Perris race report 2004-04-25

Sprint Car Points Race and Nerves Heat Up at The PAS! (APRIL 25, 2004, PERRIS, CA) Fresh off a controversial main event in the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Series at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night, new point leader Rip Williams and...

Sprint Car Points Race and Nerves Heat Up at The PAS!

(APRIL 25, 2004, PERRIS, CA) Fresh off a controversial main event in the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Series at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night, new point leader Rip Williams and Damion Gardner will meet again at The PAS this Saturday in the Vista Paint Challenge presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply and Vista Paint.

Williams, a 27-year veteran of the dirt track wars, won his first main of the 2004 season in last Saturday's 30-lapper. Starting seventh in the 20-car field, the 47-year old from Yorba Linda methodically worked his way to the front of the pack where he encountered race long leader Gardner. Heading into turn one on lap 27, Williams threw a slide job on Gardner that gave him the lead and left Gardner stopped in the middle of the corner bringing out a yellow flag.

Minutes later, while Williams' legion of fans celebrated their hero's 92nd career victory, Gardner's fans seethed. After the race, Gardner, who makes his home in Concord, told Joe Vargo of the Riverside Press Enterprise, "That's how he (Williams) does it. We got tied up. I was just trying to let him go. He knocked me into the cushion and I got caught up." Winner Williams told Vargo, "I thought the track was mine."

Heading into last Saturday's race Gardner held a 14-point advantage over Williams in the standings. However, after Saturday's final checkered flag, Williams, who's Hall of Fame career is only lacking a series championship, is the new point leader while Gardner has dropped to third some 22 points behind "The Ripper." Troy Rutherford, who started sixth and finished second in the main, is now second to Williams in the standings. Gardner is third with Mike Kirby of Torrance and Ventura's Cory Kruseman rounding out the top five in the championship hunt. Only 41 points separate the top four.

Noteworthy in last Saturday's race was Azusa Policewoman Nadine Keller qualifying for her first main event. A former student at Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car Driving School, Keller, driving a cast iron 360 against a field of 410 aluminum blocks, ended up 16th in the 30-lap main.

The tight points race and action on the track will heat up to a fever pitch when the popular series returns to The PAS this Saturday night. It will be the last appearance for the Valvoline USAC/CRA Series at the Riverside County facility until the annual 50-lap Salute to Indy on May 29th. Williams, Gardner, Rutherford, Kirby and Keller will all be back this Saturday night as will Tony Jones, Steve Ostling, Jordan Hermansador, Bryan Venard, Adam Mitchell, David Cardey, Gary W. Howard, Bobby Cody and all of the other PAS favorites.

In addition to the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, the Ramona Tire Street Stocks will run two heats and a main event while the Pick-A-Part Cruisers will run one heat and a main. They are makeups from the April 17th rainout.

Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM on Saturday.

Advance tickets are on sale now by calling 1-800-595-4849, (909) 940-0134 or on the Internet at www.tix.com or www.perrisautospeedway.com. P erris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, home of the Southern California Fair, 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.

For more information on any Perris Auto Speedway events, please call (909) 940-0134.

-tim kennedy/pas-

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About this article
Series Stock car , USAC
Drivers Tony Jones , Cory Kruseman , Rip Williams , Damion Gardner , Troy Rutherford
Teams Williams