Gardner, 211 and 4 in-a-row
PERRIS,CA -RIS- it's good to be Damion Gardner right now. Just back from Bonneville where he strengthened his claim on the title of 'Worlds Fastest Sprint Car Driver' with 211 MPH in the “Green Demon” last Tuesday. Saturday he was back in the Alexander Brothers Racing CRA sprint car at Perris California working to add to his three race winning streak.
He started off as fast qualifier with a time of 16.379 seconds besting runner up Jake Swanson in the Moose Racing 92 at 16.487 seconds.
A second place in the first heat was the biggest disappointment of the night as Brody Roa lead the whole ten laps on a narrow, heavy track while Damion worked his way from sixth to take second place.
A.J. Bender and R.J. Johnson were the winners of the two other heats.
Twenty seven cars showed up for the event but attrition cut the field back to 23 and caused the cancellation of the B main. Kenny Perkins started out the attrition of the field as he broke in hot laps. Jimmy Crawford flipped in turn three on his second lap of qualifying and pretty much ended the career of another Twister Chassis. Logan Williams flipped in heat three but his car was repairable with a major effort. Ric Hendrix also flipped and he was done for the night in both the CRA and Senior Sprints events. Cory Ballard and Mikey Lovas also were through after the heats. To top it all off A.J. Bender could not start the feature race after winning his heat.
While we are speaking of flips let's mention Richard Vander Weerd who flipped in turn three after passing two cars in the same spot the lap before. It looked like he had discovered a new line at the top of turn three and four but the second time he went there it wasn't working.
The 30 lap feature started with R.J. Johnson and Michael Spencer on the front row. Johnson put up a fight but Spencer took the lead while Gardner worked his way up from sixth place. By lap 10 Damion was giving Johnson a difficult time while Spencer was going into lapped traffic. On lap 16 Gardner was past Johnson and on lap 17 he was able to run high through turns three and four and pass for the lead. It was just in time too as the yellow caution flag came out on lap 18 for Chris Gansen as he stopped on the front straight.
At the restart Gardner moved out to a good lead while Johnson and Spencer fought for second. On lap 24 Johnson took second from Spencer and that was the way they finished.
So Damion Gardner won his fourth CRA race in a row after his success in the “World's Fastest Sprint Car” in the same week. It was his eleventh win of the season. Seven other drivers have won in the CRA this year but no one but Damion has won more than one.
The CRA takes October off but will be back on November seventh for the first night of the 2014 Oval Nationals.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: September 13, 2014 - Perris, California - Perris Auto Speedway - 7th "Glenn Howard Classic"
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.379; 2. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.487; 3. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.643; 4. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.693; 5. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.734; 6. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-16.790; 7. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.793; 8. Rickie Gaunt, 66, Miller-16.865; 9. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.982; 10. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.014; 11. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.082; 12. Garrett Hansen, 7, Priestley-17.106; 13. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.108; 14. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.117; 15. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-17.156; 16. Ronnie Gardner, 93, Gardner-17.176; 17. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.254; 18. Jimmy Crawford, 51X, Crawford-17.351; 19. Corey Ballard, 34, Ballard-17.420; 20. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-17.495; 21. Rick Hendrix, 15, Hendrix-17.510; 22. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.650; 23. Cal Smith, 39, Cal-Sun-17.842; 24. George Morris, 3K, Kruseman-17.960; 25. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.967; 26. Mikey Lovas, 36L, Lovas-18.575; 27. Kenny Perkins, 5X, Perkins-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Roa, 2. R.Gardner, 3. Spencer, 4. D.Gardner, 5. Mitchell, 6. R.Vander Weerd, 7. Colston, 8. Smith, 9. Lovas. 2:50.70
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bender, 2. Gansen, 3. J.Vander Weerd, 4. Swanson, 5. Gaunt, 6. C.Williams, 7. Morris, 8. Hendrix. 2:51.43
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Bezio, 3. A.Williams, 4. Martin, 5. Ballard, 6. Hansen, 7. Sweeney, 8. L.Williams. 2:49.49.
SEMI: (8 laps) 1. Mitchell, 2. C.Williams, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. Gaunt, 5. Hansen, 6. Colston, 7. Ballard, 8. Sweeney, 9. Smith, 10. Morris. 2:20.09
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. R.J. Johnson, 3. Mike Spencer, 4. Matt Mitchell, 5. Austin Williams, 6. Cody Williams, 7. Garrett Hansen, 8. Brody Roa, 9. Ronnie Gardner, 10. Jace Vander Weerd, 11. Mike Martin, 12. David Bezio, 13. Verne Sweeney, 14. Logan Williams, 15. Cal Smith, 16. Richard Vander Weerd, 17. Jake Swanson, 18. Parker Colston, 19. George Morris, 20. Chris Gansen, 21. Corey Ballard, 22. Rickie Gaunt, 23. A.J. Bender. NT
**Crawford flipped during qualifications. L.Williams flipped during the third heat. R.Vander Weerd flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-16 Spencer, Laps 17-30 D.Gardner.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-D.Gardner-1,189, 2-Spencer-936, 3-Roa-790, 4-C.Williams-751, 5-Mitchell-750, 6-A.Williams-722, 7-Swanson-640, 8-Nic Faas-628, 9-R.Vander Weerd-574, 10-L.Williams-464.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE:November 7 - Perris (CA) Auto Speedway
Results Courtesy USAC
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