CRA Sprint Car
Friday, 28 July 2017


#51 R.J. Johnson #51 R.J. Johnson Photo by Doug Allen


By Lance Jennings

JULY 26, 2017... After scoring the June 24th Perris victory, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) returned to the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car “home track” and won last Saturday’s $2,500 main event. Leading all 30-laps, the 2005 Rookie of the Year posted his fifth career series triumph over Jake Swanson, fast qualifier “The Demon” Damion Gardner, Max Adams, and Brody Roa.

Driving Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, R.J. Johnson qualified sixth out of a season high twenty-eight racers. The four-time USAC SouthWest Champion won the Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2 and started on the pole position of the feature. In limited starts, the second generation driver has climbed to fifteenth in the point chase with two feature wins, on heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 60 feature laps led to his credit.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) claimed second at the Perris checkered flags after starting fifth. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging & Transfer Triple X, Swanson was second quick in time trials and finished fourth in his heat race. To date, the 2012 Rookie of the Year is fourth in points with three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. Semi-Main win, and six top-10 finishes.

Starting sixth, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) ran third at Perris Auto Speedway. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 S.P. Beagle Plumbing / Scott Sales Company Spike, Gardner posted his series leading 72nd Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. At press time, the five-time champion has a twenty-six  point lead with three feature wins, three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, seven heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 60 feature laps led on the season.

Max Adams (Loomis, California) had a solid night with a fourth place run from seventh in the 30-lap feature. Driving his #5M ART Speed Equipment / Ken Imler Diesel Performance ART, Adams qualified seventh overall and took third in his heat race. To date, last season’s Rookie of the Year sits tenth in points with one feature win, four top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led in the campaign. 

Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) finished fifth at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds. Racing the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa was third fast in time trials and won the Circle Track Performance / Keizer Aluminum Wheels Heat Race #3. At press time, the 2016 USAC West Coast Champion is second in the standings with two heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 44 feature laps led on the year.

Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) earned the night’s Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job” honors with a ninth place run from fifteenth. Piloting Robbie & Gaye Allen’s #12 ABC Body Shop / PPG Automotive Finishes Maxim, Gardner qualified sixteenth overall and took fourth in his heat race. At press time, the four-time USAC Western States Midget Champion is seventeenth in the standings with three top-10 finishes.

Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, California) raced to victory in the Pyrotect Racing Cells Heat Race #4. Racing the family owned #4G Trench Shoring / Ram-Bull Racing GS1, Gansen was twentieth quick in time trials and placed sixteenth in the main event. As this writing goes to press, the veteran driver ranks ninth in points with two heat race victories and one top-10 finish to his credit. 

A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) claimed the night’s 12-lap Competition Suspension Inc. Semi-Main win. Driving the family owned #21 K&R Motorsports / Rosson Racing DRC, Bender qualified seventeenth overall, took fifth in his heat race, and placed thirteenth in the main event. To date, the California Lightning Sprint graduate is eighteenth in points with 1 feature lap led on the season.

On Saturday, August 5th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will make their final appearance of the year at Mike Kappmeyer’s Santa Maria Raceway. The action packed card will also feature the IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Dwarf Cars, Legends of Kearney Bowl Super Modifieds, Senior Mini Dwarfs, and Junior Midgets. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $25 and for more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 805.922.2232.

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,, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact 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 You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

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


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: July 22, 2017 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway 

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.523; 2. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.622; 3. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.738; 4. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett- 16.812; 5. Mike Spencer, 4S, Gansen-16.857; 6. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.900; 7. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-16.914; 8. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.941; 9. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-17.015; 10. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.033; 11. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-17.101; 12. Matt Mitchell, 73, Ford-17.119; 13. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.200; 14. Stevie Sussex, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-17.262; 15. Chad Boespflug, 42, Cheney-17.284; 16. Ronnie Gardner, 12, Allen-17.346; 17. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.353; 18. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.381; 19. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-17.477; 20. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.477; 21. Verne Sweeney, 98V, Tracy-17.533; 22. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-17.615; 23. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.635; 24. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.809; 25. Greg Alexander, 23, Bellegante-17.858; 26. Don Gansen, 7G, Gansen-18.378; 27. Gary Marshall Jr., 72, Marshall-18.785; 28. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-NT

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. D.Gardner, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Spencer, 4. Sweeney, 5. Bender, 6. Malcolm, 7. Alexander. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Sussex, 3. J.Vander Weerd, 4. Swanson, 5. L.Williams, 6. Ellertson, 7. D.Gansen. 2:54.79

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Roa, 2. Boespflug, 3. Adams, 4. Faria, 5. St. James, 6. Marshall, 7. C.Williams. 2:56.24

PYROTECT RACING CELLS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. C.Gansen, 2. A.Williams, 3. Liggett, 4. R.Gardner, 5. Mitchell, 6. McCarthy. 2:57.21

COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bender, 2. Mitchell, 3. Alexander, 4. Ellertson, 5. L.Williams, 6. McCarthy, 7. St. James, 8. Marshall, 9. D.Gansen. 3:43.22

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. R.J. Johnson (1st), 2. Jake Swanson (5th), 3. Damion Gardner (6th), 4. Max Adams (7th), 5. Brody Roa (4th), 6. Austin Williams (8th), 7. Austin Liggett (3rd), 8. Richard Vander Weerd (12th), 9. Ronnie Gardner (15th), 10. Mike Spencer (2nd), 11. Danny Faria Jr. (10th), 12. Stevie Sussex (13th), 13. A.J. Bender (16th), 14. Chad Boespflug (14th), 15. Jace Vander Weerd (9th), 16. Chris Gansen (18th), 17. Jeremy Ellertson (20th), 18. Matt McCarthy (21st), 19. Verne Sweeney (19th), 20. Matt Mitchell (11th), 21. Greg Alexander (22nd), 22. Bruce St. James (23rd), 23. Logan Williams (17th).NT


**Malcolm flipped during the first heat.

**St. James used a provisional.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Johnson 


AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner-598, 2. Brody Roa-572, 3. Mike Spencer-518, 4. Jake Swanson-514, 5. Austin Williams-469, 6. Cody Williams-396, 7. Logan Williams-367, 8. Richard Vander Weerd-345, 9. Chris Gansen-330, 10. Max Adams-298, 11. Matt McCarthy-274, 12. Jeremy Ellertson-259, 13. Tommy Malcolm-250, 14. Danny Faria Jr.-245, 15. R.J. Johnson-227, 16. Jace Vander Weerd-221, 17. Ronnie Gardner-210, 18. A.J. Bender-198, 19. Verne Sweeney-189, 20. Kyle Edwards-182.



August 5: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA

August 26: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)

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

September 3: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / California Sprint Week)

September 4: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma CA (California Sprint Week) 

September 7: Silver Dollar Speedway - Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions / California Sprint Week)

September 8: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 9: Keller Auto Speedway - Hanford, CA (California Sprint Week)

September 23: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)

October 21: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA

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

November 4: *Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

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)

November 11: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction)


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

This schedule is subject to change.