SWS: El Centro preview

Southwest Sprints make El Centro debut Saturday. The one-year-old USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series makes its inaugural appearance at the Imperial Valley Speedway in El Centro, Calif. this Saturday night, kicking off a 15-race slate which will...

Southwest Sprints make El Centro debut Saturday.

The one-year-old USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series makes its inaugural appearance at the Imperial Valley Speedway in El Centro, Calif. this Saturday night, kicking off a 15-race slate which will find the series visiting five states.

Rick Ziehl of Las Cruces, N.M. is set to renew his quest of a series championship which eluded him in 2002. He finished in the runner-up spot behind Mike Boat of Phoenix, Ariz., despite winning twice and posting two seconds and two thirds in eight starts.

Ziehl will be joined by New Mexico's David Burns (Santa Fe) and Arizona drivers Ron Clark, Mike Martin and Kaylene Verville among others as they challenge Boat on El Centro's famed 3/8-mile dirt oval.

Burns was named the "Most Improved Driver" in last year's New Mexico/Arizona Sprint Car standings (the series is renamed this year), ending up seventh in the final points. Martin was third in the 2002 points, scoring a second and a third, while Verville became the first lady driver in USAC history to win a Sprint car feature with her win at Show Low, Ariz.

A 30-lap feature event is on tap at El Centro following complete preliminary events. The race marks USAC's return to El Centro after a six-year hiatus. Robby Flock won the last USAC race at the Imperial Valley Speedway, a 1997 Midget Car feature.

--USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Mike Boat , Rick Ziehl , Mike Martin , David Burns , Robby Flock