Kruseman Takes $30,000 "Budweiser Oval Nationals" Prize Kirby, Williams Take 25-Lap Perris Prelims "Western World" This Thursday-Saturday In Phoenix Cory Kruseman of Ventura, Calif. captured Saturday night's 50-lap 9th Annual "Budweiser Oval...
Kruseman Takes $30,000 "Budweiser Oval Nationals" Prize
Kirby, Williams Take 25-Lap Perris Prelims
"Western World" This Thursday-Saturday In Phoenix
Cory Kruseman of Ventura, Calif. captured Saturday night's 50-lap 9th Annual "Budweiser Oval Nationals" at the Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. The victory in the $100,000 event earned his Tony Stewart Racing Team a $30,000 prize and boosted him to second in the USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series standings going into this week's final National race at Phoenix, Ariz.
The 37th NAPA Auto Parts/Budweiser "Western World Championships" begin Thursday at the 1/2-mile dirt Manzanita Park Speedway in Phoenix and conclude with a 40-lap feature on Saturday night. Preliminaries Thursday and Friday will set the stage for Saturday night's program.
Kruseman's victory at Perris came in a sensational last-lap pass of Josh Ford after a late-race battle between the two. Ford finished second behind Kruseman's Mopar/Vital Express Eagle/Mopar. Levi Jones, Bud Kaeding and Tony Elliott rounded out the "top-five" at the checkered flag.
Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car point leaders Rip Williams, Damion Gardner and Mike Kirby all met with success in the three-night Perris program, Kirby winning Thursday's 25-lap prelim, Williams taking Friday's 25-lapper and Gardner posting a third behind Williams. The result of the three nights, though, left Williams with an 87-point lead going into this week's Phoenix races. Gardner ranks second, 31 ahead of Kirby.
Williams led all 25 laps of Friday's feature in his John Jory Corporation/Weld Wheels Stinger/Shaver to beat Kruseman, Gardner, Kirby and Ford. Levi Jones was Friday's fastest qualifier. Kirby led all 25 laps of Thursday's race in his ITI Performance/Sander Engineering TCR/Downing to beat Ford, Kruseman, Tony Elliott and Tracy Hines. Kruseman was Thursday's fastest qualifier.
Kirby led the first 38 laps of Saturday's race before he and Gardner tangled bumpers and slid into the wall. That left Bud Kaeding as the leader until Ford took over on lap 42. Kruseman got around Ford on lap 46 but slid behind for the next three laps before regaining the lead on the final circuit!
Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. eyes this wekend's Phoenix event as the cap to his first USAC National championship season, currently holding a 72-point lead over teammate Kruseman in the Valvoline National standings.
VALVOLINE USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS