CRA: Rip Williams set to make history at PAS

Rip Williams on The Verge of History at Perris Season Closer! (NOVEMBER 14, 2004, PERRIS, CA) When Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply and Vista Paint present the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars in the Jack Kindoll Classic at Perris Auto Speedway on ...

Rip Williams on The Verge of History at Perris Season Closer!

(NOVEMBER 14, 2004, PERRIS, CA) When Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply and Vista Paint present the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars in the Jack Kindoll Classic at Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday night, fans may see a historic and very emotional event. Rip Williams first ever championship and his 100th career sprint car win.

Williams, a 48-year old father of three sons, began his now Hall of Fame, 27-season sprint car career in 1978 when he shared the CRA Rookie of the Year honors with Ric Paronelli. Since then he has racked up 99 sprint car main event wins, which is only four shy of the late Dean Thompson's total of 103. However, the popular Williams has never won a season long championship. He came close on several occasions including 1990 when he lost the CRA crown by a mere 16 points. That could all change at The PAS on Saturday.

Heading into Saturday's season finale, Williams holds a 50-point lead over Concord's Damion Gardner. The maximum amount of points available on the night is 74 (if a driver was fast qualifier, won his heat and the main). The main pays 60 points to the winner and 13 points for last. If Williams maintains the 50-point advantage through qualifying and the heats and both he and Gardner make the main, the championship will be his.

It is ironic that the veteran could sew up his first championship at Perris. In the early days of the track, Williams so dominated the competition that he seemed to be public enemy #1 and the mere mention of his name brought cascades of boos from the stands. He won eight main events at The PAS in 1996, 11 in 1997, six in 1998 and six in 2000. With each main event victory the din from the stands grew louder.

However, things started changing late in the 2001 season. The boos started changing to cheers and today the affable veteran has a huge fan following and is arguably the most popular sprint car driver at Perris Auto Speedway.

It has been over 21 years since Rip Williams scored his first main event win at Ascot's Salute to Indy on May 28, 1983. Will this Saturday be win number 100? Will he finally nail down his first sprint car championship on Saturday? The only way to find out is to be on hand for what is sure to be a very historic and EMOTIONAL night of sprint car racing at "Southern California's Home to Major League Sprint Car Racing," Perris Auto Speedway.

Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM.

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 this or any other event at Perris Auto Speedway, please call (951) 940-0134.

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Rip Williams , Damion Gardner
Teams Williams