored third, “The Ripper” Rip Williams of Yorba Linda and Riverside’s “Dynamite” David Cardey were battling for fourth and tangled on the front straightaway. Cardey flipped his machine and was able to walk away uninjured. Both drivers did not cross the finish line, leaving Williams scored as eleventh and Cardey twelfth in the “Salute To Indy.”
Claiming fourth in the 30-lap feature was Ventura’s “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman. Piloting Mark Priestley’s #7 Roy Miller Freight Lines / Sander Engineering Maxim, the 2006 USAC/CRA Champion battled hard to stay up front. Earlier in the program, the 2-time “Salute To Indy” winner was fifth quick in time trials and won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Kruseman will be one of the favorites to watch this Saturday at Cocopah Speedway.
Austin Williams of Yorba Linda scored fifth in the annual “Salute To Indy.” Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was sixth fast on the night, placed sixth in his heat race and won the shortened Competition Suspension Inc. / Diversified Machine Inc. Semi-Main. Austin scored a victory at Santa Maria last season and will be looking to add Saturday’s feature to his resume.
Seth Wilson of Las Vegas, Nevada earned the Ringers Gloves / Keizer Wheels “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a sixth place run after starting sixteenth. Piloting his #1X Racing Optics / X Stack Competition Welding machine, Wilson was sixteenth in time trials and won the SBI Fuel Systems / Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #4. Seth had a good showing at Perris and has his sights on a USAC/CRA feature win.
Ramona’s A.J. Bender raced the family owned #12 FixAuto.com / Rosson Racing Stinger to the first USAC/CRA heat race victory of his career. Qualifying twenty-third, the DJ Safety Heat Race #3 winner scored sixteenth in the 30-lap main event. The California Lightning Sprint graduate is gaining valuable experience in Sprint Cars and looks to move up the ranks.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Integra Racing Shocks, Keizer Wheels, LRB Inc. Race Products, Ringers Gloves, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support. For more information on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit www.usacracing.com/cra or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/USAC-CRA-Sprint-Car-Series/167535183297971) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/#!/USAC_CRA).
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will be making their first ever appearance at Yuma, Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway this Saturday, June 2nd. The fast 3/8-mile track (then known as Yuma Speedway) last featured non-winged 410 Sprint Cars on March 6, 1998 when “The Gasman” Richard Griffin won with SCRA. Located at the intersection of US Highway 95 and County 15th Street, more event information can be found at www.cocopahspeedway.com or calling (928) 344.1563.
To catch all of the action of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway, Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVD videos available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com. In addition, Perris Auto Speedway offers a pay per view feed of every event at www.circletracknetwork.com.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
May 26, 2012 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “Salute To Indy”
SANDER ENGINEERING / ROD END SUPPLY TIME TRIALS:
1. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.774; 2. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-16.836; 3. Ryan Bernal, 18, Kittle-17.064; 4. Rickie Gaunt, 66, Miller-17.077; 5. Cory Kruseman, 7, Priestley-17.101; 6. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-17.170; 7. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-17.213; 8. David Cardey, 59, Cardey-17.246; 9. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.351; 10. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.395; 11. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.413; 12. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.435; 13. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.473; 14. Danny Sheridan, 73, Ford-17.495; 15. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.525; 16. Seth Wilson, 1X, Wilson-17.632; 17. Ronnie Gardner, 42, Cheney-17.654; 18. Greg Alexander, 72, Tyler-17.722; 19. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-17.819; 20. Billy Blinn, 26, Blinn-17.831; 21. J.J. Ercse, 36, Springstead-18.072; 22. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-18.073; 23. A.J. Bender, 12, Bender-18.149; 24. Jerry Welton, 62, Welton-18.471; 25. Corey Ballard, 20, Ballard-18.477; 26. Adam Frith-Smith, 62A, Frith-Smith-18.487; 27. Bobby Bender, 11, Bender-18.566; 28. Gavin Matlock, 25, Williams-18.640; 29. Gary Potter, 6, Potter-18.939; 30. Cal Smith, 39, Cal Sun-19.328; 31. Jon Kairot, 0, Perkins-19.909; 32. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Cory Kruseman, 2. Jace Vander Weerd, 3. Mike Spencer, 4. J.J. Ercse, 5. Cody Williams, 6. Ronnie Gardner, 7. Gary Potter, 8. Corey Ballard. 2:51.99
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Nic Faas, 2. Danny Sheridan, 3. Greg Alexander, 4. Richard Vander Weerd, 5. Adam Frith-Smith, 6. Austin Williams, 7. Cal Smith, 8. Kenny Perkins. NT
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. A.J. Bender, 2. David Bezio, 3. Matt Mitchell, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Verne Sweeney, 7. Bobby Bender, 8. Jon Kairot. 2:57.38
SBI FUEL SYSTEMS / INTEGRA RACING SHOCKS HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Seth Wilson, 2. Rip Williams, 3. David Cardey, 4. Rickie Gaunt, 5. Billy Blinn, 6. Gavin Matlock, 7. Jerry Welton. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / DIVERSIFIED MACHINE INC. SEMI-MAIN: (5 laps)
1. Austin Williams, 2. Cody Williams, 3. Brody Roa, 4. Ronnie Gardner, 5. Verne Sweeney, 6. Corey Ballard, 7. Billy Blinn, 8. Jerry Welton, 9. Adam Frith-Smith, 10. Jon Kairot, 11. Cal Smith, 12. Gary Potter, 13. Bobby Bender, 14. Gavin Matlock. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Mike Spencer (8th), 2. Nic Faas (7th), 3. Richard Vander Weerd (1st), 4. Cory Kruseman (4th), 5. Austin Williams (9th), 6. Seth Wilson (16th), 7. Ryan Bernal (6th), 8. Danny Sheridan (14th), 9. Matt Mitchell (3rd), 10. Brody Roa (11th), 11. Rip Williams (12th), 12. David Cardey (2nd), 13. David Bezio (19th), 14. Cody Williams (10th), 15. Jace Vander Weerd (13th), 16. A.J. Bender (21st), 17. Verne Sweeney (15th), 18. Rickie Gaunt (5th), 19. Corey Ballard (22nd), 20. Greg Alexander (18th), 21. J.J. Ercse (20th), 22. Ronnie Gardner (17th). NT
**Tony Everhart crashed during practice and was transported to local hospital for observation. Everhart was released and back at the racetrack later in the night.
**Kenny Perkins flipped during the second heat.
**Matt Mitchell and David Cardey flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Richard Vander Weerd, Laps 6-30 Mike Spencer.
RINGERS GLOVES / KEIZER WHEELS HARD CHARGER: Seth Wilson (16th to 6th)
LRB INC. RACE PRODUCTS AWARD: Richard Vander Weerd
2012 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION
June 2: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
June 15: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
June 16: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
June 30: Route 66 Motorplex – Victorville, CA
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Firecracker 30)
July 28: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 10: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
August 11: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA (Wagscash)
August 18: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
September 1: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 2: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 5: **Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Non-Points)
September 15: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
October 6: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Southern California Fair)
October 26: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 27: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 2: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
November 3: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC National Sprints.
** = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC Western Classic Racing Series.
This schedule is subject to change.