Not only will there be lots of money available — $25,000 to the winner — but also the national sprint car points lead in the most prestigious event of its kind in the country at Saturday’s 22nd Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway. The action over the half-mile clay oval started Thursday and will continue Friday night before the main event.
Chris Windom and Justin Grant will be among the 50 drivers competing over three days. They are separated by three points entering the weekend, the tightest USAC sprint car points race in the last 20 years The West Coast contingent is led by defending event champion Damion Gardner.
Each nigh will feature qualifying, heat races, prelims and an “A” main. The Thursday and Friday A main winners will earn $5,000 while Saturday’s victor walks off with $25,000.
The event has drawn many of the country’s top drivers. Bryan Clauson of Carmichael, is the defending National Midget Driver of the Year and currently leads the USAC Midget in points He and Levi Jones will be competing for Tony Stewart Racing.
Southern California regulars will include Rip Williams, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee; Tony Jones, who has 36 career wins in the SCRA & USAC/CRA; Tracy Hines, 2000 USAC Silver Crown Champion; Boby East, USAC’s 2004 National Midget champion; Riverside’s Darren Hagen,currently in third place in USAC National Midget points; and Mike Spencerfrom Temecula and Cal Poly Pomona grad wo holds the points lead in the USAC/CRApoints race.
In addition to the sprint cars, the Yamaha R1 DT race car will make its debut with drivers from several different racing disciplines. Cory Kruseman, Natalie Decker, Sammy Halbert, Donnie Moran, Kenshiro Gushi, C.J. Greaves and Dustin Nelson are among the drivers entered.
There will also be special awards through the weekend. The Tony Jones Hard Charger Aawrd is a $500 prize to the driver who passes the most cars in each main event (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and another $500.00 to the…