By Dick Jordan
Defending AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Champion Damion Gardner and five-time series king Mike Spencer continue their battle for the all-time Perris Auto Speedway victory lead Saturday when the series visits the half-mile southern California oval for the “Sokola Shootout.”
Honoring the memory of the Sokola family and longtime CRA and USAC coordinator Gary Sokola, the race opens the 2014 Perris USAC calendar and Gardner, of Concord, Calif. leads the all-time PAS victory list at 26. Spencer has 25 and each notched a victory last year.
Gardner opened the 2014 USAC/CRA calendar with a victory in the February 28 “Copper on Dirt” main event at Peoria, Ariz. Spencer, after posting the fastest qualifying time, finished a disappointing 16th.
Other CRA regulars who scored 2013 PAS wins include Nic Faas, Matt Mitchell and Cory Kruseman, all among possible favorites Saturday.
Spencer leads in the all-time list of Perris USAC/CRA lap leaders, with 644 laps in 39 races.
2014 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Standings: 1-Damion Gardner-68, 2-R.J. Johnson-65, 3-Gary Taylor-60, 4-Charles Davis Jr.-58, 5-Nic Faas-55, 6-Josh Hodges-51, 7-Mike Martin-50, 8-Jake Swanson-42, 9-Colby Copeland-40, 10-Matt Mitchell-39.