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USAC WESTERN RACERS CELEBRATED AT LAS VEGAS AWARDS BANQUET

By Lance Jennings

JANUARY 28, 2018... The United States Auto Club’s western racers, champions, and special award winners were honored last Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hosted by Chris Kearns at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, the 2017 Western Awards Banquet celebrated the accomplishments from thirteen divisions.

The event was headlined by returning champions. “The Demon” Damion Gardner of Concord, California scored his fifth consecutive AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car crown for Mark Alexander. Laveen, Arizona’s R.J. Johnson claimed his fifth straight Sands Chevrolet Southwest Sprint Car title and Ronnie Gardner of Riverside, California earned his fifth consecutive Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget crown for Six8 Motorsports. Anaheim, California’s Jake Swanson claimed his first West Coast Sprint Car championship.

Jesse Love IV of Menlo Park, California swept top honors in the three Speed 2 Western Midget divisions by winning the Overall, Dirt, and Pavement championships.

After another successful season, the USAC National Micro Sprint champions were Jimmy Leal (Coastal Clash), Dex Morris (Coastal Clash Restricted), Josh Ames (Non Wing 600), Trevor Years (Wing 600), Daison Pursley (Restricted 600), and Jade Avedisian (Junior Sprint).

The champions were also honored at the USAC “Night of Champions” in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 8th.

Drivers that earned Rookie of the Year honors were Matt McCarthy (AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car), Brandon Wiley (West Coast Sprint Car), Matt Lundy (Sands Chevrolet SouthWest Sprint Car), Mason Daniel (Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget), and Blake Brannon (Speed 2 Western Midget).

Western USAC special awards were presented to Steve Alexander (Bruce Bromme Jr. Mechanic of the Year), Brett Roa (Billy Wilkerson Memorial Award), and Steve Lafond (Evelyn Pratt Award). 

Dick Woodland honored Damion Gardner (AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car), Jake Swanson (West Coast Sprint Car), and Ronnie Gardner (Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget), for earning the most Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards in their division. It was announced that the Woodland program and series sponsorship will return in 2018.

Darren Hagen of Light Up The World Beverages presented Randi Pankratz with a sportsmanship award. In addition, Hagen announced increased sponsorship for the Western States Midgets in the upcoming season.

The USAC Western staff thanks Mike and Tim Truex of Loudpedal Productions for supplying their great videos and Mike Grosswendt for photographing the event. Special thanks also goes to Woodland Auto Display, Light Up The World Beverages, All Coast Construction, surfnsprint.com, and ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems for their support.

The Western campaign opens on February 3rd at Canyon Speedway Park (Peoria, Arizona) with the “2nd Annual Steve Stroud Memorial” for the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars.

The USAC West Coast and SouthWest Sprint Cars will clash at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, Nevada) on February 28th and March 1st. The non-point “Outlaw Showdown” will pay $3,000-to-win each night.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will battle at Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, California) on March 3rd at the annual “So Cal Showdown.”

On March 17th, Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, California) will host the season opener for the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets. The race will be the first of two co-sanctioned events with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA).

For more information on any of the USAC racing divisions, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content for several of the groups on their respective Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018,

MIKE McGREEVY, 92

USAC WESTERN RACERS TO BE HONORED AT JANUARY 27TH LAS VEGAS AWARDS BANQUET 

By Lance Jennings

DECEMBER 27, 2017... On Saturday, January 27th, the United States Auto Club’s Western Racing Divisions will celebrate their 2017 season at the annual Awards Banquet and Roast. Hosted by the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, racers with the CRA Sprint Car, West Coast Sprint Car, SouthWest Sprint Car, Western States Midget, Speed 2 Western Midget, and National Micro Sprint Series will be honored. 

The festivities will begin the previous night at 8:00pm with the USAC Western Bowling Tournament. Voted “Best of Las Vegas Bowling Alley” by the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Bowling Center in the Orleans Hotel features 70 lanes, a full service pro shop, and more. Tickets are $25 per person and includes 3 games with shoe rental. Teams can be made in advance and should have six bowlers. 

Starting at 12:00pm on Saturday, the Awards Banquet will honor the top-10 and Rookie of the Year drivers with the CRA Sprint Car, West Coast Sprint Car, SouthWest Sprint Car, and Western States Midget series. The top-5 drivers in the three Speed 2 Western Midget divisions and top-3 in the six National Micro Sprint groups will also be recognized. In addition, several honorees will be given special awards for their contribution and dedication to racing. Tickets are $75 per person.

Both events are open to all drivers, crews, family, and friends. The ticket order form for both the Awards Banquet and Bowling Tournament can be downloaded at www.westcoastsprintcars.com/2017/banquet2017.docx and must be received by January 20th.

Champion drivers being honored include “The Demon” Damion Gardner (CRA Sprint Car), Jake Swanson (West Coast Sprint Car), R.J. Johnson (SouthWest Sprint Car), Ronnie Gardner (Western States Midget), and Jesse Love IV (Western Overall Speed 2 Midget, Western Dirt Speed 2 Midget, and Western Pavement Speed 2 Midget).

After another successful season, champions in the National Micro Sprint divisions are Jimmy Leal (Coastal Clash), Dex Morris (Coastal Clash Restricted), Josh Ames (Non Wing 600), Trevor Years (Wing 600), Daison Pursley (Restricted 600), and Jade Avedisian (Junior Sprint),

These drivers were also honored at the USAC “Night of Champions” in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 8th.

Drivers that earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 are Matt McCarthy (CRA Sprint Car), Brandon Wiley (West Coast Sprint Car), Matt Lundy (SouthWest Sprint Car), and Mason Daniel (Western States Midget).

The Orleans Hotel and Casino is located at 4500 West Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas Nevada and for more hotel information, visit www.orleanscasino.com or call 800.675.3267.

2018 USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE HAS 26 DATES AT 11 TRACKS

By Lance Jennings

DECEMBER 26, 2017... Heading to their fifteenth campaign, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will feature twenty-six events at eleven racetracks in 2018. Starting with the March 3rd "So Cal Showdown" and closing with the November 10th "Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction” at Perris, the traditional 410s are poised for another competitive season. The popular “5th Annual California Sprint Week” remains a highlight on the calendar with six races in eight nights at five speedways.

Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, Perris Auto Speedway will host ten races on the schedule. Promoted by Don Kazarian, “America’s Premier Dirt Track” continues to showcase events like the “So Cal Showdown” with the World of Outlaws on March 3rd and the “Sokola Shootout” on April 21st. The “Salute to Indy” on May 26th, the August 18th “California Racers Hall of Fame Night," and the "Glenn Howard Classic" on September 22nd are “must see events.” Starting November 8th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA and USAC National Sprints will clash for three nights at the prestigious “23rd Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction.” Last season, “The Demon” Damion Gardner and R.J. Johnson tied with three “home track” wins and other victories were claimed by Richard Vander Weerd, Justin Grant, Chase Stockon, Brody Roa, and Kevin Thomas Jr. By adding his name to the Oval Nationals winner’s list, Thomas earned $25,000 for his efforts. Perris Auto Speedway is located at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California and for more information, visit www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.

Canyon Speedway Park returns to the AMSOIL USAC/CRA calendar with the 2-day “Spring Showcase” starting on March 9th. Promoted by Doug Gabbard, the Peoria, Arizona oval last featured the non-winged 410s on October 1, 2016 and R.J. Johnson took the checkered flags. Canyon Speedway Park is located at 9777 West Carefree Highway and for more details, visit www.canyonspeedwaypark.com or call 602.258.RACE (7223).

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare will host USAC/CRA Sprint Cars on April 14th along the USAC Western States Midgets. Promoted by Steve Faria, last April’s event at the lightning fast 1/3-mile oval was rained out. The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. For more information, visit www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway will feature the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars on May 7th. Last season, five-time champion Mike Spencer raced to the 38th series win of his career at “The Best Little Dirt Track in America.” Ventura Raceway is located at 10 West Harbor Boulevard in Ventura, California and for more details, visit www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE. 

The popular Santa Maria Raceway will host two nights on the schedule. The traditional 410 sprints will headline the action at the July 7th “Doug Fort Memorial” and August 4th. Max Adams earned his first series win last July and Brody Roa topped the August main event. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California and for more information, visit www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.

The scenic Calistoga Speedway will open the “5th Annual California Sprint Week” on September 1st with two nights of action. Promoted by Tommy Hunt and HMC Promotions, "11th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic" will also feature the USAC Western States Midgets, vintage cars, an autograph session, auctions, wine tasting, and more. Last season, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Rico Abreu took the checkered flags at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.

On Monday, September 3rd, Petaluma Speedway will host the third round of “California Sprint Week.” Promoted by Rick Faeth, “The Fastest 3/8-mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” has become a popular stop on the schedule. Last season, Indiana’s “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney added his name to the record books at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more details, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.

On Thursday, September 6th, the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are back at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. Promoted by Dennis Gage, the fourth round of “California Sprint Week” is held during the "Gold Cup Race of Champions." Last September, “The Demon” Damion Gardner” scored his fourth win of the season on his way to his sixth championship. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.

Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway will host the fifth round of “California Sprint Week” on Friday, September 7th. Promoted by John Prentice, the 1/4-mile oval at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is a fan favorite. Last year, Kevin Thomas Jr. earned a hard fought victory for his second “Sprint Week” win. Ocean Speedway is located at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville, California and for more details, visit www.racepmg.com or call 855.410.7223.

The USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will invade the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford on September 8th. Promoted by Bubby Morse, the 3/8-mile Central Valley oval will host the sixth and final round of “California Sprint Week.” Last September, Alabama’s Kevin Thomas Jr. won the 30-lap feature and Damion Gardner earned his third “Sprint Week” crown. Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is located at 801 South 10th Avenue in Hanford, California and for more information, visit www.kellerautospeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.

Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley, Arizona will host four nights on the 2018 schedule. Promoted by Jonah Trussel, the 2-day “Hall of Fame Classic” will begin on October 28th. The USAC National co-sanctioned “51st Annual Western World Championships” will also feature the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars. Last year, Thomas Meseraull and Chase Stockon raced to victory at the fast 1/3-mile oval. Arizona Speedway is located at 47800 N. Ironwood Road in San Tan Valley, Arizona and for more details, visit www.arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.

The USAC Western Awards Banquet (and Roast) will be held Saturday, January 27th at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The hotel will also host a Bowling Tournament the previous night at 8:00pm. Tickets for both the Awards Banquet and Bowling Tournament can be downloaded at www.westcoastsprintcars.com/2017/banquet2017.docx and orders must be received by January 20th. The Orleans Hotel and Casino is located at 4500 West Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas Nevada and for more hotel information, visit www.orleanscasino.com or call 800.675.3267.

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, surfNsprint.com, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. Series officials are looking for associate and contingency sponsors for the upcoming season. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email 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 www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat pages. 

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

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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.

CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK CHAMPIONS: 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Ryan Bernal, 2016-Damion Gardner, 2017-Damion Gardner.

2017 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 5-Damion Gardner, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr., 3-R.J. Johnson, 2-Brody Roa, 2-Chase Stockon, 1-Rico Abreu, 1-Max Adams, 1-Tyler Courtney, 1-Justin Grant, 1-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Mike Spencer, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.

2018 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE

DATE-TRACK-LOCATION

January 26: Orleans Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV (Bowling Tournament / 8pm)

January 27: Orleans Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV (USAC Western Awards Banquet / 12pm)

March 3: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (So-Cal Showdown)

March 9: Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Spring Showcase)

March 10: Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Spring Showcase)

April 14: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA

April 21: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Sokola Shootout)

May 5: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA

May 26: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Salute to Indy)

June 23: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

July 7: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Doug Fort Memorial)

August 4: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA

August 18: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)

September 1: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

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

September 3: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma CA (California Sprint Week) 

September 6: Silver Dollar Speedway - Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions / California Sprint Week)

September 7: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 8: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 22: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)

September 28: Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)

September 29: Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)

October 20: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA 

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

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

November 8: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)

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)

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

This schedule is subject to change.