Perris Oval Nationals preview

11TH "BUDWEISER OVAL NATIONALS" THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT THE PAS This weekend's 11th Annual "Budweiser Oval Nationals" at the Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway will feature the continuing battles for USAC's 2006 National and ...

11TH "BUDWEISER OVAL NATIONALS" THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT THE PAS

This weekend's 11th Annual "Budweiser Oval Nationals" at the Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway will feature the continuing battles for USAC's 2006 National and USAC/CRA Sprint Car Championships.

A 25-lap feature caps Thursday and Friday prelims and a 40-lap finale is set for Saturday night at the 1/2-mile dirt Perris oval. A total of 113 points separate National title combatants and teammates Josh Wise and Levi Jones, while only 41 points separate CRA leaders Cory Kruseman and Damion Gardner.

Kruseman came from one point in arrears to his current lead by virtue of his victory at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway Saturday night. He piloted the Agromin Soil/ITI Performance Bullet/Downing to the win by leading the final 26 laps after passing early leader Danny Sheridan on lap five. Sheridan finished second ahead of Tony Jones, Mike Spencer and Garrett Hansen. The race was the 100th in USAC/CRA Sprint Car history.

This weekend's Perris "tripleheader" is presented by Temecule Valley Pipe and Supply and is the first of two consecutive three-night USAC Sprint Car events which should be pivotal in determining this year's titlists. The 39th Checker Auto Parts/Budweiser "Western World Championships" are scheduled Nov. 9-11 at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz.

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Member Bubby Jones has been named Grand Marshal for this weekend's races. The 1983 and 1984 CRA Sprint Car Champion won a record 18 features in 1983 and he is a former Director of Competition at the Perris oval. In 1977 he competed in the Indianapolis 500.

Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. is the defending champion of this weekend's Oval Nationals. One of four USAC "Triple Crown" Champions, Darland scored his lone dirt-track Sprint win of 2006 in June at Lima, Ohio.

Perris Auto Speedway, although yielding a half-dozen wins to Tony Jones this year, was unpredictable through most of the season. Eight different drivers visited victory lane in the first eight races at the 1/2-mile dirt track.

Wise and Jones, who compete in Tony Stewart Racing Team cars, have battled all season long for the National title, won by Jones last year. Wise has won twice in 2006, while Jones is still seeking his first National victory of the year, despite numerous "top-five" finishes.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , Tony Jones , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Damion Gardner , Mike Spencer , Garrett Hansen , Danny Sheridan