USAC United States Auto Club CRA California Racing Association Logo tease
by Lance JenningsUSAC United States Auto Club CRA California Racing Association Logo tease
SANTA MARIA, CA – AUGUST 5, 2013… This Friday, August 9th, the USAC Western Classic Racing Series (WCRS) will take on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprints at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway. The quarter-mile oval at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds will also showcase 4-Bangers, American Stocks, and BAD Dwarf Cars. The Spectator Gates will open at 4:30pm and Racing is set to begin at 6:00pm.
Friday’s event will mark the ninth race in the series history for USAC’s Northern California Sprint Cars at Watsonville. In 2013, Ryan Bernal won the April 19th season opener, “The Demon” Damion Gardner claimed the June 14th USAC/CRA co-sanctioned event, and Bud Kaeding won the July 12th “Howard Kaeding Classic.” With two wins at Ocean Speedway, Ryan Bernal and Mike Spencer are tied for the series lead. Other Watsonville winners are “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman and “BK” Brent Kaeding.
Entering the sixth point race, Stockton’s D.J. Johnson leads the USAC Western Classic standings with a five point advantage over the competition. Piloting the family owned #33 Unique Breeds / Proplant Farm Services Eagle, Johnson ran eighth in Watsonville’s “Howard Kaeding Classic.” Also leading the chase for Rookie of the Year honors, D.J. has yet to win a main event but has one Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Kaeding Performance / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, and four top-10 finishes to his credit. On Friday, the Wingless Spec Sprint graduate will be looking to claim his first victory at Ocean Speedway.
Ryan Bernal of Hollister is second in the WCRS point chase. Driving Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Bernal missed the “Howard Kaeding Classic” to race in USAC’s “Indiana Sprint Week.” To date, the two-time Santa Maria track champion has two feature wins, one heat race victory, one dash win, one Kaeding Performance / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, three top-10 finishes, and 53 feature laps led to his credit. Ryan will have his sights on adding the first place trophy to his collection.
Sitting third in the point standings is Lincoln’s Tony Hunt. Racing Mike Phulps’ #56 Metal Works / Red Line Oil Maxim, Hunt ran fourth in the “Howard Kaeding Classic.” As this writing goes to press, the defending series champion has yet to win a feature but has three top-10 finishes in the campaign. On Friday, the veteran driver will be looking to add Saturday’s main event win to his resume.
Shauna Hogg of Fair Oaks is fourth in the championship point chase. Piloting the family owned #5 Borello Racing Engines / Jerry Crowell Racing Shocks Eagle, Hogg was seventh at Watsonville on July 12th. Currently, the veteran driver has yet to win a feature, but has two heat race victories and one top-10 finish on the year. Shauna will have her sights on claiming the feature win at Watsonville.
Colton Slack of Brentwood is fifth in WCRS standings. Racing the family owned #17 S&S Automotive / Vornhagen Body & Paint Maxim, Slack did not race in the “Howard Kaeding Classic.” To date, the rookie contender has yet to score a feature win, but has one top-10 finish on the season. At Watsonville, Colton and his carbureted machine will have his sights on the 30-lap victory.
Among the other contenders expected to be in action are Matt Streeter, James Sweeney, Scott Hall, Colby Copeland, Nathan Washam, Jim Richardson, Klint Simpson, Gordon Rodgers, Marty Hawkins, Geoff Ensign, and more.
With five victories, “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads the USAC/CRA point chase. The 2005 Champion is followed by Nic Faas, 5-time champion Mike Spencer, Bud Kaeding, Matt Mitchell, Austin Williams, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Brody Roa, Ryan Bernal, and R.J. Johnson. Other USAC/CRA drivers expected to compete are Richard Vander Weerd, “The Ripper” Rip Williams, Seth Wilson, Markus Niemela, Jace Vander Weerd, “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman, and more.
All competitors must run quiet mufflers at the Watsonville. Ocean Speedway has a strict muffler rule and asks competitors to run the Extreme Ventura Legal (4615-3535-8), FlowMaster Suitcase, Spintech Suitcase, or Extreme (6014-3530) and Spin Tech 180 degree mufflers. Local track sound standards must be met in order to compete and failure to do so risks disqualification.
Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California at 2601 E. Lake Avenue. Adult Tickets are $20, Senior Tickets (over 65) are $19, and Kid Tickets (12-6) are $15. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call (831) 662-9466 (WINN).
The USAC Western Classic Racing Series would like to thank Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, SBI Fuel Systems, and Saldana Racing Products for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at
For more information on the USAC Western Classic Racing Series, visit or follow the series on Facebook (
1-D.J. Johnson-295, 2-Ryan Bernal-290; 3-Tony Hunt-247; 4-Shauna Hogg-224, 5-Colton Slack-167, 6-Matt Streeter-157, 7-James Sweeney-150, 8-Scott Hall-125, 9-Colby Copeland-120, 10-Nathan Washam-113, 11-Jim Richardson-112, 12-Klint Simpson-101, 13-Marc Mackay-97, 14-Gordon Rodgers-94, 15-Marty Hawkins-86, 16-Geoff Ensign-71, 17-Richard Vander Weerd-68, 18-Jace Vander Weerd-62, –Max Adams-62, –Tanner Swanson-62.
1-Damion Gardner-803, 2-Nic Faas-759, 3-Mike Spencer-628, 4-Bud Kaeding-564, 5-Matt Mitchell-519, 6-Austin Williams-461, 7-Cody Williams-441, 8-Brody Roa-420, 9-Ryan Bernal-359, 10-R.J. Johnson-330, 11-Richard Vander Weerd-309, 12-Rip Williams-301, 13-David Cardey-292, 14-Seth Wilson-246, 15-Rickie Gaunt-243, 16-Charles Davis Jr.-232, 17-Markus Niemela-223, 18-Bryan Clauson-210, 19-Jace Vander Weerd-201, 20-Cory Kruseman-197.