Thursday, 1 November 2018


#50 "Chargin" Charles Davis Jr. #50 "Chargin" Charles Davis Jr. Photo by Ben Thrasher


By Lance Jennings

OCTOBER 31, 2018… The battle for the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car crown will be settled at the “51st Western World Championships.” Promoted by Jonah Trussel, Arizona Speedway will host two nights of the prestigious race starting, this Friday, November 2nd. In addition to the traditional 360 sprints, the action packed card will also showcase the AMSOIL USAC National and USAC/CRA Sprint Cars. On both days, the Pit gates will open at 2:00pm, spectator gates will open at 3:00pm, and racing is scheduled to start at 7:00pm. The event will be live on pay-per-view at and the festivities will begin on Thursday with an open practice with FREE Grandstand Admission from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call 480.926.6688.

NOTICE TO RACERS: FRONT AXLE TETHERS ARE MANDATORY. The Schoenfeld 14272735-78 Muffler is MANDATORY for Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest competition at Arizona Speedway. Failure to comply will be disqualified from the events. . The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and cockpit adjustable shocks are NOT allowed. The engine restrictor rules are 1-7/8” with open heads and 2-3/16” with ASCS cylinder heads. The weight rule is 1,475 lbs. with driver and the USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at or USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased online at

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 headlining 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. The non-winged 360 sprints have been a part of the Western World history dating back to 1991 when Wayne Bennet claimed the Manzanita victory. Last year, Chris Windom swept both nights of the “360 Western World Championships.”  

Heading to San Tan Valley, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) has a stout 124-point lead over the competition. Driving his #50 RSS Industries / MP Environmental RSS, Davis scored fifth in last Saturday’s “Howl-O-Ween Bash” at Central Arizona Speedway. To date, “Chargin” Charles has nine feature wins, ten heat race victories, five Beaver Stripes Passing Master Awards, two hard charger awards, twenty top-10 finishes, and 252 feature laps led. The five-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion has 30 career SouthWest wins and will be looking to celebrate the championship with the Western World victory.

“The Bull” Tye Mihocko (Peoria, AZ) ranks second in the chase for the championship. Piloting the family owned #5 Hunt Realty by Dave Wilson / Mears Mechanical Spike, Mihocko finished eighth at Central Arizona Speedway. At press time, the young driver has two feature wins, three heat race victories, four Beaver Stripes Passing Master Awards, four hard charger awards, sixteen top-10 finishes, and nine feature laps led in the campaign. “The Bull” will have his sights on his last shot at the championship with the “Western World” triumph.

“The Magic Man” Mike Martin (Yuma, AZ) sits third in the USAC SouthWest point chase. Racing his #16 Naquin Precision Earth Moving / Ultimate Offroad Maxim, Martin finished thirteenth at the Pinal County Fairgrounds. To date, “The Magic Man” has one feature win, four heat race victories, one Beaver Stripes Passing Master Award, one hard charger award, sixteen top-10 finishes, and 51 feature laps led to his credit. With six career wins, the 2004 SCRA Rookie of the Year still has a shot at the championship and will be looking to sweep the “Western World.”

Michael Curtis (Cottonwood, AZ) sits fourth in the USAC SouthWest point chase. The pilot of Kevin Turner & Greg Wheeler’s #11C DAR Racing / JT Engineering Maxim skipped the “Howl-O-Ween Bash” after flipping his mount at Canyon Speedway Park on September 22nd. At press time, Michael has one heat race victory, one Beaver Stripes Passing Master Award, two hard charger awards, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 10 feature laps led on the year. Curtis is done for the season as his car owners regroup for next year’s schedule.  

Matt Lundy (Phoenix, AZ) is fifth in the USAC SouthWest point standings. The driver of the #98 Desert State Electric / Race Shack Triple X scored eleventh in last Saturday’s main event at Casa Grande. As this writing goes to press, last season’s Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories and thirteen top-10 finishes to his credit. Lundy will be looking to claim his first series win at Arizona Speedway.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Dennis Gile, Tyler Most, Sterling Cling, Zack Madrid, “The Radio Flyer” Bruce St. James, Austin Kuehl, Stevie Sussex, “The People’s Champion” Dave Darland, and more.

Arizona Speedway is located at 47800 N. Ironwood Road in San Tan Valley, just five miles south of Mesa. To get to the track, exit Ironwood Drive on US 60, then head four miles south. On Friday, General Admission tickets are $25 Adults, $25 Seniors, $15 Kids 11 & Under. On Saturday, $30 Adults, $30 Seniors, $15 Kids 11 & Under. For more event and ticket information, visit or call 480.926.6688.

The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, and Beaver Stripes for their support. For more information on the series, visit,, or follow the series on Facebook. 


SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2013-R.J. Johnson, 2014-R.J. Johnson, 2015-R.J. Johnson, 2016-R.J. Johnson, 2017-R.J. Johnson.

360 WESTERN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SPRINT CAR WINNERS: 1991-Wayne Bennet, 1992-Bob Ream Jr., 1995-Ricky Johnson, 2002-Jeremy Sherman, 2003-Jeremy Sherman, 2004-Josh Ford, 2005-Cory Kruseman, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Cory Kruseman, 2008-Jesse Hockett, 2009-Brady Bacon, 2010-R.J. Johnson, 2011-Tracy Hines, 2012-Bryan Clauson, 2013-Bryan Clauson, 2014-Matt Rossi, 2015-Brody Roa, 2016-Brady Bacon, 2017-Chris Windom.

SAN TAN VALLEY SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: 18-R.J. Johnson, 8-Charles Davis Jr., 4-Stevie Sussex, 2-Brady Bacon, 2-Chris Windom, 1-Mike Martin, 1-Tye Mihocko, 1-Josh Pelkey.

2018 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes non-point shows) 9-Charles Davis Jr., 4-R.J. Johnson, 2-Tye Mihocko, 1-Jeremy Campbell, 1-Dennis Gile, 1-Mike Martin, 1-Brody Roa, 1-Kevin Thomas Jr.

SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Charles Davis Jr.-1237, 2. Tye Mihocko-1113, 3. Mike Martin-1054, 4. Michael Curtis-802, 5. Matt Lundy-736, 6. Chris Bonneau-666, 7. R.J. Johnson-639, 8. Tyler Most-589, 9. Dennis Gile-586, 10. Andy Reinbold-546, 11. Josh Pelkey-436, 12. Sterling Cling-381, 13. Zack Madrid-288, 14. Stevie Sussex-266, 15. Bruce St. James-249, 16. Colton Hardy-245, 17. Asa Kesterson-242, 18. Austin Kuehl-232, 19. Kyle Shipley-225, ... Ronnie Clark-225.



November 2: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

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


This schedule is subject to change.