By Lance Jennings
OCTOBER 25, 2022… The AMSOIL USAC/CRA and USAC National Sprint Cars are ready to battle at Cocopah Speedway (Yuma, Arizona) for the “Chapman Chevrolet Yuma 55th Western World Championships presented by Yuma Insurance Inc. and Avanti Windows & Doors.” Promoted by Brad Whitfield, the prestigious event opens with a Thursday, October 27th (6:00pm) practice night with FREE grandstand admission, followed by two nights (October 28 & 29) of intense racing that also features the IMCA Northern SportMods and IMCA Hobby Stocks. Located at 3450 West County 15th Street in Somerton, Arizona at the intersection of US Highway 95 and County 15th Street, the pit gates will open at 3:00pm (Mountain Time), spectator gates will open at 5:00pm, hotlaps at 6:00pm, with qualifying and racing to follow. For more information, visit the track’s website at racecocopahspeedway.com or call 602.292.7607.
For those that cannot be at the races, floracing.com will broadcast a live stream of the night’s action over the internet.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– The USAC National Rule Book will be followed and can be found at usacracing.com.
– APPROVED/LEGAL TIRES: Hoosier 105/16 Medium, 105/18 Hard, and 105/18 F85A are legal with the USAC National Series. Hoosier Tires are mandatory on all four corners.
– TIRES / FUEL: Tires and fuel will be available at the race track. Gordie’s Speed Center will supply tires at the track and call ahead to place your order at 928-782-4744.
– ALL RACERS MUST PURCHASE THEIR USAC LICENSE / MEMBERSHIPS ONLINE PRIOR TO THE EVENT AT USACRACING.COM OR USACLICENSE.COM. (If racers have a membership question, contact Julie Tanaka at email@example.com.)
– APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: Mufflers ARE NOT REQUIRED at Cocopah Speedway.
– ENTRY FEE: There is an entry fee due at registration / pill pick.
– TRANSPONDERS: Transponders ARE MANDATORY and will be available to rent.
– ONE WAY RADIOS / RACECEIVERS: One way radios ARE MANDATORY.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS: Front axle tether systems (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS: Full containment seats ARE MANDATORY.
– COCKPIT ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS: Cockpit adjustable shocks ARE ALLOWED.
– PURSE: Friday will pay $6,000-to-win and $600-to-start with $150 for non-transfers. Saturday will pay $10,000-to-win and $600-to-start, with $150 for non-transfers.
– Protocol calls for competitors, crews, officials, and anyone on the grounds to practice safe social distancing, proper sanitizing, and follow local regulations regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
PRACTICE SESSION: The festivities will begin on Thursday, October 27th with a special practice session. Admission to the grandstands is FREE and cars will be on the track from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Adult pit passes are $30. There will be a pit party that will follow courtesy of Yuma Auto and RV Center with a free rib tip meal with sides for anyone with a pit pass wristband.
Noted as an Arizona tradition since 1968 when Bob Cleberg took the checkered flags at the Manzanita Speedway, the “Western World Championships” has been a premier event for sprint car racing. While the headline divisions and host tracks may have changed, some of the most notable names in the sport have claimed victory at the Western World. Hall of Fame racers like Jan Opperman, Rick Ferkel, Ron Shuman, Bubby Jones, Lealand McSpadden, Sammy Swindell, and Steve Kinser have stood atop the podium. Last year, Logan Seavey claimed his first Western World Championship at the now closed Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley. The winner’s list is at the end of this release.
Friday’s event marks the seventh race in USAC/CRA history at the fast 3/8-mile clay oval. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with five Cocopah Speedway wins, including the three January season openers. “The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa won the first Yuma series main event on June 2, 2012 and “The Cadillac” Cody Williams established a new track record of 16.213 seconds on January 29, 2022.
Heading to the Cocopah Speedway, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) has a 188-point advantage over the competition. Driving Mark Alexander’s #1 PerformanceOnline.com / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner led eight laps at Mohave Valley on October 8th before finishing second to Brody Roa. To date, the nine-time champion has six feature wins, five Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, eight heat race victories, one hard charger award, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 179 feature laps led to his credit. Gardner has ninety-five USAC/CRA wins and will be looking to continue his championship bid with his first “Western World” triumph.
“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) ranks second in the championship point standings. Racing the family owned #2 Digalert / Full Throttle Scissor Lift Rental DRC, Williams scored fourteenth at Mohave Valley Raceway. At press time, “The Big Game Hunter” has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award,” eleven top-10 finishes, and 13 feature laps led in the campaign. The 2009 Co-Rookie of the Year ranks seventh with eleven career triumphs and will be looking for his first win of the year at Cocopah Speedway.
Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, California) sits third in the chase for the championship. On October 8th, the owner/driver of the #37 Roy Miller Freight Lines / Campbell Brothers Storage Maxim did not compete in USAC/CRA’s return to Mohave Valley. To date, the 2014 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, four heat race victories, one semi-main win, two hard charger awards, twelve top-10 finishes, and 46 feature laps led on the season. Matt is tied with “The People’s Champion” Dave Darland, “Super” Rickie Gaunt, and “Showtime” Danny Sheridan with eight career USAC/CRA triumphs.
Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, California) is fourth in the USAC/CRA point standings. Driving the family owned #51T Specialty Fasteners / DRC Chassis entry, Tafoya scored an eighth place finish in the Mohave Valley main event. At press time, Eddie has posted one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one semi-main win, one Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award,” thirteen top-10 finishes, and one feature lap led on the season. The 2019 USAC/CRA and USAC SouthWest Rookie of the Year will have his sights on the first win of his career at Cocopah.
Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm (Corona, California) ranks fifth in the USAC/CRA point chase. Piloting Dino Napier’s #5X Indiana Truck Salvage / B&B Powder Coating DRC, Malcolm charged from tenth to third at Mohave Valley Raceway. To date, “Thunder” has recorded four heat race victories, one hard charger award, ten top-10 finishes, and 47 feature laps led in the campaign. Tommy will be looking to earn the first victory of his career at the “Western World Championships.”
Nate Schank (Santa Rosa, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors and ranks eleventh in the point chase. The pilot of the family owned #1$ Joe Hunt Magnetos / Sonoma Paint Center entry will have his sights the first win of his career at Cocopah Speedway.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Logan Williams, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, “The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., Matt McCarthy, Verne Sweeney, Austin Grabowski, A.J. Bender, Chris Gansen, “T-Dub” Trent Williams, Chase Johnson, “Sugah” Shane Sexton, Ricky Lewis, Chris Bonneau, “The Magic Man” Mike Martin, Logan Calderwood, Shon Deskins, and more.
Justin Grant (Ione, California) leads the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series point chase over “The Macho Man” Brady Bacon, C.J. Leary, Robert Ballou, Emerson Axsom, Logan Seavey, Chase Stockon, Matt Westfall, Jadon Rogers, and Jake Swanson.
Cocopah Speedway is located at 3450 West County 15th Street in Somerton, Arizona at the intersection of US Highway 95 and County 15th Street. Advance tickets are available. Adult tickets are $35, Reserved tickets are $40, Pit Passes are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. VIP Camping is available for $100. For more information, visit racecocopahspeedway.com or call 602.292.7607.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks BillsJerky.net, Factory Wraps, Floracing.com, Flowdynamics Incorporated, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim and Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, In Memory of Shawn McDonald, Laserworx Manufacturing, Woodland Auto Display, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Vahlco Wheels, and Wilwood Disc Brakes for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact Tony Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or PR Director Lance Jennings at email@example.com.
For more information on the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2004-Rip Williams, 2005-Damion Gardner, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Tony Jones, 2008-Mike Spencer, 2009-Mike Spencer, 2010-Mike Spencer, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Damion Gardner, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner, 2016-Damion Gardner, 2017-Damion Gardner, 2018-Damion Gardner, 2019-Damion Gardner, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-Damion Gardner.
WESTERN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SPRINT CAR WINNERS: 1968-Bob Cleberg; 1969-Bob Huebner; 1970-Jerry McClung; 1971-Jan Opperman; 1972-Jan Opperman; 1973-Earl Wagner; 1974-Rick Ferkel; 1975-Ron Shuman; 1976-Bubby Jones; 1977-Ron Shuman; 1978-Lealand McSpadden; 1979-Tim Green; 1980-Sammy Swindell; 1981-Ron Shuman; 1982-Steve Kinser; 1983-Steve Kinser; 1984-Ron Shuman; 1985-Steve Kinser; 1986-Bobby Davis Jr.; 1987-Steve Kinser; 1988-Mark Kinser; 1989-Sammy Swindell; 1990-Steve Kinser; 1991-Danny Lasoski; 1992-Steve Kinser; 1993-Lealand McSpadden; 1994-Ron Shuman; 1995-Lealand McSpadden; 1996-Steve Kinser; 1997-Mark Kinser; 1998-Tyler Walker; 1999-Donny Schatz; 2000-Jay Drake; 2001-Jeremy Sherman; 2002- Bud Kaeding; 2003-Tony Elliott; 2004-Bud Kaeding; 2005-Dave Darland; 2006-Josh Wise; 2007-Jerry Coons Jr.; 2008-Kevin Swindell; 2009-Sammy Swindell; 2010-Donny Schatz; 2011-Donny Schatz; 2012-Wayne Johnson; 2013-Bryan Clauson; 2014-Matt Rossi, 2015-Bryan Clauson, 2016-Chris Windom, 2017-Chase Stockon, 2018-Tyler Courtney, 2019-Tyler Courtney, 2020-Tyler Courtney, 2021-Logan Seavey.
2022 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 6-Damion Gardner, 3-Brody Roa, 2-Cody Williams, 1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Tanner Boul, 1-Charles Davis Jr., 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Matt Mitchell.
YUMA AMSOIL USAC/CRA 1-LAP QUALIFYING RECORD: Cody Williams – 16.213 (01/29/22)
YUMA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 5-Damion Gardner, 1-Brody Roa
2022 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner 1112, 2. Austin Williams 924, 3. Matt Mitchell 920, 4. Eddie Tafoya Jr. 901, 5. Tommy Malcolm 806, 6. Logan Williams 768, 7. Cody Williams 745, 8. Brody Roa 740, 9. Charles Davis Jr. 698, 10. Matt McCarthy 637, 11. Nate Schank (R) 605, 12. Verne Sweeney 576, 13. Austin Grabowski 524, 14. A.J. Bender 519, 15. Chris Gansen 489, 16. Kyle Edwards 391, … Trent Williams 391, 18. Chase Johnson 356, 19. Shane Sexton 275, 20. Ricky Lewis (R) 235, 21. Chris Bonneau 215, 22. Mike Martin 213, 23. Logan Calderwood 207, 24. Tanner Boul 204, 25. Jake Hodges 192, 26. Dan Taylor 186, 27. Shon Deskins 172, 28. Dustin Cormany 162, … Jeff Dyer 162, 30. Joel Rayborne 159, 31. Brody Fuson 147, 32. Austin Liggett 135, 33. Troy Rutherford 125, 34. Max Adams 111, … Steve Hix 111, 36. Travis Buckley 109, 37. Danny Parrish 102, 38. Jonas Reynolds 88, 39. Sterling Cling 75, 40. Dustin Burkhart 74, 41. Randy Nelson 67, 42. Gordon Rodgers 61, 43. Grant Sexton 41, 44. James Herrera 39, 45. Stevie Sussex 35, 46. Andrew Sweeney 34, 47. Trent Carter 30, 48. Tony Everhart 26, … Ben Worth 26, 50. Ryan Timmons 24, 51. Brent Owens 23, 52. Camie Bell 20, 53. Troy DeGaton 10, … Tuesday Calderwood 10.
2022 AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Justin Grant 2232, 2. Brady Bacon 2154, 3. C.J. Leary 2103, 4. Robert Ballou 2032, 5. Emerson Axsom ® 1970, 6. Logan Seavey 1898, 7. Chase Stockon 1711, 8. Matt Westfall 1569, 9. Jadon Rogers 1545, 10. Jake Swanson 1448.