FF: scra: Perris doubleheader preview

The PAS hosts open wheel doubleheader Saturday! (LAKE PERRIS, CA - APRIL 7, 2002) Perris Auto Speedway will play host to an exciting Open Wheel doubleheader this Saturday night when Vista Paint presents the NAPA Auto Parts/Auto Trader Magazine...

The PAS hosts open wheel doubleheader Saturday!

(LAKE PERRIS, CA - APRIL 7, 2002) Perris Auto Speedway will play host to an exciting Open Wheel doubleheader this Saturday night when Vista Paint presents the NAPA Auto Parts/Auto Trader Magazine SCRA Sprint Cars and the USAC Ford Focus Midgets.

Saturday will mark the fifth PAS appearance of the young season for the SCRA Sprint Cars. The previous four outings have produced four different winners in the highly competitive Series. Arizona's J.J. Yeley won the season opener in early February. Former Ascot Figure Eight Champion, Mike Kirby of Lomita, won the second SCRA main event of the year at The PAS. The third time out the victory went to second-generation driver Tony Jones of Garden Grove and defending SCRA Champion Cory Kruseman of Ventura won when SCRA last appeared at the Riverside County oval on March 23rd.

Will the fifth night out produce the first repeat victor of the year at The PAS? Odds are good that the answer to that question is "No." Considering that such former SCRA winners as Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, Silver City, New Mexico's Richard Griffin, "Super" Rickie Gaunt of Torrance, Norwalk's Mike English, Corona resident Steve Ostling, Arizona's Jeremy Sherman, Ford driving Rodney Argo from Gardena, "Haulin' Hollywood" John Scott and Ojai's Troy Rutherford are all looking for their initial PAS checkered flag of the year, the deck is stacked against three of the first four 2002 PAS winners. However, Kruseman, Jones and Kirby have the talent and machinery to back up their previous wins. Yeley will not be on hand as he defending his 2001 USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series Championship in the Midwest.

Jones, driving a car co-owned by his Hall of Fame Father Bubby Jones and Chino's Johnny Vermeer, leads the point race by 23 digits over Kruseman. At SCRA's last race at The PAS Kruseman dominated the main event from the front row, but many in the large crowd had their eyes on Jones. The 32-year old did not cut a good lap in qualifying and was forced to start 14th in the main event. He then put on a textbook show passing 11 cars to claim third spot behind the likeable duo of Kruseman and Scott.

The USAC Ford Focus Midgets will be making their first ever PAS appearance on Saturday and only their outing ever. Former USAC Three Quarter Midget racer Keith Iaia masterminded the new series. Concerned with the rising cost of TQ racing and dwindling car counts around 1997, Iaia decided something had to be done. In 2002, his dreams have become a reality. Each car is powered by an internally stock 2.0 liter Ford ZX3 engine (commonly found in the Ford Focus). The engine has been configured to run on methanol with a Hilborn Fuel Injector. In addition, the lubrication system has been modified and the engine comes with a stainless steel header and muffler.

The best part of the series is the fact that it is affordable to many more budgets of people wanting to go racing. The engine package only costs $7,500.00. In addition, the series has the backing of the Southern California Ford Dealers.

South Pasadena's Josh Lakatos, who won the Silver Medal in Pistol Shooting at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, won the series inaugural race on the quarter-mile dirt oval in Bakersfield in March. Two weeks ago, Todd Hunsaker of Chino Hills won the series' first pavement race at Cajon Speedway near San Diego.

Spectator gates will open at 4:00 PM on Saturday and the first race will be at 6:30.

Perris Auto Speedway is the world's premiere clay oval stadium. The fan friendly track features an amazing 60,000 digital sound system, daytime bright lighting, a wide variety of delicious food, spotless clean restrooms and paved spectator parking. Best of all, the track supplies clean, wholesome family entertainment every Saturday night.

Advance tickets for Saturday are on sale now by calling (909) 940-0134 or by going to the PAS website at www.perrisautospeedway.com and clicking on the online tickets icon.

Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds approximately one hour East of Los Angeles. Take the 215 Freeway, exit at the Ramona Expressway and go east two and a half miles to the fairgrounds.


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About this article
Series Sprint , USAC
Drivers J.J. Yeley , Tony Jones , Cory Kruseman , Richard Griffin , John Scott , Rip Williams , Josh Lakatos , Mike English , Troy Rutherford
Teams Williams