CALISTOGA, Calif. — Damion Gardner marched through the field from sixth starting spot and ran down faltering race leader Danny Faria with three laps to go to claim the AMSOIL USAC-CRA sprint car portion of night one of the Louie Vermeil Classic at Calistoga Speedway.
Faria had led from his front row starting spot until three laps to go, when Gardner took the lead going into turn one after the pair ran side by side down the front straightaway in a dead heat on restart coming out of a yellow flag.
“In the first half of the race, I wasn’t hitting my marks, but I finally figured it out,” said Gardner, who spent the early and middle stages of the race in fourth place, but took advantage of restarts and lapped traffic to move right behind Faria in the closing laps.
“The yellow flags were killing me,” noted Faria, who led 22 of 25 laps in a race that saw a half dozen caution periods. “I was pushing he car pretty hard and the tires started to go away. I wish the race had just stayed green.”
Faria finished second, ahead of Ryan Bernal, Austin Williams and Max Adams.
Shane Golobic won the companion midget feature.
Damion Gardner, Danny Faria Jr., Ryan Bernal, Austin Williams, Max Adams, Brody Roa, R.J. Johnson, Austin Liggett, Logan Williams, Matt McCarthy, Cody Williams, Geoff Ensign, Cody Jessop, Jace Vander Weerd, Johnathon Henry, Billy Aton, Jake Swanson, Chris Gansen, Shayna Silvia, Richard Brace Jr., Austin Ervine, Chase Johnson, Zack Lynskey, Colby Copeland, Nick Larson, Tanner Thorson.