Vander Weerd Starts Perris Season With Sokola Classic Win

Photo: Speedblur101

The 20th season of racing at Perris Auto Speedway began March seventh with the “Sokola Classic” and a second Perris win by Richard Vander Weerd who lead the last 23 of the 30 lap feature after a fifth place start.



The feature started with Matt Mitchell on the pole and Austin Williams on the outside front row. Mitchell held the lead at the start while Hunter Schuerenberg, driving for Josh Ford Racing fought with Austin Williams for second place. Schuerenberg fell back quickly as Vander Weerd moved into third on lap three. Richard V. took second place and then the lead on lap eight. The race continued without a caution until lap 14 when Johnnny Bluntech spun in the fourth turn, drawing the official caution while continuing without stopping.

The race restarted without any big change in running order and continued to until Logan Williams flipped in turn three on lap 18. Logan was out quickly and the race was restarted with 17 laps in and the running order Richard V., Austin Williams, Mike Spencer, Damion Gardner and Matt Mitchell. Matt got around Damion on the restart and held fourth on lap 18 but Gardner took it back on lap 19. Up in front Austin was pressing Richard for the lead until they caught lapped traffic on lap 24. Austin Williams was lapping Parker Colston and made contact in turn one and lost track position. Williams was able to hold off Spencer and save second but Richard Vander Weerd was in the clear and safe in the lead.

In the preliminaries RJ Johson, Richard Vander Weerd, and Damion Gardner were the heat winners. Geoff Ensign won the B main. Mike Spencer set fast time at 16.393 seconds.

Next CRA race is the “Copper on Dirt” being contested at USA Raceway Park in Tuscon, AZ on March 20th.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: March 7, 2015 - Perris, California - Perris Auto Speedway - "Sokola Classic”

      QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.393; 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 10 Vander Weerd-16.486; 3. Ronnie Gardner, 93, Gardner-16.502; 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 73, Ford-16.582; 5. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.595; 6. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-16.634; 7. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.679; 8. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.679; 9. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.713; 10. Rickie Gaunt, 9, McDonald-16.779; 11. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-16.866; 12. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-16.879; 13. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-16.995; 14. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.020; 15. Parker Colston, 64, Colston-17.198; 16. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.262; 17. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.308; 18. Johnny Bluntach, 58, Bluntach-17.339; 19. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-17.344; 20. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.362; 21. Terry Schank Jr., 1, Gleeson-17.375; 22. Cal Smith, 39, Cal-Sun-17.414; 23. Michael Curtis, 45C, Turner/Wheeler-17.423; 24. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-17.536; 25. Jeremy Ellertson, 98X, Ellertson-17.567; 26. Anthony Lopiccolo, 36, Springstead-17.657; 27. Tobey Sampson, 12B, Blair-18.442; 28. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-NT.

      FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Spencer, 3. Swanson, 4. Schuerenberg, 5. Gaunt, 6. L.Williams, 7. Malcolm, 8. Ellertson, 9. Smith. 2:52.99

      SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. R.Vander Weerd, 2. A.Williams, 3. C.Williams, 4. Roa, 5. J.Vander Weerd, 6. Ensign, 7. Gansen, 8. Lopiccolo, 9. Curtis. 2:53.39

      THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. D.Gardner, 2. Mitchell, 3. Bezio, 4. R.Gardner, 5. Martin, 6. Schank, 7. Colston, 8. Bluntach, 9. Sampson. 2:54.90

      SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Ensign, 2. Schank, 3. Gaunt, 4. J.Vander Weerd, 5. Colston, 6. Gansen, 7. L.Williams, 8. Bluntach, 9. Curtis, 10. Martin, 11. Lopiccolo, 12. Malcolm, 13. Ellertson, 14. Sampson, 15. Smith. NT

      FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Richard Vander Weerd, 2. Austin Williams, 3. Mike Spencer, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Matt Mitchell, 6. Jake Swanson, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. Ronnie Gardner, 9. Cody Williams, 10. Brody Roa, 11. Geoff Ensign, 12. Rickie Gaunt, 13. David Bezio, 14. Terry Schank Jr., 15. Mike Martin, 16. Michael Curtis, 17. Parker Colston, 18. Chris Gansen, 19. R.J. Johnson, 20. Jace Vander Weerd, 21. Logan Williams, 22. Johnny Bluntach. NT


**L.Williams flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 Mitchell, Laps 8-30 R.Vander Weerd,

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-R.Vander Weerd-73, 2-Spencer-67, 3-A.Williams-66, 4-D.Gardner-59, 5-Mitchell-55, 6-Swanson-51, 7-Schuerenberg-50, 8-R.Gardner-48, 9-C.Williams-42, 10-Roa-38,

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: March 20 - Tucson, AZ - USA Raceway Park - 8th "Copper on Dirt"

Ed Hollowell

Reporter for RIS since 1996. Photo since 2002.

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Volume 2015, Issue 3, Posted 11:52 PM, 03.08.2015