By Lance Jennings
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ – OCTOBER 2, 2021… Leading the last 17 laps, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) claimed the $4,000 “Hall of Fame Classic” triumph at Arizona Speedway. Driving Mark Alexander’s #1 PerformanceOnline.com / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner earned his fifth AMSOIL Sprint Car win of the season ahead of “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams, “The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa, “Thunder” Tommy Malcolm, and fast qualifier “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr.
Gardner began his night at the San Tan Valley oval by qualifying fourth overall out of the eighteen car roster. In dramatic fashion, “The Demon” won the night’s 10-lap Huntington Beach Glass and Mirror / Component Repair Company Second Heat race over Chris Gansen with last corner pass. Starting fourth in the main event, Gardner quickly moved to second and set after early leader Chase Johnson. Johnson was running strong, but crashed after a lap 13 restart due to a mechanical issue. From there, the eight-time champion sailed to his 88th career series win and holds a 62-point lead heading to Perris Auto Speedway on October 23rd. The non-winged 410 sprints will return to Arizona Speedway on November 12th and 13th for the “Western World Championships.
“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) took top honors in Woodland Auto Display Qualifying by posting a time of 15.205. Racing his #47 MP Environmental Service / Black Magic Bead Breaker RSS, the September 25th “Glenn Howard Classic” winner ran fourth in his heat race and scored fifth in the “Hall of Fame Classic.” The multi-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion ranks seventh in the USAC/CRA point chase.
“Thunder” Tommy Malcolm (Corona, CA) drove to victory in the 10-lap Flowdynamics Incorporated / All Coast Construction First Heat Race. Piloting Dino Napier’s #5X Indiana Truck Salvage / B&B Powder Coating Maxim, Malcolm was ninth quick in time trials and finished fourth in the main event. The young driver left Arizona Speedway ranked sixth in championship points.
Chris Bonneau (Phoenix, AZ) earned the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award with a sixth place run from thirteenth. Driving his #15 Priced Right Auto Sales / Competition Suspension Incorporated Triple X, Bonneau qualified thirteenth overall and ran seventh in his heat race. In limited starts, Chris is now tied with Kaleb Montgomery for thirty-ninth in the point standings.
By virtue of his thirteenth place finish, Chase Johnson (Penngrove, CA) earned the Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award. Driving Jack Yeley’s #2 Avanti / Apache Scapes entry, Johnson qualified sixth overall and led the first thirteen laps of the main event before a crash ended his night. Johnson left the Arizona Speedway ranked seventeenth in the chase for the championship.
The USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will take a break before returning to action at Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA) on October 23rd.
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: October 2 – Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, Arizona – “Hall of Fame Classic”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-15.205; 2. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-15.213; 3. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-15.252; 4. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-15.367; 5. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-15.401; 6. Chase Johnson, 2, Yeley-15.478; 7. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-15.505; 8. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-15.538; 9. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-15.540; 10. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-15.549; 11. Stevie Sussex, 12, Allen-15.629; 12. Randy Nelson, 9X, Nelson-15.681; 13. Chris Bonneau, 15, Bonneau-15.994; 14. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-15.999; 15. Logan Calderwood, 6, Calderwood-16.202; 16. Daylin Perreira, 21P, Perreira-16.397; 17. Jake Helsel, 44H, Helsel-16.588; 18. Troy DeGaton, 39T, DeGaton-NT.
FLOWDYNAMICS / ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Malcolm, 2. C.Williams, 3. Sussex, 4. Davis, 5. R.J.Johnson, 6. A.Williams, 7. Bonneau, 8. Calderwood, 9. Helsel. NT.
HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR / COMPONENT REPAIR COMPANY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Gansen, 3. Tafoya, 4. C.Johnson, 5. Roa, 6. Nelson, 7. Sweeney, 8. Perreira. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps, with starting positions) 1. Damion Gardner (4), 2. Austin Williams (7), 3. Brody Roa (9), 4. Tommy Malcolm (1), 5. Charles Davis Jr. (6), 6. Chris Bonneau (13), 7. Stevie Sussex (11), 8. R.J. Johnson (8), 9. Chris Gansen (10), 10. Verne Sweeney (14), 11. Jake Helsel (17), 12. Randy Nelson (12), 13. Chase Johnson (2), 14. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (5), 15. Logan Calderwood (15), 16. Cody Williams (3). NT
**C.Williams flipped on lap 7 of the feature. Daylin Perreira did not start.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1- 13 C.Johnson, Laps 14-30 Gardner
IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER HARD CHARGER: Chris Bonneau (13th to 6th)
WILWOOD DISC BRAKES LUCKY 13 AWARD: Chase Johnson
BILLSJERKY.COM HARD LUCK: Cody Williams
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-1089. 2-Brody Roa-1027, 3-Austin Williams-931, 4-Chris Gansen-840, 5-Cody Williams-778, 6-Tommy Malcolm-766, 7-Charles Davis Jr.-665, 8-Verne Sweeney-539, 9-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-517, 10-Matt McCarthy-509.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: October 23 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California