Photo Gallery: USAC/CRA Race At Perris Turns Into Oval Nats Tune-Up

Justin Grant celebrates the win.

Justin Grant of Ione, California, passed Jake Swanson on lap nine and led the rest of the way Saturday in a final tuneup for the upcoming “Oval Nationals” at Perris Auto Speedway. Damion Gardner worked his way through the field to finish second, with Thomas (T-Mez) Meseraull taking the third spot on the podium. Brody Roa and Austin Williams rounded out the top five. Gardner cut Roa’s point lead to just 20 points.

Action down the front straight was fast and furious.

Memorial laps for the recently deceased Michael Boat began the event as R.J. Johnson in the Sertich #92 Moose-mobile ran three laps in honor of the driver that once wheeled the blue-and-white sprinter for a couple of seasons. Tom Sertich wore the Michael Boat team shirt as a sign of respect for the deceased driver. Michael Boat was the younger brother of former IRL star, and USAC Western Series Champion, Billy Boat. Michael was only 48 years old.

Tom Sertich wearing the vintage 1980’s Michael Boat team shirt.

Photo Gallery #1:

Photo gallery

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Other Notes

A.J. Bender got out of the family-owned sprinter to pilot the Cheney-Wilson Motorsports #42. After a rough start in qualifying, the team seemed to adjust the car to the new driver, and the team did decently in their heat race. Bender did better in the feature and looked more confident with each lap. He finished just outside of the top ten for USAC/CRA regulars, and 13th overall.

16-year-old Joel Rayborne in the legendary #12B Blair Speed Shop car.

Piloting the aging Blair car, Joel Rayborne continues to get experience and hone his skills. Focused on staying out of the way of the National series drivers and the driver’s battling for the CRA title may have cost the Rookie of the Year contender a few spots. Despite being the oldest car on the track, most fans love to see the Blair Speed Shop car with the youngest driver in the field, challenge himself each race.

Jeff Dyer in the Cal-Sun #39.

Moving from the California Lightning Sprints into the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints, Retired Army EOD-Specialist, and current California Highway Patrolman, Jeff Dyer was running to earn money for an EOD memorial. Driving the Cal Smith #39, Dyer experienced a broken axle coming out of turn four. The car somersaulted and rolled to a stop in the third heat race, putting an end to the driver’s night. Anyone interested in contributing to the EOD memorial fund can visit Dyer’s Go Fund Me account.

Damion Gardner closed the series point gap to 20 points.

AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 20, 2018 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Justin Grant, 19S, Reinbold/Underwood-16.354; 2. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.369; 3. Austin Williams, 2 Jory-16.631; 4. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-16.705; 5. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.765; 6. Thomas Meseraull, 77M, Michael-16.818; 7. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.866; 8. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-16.895; 9. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-16.939; 10. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-16.970; 11. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-17.006; 12. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.235; 13. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-17.263; 14. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-17.289; 15. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.372; 16. A.J. Bender, 42, Cheney-17.434; 17. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-17.543; 18. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-17.567; 19. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.624; 20. Jeremy Ellertson, 98E, Ellertson-17.630; 21. Jeff Dyer, 39, Cal-Sun-17.951; 22. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.117; 23. Gary Marshall Jr., 72, Marshall-18.193; 24. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-18.389.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. McCarthy, 2. Swanson, 3. Grant, 4. Malcolm, 5. C.Williams, 6. Bender, 7. Sweeney, 8. Ervine. 2:58.99

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE/ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Roa, 3. L.Williams, 4. Chapple, 5. Johnson, 6. Waitman, 7. Ellertson, 8. Marshall. 2:57.77

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS/ROD END SUPPLY THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Adams, 2. Liggett, 3. A.Williams, 4. Meseraull, 5. Gansen, 6. Everhart, 7. Rayborne, 8. Dyer. NT

FEATURE (30 laps): 1. Justin Grant, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Austin Williams, 6. Jake Swanson, 7. Austin Liggett, 8. Cody Williams, 9. Isaac Chapple, 10. R.J. Johnson, 11. Tommy Malcolm, 12. Logan Williams, 13. A.J. Bender, 14. Randy Waitman, 15. Matt McCarthy, 16. Verne Sweeney, 17. Chris Gansen, 18. Joel Rayborne, 19. Gary Marshall Jr., 20. Jeremy Ellertson, 21. Austin Ervine, 22. Tony Everhart, 23. Max Adams. NT

**Dyer flipped during the third heat race.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 Roa, Lap 8 Swanson, Laps 9-30 Grant

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Justin Grant (6th to 1st)

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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