PAS prepares for 20th Budweiser Oval Nationals

Parade lap at the Oval Nationals. - Doug Allen Photo
Parade lap at the Oval Nationals. - Doug Allen Photo
Parade lap at the Oval Nationals. – Doug Allen Photo

From Scott Daloisio

Perris, CA — (January 6, 2015) — With the holidays over, the staff at Perris Auto Speedway is back in the office and working hard on the historic 20th season at the famous Riverside County racing facility. Among the things getting attention is the most prestigious traditional sprint car race in the nation, the annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction. When the race takes place for the 20th time on November 12th, 13th and 14th, it will return to a format that endeared it to race fans around the country in years gone by.

The Oval Nationals began life in October of 1996 as a two-day event. It immediately garnered wide spread attention and appreciation of race teams and fans around the nation. They marveled at the gorgeous new track and appreciated that the race featured a large purse, stiff competition and was staged at a time of year when most tracks around the country had already closed for the winter.

The race remained a two day affair through the year 2000. In 2001 promoter Don Kazarian added an extra night and split the field in two. Half the cars raced on Thursday, the other half on Friday and then they all raced together on Saturday. One season later he made one of the major decisions which made the race so popular over the years. He kept the event at three days and instituted the policy of all drivers having to race all three nights.

All cars racing all three nights brought out the best drivers. It was a tough format where they had to perform at their hardest from their first lap in qualifying on Thursday until the final checkered flag on Saturday. It left little room for error from the drivers and their equipment. It was demanding on the competitors not only racing the cars, but also the crew’s thrashing on them in the pits. It created excitement and drama that the fans looked forward to every year.

The race stayed a three night affair through 2011. In 2012, it went back to the original two-night format. In 2013 and 2014, it was back to three nights again, but only the last two of those nights featured the 410 sprint cars. It was still the Oval Nationals, but it was not the same show and the fans let Kazarian know that they wanted the three nights of 410 sprint cars back. Much to their delight, in 2015 the show is going back to what made it great in years gone by. Three straight nights of 410 sprint cars with every driver competing all three nights!

“The fans have been asking for three straight nights of 410 sprint cars like we used to have at the Oval Nationals and that is what we are going to give them,” Kazarian said. “The race did lose a little bit of its luster for a few years, but things began to swing around again when we started getting purse back up thanks to Mike Grosswendt at All Coast Construction. There was a buzz around the race again the past two seasons and there will be even more this year as fans will be able to see their favorites from the USAC National and USAC/CRA Series’ go at it three straight nights like the old days.”

The 2015 edition of the prestigious race will also see it go back to another past tradition of the Oval Nationals. The race started out with just 410 sprint cars and stayed that way for quite some time. However, the past few years have seen a couple of support classes sharing the program with the 410’s. That is not going to be the case this year.

“Fans also asked for 410’s only and no support classes at the Ovals, so that is what we are going to do” Kazarian commented. “It seemed like the support classes cut out some of the drama and took some of the focus away from the 410’s. Make no mistake about it, the 410’s made the Oval Nationals and we want everyone to be able to focus on them completely so we are not running any support classes with them at this year’s Ovals.”

The addition of the third night of 410 racing brings on another big chunk of change for the drivers to compete for. It will be the largest purse in the 20-year history of the race. That should not only draw the attention of the local drivers in the USAC/CRA Series and the Indiana based USAC National Series, but it should draw interest from drivers from other parts of the nation as well.

“Last year Robert Ballou won both nights of the 410 portion of the Oval Nationals and pocketed $30,000.00 for doing so,” Kazarian said. “If a driver sweeps all three nights this year, he will take home at least $35,000.00 in main event winnings alone. In addition to going back to all 410’s and the biggest purse in Oval Nationals history, we will have some other exciting announcements in the ten months leading up to the race. This year’s Oval Nationals is going to be great for the drivers and the fans. Just like old times.”

Advance tickets for the 20th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals will go on sale within the next few weeks.

For more information on The PAS call: (951) 940-0134.

Camping is available for $25.00 per night for all PAS events. The campground opens at noon the day before each event. Tailgating in the spectator parking lot will begin at 1:00 PM for all PAS events as well.

Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank its corporate sponsors for the 2015 season. 1-800LoanMart, 777 Racecars, All Coast Construction, Amsoil, Ayers Hotel and Spa, BlueLine Rental, Budweiser, CamGuard, Champion Towing, City of Perris, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Edelbrok, Engine Pro, HD Industries, Hoosier Tires, K&N Engineering, Marjon RV, Pacific Coach Works, Pep Boys, P.I.P.E., Pepsi-Cola, Pick-A-Part Auto Salvage, Running Waters Hospice, Scott Sales, Shaver Racing Engines, Sherwin-Williams, Sprint Car Driving Experience, Square H, Swedish Speed, Town and Country Golf Carts, Trench Shoring, United States Army, US Foods and Valley Auto Salvage.

To keep up with all of the latest Perris Auto Speedway news, photos, gossip and receive special offers, sign up at The PAS Facebook site at:

You can also keep up with the latest news and receive special offers from The PAS Twitter site: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter.