From Lance Jennings
PERRIS, Calif. (May 22, 2021) – Leading the final eight laps, Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) emerged victorious at the “70th Running of the Salute to Indy” at Perris Auto Speedway. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Eagle, Roa’s win marked his first $2,500 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the campaign. Hard charger R.J. Johnson, fast qualifier Matt Mitchell, new point leader “The Demon” Damion Gardner, and “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. followed Brody to his ninth career triumph.
Making his first start of the season, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, AZ) claimed the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award with a twenty-first to second place run. The five-time USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Champion qualified 23rd overall and finished second to Gardner in his heat race.
Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, CA) opened the program by earning the night’s Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award by posting a time of 16.363 over the 26-car roster. With his eighth fast time, Mitchell moves into a tie with “The Cowboy” Tony Jones, Richard Vander Weerd, and “The Ripper’ Rip Williams for eighth overall in series qualifying. The 2014 USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Champion placed third in his heat race before rebounding from a seven car tangle to score third in the main event.
The night’s 10-lap heat race victories went to Roa (Flowdynamics First Heat), Gardner (Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror Second Heat), and “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (All Coast Construction Third Heat). Eddie Tafoya Jr. took the checkered flags in the 12-lap semi-main event.
“The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Corona, CA) took home the Shawn McDonald Memorial Qualifying Award by timing in sixth quick overall. The eldest son of Hall of Fame Driver “The Ripper” Rip Williams placed third in his heat race and led the opening 10 laps from the pole position. Unfortunately, a seven car tangle on lap twenty-two knocked him out of contention for the 30-lap feature win. Williams recovered to finish eleventh in the feature.
“Speedy” Stevie Sussex (Tempe, AZ) claimed the night’s Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature Award with a sixth place finish in the “Salute to Indy.” The 2017 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year was thirteenth fast in time trials and ran second to Roa in his heat race.
By virtue of his thirteenth place finish, Verne Sweeney (Lomita, AZ) scored the night’s Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award.” The former Ascot Park racer qualified seventeenth overall, finished seventh in his heat race, and transferred to the feature by taking seventh in the semi-main event.
The non-winged 410 sprints will return to Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday, June 19th.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks All Coast Construction, BillsJerky.com, 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, Saldana Racing Products, Sway-A-Way Torsion Bars, surfnsprint.com, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Wilwood Disc Brakes for their support.
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AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 22, 2021 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “70th Running of the Salute to Indy”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.363; 2. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-16.417; 3. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-16.517; 4. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-16.538; 5. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-16.713; 6. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.737; 7. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.759; 8. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-16.788; 9. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.812; 10. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-16.875; 11. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-16.895; 12. Trent Williams, 52V, Williams-16.972; 13. Stevie Sussex, 12AZ, Allen-16.990; 14. Charles Davis Jr., 11C, Turner/Wheeler-17.119; 15. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.135; 16, Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-17.258; 17. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.277; 18. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-17.379; 19. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-17.399; 20. Daylin Perreira, 21P, Perreira-17.586; 21. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-17.663; 22. Jonas Reynolds, 0, Reynolds-17.740; 23. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.940; 24. Shane Sexton, 74, Sexton/Gatlin-18.097; 25. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-18.114; 26. James Heling, 23, Bellegante-19.037
FLOWDYNAMICS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Roa, 2. Sussex, 3. Mitchell, 4. L.Williams, 5. Tafoya, 6. Hodges, 7. Grabowski, 8. Reynolds, 9. Dyer. NT
HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Johnson, 3. Gansen, 4. Bender, 5. Davis, 6. Edwards, 7. Sweeney, 8. Perreria, 9. Heling. NT
ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. A.Williams, 2. Malcolm, 3. C.Williams, 4. T.Williams, 5. Hix, 6. Rayborne, 7. Sexton. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Tafoya, 2. Davis, 3. Hix, 4. Edwards, 5. Grabowski, 6. Dyer, 7. Sweeney, 8. Rayborne, 9. Reynolds, 10. Hodges, 11. Perreira, 12. Heling. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Brody Roa (7), 2. R.J. Johnson (21), 3. Matt Mitchell (6), 4. Damion Gardner (5), 5. Charles Davis Jr. (14), 6. Stevie Sussex (13), 7. Chris Gansen (8), 8. A.J. Bender (2), 9. Tommy Malcolm (9), 10. Jake Hodges (15), 11. Cody Williams (1), 12. Kyle Edwards (11), 13. Verne Sweeney (16), 14. Austin Grabowski (18), 15. Jonas Reynolds (20), 16. Trent Williams (12), 17. Jeff Dyer (22), 18. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (10), 19. Logan Williams (3), 20. Austin Williams (4), 21. Joel Rayborne (19), 22. Steve Hix (17). NT
**Hix flipped on lap 16 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 C.Williams, Laps 11-22 Gardner, Laps 23-30 Roa.
IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER HARD CHARGER: R.J. Johnson (21st to 2nd)
SHAWN McDONALD MEMORIAL QUALIFYING AWARD: Cody Williams
SHAWN McDONALD MEMORIAL FEATURE AWARD: Stevie Sussex
WILWOOD DISC BRAKES LUCKY 13 AWARD: Verne Sweeney
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-425, 2-Austin Williams-388, 3-Brody Roa-369, 4-Chris Gansen-360, 5-Tommy Malcolm-314, 6-Cody Williams-301, 7-Charles Davis Jr.-253, 8-Matt Mitchell-252, 9-A.J. Bender-223, 10-Austin Grabowski-215.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: June 19 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California