Perris USAC/CRA race notes

Kirby Ready For Sokola Classic after Perris Victory Mike Kirby of Torrance, Calif. is the early leader in the 2004 Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series standings after winning Saturday night's "Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply...

Kirby Ready For Sokola Classic after Perris Victory

Mike Kirby of Torrance, Calif. is the early leader in the 2004 Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series standings after winning Saturday night's "Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply Showdown" 30-lapper at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.

Kirby, who won the last CRA Sprint car title in 1993, earned his fourth CRA triumph and first in USAC competition in the inaugural race of the new series, passing early leader Jason York on the third lap and leading the rest of the way. The victory was also the first in Sprint competition for car owner Glen Crossno and his ITI Performance/Sander Engineering/Snap-On TCR/Downing.

Kirby was trailed to the checkered flag at Perris by Cory Kruseman of Ventura, Calif. and leads Kruseman by two points going into the March 19-20 "Sokola Classic" events at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. A 20-lap feature is slated Friday at Manzanita, followed by a 40-lapper on Saturday. In addition to the posted purse awards, numerous added incentives have been posted for participants, bringing the total posted prizes for the two-night program to nearly $30,000.

Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, Calif. finished third at Perris and was followed by Troy Rutherford of Ojai, Calif. and Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. Rutherford was Saturday night's fastest qualifier at 17.115 seconds. Heats went to Gardner, Greg Bragg and Josh Ford and Rutherford won the semi.

Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, five-time CRA Sprint Car Champion Jimmy Oskie and two-time CRA titlist Bubby Jones were part of a great crowd on hand for the series debut at the 1/2-mile dirt oval.

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1.-Mike Kirby-68
2.-Cory Kruseman-66
3.-Rip Williams-62
4.-Troy Rutherford-61
5.-Damion Gardner-59
6.-Jason York-51
7.-Tony Jones-50
8.-Rick Ziehl-46
9.-Andy Forsberg-41
10.-Jordan Hermansader-36

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Series USAC
Drivers Parnelli Jones , Tony Jones , Cory Kruseman , Rick Ziehl , Rip Williams , Josh Ford , Damion Gardner , Greg Bragg , Troy Rutherford , Jason York , Andy Forsberg
Teams Williams