Perris draws top stars to USAC/CRA opener

(FEBRUARY 26, 2004) The Invasion of Southern California is on! When the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series stages its inaugural event at Perris Auto Speedway, The Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply Showdown at The PAS, on Saturday, March 6, USAC ...

(FEBRUARY 26, 2004) The Invasion of Southern California is on! When the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series stages its inaugural event at Perris Auto Speedway, The Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply Showdown at The PAS, on Saturday, March 6, USAC National Sprint Car Series superstars Cory Kruseman, Bud Kaeding, Tony Elliott and Jon Stanbrough will all be on hand to take on the top stars on the West Coast and to try and win the historic first race.

Kruseman, a 33-year old from Ventura, drives for former NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Tony Stewart in the USAC National Sprint Car Series. The affable veteran has had immense success at The PAS over the years and last November won the prestigious Budweiser Oval Nationals. In 2001, Kruseman dominated the racing at The PAS and won 12 main events. This past January in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he won the Chili Bowl Midget race for the second time in his illustrious career.

On March 6, Kruseman, who finished sixth in the 2003 USAC National Sprint Car standings, will be driving for car owner Mark Alexander. Alexander's silver sprint car won two races at The PAS last season. One with Kruseman behind the wheel and one with 1993 CRA Champion Mike Kirby steering the 410-cubic inch monster. Kruseman won another main for Alexander at Ventura in 2003 while Kirby did likewise at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix.

Hailing from Campbell, California, Bud Kaeding is a threat every time he unloads his volatile Sprint Car at Perris Auto Speedway. A third generation star, Kaeding won the 2001 and 2002 editions of the Oval Nationals and pocketed more than $60,000.00 in doing so. Last year, Kaeding ended up third in the Oval Nationals behind Kruseman and Arizona's Jeremy Sherman.

In 1999, Kaeding won the Championship and was named Rookie of the Year in the USAC Western Sprint Car Series. The following season he headed to Indiana to run the USAC National Sprint Car Series and was named Rookie of the Year as well. Last year he ended up fourth overall in the USAC National Sprint Car Series.

Kokomo, Indiana's Tony Elliott is one of the most popular drivers in the Midwest. The 43-year old won the 1998 and 2000 USAC National Sprint Car Championships. In 2003, the veteran scored one of the biggest wins of his career when he took top honors in the Western World Championships at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. Last season Elliott ended up eleventh in the USAC National Sprint Car Series standings.

Elliott may figure The PAS owes him one. He had a memorable run going at The PAS season opener in 2002. Driving for Jack Gardner Jr., Elliott had a huge lead in the main event when a tire went away with only six laps to go. Nextel Cup bound J.J. Yeley inherited the lead and the win while Elliott ended up tenth.

Jamestown, Indiana's Jon Stanbrough may well be one of the most underrated drivers in 410-traditional sprint car racing. The 36-year old captured two USAC National Sprint Car Series main events in 2003 and ended up ninth in the point standings. His victories came in the Robbie Stanley Classic at Lawrenceburg, Indiana and at Ohio's Eldora Speedway in the Buckeye Nationals. In addition to the two USAC triumphs, Stanbrough won several main events at local tracks in Indiana and was considered one of the top traditional sprint car drivers in the nation in 2003.

As well as the out of town stars, a full field of Southern California regulars including Troy Rutherford of Ojai, Yorba Linda's Rip Williams & Cary Faas, Concord's Damion Gardner, Tony Jones of Orange, Steve Ostling of Corona, Mike Kirby of Torrance, Escondido's Adam Mitchell and a host of others would like nothing more than to whip the out of town invaders and win the inaugural event.

Spectator gates will open extra early at 3:00 PM for the significant race on March 6th and the first 2,000 fans through the spectator gates will receive a free 4 X 7" inch PAS magnetic schedule courtesy of Ramona Tire. The first race will begin at 7:00.

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.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , J.J. Yeley , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Tony Jones , Jon Stanbrough , Damion Gardner , Troy Rutherford
Teams Williams