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USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Open 14th Season This Saturday at Perris “Sokola Shootout”

The Demon” Damion Gardner. 5-Time AMSOIL USAC/CRA Champion. (Doug Allen Photo)

From Lance Jennings

(MARCH 1, 2017) – This Saturday, March 4th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will open their fourteenth season at Perris Auto Speedway. Promoted by Don Kazarian, the annual “Sokola Shootout” will also feature the PAS Senior Sprint Cars and the PAS Young Gun Sprint Cars. It is also a “Power of Purple Night” Benefiting the City of Perris Relay For Life and The American Cancer Society. The spectator gates will open at 5:00pm and racing at “America’s Premier Dirt Track” will start at 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.

The “Sokola Shootout” has been a popular race on the West Coast since March 17, 2001 when “The Cowboy” Tony Jones won the inaugural show at Manzanita Speedway. Originally called the “Sokola Classic” to honor past CRA President and USAC Sprint Supervisor Gary Sokola, the event has grown to also honor former driver Mark Sokola and their contributions to racing. Last year, Bryan Clauson earned his second “Sokola Shootout” victory ahead of Richard Vander Weerd, Brody Roa, Josh Hodges, and Mike Spencer. The “Sokola Shootout” win list is at the end of this release.

Since March 6, 2004, the half-mile clay oval at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds has held 193 USAC/CRA Sprint Car events. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with 40 Perris victories and Nic Faas set the 1-lap qualifying record of 15.833 on February 25, 2012. Last season, Clauson, Hodges, Austin Williams (2) Vander Weerd, “Showtime” Danny Sheridan, Matt Mitchell, Gardner (3), “The Hanford Hornet” Chad Boespflug, and “The People’s Champion” Dave Darland stood atop the podium. A complete series win list at Perris Auto Speedway is at the end of this release.

After winning the November 12th $25,000 Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) clinched his fifth series championship. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Weld Racing Spike, Gardner posted five main event wins, four Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one dash win, eleven heat race victories, one semi-main win, one hard charger award, twenty-one top-10 finishes, and 144 feature laps led. “The Demon” has seventy USAC/CRA victories to his credit and will be looking to win his third “Sokola Shootout.”

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) had a solid campaign and finished second in the point standings. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard had one main event win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, nineteen top-10 finishes, and 61 feature laps led. The 2011 USAC West Coast Champion has six career USAC/CRA triumphs and will have his sights on his second “Sokola Shootout” victory.

Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) ranked third in the AMSOIL USAC/CRA point chase. Racing the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Lee & Norma Leonard Maxim, Roa posted one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one dash win, seven heat race victories, fifteen top-10 finishes, and 52 feature laps led to his credit. The defending USAC West Coast champion has one career USAC/CRA victory and will be looking to add the “Sokola Shootout” to his resume.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) placed fourth in the chase for the championship. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson earned one main event win, four Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, three semi-main wins, one hard charger award, fifteen top-10 finishes, and 7 feature laps led. The 2012 Rookie of the Year will have his sights on his first “Sokola Shootout” win at Perris Auto Speedway.

“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) scored fifth in last year’s championship standings. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams had two main event wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, two semi-main wins, three hard charger awards, fourteen top-10 finishes, and 55 feature laps led on the season. The 2009 Rookie of the Year has five career USAC/CRA triumphs and will be looking to join the “Sokola Shootout” winner’s list.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Mike Spencer, Max Adams, Logan Williams, “Cadillac” Cody Williams, Chris Gansen, “The Bear” Jeremy Ellertson, Jace Vander Weerd, “The Hanford Hornet” Chad Boespflug, “Thunder” Tommy Malcolm, and more.

Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior tickets (65 and over) are $20, Active Military (with ID), Students (13-18), and Kids tickets (6-12) are $5. Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.

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, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

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.

SOKOLA SHOOTOUT / CLASSIC WINNERS: 2001-Tony Jones, 2002-Jeremy Sherman, 2003-Jeremy Sherman, 2004-Cory Kruseman, 2005-Mike Kirby, 2006-Mike Kirby, 2007-Not Held, 2008-Not Held, 2009-Rickie Gaunt, 2010-Damion Gardner, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Nic Faas, 2013-Bryan Clauson, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Richard Vander Weerd, 2016-Bryan Clauson.

NOTICE TO USAC/CRA COMPETITORS: The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier tires. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is also the current legal tire with the USAC West Coast, USAC SouthWest, and VRA Sprint Cars. Cars must pass a tech inspection and one-way radios are mandatory for drivers. USAC/CRA charges a $25 entry fee to all competitors and the series rule book can be found online at www.usacracing.com.