CRA Sprint Car
Thursday, 31 March 2022


#1 Damion Gardner #1 Damion Gardner Photo by Doug Allen


By Lance Jennings

PERRIS, CA – MARCH 30, 2022… Continuing his assault on the record books, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) is having the best start of his career with the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. Racing Mark Alexander’s #1 / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner scored his fourth win of the campaign in as many races last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. The nine-time champion topped the “So-Cal Showdown,” posted his 50th “home track” win under the USAC/CRA banner, and tied his 2005 and 2014 record of four consecutive victories. Fast qualifier Matt Mitchell, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams, and “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. rounded out the top-five drivers.

Starting fourth, Gardner had a torrid battle with Cody Williams and Davis before taking command of the main event on the twelfth circuit. With changing track conditions and a treacherous cushion, Davis led the opening laps as drivers fought for position. “The Demon” was not to be denied at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds and claimed the 93rd series win of his career.

Earlier in the program, Gardner qualified third overall and won the night’s 10-lap Laser X Manufacturing Heat Race #3. The point leader heads to Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway with a stout 54-point advantage over the competition. 

Driving his #37 Roy Miller Freight Lines / Campbell Brothers Storage Maxim, Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, CA) posted his ninth career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award over the 23-car roster. The former USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Champion ran second in his heat race to Verne Sweeney and charged to second in the feature after starting sixth. Matt left Perris ranked fifth in championship points.

Verne Sweeney (Lomita, CA) raced to victory in the night’s 10-lap Flowdynamics Incorporated Heat Race #1. Piloting Ken Tracy’s #98 Bill’s Jerky / Faas Cores DRC, Sweeney was sixteenth quick in time trials and placed twelfth in the main event after starting sixteenth. The veteran Ascot driver has climbed to tenth in the point chase.

“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, CA) won the night’s Bill’s Jerky Heat Race #2. Driving Rip Williams’ #2 Digalert / Full Throttle Scissor Lift Rental DRC, Williams qualified eleventh overall and charged to fourth in the feature after starting eleventh. The former co-rookie of the year has climbed to third in the USAC/CRA point standings.

“Shugah” Shane Sexton (Warner Springs, CA) earned the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award with a fourteenth place run from twenty-second. Racing the Sexton/Gatlin Racing #74 GAS Chassis / Mike Pridgeon Racing Engines GAS, Sexton was twenty-second fast in time trials and ran seventh in his heat race. The second year driver left Perris ranked seventeenth in the chase for the championship. 

By qualifying sixth, Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, CA) was the Shawn McDonald Memorial Qualifying Award Winner. Driving the family owned #4G Trench Shoring / Cam 2 Blue Blood Oil Maxim, Gansen ran fourth in his heat race and placed eighth in the 30-lap feature. The veteran driver is currently seventh in the point standings.

“Showtime” Danny Sheridan (Santa Maria, CA) returned to USAC/CRA action and claimed the night’s Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature Award with a sixth place finish. Piloting Robbie and Gaye Allen’s #12 ABC Ventures / Beaver Stripes Maxim, Sheridan was tenth quick in qualifying and placed third in his heat race. After the checkered flags, the former Bandit 360 Sprint Car Champion is twenty-fourth in the point chase.  

Making his first start of the year, Jeff Dyer (Yucca Valley, CA) placed thirteenth in the feature and earned the Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award. Driving the Cal-Sun Racing owned #39 Specialty Fasteners / Justice Brothers ITI, Dyer qualified eighteenth overall and ran sixth in his heat race. The California Lightning Sprint standout heads to the Kings County Fairgrounds ranked twenty-eighth in USAC/CRA points. 

This Friday, April 1st, the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will invade the Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, California. The following night, the non-winged 410s will battle at the Thunderbowl Raceway in nearby Tulare for the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial.” The USAC Western States and BCRA Midgets will join the action at Tulare.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Bill’s Jerky, Factory Wraps, Flowdynamics Incorporated, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, Laser X Manufacturing, Woodland Auto Display, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Rod End Supply, and Wilwood Disc Brakes for their support. 

For more information on the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: March 26, 2022 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “So-Cal Showdown”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.420; 2. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.434; 3. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-16.624; 4. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-16.675; 5. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-16.703; 6. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-16.832; 7. Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-16.904; 8. Chris Bonneau, 15, Bonneau-16.910; 9. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-16.941; 10. Danny Sheridan, 12, Allen-16.993; 11. Austin Williams, 2, Williams-17.066; 12. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-17.079; 13. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.105; 14. Trent Williams, 52V, Williams-17.111; 15. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-17.160; 16. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.217; 17. Chase Johnson, 2J, Yeley-17.257; 18. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-17.684; 19. Dan Taylor, T5, Taylor-17.695; 20. Nate Schank, 1$, Schank-17.838; 21. Ricky Lewis, 41, Lewis-17.910; 22. Shane Sexton, 74, Sexton/Gatlin-18.428; 23. Gary Marshall Jr., 23, Bellegante-19.116.

FLOWDYNAMICS INCORPORATED FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Sweeney, 2. Mitchell, 3. Sheridan, 4. Edwards, 5. McCarthy, 6. Hodges, 7. Sexton, 8. Taylor. NT.

BILL’S JERKY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. A.Williams, 2. L.Williams, 3. C.Williams, 4. T.Williams, 5. Bonneau, 6. Schank, 7. Marshall, 8. Johnson. NT.

LASER X MANUFACTURING THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Davis, 3. Grabowski, 4. Gansen, 5. Tafoya, 6. Dyer, 7. Lewis. NT.

FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Damion Gardner (4), 2. Matt Mitchell (6), 3. Cody Williams (5), 4. Austin Williams (11), 5. Charles Davis Jr. (1), 6. Danny Sheridan (10), 7.  Matt McCarthy (7), 8. Chris Gansen (2), 9. Trent Williams (14), 10. Chase Johnson (17), 11. Logan Williams (3), 12. Verne Sweeney (16), 13. Jeff Dyer (18) 14. Shane Sexton (22), 15. Dan Taylor (19), 16. Gary Marshall Jr (23). 17. Nate Schank (20), 18. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (12), 19. Kyle Edwards (13), 20. Chris Bonneau (9), 21. Austin Grabowski (15), 22. Jake Hodges (8), 23. Ricky Lewis (21). NT.


*Tafoya and Schank flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Davis, Laps 12-30 Gardner.





NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-328, 2-Charles Davis Jr.-274, 3-Austin Williams-242, 4-Logan Williams-222, 5-Matt Mitchell-219, 6-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-212, 7-Chris Gansen-200, 8-Brody Roa-195, 9-Cody Williams-193, 10-Verne Sweeney-183.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: April 1 – Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, California