By Scott Daloisio
(MAY 25, 2010, PERRIS, CA) When the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series staged its last race on April 10th, two time defending series champion Mike Spencer had an early season commanding lead in the championship point standings. However, when the series returns to Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night, May 29th, for the annual Salute to Indy, that has all changed and Spencer’s once commanding lead has shriveled to a mere twelve points over Santa Maria star “Showtime” Danny Sheridan. In addition to the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, the USAC Ford Focus Midgets, USAC Western Young Guns and the California Lightning Sprint Cars will also be in action on Saturday. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first heat race will be at 7:00 PM.
Spencer, a 28 year old Cal Poly Pomona engineering graduate who lives in Temecula, saw his massive point lead evaporate after a grinding front straightaway flip in his heat race at The PAS on April 10th. The incident sent the personable star to the hospital and he remembers nothing of the crash that destroyed his Ron Chaffin owned red #50 Sprint Car.
With Spencer out of action and unable to earn points on the that night, the other locals jumped at the chance to hack away their injured friend’s commanding point lead. Greg Bragg, a walnut farmer from Visalia, executed a thrilling late race pass to take his first ever USAC/CRA main event victory. Sheridan, a 35-year old Boeing employee, finished second to Bragg in the 30-lapper. That second place finish propelled Sheridan to the runnerup spot in the standings heading into Saturday’s prestigious race that dates back to 1961 at legendary Ascot Park in Gardena.
In addition to Sheridan, other locals who have crept closer to the leader are Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell, who finished third on April 10th and is now 47 points behind, 2002 Ventura Racing Association champ Jimmy Crawford of Newberry Park, who trails by 53 points, and 2006 USAC/CRA champion Cory Kruseman of Ventura who is 61-points from the top of the heap.
In addition to the regulars, second generation racer Casey Shuman, who nearly won the 2007 Oval Nationals, will be at The PAS in a car crew chiefed by another second generation Arizona driver Bob Ream Jr. Shuman, who is a native Mesa, Arizona, now resides in Indiana and races throughout the Midwest.
After Saturday’s race at The PAS, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will make its way to the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl in Tulare, California for the first of two 2010 appearances on Sunday night.
In addition to the 410 cubic inch Sprint Cars on the half-mile, the USAC Focus Midgets, USAC Western Young Guns and California Lightning Sprint Cars will all be racing on the inner quarter-mile track on Saturday. Nick Carlson won the Focus Midget main and Jarid Blondel won the Young Gun main last Saturday at the Ventura Raceway. Point leader Jarrett Kramer won the last Lightning Sprint Car main event at The PAS on May 8th. All three will be in action in their respective series this Saturday night.
You can keep up with all of the latest news from Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/perrisautospdwy.
For more information call The PAS at: (951) 940-0134.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of October’s 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 on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds.
Video and DVD productions of all racing events at Perris Auto Speedway are available from Jeff Kristensen’s Raceway Video. For more information on these productions you can call: (818) 618-9764 or visit the web site at: racewayvideo.com.
Perris Auto Speedway is 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 on the Ramona Expressway and go two miles east to the fairgrounds.