CRA Sprint Car
Friday, 30 June 2017


#51 R.J. Johnson & Crew. #51 R.J. Johnson & Crew. Photo by Mike Grosswendt /


By Lance Jennings

JUNE 28, 2017... Leading all 30-laps, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) scored last Saturday’s $2,500 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car victory at Perris Auto Speedway. Recording his fourth career series triumph, the 2005 Rookie of the Year last won at the Perris oval on March 24, 2007. Richard Vander Weerd, Ronnie Gardner, Austin Williams, and Mike Spencer followed Johnson to the checkered flags.

Piloting Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, R.J. Johnson qualified ninth out of a season high twenty-seven racers. The four-time USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Champion ran second to Williams in his heat race and starting on the pole position of the main event. In limited appearances, the second generation driver ranks twentieth in USAC/CRA points on the strength of two top-10 finishes.

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) tried to catch Johnson but had to settle for second. Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard was eighth fast in time trials and placed third in his heat race. To date, the 2011 USAC West Coast Champion is eighth in the point standings with one feature win, four top-10 finishes, and 31 feature laps led.

Returning to the Robbie & Gaye Allen owned #12 ABC Body Shop / PPG Automotive Finishes Maxim, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) charged from ninth to third at Perris. The four-time USAC Western States Midget Champion qualified sixth overall, ran fifth in his heat race, and took third in the semi-main. At press time, Gardner is tied with Verne Sweeney for fifteenth in the standings with two top-10 finishes.

Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) earned his second Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job” honors with a fourth place run from fifteenth. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was fifteenth fast in time trials and won the Circle Track Performance / Keizer Aluminum Wheels Heat Race #3. The 2009 Rookie of the Year is currently fifth in the point chase with two heat race wins and five top-10 finishes to his credit.

Mike Spencer (Temecula, California) scored fifth at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds. Piloting the Gansen Engineering Motorsports’ #4S Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing Maxim, Spencer qualified fourth overall and took third in his heat race. The five-time champion sits third in the standings with one feature win, three heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 28 feature laps led. 

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) posted his third Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the campaign. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging & Transfer Triple X, Swanson was fifth in his heat race, won the Competition Suspension Inc. / Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi-Main, and placed twenty-first in the main after a tangle ended his night. The 2012 Rookie of the Year is currently fourth in points with three heat race victories and four top-10 finishes.

Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, California) won the night’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Driving the Gansen Engineering Motorsports’ #4G Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing GS1, Gansen was sixteenth quick in time trials and scored twentieth in the feature after contact with a wounded Damion Gardner ended his night with a flip. Chris walked away and ranks ninth in the point standings with one top-10 finish on the year.

“The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) raced to victory in the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2.  Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Weld Racing Spike, Gardner qualified fifth overall and scored nineteenth in the main event after an early exit. The five-time champion has a fifteen point lead with three feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, five heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 60 feature laps led on the season.

This Saturday, July 1st, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will make their first of two appearances at Mike Kappmeyer’s Santa Maria Raceway. “The Ninth Annual Doug Fort Memorial” will also feature the Santa Maria 360 Sprints, Hobby Stocks, American Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Junior Mini Dwarfs. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $25 and for more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 805.922.2232.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products,, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information on USAC/CRA, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

Loudpedal Productions has USAC/CRA DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at and 805.407.7229.


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: June 24, 2017 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway 

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.478; 2. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.653; 3. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.662; 4. Mike Spencer, 4S, Gansen-16.680; 5. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.693; 6. Ronnie Gardner, 12, Allen-16.712; 7. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.831; 8. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.911; 9. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.951; 10. Max Adams, 42, Cheney-17.100; 11. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.106; 12. Charles Davis Jr., 50, Massey-17.114; 13. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.125; 14. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.146; 15. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-17.175; 16. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.187; 17. Stevie Sussex, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-17.209; 18. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-17.284; 19. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.377; 20. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-17.416; 21. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.556; 22. Verne Sweeney, 98V, Tracy-17.590; 23. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-17.699; 24. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-18.102; 25. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-18.107; 26. Gary Marshall Jr., 72, Marshall-19.018; 27. Eddie Tafoya, 51T, Tafoya-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gansen, 2. Adams, 3. Spencer, 4. C.Williams, 5. Swanson, 6. McCarthy, 7. L.Williams, 8. Hendricks, 9. Sweeney. 2:50.55.

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. D.Gardner, 2. Bender, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. J.Vander Weerd, 5. Malcolm, 6. St. James, 7. Ellertson, 8. Marshall, 9. Sussex. 2:51.38

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. A.Williams, 2. Johnson, 3. Roa, 4. Davis, 5. R.Gardner, 6. Colston, 7. Edwards, 8. Waitman. 2:51.37

COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED / PYROTECT RACING CELLS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Swanson, 2. Malcolm, 3. R.Gardner, 4. L.Williams, 5. St. James, 6. McCarthy, 7. Edwards, 8. Sweeney, 9. Ellertson, 10. Hendricks, 11. Waitman, 12. Marshall, 13. Sussex. 3:25.85.

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. R.J. Johnson (1st), 2. Richard Vander Weerd (2nd), 3. Ronnie Gardner (9th), 4. Austin Williams (15th), 5. Mike Spencer (5th), 6. Cody Williams (3rd), 7. Brody Roa (6th), 8. Max Adams (10th), 9. Charles Davis Jr. (12th), 10. Logan Williams (17th), 11. A.J. Bender (14th), 12. Matt McCarthy (13th), 13. Bruce St. James (18th), 14. Kyle Edwards (19th), 15. Verne Sweeney (20th), 16. Jeremy Ellertson (21st), 17. Tom Hendricks (22nd), 18. Jace Vander Weerd (11th), 19. Damion Gardner (4th), 20. Chris Gansen (16th), 21. Jake Swanson (7th), 22. Tommy Malcolm (8th). NT


**Gansen flipped on lap 11 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Johnson 


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner-443, 2. Brody Roa-428, 3. Mike Spencer-409, 4. Jake Swanson-368, 5. Austin Williams-346, 6. Cody Williams-332, 7. Logan Williams-298, 8. Richard Vander Weerd-289, 9. Chris Gansen-243, 10. Tommy Malcolm-214, 11. Matt McCarthy-211, 12. Jeremy Ellertson-189, 13. Jace Vander Weerd-182, ... Kyle Edwards-182, 15. Verne Sweeney-159, ... Ronnie Gardner-159, 17. A.J. Bender-157, 18. Parker Colston-153, ... Max Adams-153, 20. R.J. Johnson-148.



July 1: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Doug Fort Memorial)

July 22: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

August 5: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA

August 26: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)

September 2: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

September 3: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

September 4: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma CA (California Sprint Week) 

September 7: Silver Dollar Speedway - Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions / California Sprint Week)

September 8: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 9: Keller Auto Speedway - Hanford, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 23: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)

October 21: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

November 3: *Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

November 4: *Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

November 9: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)

November 10: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)

November 11: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)


* = Co-Sanctioned Event with Amsoil USAC National Sprints.

This schedule is subject to change.