RJ Johnson Lance Jennings photo

By Lance Jennings

APRIL 23, 2019… After Saturday’s popular “Lealand McSpadden Classic,” the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars are back in action this Saturday, April 27th, at Canyon Speedway Park. Promoted by Doug Gabbard, the “State 48 Classic” is the third of five appearances at the Peoria, Arizona oval. The fifth point race will also feature the AZ Differential Modifieds, Askrens Trucking / Flexi Flyer Sport Mods, Sport Compacts, and Dwarf Cars. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm and Racing is scheduled to start at 7:30pm. In addition, there will be an Open Practice on Friday, starting at 6:30pm and General Admission is FREE. For more event and ticket information, visit or call 602.258.7223.

– The Schoenfeld 14272735-78 Muffler is MANDATORY for Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest competition at Canyon Speedway Park. Failure to comply will be disqualified from the events.
– 360 BONUS #1 / Allscapes is offering a $100 bonus to Saturday’s highest finishing 360.
– 360 BONUS #2 / C&R Tire Auto is offering a $50 bonus to Saturday’s second highest finishing 360.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– Hoosier Tires are required on all four corners with the 105/16 Medium and the 105/18 Hard as the only approved right rear tires. The “Medium” is also legal with the USAC National, USAC/CRA, USAC West Coast, and VRA Sprint Cars.
– Cockpit adjustable shocks ARE ALLOWED.
– USAC SouthWest charges a $25 entry fee to all competitors and the series rule book can be found online
– USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at
– USAC BONUS / Any racer who enters every event for both the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest and AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car schedules will have their entry fees reimbursed at the end of the year.

Since January 26, 2013, Canyon Speedway Park has hosted sixty-six Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car events and R.J. Johnson leads all drivers with nineteen victories. In the two previous events of the campaign, New Mexico’s Josh Hodges and Missouri’s Hunter Schuerenberg topped the USAC/CRA co-sanctioned “Spring Showcase.” During that event, “The Demon” Damion Gardner set the new 1-lap standard of 13.469 on March 9th and the Peoria win list is at the end of this release.

Entering the “State 48 Classic,” Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) holds a 29-point lead over the competition. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa ran sixth in last Saturday’s “Lealand McSpadden Classic” at Arizona Speedway. To date, the 2016 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one heat race victory, one Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award, four top-10 finishes, and 13 feature laps led. With two USAC SouthWest wins, Roa will be looking to add the “State 48 Classic” trophy to his collection.

After finishing fourth in the “McSpadden Classic,” R.J. Johnson (Laveen, AZ) has climbed to second in the chase for the championship. Piloting the Bobby Martin Racing #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pro Flyer Race Engines Sherman, Johnson has one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 1 feature lap led in the campaign. The five-time champion has fifty-five USAC SouthWest wins and will have his sights on the “State 48 Classic” victory.

Stevie Sussex (Tempe, AZ) ranks third in the USAC SouthWest point standings. Racing Robbie and Gaye Allen’s #12 ABC Body Shop / PPG Automotive Finishes Maxim, Sussex raced from eighth to fifth in the Arizona Speedway feature. At press time, the 2017 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year has three top-10 finishes on the season. The second generation driver has twelve wins and will be looking for the victory at Canyon Speedway Park.

“The Magic Man” Mike Martin (Yuma, AZ) sits fourth in the USAC SouthWest point chase. Driving his #16 Naquin Precision Earth Moving / American FlowTech Maxim, Martin placed ninth in last Saturday’s “McSpadden Classic.” To date, the 2012 Hall of Fame Classic Winner has two top-10 finishes and will have his sights on his seventh SouthWest victory.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, CA) is tied for fourth in the championship point standings. Piloting John Grau and Mike Burkhart’s #34AZ Western Premier Hauling / Stratis Construction DRC, Swanson earned San Tan Valley’s Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award with a seventeenth to second place run. At press time, the 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi Main Win, and 11 feature laps led to his credit. Jake will be looking for his second career SouthWest win this Saturday night.

Currently ranked fifteenth in points, Ryan Cully (Alger, WA) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Stephen Sanchez (Flagstaff, AZ), Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, CA), and Jeff Dyer (Bermuda Dunes, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., “The Real American” Matt Rossi, Matt Lundy, Michael Curtis, Chris Bonneau, “The Radio Flyer” Bruce St. James, “The Bull” Tye Mihocko, and more.

Canyon Speedway Park is located at 9777 West Carefree Highway in Peoria, Arizona. To get to the track, take Lake Pleasant Parkway, then 1.3 miles west on Carefree Highway. Adult Tickets are $20, Seniors (60 and over) and Military Tickets are $15, and Children (11 and under) are FREE.

The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Beaver Stripes, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Hoosier Racing Tire, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, and Ultra Shield Race Products for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at

For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content at and the USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Facebook and Twitter pages.
SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2013-R.J. Johnson, 2014-R.J. Johnson, 2015-R.J. Johnson, 2016-R.J. Johnson, 2017-R.J. Johnson, 2018-Charles Davis Jr.

2019 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: 1-Josh Hodges, 1-C.J. Leary, 1-Hunter Schuerenberg, 1-Logan Seavey.

PEORIA SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes non-point shows) 19-R.J. Johnson, 10-Charles Davis Jr., 8-Bryan Clauson, 4-Ryan Bernal, 4-Dave Darland, 4-Stevie Sussex, 3-Josh Hodges, 3-Matt Rossi, 2-Brady Bacon, 2-Mike Martin, 2-Josh Pelkey, 1-Colby Copeland, 1-Tye Mihocko, 1-Hunter Schuerenberg, 1-Mike Spencer, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.

2019 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Brody Roa-280, 2. R.J. Johnson-251, 3. Stevie Sussex-218, 4. Mike Martin-205, .. Jake Swanson-205, 6. Josh Hodges-202, 7. Isaac Chapple-200, 8. Charles Davis Jr.-198, 9. Austin Williams-188, 10. Matt Rossi-184, 11. Matt Lundy-155, 12. Michael Curtis-153, 13. Damion Gardner-139, 14. Jason McDougal-124, 15. Ryan Cully-122, 16. Landon Cling-121, 17. Dennis Gile-119, … Hunter Schuerenberg-119, 19. Stephen Sanchez-105, 20. Chris Bonneau-91.