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Bryan Clauson Wins USAC/CRA "Sokola Shootout" at Perris

Tuesday March 12, 2013

 

Bryan Clauson in Victory Lane again at Perris.
Photo by Sprint Car Scotty

by Lance Jennings

PERRIS, CA – MARCH 10, 2013… After engine problems sidelined Mike Spencer, Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Indiana led the rest of the way to claim Saturday’s “Sokola Shootout.” The 30-lap victory at Perris Auto Speedway was Clauson’s seventh career Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car triumph as the series will return to Perris on April 6th. “The Demon” Damion Gardner, Nic Faas, “Super” Rickie Gaunt, and “The Cadillac” Cody Williams followed Clauson to the checkered flags.

Driving Ron Chaffin’s #50 Grubstake Mini Storage / Madera Produce Maxim, Spencer powered ahead of Ryan Bernal to grab the early lead. The five-time champion quickly drove to a sizable advantage as Bernal, Clauson, Gardner, Faas, and Ronnie Gardner diced for position. Reaching slower traffic on lap six, Mike nearly had a straightaway lead until a Matt Mitchell flip halted the action two laps later. Mitchell walked away uninjured, but his machine done for the night.

Spencer had an excellent restart and looked to run away from the field. Unfortunately, heartbreak cancelled those plans as his engine locked up and brought his car to a stop. With Spencer out, Clauson inherited the lead but steering arm problems soon knocked second place Bernal out of contention. Damion Gardner took over second and applied pressure to Clauson for the lead. The USAC National Champion shook free from “The Demon” with Faas close behind in third. The top three were running away from the pack as Gaunt was in a tough battle with Ronnie Gardner and Richard Vander Weerd.

A flip by David Bezio stopped the race on lap eleven. On the restart, Gardner managed to stay close and challenged the leader. Bryan began to inch away from Damion as Faas mounted a charge and briefly took second from his Alexander Racing teammate. With the laps counting down at a fast pace, Clauson sliced his way though the back markers. Gardner looked to chase him down, but it was not to be as Clauson scored his eighth USAC main event win of the campaign.

Piloting Mike Martin’s #16B Ultimate Offroad / Naquin Precision Earth Moving Maxim, Bryan Clauson earned his second Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. Finishing third in his heat race, Bryan leaves Perris with the USAC/CRA point lead, two feature wins, one heat race victory, three top-5 finishes, and 39 feature laps led. Clauson will be returning to the Midwest, but may come back to USAC/CRA competition as his schedule allows.

Concord’s “The Demon” Damion Gardner is off to a fast start and finished second in the “Sokola Shootout.” Driving Mark Alexander’s #4A Scott Sales / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Gardner qualified second and placed third in his heat race. To date, the 2005 Champion is tied for second in points with three top-5 finishes on the season. Gardner is still getting acclimated to his new ride and will be looking forward to his April 6th return to Perris Auto Speedway.

Nic Faas of Huntington Beach had made his way to second before scoring third at the checkered flags. Piloting Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike, Faas was fourth quick in time trials and finished third in his heat race. The former USAC Western Midget Series Champion is tied for second in the standings with three top-5 finishes and 5 feature laps led on the year. Faas will be in the mix for a USAC/CRA victory on April 6th.

Torrance’s “Super” Rickie Gaunt came home fourth after starting ninth in the “Sokola Shootout.” Driving David Miller’s #66 Tom Roberts Design / Barnes Systems Eagle, Gaunt qualified tenth out of the thirty-seven cars in attendance and ran fourth in his heat race. The former SCRA Champion currently sits fifth in points with two top-10 finishes on the season. The veteran driver and fan favorite will have his sights on the April 6th main event win at The PAS!.

“The Cadillac” Cody Williams of Yorba Linda had a late race surge from eleventh to claim fifth last Saturday night. Racing Jack Jory’s #44 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams was twelfth quick in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. “The Cadillac” left the “Sokola Shootout” eighth in the point chase with two top-10 finishes on the year. Cody will be looking to surprise the field when USAC/CRA returns to action at Perris.

Yuma, Arizona’s Mike Martin earned the night’s Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a fourteenth place run after starting twenty-first. Piloting his #16 Ultimate Offroad / Naquin Precision Earth Moving Maxim, Martin qualified twenty-fourth on the night and won the Weld Racing / SBI Fuel Systems Heat Race #4. Mike will be returning to the USAC Southwest battles in Arizona this Saturday night at Canyon Speedway Park.

Matt Mitchell of Yorba Linda won the program’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Driving his #37 MPD Racing / A.R.T. Enterprises entry, Mitchell was twenty-first quick and scored twentieth in the main event after a crash ended his night. The hard charging driver has one top-10 finish and will be looking to rebound with an April 6th victory at Perris.

Phoenix, Arizona’s R.J. Johnson raced to victory in the DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Piloting Bobby Martin’s #51 Weiler Farms / Pecon Builders Maxim, Johnson qualified eighteenth on the night and finished eleventh in the 30-lap feature. R.J. won the March 2nd “Copper On Dirt” at Canyon Speedway Park and is sixth in points with two heat race victories and 29 feature laps led. Like Martin, the second generation driver will return to the USAC Southwest wars in Arizona and will occasionally race with USAC/CRA.

Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia claimed victory in the program’s Saldana Racing Products / Circle Track Performance Heat Race #3. Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd was eleventh quick on the night and finished seventh in the main event. Richard will be racing closer to home this Friday and Saturday with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway.

Yorba Linda’s Austin Williams won the 12-lap Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams qualified seventh, scored ninth in his heat race, and ran ninth in the feature. The former Rookie of the Year has one heat race victory on the year and will be looking for his first “home track” victory when USAC/CRA returns to Perris.

The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will be back in action on Saturday, April 6th, at Perris Auto Speedway. Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, more event information can be found at www.perrisautospeedway.com or calling (951) 940-0134. To catch all of the action of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway, Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVD videos available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com. In addition, Perris Auto Speedway offers a pay per view feed of every event at www.circletracknetwork.com.

The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, Weld Racing, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the upcoming season, please email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit www.usacracing.com/cra or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/USAC-CRA-Sprint-Car-Series/167535183297971) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/#!/USAC_CRA).
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AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
March 9, 2013 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “Sokola Shootout”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY TIME TRIALS:
1. Bryan Clauson, 16B, Martin-16.392; 2. Damion Gardner, 4A, Alexander-16.604; 3. Ronnie Gardner, 18, Kittle-16.694; 4. Nic Faas, 4, Alexander-16.712; 5. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-16.748; 6. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-16.750; 7. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.756; 8. David Cardey, 92, Sertich-16.767; 9. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-16.768; 10. Rickie Gaunt, 66, Miller-16.782; 11. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.802; 12. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.815; 13. Cory Kruseman, 7, Priestley-16.878; 14. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.015; 15. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.044; 16. J.J. Ercse, 14, Springstead-17.070; 17. John Aden, 7A, Aden-17.076; 18. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.089; 19. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.103; 20. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-17.173; 21. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-17.226; 22. Markus Niemela, 81, Watt-17.230; 23. Cody Kershaw, 27, Kershaw-17.244; 24. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-17.315; 25. A.J. Bender, 12B, Bender-17.443; 26. Seth Wilson, 1X, Wilson-17.482; 27. Johnny Bluntach, 58, Bluntach-17.676; 28. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-17.727; 29. Cal Smith, 39, CalSun-17.986; 30. Billy Blinn, 26, Blinn-17.989; 31. Jon Kairot, 18W, Watt-18.262; 32. Gary Potter, 6, 18.494; 33. Austin Smith, 36, Springstead-18.604; 34. Mike Collins, 04, Perkins-18.771; 35. Jerry Welton, 62, Welton-19.129; 36. Trevor Cooper, 21k, Kruseman-NT; 37. Justin Grant, 01, Grant-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Matt Mitchell, 2. Ryan Bernal, 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Mike Spencer, 5. John Aden, 6. A.J. Bender, 7. Austin Smith, 8. Cal Smith, 9. Cory Kruseman. NT

DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. R.J. Johnson, 2. Markus Niemela, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Rickie Gaunt, 5. Rip Williams, 6. David Bezio, 7. Seth Wilson, 8. Billy Blinn, 9. Mike Collins. 2:53.80

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE 3 : (10 laps)
1. Richard Vander Weerd, 2. Ronnie Gardner, 3. Cody Kershaw, 4. Johnny Bluntach, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Jace Vander Weerd, 7. Jon Kairot, 8. Jerry Welton, 9. Austin Williams. NT

WELD RACING / SBI FUEL SYSTEMS HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Mike Martin, 2. Bud Kaeding, 3. Nic Faas, 4. Cody Williams, 5. David Cardey, 6. J.J. Ercse, 7. Kenny Perkins, 8. Gary Potter, 9. Trevor Cooper. 2:57.97

COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / ROD END SUPPLY SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Austin Williams, 2. David Bezio, 3. Rip Williams, 4. Brody Roa, 5. J.J. Ercse, 6. Jace Vander Weerd, 7. John Aden, 8. A.J. Bender, 9. Seth Wilson, 10. Kenny Perkins, 11. Cal Smith, 12. Austin Smith, 13. Trevor Cooper, 14. Gary Potter, 15. Jon Kairot, 16. Mike Collins, 17. Jerry Welton. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Bryan Clauson (6th), 2. Damion Gardner (5th), 3. Nic Faas (3rd), 4. Rickie Gaunt (9th), 5. Cody Williams (11th), 6. Ronnie Gardner (4th), 7. Richard Vander Weerd (10th), 8. Rip Williams (12th), 9. Austin Williams (8th), 10. Jace Vander Weerd (16th), 11. R.J. Johnson (15th), 12. Bud Kaeding (17th), 13. Brody Roa (13th), 14. Mike Martin (21st), 15. Markus Niemela (19th), 16. David Bezio (7th), 17. Ryan Bernal (1st), 18. Mike Spencer (2nd), 19. J.J. Ercse (14th), 20. Matt Mitchell (18th), 21. Seth Wilson (23rd), 22. Johnny Bluntach (22nd), 23. Cody Kershaw (20th). NT
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  • Cory Kruseman flipped during the first heat.
  • Matt Mitchell and David Bezio flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 Mike Spencer, Laps 8-30 Bryan Clauson.
KEIZER WHEELS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Mike Martin (21st to 14th)

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS:
1-Bryan Clauson-210, 2-Damion Gardner-187, 3-Nic Faas-187, 4-Bud Kaeding-146, 5-Rickie Gaunt-134, 6-R.J. Johnson-127, 7-Ryan Bernal-124, 8-Cody Williams-111, 9-Mike Spencer-104, 10-Charles Davis Jr.-102.

2013 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE

DATETRACKLOCATION

April 6: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
April 19: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
April 20: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
May 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
May 18: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA
May 25: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Salute To Indy)
June 14: Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
June 15: Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Firecracker 30)
August 9: Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
August 10: Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
August 17: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 31: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 1: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 14: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)
October 5: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Southern California Fair Race)
October 25: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 26: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 1: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 2: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
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  • = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC National Sprints.
    • = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC Western Classic Racing Series.
      This schedule is subject to change.

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.

 

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