GARDNER, SPENCER DUEL SPICES “SOKOLA SHOOTOUT” AT THE PAS
Defending AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Champion Damion Gardner and five-time series king Mike Spencer continue their battle for the all-time Perris Auto Speedway victory lead Saturday when the series visits the half-mile southern California oval for the “Sokola Shootout.”
Honoring the memory of the Sokola family and longtime CRA and USAC coordinator Gary Sokola, the race opens the 2014 Perris USAC calendar and Gardner, of Concord, Calif. leads the all-time PAS victory list at 26. Spencer has 25 and each notched a victory last year.
Gardner opened the 2014 USAC/CRA calendar with a victory in the February 28 “Copper on Dirt” main event at Peoria, Ariz. Spencer, after posting the fastest qualifying time, finished a disappointing 16th.
Other CRA regulars who scored 2013 PAS wins include Nic Faas, Matt Mitchell and Cory Kruseman, all among possible favorites Saturday.
Spencer leads in the all-time list of Perris USAC/CRA lap leaders, with 644 laps in 39 races.
2014 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Standings: 1-Damion Gardner-68, 2-R.J. Johnson-65, 3-Gary Taylor-60, 4-Charles Davis Jr.-58, 5-Nic Faas-55, 6-Josh Hodges-51, 7-Mike Martin-50, 8-Jake Swanson-42, 9-Colby Copeland-40, 10-Matt Mitchell-39.
WEST COAST SPRINTS FRIDAY AT TULARE’S THUNDERBOWL;
LIGGETT WINS LVMS “SIN CITY SHOWDOWN”
Austin Liggett of Tracy, Calif., USAC’s 2012 West Coast Sprint Car “Rookie of the Year,” will lead the series to this Friday night’s event at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
Liggett scored his initial USAC West Coast victory in last Thursday night’s 25-lap “Sin City Showdown” at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Piloting his Excel Environmental Services/Home Connections Maxim/Reitz, Liggett led all but the first two laps to beat J.J. Yeley, Mike Spencer, Nic Faas and Josh Pelkey. Yeley led the opening two laps of the race.
Thursday’s race also carried “special event” status for the USAC Southwest Sprint Cars, which open their 2014 points calendar March 29 at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
Defending West Coast champ Danny Faria Jr. escaped injury in a flip on the aborted start of the feature at Las Vegas. Danny had five top-10s at Tulare last year, his best finish a second.
Ryan Bernal and Richard Vander Weerd won the five races contested at Tulare in 2013. Bernal won three times and Vander Weerd twice.
2014 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Standings: 1-Austin Liggett-66, 2-J.J. Yeley-64, 3-Mike Spencer-60, 4-Nic Faas-54, 5-Troy Rutherford-53, 6-Josh Pelkey-52, 7-Markus Niemela-49, 8-Charles Davis Jr.-44, 9-Matt Mitchell-39, 10-Mike Martin-37.