Ryan Bernal Steve Lafond photo
Ryan Bernal Steve Lafond photo
Ryan Bernal
Steve Lafond photo

By Lance Jennings


AUGUST 31, 2016…After a successful “California Racers Hall of Fame Night” at Perris, the popular Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are ready for the “3rd Annual All Coast Construction California Sprint Week.” The six-race mini-series will open this Saturday, September 3rd, at Calistoga’s “Louie Vermeil Classic” and travels to Petaluma, Chico, Watsonville, and Hanford. As this writing goes to press, the Calistoga events will pay a minimum of $6,500-to-win and the other shows will pay $3,000-to-win. With valuable points up for grabs, the “California Sprint Week” could play a major factor in the chase for the championship.


NOTICE TO USAC/CRA COMPETITORS: The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier tires. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is also the current legal tire with the USAC West Coast, USAC SouthWest, and VRA Sprint Cars. Cars must pass a tech inspection and one-way radios are mandatory for drivers. USAC/CRA charges a $25 entry fee to all competitors, transponder rentals are extra, and the series rule book can be found online at www.usacracing.com.


MUFFLER RULES: Calistoga and Hanford have a 95db at 100 feet sound rule and mufflers are required. Petaluma, Chico, and Watsonville have a tougher sound rule and the Flowmaster “Suitcase” (Part 53545-USAC) is the ONLY LEGAL MUFFLER for Petaluma and Watsonville. The Flowmaster “Suitcase” is also the preferred/recommended muffler at Chico and cars with other mufflers will be checked for sound. If the sound levels are broken, the racer will be disqualified and not allowed to compete.


PETALUMA PITS TARP RULE: At Petaluma, tarps are mandatory under all race cars in the pit area and must stick out at least one foot on each side.


2016 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons in the history of USAC/CRA. In the nine previous races, there have been nine different winners and nine different fast time drivers. After winning last Saturday’s “California Racers Hall of Fame Night,” “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) has an eight point advantage. Jake Swanson, Richard Vander Weerd, Brody Roa, Mike Spencer, Austin Williams, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Logan Williams, Max Adams, “The Bear” Jeremy Ellertson, and Chris Gansen round out the top-10 drivers.


Other drivers expected to compete are “The Madman” Robert Ballou, “The Wild Child” Jac Haudenschild, Brady Bacon, “The Hanford Hornet” Chad Boespflug, Ryan Bernal, Kevin Thomas Jr., “T-Mez” Thomas Meseraull, Stevie Sussex, Britton Bock, Tanner Thorson, Carson Macedo, and more.


On September 3rd and 4th, Calistoga Speedway will host the “9th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic.” Promoted by HMC Promotions, the highly anticipated event honors the former NARC director and will also have a vintage car show, driver autograph session, raffle, wine tasting, silent auction, and a beer garden for fans to enjoy. Since August 30, 2008, sixteen USAC/CRA races have been held at the Napa County Fairgrounds and Rico Abreu, Ryan Bernal, “The Demon” Damion Gardner, Mike Spencer, and Kevin Swindell are tied for the series lead with two wins. On September 4, 2010, “The Bullet” Blake Miller set the 1-lap qualifying track record at the scenic half-mile by posting a time of 19.078. The USAC Western States Midgets and Vintage Cars will share the spotlight with qualifying at 6:00pm and racing to follow. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.



2008-Kevin Swindell; 2009-Mike Spencer; 2010-Damion Gardner; 2011-Mike Spencer; 2012-Kyle Hirst, 2013-Kyle Larson, 2014-Rico Abreu, 2015-Rico Abreu.



2-Rico Abreu, 2-Ryan Bernal, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Mike Spencer, 2-Kevin Swindell, 1-Robert Ballou, 1-Christopher Bell, 1-Kyle Hirst, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Tim Kaeding, 1-Kyle Larson.


On Monday, September 5th, the “California Sprint Week” will shift to Rick Faeth’s Petaluma Speedway. Located on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, the “The Fastest 3/8-Mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” has featured four USAC/CRA events. Mike Spencer leads all drivers with two victories and set the 1-lap qualifying track record of 13.821 on June 19, 2010. The action packed card will also feature Super Stocks and 600 Micro Sprints. Time Trials are scheduled for 5:00pm and Racing is set at 6:30pm. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more details, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.



2-Mike Spencer, 1-David Cardey, 1-Austin Williams.


After a short break, the mini-series will continue on Thursday, September 8th, at Dennis Gage’s Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions,” the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds has hosted three USAC/CRA appearances to date. NASCAR’s Kyle Larson, “The Demon” Damion Gardner, and Ryan Bernal have claimed victory and Gardner set the 1-lap track record of 13.467 on September 4, 2014. The USAC Western States and BCRA Midgets will share the spotlight with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.



1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Kyle Larson.


The following night, Friday, September 9th, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville will host the fourth round of the tour. Promoted by John Prentice, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds oval has held eight USAC/CRA events. Mike Spencer leads all drivers with three triumphs and “The Demon” Damion Gardner set the 1-lap qualifying record of 12.500 on September 5, 2014. The Police-N-Pursuit Night #5 will also showcase the South Bay Dwarf Cars, IMCA Modifieds, and American Stocks. Ocean Speedway is located at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville, California and for more details, visit the www.racepmg.com or call 831.662.9466 (WINN).



3-Mike Spencer, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Cory Kruseman, 1-Marty Hawkins.


Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds will host the finale of the “California Sprint Week” on Saturday, September 10th. Promoted by Ron Vander Weerd and Bubby Morse, the event marks the ninth USAC/CRA appearance at the Kings County Fairgrounds. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with three wins and Bud Kaeding set the 1-lap qualifying record of 14.793 on November 12, 2011. The action packed card will also feature the Western RaceSaver Sprints, IMCA Stocks, and Mini Stocks. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is located at 801 South 10th Avenue in Hanford, California and for more information, visit www.racekingspeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.



3-Damion Gardner, 1-Danny Faria Jr., 1-Ricci Faria, 1-Levi Jones, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Cory Kruseman.


The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Stand 21 Racer Goes Safer Foundation, surfnsprint.com, Ultra Shield Race 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.


For more information on USAC/CRA, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook and Twitter pages.


Loudpedal Productions has USAC/CRA DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.



2004-Rip Williams, 2005-Damion Gardner, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Tony Jones, 2008-Mike Spencer, 2009-Mike Spencer, 2010-Mike Spencer, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Damion Gardner, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner.



2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Ryan Bernal.



1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Bryan Clauson, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Danny Sheridan, 1-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Austin Williams.



  1. Damion Gardner-602, 2. Jake Swanson-594, 3. Richard Vander Weerd-586, 4. Brody Roa-566, 5. Mike Spencer-543, 6. Austin Williams-533, 7. Cody Williams-401, 8. Logan Williams-382, 9. Max Adams-379, 10. Jeremy Ellertson-360, …Chris Gansen-360, 12. Jace Vander Weerd-318, 13. A.J. Bender-315, 14. Verne Sweeney-311, 15. Tommy Malcolm-294, 16. Ronnie Gardner-246, 17. Andrew Sweeney-228, 18. Anthony Lopiccolo-201, 19. Trent Williams-183, 20. Stevie Sussex-168.