By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – FEBRUARY 22, 2012… Officials with the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series have confirmed that the popular “Wagscash” will be held at Chris Kearns’ Santa Maria Speedway on August 11th. Billed as “the race within a race,” the special event gives lower financed teams the opportunity to compete for a $2,500 first place prize with a purse totally raised by fan donations. The August 11th USAC/CRA date at Santa Maria is co-sanctioned with the USAC Western Classic Racing Series and will also feature the Toste Construction Mini Stocks, Mod Lites, and the winged California Lightning Sprints.
Created by race fans Ken & Terry Wagner and a group of friends called “Wagtimers,” the “Wagscash” and it’s predecessor the “Wagsdash” has roots going back to the legendary Ascot Park in Gardena, California. Collecting money to support the hard luck and under-funded teams throughout the season, the group eventually had an idea to launch their own invitational race. That dream happened at Bakersfield Speedway in 1991, when Ron DiDonato took the “Wagsdash” checkered flag and collected $2,000 for his efforts. The annual race with a fan donated purse was born. In over twenty years, the event has changed venues including Manzanita, El Centro, Perris, and Ventura. During that time, the “Wagtimers” have raised almost $600,000 going to the “low buck” racer.
With the economy hurting sponsorship and fan donations on the decline, Wagner and his friends had to make changes to the “Wagsdash.” Last year, the group created the “Wagscash” where eligible drivers would display Wagner’s trademark red and white polka dot ribbons on their cars. The highest finishing car with the polka dot ribbon in the regular USAC/CRA program would be declared the winner. On November 13th, Brody Roa claimed the $2,500 prize in his 360 powered machine at Kings Speedway in Hanford.
Now, the event moves to Santa Maria Speedway on August 11th. To be eligible for the 2012 “Wagscash,” drivers must have competed in at least half of the six USAC/CRA shows at Perris up to that time, plus one “out of town” USAC/CRA race. In addition, eligible drivers cannot have more than one lifetime USAC/CRA feature win. The number of cars participating in this year’s “Wagscash” will depend on the amount of money raised for the event. Wagner and friends plan to take donations, sell t-shirts, calendars, host an auction, have a 50/50 drawing, and showcase a crew tire changing event on race day. The winner of the “Wagscash” will earn $2,500 and other competitors will take home at least $500. For more information on the event or to make donations, visit www.wagtimes.com.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will kickoff their 2012 campaign this Saturday, February 25th, at Perris Auto Speedway. Joining the traditional 410 cubic-inch powered machines will be the winged California Lightning Sprints and popular PAS Senior 360 Sprint Cars. The spectator gates for the “Sokola Shootout” will open at 5:00pm, with racing at “America’s Premier Dirt Track” to begin at 7:00pm.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds in Perris, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior tickets (65 and over) are $20, and $5 for Children (6-12). For more information, please visit www.perrisautospeedway.com or call (951) 940-0134.
For more information on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit usacracing.com/cra or follow the series on facebook. If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the upcoming season, please email PR Director Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAGSCASH / WAGSDASH WINNERS:
1991- Ron DiDonato; 1992- Steve Ostling; 1993- Bobby Michnowicz; 1994- Rodney Argo; 1995- Troy Newsome; 1996- Mike English; 1997- Jimmy Voitel; 1998- Marc Hart; 1999- J Hicks; 2000- Marc Hart; 2001- Jarrett Chaney; 2002- Danny Sheridan; 2003- Alan Ballard; 2004- Ronnie Case/Rip Williams; 2005- Blake Miller; 2006- Alan Ballard; 2007- Blake Miller; 2008- Austin Mero, 2009- Not Held, 2010- Brody Roa; 2011- Brody Roa.
2012 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION
February 25: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Sokola Shootout)
March 31: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
April 28: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
May 19: Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway – Hanford, CA
May 26: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Salute To Indy)
June 2: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
June 15: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
June 16: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Firecracker 30)
July 28: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (California Racers Hall of Fame Night)
August 10: **Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA
August 11: **Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA (Wagscash)
August 18: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
September 1: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 2: **Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 5: **Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 15: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA
October 6: Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Southern California Fair)
October 26: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 27: *Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
November 2: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
November 3: *Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC National Sprints.
** = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC Western Classic Racing Series.
This schedule is subject to change.