Gardner Set To Open CRA Title Defense


PEORIA, Ariz. – Damion Gardner begins defense of his 2013 AMSOIL USAC-CRA Sprint Car Series title this weekend at Canyon Speedway Park.

The seventh Copper on Dirt features both the USAC-CRA sprints and Honda USAC Western Midgets in a USAC doubleheader on Friday and Saturday at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval near Phoenix.

IMCA modified and West Coast and CDM late model competition also is on tap during the two nights.

Charles Davis Jr. and R.J. Johnson are seeking to return to the top of the all-time USAC Arizona winners’ list. Each have 11 as opposed to Bryan Clauson’s 12 and both are expected to be top challengers for Gardner this weekend.

Gardner leads the all-time list of USAC-CRA winners with 46 victories. Five came last year on his way to his second series title. He has eight career USAC wins in the Grand Canyon State, but none at Canyon. He won five times at Manzanita Park in Phoenix, twice at Yuma and once at Tucson.

Johnson, the Phoenix driver who won 11 USAC races in Arizona last year and claimed USAC’s Southwest Sprint Car Series championship, won five races at Peoria in 2013.

Mike Spencer, the five-time AMSOIL USAC-CRA champ from Temecula, Calif., plans to be among top contenders this weekend. He won last year’s Brawl for it All grudge series race at Canyon. He’s expected to team up with Cory Kruseman this weekend.