#7 "The Kruser" Cory Kruseman. Photo by Lance Jennings.
#7 "The Kruser" Cory Kruseman. Photo by Lance Jennings.

From Lance Jennings

Santa Maria, CA — ( JUNE 29, 2012) — The cars and stars of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to Perris Auto Speedway on Wednesday, July 4th, for the annual “Firecracker 30 & Sky Concert.” The Independence Day showcase will also feature the PAS Senior 360 Sprint Cars and the popular winged California Lightning Sprints. The spectator gates will open at 3:00pm, a special on-track autograph session will be held from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, and racing at “America’s Premier Dirt Track” will start at 6:30pm. At intermission, Don Kazarian’s facility will host one of largest and best fireworks show in Southern California.
The annual “Firecracker” race has been a Southern California tradition going back to the legendary Ascot Park in Gardena. When Perris Auto Speedway opened their doors in 1996, the Riverside County facility kept the tradition alive and “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman won the first of his five victories of the event. Mike Spencer, who won last year’s race, will look to join the likes of Kruseman, “The Ripper” Rip Williams and “The Cowboy” Tony Jones as multiple winners of the Independence Day Classic.
Heading into the ninth race of the 2012 season, Mike Spencer of Temecula holds an sixty-five point lead over the competition. The driver of Ron Chaffin’s #50 Madera Produce / Grubstake Mini Storage Maxim won at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway on June 15th and scored third the following night at Santa Maria. The 4-time USAC/CRA Champion has four main event wins, four Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, one Ringers Gloves / Keizer Wheels Hard Charger Award, eight top-5 finishes, and eighty feature laps led on the season. Spencer will be going for his fourth straight victory at Perris, tying a USAC/CRA track record held by Jones and “Dynamite” David Cardey.
Huntington Beach’s Nic Faas is second in the point standings. The pilot of Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Competition Suspension Inc. Spike scored tenth at Watsonville and placed fourth at Santa Maria. To date, the former USAC Western Midgets Series Champion has one feature win, two Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Fast Time Awards, four heat race victories, one Ringers Gloves / Keizer Wheels Hard Charger Award, five top-5 finishes, and twenty-six feature laps led on the year. Faas will be looking to add the “Firecracker 30” to his resume and cut into Spencer’s point lead.
After scoring fifth at Watsonville and winning the Santa Maria 30-lap feature, Austin Williams of Yorba Linda has climbed to third in the point chase. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, the 2009 Rookie of the Year has one feature win, three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Diversified Machine Inc. Semi-Main win, one Ringers Gloves / Keizer Wheels Hard Charger Award, five top-5 finishes, and twenty-nine feature laps led. On Wednesday, Williams will be looking to add his name to the winner’s list of the “Firecracker 30.”
Sitting fourth in the point standings is Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell. Piloting the J.W. Mitchell Motorsports’ #37 J.M. Mancha Realtors / Sierra Springs Water Maxim, Mitchell claimed third at Watsonville and scored thirteenth at Santa Maria. To date, the former USAC Western Midget Series Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories and five top-5 finishes in the campaign. Last year’s “Salute To Indy” winner will have his sights on winning the rare Wednesday night feature at USAC/CRA’s “Home Track.”
Ryan Bernal of Hollister is currently fifth in the championship points. The driver of Keith Ford’s #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike claimed second at Watsonville and earned the “Hard Charger” award at Santa Maria with a fifteenth to sixth place run. Last year’s Santa Maria Track Champion has two heat race victories, four top-5 finishes, and forty-nine feature laps led in 2012. Bernal has parted ways with the Kittle Motorsports team and will be looking score his first career USAC/CRA feature at Perris Auto Speedway.
Among the other top contenders expected to be in action are Buena Park’s Brody Roa, “The Ripper” Rip Williams of Yorba Linda, Ventura’s “The Kruser” Cory Kruseman, Seth Wilson of Las Vegas, Yorba Linda’s “Cadillac” Cody Williams, “Dynamite” David Cardey of Riverside, Camarillo’s Josh Ford, “Super” Rickie Gaunt of Torrance, and many more.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior tickets (65 and over) are $20, and $5 for Children (12 and under). Camping will be allowed and reservations can be made by calling the Fairgrounds at (951) 657-4221. For more information on the “Firecracker 30,” visit or call (951) 940-0134.
To catch all of the action of the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway, Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVD videos available for purchase. For more information, call (805) 407-7229 or visit In addition, Circle Track Network will offer a live pay per view feed from Perris Auto Speedway to viewers over 100 miles away from the racetrack at The feed will be archived and available to all visitors for a fee 24-hours after the last checkered flag.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series would like to thank Hoosier Tire, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Integra Shocks, Keizer Wheels, LRB Inc. Race Products, Ringers Gloves, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.
For more information on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit or follow the series on Facebook ( or Twitter (!/USAC_CRA).
1. Mike Spencer 536; 2. Nic Faas 471; 3. Austin Williams 424; 4. Matt Mitchell 409; 5. Ryan Bernal 397; 6. Brody Roa 361; 7. Rip Williams 346; 8. Cory Kruseman 328; 9. Seth Wilson 292; 10. Cody Williams 287; 11. Richard Vander Weerd 221; 12. Jace Vander Weerd 180; 13. David Cardey 177; 14. David Bezio 173; 15. Jake Swanson 117; 16. Greg Alexander 104; 17. Josh Ford 99; 18. Tony Everhart 68; 19. Josh Pelkey 51; 20. Billy Blinn 31.
1996-Cory Kruseman; 1997-Rip Williams; 1998-Troy Cline; 1999-Rip Williams; 2000-Cory Kruseman; 2001-Cory Kruseman; 2002-Rickie Gaunt; 2003-Rip Williams; 2004-Damion Gardner; 2005-Cory Kruseman; 2006-Tony Jones; 2007-Tony Jones; 2008-Danny Sheridan; 2009-Cory Kruseman; 2010-David Cardey; 2011-Mike Spencer.