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Bakersfield, California (June 8, 2024)………R.J. Johnson led the final 14 laps to master Saturday night’s Golden Empire Clash for the Avanti Windows & Doors USAC Sprint Car Series at The Dirt Track at Kevin Harvick’s Kern Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.

Johnson (Laveen, Ariz.) earned Woodland Auto Display Fast Qualifying honors to open the night, then started sixth on the grid for the 30-lap feature, then proceeded to work his way forward while Chris Gansen (1) and Cody Williams (2-16) led the initial 16 trips.

Assuming the lead on lap 17, Johnson paced the final 14 laps to earn his first USAC CRA Sprint Car victory since 2019, and his first in the state of California since 2017.

Logan Williams (Corona, Calif.) grabbed second at the finish line while A.J. Bender (San Diego, Calif.) scored a third. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, Calif.) brought it home fourth while Tommy Malcolm (Corona, Calif.) rounded out the top-five after starting 14th. It was valiant comeback effort for Malcolm who flipped during qualifying but returned to collect hard charger honors in memory of Jim & Chet Gardner.


AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: June 8, 2024 – The Dirt Track at Kevin Harvick’s Kern Raceway – Bakersfield, California – Golden Empire Clash

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. R.J. Johnson, 51, Johnson-14.371; 2. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-14.524; 3. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-14.550; 4. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-14.667; 5. Brody Roa, 8m, May-14.910; 6. Brent Owens, 71, Martin-14.978; 7. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-15.014; 8. Austin Williams, 17w, Dunkel-15.095; 9. Logan Williams, 5w, McCarthy-15.189; 10. David Gasper, 18, Kittle/Gasper-15.246; 11. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-15.265; 12. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-15.301; 13. Verne Sweeney, 98, Guerrero-15.562; 14. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-15.666; 15. Elexa Herrera, 5E, Herrera-15.723; 16. Jon DeWees, 63D, DeWees-16.181; 17. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-16.328; 18. Camie Bell, 29c, Bell-16.428.

FLOWDYNAMICS INCORPORATED / SEXTON FIRE PROTECTION / BILLSJERKY.NET FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Brody Roa, 2. R.J. Johnson, 3. Cody Williams, 4. Chris Gansen, 5. Logan Williams, 6. Ryan Timmons, 7. Elexa Herrera, 8. Verne Sweeney, 9. Chris Ennis. NT

FACTORY WRAPS / WC FRIEND COMPANY / IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. David Gasper, 2. A.J. Bender, 3. Austin Williams, 4. Brent Owens, 5. Austin Grabowski, 6. Tommy Malcolm, 7. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 8. Jon DeWees, 9. Camie Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. R.J. Johnson (6), 2. Logan Williams (9), 3. A.J. Bender (5), 4. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (7), 5. Tommy Malcolm (14), 6. Cody Williams (4), 7. Austin Williams (8), 8. Chris Gansen (1), 9. Ryan Timmons (11), 10. Brent Owens (2), 11. Chris Ennis (17), 12. Verne Sweeney (13), 13. Jon DeWees (16), 14. Camie Bell (18), 15. Brody Roa (3), 16. Elexa Herrera (15), 17. David Gasper (10), 18. Austin Grabowski (12). NT

**Tommy Malcolm flipped during qualifying. Elexa Herrera flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Chris Gansen, Laps 2-16 Cody Williams, Laps 17-30 R.J. Johnson.


AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-R.J. Johnson-469, 2-Tommy Malcolm-425, 3-A.J. Bender-418, 4-Logan Williams-409, 5-Austin Williams-396, 6-David Gasper-385, 7-Cody Williams-356, 8-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-344, 9-Verne Sweeney-280, 10-Brody Roa-256.

NEXT AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: June 22, 2024 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California