USAC Western States Midgets 2004 winners:

USAC Western States Midgets career wins

USAC Western States Sprint Cars career wins

USAC Western States Sprint Cars 2004 winners

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USAC's National and Western Sprint Car Series will have title sponsorship from Valvoline in 2004, 2005 and 2006 as the Lexington, KY-based company has extended its USAC involvement to an increased level.

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Yearbook Headlines - ...Yet another HammerDown! "work-in-progress" that we enjoy sharing with our readers. Please check back often, as each year will be updated further.

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...Some details on the new USAC/CRA sprint car series for 2004. The minimum purse structure will be $14,250 per event. Each feature winner will receive $2500 and it will pay $300 to start. A $700 contribution to the annual point fund by each race organizer for each event held at their track will be mandatory. Hoosier tires will be required on all four wheels. The Championship Point Fund for the 2004 season will be a minimum of $60,000. All owners and drivers will be required to be members of USAC/CRA. The annual licensing fee is $185 for drivers, $175 for owners and $125 for crew members. That license will include $100,000 of excess participant accident insurance at any USAC/CRA or USAC National sprint car race. Pit fees will remain $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers.



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...The famous Wood Brothers (David Pearson) from the NASCAR ranks are new owners of a Ford Focus midget.



EAST ADDS "TURKEY NIGHT G.P." TO IMPRESSIVE "04 LIST - By Ken Wagner - Irwindale, CA. 11/25/04 ...USAC National Midget Champion Bobby East of Brownsburg, Indiana won the 64th Turkey Night Grand Prix USAC Midget 100 lap feature at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA Thursday night. Bobby grabbed the lead from Tony Hunt on lap 26 and then battled Arron Fike, who took the lead from him on lap 59, the rest of the race. East took back the lead on lap 91 and pulled away for his 16th win of the year, making him the winningest USAC driver in 2004. with 16 total feature victories in various series. Driving the Steve Lewis, ASE Ford, Beast, Pink Ford, Bobby said "I used lap traffic like a pick in basketball after Aaron got by me. Then I moved up and found a line that was better for me and got faster." Following the leader at the checkered flag were Aaron Fike, Tracy Hines, Jason Leffler and Jerome Rodela. NASCAR veteran J J Yeley finished eighth and 2000 "Turkey Night" champ Tony Stewart was unable to secure a feature slot, encountering mechanical problems early in his qualifying race. (More)

Lewis gobbles Irwindale sprints, Hunt crowned champion - By Bobby Gerould - Irwindale, CA. November 25, 2004. …Michael Lewis, of Noblesville, Indiana ran away with the Thanksgiving night Casey Diemert Classic at Irwindale Speedway Thursday. The season ending event on the half-mile paved track also settled the season championship for the Valvoline United States Auto Club Western States Sprint Cars. Tony Hunt of Fair Oaks, CA. was crowned as the 2004 champion. The title was the second Western Sprint Car championship for the winningest driver in the history of the series. The fastest 14 from time-trials were automatically locked into the 40-lap feature event. Six cars were inverted by their qualifying times. The rest of the field was comprised of the top eight finishers in the Qualifying Race. Kody Swanson and Josh Wise shared the front row, flanked by Tony Stewart and Bobby East. Western Speed teammates and top-two qualifiers Tony Hunt and Michael Lewis lined up in row three. (More)

East goes southwest for Tucson Sprint Sweep - by Bobby Gerould - Tucson, AZ. - November 20, 2004. …Bobby East of Brownsburg, Indiana ran away with the sprint car portion of the Old Pueblo Classic Saturday night at Tucson Raceway Park. The United States Auto Club Western States Sprint Car feature event win was the 15th overall for East in 2004. "This is great!" exclaimed East in the winner's circle. "My crew had this baby hooked up tonight. The Ford motor was strong, and the Penske shocks worked perfectly." The 19 year-old's winning mount was the Klatt Enterprises #5x Beast. (More)

Kaeding captures second Western World at Manzanita - By Dick Jordan - PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 6, 2004) ...Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. chased down Levi Jones with four laps to go to win the 37th NAPA Auto Parts/Budweiser "Western World" title for the second time in front of an overflow crowd at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. The 40 lap race had only one yellow flag as Kaeding used a lap car to squeeze by Jones and beat him to the checkered flag in his Loan City/High Five Pizza Maxim/Shaver. The excited Kaeding dedicated his win to a friend who passed away this past week. He said the Western is what it's all about. "I am so excited to win because Levi was faster than us," said Kaeding in victory lane. He let the crowd know he likes having his name up there with the many famous winners before him. He finished in second place in the USAC National points behind champion Jay Drake, who finished eighth in Saturday night's feature. (more)

Kruseman wins wild Oval Nationals with last lap pass - By Bobby Gerould - Perris, CA. 10/30/04 ...Cory Kruseman took home $30,000 with a last-lap pass of Josh Ford to win the 50-lap Perris Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway Saturday night. Driving the Tony Stewart owned #21, Kruseman drove deep into turn one on lap 50 to pull even with the low-groove running Ford. Kruseman won by less than a car-length at checkered flag. Levi Jones drove from the rear of the starting grid to complete the podium finishers. Bud Kaeding and Tony Elliott completed the top-five. Mike Kirby led the opening 38 laps but was involved in a fluky accident with Damion Gardner that eliminated both from contention for a win. As Gardner slid past Kirby in turn four on lap 39, Kirby charged back, lifting the front end of his Crossno #38. The front nerf bar on the #38 came down on the rear nerf bar of Gardner's car. The two were connected like toy trains and although they tried to shake each other off to untangle themselves, they ended up spinning in turn one. The lead fell to Bud Kaeding but his stay at the point was short-lived as the sixth starting Kruseman, and fourth starting Ford raced to the front. Ford was in the lead on lap 49 but Kruseman was the man pumping his fist in victory on the cool down lap. C-Main winner Mike Spencer transferred through the C-Main and B-Main to finish sixth! Charles Davis Jr. was running in the top-four late in the race but ended up seventh. Rip Williams, the USAC/CRA points leader finished eighth, followed by Steve Ostling, and Dave Darland. Brent Kaeding won the B-Main and ran 14th in the feature. Kruseman sliced heavily into Jay Drake's USAC National points lead; reducing the margin to 72 points. Drake finished 15th in the Oval Nationals A-Main.

STRATTON CHARGES TO BCRA/USAC MIDGET WIN AT HANFORD - By Floyd Busby, HANFORD, CA., OCT. 9: Danny Stratton charged from twelfth to capture the 30-lap Bay Cities Racing Association and Untied States Auto Club Western States co-sanctioned Midget race in the Pacific Coast Open at the Kings Speedway in Hanford. (more)

Hot Kirby has something to say about USAC/CRA title chase - By Ken Wagner - 09/25/04 - Phoenix, AZ. …For the third time on four weeks, Mike Kirby won a Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car race. Kirby said on Friday before the trip, "I am going to win Saturday night, guaranteed!" After the win, he said "watch out for us at Perris in two weeks, I'll do it again!" It was Kirby's sixth win this season with the club and 9th overall in the Glenn and Carol Crossno TCR running with two other associations. With 34 cars signed in, it was a fast paced night on a racy track. (More)

Paden takes advantage, wins Ventura USAC Western States Midgets event - By Bobby Gerould, 09/25/04 - Ventura, CA. …Steven Paden capitalized on a tangle between the first and second place running cars Saturday night to win the 30 lap USAC Western States Midget feature event at Ventura Raceway. The 2003 series champion assumed the lead on a lap 21 restart when Wally Pankratz and leader Jerome Rodela crashed. It was Paden's fourth win on the 2004 season. (More)

DAMION GARDNER PASSES PETER MURPHY LATE TO WIN SEVENTH. - By Ken Wagner – Perris, CA. 09/18/04 …The 20th Valvoline USAC/CRA event of the season featured Damion Gardner's last lap pass of Aussie driver, Peter Murphy, as they went under the white flag exciting the crowd. Peter led 28 laps before Damion made a very calculated pass for his seventh win of the season. Gardner said "I knew I was faster than Murphy, but he was running in the middle of the track, and I had to wait for "my lane" to open up before I could go for it". (More)

Madera USAC / BCRA go to Lewis By Bobby Gerould, 09/18/04 – Madera, CA. …The United States Auto Club Western States Midgets and Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets came together to co-sanction the 33rd annualar Harvest Classic at chilly Madera Speedway Saturday evening. At the end of 40 laps, Michael Lewis stood in the winner’s circle, having driven brilliantly in the Western Speed Racing #40. "Our start was good and then it went away", said the winner. "The car really changed at the end of the race and I was super tight in turns three and four. Larry (Trigueiro Jr.) was giving me hand signals and he was trying to tell me (Thomas) Meseraull was coming on the bottom but I thought he was telling me to get to the bottom. It worked out though, thanks to the great equipment we have which is possible because of Red Line Oil, Wirtgen, Hoosier Tires, and all of our sponsors." (More)

Kirby moves into second in USAC / CRA points with big Perris victory - By Ken Wagner - 09/11/04 - Perris, CA…Mike Kirby beat point leader, Rip Williams, for the second week in a row as he won his fifth Valvoline USAC/CRA race of 18 events this season. Kirby led all 30 laps at Perris Auto Speedway and afterwards in the winners circle said about the Ripper "He raced me clean all night and if I don't win the championship, I hope he does." Kirby now is in second place in the championship race, less than 100 points behind Ripper. The top three in points all won their heats this week and set the stage for another shootout in the main event, but one of them didn't finish the main. (Read it all)

USAC win in Starr Classic is second of season for 'road racer' Tim Barber - By Bobby Gerould - Stockton, CA. - September 4, 2004. …Tim Barber showed again at Stockton 99 Speedway why he could be a force to be reckoned with on the pavement oval track scene. The 'road racer' from San Francisco started Ken Pierson's Eagle #14 outside of the second row and snatched the lead from Greg Anderson on lap three before cruising to a late-night win Saturday. Barber was challenged by Tony Hunt in the final set of turns but slammed the door on the former champion and won his second United States Auto Club Western States Sprint Car feature event. (More)

Sportsmanship helps rookie Anderson to first USAC win - By Bobby Gerould - Boise, Idaho. - August 28, 2004. …Greg Anderson didn't know if his family operated team would be able to race Saturday at Meridian Speedway after a hard crash Friday night heavily damaged his Eagle chassis #2 sprint car. However, with a helping hand from many traveling USAC Western States Sprint Car teams, the rookie not only was able to compete but he walked off with his initial sprint car feature event win. The 22 year-old son of Wendell (JR.) and Sharon is the nephew of former NARC driving champions Billy and Johnny Anderson. (more)

Murgoitio uses home track advantage to win USAC Western feature - By Bobby Gerould - Boise, Idaho. - August 27, 2004. …Mike Murgoitio, having already won this season at Meridian Speedway in a late model stock car and winged sprint car, can add non-winged sprinter to the list. The Meridian Idaho driver led all 40 laps of the USAC Western States Sprint Car Series feature event Friday night. The win was the first under the USAC sanction for the talented 20 year-old. Following Murgoitio to the finish line were Tony Hunt, Robert Beck, Brad Bumgarner, and Tim Barber. (more)

Photos from Madera!

Lewis sprints to 100-lap Trigueiro Classic loot - By Bobby Gerould - Madera, CA. - August 21, 2004. …The biggest race of the year for the USAC Western States Sprint Car Series took place Saturday night at warm and breezy Madera Speedway. The "Trigueiro Classic" honored the family that has produced winning race cars in Central California for 45 years. Appropriately it was the Larry Trigueiro Jr. wrenched Western Speed Racing #40 driven by Michael Lewis that emerged victorious in the 100-lap race. Lewis withheld a late challenge from teammate Tony Hunt by slicing through traffic with a surgeon's precision. "The car was awesome", said Lewis after his fifth win of the 2004 USAC Western States season. "To run 100-laps with a perfect car is unbelievable." (read it all)

Quick time and feature to Hunt in USAC Western States Madera go - By Bobby Gerould - August 7, 2004 - Madera, CA. …"Billy Vukovich (III), and Davey Hamilton taught me a lot about Madera Speedway. The top is where the track is", stated winner Tony Hunt. Emerging from his Western Speed Racing Eagle/Wes-Mar sprinter after a 50-lap victory in the United States Auto Club Western States main event, Hunt continued, "Things were not going our way early in the race, and I had to control my emotions to get this result. Running races like the Little 500 really helps condition you to think of the race like a blackjack table. It will be hot and cold. Early, this race was cold, later it came to us, and became hot. It was a matter of sticking with it." (Read it all!)

Gardner loves Skagit, powers to 40-lap USAC / CRA win - By Bobby Gerould - July 31, 2004 - Alger, WA. ...Even before the weekend started, Damion "The Demon" Gardner was professing his love for Skagit Speedway. It is rare that sprint cars race at the 3/10's mile dirt oval without wings and Gardner seemingly could not wait to run the cushion at the Northwest speedplant. Saturday night, Gardner defeated a 24 car main-event field to win the 40-lap USAC / CRA sprint car feature in front of a large audience. Gardner started on the pole, and led every lap, holding off first Cory Kruseman, and then series points leader Rip Williams. (More)

Rip Williams and Damion Gardner lead USAC / CRA to Skagit Speedway. Kruseman, Murphy, Kirby, and Kaeding Entered too. - By Bobby Gerould - Sacramento, CA. July 21, 2004. …Rip Williams doesn't bother with hype, and gossip. He just races. "I work during the week, and race on the weekends", said the United States Auto Club / California Racing Association points leader. That matter of fact approach has always been associated with the 48 year-old veteran driver from Yorba Linda, California. It is the approach that Williams will use over the weekend of July 30th and 31st as the USAC / CRA series visits Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington. (more)

Baisch cooks at home, wins Salt Lake sprint - Salt Lake City, Utah - 07/24/04 - Mike Baisch the points leader in the USAC Rocky Mountain Region, earned a big win in the USAC Western States, Rocky Mountain Sprint Car Series Saturday night. His Rocky Mountain Raceways victory included a top-three sweep for local drivers as Jim Waters, and Brian Evans finished second and third. Western States stars Shauna Hogg, and Greg Anderson rounded out the top five. (more)

Hansen Ventura Winner - Ventura, CA. 07/24/04 ...Garrett Hansen passed Wally Pankratz on the final lap to win the United States Auto Club Western States Midget feature event Saturday evening. Hansen, driving his family owned #70, also had quick-time. (More)

Lewis is hot! Four for six in USAC Western States - By Bobby Gerould - July 17, 2004 - Monroe, WA. …To say Michael Lewis was dominant would be a huge understatement. The Noblesville, IN. pilot lapped up to sixth place in the 40-lap feature race at Evergreen Speedway Saturday evening. The victory in the United States Auto Club Western States Sprint Car Series was the fourth of the year for Lewis. Considering there have been only a half-dozen races so far this season, you could call Lewis red-hot! (more)

Lewis scores at South Sound - By Bobby Gerould - July 16, 2004 - Tenino, WA. …Beautiful weather and 28 United States Auto Club Western States sprint cars invaded South Sound Speedway Friday night. At the conclusion of the 40-lap feature event Michael Lewis, the defending series champion stood in the winner's circle after a non-stop drive on the 3/8's-mile paved oval. (more)

USAC Western States Midgets Photos

Paden Bakersfield Best, Rahe King of Focus - By Bobby Gerould, 07/10/04 - Oildale, CA. …Steven Paden scored his second win of the year in USAC Western States Midget competition at Bakersfield Speedway Saturday night. The win was the third overall in the 2004 series for the Downey, California driver. The winning mount was the Richard Farrier Stealth (Indy) / Esslinger #0, wrenched in part by Paden's brother Nathan Senecal. (More)

USAC / CRA Photos from Perris July 3, 2004

Gardner Towers in Firecracker 50 - By Bobby Gerould - 07/03/04 - Perris, CA. …Standing room only was the rule at Perris Auto Speedway Saturday night as the Valvoline United States Auto Club California Racing Association sprint cars took to the ½-mile clay oval for the Budweiser Firecracker 50. Concord California's Damion "The Demon" Gardner responded to a late race challenge from Mike Kirby to win an exciting feature event. (More)

WILLIAMS "RIPS" THROUGH PERRIS CRA FIELD - Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, Calif. continues to lead the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series standings after his third win of 2004 Saturday night at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. Williams and his John Jory Corporation/Weld Wheels Stinger/Shaver led the final nine laps of the 30-lap feature after passing Jordan Hermansader on lap 22. Hermansader slipped to third at the checkered flag behind Damion Gardner, who trails Williams by 56 points in the CRA standings going into a July 3 race at Perris. (More)

Rodela Flies at Seaside - By Bobby Gerould, 06/19/04 - Ventura, CA. …Jerome Rodela scored his first career dirt feature win with a dominant drive in the 30-lap feature event for the United States Auto Club Western States Midgets at Seaside Park Saturday evening. The El Monte, CA. driver took the lead from Johnny Rodriguez on lap nine with a low pass in turn two. The win capped a big effort for Rodela who also notched his fourth consecutive quick-time run in the West Coast's premier midget car series. "Once the first couple of laps went down, I felt I had a car underneath me that was capable of winning the race", said the 23 year-old Rodela. "Andy Bondio, and Van Dyne engineering helped me out a ton. This was only our second start at Ventura." (More)

Photos of Bakersfield Midgets June 5, 2004.

Rough Bakersfield Track Survived by Flock and Rahe - By Bobby Gerould - June 5, 2004 - Oildale, CA. …Robby Flock survived a rough and rugged Bakersfeild Speedway Saturday night to win the United States Auto Club Western States Midget feature event. In a wild, ten caution, two red flag, 30 lap race, the finish came down to a two-lap shootout between Flock, and Johnny Rodriguez. The latter is the points leader in the traveling dirt and pavement series. (More)

Bakersfield Speedway Ready for USAC Western States Midgets SaturdayBy Bobby Gerould – Oildale, CA. 06/02/04 …A spectacular sight in auto racing is viewable this Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. The top racers in the Western United States will compete in the United States Auto Club midget races on the track perfectly suited for such cars. Defending champion, Steven Paden of Downey, California heads the pre-entry list for Saturday night’s event at the 1/3-mile high-banked dirt speed plant. Paden (24) is riding a two race feature win streak in the Richard Farrier Esslinger / Stealth #01. Paden’s two wins have come at Bakersfield, and Perris. The tenth round of the USAC Western States Midgets Series will run with Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, CA. leading the point standings in the popular 26-race series that crowns champion of West Coast midget racing.  (more)

GARDNER TAKES PERRIS SPRINT, NOW 3RD IN POINTS - Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. led the final 16 laps of Saturday night's 50-lap Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint car feature at the Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. The victory in Ron Chaffin's Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply/Arizona Race Mart John Boy/Shaver left him third in the series standings going into a June 12 race at the same track. (More)

Gardner Perris Winner - May 29, 2004.

Williams Blasts USAC/CRA Foes at Ventura - By Bobby Gerould, 05/22/04, Ventura, CA. … The 1/5 mile Ventura Raceway at Seaside Park is one of a handful of special places in the USA to view a sprint car race. With the cool marine climate, and tight, close quartered racing, the track drips with atmosphere. Saturday night, the United States Auto Club (USAC), and California Racing Association (CRA) sprinters showed up 26-strong to contest a full program at the track that lies just few yards from the Pacific Ocean. When the checkered flag fell at 9:02 PM, points leader Rip Williams won by over a straightaway in a non-stop event. (more)

Paden Powers to Perris Win - By Dick Jordan - 05/22/04 - Perris, CA. ...Defending USAC Western Midget Car Champion Steve Paden of Downey, Calif. notched his second consecutive series feature win in Saturday night's 30-lapper at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. The win boosted him to fifth in the new series standings going into a June 5 race at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. Paden and the Richard Farrier Esslinger Engineering/Anglemyer Crane Stealth/Esslinger passed Josh Lakatos on lap 19 and led the final 12 laps to beat series point leader Johnny Rodriguez, former series champ Wally Pankratz, Mike Leslie and four-time series champ Robby Flock. (more)

Paden Masters Oildale Clay, Bragg Focus Hero - By Bobby Gerould - May 15, 2004 - Bakersfield, CA. …Steven Paden took on all comers in the United States Auto Club Western States Midgets 30 lap feature event at Bakersfield Speedway Saturday night. The Downey, California resident took the lead on lap four and once in front was never headed. "I want to thank my crew," said Paden. "We made bar changes and chased the track all night." (more)

Tim Barber Christens New & Improved Shasta Raceway Park - By Bobby Gerould - May 8, 2004 - Anderson, CA. …Shasta Raceway Park underwent major improvements during the off-season. A completely reworked west end turn added length to the former 1/3 mile paved oval, making it a faster 3/8's mile. Saturday night, the new layout was tested by the non-wing sprint cars of the traveling Valvoline USAC Western States series. At the end of the 40 lap feature event, San Francisco's Tim Barber emerged as the winner, and the racetrack's debut produced exciting wheel-to-wheel racing. (more)

USAC Western States Sprint Cars - Madera Speedway - Madera, CA. 05/01/04 - 1. Michael Lewis, 2. Tony Hunt, 3. Brad Bumgarner, 4. Jeff Gardner, 5. Chad Nichols

Ripper is USAC / CRA Winner at Perris - Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, Calif. leads the new Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car point standings after scoring his initial series feature victory in Saturday night's 30-lap race at the Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. (more)

Photos of Madera Western States Sprints and Ford Focus

Michael Lewis a USAC Western States Flash at Madera - By Bobby Gerould - April 24, 2004 - Madera, CA. …Noblesville Indiana is the home of Michael Lewis but he has been making a living at Madera Speedway. For the second time in two tries this month, Lewis walked away with USAC cash in Central California. This time Lewis backed up his Midget win of 14 days ago with a strong run on the Madera pavement in a Western States sprint car. (more)

Madera Ready for USAC Sprints and Ford Focus Midgets - By Bobby Gerould - 04/21/04 - Madera, CA. …The Valvoline Untied States Auto Club (USAC) Western States Sprint Car series will open its 2004 racing season Saturday night April 24th at Madera Speedway. A strong list of pre entrants has thrown their helmets into the ring for the paved sprint car event with a purse approaching $16,000. No less than six states will be represented Saturday night at the fast one-third mile Central California speed plant. (more)

Garrett Hansen is Ventura Midget Ace - HD Staff - Garrett Hansen was almost perfect Saturday night at Ventura Raceway. A second place run in his heat was the only "blemish" on a night when Hansen won the feature, and set quick time. Trailing Hansen at the checkered were Dallen McKinney, Johnny Rodriguez, Wally Pankratz, and Robby Flock. (Summary)

Madera Photos

Michael Lewis Endures for 100 Lap USAC Western States Cash - By Bobby Gerould - Madera, CA. 04/10/04 …The United States Auto Club Western States and Bay Cities Racing Association came together for the 2nd Annual Fred Gerhardt Classic for midgets Saturday night. Under breezy conditions the speedy cars took to the one-third mile paved oval Madera Speedway for a 100-lap 'throwback' style race. Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Indiana walked away with the $3,000 winner's share after leading every lap of a caution filled endurance test. "When the car is as good as it was tonight, our job is easy", said Lewis from the winner's circle. "The guys that work on this Western Speed Racing #40 put in so many hours. 100 laps was hectic but there is not anywhere I'd rather be." (More)

Four Winners in Four Races in USAC/CRA, Gardner takes Hanford - By Bobby Gerould, 04/03/04, Hanford, CA. …Non-winged sprint cars with 410 cubic inch motors, and 800 plus horsepower returned to sticky Kings Speedway Saturday night. Marking the first time since 1997 that such an event has run at the Hanford fairgrounds, the United States Auto Club, California Racing Association race was highly anticipated in the Central Valley. At the completion of 30 laps of clay slinging, Concord, California's Damion Gardner became the fourth different Feature winner in as many 2004 races for the Valvoline sponsored series. (more)

USAC/CRA SPRINTS AT KINGS SPEEDWAY SATURDAY - By Dick Jordan. ...The Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series visits Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. this Saturday night, with a 30-lap feature event scheduled on the 3/8-mile dirt oval. The race is the first for the new series at the historic Hanford oval and should shake up the current standings after the first three races, which sported three different winners. Mike Kirby, Dave Darland and Cory Kruseman are the race winners so far, but Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. resides second in the standings, just 20 back of Kruseman going into Saturday's program. (more)

WESTERN "TRIPLEHEADER" AT LVMS "BULLRING" SATURDAY ...Three USAC racing series convene Saturday at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, kicking off the 2004 racing season for the Western Sprint Cars and also featuring the Western Midgets and California Ford Focus Midgets. (more)

Bobby East Goes West, 'Steeles' the ShowBy Bobby Gerould – 03/27/04 – Baldwin Park, CA. …It was supposed to be Dave Steele’s $50,000. A story worthy of nearby Hollywood’s attention. There was no way anyone was as fast in an open track as the Tampa, Florida pavement ace was Saturday night. He out-qualified the field by over four-tenths of a second on the banked half-mile Irwindale Speedway showplace. At stake in the MOPAR Twin 25’s was a 50 grand bonus from Automotive Racing Products to anyone who could win the first 25 lap midget race, and then start 25th in the second Twin 25, and somehow win that too. When Steele dominated the dash from sixth starting spot and had the lead in two laps, the writing appeared to be on the script. Steele looked like a shoe-in. (more)

Steele Untouchable in Copper World Silver Crown - 03/21/04 ...Avondale, AZ. ...Tampa Florida's Dave Steele continued his dominance at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday with a wire-to-wire victory in the the 27th Annual "Copper World Classic", leading all 100 laps in the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series' opening event. It was his third consecutive victory in the event. (more)

Kruseman Collects Sokola Classic Cash - By Bobby Gerould - 03/20/04, Phoenix, AZ. …Ventura California driver Cory Kruseman mastered the Manzanita Speedway half-mile Saturday night to score the $3,500 winner's share of the Valvoline, United States Auto Club / California Racing Association, Sokola Classic sprint car feature event. Driving the Alexander Racing #4, Kruseman pressured early leader Tony Jones for the opening 17 of 40 laps. The winning pass on lap 18 came on the low groove of the first set of turns on the heavy, sticky, dirt surface. (more)

Yeley takes "Copper World" Midget 25-lapper - PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. scored his 51st USAC National feature victory Saturday afternoon at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, winning the 27th Annual "Copper World Classic" 25-miler at the 1-mile paved oval. Yeley started second in the 33-car field and led the first 15 laps before yielding to new track record holder Dave Steele. Steele then led through lap 23, but Yeley regained the lead on the white-flag lap and led to the checkered flag in his ASE/Ford Beast/Pink Ford. (more)

Darland Wheels Unfamiliar Car to Manzy USAC/CRA Win - By Bobby Gerould, 03/19/04, Phoenix, AZ. …Lincoln Indiana's Dave Darland was busy during driver introductions. He and his son, 17 year-old Trenton, were in a deep pre-feature race discussion about the fast way around the Manzanita Speedway half-mile dirt track. Whatever was said between the two should be written in the family archives. Daddy Dave jumped behind the wheel of Ben Lancaster's #14 sprint car and led all twenty laps at Manzanita Friday night to post a convincing victory in the newly formed Valvoline United States Auto Club / California Racing Association series. The 1999 USAC National sprint car driving champion started outside the front row in his first drive for the Las Vegas car owner. (more)

STEELE GOES FOR THREE-PEAT SUNDAY AT PIR! Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. will try to do something Sunday only one other driver has ever done in 102 USAC races at Phoenix International Raceway since the track opened in 1964! (more)

POLLOCK BACK TO DEFEND COPPER WORLD MIDGET TITLE Aaron Pollock of Troy, Ohio scored a surprise victory in last year's "Copper World Classic" USAC National/Midget race at Phoenix International Raceway, but the surprise is now gone and he'll face a formidable challenge to repeat in this weekend's 25-miler. (more)

KIRBY LEADS USAC/CRA TO "SOKOLA CLASSIC" AT MANZY Mike Kirby of Torrance, Calif. will try to protect his slim lead in the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car standings when the series visits the 1/2-mile dirt Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. this weekend for the "Sokola Classic." (more)

LAS VEGAS' "BULLRING" TO HOST USAC TRIPLEHEADER APRIL 3 - The Bullring at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway will host a USAC racing "tripleheader" on April 3, featuring the Western Sprint Cars, Western Midgets and California Ford Focus Midgets on the 3/8-mile paved oval. (more)

Kirby Dominant in USAC-CRA Opener - By Bobby Gerould - 03/06/04 - Perris, CA. ...Eleven years have passed since Mike Kirby was crowned 1993 CRA driving champion. Saturday night, it was as if time stood still. Kirby dominated the first ever Valvoline, United States Auto Club, California Racing Association feature event at Perris Auto Speedway. Flying around the beautifully prepared half-mile dirt track in the Crossno Racing #38, Kirby looked untouchable in the 30 lap sprint car headliner. (More) home