By: Lance Jennings - USAC Media
Entering its 14th season, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will showcase 24 events at 11 racetracks in 2017. Starting with the "Sokola Shootout" and closing with the "Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction" at Perris, this promises to be another competitive year for the traditional 410s. A highlight of the schedule is the popular "4th Annual California Sprint Week" that features six shows in eight nights at five speedways.
Perris Auto Speedway will host eleven races on the 2017 calendar. Promoted by Don Kazarian, "America's Premier Dirt Track" continues to feature special events like the "Sokola Shootout" on March 4th and the "So Cal Showdown" with the World of Outlaws on April 1st. The "Salute to Indy" on May 27th, the August 26th "California Racers Hall of Fame Night," and the "Glenn Howard Classic" on September 23rd also highlight the schedule.
Starting November 9th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA and USAC National Sprints will clash for three nights at the prestigious "22nd Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction." Last season, "The Demon" Damion Gardner led all drivers with three "home track" wins, including the $25,000 Oval Nationals on his way to his fifth series crown. Bryan Clauson, Josh Hodges, "The Big Game Hunter" Austin Williams, Richard Vander Weerd, "Showtime" Danny Sheridan, Matt Mitchell, "The Hanford Hornet" Chad Boespflug, and "The People's Champion" Dave Darland also won at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds. Perris Auto Speedway is located at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California and for more information, visit www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.
The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare returns to the USAC/CRA schedule on April 8th. Promoted by Steve Faria, the lightning fast 1/3-mile oval will also feature the USAC Western States Midgets. The Tulare County Fairgrounds last hosted the traditional 410s on May 18, 2013 and Mike Spencer took the checkered flags. The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California and for more details, visit www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.
Bakersfield Speedway also returns to the AMSOIL USAC/CRA calendar on April 15th. Promoted by Scott Schweitzer, "The West's Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval" last featured the non-winged 410s on March 12, 2005 and "The Kruser" Cory Kruseman scored the win. Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California and for more information, visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.
On May 6th, the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will make their only appearance of the year at Ventura Raceway. Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and promoted by Jim Naylor, "The Best Little Dirt Track in America" is also home to the "Turkey Night Grand Prix." Last season, Troy Rutherford become the second driver in series history to claim a victory with an iron-block 360 engine. Ventura Raceway is located at 10 West Harbor Boulevard in Ventura, California and for more details, visit www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
Santa Maria Raceway will host two shows on the schedule. Promoted by Mike Kappmeyer, the July 1st "Doug Fort Memorial" and the August 5th race at "The West's Best Short Track" are fan favorites. Last July, Ryan Bernal returned from an eight-month layoff from racing and took the victory at the 1/3-mile oval. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California and for more information, visit www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.
The scenic Calistoga Speedway will open "California Sprint Week" on September 2nd with two nights of action. Promoted by Tommy Hunt and HMC Promotions, "10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic" will also feature the USAC Western States Midgets, vintage cars, an autograph session, auctions, wine tasting, and more. Last season, Ryan Bernal and Thomas Meseraull earned hard fought victories at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.
On Monday, September 4th, Petaluma Speedway will host the third round of "California Sprint Week." Promoted by Rick Faeth, "The Fastest 3/8-mile Dirt Oval in Northern California" has become a popular stop on the schedule. Last season, "The Demon" Damion Gardner earned his second win of the campaign at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more details, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.
On Thursday, September 7th, the powerful 410s will return to Chico's Silver Dollar Speedway. Promoted by Dennis Gage, the fourth round of "California Sprint Week" is held during the "Gold Cup Race of Champions" and also features the USAC Western States and BCRA Midgets. Last September, "The Demon" Damion Gardner" scored his third win of the season at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.
Ocean Speedway in Watsonville will showcase the fifth round of "California Sprint Week" on Friday, September 8th. Promoted by John Prentice, the 1/4-mile oval at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is a fan favorite. Last year, Thomas Meseraull earned a dramatic last corner victory over Damion Gardner to claim his second Sprint Week win. Ocean Speedway is located at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville, California and for more details, visit www.racepmg.com or call 831.662.9466 (WINN).
The USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will invade the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford on September 9th. Promoted by Bubby Morse, the 3/8-mile Central Valley oval will host the sixth and final round of "California Sprint Week." Last September, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon won the race and Damion Gardner claimed his second mini-series crown. Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is located at 801 South 10th Avenue in Hanford, California and for more information, visit www.racekingspeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.
Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley, Arizona will host two nights of action starting on November 3rd. Promoted by Jonah Trussel, the "50th Annual Western World Championships" will also feature the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Cars. Last year, Chris Windom of Illinois won both nights at the fast 1/3-mile oval. Arizona Speedway is located at 47800 N. Ironwood Road in San Tan Valley, Arizona and for more details, visit www.arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.
2017 USAC/CRA AMSOIL SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Mar 4: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Apr 1: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Apr 8: Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA)
Apr 15: Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, CA)
May 6: Ventura Raceway (Ventura, CA)
May 27: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Jun 24: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Jul 1: Santa Maria Raceway (Santa Maria, CA)
Jul 22: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Aug 5: Santa Maria Raceway (Santa Maria, CA)
Aug 26: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Sept 2: (S) Calistoga Speedway (Calistoga, CA)
Sept. 3: (S) Calistoga Speedway (Calistoga, CA)
Sept 4: (S) Petaluma Speedway (Petaluma CA)
Sept 7: (S) Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Sept 8: (S) Ocean Speedway (Watsonville, CA)
Sept 9: (S) Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Sept 23: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Oct 21: Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov 3: (N) Arizona Speedway (San Tan Valley, AZ)
Nov 4: (N) Arizona Speedway (San Tan Valley, AZ)
Nov 9: (N) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov 10: (N) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov. 11: (N) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
(S) represents a California Sprint Week event
(N) represents an event with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship