Liggett Tops Merced USAC/CRA Debut

Austin Liggett (Tracy, CA), who was racing from fifth place starting position, slipped by Jake Swanson on the eleventh lap and sprinted to a win on Friday night in his “California Sprint Week” debut at Merced Speedway.

Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Liggett Trucking Maxim, Liggett scored his second career AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car triumph and became the tenth driver to win in fifteen races. The defending USAC West Coast Champion finished ahead of “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Chase Johnson, Brody Roa, and Swanson.

Ryan Bernal earned the Specialty Fasteners Hard Charger Award by going on a run that took him from 20th to eighth place. Koen Shaw claimed the Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award,” and Colby Johnson scored the USAC 360 bonus for the second race in a row.

“The Demon” Damion Gardner also claimed his 89th career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award along with posting a new track record with a time of 12.085 over the 20-car field.

10-lap Heat Winners

  • Damion Gardner (Extreme Mufflers First Heat)
  • Jake Swanson (Circle Track Performance / Ultra Shield Race Products Second Heat), 
  • Austin Williams (Saldana Racing Products / ButlerBuilt Seats Third Heat)

Rewatch the action from Merced Speedway:


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September 6 – Merced Speedway – Merced, California – “California Sprint Week Round #4”


1. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-12.085 (New Track Record)

2. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-12.219

3. Charles Davis Jr., 50, Davis-12.478

4. Danny Faria Jr., 42, Cheney-12.544

5. Colby Johnson, 38, Johnson-12.545

6. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-12.568

7. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-12.580

8. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-12.599

9. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-12.628

10. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-12.765

11. Chase Johnson, 68, Thomas-12.773

12. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-12.897

13. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-12.901

14. Mark Barroso, 78, Barroso-12.984

15. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-13.086

16. Sean Watts, 98, Watts-13.169

17. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-13.170

18. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-13.295

19. Koen Shaw, 88, Shaw-13.323

20. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-NT


EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Roa, 3. Martin, 4. Faria, 5. McCarthy, 6. Watts, 7. Shaw. NT

CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ULTRA SHIELD RACE PRODUCTS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Swanson, 2. Liggett, 3. Ch.Johnson, 4. Bernal, 5. Co.Johnson, 6. Barroso, 7. Ervine. NT

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Williams, 2. Davis, 3. Gansen, 4. Hix, 5. Tafoya. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, with starting positions) 1. Austin Liggett (5), 2. Danny Faria Jr. (3), 3. Chase Johnson (11), 4. Brody Roa (2), 5. Jake Swanson (1), 6. Austin Williams (9), 7. Damion Gardner (6), 8. Ryan Bernal (20), 9. Charles Davis Jr. (4), 10. Colby Johnson (7), 11. Eddie Tafoya Jr. (8), 12. Mike Martin (13), 13. Koen Shaw (19), 14. Steve Hix (18), 15. Chris Gansen (12), 16. Sean Watts (16), 17. Mark Barroso (14), 18. Matt McCarthy (10), 19. Austin Ervine (17).


**McCarthy flipped on lap 4 of the feature. 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Swanson, Laps 11-30 Liggett



USAC 360 BONUS: Colby Johnson

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-986, 2-Roa-958, 3-Williams-927, 4-Swanson-821, 5-Gansen-647, 6-Malcolm-598, 7-McCarthy-565, 8-Faria-544, 9-Davis-526, 10-Richard Vander Weerd-508.

NEW CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1- Faria-267, 2-Gardner-250, 3-Williams-248, 4-Ch.Johnson-248, 5-Roa-242, 6-Swanson-227, 7-Liggett-223, 8-Davis-201, 9-Bernal-183, 10-Gansen-167.

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