Cody Williams Scores USAC / CRA Feature Victory at Bakersfield

Cody Williams with his team after winning the USAC / CRA Sprint Car feature at Bakersfield Speedway. (A.J. Johnson photo)

By Lance Jennings

BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – MAY 17, 2022… In one of the wildest main events of the season, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Corona, California) raced to last Saturday’s victory at Bakersfield Speedway. After a flat tire knocked leader Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm out of contention, Williams led the final fourteen laps to earn the second AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car triumph of his career. Driving his #44 W.C. Friend Company / Trench Shoring DRC, Williams finished ahead of thirteenth starting Matt Mitchell, Kyle Edwards, Logan Williams, and Eddie Tafoya Jr.

In a race plagued by caution flags, “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams grabbed the early lead from the pole position and set a torrid pace on the Bakersfield clay. Unfortunately, Austin’s hopes for a win were erased when contact with a slower car sent him and third running “The Demon” Damion Gardner to the work area. Both teams made repairs and rejoined the field as Kyle Edwards held the top spot. Leading the first feature laps of his career, Edwards held the top spot until Tommy Malcolm took over on the twelfth circuit. Faced with a changing track surface, Malcolm’s lead was brief as a flat tire resulted in heartbreak. From there, Cody Williams led the rest of the way to earn his first win since the July 5, 2014 “Doug Fort Memorial” at Santa Maria.

Before claiming his first win of 2022, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams earned his fourth Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the season. Williams posted at a time of 12.967 over the 22-car roster and placed third in his heat race. Cody heads to the May 28th “Salute to Indy” at Perris ranked seventh in championship points.

Austin Grabowski (Riverside, California) won the first heat race of his career at Bakersfield. Piloting his #72 Grabowski Speed Shop / Mustang Motel Eagle, Grabowski qualified sixteenth overall, won the Flowdynamics Incorporated / Laserworx Manufacturing / Factory Wraps 10 lap event, and finished eighth in the feature after starting sixteenth. The 2021 Rookie of the Year left Bakersfield ranked fifteenth in the point chase.

Steve Hix (Ventura, California) returned to USAC/CRA action and won the 10-lap / Laserworx Manufacturing / Factory Wraps Second Heat Race. Driving his #57 No Limit Motorsports / Raney Racing Engines Triple X, Hix was seventeenth quick in time trials and finished twenty-second in the main event. In limited appearances, Steve is thirty-fourth in the point standings.

Logan Williams (Yorba Linda, California) raced to victory in the 10-lap In Memory of Jim and Chet Gardner Third Heat Race. Racing John McCarthy’s #5W Flowdynamics Incorporated / Drinkpak DRC, Williams qualified fifteenth overall and raced to fourth in the main event after starting fifteenth. The 2014 Rookie of the Year heads to the Perris “Salute to Indy” ranked sixth in the chase for the championship.

Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, California) earned the night’s Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job honors with a sixth place run from twenty-first. Driving the family owned #4G Trench Shoring / Cam 2 Blue Blood Oil Maxim, Gansen qualified twenty-first overall and finished seventh in his heat race. The veteran driver left Bakersfield sitting ninth in the standings.

“T-Dub” Trent Williams (Apple Valley, California) earned the Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award at the Bakersfield Speedway. Racing the family owned #52V Victory Boys Performance / Sorrento Homes Maxim, Williams was eighth quick in time trials and placed sixth in his heat race. At press time, 2014 Perris Young Guns Sprint Car Champion is thirteenth in the USAC/CRA point chase.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 14, 2022 – Bakersfield Speedway– Bakersfield, California

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-12.967; 2. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-13.143; 3. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-13.367; 4. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-13.417; 5. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-13.533; 6. Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-13.541; 7. Logan Calderwood, 6, Calderwood-13.547; 8. Trent Williams, 52V, Williams-13.587; 9. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-13.611; 10. Austin Williams, 2, Williams-13.781; 11. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-13.804; 12. Ben Worth, 73, Ford-13.815; 13. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-13.828; 14. Nate Schank, 1$, Schank-13.858; 15. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-13.911; 16. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-14.010; 17. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-14.088; 18. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-14.113; 19. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-14.539; 20. Gordon Rodgers, 94, Dusin-15.415; 21. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-NT; 22. Ikaika O’Brien, 11O, O’Brien-NT.

FLOWDYNAMICS INCORPORATED FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Grabowski, 2. Mitchell, 3. A.Williams, 4. McCarthy, 5. Calderwood, 6. C.Williams, 7. Dyer, 8. O’Brien. NT.

BILLSJERKY.NET SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Hix, 2. Schank, 3. Gardner, 4. Bender, 5. Tafoya, 6. T.Williams, 7. Rodgers. NT.

IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. L.Williams, 2. Sweeney, 3. Edwards, 4. Malcolm, 5. Hodges, 6. Worth, 7. Gansen. NT.

FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Cody Williams (7), 2. Matt Mitchell (13), 3. Kyle Edwards (2), 4. Logan Williams (15), 5. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (11), 6. Chris Gansen (21), 7. Verne Sweeney (18), 8. Austin Grabowski (16), 9. Austin Williams (1), 10. A.J. Bender (3), 11. Logan Calderwood (9), 12. Tommy Malcolm (5), 13. Trent Williams (10), 14. Jeff Dyer (19), 15. Gordon Rodgers (20), 16. Matt McCarthy (4), 17. Jake Hodges (8), 18. Nate Schank (14), 19. Damion Gardner (6), 20. Ikaika O’Brien (22), 21. Ben Worth (12), 22. Steve Hix (17). NT.

*Worth flipped on lap 1 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 A.Williams, Laps 7-16 Malcolm, Laps 17-30 C.Williams.
HARD CHARGER: Chris Gansen (21st to 6th)

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-673, 2-Austin Williams-545, 3-Matt Mitchell-544, 4-Charles Davis Jr.-336, 5-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-474, 6-Logan Williams-465, 7-Cody Williams-410, 8-Tommy Malcolm-394, 9-Chris Gansen-345, 10-Matt McCarthy-335.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: May 28 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “Salute to Indy”