Southwest Sprints Bound For Casa Grande

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Southwest Sprints Bound
R.J. Johnson will be among those racing this weekend in USAC Southwest sprint car action. (Lance Jennings photo)

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Saturday night, the Sands Chevrolet USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series will headline the action at Central Arizona Speedway.

Promoted by Dave Ellis, the “Howl-O-Ween Bash” is the last chance to catch the traditional 410 sprints at the Casa Grande, Ariz., oval this season.

The IMCA Modifieds, Modlites, and Power 600 Micro Sprints will join the racing card.

Central Arizona Speedway has hosted sixteen USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series events.

Defending series champion Charles Davis Jr. leads all drivers with seven USAC victories at the three-eighths-mile oval, while Brody Roa set the one-lap 410 track record of 15.133 seconds on May 18.

In the series’ prior two visits this year, Indiana’s C.J. Leary topped the March 2 feature and Steve Sussex claimed the May 18 main event.

Entering the 13th point race, there have been 10 different winners. Point leader Roa and R.J. Johnson lead all drivers with two feature victories.

“The Demon” Damion Gardner, Josh Hodges, Leary, Mike Martin, Hunter Schuerenberg, Logan Seavey, Jake Swanson and Sussex have one win on the season.

Heading to the “Howl-O-Ween Bash,” Roa holds a slim nine-point lead over the competition. Switching to Dwight Cheney’s No. 42 Racing Optics/Sander Engineering Maxim, Roa finished ninth at the Sept. 28 “Hall of Fame Classic” at Arizona Speedway.

The 2016 USAC West Coast champion has two feature wins, one Beaver Stripes Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, two Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Awards, 11 top-10 finishes and 103 feature laps led to his credit.

Roa is tied with Dave Darland and Matt Rossi with four Southwest wins and will be looking to add a Casa Grande victory to his resume.

R.J. Johnson is second in the USAC Southwest championship standings. Piloting the Bobby Martin Racing No. 51 Martin Auto Museum/AME Electrical Contracting Sherman, Johnson won the “Hall of Fame Classic” on Sept. 28.

Johnson has 57 career USAC Southwest victories and will have his sights on his first “Howl-O-Ween Bash” triumph.

Sussex ranks third in the chase for the championship, with Davis close behind in fourth.

Stephen Sanchez leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors over Eddie Tafoya Jr., Ryan Cully and Jeff Dyer.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Matt Lundy, Rossi, Michael Curtis, Chris Bonneau, Dennis Gile, Sterling Cling, Zach Madrid, Leary, Schuerenberg and Logan Seavey.

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