By Lance Jennings
AUGUST 28, 2018… The powerful AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are ready for the “5th Annual Bullet Impressions California Sprint Week.” The six-race mini-series at five different tracks will open this Saturday, September 1st, at Calistoga’s “11th 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 $6,000-to-win ($600-to-start) and the other shows will pay $3,000-to-win ($300-to-start). With valuable points up for grabs, the “California Sprint Week” will play a major factor in the chase for the championship.
Thanks to Bullet Impressions – onefasttee.com, the winner of the “California Sprint Week” point standings will earn $500, second will take home $300, and third will make $200. Last season, forty-nine drivers took the green flag and “The Demon” Damion Gardner emerged with his third mini-series crown in four years.
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 an entry fee to all competitors and the series rule book can be found online at www.usacracing.com. Full season and single event USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2018-usac-sprint-midget-sc
2018 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: (Calistoga & Hanford Legal)
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.
PETALUMA/CHICO/WATSONVILLE MUFFLER RULES: 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 eight drivers have claimed fast time honors. The chase for the championship is heating up as Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) has taken over the point lead and carries a 3-point advantage. “The Demon” Damion Gardner, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Jake Swanson, Max Adams, “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams, Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm, R.J. Johnson, A.J. Bender, and Chris Gansen round out the top-10 drivers.
On September 1st and 2nd, Calistoga Speedway will host the “11th 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, twenty USAC/CRA races have been held at the Napa County Fairgrounds and Ryan Bernal and Rico Abreu lead all drivers with 3 wins. On September 3, 2017, Ryan Bernal broke the 19-second barrier for non-winged sprints and set the 1-lap track record at the scenic half-mile by posting a time of 18.869. 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, 2017-Rico Abreu.
CALISTOGA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 3-Ryan Bernal, 3-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, 1-Kevin Thomas Jr.
CALISTOGA PURSE: (EACH NIGHT) 1. $6000, 2. $3000, 3. $2000, 4. $1400, 5. $1200, 6. $1000, 7. $850, 8. $800, 9. $750, 10. $700, 11. $650, 12. $600, 13-22. $600.
CALISTOGA 360 BONUS: (EACH NIGHT) 1. $850, 2. $500, 3. $300, 4. $200, 5. $100.
On Monday, September 3rd, 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 six 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 Modifieds and Super Stocks. 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-Tyler Courtney, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Austin Williams.
After a short break, the popular mini-series will continue on Thursday, September 6th, at Dennis Gage’s Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Held during the “65th Gold Cup Race of Champions,” the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds has hosted five USAC/CRA appearances. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with three wins and Jake Swanson set the 1-lap track record of 13.353 on September 8, 2016. Winged 360 Sprint Cars will share the spotlight in the “Platinum Cup” 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: 3-Damion Gardner, 1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Kyle Larson.
The following night, Friday, September 7th, 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 ten 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. 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 831.688.7223.
WATSONVILLE AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 3-Mike Spencer, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Cory Kruseman, 1-Marty Hawkins, 1-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Kevin Thomas Jr.
Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds will host the finale of the “California Sprint Week” on Saturday, September 8th. Promoted by Bubby Morse, the event marks the eleventh 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 305 Sprint Cars, Mini Stocks, and Mod Lites. 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, 1-Kevin Thomas Jr.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, Bullet Impressions, 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.
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-Damion Gardner.