USAC WESTERN RACERS CELEBRATED AT LAS VEGAS AWARDS BANQUETsouthwest
Lance Jennings, JANUARY 28, 2018… The United States Auto Club’s western racers, champions, and special award winners were honored last Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hosted by Chris Kearns at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, the 2017 Western Awards Banquet celebrated the accomplishments from thirteen divisions.
The event was headlined by returning champions. “The Demon” Damion Gardner of Concord, California scored his fifth consecutive AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car crown for Mark Alexander. Laveen, Arizona’s R.J. Johnson claimed his fifth straight Sands Chevrolet Southwest Sprint Car title and Ronnie Gardner of Riverside, California earned his fifth consecutive Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget crown for Six8 Motorsports. Anaheim, California’s Jake Swanson claimed his first West Coast Sprint Car championship.
Jesse Love IV of Menlo Park, California swept top honors in the three Speed 2 Western Midget divisions by winning the Overall, Dirt, and Pavement championships.
After another successful season, the USAC National Micro Sprint champions were Jimmy Leal (Coastal Clash), Dex Morris (Coastal Clash Restricted), Josh Ames (Non Wing 600), Trevor Years (Wing 600), Daison Pursley (Restricted 600), and Jade Avedisian (Junior Sprint).
The champions were also honored at the USAC “Night of Champions” in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 8th.
Drivers that earned Rookie of the Year honors were Matt McCarthy (AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car), Brandon Wiley (West Coast Sprint Car), Matt Lundy (Sands Chevrolet SouthWest Sprint Car), Mason Daniel (Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget), and Blake Brannon (Speed 2 Western Midget).
Western USAC special awards were presented to Steve Alexander (Bruce Bromme Jr. Mechanic of the Year), Brett Roa (Billy Wilkerson Memorial Award), and Steve Lafond (Evelyn Pratt Award).
Dick Woodland honored Damion Gardner (AMSOIL CRA Sprint Car), Jake Swanson (West Coast Sprint Car), and Ronnie Gardner (Light Up The World Beverages Western States Midget), for earning the most Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards in their division. It was announced that the Woodland program and series sponsorship will return in 2018.
Darren Hagen of Light Up The World Beverages presented Randi Pankratz with a sportsmanship award. In addition, Hagen announced increased sponsorship for the Western States Midgets in the upcoming season.
The USAC Western staff thanks Mike and Tim Truex of Loudpedal Productions for supplying their great videos and Mike Grosswendt for photographing the event. Special thanks also goes to Woodland Auto Display, Light Up The World Beverages, All Coast Construction, surfnsprint.com, and ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems for their support.
The Western campaign opens on February 3rd at Canyon Speedway Park (Peoria, Arizona) with the “2nd Annual Steve Stroud Memorial” for the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars.
The USAC West Coast and SouthWest Sprint Cars will clash at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, Nevada) on February 28th and March 1st. The non-point “Outlaw Showdown” will pay $3,000-to-win each night.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will battle at Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, California) on March 3rd at the annual “So Cal Showdown.”
On March 17th, Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, California) will host the season opener for the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets. The race will be the first of two co-sanctioned events with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA).
For more information on any of the USAC racing divisions, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content for several of the groups on their respective Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.