By Scott Daloisio
(Perris, CA, August 16, 2011) This Saturday night, August 20th, Rip Williams middle son, Austin, will be gunning for his second ever Amsoil USAC/CRA Series main event victory when the series returns to “Southern California’s Home of Major League Sprint Car Racing,” Perris Auto Speedway. In addition to the stars and cars of the USAC/CRA Series, the popular California Lightning Sprint Cars will also be on the program. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first race will be at 7:00.
Austin, the 20-year-old middle son of the National Sprint Car Hall of Famer, scored his first ever USAC/CRA win at Santa Maria Speedway last Saturday night. One of the people who had a great seat to see the youngster’s initial win was his father, Rip, who finished eighth in the same race. “He got out front pretty good and pretty soon I could see the #18 car, but I could not see Austin,” the proud dad said with a laugh on the telephone on Monday. “I did not know if he pulled in or he was way out in front. Turns out he was way out front. It was really exciting to see him win that race.”
Last Saturday, not only racing against Austin, but also versus his eldest son Cody, Rip, the “1978 CRA Co-Rookie of the Year,” had a good idea that Austin would win the main event even before the green flag waved. “The other night I was looking at the track and he was starting on the front row,” Williams said. “I told him if he could get the lead and not make to many mistakes he was going to win the race as it was going to be tough to pass. That is basically what he did. He got the lead fair and square on the start and took off. Got a little bit screwed up towards the end. His car really was not working that well because it was really, really tight. Just like everybody else, it was to tight.”
Racing against his kids is a dream come true for the 55-year-old Yorba Linda resident. “Being able to race with them and see that they are good racecar drivers really is the highlight of my life,” the 2004 USAC/CRA champion said. “When they get in the car, they are still learning and they make mistakes, but all in all, they stay out of trouble.”
Rip, who was inducted into the National Sprint Cat Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa in 2009, thinks his sons are ahead of where he was at this time in his career. “I did not start racing Sprint Cars until I was about 21-years-old,” he stated. “This is Cody’s fourth year and Austin’s third. I would say they are further ahead of where I was. When I first started I bought an old car that was not very good. Years ago it took a while to get going because there was only five or six good rides and all of the fast drivers had those. Now days these kids have somebody with some money backing them. You know, like their parents or somebody like Jack (Jack Jory who owns the cars Rip and his three sons drive). They can progress a lot faster.”
Heading into Saturday’s race at Perris, the Williams clan holds down three of the top 10 spots in the Amsoil USAC/CRA championship point standings. Austin sits fourth, Cody, who had a career best USAC/CRA finish of second last year at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, is sixth and the proud father is 10th.
In addition to Austin and Cody, Rip’s youngest son Logan began driving Sprint Cars at Victorville Raceway Park earlier this year. The 15-year-old has made three starts thus far and has an eighth place finish to his credit. “He was driving a Focus Midget, but he is 190 pounds and he outgrew the car,” Williams laughed. “He is a big kid. He is not fat, he works out every day lifting weights and he plays high school football. He is just to big for a Focus Midget, so Jack had some parts left over and we built him a car. He is doing pretty good. He is not fast yet, but he goes pretty good, is always in control and he stays out of trouble. The main thing when you are first starting is remaining in control and he is doing that.”
Media, attached to this release is a photo of Austin Williams (#2) racing with Visalia’s Greg Bragg at Perris Auto Speedway. Please feel free to use the photo and please give photo credit to Doug Allen.
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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.
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2011 Amsoil USAC/CRA Points Standings
1. Mike Spencer – Temecula – 561
2. Nic Faas – Huntington Beach – 518
3. Matt Mitchell – Yorba Linda – 505
4. Austin Williams – Yorba Linda – 457
5. Greg Bragg – Visalia – 385
6. Cody Williams – Yorba Linda – 362
7. Ronnie Gardner – Norco – 343
8. Rickie Gaunt – Torrance – 338
8. Danny Sheridan – Santa Maria – 333
10. Rip Williams – Yorba Linda – 319
2011 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Tim Brown – Wildomar – 1533
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 1379
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1320
4. Alexander Bissett – Hemet – 1279
5. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 1214
6. Dan Lancaster – Imperial Beach – 1131
7. Paul Krueger – Buena Park – 1110
8. Darren Hillberg – Corona – 1091
9. Jacob Will – Carlsbad – 1065
10. Stephon Limon – Corona – 1048
The 2011 Perris Auto Speedway schedule is listed below.
August 20th: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints
August 27th: Off Weekend
September 3rd: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks – PLUS A “SPECIAL EVENT”
September 10th: “Night of Destruction 4” Fig 8′ Trailer Racing, Rollover Contest, Iron Man Demo Derby
September 17th: Off Weekend
September 24th: “GLENN HOWARD MEMORIAL” USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 1st: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks
October 8th: “So Cal Fair” USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 15th: Southern California Fair
October 22nd: Off Weekend
October 29th: PASSCAR “CHAMPIONS NIGHT” Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars and 2nd Annual Oil Twins Challenge
November 3rd: Budweiser “Oval Nationals”
November 4th: Budweiser “Oval Nationals” & California Lightning Sprints
November 5th: Budweiser “Oval Nationals” & California Lightning Sprints
This piece was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports: (909) 226-7768, email@example.com or http://twitter.com/ – !/search/sprintcarpr. Be sure to keep an eye out for news on our other racing clients. David Cardey Racing, California Lightning Sprint Car Series, Greg Alexander Racing, Justin Marvel – RB Motorsports #1B and Oil Twins Amsoil Racing.