CRA Sprint Car
Thursday, 25 August 2022


#47 Charles Davis Jr. #47 Charles Davis Jr. Photo by Lance Jennings


By Lance Jennings

PERRIS, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 22, 2022… When the checkered flag waved last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway, the race fans in attendance and those watching online had witnessed something special. “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona) had surprised “The Demon” Damion Gardner to lead the final lap and win the $2,500 “California Racers Hall of Fame Night.” The seven-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion had earned his first AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car victory of the season, but there is much more to the story.

On paper, there were seven changes for lap leaders, but the top spot changed hands at least a dozen times more. Polesitter and 2019 Rookie of the Year, Eddie Tafoya Jr. led the opening circuit with “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams and Gardner in close quarters. Williams had his sights on his first win of the campaign and took command from Tafoya on the next lap. USAC/CRA point leader Gardner had other ideas and powered by Williams to make it three leaders in the first three laps.

Gardner looked to drive away from the field, but the fifth starting Matt Mitchell gave chase and challenged the nine-time champion. From there, the top two drivers in USAC/CRA points put on a clinic in clean and hard racing. For several laps, the duo exchanged the lead on each end on the speedway. Both drivers used “slide jobs” and countered with crossover moves to regain the top spot. With a few laps remaining, Gardner had control of the feature and powered to the white flag. Up from ninth, Davis had reeled in “The Demon” and grabbed the lead heading down the back straightaway. Damion gave one last challenge, but the night belonged to Davis, who finished ahead of Gardner, Mitchell, Williams, and Tafoya.

Racing his #47 MP Environmental Services / Black Magic Bead Breaker RSS, Charles Davis Jr. qualified eighth overall and finished fifth in his heat race. The 1993 CRA Rookie of the Year earned the night’s In Memory of Jim and Chet Gardner Hard Charger / Best Passing Job honors with a ninth place run to claim the 30-lap victory. “Chargin” Charles left the Lake Perris Fairgrounds ranked ninth in points and five career USAC/CRA wins to his credit.

Matt McCarthy (Riverside, California) opened the night by earning the first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of his career. Driving the family owned #28M Flowdynamics Incorporated / Drinkpak DRC, McCarthy posted a time of 16.845 seconds to become the 85th driver since 2004 to earn USAC/CRA top qualifying honors. Next, the 2017 Rookie of the Year claimed $2,000 by winning the Junior Kurtz / Bill Simpson Trophy Dash over Mitchell, R.J. Johnson, and Austin Williams. The special event featured four three-lap dashes for cash with roots going back to the 1980s at the legendary Ascot Park. Matt scored sixth in his heat race, ran thirteenth in the main event, and claimed the night’s Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award.” Heading to Bakersfield on September 3rd, Matt sits tenth in the point chase.

“The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) raced to victory in the night’s 10-lap Flowdynamics Incorporated / Laserworx Manufacturing / Factory Wraps First Heat Race. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #1 / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner was seventh fast in time trials and led 16 laps of the main event before scoring second at the checkered flag. “The Demon” leads the point chase by 106 markers heading to Bakersfield Speedway. 

“The Cadillac” Cody Williams (Corona, California) won his first heat race of the campaign in the 10-lap / Laserworx Manufacturing / Factory Wraps sponsored event. Racing his #44 WC Friend Company / Trench Shoring DRC, Williams qualified second overall but was unable to compete in the Kurtz / Simpson Dash due to mechanical problems. The crew made repairs and “The Cadillac” responded by winning the night’s second heat race. Cody scored seventeenth in the main event and left Perris Auto Speedway ranked seventh in points.

Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, California) scored the victory in the 10-lap In Memory of Jim and Chet Gardner Third Heat Race. Driving his #37 J.W. Mitchell Motorsports / Roy Miller Freight Lines Maxim, Mitchell was third quick in time trials, tied R.J. Johnson for second in the Kurtz / Simpson Dash, led twelve laps of the feature, and finished third in the “California Racers Hall of Fame Night.” The former USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion heads to Bakersfield ranked second in the point standings.

“The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) took home the Shawn McDonald Memorial Qualifying Award by timing in sixth quick overall. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Eagle, Roa placed fifth in his heat race and scored nineteenth in the main event after an early exit. The 2019 USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Champion has run a limited schedule and ranks eighth in the point chase.

A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) claimed the night’s Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature Award with a sixth place finish in the “California Racers Hall of Fame Night.” Racing the family owned #21 Bender Pool & Spa / K&R Motorsports DRC, Bender qualified tenth overall, placed fourth in his heat race, and scored sixth in the main event after starting tenth. The USAC Western States Midget rookie contender left Perris ranked thirteenth in points.

A special thank you goes to Perris and Ascot infield announcer Chris Holt and everyone that contributed to the “California Racers Hall of Fame Night.” Holt collected over $12,000 in additional prize money for the night’s event.

On Saturday, September 3rd, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will make their second and final appearance of the year at Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, California). For more information on the fifteenth point race, visit 

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks, Factory Wraps, Flowdynamics Incorporated, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, Laserworx Manufacturing, Woodland Auto Display, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, In Memory of Shawn McDonald, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Vahlco Wheels, 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. has live, flag-to-flag coverage of the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. You can catch the action by subscribing to FloRacing on a monthly or yearly basis to view their huge catalog of live and on-demand auto racing and sporting events.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: August 20, 2022 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “California Racers Hall of Fame Night”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-16.845; 2. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-16.849; 3. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.872; 4. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.881; 5. Austin Williams, 2, Williams-16.902; 6. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.903; 7. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-17.041; 8. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-17.107; 9. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-17.137; 10. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.149; 11. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-17.175; 12. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.208; 13. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.208; 14. Danny Sheridan, 12, Allen-17.239; 15. Nate Schank, 1$, Schank-17.319; 16. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.332; 17. Shon Deskins, 20, Deskins-17.567; 18. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-17.749; 19. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-18.127; 20. James Herrera, 5J, Herrera-18.209; 21. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-NT.

JUNIOR KURTZ / BILL SIMPSON TROPHY DASH: (four 3 lap dashes) 1. Matt McCarthy (8 points), 2. Matt Mitchell (7 points), -. R.J. Johnson (7 points), 4. Austin Williams (2 points).

FLOWDYNAMICS INCORPORATED / LASERWORX MANUFACTURING / FACTORY WRAPS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Johnson, 3. Gansen, 4. Bender, 5. Sweeney, 6. McCarthy, 7. Herrera. 2.56:31.

BILLSJERKY.NET / LASERWORX MANUFACTURING / FACTORY WRAPS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. C.Williams, 2. A.Williams, 3. Malcolm, 4. Sheridan, 5. Davis, 6. Deskins. NT.

IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Mitchell, 2. Tafoya, 3. Edwards, 4. Schank, 5. Roa, 6. Rayborne. NT.

FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Charles Davis Jr. (9), 2. Damion Gardner (2), 3. Matt Mitchell (5), 4. Austin Williams (3), 5. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (1), 6. A.J. Bender (10), 7. Danny Sheridan (14), 8. Tommy Malcolm (11), 9. R.J. Johnson (4), 10. Kyle Edwards (12), 11. Shon Deskins (17), 12. Chris Gansen (13), 13. Matt McCarthy (7), 14. Verne Sweeney (16), 15. Nate Schank (15), 16. Joel Rayborne (18), 17. Cody Williams (6), 18. James Herrera (19), 19. Brody Roa (8). NT.


**L.Williams flipped during time trials. 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Tafoya, Lap 2 A.Williams, Laps 3-9 Gardner, Laps 10-17 Mitchell, Laps 18-21 Gardner, Laps 22-24 Mitchell, Laps 25-29 Gardner, Lap 30 Davis.

IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER HARD CHARGER: Charles Davis Jr. (9th to 1st)




NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Damion Gardner-951, 2-Matt Mitchell-845, 3-Austin Williams-810, 4-Eddie Tafoya Jr.-789, 5-Logan Williams-719, 6-Tommy Malcolm-665, 7-Cody Williams-658, 8-Brody Roa-590, 9-Charles Davis Jr.-570, 10-Matt McCarthy-505.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: September 3 – Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, California 

Photo by Lance Jennings / SCRAFAN.COM