Oval Nationals preview

Eleven Valvoline/USAC National Sprint cars, incorporating seven of the top-10 drivers in the current National standings, are headed for this weekend's Ninth Annual "Budweiser Oval Nationals" at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. The race...

Eleven Valvoline/USAC National Sprint cars, incorporating seven of the top-10 drivers in the current National standings, are headed for this weekend's Ninth Annual "Budweiser Oval Nationals" at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. The race offers points toward both the National and Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car championships.

Cory Kruseman of Ventura, Calif., third in the current National points, captured Saturday night's 30-lap CRA feature at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway in a final tune-up for this weekend's Perris showdown. Kruseman passed Greg Bragg on lap seven and led the rest of the way in his La Villa Restaurant/Agromin Stinger/Priestley.

Kruseman will be joined at Perris by National teammate and series point leader Jay Drake, plus point runner-up Bud Kaeding, as well as "top-ten" ranking drivers Levi Jones, Josh Ford, Tony Elliott and Jon Stanbrough, plus all the top drivers in the CRA standings.

Kaeding finished second at Bakersfield, ahead of Damion Gardner, Jordan Hermansader and Mike Spencer. Gardner's finish, coupled with Rip Williams' eighth-place finish, leaves Williams holding only a 61-point lead in the CRA standings entering the Perris events. Kaeding trails Drake by 141 points in the National series, with 216 available in the three nights of racing at The PAS.

Racing on Thursday and Friday nights at Perris gets under way at 7 pm, while Saturday's racing begins at 6. A 25-lap feature caps Thursday and Friday night action on the 1/2-mile dirt oval, while a 50-lapper concludes Saturday night's program.

VALVOLINE USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Jay Drake-1,480
2.-Bud Kaeding-1,339
3.-Cory Kruseman-1,304
4.-Levi Jones-1,254
5.-Josh Ford-1,006
6.-Dave Darland-982
7.-Tony Elliott-961
8.-Dickie Gaines-841
9.-Brian Tyler-837
10.-Jon Stanbrough-813

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Rip Williams-1,488
2.-Damion Gardner-1,427
3.-Mike Kirby-1,389
4.-Troy Rutherford-948
5.-Greg Bragg-847
6.-Mike Spencer-796
7.-Steve Ostling-774
8.-Tony Jones-773
9.-Bobby Cody-756
10.-Jordan Hermansader-696

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Tony Jones , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Levi Jones , Jon Stanbrough , Rip Williams , Josh Ford , Damion Gardner , Mike Spencer , Greg Bragg , Troy Rutherford
Teams Williams