USAC WESTERN RACERS CELEBRATED AT
LAS VEGAS AWARDS BANQUET
By Lance Jennings
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.
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.
IV of Menlo Park, California swept top honors in the three
Speed 2 Western Midget divisions by winning the Overall, Dirt,
and Pavement championships.
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).
champions were also honored at the USAC “Night of Champions”
in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 8th.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will battle at Perris Auto Speedway
(Perris, California) on March 3rd at the annual “So Cal
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
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.