From Dick Jordan, photo courtesy of John’s Racing Photos
The 2009 Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series doesn’t conclude until November 28, but the next two weekends will be pivotal in the battle for the championship.
Only 83 points separate the top four in the standings with five point-paying events in California comprising this week’s “Budweiser Oval Nationals” at Perris and next week’s “Pacific Coast Nationals” at Tulare. Perris Auto Speedway hosts this week’s 14th running of the “Budweiser Oval Nationals” and series point leader Mike Spencer of Temecula, Calif. is “on the spot,” having won the last two races at the half-mile dirt oval.
Spencer is only eight points ahead of David Cardey, while Blake Miller and Garrett Hansen are not far behind in the standings. Collectively then have won eight races this year, five at Perris. Spencer is on a winning streak, with three consecutive wins entering this week’s action. The last driver to win four straight in the USAC/CRA series was Damion Gardner back in 2005.
Gardner will be among USAC National drivers challenging the USAC/CRA stars this weekend in the races which offer points toward both titles. Gardner is currently sixth in the National standings, with a victory last month at Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Other USAC/CRA winners this year at Perris have been Rickie Gaunt, Cory Kruseman and Tony Jones.
Twenty-five-lap features are slated at Perris Thursday and Friday and Saturday’s main event is 40 laps, offering $12,500 to win. Wednesday’s practice session is free for race fans and an on-track autograph session is planned prior to Saturday night’s racing.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Levi Jones-1,554, 2-Dave Darland-1,527, 3-Cole Whitt-1,448, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-1,351, 5-Tracy Hines-1,236, 6-Damion Gardner-1,115, 7-Darren Hagen-937, 8-Chad Boat-862, 9-Brad Sweet-784, 10-Bryan Clauson-766.
LUCAS OIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Mike Spencer-745, 2-David Cardey-737, 3-Blake Miller-687, 4-Garrett Hansen-662, 5-Danny Sheridan-581, 6-Greg Bragg-566, 7-Matt Mitchell-505, 8-Rip Williams-437, 9-Cory Kruseman-397, 10-Tony Jones-331.