PERRIS, Calif. — Using slower traffic to his advantage, Damion Gardner slipped past Austin Williams on the 19th lap and sailed to victory Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.
Driving Mark Alexander’s No. 1 Carman Trucking Spike, Gardner earned his first AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the year at the annual Sokola Shootout.
Point leader Williams, Charles Davis Jr., Cody Williams and Tommy Malcolm followed the eight-time champion to the checkered flags.
Stevie Sussex claimed the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award with fourteenth to sixth-place run.
Starting on the pole position, Cody Williams was looking for his first “home track” victory and led the first seven circuits. Facing heavy pressure from his brother Austin, Cody’s dreams were dashed as “The Big Game Hunter” took over the top spot.
Once out front, Austin set a fast pace until reaching lapped traffic. With cars racing two and three wide in front of the leaders, Austin’s progress was slowed and the sixth starting Gardner mounted a challenge.
As both drivers sliced through the traffic, Gardner emerged with the lead and swept the show for his 84th series win.
For the fourth consecutive race, Gardner claimed the Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award by posting a time of 16.20 over the 24-car roster.
Feature (30 laps): 1. Damion Gardner (6), 2. Austin Williams (5), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (4), 4. Cody Williams (1), 5. Tommy Malcolm (10), 6. Stevie Sussex (14), 7. Logan Williams (11), 8. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (2), 9. Chris Gansen (9), 10. Kyle Edwards (13), 11. Trent Williams (7), 12. Steve Hix (15), 13. Matt McCarthy (12), 14. Joel Rayborne (19), 15. Brent Owens (17), 16. Cal Smith (21), 17. James Heling (23), 18. Tom Hendricks (18), 19. Dan Taylor (22), 20. Brody Roa (3), 21. A.J. Bender (8), 22. Verne Sweeney (16), 23. Rick Hendrix (20). NT