By Lance Jennings
AUGUST 30, 2017…, September 2nd, at Calistoga’s “10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic” over two nights. From there, the traditional 410s will tackle the clay ovals of Petaluma, Chico, Watsonville, and Hanford. As this writing goes to press, the Calistoga events will pay a minimum of $5,000-to-win and the other shows will pay $3,000-to-win. With valuable points up for grabs, the “California Sprint Week” will play a major factor in the chase for the championship.
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 an entry fee to all competitors and will be $35 at Calistoga and $25 for Petaluma, Chico, Watsonville, and Hanford. 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.
MUFFLER RULES: Calistoga and Hanford have a 95db at 100 feet sound rule and mufflers are required. Petaluma, Chico, and Watsonville have a tougher sound rule and the Flowmaster “Suitcase” (Part 53545-USAC) is the ONLY LEGAL MUFFLER for Petaluma and Watsonville. The Flowmaster “Suitcase” is also the preferred/recommended muffler at Chico and cars with other mufflers will be checked for sound. If the sound levels are broken, the racer will be disqualified and not allowed to compete.
PETALUMA PITS TARP RULE: At Petaluma, tarps are mandatory under all race cars in the pit area and must stick out at least one foot on each side.
Entering the “Louie Vermeil Classic,” there have been six different winners and four drivers have claimed fast time honors. The chase for the championship is heating up as Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) has taken over the point lead and carries an 18-point advantage. “The Demon” Damion Gardner, Jake Swanson, Mike Spencer, “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Logan Williams, Max Adams, Chris Gansen, and Matt McCarthy round out the top-10 drivers.
On September 2nd and 3rd, Calistoga Speedway will host the “10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic.” Promoted by HMC Promotions, the highly anticipated event honors the former NARC director and will also have a vintage car show, driver autograph session, raffle, wine tasting, silent auction, and a beer garden for fans to enjoy. Since August 30, 2008, eighteen USAC/CRA races have been held at the Napa County Fairgrounds and Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with 3 wins. On September 4, 2010, “The Bullet” Blake Miller set the 1-lap qualifying track record at the scenic half-mile by posting a time of 19.078. The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets and Vintage Cars will share the spotlight. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.
LOUIE VERMEIL CLASSIC SPRINT CAR WINNERS:
2008-Kevin Swindell; 2009-Mike Spencer; 2010-Damion Gardner; 2011-Mike Spencer; 2012-Kyle Hirst, 2013-Kyle Larson, 2014-Rico Abreu, 2015-Rico Abreu, 2016-Thomas Meseraull.
CALISTOGA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Ryan Bernal, 2-Rico Abreu, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Mike Spencer, 2-Kevin Swindell, 1-Robert Ballou, 1-Christopher Bell, 1-Kyle Hirst, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Tim Kaeding, 1-Kyle Larson, 1-Thomas Meseraull.
On Monday, September 4th, the “California Sprint Week” will shift to Rick Faeth’s Petaluma Speedway. Located on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, the “The Fastest 3/8-Mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” has showcased five USAC/CRA events. Mike Spencer leads all drivers with two victories and Jake Swanson set the 1-lap qualifying track record of 13.457 on September 7, 2015. The action packed card will also feature Super Stocks and 600 Micro Sprints. The front gates will open at 4:00pm and Racing is set for 6:00pm. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more details, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.
PETALUMA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
2-Mike Spencer, 1-David Cardey, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Austin Williams.
After a short break, the popular mini-series will continue on Thursday, September 7th, at Dennis Gage’s Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions,” the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds has hosted four USAC/CRA appearances. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with two wins and Jake Swanson set the 1-lap track record of 13.353 on September 8, 2016. The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States and BCRA Midgets will share the spotlight with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.
CHICO AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
2-Damion Gardner, 1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Kyle Larson.
The following night, Friday, September 8th, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville will host the fourth round of the northern tour. Promoted by John Prentice, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds oval has held nine USAC/CRA events and Mike Spencer leads all drivers with three triumphs. “The Demon” Damion Gardner set the 1-lap qualifying record of 12.500 on September 5, 2014. The American Stocks, Four Bangers, and Police-N-Pursuit will join the action as qualifying starts at 6:00pm. Ocean Speedway is located at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville, California and for more details, visit www.racepmg.com/oceanspeedway or call 855.410.7223.
WATSONVILLE AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Mike Spencer, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Cory Kruseman, 1-Marty Hawkins, 1-Thomas Meseraull.
Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds will host the finale of the “California Sprint Week” on Saturday, September 9th. Promoted by Bubby Morse, the event marks the tenth USAC/CRA appearance at the Kings County Fairgrounds. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with three wins and Bud Kaeding set the 1-lap qualifying record of 14.793 on November 12, 2011. The action packed card will also feature the Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars, and Mini Stocks. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is located at 801 South 10th Avenue in Hanford, California and for more information, visit www.kellerautospeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.
HANFORD AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Damion Gardner, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Danny Faria Jr., 1-Ricci Faria, 1-Levi Jones, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Cory Kruseman.
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.
CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK CHAMPIONS:
2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Ryan Bernal, 2016-Damion Gardner.
2017 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Damion Gardner, 3-R.J. Johnson, 1-Max Adams, 1-Brody Roa, 1-Mike Spencer, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Brody Roa-717, 2. Damion Gardner-699, 3. Jake Swanson-669, 4. Mike Spencer-659, 5. Austin Williams-603, 6. Cody Williams-501, 7. Logan Williams-451, 8. Max Adams-435, 9. Chris Gansen-418, 10. Matt McCarthy-375, 11. Richard Vander Weerd-345, 12. Jeremy Ellertson-319, 13. R.J. Johnson-306, 14. Danny Faria Jr.-288, 15. Ronnie Gardner-268, 16. Tommy Malcolm-250, 17. A.J. Bender-247, 18. Verne Sweeney-236, 19. Jace Vander Weerd-221, 20. Kyle Edwards-182.