Sprint Cars Return to Perris for the Annual 50-Lap Salute to Indy! (MAY 24, 2004, PERRIS, CA) The popular Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series returns to Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night for the running of the annual 50-lap Salute to...
Sprint Cars Return to Perris for the Annual 50-Lap Salute to Indy!
(MAY 24, 2004, PERRIS, CA) The popular Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series returns to Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night for the running of the annual 50-lap Salute to Indy presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply and Vista Paint. It will be the first 50-lapper of the year and the first appearance of the Valvoline USAC/CRA Series at The PAS since May 1st.
The Salute to Indy event began decades ago at Gardena's Ascot Park. Defending race champion Damion Gardner comes into Saturday's race after a dramatic run at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday. Driving the Ron Chaffin owned red #50, the Concord, California resident started the 30-lap affair three rows from the back in sixteenth position. He masterfully weaved his way through the heavy traffic on the tight beach side oval to finish fourth behind winner Rip Williams, Steve Ostling and Danny Sheridan.
To make Gardner's dramatic charge through the field even more impressive is the fact that a yellow or red flag never interrupted the race!
Gardner's quest to make it two Salute to Indy victories in a row will be met with fierce resistance by the best sprint car chauffeurs on the West coast. Williams, who Gardner tangled with earlier in the year at Perris, snared his second win in nine 2004 outings last Saturday. The 27-year sprint car-racing veteran from Yorba Linda holds a 44-point lead over Gardner and Torrance's Mike Kirby, who are tied for second, in the prestigious Valvoline USAC/CRA championship hunt.
Kirby, who won the 2002 Salute to Indy, reckons to be as tough as anyone on Saturday. The former Ascot figure 8 champion has won three of the four Valvoline USAC/CRA races at The PAS this season. This includes the last race at the Riverside County clay oval at the beginning of the month. The only other driver to post a victory at The PAS was Williams on April 24th.
Other top stars aiming for victory in Saturday's 50-lap grind include Corona's Ostling, who won a VRA (Ventura Racing Association) main event at The PAS in March, fourth in points Troy Rutherford of Ojai, former Turkey Night Grand Prix winner Jordan Hermansador of Long Beach, newlywed Tony Jones (he was married on May 8th) of Corona and a host of others.
The 50-lap main event will bring a different and interesting strategy to the teams making the finale. Going twenty laps more than normal, the drivers have to be sure to not abuse their right rear tire early in the race and conserve some fuel so they do not run dry before the checkered flag.
In addition to the 50-lap feature race, Saturday's program will include qualifying, heats and a B main event.
The evening's festivities will kick off when KCAL 96.7 FM "Rocks The PAS" with a pre-race party from 5:00 0x2022 7:00 PM featuring the band "Bomb Track" performing live and $2.50 Budweiser Beer (5:00 0x2022 7:00 only).
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.
Perris 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.
VALVOLINE USAC/CRA POINT STANDINGS 1. Rip Williams Yorba Linda, CA 526 2. Damion Gardner Concord, CA 482 2. Mike Kirby Torrance, CA 482 4. Tory Rutherford Ojai, CA 469 5. Tony Jones Corona, CA 315 6. Cory Kruseman Ventura, CA 313 7. Jeremy Sherman Phoenix, AZ 284 8. Greg Bragg Visalia, CA 283 9. Brian Venard Irvine, CA 280 10. Steve Ostling Corona, CA 271