7TH VERMEIL CLASSIC THIS WEEKEND AT CALISTOGA
The 7th Annual “Louie Vermeil Classic” is on tap this weekend in the Napa Valley wine country Saturday and Sunday at the historic and scenic Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. It features both the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and the Honda USAC Western Midgets.
The Calistoga events kick off “California Sprint Week” which continues with events September 4-5-6 at Chico, Watsonville and Santa Maria, Calif. respectively.
Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. enters the two nights of racing with a substantial 155-point series lead over runner-up and five-time champion Mike Spencer. Gardner swept both 2010 “Vermeil” Sprint features and was second in one last year. Spencer has a 2009 and 2011 victory among his nine consecutive “top-four” finishes dating back to 2009.
Former “Vermeil” Sprint car winners Robert Ballou and Ryan Bernal, who have experienced winning “streaks” this year, are expected to compete. Ballou is coming off a great runner-up finish in last week’s “Sprint Car Smackdown III” at Kokomo, Ind. and will team with Nic Faas in cars entered by Keith Ford. Other previous “Vermeil” Sprint winners include Tim and Bud Kaeding, Kevin Swindell, Kyle Hirst and Kyle Larson.
Gardner, whose specially-built Bonneville Salt Flats Sprint car holds the World’s record for a Sprint Car and will be on exhibit this weekend, has seven feature wins in 12 starts so far this year in USAC/CRA competition. His other five starts include a second and two thirds!
This weekend’s events salute the legacy of the man who virtually put Calistoga on the map, with the track history dating back to 1937!