Damion Gardner. - Doug Allen Photo
by Lance Jennings
Damion Gardner. - Doug Allen Photo
Damion Gardner. – Doug Allen Photo
PERRIS, CA – MAY 5, 2013… Taking the lead on lap nine, Concord’s “The Demon” Damion Gardner was on a mission to claim the “Don Flanders Classic” at Perris Auto Speedway. The point leader won his third straight $2,500 Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car main event and swept the night’s program. Five-time champion Mike Spencer, Nic Faas, “Cadillac” Cody Williams, and Austin Williams followed Gardner to the checkered flags.
Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4A Scott Sales Company / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Damion Gardner started sixth in the feature and took command from Spencer. Once out front, the 2005 champion had some tense moments, narrowly missing a spinning car and working past late race slower traffic. Gardner earned the night’s “Dean Thompson Award” by scoring his first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, winning the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and claiming his 44th career USAC/CRA main event. On May 18th, “The Demon” will be among the favorites at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway with three heat race victories, one dash win, seven top-10 finishes, and 76 feature laps led to his credit.
Looking for his first USAC/CRA win of the year, Mike Spencer of Temecula led five laps before settling for second. Driving Ron Chaffin’s #50 Grubstake Mini Storage / Madera Produce Maxim, Spencer qualified third overall and won the Saldana Racing Products / Circle Track Performance Heat Race #3. Mike has climbed to third in point chase with two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led on the season.
Huntington Beach’s Nic Faas raced to second before bicycling off the cushion and recovering to score third in the “Don Flanders Classic.” Racing Mark Alexander’s #4A Scott Sales Company / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Faas was second fast in time trials and placed second in his heat race. Currently second in the standings, Nic has one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, seven top-10 finishes, and 7 feature laps led.
“The Cadillac” Cody Williams of Yorba Linda led the first three laps before claiming fourth at USAC/CRA’s home track. Piloting Jack Jory’s #44 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams qualified sixth and placed third in his heat race. The former National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year is currently sixth in points with one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award and five top-10 finishes in the campaign.
Yorba Linda’s Austin Williams came home fifth after starting eighth in the Don Flanders Classic. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was seventh fast in time trials, sixth in his heat race, and won his second Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main. The 2009 Rookie of the Year left Perris seventh in the standings with one heat race victory and four top-10 finishes on the season.
Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia earned the night’s Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a ninth place run from sixteenth. Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Richard was seventeenth fast and second in his heat race. Currently, the 2011 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one heat race victory and two top-10 finishes to his credit.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Seth Wilson won the night’s 10-lap DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Piloting his #1X Racing Optics / X Stack Maxim, Wilson qualified eighteenth on the night and scored eighteenth in the “Don Flanders Classic.” As this writing goes to press, the veteran driver has one top-10 finish on the year and will be looking to bounce back with a Tulare feature win.
“Dynamite” David Cardey of Riverside won the Weld Racing / SBI Fuel Systems Heat Race #4. Driving Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Victory Race Cars entry, Cardey qualified fourth and rebounded from a flat tire to score tenth in the main event. The former California Lightning Sprint Car Champion was glad to have Laurie back at the races and has two top-10 finishes and 28 feature laps led on the season.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday, May 18th, at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. Located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, more event information can be found at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909. 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.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, Weld Racing, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.
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).
May 4, 2013 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “Don Flanders Classic”
1. Damion Gardner, 4A, Alexander-16.287; 2. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-16.312; 3. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.508; 4. David Cardey, 92, Sertich-16.629; 5. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-16.642; 6. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.721; 7. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.759; 8. Markus Niemela, 81, Watt-16.835; 9. Charles Davis Jr., 4G, Cook-16.892; 10. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.923; 11. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.961; 12. Mike Martin, 16B, Martin-16.976; 13. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-17.000; 14. Josh Pelkey, 12A, Allen-17.062; 15. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-17.091; 16. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.096; 17. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.272; 18. Seth Wilson, 1X, Wilson-17.306; 19. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.310; 20. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-17.443; 21. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.589; 22. Billy Blinn, 26, Blinn-17.680; 23. Austin Smith, 14, Springstead-17.688; 24. Jesse Denome, 6X, Denome-17.801; 25. Johnny Bluntach, 58, Bluntach-17.863; 26. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-17.932; 27. Mike Collins, 04, Collins-18.429; 28. Gary Potter, 6, Potter-18.807; 29. Jerry Welton, 62, Welton-18.916.
1. Damion Gardner, 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. Bud Kaeding, 5. Rip Williams, 6. Jace Vander Weerd, 7. Johnny Bluntach, 8. Jerry Welton. 2:53.12
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Seth Wilson, 2. Nic Faas, 3. Cody Williams, 4. R.J. Johnson, 5. Josh Pelkey, 6. Billy Blinn, 7. Tony Everhart. NT
1. Mike Spencer, 2. Matt Mitchell, 3. Austin Smith, 4. A.J. Bender, 5. David Bezio, 6. Austin Williams. NT
1. David Cardey, 2. Mike Martin, 3. Markus Niemela, 4. Jesse Denome, 5. Gary Potter, 6. Kenny Perkins, 7. Brody Roa. NT
1. Austin Williams, 2. Josh Pelkey, 3. Rip Williams, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Jace Vander Weerd, 6. Billy Blinn, 7. Johnny Bluntach, 8. Kenny Perkins, 9. Tony Everhart, 10. Mike Collins, 11. Jerry Welton, 12. Gary Potter. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Damion Gardner (6th), 2. Mike Spencer (4th), 3. Nic Faas (5th), 4. Cody Williams (2nd), 5. Austin Williams (8th), 6. Rip Williams (7th), 7. Markus Niemela (1st), 8. Bud Kaeding (13th), 9. Richard Vander Weerd (16th), 10. David Cardey (3rd), 11. Matt Mitchell (11th), 12. R.J. Johnson (10th), 13. Mike Martin (12th), 14. Jace Vander Weerd (19th), 15. Brody Roa (15th), 16. A.J. Bender (18th), 17. Charles Davis Jr. (9th), 18. Seth Wilson (17th), 19. Jesse Denome (22nd), 20. Billy Blinn (20th), 21. Josh Pelkey (14th), 22. Austin Smith (21st). NT
**David Bezio flipped during the third heat.
**Gary Potter flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Cody Williams, Laps 4-8 Mike Spencer, Laps 9-30 Damion Gardner.
KEIZER WHEELS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Richard Vander Weerd (16th to 9th)
1-Damion Gardner-471, 2-Nic Faas-459, 3-Mike Spencer-363, 4-Bud Kaeding-356, 5-R.J. Johnson-300, 6-Cody Williams-300, 7-Austin Williams-276, 8-Brody Roa-250, 9-Charles Davis Jr.-232, 10-Matt Mitchell-231.