Series Perris Saturday preview

"SOKOLA SHOOTOUT" SATURDAY AT PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway will kick off its oval track-racing season this Saturday, February 27th, when the Amsoil USAC National & CRA Sprint Cars and the USAC Mopar National & Western...

"SOKOLA SHOOTOUT" SATURDAY AT PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY

Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway will kick off its oval track-racing season this Saturday, February 27th, when the Amsoil USAC National & CRA Sprint Cars and the USAC Mopar National & Western Midgets contest the annual "Sokola Shootout." Main events for both divisions will be 30 laps. Spectator gates will open earlier than normal at 1 PM. Qualifying will start at 3 PM with the first race at 5:45. In case there is a rainout on Saturday, the entire show would be run on Sunday.

Saturday's race will be the fifth of the year for the USAC National Sprint Cars. It will be the third race of the new season for CRA and National & Western Midgets. Before heading to The PAS on Saturday, all of the series will be competing at Las Vegas, Nev. on Thursday. The "Sokola Shootout," which honors the memory of former CRA President & USAC official Gary Sokola and his son Mark, will be a full points paying event for each of the four competing series.

At last years "Sokola Shootout," popular Rickie Gaunt of Torrance, California, spanked the field to win his first ever USAC National Sprint Car main event. Riverside, California's Darren Hagen scored a thrilling hometown win when he came from the back to win the Midget portion of the show. This Saturday Gaunt will be in his new ride for the 2010 season, the David Miller owned #66, while Hagen will be at the controls of the RFMS Midget.

Concord, California native Damion Gardner opened the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series season when he literally walked over the competition two weeks ago at East Bay Speedway in Gibsonton, Florida. The defending Budweiser Oval Nationals Champion not only won both main events staged in Florida, but he led all 60 laps of main event action. Last Sunday afternoon on the third of a mile USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona, Gardner placed fourth in the "Copper on Dirt." Defending and three-time USAC National Sprint Car champion Levi Jones of Olney, Illinois, driving for Tony Stewart Racing, won the Tucson main ahead of hometown star Jerry Coons Jr. and third generation racer Bud Kaeding of Campbell, California. Heading into Thursday's race in Las Vegas, Gardner holds a 19-point lead over Jones in the 2010 championship point standings.

Grass Valley, California's Brad Sweet, driving for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, out qualified the field and led 24 of the 30 laps to win the Midget main event at Tucson. Bobby East placed second with past USAC National Sprint Car and Silver Crown champion Tracy Hines, of Greenfield, Indiana, taking third. All three, along with defending race champion Hagen, who ended up eighth at Tucson, will be on hand for the "Sokola Classic."

Advance tickets are available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-595-4849. They can also be ordered on the Internet at tix.com or perrisautospeedway.com.

Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of October's Southern California Fair), approximately one hour east of Los Angeles and one hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds.

-source: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kasey Kahne , Tracy Hines , Bud Kaeding , Bobby East , Levi Jones , Darren Hagen , Damion Gardner , Brad Sweet , David Miller , Jerry Coons Jr.