PERRIS, CA -- Defending USAC/CRA champion Cory Kruseman and 2005 champion Damion Gardner will lock horns again when Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply presents the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night, February 17th. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM with racing at 7:00.
Kruseman, who will also be entering cars for Michael Trimble of San Jose, California and Alex Schutte of Redding, California, will be making his first appearance of 2007 at The PAS. Two weeks ago, the 36-year-old Ventura, California resident was racing Midgets in New Zealand. Last Saturday, the two-time Oval Nationals champion won the USAC Western Midget main event and finished 9th in the USAC/CRA main event at “The Copper on Dirt” on the big Manzanita Speedway half-mile in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gardner, one of the most popular drivers to ever set a tire on the clay at The PAS, moved from his Concord, California home to Indiana over the off season to drive a car owned by NASCAR Busch Series driver Jason Leffler in the USAC National Sprint Car Series. The slender veteran known as “The Demon” had hopes of making The PAS season opener two weeks ago, but his cars were not finished in time. Last Saturday Gardner finished third in his first USAC/CRA start in his new ride at Manzanita.
Kruseman and Gardner, who tangled numerous times at The PAS when they fought for the USAC/CRA crown in 2006, will have their hands full with early season point leader Darren Hagen. In the first two weeks of the season, Hagen, a personable 20 year-old from Riverside, California, has been on fire. Two weeks ago he drove the Mark Priestley owned yellow #7 to the win in the USAC/CRA season opener at The PAS. He backed that up with a second place finish at Manzanita last Saturday in the Sprint Car main event and finished second to Kruseman in the Midget main.
Hagen’s early season prowess sees him marching into Saturday’s race with a slender 5-point lead over popular Norco, California resident Tony Jones in the USAC/CRA standings. 2004 SCRA and Non Wing World Champion Rickie Gaunt of Torrance, California, 2004 USAC/CRA champ Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, California and Temecula, California’s Mike Spencer round out the top five in points. All of them will be on hand on Saturday.
Saturday’s post Valentine’s Day celebration of “Sprint Car Love” will not include roses and chocolate! It will be a full night of in your face, slide job throwing, clay slingin’ 410 Sprint Car action including qualifying, four 10-lap heat races, a 12-lap B main and a 30-lap no holds barred A main event. Come on out and feel some Sprint Car Love!!!
On Friday, the red-hot drag racing action at the Street Legal Strip at The PAS will continue. Friday’s gates will open at 5:00 PM with racing at 6:00.
Anyone wishing more information can contact Perris Auto Speedway at (951) 940-0134.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of the Southern California Fair), approximately one hour east of Los Angeles and one hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit at the Ramona Expressway and go two miles east to the fairgrounds.
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USAC/CRA SERIES SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1. Darren Hagen – Riverside, CA – 127
2. Tony Jones – Norco, CA – 122
3. Rickie Gaunt – Torrance, CA – 113
4. Rip Williams – Yorba Linda, CA – 95
5. Mike Spencer – Temecula, CA – 93
6. Danny Sheridan – Santa Maria, CA – 84
7. R.J. Johnson – Phoenix, AZ – 69
8. Scotty Weir – Marion, IN – 68
9. Garret Hansen – Manhattan Beach, CA – 66
10. Damion Gardner – Concord, CA – 62
11. Tyler Brown – Norco, CA – 59
12. Matt Mitchell – Yorba Linda, CA – 56
13. Tracey Hines – Jamestown, IN – 53
14. Michael Trimble – San Jose, CA – 50
15. Shane Cottle – Kokomo, IN – 46
16. Rodney Argo – Gardena, CA – 45
17. Cory Kruseman – Ventura, CA – 44
18. David Cardey – Riverside, CA – 43
19. Jimmy Crawford – Ventura, CA – 34
20. Jesse Hockett – Warsaw, MO - 33