By Lance Jennings

MARCH 5, 2017... Last Saturday, polesitter Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) led all 30-laps to claim the season opening “Sokola Shootout” at Perris Auto Speedway. For Vander Weerd, the $2,500 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car triumph was the seventh series win of his career and ties Matt Mitchell for fourteenth overall. “The Demon” Damion Gardner, R.J. Johnson, Austin Williams, and Brody Roa rounded out the top-five drivers.

Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard Vander Weerd qualified seventh out of twenty-two racers and ran second to Tommy Malcolm in his heat race. Now ranked second in points, the two-time “Sokola Shootout” winner will return to Perris on April 1st at the “So-Cal Showdown” alongside the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars.

“The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) had fallen back to seventh after bicycling his mount and rebounded to second at the checkered flags. Driving Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Weld Racing Spike, Gardner was second quick in time trials and won the night’s 10-lap Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. The five-time champion left USAC/CRA’s “home track” as the new point leader.

R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) scored third in the “Sokola Shootout” after starting eighth. Piloting Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson qualified eighth overall and ran second to Damion Gardner in his heat race. At press time, the four-time USAC SouthWest Champion sits third in the point standings.

“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) battled hard to place fourth at Perris Auto Speedway. Racing Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was fourth quick in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. As this writing goes to press, the 2009 Rookie of the Year sits fourth in the chase for the championship.

Logan Williams (Yorba Linda, California) earned the night’s Saldana Racing Products / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job” honors with a tenth place run from sixteenth. Piloting Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was sixteenth fast in time trials and ran fifth in his heat race. The 2014 Rookie of the Year returns to Perris sitting tenth in the championship standings.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) scored the eleventh Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of his career. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging & Transfer XXX, Swanson ran third in his heat race and took sixth in the main event. The 2012 Rookie of the Year left the “Sokola Shootout” ranked fifth in the point chase.

Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm (Corona, California) drove to victory in the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Driving Dino Napier’s #5X Indiana Truck Salvage / B&B Powder Coating Victory, Malcolm qualified tenth overall and ran nineteenth in the “Sokola Shootout.” The young driver will return to Perris ranked seventeenth in USAC/CRA points.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will take a break in the schedule before returning to action at Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway on April 1st. Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds in Perris, California, more event information can be found at or calling 951.940.0134.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, 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

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: March 4, 2017 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “Sokola Shootout”


1. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.520; 2. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.564; 3. Mike Spencer, 4S, Gansen-16.695; 4. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.735; 5. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.773; 6. Chad Boespflug, 42, Cheney-16.815; 7. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.901; 8. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.940; 9. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.159; 10. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-17.216; 11. Brady Short, 19S, Reinbold/Underwood-17.352; 12. Verne Sweeney, 98V, Tracy-17.405; 13. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.420; 14. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.472; 15. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.478; 16. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.552; 17. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.659; 18. Eddie Tafoya, 51T, Tafoya-17.752; 19. Cal Smith, 39, Cal-Sun-17.855; 20. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-18.215; 21. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-22.066; 22. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Malcolm, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Swanson, 4. A.Williams, 5. L.Williams, 6. Gansen, 7. Smith, 8. Hendricks. 2:54.38.

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Johnson, 3. Roa, 4. J.Vander Weerd, 5. Short, 6. McCarthy, 7. Ellertson. 2:51.69.

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. Tafoya, 3. Edwards, 4. C.Williams, 5. Boespflug, 6. Sweeney, 7. Colston. 2:56.51.

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. Richard Vander Weerd (1st), 2. Damion Gardner (5th), 3. R.J. Johnson (8th), 4. Austin Williams (3rd), 5. Brody Roa (2nd), 6. Jake Swanson (6th), 7. Mike Spencer (4th), 8. Cody Williams (9th), 9. Chad Boespflug (7th), 10. Logan Williams (16th), 11. Jace Vander Weerd (14th), 12. Kyle Edwards (15th), 13. Verne Sweeney (12th), 14. Chris Gansen (13th), 15. Jeremy Ellertson (20th), 16. Cal Smith (19th), 17. Matt McCarthy (17th), 18. Brady Short (11th), 19. Tommy Malcolm (10th), 20. Eddie Tafoya (18th), 21. Tom Hendricks (22nd), 22. Parker Colston (21st). 8:52.43.



1. Damion Gardner-80, 2. Richard Vander Weerd-77, 3. R.J. Johnson-71, 4. Austin Williams-69, 5. Jake Swanson-67, 6. Brody Roa-66, 7. Mike Spencer-64, 8. Cody Williams-54, 9. Chad Boespflug-51, 10. Logan Williams-47, 11. Jace Vander Weerd-46, 12. Kyle Edwards (R)-45, 13. Verne Sweeney-40, 14. Chris Gansen-38, 15. Jeremy Ellertson-35, 16. Cal Smith-33, 17. Tommy Malcolm-33, 18. Matt McCarthy (R)-32, 19. Brady Short-31, 20. Eddie Tafoya-30, 21. Parker Colston-25, 22. Tom Hendricks-24