By Scott Daloisio
(Perris, CA, November 2, 2019) Mike Grosswendt is pleased to announce that the Tony Jones Award will continue to pay $1,000.00 to the driver who passes the most cars in the finale of next week’s 24th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway. The award is named after the retired racer who won the 2000 edition of the event. Grosswendt also addressed rumors regarding the purse for the three-day race.
The Hard Charger award was named after Jones several years ago. It honors the driver who is arguably the most popular racer in the 24-season history of the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval. In addition to his prowess on the track, Jones has tutored young drivers who are new to the sport and is currently wrapping up his first season as Race Director for the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series.
Tony Jones #2 3-30.jpg
USAC/CRA Race Director Tony Jones. Doug Allen Photo.
“I am pleased to announce that All Coast Construction will once again sponsor the Tony Jones Hard Charger Award,” Grosswendt said on Thursday. “It will pay $1,000.00 to the driver who passes the most cars in the main event on Saturday night. It goes to a deserving driver who does a lot of hard work during the main event.”
Grosswendt, who’s All Coast Construction Company has been the presenting sponsor of the Oval Nationals for nearly a decade, also wanted to dispel a rumor that had been circulating about the race’s purse. The rumor was that Grosswendt cut a portion of the purse due to USAC moving the last race of the year to Arizona. He stated that the rumor was untrue.
“Last year we put a lot of money into the event and it was spectacular,” Grosswendt stated. “This year I had to cut back. Anybody that knows me or that knows me on social media knows that my wife was diagnosed with cancer. We decided to cut back expenses to see how it played out. Fortunately, it turned out very well. She is cancer-free now. It took a year of aggressive treatment and her remarkable attitude.”
“It has come to my attention that a lot of people think that I cut the purse because USAC moved the crowning of the champions (the final race) to Arizona and the Western World,” Grosswendt continued. “I have to tell you, I was hugely disappointed as was Don (Perris promoter Don Kazarian). We put a lot of money and time into making the Oval Nationals a natural crowning of the champions. To read about it in the news that it was being yanked away and sent to Arizona was extremely hard to swallow. But cutting the purse had nothing to do with that. It was strictly a family decision based on what we were going through.”
While disappointed, Grosswendt understands and accepts USAC’s decision.
“But I get it,” the longtime sponsor said. “I am just one of thousands of sponsors in racing. The average racecar owner throws more money into the sport than I do every year. I am over it. I respect USAC and the guys I deal with like Richie Murray, Rich Forman, Levi Jones and the late Dick Jordan…all of the guys back east. It was their business decision (moving the last race to Arizona). I am looking forward to the Oval Nationals and it looks like it is shaping up to be another great event.”
All three nights of the famed race will be full points-paying races for the Amsoil USAC/CRA & USAC National Sprint Cars and the Sand Chevrolet USAC Southwest Sprint Cars. To date, 42 cars have entered with drivers from nine different states.
Tickets for the 24th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals are available 24-hours a day by calling 1-800-595-4849 or online at https://pas.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=7. For fans who do not wish to buy tickets in advance, there is no worry. There will be plenty of tickets available for everyone at the ticket window each night.
# Driver Residence Owner
0 Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA Morrison Williams
4 Damion Gardner Concord, CA Mark Alexander
4 Justin Grant Ion, CA Topp Motorsports
4G Chris Gansen Verdemont Heights, CA Dennis and Christol Gansen
5 Tye Mihocko Peoria, AZ Tye Mihocko
5G Chris Windom Canton, IL Parralax Group/Goacher Racing
5X Tommy Malcolm Corona, CA Dino Napier
7BC Tyler Courtney Indianapolis, IN Clauson Marshall/Newman Rcg.
7G Donnie Gansen San Bernardino, CA Dennis and Christol Gansen
10 Richard Vander Weerd Visalia, CA Ron Vander Weerd
12 Stevie Sussex Tempe, AZ ABC Body Shop
12B Joel Rayborne West Covina, CA Rodney Rayborne
13G Dennis Gile Phoenix, AZ Gene Gile
13M Thomas Meseraull Waveland, IN Gene Gile
15 Chris Bonneau Peoria, AZ Chris Bonneau
16 Mike Martin Yuma, AZ Mike Martin
19 Kevin Thomas Jr. Cullman, AL Hayward Thomas Motorsports
19 Logan Seavey Sutter, CA Andy Reinbold
19AZ C.J. Leary Greenfield, IN Andy Reinbold
19S Hunter Schuerenberg Sikeston, MO Andy Reinbold
28M Matt McCarthy Riverside, CA John McCarthy
32 Chase Stockon Fort Branch, IN Chase Stockon
34 Jake Swanson Anaheim, CA John Grau/Mike Burkhart
42 Brody Roa Garden Grove, CA Dwight Cheney
42X Jason McDougal Tulsa, OK Dwight Cheney
44 Cody Williams Norco, CA Cody Williams
44 Jake Helsel Monroe, WA Tony Helsel
50 Charles Davis Jr. Buckeye, AZ Charles Davis Jr.
51 R.J. Johnson Laveen, AZ Rickey Johnson
51T Eddie Tafoya Jr. Chino Hills, CA Eddie Tafoya Sr.
57 Steve Hix Ventura, CA Steve Hix
68 Chase Johnson Penngrove, CA Shawn Thomas
69 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK Hoffman Auto Racing
69 Randy Waitman Ramona, CA Randy Waitman
73T Max Adams Loomis, CA Josh Ford Motorsports
74X Josh Hodges Albuquerque, NM Hodges Motorsports
83 Austin Liggett Tracy, CA Tim Liggett
88 Jace Vander Weerd Visalia, CA Ron Vander Weerd
91R Brody Roa Garden Grove, CA BR Performance
92 Austin Williams Corona, CA Tom and Lauri Sertich
98 Verne Sweeney Lomita, CA Ken Tracy
98X Jeremy Ellertson Lawndale, CA Jeremy Ellertson
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the SoCal Fair and Event Center (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, on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions on MapQuest, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank its corporate partners for the 2019 season. All Coast Construction, Austin Hutchinson Realtor, Battery Systems, Brass and Bass Firearms & Fishing Supplies, Budweiser, Bud’s Tire Pro, Chris’ Hauling, City of Perris, Communication Innovations, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Ed Moore Bullet Proof Driveshaft, Flowdynamics, HD Industries, Hoosier Tires, Inland Rigging, K2 Displays, Living Water’s Hospice, LKQ Pick Your Part, Luke’s Transmission, Pepsi-Cola, Pole Position, PrintItNow.com, Rainbow Bolt & Supply, Rugged Radios, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunstate Equipment, Trench Shoring, Upland Rock, Varner Construction, VIA RV Service and Vista Paint.
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