SEPTEMBER 6, 2017… Entering the second half of the six-race “4th Annual California Sprint Week,” three different drivers have earned AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car wins. Opening at Calistoga, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Rico Abreu stood atop the podium, while Tyler Courtney had a late race charge to win at Petaluma.
Opening on Saturday, September 2nd, twenty-nine drivers raced at the opening night of Calistoga Speedway’s “10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic.” Starting third, Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Alabama) took the lead from polesitter Rico Abreu on lap twenty-seven and sailed to victory at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Abreu, “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney, Ryan Bernal, and Brody Roa rounded out the top-five drivers as Chase Johnson earned the hard charger award. “The Demon” Damion Gardner earned fast time honors and heat races were claimed by Thomas, “The Milkman” Joe Stornetta Jr., Richard Vander Weerd, and “The Hanford Hornet” Chad Boespflug. Courtney raced to victory in the 12-lap semi-main event.
The following night, twenty-eight racers were ready for action at Calistoga Speedway. Ryan Bernal set the early tone by breaking Blake Miller’s seven year old track record and becoming the first non-wing sprint car in the 18-second bracket. Stornetta, Jace Vander Weerd, Abreu, and Courtney took heat race victories and Roa topped the 12-lap semi-main. With $5,000 on the line, Cory Eliason led the first twelve laps in his first non-wing start. Bernal took over the top spot, but the night belonged to Abreu, who took the lead for good on the 26th circuit. Courtney had the night’s best passing job with a ninth place run from twenty-second.
The traditional 410 cubic inch sprint cars tackled Petaluma Speedway for a rare Monday night show on September 4th. Eighteen cars were ready to battle at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign earned his first USAC/CRA Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. Chris Gansen, Jake Swanson, and Max Adams claimed 10-lap heat race victories. Starting on the pole position, Gardner led the first twenty-six laps on the sticky adobe clay before Courtney mounted a late race charge and earned his first USAC/CRA triumph. Swanson earned the hard charger award by starting seventeenth and finishing sixth.
The “4th Annual California Sprint Week” featuring the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will resume on Thursday, September 7th at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. Held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions,” The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States and BCRA Midgets will share the spotlight with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.
The following night, Friday, September 8th, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville will host the fourth round of the northern tour. The American Stocks, Four Bangers, and Police-N-Pursuit will join the action as qualifying starts at 6:00pm. Ocean Speedway is located at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville, California and for more details, visit www.racepmg.com/oceanspeedway or call 855.410.7223.
SEPTEMBER 2ND FEATURE: (30 laps)
1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Rico Abreu, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Geoff Ensign, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Ronnie Gardner, 9. Colby Copeland, 10. Chase Johnson, 11. Richard Vander Weerd, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Mike Spencer, 14. Jace Vander Weerd, 15. Klint Simpson, 16. Austin Williams, 17. Jeremy Ellertson, 18. Logan Williams, 19. Max Adams, 20. Austin Liggett, 21. Joe Stornetta Jr., 22. Chris Gansen, 23. Cody Williams, 24. Chad Boespflug. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-26 Abreu, Laps 27-30 Thomas.
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Chase Johnson (22nd to 10th)
SEPTEMBER 3RD CALISTOGA FEATURE: (30 laps)
1. Rico Abreu, 2. Ryan Bernal, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Cory Eliason, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Richard Vander Weerd, 7. Geoff Ensign, 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Tyler Courtney, 10. Colby Copeland, 11. Chase Johnson, 12. Buddy Kofoid, 13. Mike Spencer, 14. Klint Simpson, 15. Max Adams, 16. Jace Vander Weerd, 17. Cody Williams, 18. Kevin Thomas Jr., 19. Austin Liggett, 20. Ronnie Gardner, 21. Logan Williams, 22. Joe Stornetta Jr. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Eliason, Laps 13-25 Bernal, Laps 26-30 Abreu
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (22nd to 9th)
SEPTEMBER 4TH PETALUMA FEATURE: (30 laps)
1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Geoff Ensign, 4. Cody Williams, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. Jake Swanson, 7. Brody Roa, 8. Austin Liggett, 9. Ryan Timmons, 10. Chris Gansen, 11. John Clark, 12. Matt McCarthy, 13. Jeremy Ellertson, 14. Max Adams, 15. Austin Williams, 16. Mike Spencer, 17. Ronnie Gardner, 18. Logan Williams. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-26 D.Gardner, Laps 27-30 Courtney
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Jake Swanson (17th to 6th)
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.
CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK CHAMPIONS:
2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Ryan Bernal, 2016-Damion Gardner.