By Lance Jennings
JUNE 29, 2017… Promoted by Mike Kappmeyer, the July 1st “Ninth Annual Doug Fort Memorial” will also feature the Santa Maria 360 Sprints, Hobby Stocks, American Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Junior Mini Dwarfs. Located in Nipomo, California, the pit gates at “The West’s Best Short Track” will open at 8:00am, the front gates open at 4:00pm, and racing will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.
NOTICE TO USAC/CRA COMPETITORS: Saturday’s driver’s meeting is scheduled for 3:45pm. 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. USAC MEMBERSHIPS ARE MANDATORY AT RACER’S FIRST EVENT and can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2017-usac-sprint-midget-sc.
Saturday’s point race honors Doug Fort, who built and operated the Santa Maria facility. Opening on Sunday, March 31, 1964 with the California Racing Association (CRA) Sprint Cars, Fort continued to serve as owner and promoter until his passing in 1999. During his tenure, the Santa Maria track was named the “Best Short Track Operation West of the Mississippi” on two separate occasions and hosted a wide variety of race cars.
Originally a winged 410 sprint car race, Tyler Walker took the inaugural “Doug Fort Memorial” in the 2009 Golden State Challenge event. The race switched to the USAC West Coast 360s in 2012 and “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman won the next two memorials. The show became part of the USAC/CRA schedule in 2014 and “The Cadillac” Cody Williams added his name to the record books. Last year, Ryan Bernal returned to action after an eighth month layoff and took the checkered flags in the Keith Ford entry. Since the inception of the “Doug Fort Memorial,” it continues to be a popular event and the complete win list is at the bottom of this release.
Since June 18, 2005, Santa Maria Raceway has held 21 USAC/CRA Sprint Car events and 14 different drivers have claimed victory. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with three wins and “The Bullet” Blake Miller set the 1-lap qualifying record of 13.230 on June 14, 2008. A complete Santa Maria USAC/CRA win list is at the end of this release.
Entering the seventh point race, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) has a fifteen point advantage over the competition. Driving Mark Alexander’s #4 S.P. Beagle Plumbing / Scott Sales Company Spike, Gardner scored nineteenth at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night. To date, the five-time champion has three feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, five heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 60 feature laps led on the season. “The Demon” leads all USAC/CRA drivers with 73 victories and will be looking to add the “Doug Fort Memorial” to his resume.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) is second in the championship point chase. Piloting the #91R BR Performance owned HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa rebounded from an early tangle to claim seventh at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds. At press time, last year’s USAC West Coast Champion has posted one heat race victory, six top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led to his credit. Brody has one career USAC/CRA triumph and will have his sights on gaining valuable points with the Santa Maria win.
Mike Spencer (Temecula, California) ranks third in the USAC/CRA point standings. Racing the Gansen Engineering Motorsports #4S Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing Maxim, Spencer ran fifth in the Perris 30-lap main event. To date, the five-time champion has one feature win, three heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 28 feature laps led on the year. Mike has 38 career USAC/CRA wins and will be looking to win the “Doug Fort Memorial.”
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) is fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson placed twenty-first after an early tangle. At press time, the 2012 Rookie of the Year has three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi-Main win, and four top-10 finishes on the season. Jake has one career USAC/CRA victory and will have his sights on his first Santa Maria triumph.
“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) sits fifth in the USAC/CRA point standings. Piloting Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams charged from fifteenth to fourth last Saturday night. To date, the 2009 Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories, two Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Awards, and five top-10 finishes in the campaign. Austin is tied with Garrett Hansen for twentieth on the USAC/CRA win list and will be looking to claim his sixth main event.
Currently eleventh in points, Matt McCarthy (Riverside, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Kyle Edwards (Fountain Valley, California) is also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Logan Williams, Richard Vander Weerd, Chris Gansen, “Thunder” Tommy Malcolm, “The Bear” Jeremy Ellertson, Jace Vander Weerd, Verne Sweeney, A.J, Bender, “The Flying Peanut” Parker Colston, Max Adams, Chase Johnson, and more.
Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $25 and for more event information, visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.
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 email@example.com.
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, Instagram, and Snapchat 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 CHAMPIONS:
2004-Rip Williams, 2005-Damion Gardner, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Tony Jones, 2008-Mike Spencer, 2009-Mike Spencer, 2010-Mike Spencer, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Damion Gardner, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner, 2016-Damion Gardner.
2017 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Damion Gardner, 1-R.J. Johnson, 1-Mike Spencer, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.
SANTA MARIA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Ryan Bernal, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Rickie Gaunt, 2-Cory Kruseman, 2-Mike Spencer, 2-Austin Williams, 1-Tyler Brown, 1-Nic Faas, 1-Garrett Hansen, 1-Mike Kirby, 1-Blake Miller, 1-Danny Sheridan, 1-Cody Williams, 1-Rip Williams.
SANTA MARIA “DOUG FORT MEMORIAL” WINNERS:
2009-Tyler Walker, 2010-Tommy Tarlton, 2011-Jonathan Allard, 2012-Cory Kruseman, 2013-Cory Kruseman, 2014-Cody Williams, 2015-Rickie Gaunt, 2016-Ryan Bernal.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Damion Gardner-443, 2. Brody Roa-428, 3. Mike Spencer-409, 4. Jake Swanson-368, 5. Austin Williams-346, 6. Cody Williams-332, 7. Logan Williams-298, 8. Richard Vander Weerd-289, 9. Chris Gansen-243, 10. Tommy Malcolm-214, 11. Matt McCarthy-211, 12. Jeremy Ellertson-189, 13. Jace Vander Weerd-182, … Kyle Edwards-182, 15. Verne Sweeney-159, … Ronnie Gardner-159, 17. A.J. Bender-157, 18. Parker Colston-153, … Max Adams-153, 20. R.J. Johnson-148.