Gardner Shines During “Sokola Shootout”

Damion Gardner (Ben Thrasher Photo)

From Lance Jennings

PERRIS, Calif. (April 24 2021) – Using slower traffic to his advantage, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) slipped by “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams on the nineteenth lap and sailed to victory at Perris Auto Speedway. Driving Mark Alexander’s #1 Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner earned his first AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the year at the annual “Sokola Shootout.” Point leader Williams, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, and “Thunder” Tommy Malcolm followed the eight-time champion to the checkered flags.

“Speedy” Stevie Sussex (Tempe, AZ) claimed the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award with fourteenth to sixth place run. The former USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year also took home the Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature award.

Starting on the pole position, Cody Williams was looking for his first “home track” victory and led the first seven circuits. Facing heavy pressure from his brother Austin, Cody’s dreams were dashed as “The Big Game Hunter” took over the top spot. Once out front, Austin set a fast pace until reaching lapped traffic. With cars racing two and three wide in front of the leaders, Austin’s progress was slowed and the sixth starting Gardner mounted a challenge. As both drivers sliced through the traffic, Gardner emerged with the lead and swept the show for his 84th series win.

For the fourth consecutive race, Gardner claimed the Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award by posting a time of 16.20 over the 24-car roster. That marked the series leading 95th fast time award for “The Demon.”

The night’s 10-lap heat race victories went to Gardner (Flowdynamics First Heat), Sussex (Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror Second Heat), and Cody Williams (All Coast Construction Third Heat).

The traditional 410 sprints are back in action on Saturday, May 8th at the Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, California.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks All Coast Construction,, Component Repair Company, Factory Wraps, Flowdynamics, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, Huntington Beach Glass and Mirror, Woodland Auto Display, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Loudpedal Productions, Rod End Supply, Sway-A-Way Torsion Bars,, and Ultra Shield Race Products for their support.

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AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: April 24, 2021 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “Sokola Shootout”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-16.20; 2. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-16.33; 3. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-16.38; 4. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.56; 5. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51, Tafoya-16.59; 6. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.62; 7. Trent Williams, 52V, Williams-16.62; 8. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-16.66; 9. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-16.79; 10. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.81; 11. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-16.83; 12. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-16.89; 13. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-16.90; 14. Stevie Sussex, 12, Allen-16.94; 15. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-16.96; 16. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.23; 17. Austin Grabowski, 72, Graboowski-17.23; 18. Brent Owens, 71, Martin-17.48; 19. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-17.50; 20. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-17.58; 21. Rick Hendrix, 15, Hendrix-17.72; 22. Cal Smith, 39, Cal-Sun-17.85; 23. Dan Taylor, T5, Taylor-18.03; 24. James Heling, 23, Bellegante-19.56.

FLOWDYNAMICS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Sweeney, 3. Roa, 4. Malcolm, 5. Edwards, 6. T.Williams, 7. Smith, 8. Hendricks, 2.57.87.

HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Sussex, 2. L.Williams, 3. A.Williams, 4. Tafoya, 5. Bender, 6. Rayborne, 7. Taylor, 8. Grabowski. NT.

ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. C.Williams, 2. Gansen, 3. Davis, 4. McCarthy, 5. Hix, 6. Hendrix, 7. Heling, 8. Owens. NT.

FEATURE: (30 laps, with starting positions) 1. Damion Gardner (6), 2. Austin Williams (5), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (4), 4. Cody Williams (1), 5. Tommy Malcolm (10), 6. Stevie Sussex (14), 7. Logan Williams (11), 8. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (2), 9. Chris Gansen (9), 10. Kyle Edwards (13), 11. Trent Williams (7), 12. Steve Hix (15), 13. Matt McCarthy (12), 14. Joel Rayborne (19), 15. Brent Owens (17), 16. Cal Smith (21), 17. James Heling (23), 18. Tom Hendricks (18), 19. Dan Taylor (22), 20. Brody Roa (3), 21. A.J. Bender (8), 22. Verne Sweeney (16), 23. Rick Hendrix (20). NT

**Hendrix flipped on lap 1 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 C.Williams, Laps 8-18 A.Williams, Laps 19-30 Gardner.

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Austin Williams-285, 2-Damion Gardner-277, 3-Chris Gansen-235, 4-Brody Roa-216, 5-Tommy Malcolm-212, 6-Max Adams-195, 7-Cody Williams-192, 8-Charles Davis Jr.-192, 9-Matt Mitchell-176, 10-Austin Liggett-149.