Damion Gardner photo by Mike Grosswendt / surfnsprint.com

By Lance Jennings
PERRIS, CA – OCTOBER 23, 2021… Starting sixth, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) powered by “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. on the sixteenth lap and led the rest of the way to score the victory at Perris Auto Speedway. Racing Mark Alexander’s #1 PerformanceOnline.com / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner’s 30-lap triumph was his sixth AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the campaign. “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Chris Gansen, “The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa, and hard charger Eddie Tafoya Jr. rounded out the top-five drivers.

Starting on the pole position, Chris Gansen set a torrid pace and led the first eight circuits on the half-mile clay oval. September 25th Perris winner “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. had sliced his way from third and took over the top spot. Davis was running strong until mid-race, when a rear tire began to lose air pressure. Gardner was now in striking distance and slipped past the multi-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion. From there, the night belonged to “The Demon.”

Before claiming the 89th series win of his career, Gardner earned the Woodland Auto Display Fast Time honors in qualifying by posting a time of 16.149 over the 24-car roster. The eight-time champion ran second in his heat race to Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm and would leave the Lake Perris Fairgrounds with a 75-point lead heading to the 25th Heimark / Anheuser Busch Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction on November 4-6th.

Driving Dino Napier’s #5X Indiana Truck Salvage / B&B Powder Coating Maxim, Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm (Corona, CA) held off Gardner to win the Flowdynamics Incorporated First Heat Race. Malcolm had qualified thirteenth overall and finished seventh in the main event. The versatile driver ranks sixth in championship points.

Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, CA) raced to victory in the night’s 10-lap Huntington Beach Glass and Mirror Second Heat Race. Piloting the family owned #4G Trench Shoring / Cam 2 Blue Blood Oil Maxim, Gansen was eighth fast in time trials and finished third in the feature after leading the opening laps. At press time, Chris is fourth in the USAC/CRA point chase.

Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, CA) won the program’s All Coast Construction Third Heat Race. Racing the family owned #51T Specialty Fasteners / DRC Chassis entry, Tafoya qualified fifteenth overall and was the In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award winner with a fifth place run from fifteenth. The 2019 Rookie of the Year sits eighth in the point standings.

By qualifying sixth, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Norco, CA) was the Shawn McDonald Memorial Qualifying Award Winer. Driving his #44 Trench Shoring / CRW Design and Machine DRC, Williams ran fifth in his heat race and had one of his best nights of the season with a second place run. “The Cadillac” is currently fifth in the point standings.

A.J. Bender (San Diego, CA) claimed the night’s Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature Award with a sixth place finish. Piloting the family owned #21B K&R Motorsports / Schweitzer Racing DRC, Bender was tenth quick in time trials and placed sixth in his heat race. In limited starts, the California Lightning Sprint Car veteran is twelfth in USAC/CRA points.

Making his first start of the year, Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, CA) placed thirteenth in the feature and earned the Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development KPC, Jace was sixteenth fast in time trials and was fifth in his heat race. The 2010 Rookie of the Year is tied for 56th in points.

The USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are back in action at Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA) for the “25th Heimark / Anheuser Busch Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction” on November 4-6th.

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.

For more information on the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car 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.

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AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 23, 2021 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-16.149; 2. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-16.184; 3. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-16.348; 4. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.508; 5. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-16.598; 6. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.605; 7. Stevie Sussex, 12, Allen-16.605; 8. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-16.637; 9. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-16.653; 10. A.J. Bender, 21B, Bender-16.679; 11. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.741; 12. Tye Mihocko, 38, Crossno-16.777; 13. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.786; 14. Trent Williams, 52V, Williams-16.887; 15. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-16.920; 16. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.006; 17. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.181; 18. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-17.283; 19. Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-17.312; 20. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.565; 21. Brent Owens, 71, Martin-17.749; 22. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-17.583; 23. Ikaika O’Brien, 11O, O’Brien-17.618; 24. Dan Taylor, T5, Taylor-18.297.

FLOWDYNAMICS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Malcolm, 2. Gardner, 3. Roa, 4. Sussex, 5. Vander Weerd, 6. Bender, 7. Hodges, 8. O’Brien. 2:48.95

HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gansen, 2. Mitchell, 3. Sweeney, 4. Davis, 5. McCarthy, 6. T.Williams, 7. Owens, 8. A.Williams. 2:49.60.

ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Tafoya, 2. L.Williams, 3. Cling, 4. Mihocko, 5. C.Williams, 6. Grabowski, 7. Dyer, 8. Taylor. 2:49.63.

FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Damion Gardner (6), 2. Cody Williams (8), 3. Chris Gansen (1), 4. Brody Roa (4), 5. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (15), 6. A.J. Bender (10), 7. Tommy Malcolm (13), 8. Logan Williams (9), 9. Trent Williams (14), 10. Charles Davis Jr. (3), 11. Matt McCarthy (20), 12. Jake Hodges (19), 13. Jace Vander Weerd (16), 14. Verne Sweeney (17), 15. Ikaika O’Brien (22), 16. Dan Taylor (24), 17. Sterling Cling (5), 18. Brent Owens (23), 19. Austin Grabowski (18), 20. Tye Mihocko (12), 21. Matt Mitchell (11), 22. Austin Williams (7), 23. Stevie Sussex (2), 24. Jeff Dyer (21). NT.
**A.Williams flipped on lap 15 of the feature. Mitchell flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Gansen, Laps 9-15 Davis, Laps 16-30 Gardner

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-1172, 2-Brody Roa-1097, 3-Austin Williams-960, 4-Chris Gansen-912, 5-Cody Williams-850, 6-Tommy Malcolm-826, 7-Charles Davis Jr.-715, 8-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-583, 9-Verne Sweeney-580. 10-Matt McCarthy-554,

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACES: November 4-6 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “25th Heimark / Anheuser Busch Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction” – Co-Sanctioned with AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series