Budweiser Oval Nationals update

"COMEBACK JACK" HEWITT CALIFORNIA BOUND One of motorsport's true iron men, Jack Hewitt is, "Bringing everything (a Sprint Car, a Midget and Silver Crown Car) out West." to do some racing (and possibly a little fishing) on the left side of the...


One of motorsport's true iron men, Jack Hewitt is, "Bringing everything (a Sprint Car, a Midget and Silver Crown Car) out West." to do some racing (and possibly a little fishing) on the left side of the Rockies in October and November.

It seems like the lure of a $10,000 winner's share of the Budweiser Oval Nationals' over $40,000 purse has motivated the popular and versatile racing driver to make a rare "Left Coast" appearance.

A winner in every type of racing vehicle that he has ever sat in, Hewitt has made fans across the country not only with his redoubtable driving skills, but with the dogged way he fought back from life threatening (he calls it "...a minor setback") injuries to regain top form.

As tenacious and feisty as ever (maybe even more so), Hewitt will drive an open rules Ford-powered Sprint Car for Bob Hampshire at Perris in tho Budweiser Oval Nationals on October 18 and 19.


"It really doesn't matter," said 4-time Perris Auto Speedway main event winner Rip Williams. "The Jory Team's experience at the (Perris) track will only count for a tiny bit of what it'll take to win this one. This kind of money and prestige is going to put everyone who enters in full race mode."

"The Ripper" is referring to the over $40,000 in prize money up for grabs at the 1996 Budweiser Oval Nationals as well as the prestige involved in winning this new "instant tradition" event scheduled for October 18 and 19 at Perris Auto Speedway.

"We've raced (and won-ed.) here all year, and we're going to try to think of this one as `just' another Sprint Car race, but that's going to be a tough job in itself.

It hasn't even taken place yet but the Budweiser Oval Nationals is already a race that people are talking about like some of the great ones...it's going to be a battle."


As if $10 grand to win the 40-lap A-Main feature and over $40K in total prize moneys at the October 18-19 Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway, was not enough to get everyone's very most serious attention, Budweiser has come up with a trio of trophies that have had all who've seen them gasping with delight (and perhaps, nursing a sore wrist if they've tried to heft one).

Weighing-in at 20+ pounds and soaring some 24 inches tall, these fine art pieces are a magnificent depiction of an American eagle in glorious full flight. All three of these beautiful birds are destined to become treasured awards for the main event winner, fastest qualifier and trophy dash victors at the upcoming Budweiser Oval Nationals.


In this era of immediate celebrity status, even a single line of conversation can, given the right circumstances, become an instant catch-phrase, a national advertising line (and perhaps, even elevated to that holiest-of-holies: a headline on a T-Shirt). So it is with the "official" slogan of the 1996 Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway.

When delineating just exactly what "open" meant in the idea that the '96 ON's were an "open show," Competition Director Bubby Jones uttered the now-famous: "410 cubic inches, no wings, no carbon fiber, no titanium, 100% methanol...and...Bring Your Spurs!" edict.

And bring their spurs they will.

With $40,000+ in overall dollars up for grabs for a few hours of (hard) work on the Perris 1/2-Mile, if you don't "bring your spurs" you're going to be left (very) far behind on October 18 and/or 19.


Even the event name (officially the "1996 Inaugural Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway") has already started to be shortened to the "OVALS" as in the "EMMYS", the "RUNOFFS" or the "OSCARS." "People just seem to have a way of getting to the essence of the event," said Speedway GM, Danny Kazarian.

"Our fans are excited about this one, they're buying tickets by the busload and they don't have time to use the whole name."


Ron Shuman, who's "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt..." is excited about racing in the inaugural Budweiser Oval Nationals on October 18 and 19 at Perris Auto Speedway.

"This race is a 'must win' for our Texaco/Kragen team as much for the title as for the prize money," said the Tempe (Arizona) resident who goes by the nickname of "The Shoe" (which neatly contracts his name into the ancient and honorable moniker for "real racer.")

"We've been this close at a bunch of races here at Perris this year and, the way we figure it, we're looking for this one to be the breakthrough event for our team." Just for luck, Shuman's car owner Skip Shuck was the first in line to sign his car up for the fray, "It couldn't hurt," said the ("man of few words") car owner.


One of the best-known and winningest west coast drivers, Jimmy Sills of Placerville, California, has been tapped to drive ir the upcoming Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway on October 18 and 19. Sills, a two-time USAC Silver Crown champion, has won open-wheeled events in everything from midgets to winged "outlaw" sprinters and is the owner and chief instructor of his own dirt track driving school in Northern California.

In his only other trip to "The PAS" for a Western States USAC Midget race on September 7, Sills qualified second, won the dash, his heat, and was leading the 30-lap feature when his mount ran out of fuel a half-lap from the finish. "Perris sort of owes me one," Sills said, but then hastened to add, "Not really, that was my fault, I just cut the fuel load just a little too close...Next Time!" he "warned" with a broad smile.


J.J.Yeley (he of the brilliant orange, always-sideways, "Cactus Jack"(Yeley)-wrenched, rockin'n'rollin', number 7 Arizona Race Mart Sprint Car and the youngest (19) among the current crop of S.C.R.A. "Young Guns,") will be gunning for the October 18 and 19 Budweiser Oval Nationals open competition Sprint Car races at Perris Auto Speedway in a car whose history began before Yeley was born.

Andy Morales has announced that his family's legendary "Tamale Wagon" Sprint Car will be back in competition (at Perris) and driven by none other than J.J.

"We won the opener at Perris, we want to win this one." Yeley said with a racer's style of simple logic. "We know how to win here," (they have won 2 and have 9 top ten finishes at "The PAS") and we want to take that that Eagle back home with us, there's a perfect spot on the mantle just waiting for it," said Yeley, referring to the special Budweiser backed trophy that the Budweiser Oval Nationals winner will be awarded.

Morales indicated that it was just that kind of enthusiasm (and driving talent) that prompted him to bring the "Wagon" out of retirement and to hire Yeley as its chauffeur.


"He wins on any kind of racecar, winged or without, and with J.J. driving Alex's (The Morales' "Tamale Wagon") car for this one (the inaugural Budweiser Oval Nationals-October 18/19 at Perris Auto Speedway), we wanted a strong driver in the seat of our regular car," said "Cactus Jack" Yeley owner of the #7 Arizona Race Mart Sprinter.

Always a stong contender wherever and whenever he races, perennial crowd favorite Pauch's recent successes back east in winged and non-winged race cars automatically make him one of the racer's to be reckoned with at "The PAS" come Friday, October 18.

Perris Auto Speedway is located in the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, two miles east of Interstate Highway 215, just off the Ramona Expressway. Reserved seats, "Season Tickets", and special discount group rate ticket packages are now available for patrons of "The PAS", where there are always plenty of great seats for EVERY event. (For group rates, give Lola a call at (909)943-4006.) A special automated phone line: (800)976-RACE may be called for an update on each event as it comes on line...Fans are encouraged to use the toll-free "Hot Line" to hear the latest information on event times any special promotions that may be in effe

FORD is the official vehicle of Perris Auto Speedway...


(At this time Fugawi MotorSports is acting ONLY as an conduit for Perris Auto Speedway until they can firm up their online presence. While we hope this situation changes, AT THIS TIME WE DO NOT HAVE ANY OFFICIAL CAPACITY WITH PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY OR OVAL ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. Please forward any inquiries to the contact(s) noted above.

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About this article
Series General , Sprint
Drivers Jack Hewitt , Jimmy Sills , Rip Williams
Teams Williams