By Lance Jennings
PERRIS, CA – APRIL 30, 2012… Last Saturday night, Temecula’s Mike Spencer took the lead from Ryan Bernal on lap nine and fought off a late charge from Matt Mitchell to score his second victory of the year. With the 30-lap triumph at Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway, the four-time Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Champion has taken over the points lead heading to Hanford on May 19th.
Starting eighth in the main event, Spencer powered Ron Chaffin’s #50 Madera Produce / Grubstake Mini Storage Maxim to sixth by the end of the first lap. Continuing to charge forward, the Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Fast Time Qualifier carved his way to third before an Austin Smith flip on lap six. With Bernal’s advantage erased and the field bunched together for a restart, Spencer seized the opportunity. Quickly dispatching Mitchell to third, Mike attacked Ryan’s Kittle Motorsports’ #18 Pace Lighting Sherman for the top spot. Spencer shot past Bernal, but the young lion battled back and reclaimed the point. Mike made another bid that proved successful and quickly extended his lead.
Mitchell slipped past Bernal for second and gave chase after the leader. With over a straightaway advantage, Spencer was setting a torrid pace but had to deal with slower traffic. Matt had found his rhythm and looked to chip away at Mike’s huge lead. As the laps counted down, Mitchell had gained valuable ground and was now in striking distance. Crossing the start-finish line on lap twenty-eight, Matt was close enough to execute a turn one “slide job” for the top spot. The move briefly worked, but Spencer recovered in time to retake the lead. Mitchell had lost some real estate but closed in to make another bid. With the white flag waving, Matt shot for another turn one “slide job” that just fell short. At the checkered flag, it was all Mike Spencer, followed by Matt Mitchell, David Cardey, Austin Williams, and “The Ripper” Rip Williams.
Earlier in the program, Mike Spencer earned his second fast time award of the campaign, besting the other thirty cars with a 16.162 effort. The Bruce Bromme Jr. tuned machine finished second to Cory Kruseman in their heat race and earned the night’s Ringers Gloves / Keizer Wheels “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with an eighth to first place run. Spencer now leads the competition by eleven points in the standings.
Matt Mitchell of Yorba Linda had to settle for second on this night. Falling short in the closing stages, the pilot of the J.W. Mitchell Motorsports’ #37 J.M. Mancha Realtors / Sierra Springs Water Maxim, was ninth fast on the night and third in his heat race. The former USAC Western Midget Series Rookie of the Year is currently third in the standings, thirteen points behind Spencer.
Riverside’s “Dynamite” David Cardey earned the night’s LRB Inc. Race Products Award for his third place run after starting sixth. Driving his #59 Circle Track Performance / Victory Race Cars Viper, the former California Lightning Sprint Champion qualified third and finished second in his heat race. Cardey is now fifth in the point chase and will drive a new Moose Racing #92 entry later in the season.
Austin Williams of Yorba Linda battled hard to claim fourth in the main event. Piloting a brand new Jack Jory #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, the 2009 Rookie of the Year was fifth quick on the night and fourth in his heat race. The son of Hall of Fame driver Rip Williams is sixth in the championship hunt as the series will head to Kings Speedway on May 19th.
Yorba Linda’s “The Ripper” Rip Williams scored fifth after challenging for the early lead. Driving Jack Jory’s #3 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Viper, the 2004 Champion qualified sixth and finished second in his heat race to Nic Faas. As this writing goes to press, the veteran driver sits eight in the point standings.
“The Kruser” Cory Kruseman of Ventura returned to USAC/CRA action and won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Piloting Mark Priestley’s #7 Roy Miller Freight Lines / Sander Engineering Maxim, the 2006 Champion was thirteenth quick in time trials and finished sixth after starting thirteenth in the feature. Kruseman missed the previous race at Perris and sits tenth in the standings.
Huntington Beach’s Nic Faas won the night’s Saldana Racing Products / Circle Track Performance Heat Race #2. Driving Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Faas qualified second and placed seventh in the main event. The 2008 USAC Western Midget Series Champion is now second in the championship standings, eleven points behind Spencer.
Jake Swanson of Anaheim won his first career sprint car heat race by holding off David Cardey to score the DJ Safety backed event. Piloting the Larry Henry/Tony Jones #41 VGI Graphics / Lucas Oil DRC, the USAC Western Midget standout was fifteenth quick and eleventh in the main event. Swanson is seventeenth in points heading to USAC/CRA’s return Hanford.
Yorba Linda’s “The Cadillac” Cody Williams raced to the SBI Fuel Systems / Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #4 victory. Driving a brand new Jack Jory #44 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, the 2008 National Non-Wing Sprint Car Co-Rookie of the Year was twentieth fast on the night and fifteenth in the feature. The son of Hall of Fame driver Rip Williams is currently sixteenth in the point chase.
Camarillo’s Josh Ford won the program’s Competition Suspension Inc. / Diversified Machine Inc. Semi Main. Piloting the #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Ellis, Ford qualified eleventh, placed fifth in his heat race, and scored thirteenth in the feature. The former USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year sits eleventh in the championship points.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Integra Racing Shocks, Keizer Wheels, LRB Inc. Race Products, Ringers Gloves, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support. For more information, visit www.usacracing.com/cra or follow the series on facebook.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will be back in action on Saturday, May 19th, at Scott Woodhouse’s Kings Speedway in Hanford. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds at 801 South 10th Avenue, more event information can be found at www.kingsspeedway.net or calling (559) 584-RACE (7223).
To catch all of the action of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway, Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVD videos available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com. In addition, Perris Auto Speedway offers a pay per view feed of every event at www.circletracknetwork.com.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
April 28, 2012 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway
SANDER ENGINEERING / ROD END SUPPLY TIME TRIALS:
1. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.162; 2. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-16.275; 3. David Cardey, 59, Cardey-16.594; 4. Ronnie Gardner, 42, Cheney-16.635; 5. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.639; 6. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-16.664; 7. Ryan Bernal, 18, Kittle-16.673; 8. Seth Wilson, 1X, Wilson-16.681; 9. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.744; 10. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.810; 11. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-16.830; 12. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.999; 13. Cory Kruseman, 7, Priestley-17.004; 14. Johnny McCall, 44J, Morbitzer-17.059; 15. Jake Swanson, 44, Henry/Jones-17.106; 16. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd- 17.110; 17. Greg Alexander, 72, Tyler-17.123; 18. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.131; 19. Bobby Bender, 12, Bender-17.181; 20. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.192; 21. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-17.294; 22. Cal Smith, 39, CalSun-17.470; 23. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-17.705; 24. Austin Smith, 14, Springstead-17.771; 25. Adam Frith-Smith, 62A, Frith-Smith-17.879; 26. A.J. Bender, 11, Bender-17.895; 27. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-17.924; 28. Raymond Potter, 33, Potter-17.925; 29. Royal Adderson, 40, Adderson-17.938; 30. Gavin Matlock, 25, Williams-19.075; 31. Jerry Welton, 62, Welton-19.433.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Cory Kruseman, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. Matt Mitchell, 4. Austin Williams, 5. Kenny Perkins, 6. Greg Alexander, 7. Adam Frith-Smith, 8. Royal Adderson. NT
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Nic Faas, 2. Rip Williams, 3. Verne Sweeney, 4. Richard Vander Weerd, 5. Cal Smith, 6. A.J. Bender, 7. Gavin Matlock, 8. Johnny McCall. 2:53.81
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Jake Swanson, 2. David Cardey, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. David Bezio, 5. Josh Ford, 6. Tony Everhart, 7. Jerry Welton, 8. Bobby Bender. NT
SBI FUEL SYSTEMS / INTEGRA RACING SHOCKS HEAT RACE 4: (6 laps)
1. Cody Williams, 2. Brody Roa, 3. Jace Vander Weerd, 4. Ronnie Gardner, 5. Austin Smith, 6. Seth Wilson, 7. Raymond Potter. 1:45.16
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / DIVERSIFIED MACHINE INC. SEMI-MAIN: (9 laps)
1. Josh Ford, 2. Greg Alexander, 3. Seth Wilson, 4. Tony Everhart, 5. A.J. Bender, 6. Austin Smith, 7. Kenny Perkins, 8. Cal Smith, 9. Gavin Matlock, 10. Johnny McCall. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Mike Spencer (8th), 2. Matt Mitchell (1st), 3. David Cardey (6th), 4. Austin Williams (4th), 5. Rip Williams (3rd), 6. Cory Kruseman (13th), 7. Nic Faas (7th), 8. Richard Vander Weerd (10th), 9. Brody Roa (12th), 10. Ryan Bernal (2nd), 11. Jake Swanson (14th), 12. Seth Wilson (9th), 13. Josh Ford (11th), 14. Jace Vander Weerd (15th), 15. Cody Williams (18th), 16. Verne Sweeney (17th), 17. David Bezio (19th), 18. A.J. Bender (21st), 19. Tony Everhart (22nd), 20. Ronnie Gardner (5th), 21. Austin Smith (20th), 22. Greg Alexander (16th). NT
**Cal Smith and Kenny Perkins flipped during the semi-main.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Ryan Bernal, Laps 9-30 Mike Spencer.
RINGERS GLOVES / KEIZER WHEELS HARD CHARGER: Mike Spencer (8th to 1st)
LRB INC. RACE PRODUCTS AWARD: David Cardey
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS:
1. Mike Spencer-207; 2. Nic Faas-196; 3. Matt Mitchell-194; 4. Ryan Bernal-160; 5. David Cardey-142; 6. Austin Williams-140; 7. Brody Roa-136; 8. Rip Williams-121; 9. Richard Vander Weerd-107; 10. Cory Kruseman-106; 11. Josh Ford-99; 12. Seth Wilson-94; 13. David Bezio-93; 14. Jace Vander Weerd-90; 15. Greg Alexander-85; 16. Cody Williams-81; 17. Jake Swanson-78; 18. Josh Pelkey-51; 19. Tony Everhart-41;
—. Ronnie Gardner-41.
2012 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION
May 19: Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway – Hanford, CA
May 26: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Salute To Indy)
June 2: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
June 15: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
June 16: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Firecracker 30)
July 28: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 10: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
August 11: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA (Wagscash)
August 18: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
September 1: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 2: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 5: **Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Non-Points)
September 15: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
October 6: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Southern California Fair)
October 26: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 27: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 2: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
November 3: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC National Sprints.
** = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC Western Classic Racing Series.
This schedule is subject to change.