By Lance Jennings
NOVEMBER 2, 2019… After a break in the schedule, the chase for the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Championship heads to Perris Auto Speedway for the “24th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction.” Promoted by Don Kazarian, the prestigious event opens with a special practice session on Wednesday, November 6th, followed by three nights (November 7, 8, 9) of intense racing that also features the AMSOIL USAC National and Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars. “America’s Premier Dirt Track” is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds in Perris, California and for more event information, visit the track’s website at perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– 2019 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535, BILLY BOAT: FRAC-0375S, COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S, FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101, SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78, SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK. *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS ARE MANDATORY.
– Hoosier Tires are required on all four corners with the 105/16 Medium, 105/18 Hard, and 105/18 F85A as the only approved right rear tires. The “Medium” is also legal with the USAC National, USAC SouthWest, USAC West Coast, and VRA Sprint Cars.
– COCKPIT ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS ARE ALLOWED.
– USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at usaclicense.com.
– WEIGHT RULE: 1,325 lbs. with driver.
– The USAC National, USAC/CRA, and USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at usacracing.com.
– USAC BONUS / Any racer who enters every event for both the AMSOIL USAC/CRA and Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car schedules will have their entry fees reimbursed at the end of the year.
PRACTICE SESSION: The festivities will begin on Wednesday, November 6th with a special practice session for cars that are only entered in the Oval Nationals. Admission to the grandstands is FREE and cars will be on the track around 5:00pm. The concession stands will be open with $2 pizza, $2 soda, and $2 beers. The fairgrounds will not charge for parking on practice night.
GRAND MARSHALS: Tom and Laurie Sertich, owners of the Moose Racing #92, will serve as Grand Marshals of the 24th Annual Oval Nationals. Currently in their 25th year as car owners, the team is enjoying a successful campaign with “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams behind the wheel. At press time, Williams ranks second in points and the “Moose mobile” scored wins at the August 31st opening night of Calistoga’s “Louie Vermeil Classic” and the September 21st “Glenn Howard Memorial” at Perris. In addition, Williams has posted two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, with the last award coming at the September 28th “Hall of Fame Classic” at San Tan Valley, Arizona.
ENTRY LIST: Over 40 cars have entered the event, with more entries expected on race day. The current Oval Nationals pre-entry list is at the end of this release, courtesy of Perris Auto Speedway.
Since 1996, the Budweiser Oval Nationals has been one of the most prestigious events for non-wing sprint car racing across the country. “The Professor” Jimmy Sills won the inaugural event and there have been fifteen different drivers that have claimed the checkered flags. Bud Kaeding, “The People’s Champion” Dave Darland, and “The Demon” Damion Gardner lead all drivers with three Oval National wins. Alabama’s Kevin Thomas Jr. has claimed the last two Oval Nationals and has a chance to become the only driver with three consecutive victories. The winner’s list is at the end of this release.
Entering the nineteenth point race, there have been eleven different winners with USAC/CRA. “The Demon” Damion Gardner has three victories, while Brody Roa, Hunter Schuerenberg, Jake Swanson, Richard Vander Weerd, and “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams are tied with two wins. Josh Hodges, Chase Johnson, R.J. Johnson, Austin Liggett, and Troy Rutherford have one win on the season.
Heading to Perris Auto Speedway, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) has a 55-point lead over the competition. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Trench Shoring / All Coast Construction Spike, Gardner led five laps at the September 28th “Hall of Fame Classic” before scoring fourth at Arizona Speedway. To date, the seven-time USAC/CRA champion has three feature wins, nine Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, seven heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi-Main Win, one Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award, fifteen top-10 finishes, and 86 feature laps led to his credit. The three-time Oval Nationals winner (2009, 2011, 2016) leads all drivers with 83 series wins and will be looking to add another eagle trophy to his collection.
“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, CA) ranks second in the chase for the championship. Driving Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Lucas Oil DRC, Williams scored a third place finish at the September 28th “Hall of Fame Classic.” At press time, “The Big Game Hunter” has two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, one Specialty Fasteners Hard Charger Award, sixteen top-10 finishes, and 27 feature laps led in the campaign. The 2009 USAC/CRA Co-Rookie of the Year is tied with Ryan Bernal, David Cardey, and Richard Vander Weerd with nine triumphs and will have his sights on joining his father (“The Ripper” Rip Williams”) on the Oval Nationals winner’s list.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) sits third in the championship point standings. Racing Dwight Cheney’s #42 Racing Optics / Sander Engineering Maxim, Roa had a ninth place finish at Arizona Speedway’s “Hall of Fame Classic.” To date, the 2016 USAC West Coast champion has two feature wins, three heat race victories, fourteen top-10 finishes, and 105 feature laps led to his credit. Currently tied with “The People’s Champion” Dave Darland, “Super” Rickie Gaunt, and “Showtime” Danny Sheridan with eight USAC/CRA wins, the USAC SouthWest point leader will have his sights on the “Oval Nationals” victory.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, CA) is fourth in the USAC/CRA point standings. Piloting John Grau and Mike Burkhart’s #34AZ Stratis Construction / KSE Custom Drywall DRC, Swanson led sixteen laps at San Tan Valley before a flip resulted in an eighteenth place finish at the “Hall of Fame Classic.” At press time, the 2017 USAC West Coast Champion has two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one dash win, six heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi-Main win, eleven top-10 finishes, and 59 feature laps led on the year. The 2012 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year is tied with Darren Hagen, Kevin Swindell, and Chris Windom with four victories and will be looking add the “Oval Nationals” to his resume.
Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, CA) ranks fifth in the USAC/CRA point chase. Driving the family owned #4G Trench Shoring / Circle Track Performance Maxim, Gansen scored a sixteenth place finish at the September 28th main event at San Tan Valley. To date, Chris has posted two Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Awards, seven top-10 finishes, and 15 feature laps led in the campaign. Gansen is tied with Sterling Cling for twenty-third in SouthWest points and will have his sights on his first career USAC/CRA victory at Perris Auto Speedway.
Currently ranked ninth in points, Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, CA) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Steve Hix (Ventura, CA), and Jeff Dyer (Bermuda Dunes, CA) are also in contention.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) leads a strong contingent with the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series. R.J. Johnson, Stevie Sussex, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., “The Magic Man” Mike Martin, Jake Swanson, Matt Lundy, Chris Bonneau, Michael Curtis, and “The Real American” Matt Rossi round out the top-10 drivers.
C.J. Leary (Greenfield, IN) leads the AMSOIL USAC National point chase. “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney, Kevin Thomas Jr., Justin Grant, “The Bear” Chris Windom, “The Macho Man” Brady Bacon, Chase Stockon, Jason McDougal, Carson Short, and Isaac Chapple round out the top-10 in points.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California. Advance tickets are available online and for more information, visit the track’s website at perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks All Coast Construction, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Flowdynamics, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, Specialty Fasteners, surfNsprint.com, Sway-A-Way Racing Technology, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the series, visit usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
FloSports has USAC/CRA Sprint Car live videos and on demand coverage available for purchase at floracing.com.
2019 OVAL NATIONALS ENTRY LIST: (courtesy of Perris Auto Speedway) 4-Damion Gardner, 4-Justin Grant, 4G-Chris Gansen, 5-Tye Mihocko, 5G-Chris Windom, 5X-Tommy Malcolm, 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 7G-Don Gansen, 10-Richard Vander Weerd, 12-Stevie Sussex, 12B-Joel Rayborne, 13G-Dennis Gile, 13M-Thomas Meseraull, 15-Chris Bonneau, 16-Mike Martin, 19-Kevin Thomas Jr., 19-Logan Seavey, 19AZ-C.J. Leary, 19S-Hunter Schuerenberg, 28M-Matt McCarthy, 32-Chase Stockon, 34AZ-Jake Swanson, 42-Brody Roa, 42X-Jason McDougal, 44-Cody Williams, 44-Jake Helsel, 47-Charles Davis Jr., 51-R.J. Johnson, 51T-Eddie Tafoya Jr. ®, 57-Steve Hix ®, 68-Chase Johnson, 69-Brady Bacon, 73T-Max Adams, 74X-Josh Hodges, 83-Austin Liggett, 88-Jace Vander Weerd, 91R-Brody Roa, 92-Austin Williams, 98-Verne Sweeney, 98X-Jeremy Ellertson / Lawndale, CA / Jeremy Ellertson, 0-Bud Kaeding, Y69-Randy Waitman.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 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, 2016-Damion Gardner, 2017-Damion Gardner, 2018-Damion Gardner.
BUDWEISER OVAL NATIONALS WINNERS: 1996-Jimmy Sills, 1997-Rip Williams, 1998-Rodney Argo, 1999-Rickie Gaunt, 2000-Tony Jones, 2001-Bud Kaeding, 2002-Bud Kaeding, 2003-Cory Kruseman, 2004-Cory Kruseman, 2005-Dave Darland, 2006-Dave Darland, 2007-Bud Kaeding, 2008-Jesse Hockett, 2009-Damion Gardner, 2010-Chris Windom, 2011-Damion Gardner, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Dave Darland, 2014-Robert Ballou, 2015-Bryan Clauson, 2016-Damion Gardner, 2017-Kevin Thomas Jr., 2018-Kevin Thomas Jr.
2019 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 3-Damion Gardner, 2-Brody Roa, 2-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2-Jake Swanson, 2-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-R.J. Johnson, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Austin Williams.
PERRIS AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 46-Damion Gardner, 24-Mike Spencer, 19-Tony Jones, 17-Cory Kruseman, 9-Nic Faas, 8-David Cardey, 8-Richard Vander Weerd, 7-Rip Williams, 6-Bryan Clauson, 6-Mike Kirby, 6-Matt Mitchell, 6-Danny Sheridan, 5-Rickie Gaunt, 5-Justin Grant, 5-Austin Williams, 4-Robert Ballou, 4-Dave Darland, 4-R.J. Johnson, 3-Garrett Hansen, 2-Darren Hagen, 2-Jesse Hockett, 2-Levi Jones, 2-Blake Miller, 2-Brody Roa, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr., 2-Chris Windom, 1-Chad Boespflug, 1-Greg Bragg, 1-Daron Clayton, 1-Charles Davis Jr., 1-Josh Ford, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Adam Mitchell, 1-Johnny Rodriguez, 1-Hunter Schuerenberg, 1-Chase Stockon, 1-Jake Swanson, 1-Scotty Weir, 1-Jason York.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner-1215, 2. Austin Williams-1160, 3. Brody Roa-1116, 4. Jake Swanson-1012, 5. Chris Gansen-790, 6. Tommy Malcolm-732, 7. Charles Davis Jr.-651, 8. Matt McCarthy-635, 9. Eddie Tafoya Jr. ®-600, 10. Danny Faria Jr.-583, 11. R.J. Johnson-575, 12. Steve Hix ®-546, 13. Mike Martin-519, 14. Richard Vander Weerd-508, 15. Cody Williams-495, 16. Austin Liggett-453, 17. Stevie Sussex-426, 18. Verne Sweeney-391, 19. Jace Vander Weerd-351, 20. A.J. Bender-307.
SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Brody Roa-897, 2. R.J. Johnson-887, 3. Stevie Sussex-828, 4. Charles Davis Jr.-790, 5. Mike Martin-655, 6. Jake Swanson-578, 7. Matt Lundy-500, 8. Chris Bonneau-434, 9. Michael Curtis-433, 10. Matt Rossi-413, 11. Austin Williams-401, 12. Damion Gardner-342, 13. Tommy Malcolm-256, 14. Dennis Gile-242, 15. Matt McCarthy-223, 16. Stephen Sanchez ®-208, 17. Josh Hodges-202, 18. Jonas Reynolds-201, 19. Isaac Chapple-200, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg-197.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. C.J. Leary-2003, 2. Tyler Courtney-1956, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr.-1861, 4. Justin Grant-1850, 5. Chris Windom-1843, 6. Brady Bacon-1837, 7. Chase Stockon-1757, 8. Jason McDougal-1483, 9. Carson Short-1361, 10. Isaac Chapple-1193, 11. Kyle Cummins-899, 12. Dave Darland-866, 13. Josh Hodges-726, 14. Dustin Clark ®-678, 15. Chad Boespflug-669, 16. Robert Ballou-568, 17. Max Adams-566, 18. Brian VanMeveren ®-549, 19. Matt Westfall-512, 20. Timmy Buckwalter-435.