Thursday, July 4, 2019

USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Ready To Battle At Santa Maria's "Doug Fort Memorial"

#28m Matt McCarthy (Lance Jennings Photo)

By: Lance Jennings

JULY 4, 2019... After a hard fought battle at Perris, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will invade the Santa Maria Raceway this Saturday, July 6th. Promoted by Nick Duggan, the "11th Annual Doug Fort Memorial" is the first of two appearances at the central coast 1/3-mile oval. The action packed card will also feature IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Dwarf Cars, and the NMRA TQ Midgets. Located in Nipomo, California, the front gates at "The West's Best Short Track" will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 5:00pm, and racing will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the track's website at or call 310.493.4900.

Saturday's point race honors Doug Fort, who built and operated the Santa Maria facility. Opening on Sunday, March 31, 1964 with the California Racing Association (CRA) Sprint Cars, Fort continued to serve as owner and promoter until his passing in 1999. During his tenure, the Santa Maria track was named the "Best Short Track Operation West of the Mississippi" on two separate occasions and hosted a wide variety of race cars.

Originally a winged 410 Golden State Challenge Sprint car race, Tyler Walker claimed the inaugural "Doug Fort Memorial" in 2009. The USAC West Coast 360 Sprints headlined the event in 2012 and "The Kruser" Cory Kruseman won the next two memorials. The show became part of the USAC/CRA schedule in 2014 and "The Cadillac" Cody Williams added his name to the record books. Last season, 2016 USAC West Coast Champion, Brody Roa took the checkered flags ahead of Damion Gardner, Austin Williams, Cody Williams, and "Showtime" Danny Sheridan. Since its inception, the "Doug Fort Memorial" continues to be a popular event and the complete win list is at the bottom of this release.

Since June 18, 2005, Santa Maria Raceway has held twenty-five USAC/CRA Sprint Car events and sixteen different drivers have claimed victory. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with three wins and "The Bullet" Blake Miller set the 1-lap qualifying record of 13.230 on June 14, 2008. A complete Santa Maria USAC/CRA win list is at the end of this release.

Entering the ninth point race, "The Demon" Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) leads the USAC/CRA standings by twenty points. Racing Mark Alexander's #4 Trench Shoring / All Coast Construction Spike, Gardner led seven laps before scoring third at Perris last Saturday night. At press time, the seven-time champion has one feature win, five Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, four heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 33 feature laps led on the year. "The Demon" leads all drivers with 81 series wins and will be looking to add the "Doug Fort Memorial" to his resume.

Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) ranks second in the championship point chase. Piloting the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa scored fourth at Perris Auto Speedway. To date, the former Western World Champion has one feature win, one heat race victory, seven top-10 finishes, and 44 feature laps led to his credit. Currently tied for fifteenth on the series win list, Brody will have his sights on another "Doug Fort Memorial" victory.

"The Big Game Hunter" Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, CA) sits third in the USAC/CRA point standings. Driving Tom and Laurie Sertich's #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Lucas Oil DRC, Williams drove from the back twice to score seventh in last Saturday's feature. At press time, the 2009 Co-Rookie of the Year has one Specialty Fasteners Hard Charger Award and seven top-10 finishes in the campaign. Austin is tied for fifteenth on the series win list and will be looking earn another win at Santa Maria.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, CA) is fourth in the chase for the championship. Racing John Grau & Mike Burkhart's #34AZ Stratis Construction / KSE Custom Drywall DRC, Swanson led the first two laps at Perris before scoring second last Saturday night. To date, the 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Pyrotect Racing Cells Semi-Main win, five top-10 finishes, and 8 feature laps led to his credit. Swanson has two career USAC/CRA wins and will have his sights on his first Santa Maria triumph.

After finishing eleventh at Perris, Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, CA) has climbed to fifth in the USAC/CRA point chase. Piloting the Gansen Engineering Motorsports' #4G Trench Shoring / Circle Track Performance Maxim, Gansen has three top-10 finishes on the year. This Saturday night, Chris will be looking to score his first win at the "Doug Fort Memorial."

Currently twelfth in points, Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, CA) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Steve Hix (Ventura, CA), and Jeff Dyer (Bermuda Dunes, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Tommy "Thunder" Malcolm, Richard Vander Weerd, Matt McCarthy, A.J. Bender, "The Cadillac" Cody Williams, Jace Vander Weerd, Verne Sweeney, "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr., Joel Rayborne, Austin Liggett, James Herrera, 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 $25, Kids Tickets (6-12) are $6, and Kids (5 & Under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track's website at or call 310.493.4900.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks All Coast Construction, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Flowdynamics, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, Specialty Fasteners,, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at

For more information on the series, visit and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

FloSports has USAC/CRA Sprint Car live videos and on demand coverage available for purchase at


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.

"DOUG FORT MEMORIAL" WINNERS: 2009-Tyler Walker, 2010-Tommy Tarlton, 2011-Jonathan Allard, 2012-Cory Kruseman, 2013-Cory Kruseman, 2014-Cody Williams, 2015-Rickie Gaunt, 2016-Ryan Bernal, 2017-Max Adams, 2018-Brody Roa.

SANTA MARIA AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 3-Ryan Bernal, 2-Max Adams, 2-Damion Gardner, 2-Rickie Gaunt, 2-Cory Kruseman, 2-Brody Roa, 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.

2019 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS: 2-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-Brody Roa, 1-Troy Rutherford.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Damion Gardner-549, 2. Brody Roa-529, 3. Austin Williams-475, 4. Jake Swanson-405, 5. Chris Gansen-351, 6. R.J. Johnson-328, 7. Tommy Malcolm-322, 8. Richard Vander Weerd-316, 9. Matt McCarthy-274, 10. A.J. Bender-267, 11. Cody Williams-261, 12. Eddie Tafoya Jr. ®-224, 13. Charles Davis Jr.-223, 14. Stevie Sussex-222, 15. Mike Martin-210, 16. Jace Vander Weerd-199, 17. Matt Mitchell-198, 18. Hunter Schuerenberg-196, 19. Verne Sweeney-188, 20. Steve Hix-170.

March 8: #Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Winner: Josh Hodges)
March 9: #Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Winner: Hunter Schuerenberg)
March 30: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Winner: Brody Roa)
April 13: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Winner: Richard Vander Weerd)
May 4: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Winner: Troy Rutherford)
May 11: Bakersfield Speedway - Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Damion Gardner)
May 25: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Winner: Hunter Schuerenberg)
June 29: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Winner: Richard Vander Weerd)
July 6: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Doug Fort Memorial)
July 13: #Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA
August 17: #Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 31: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / CSW)
September 1: Calistoga Speedway - Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / CSW)
September 2: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma, CA (CSW)
September 5: TBA
September 6: Merced Speedway - Merced, CA (CSW)
September 7: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (CSW)
September 21: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)
September 28: #Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 7: *#Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 8: *#Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 9: *#Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Oval Nationals)
November 15: *#Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 16: *#Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Cars.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars.
CSW = California Sprint Week.
This schedule is subject to change.