By Lance Jennings
JULY 3, 2018… The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are back in action, this Saturday, July 7th, for their first of two appearances at Santa Maria Raceway. Now promoted by Nick Duggan, the “10th Annual Doug Fort Memorial” will also feature IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, and the Santa Maria Dwarf Cars. Located in Nipomo, California, the pit gates at “The West’s Best Short Track” will open at 1:00pm, the front gates open at 4:00pm, time trials are scheduled for 5:00pm, and racing will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com.
NOTICE TO RACERS: FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS ARE MANDATORY. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. The “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 can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2018-usac-sprint-midget-sc
2018 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS:
EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535
SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78
FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101
COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S
SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
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 claimed the inaugural “Doug Fort Memorial” that was sanctioned by the Golden State Challenge in 2009. 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, 2016 Rookie of the Year, Max Adams took his first checkered flags in the Dwight Cheney machine. 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 twenty-three USAC/CRA Sprint Car events and sixteen 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 22-point lead over the competition. Driving Mark Alexander’s #4 Trench Shoring / Weld Racing Spike, Gardner ran second to Justin Grant at Perris on June 23rd. At press time, “The Demon” has two feature wins, four heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 97 feature laps led to his credit. The six-time champion has seventy-seven USAC/CRA victories and will be looking to extend his point lead with his third Santa Maria win.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) ranks second in the championship point standings. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Phil & Eileen King Triple X, Swanson placed fifth in the June 23rd main event. To date, the defending USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Champion has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, six top-10 finishes, and 9 feature laps led in the campaign. Jake has one career USAC/CRA win and will have his sights on adding his name to the Santa Maria win list.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) is third in the USAC/CRA point chase. Racing the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa finished third at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds after starting seventh. At press time, the 2016 USAC West Coast 360 Champion has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one Competition Suspension Incorporated / Rod End Supply Semi-Main, five top-10 finishes, and 34 feature laps led on the season. Brody has four career USAC/CRA wins and will be looking to add another Santa Maria win to his resume.
“The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Corona, California) sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving Jack Jory’s #44 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams ran eighth at Perris Auto Speedway. To date, 2010 Victorville Champion has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, and four top-10 finishes on the season. “The Cadillac” earned his only USAC/CRA win at the 2010 “Doug Fort Memorial” and will have his sights on the $3,000 victory.
R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) is fifth in the USAC/CRA point standings. Piloting Dwight Cheney’s #42 Racing Optics / Sander Engineering Maxim, Johnson charged from thirteenth to ninth on June 23rd. At press time, the five-time USAC SouthWest 360 Sprint Car Champion has four top-10 finishes on the season. R.J. has six USAC/CRA wins to his credit and will be looking for his first Santa Maria win this Saturday night.
Currently eighteenth in points, Joel Rayborne (West Covina, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Austin Ervine (Bakersfield, California) and Gary Paulson (Woodland, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams, Max Adams, Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm, Logan Williams, Chris Gansen, Richard Vander Weerd, “T-Dub” Trent Williams, Austin Liggett, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Jace Vander Weerd, “Showtime” Danny Sheridan, James Herrera, 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, Kids tickets (6-12) are $6, and Children tickets (5 & under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.