DAMION GARDNER LEADS USAC/CRA SPRINT CARS TO SANTA MARIA
By Lance Jennings
AUGUST 3, 2022… After a break in the schedule, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will headline the action at Santa Maria Raceway this Saturday, August 6th. The thirteenth championship point race will also showcase the winged California Lightning Sprints, IMCA SportMods, and Dwarf Cars. Located in Nipomo, California, the pit gates at “The West’s Best Short Track” will open at 1:00pm, front gates open at 4:00pm, time trials at 5:30pm, and racing will begin at 6:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at santamariaraceway.com or call 310.493.4900.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– ALL RACERS MUST PURCHASE THEIR USAC LICENSE / MEMBERSHIPS ONLINE PRIOR TO THE EVENT AT USACRACING.COM OR USACLICENSE.COM. (If racers have a membership question, contact Julie Tanaka at
– APPROVED/LEGAL TIRES: Due to the current tire shortages, ANY Hoosier Right Rear Tire is legal for competition until further notice. All four corners must be Hoosier.
– APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535; SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78; FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101; COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S; B&B: FRAC-0375S; SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– ENTRY FEE: There is an entry fee due at registration / pill pick.
– TRANSPONDERS: Transponders ARE MANDATORY and will be available to rent.
– ONE WAY RADIOS / RACECEIVERS: One way radios ARE MANDATORY.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS: Front axle tether systems (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS: Full containment seats ARE MANDATORY.
– COCKPIT ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS: Cockpit adjustable shocks ARE ALLOWED.
– RULE BOOK: The USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series Rule Book can be found online at usacracing.com.
– Protocol calls for competitors, crews, officials, and anyone on the grounds to practice safe social distancing, proper sanitizing, and follow local regulations regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Saturday’s event marks the reopening of “The West’s Best Short Track.” The 1/3-mile facility has been a popular stop for non-winged sprint car racing since May 31, 1964 when Hal Minyard took the checkered flags with the original CRA. Santa Maria Raceway has held twenty-eight USAC/CRA Sprint Car events since June 18, 2005 and “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with four victories. “The Bullet” Blake Miller set the 1-lap qualifying record of 13.230 on June 14, 2008 and the complete Santa Maria USAC/CRA win list is at the end of this release.
Gardner (Concord, California), who won the last Santa Maria event on July 3, 2021, leads the USAC/CRA standings with a 93-point advantage over the competition. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #1 PerformanceOnline.com / Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner earned his 103rd career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and finished tenth in the June 25th “Bubby Jones and Ray Scheetz Memorial” at Perris Auto Speedway. At press time, the nine-time champion has posted five feature wins, four fast time awards, six heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and 134 feature laps led to his credit. The “World’s Fastest Sprint Car Driver” has ninety-four series wins and will be looking to add another Santa Maria triumph to his resume.
Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, California) ranks second in the USAC/CRA point chase. Driving his #37 Roy Miller Freight Lines / Campbell Brothers Storage Maxim, Mitchell ran second to Brody Roa at the “Bubby Jones and Ray Scheetz Memorial.” To date, The 2014 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one semi-main win, two hard charger awards, ten top-10 finishes, and 35 feature laps led on the season. Matt has eight career USAC/CRA triumphs and will have his sights on his first win at Santa Maria Raceway.
“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) sits third in the chase for the championship. Racing the family owned #2 Digalert / Full Throttle Scissor Lift Rental DRC, Williams placed seventh at Perris Auto Speedway on June 25th. To date, the 2009 Co-Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award, nine top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led in the campaign. “The Big Game Hunter” has eleven career wins and will be looking to add another Santa Maria trophy to his collection.
Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, California) is fourth in the USAC/CRA point standings. Driving the family owned #51T Specialty Fasteners / DRC Chassis entry, Tafoya ran fourth in the “Bubby Jones and Ray Scheetz Memorial.” At press time, the 2019 USAC/CRA and USAC SouthWest Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award and nine top-10 finishes on the season. Eddie will have his sights on his first career USAC/CRA triumph this Saturday night.
Logan Williams (Yorba Linda, California) ranks fifth in championship points. Piloting John McCarthy’s #5W Flowdynamics Incorporated / Drinkpak DRC, Williams finished fifth in the “Bubby Jones and Ray Scheetz Memorial.” To date, the 2014 Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories and seven top-10 finishes in the campaign. Logan will be looking to earn the first USAC/CRA victory of his career at Santa Maria Raceway.
Nate Schank (Santa Rosa, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors and ranks eleventh in the point chase. The pilot of the family owned #1$ Joe Hunt Magnetos / Industrial Machine entry will be looking for his first series win at “The West’s Best Short Track.”.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm, Brody Roa, Matt McCarthy, Verne Sweeney, Austin Grabowski, “T-Dub” Trent Williams, Chris Gansen, A.J. Bender, Kyle Edwards, Chase Johnson, Shane Sexton, Jake Hodges, Tanner Boul, Jeff Dyer, Steve Hix, Joel Rayborne, and more.
Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $30 and parking is $10. For more event information, visit the track’s website at santamariaraceway.com or call 310.493.4900.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks BillsJerky.net, Factory Wraps, Floracing.com, Flowdynamics Incorporated, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim and Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, Laserworx Manufacturing, Woodland Auto Display, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, In Memory of Shawn McDonald, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Vahlco Wheels, and Wilwood Disc Brakes for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact Tony Jones at
or PR Director Lance Jennings at
For more information on the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2004-Rip Williams, 2005-Damion Gardner, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Tony Jones, 2008-Mike Spencer, 2009-Mike Spencer, 2010-Mike Spencer, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Damion Gardner, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner, 2016-Damion Gardner, 2017-Damion Gardner, 2018-Damion Gardner, 2019-Damion Gardner, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-Damion Gardner
2022 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 5-Damion Gardner, 2-Cody Williams, 1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Tanner Boul, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Brody Roa.
SANTA MARIA AMSOIL USAC/CRA 1-LAP QUALIFYING RECORD: Blake Miller – 13.230 (06/14/08)
SANTA MARIA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 4-Damion Gardner, 3-Ryan Bernal, 3-Brody Roa, 2-Max Adams, 2-Rickie Gaunt, 2-Cory Kruseman, 2-Mike Spencer, 2-Austin Williams, 1-Tyler Brown, 1-Nic Faas, 1-Garrett Hansen, 1-Mike Kirby, 1-Blake Miller, 1-Danny Sheridan, 1-Cody Williams, 1-Rip Williams.
2022 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: (Only Licensed Drivers Are Eligible for Year Fund Point Fund) 1. Damion Gardner-828, 2. Matt Mitchell-735, 3. Austin Williams-706, 4. Eddie Tafoya Jr.-667, 5. Logan Williams-641, 6. Cody Williams-554, 7. Tommy Malcolm-532, 8. Charles Davis Jr.-497, 9. Brody Roa-484, 10. Matt McCarthy-468, 11. Nate Schank ®-451, 12. Verne Sweeney-438, 13. Austin Grabowski-398, 14. Trent Williams-391, 15. Chris Gansen-371, 16. A.J. Bender-370, 17. Kyle Edwards-292, 18. Chase Johnson-289, 19. Ricky Lewis ®-235, 20. Mike Martin-213, 21. Shane Sexton-208, 22. Jake Hodges-192, 23. Tanner Boul-168, 24. Jeff Dyer-162, 25. Dan Taylor-146, 26. Logan Calderwood-144, 27. Austin Liggett-135, 28. Chris Bonneau-134, 29. Dustin Cormany-114, 30. Max Adams-111, 31. Travis Buckley-109, 32. Ryan Bernal-106, 33. Danny Parrish-102, 34. Steve Hix-101, 35. Brody Fuson-100, 36. Joel Rayborne-93, 37. Danny Sheridan-90, 38. Jonas Reynolds-88, 39. Jess Beckett-87, 40. Ikaika O’Brien-80, 41. R.J. Johnson-76, 42. Troy Rutherford-75, 43. Dustin Burkhart-74, 44. Shon Deskins-61, –. Gordon Rodgers-61, 46. Randy Nelson-57, 47. Dawson Faria-53, 48. J.J. Yeley-47, 49. Gary Marshall Jr.-44, –. Chris Tramel-44, 51. Richard McCormick-42, 52. Daylin Perreira-40, 53. Austin Ervine-37, 54. Stevie Sussex-35, –. Christopher Muraoka-35, 56. Andrew Sweeney-34, 57. Trent Carter-30, 58. Ben Worth-26, –. Tony Everhart-26, 60. Ryan Timmons-24, 61. Sterling Cling-13, 62. Grant Sexton-11, 63. Tuesday Calderwood-10, –. Jim Vanzant-10, –. Camie Bell-10.
2022 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE:
January 27: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ (Winner: Damion Gardner)
January 28: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ (Winner: Damion Gardner)
January 29: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ (Winner: Damion Gardner)
March 4: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Rained Out)
March 5: Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, CA (Rained Out)
March 26: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Winner: Damion Gardner)
April 1: Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, CA (Winner: Austin Liggett)
April 2: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Winner: Ryan Bernal)
April 23: Mohave Valley Raceway – Mohave Valley, AZ (Winner: Damion Gardner)
April 30: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Winner: Matt Mitchell)
May 14: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Cody Williams)
May 28: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Winner: Cody Williams)
June 11: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Winner: Tanner Boul)
June 25: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Winner: Brody Roa)
August 6: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
August 20: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
September 3: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
September 17: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)
October 1: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
October 8: Mohave Valley Raceway – Mohave Valley, AZ
October 28: *Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ (Western World Championships)
October 29: *Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 3: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 4: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 5: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Cars.
TBA = To Be Announced.
This schedule is subject to change.