CRA Sprint Car
Sunday, 28 April 2024


Winner A.J. Bender (San Diego, Calif.) Winner A.J. Bender (San Diego, Calif.) A.J. Johnson Photo


Perris, California (April 28, 2024)………Since 2011, A.J. Bender had accrued 118 career Avanti Windows & Doors USAC CRA Sprint Car Series feature starts.

But in his 119th career series start on Saturday night at California’s Perris Auto Speedway, he experienced something he’d never achieved in his previous 13-plus years of competition – a USAC CRA feature victory.

Bender (San Diego, Calif.) led early, led midway and led late, but had to fend off constant pressure from R.J. Johnson throughout the 30-lap distance before beating Cody Williams to the finish line to score his first series win.

Starting from the pole, Bender led the opening three laps before Johnson got past and remained up front through lap 10.  On the 11th circuit, Bender swept by Johnson to regain the lead.  That proved to be short lived, however, as Johnson edged ahead on lap 13.  Even shorter lived was Johnson’s lead as Bender charged back to the point on lap 14.

Johnson made one last surge to lead lap 20, but the undeterred Bender reclaimed the lead for good on lap 21 and led the final 10 trips around the half-mile dirt oval to experience the thrill of victory for the first time in his USAC CRA career.

Cody Williams (Yorba Linda, Calif.) finished second with series point leader Tommy Malcolm (Corona, Calif.) third and Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, Calif.) earned In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger honors by finishing fourth after starting 16th.  Johnson (Laveen, Ariz.) rounded out the top-five after leading nine laps.




AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: April 27, 2024 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.527; 2. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-16.553; 3. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.668; 4. Logan Williams, 5w, McCarthy-16.676; 5. R.J. Johnson, 51, Johnson-16.699; 6. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-16.731; 7. Grant Sexton, 22, Sexton-16.733; 8. Chris Bonneau, 15, Bonneau-16.738; 9. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-16.798; 10. David Gasper, 73x, Ford-16.828; 11. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-16.839; 12. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-16.873; 13. Braden Chiaramonte, 73B, OCC-17.031; 14. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-17.089; 15. Brody Roa, 8m, May-17.127; 16. Austin Williams, 17w, Dunkel-17.264; 17. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-17.333; 18. Verne Sweeney, 98, Guerrero-17.456; 19. Brent Sexton, 44s, Sexton-17.658; 20. Elexa Herrera, 5E, Herrera-18.303; 21. Shane Sexton, 74, SCDE-18.552; 22. Joey Bishop, 45, Bishop-18.912.

FLOWDYNAMICS INCORPORATED / SEXTON FIRE PROTECTION FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to feature) 1. Matt Mitchell, 2. David Gasper, 3. Austin Williams, 4. Braden Chiaramonte, 5. Logan Williams, 6. Grant Sexton, 7. Brent Sexton, 8. Joey Bishop. 2:58.35

BILLSJERKY.NET / FACTORY WRAPS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to feature) 1. Matt McCarthy, 2. Austin Grabowski, 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. R.J. Johnson, 5. Chris Bonneau, 6. Chris Gansen, 7. Elexa Herrera. 2:54.57

WC FRIEND COMPANY / IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to feature) 1. A.J. Bender, 2. Cody Williams, 3. Tommy Malcolm, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 6. Verne Sweeney, 7. Shane Sexton. 2:55.64

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. A.J. Bender (1), 2. Cody Williams (4), 3. Tommy Malcolm (2), 4. Austin Williams (16), 5. R.J. Johnson (3), 6. Matt McCarthy (14), 7. Brody Roa (15), 8. Chris Gansen (11), 9. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (12), 10. Joey Bishop (22), 11. Verne Sweeney (18), 12. Elexa Herrera (20), 13. Austin Grabowski (17), 14. Matt Mitchell (6), 15. Chris Bonneau (9), 16. Brent Sexton (19), 17. David Gasper (10), 18. Charles Davis Jr. (5), 19. Grant Sexton (8), 20. Braden Chiaramonte (13), 21. Shane Sexton (21), 22. Logan Williams (7). NT

**David Gasper flipped on lap 25 of the feature. Brent Sexton flipped on lap 26 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 A.J. Bender, Laps 4-10 R.J. Johnson, Laps 11-12 A.J. Bender, Lap 13 R.J. Johnson, Laps 14-19 A.J. Bender, Lap 20 R.J. Johnson, Laps 21-30 A.J. Bender.

IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER HARD CHARGER: Austin Williams (16th to 4th)

AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Tommy Malcolm-324, 2-R.J. Johnson-308, 3-David Gasper-288, 4-Austin Williams-281, 5-A.J. Bender-273, 6-Logan Williams-269, 7-Cody Williams-248, 8-Charles Davis Jr.-244, 9-Ricky Lewis-233, 10-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-221.

NEXT AVANTI WINDOWS & DOORS USAC CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: May 25, 2024 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – Salute to Indy