APRIL 3, 2018… Last Saturday night, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona) earned his first Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car win of the year at Canyon Speedway Park. Starting fifth, the five-time Arizona champion took the lead from Michael Curtis on lap five and held off all challengers to score the $1,500 “Easter Eggstravaganza” triumph. Point leader R.J. Johnson, top qualifier Jake Swanson, “The Magic Man” Mike Martin, and hard charger Dennis Gile followed Davis to the checkered flags.
Racing his #50 RSS Industries / MP Environmental RSS, Charles Davis Jr. opened the night by placing third in the first 8-lap heat race. Ranked second out of a sixteen car roster in passing points, Davis charged to his first win as a car owner and the twenty-second SouthWest victory of his career. “Chargin” Charles has climbed to second in the point chase with one heat race victory, five top-10 finishes, and 35 feature laps led on the season.
Starting fourth, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) took second in last Saturday’s “Easter Eggstravaganza.” Driving Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson won the program’s first 8-lap heat race and sat third in passing points. The five-time USAC SouthWest Champion has a seven point lead over the competition with two feature wins, one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 48 feature laps led to his credit.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) returned to USAC SouthWest action and scored third in the 30-lap feature after starting sixth. Piloting the John Grau and Mike Burkhart owned #34AZ Western Premier Hauling / KSE Custom Drywall DRC, Swanson won the night’s second heat race and earned the night’s Beaver Stripes Passing Master / Top Qualifier Award. Last year’s USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has posted three top-10 finishes and is now tied for thirteenth in the point standings.
“The Magic Man” Mike Martin (Yuma, Arizona) claimed a solid fourth place finish at the “Easter Eggstravaganza.” Racing his #16 Sherwin-Williams / Ultimate Offroad Maxim, Martin placed fourth in his heat race and sat fourth in the night’s passing points. To date, the former Hall of Fame Classic winner has risen to fifth in championship points with one heat race victory, one Beaver Stripes Passing Master Award, and two top-10 finishes.
Dennis Gile (Phoenix, Arizona) earned his second hard charger award with a fifth place run from eleventh in the main event. Driving Gene Gile’s #13 Quarterback Academy / Bobby Q Ellis, Gile ran sixth in his heat race and placed eleventh in the night’s passing points. The former rookie of the year has climbed to seventh in the point chase with one feature win, one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 4 feature laps led in 2018.
On Saturday, April 14th, the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars will make their first appearance of the year at Casa Grande’s Central Arizona Speedway. The “Cotton Classic” will also feature Late Models, Power 600 Micro Sprints (winged), Pure Stocks, and Bombers. Advance tickets are on sale and for more information, visit www.centralarizonaspeedway.com or call 520.709.0718.
SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: March 31, 2018 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park – “Easter Eggstravaganza”
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. R.J. Johnson (#51 Martin), 2. Mike Martin (#16 Martin), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (#50 Davis), 4. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 5. Sterling Cling (#34 Cling), 6. Andy Reinbold (#19 Reinbold/Underwood), 7. Matt Lundy (#98 Lundy), 8. Tyler Adams (#9G Adams). NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Jake Swanson (#34AZ Grau/Burkhart), 2. Michael Curtis (#11C Turner/Wheeler), 3. Dalten Gabbard (#77 Gabbard), 4. Daylin Perreira (#21 Perreira), 5. Tyler Most (#3 Most), 6. Dennis Gile (#13 Gile), 7. Jonas Reynolds (#0 Harland), 8. Larry Kesterson (#F2 Kesterson). NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Charles Davis Jr. (5th), 2. R.J. Johnson (4th), 3. Jake Swanson (6th), 4. Mike Martin (3rd), 5. Dennis Gile (11th), 6. Andy Reinbold (10th), 7. Sterling Cling (9th), 8. Matt Lundy (12th), 9. Michael Curtis (1st), 10. Dalten Gabbard (7th), 11. Daylin Perreira (2nd), 12. Larry Kesterson (14th), 13. Jonas Reynolds (13th), 14. Tyler Most (16th), 15. Tye Mihocko (8th), 16. Tyler Adams (15th). NT
**Mihocko flipped on lap 1 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Curtis, Laps 5-30 Davis.
HARD CHARGER: Dennis Gile (11th to 5th)
BEAVER STRIPES PASSING MASTER / TOP QUALIFIER: Jake Swanson
SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. R.J. Johnson-240, 2. Charles Davis Jr.-233, 3. Tye Mihocko-192, 4. Michael Curtis-187, 5. Mike Martin-172, 6. Matt Lundy-146, 7. Dennis Gile-144, 8. Josh Pelkey-127, 9. Stevie Sussex-123, 10. Sterling Cling-107, 11. Tyler Adams-106, 12. Andy Reinbold-86, 13. Larry Kesterson-78, –. Jake Swanson-78, 15. Colton Maroney-73, 16. Mason Keefer-69, 17. Tyler Most-65, 18. Zack Madrid-63, 19. Chris Bonneau-59, 20. Landon Cling-56.
2018 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION
April 14: Central Arizona Speedway – Casa Grande, AZ (Cotton Classic)
April 28: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ
May 19: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ
May 26: Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Salute to Indy)
May 27: Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Salute to Indy)
June 9: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ
August 15: I-30 Speedway – Little Rock, AR (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 16: Creek County Speedway – Sapulpa, OK (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 17: 81 Speedway – Wichita, KS (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 18: 81 Speedway – Wichita, KS (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
September 1: Central Arizona Speedway – Casa Grande, AZ (Hank Arnold Memorial)
September 2: Central Arizona Speedway – Casa Grande, AZ (Hank Arnold Memorial)
September 8: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Lealand McSpadden Tribute)
September 21: Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Sands Chevrolet Southwest Championships)
September 22: Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Sands Chevrolet Southwest Championships)
October 20: Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Race For The Cure)
October 27: Central Arizona Speedway – Casa Grande, AZ (Howl-O-Ween Bash)
November 2: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 3: Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
This schedule is subject to change.
#50 “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. – File Photo by Patrick Shaw / Backed In Photography.