The Demon” Damion Gardner. USAC/CRA Point Leader. Photo by Doug Allen.
The Demon” Damion Gardner. USAC/CRA Point Leader. Photo by Doug Allen.
The Demon” Damion Gardner. USAC/CRA Point Leader. Photo by Doug Allen.

From Lance Jennings

Santa Maria, CA — (March 11, 2014) — This Saturday, March 15th, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to Perris Auto Speedway for the “12th Annual Sokola Shootout.” Joining the traditional 410 cubic-inch powered racecars will be the winged California Lightning Sprints, PAS Senior Sprints, and Young Gun Sprints. The spectator gates will open at 5:00pm, with racing at “America’s Premier Dirt Track” to begin at 7:00pm.

The “Sokola Shootout” has been a popular West Coast event since March 17, 2001 when “The Cowboy” Tony Jones won the inaugural race at Manzanita Speedway. Originally called the “Sokola Classic” to honor past CRA President and USAC Sprint Supervisor Gary Sokola, the event has grown to also recognize his family and their contributions to racing. This Saturday night, “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman, “Super” Rickie Gaunt, “The Demon” Damion Gardner, Mike Spencer, and Nic Faas will be looking to join Jeremy Sherman and Mike Kirby as the only two-time winners of the “Sokola Shootout.”

Opening his title defense with a victory at Canyon Speedway Park, Concord’s “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads the USAC/CRA point chase. Driving Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / J&D Performance Spike, Gardner outdueled R.J. Johnson and Gary Taylor to lead the final laps of the “Copper On Dirt” preliminary feature. “The Demon” won the “Sokola Shootout” in 2010 and will be looking for his series leading 27th “home track” win (48th overall) this Saturday night at Perris.

R.J. Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona is second in the USAC/CRA point standings. Piloting Bobby Martin’s #51 Weiler Farms / Pecon Builders Maxim, the defending USAC SouthWest Champion took the lead from Gary Taylor on lap 24 before claiming second at the checkered flags. Johnson placed tenth in last year’s point chase and will have his sights on adding the “Sokola Shootout” to his resume.

Making his first start in Gerry Cook’s #4X Lucas Oil / Beaver Stripes RSS, Snohomish, Washington’s Gary Taylor sits third in points. Taylor officially led the first twenty-three laps of the main event before scoring third on February 28th. At press time, it is unknown if the versatile driver will be in action at Perris Auto Speedway.

“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. of Buckeye, Arizona ranks fourth in the chase for the championship. Racing the Massey Motorsports #50X RSS Industries / MP Environmental RSS, the five-time Arizona Champion placed fourth in the “Copper On Dirt” preliminary feature. Last season, the USAC SouthWest regular ran eighteenth in USAC/CRA points and made several Perris starts in Gerry Cook’s #4X RSS entry.

Huntington Beach’s Nic Faas is fifth in the series point standings. Driving Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, the former USAC Western Midget Champion scored sixth at Canyon Speedway Park. The Perris 1-lap track record holder will be looking for his second “Sokola Shootout” win and his eleventh career USAC/CRA victory.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Jake Swanson, Matt Mitchell, Brody Roa, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Mike Spencer, Austin Williams, Logan Williams, “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman, J.J. Ercse, Chris Gansen, “The Ripper” Rip Williams, Ronnie Gardner, “Super” Rickie Gaunt, Richard Vander Weerd, Jace Vander Weerd, Seth Wilson, and more.

NOTICE TO USAC/CRA COMPETITORS: The Hoosier HTW/HT2 Right Rear Tires can be run at the next two dates (3/15 Perris, and 4/12 Perris). At Perris Auto Speedway’s May 3rd show, the Hoosier 105/16 Medium will be the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier tires. Fuel-injected iron block 360 sprints must use the Hoosier 105/16 Medium and carbureted spec sprints can still use their local track legal Hoosier tires with USAC/CRA.

Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior tickets are $20, Active Military, Students (13-18), and Kids tickets (6-12) are $5. Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call (951) 940-0134.

The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Engler Machine & Tool, Extreme Mufflers, Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, Saldana Racing Products, and Woodland Auto Display 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 Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit or follow the series on Facebook ( or Twitter ( Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit
2001-Tony Jones; 2002-Jeremy Sherman; 2003-Jeremy Sherman; 2004-Cory Kruseman; 2005-Mike Kirby; 2006-Mike Kirby; 2007-Not Held; 2008-Not Held; 2009-Rickie Gaunt; 2010-Damion Gardner; 2011-Mike Spencer; 2012-Nic Faas; 2013-Bryan Clauson.

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, 11. Dave Darland-37, 12. Brody Roa-36, –. Cody Williams-36, 14. Josh Pelkey-35, 15. Mike Spencer-34, 16. Austin Williams-33, 17. Logan Williams-21, –. Cory Kruseman-21, 19. Michael Curtis-19, –. J.J. Ercse-19.

March 15: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Sokola Shootout)
April 12: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (So Cal Sprint Car Spectacular)
May 3: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
May 10: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA ($2,750-to-Win)
May 24: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Salute to Indy / $3,000-to-Win)
June 14: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
June 27: Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA ($2,750-to-Win)
June 28: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA ($2,750-to-Win)
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Firecracker 40 / $3,000-to-Win)
July 5: Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA ($2,750-to-Win)
August 16: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 30: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)
August 31: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)
September 4: Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions / California Sprint Week / $2,750-to-Win)
September 5: Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA (California Sprint Week / $2,750-to-Win)
September 6: Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA (California Sprint Week / $2,750-to-Win)
September 13: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)
October 11: Kings Speedway – Hanford, CA (Cotton Classic / $2,750-to-Win)
November 7: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 8: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals / $20,000-to-Win)
November 14: *Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 15: *Canyon Speedway – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.