By Scott Daloisio
(Perris, CA, April 21, 2021) A delay that has seemed like an eternity to Southern California sprint car fans, teams, and officials, will come to an end this Saturday night, April 24th, at the Sokola Shootout featuring the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and PAS Senior Sprints at Perris Auto Speedway. It will be the first appearance for sprint cars on the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval since the November 2019 Oval Nationals. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7. Due to COVID mandates, tickets are only available online at tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7. They will be obtainable until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. There will be no walkup ticket sales for this event.
After a visit during the track’s first season, Stock Car Racing Magazine editor and longtime tv racing personality Dick Berggren dubbed the track, “Sprint Car Heaven.” That was not long after the track’s Grand Opening in March of 1996. Sprint car racing has always been a staple at The PAS, and it is the racing the track is most widely known for. The 17-month sprint car void that will come to an end on Saturday more than quadruples the longest the track has ever gone without a sprint race.
“It has been a longtime since we have hosted sprint cars,” promoter Don Kazarian said. “To say the fans, drivers and officials are ready for this Saturday is an understatement. We thought we would only be down for a few weeks when COVID reared its ugly head last March, but it ended up being more than 13-months. Last year we only got one event in and that was the first week of March with a Night of Destruction. Needless to say, we were looking forward to opening again and we did last Saturday with our PASSCAR Stock Car Series and the IMCA Modifieds. Now we get to see the sprint cars this weekend. Everybody is excited.”
Last Saturday’s PASSCAR/IMCA program drew a nice, enthusiastic crowd in the grandstands and a large car count in the pit area. It was also the first event the track has been opened with COVID mandates in place.
“Like last week, we will have to comply with COVID mandates on Saturday,” Kazarian stated on Tuesday. “Face coverings and social distancing from other groups in the grandstands will be in effect until we are told otherwise. The same for concessions. We still must sell the concessions through a food app (FanFood). There were issues with the app last week, and we apologize for them. We have taken some steps and hopefully, those issues will be averted this Saturday. We look forward to when everything will be back to normal in the near future.”
The “FanFood” app Kazarian referred to is a free download from the app store. Fans will place their order and pay for it from their seats. When the order is ready, they will receive a text to pick it up from a station closest to where they are seated.
Saturday’s race honors the memory of Gary Sokola. Initially, a car owner, the fiery Michigan native guided the original California Racing Association through one of its finest eras from 1978 through 1987. The club flourished under Sokola who ruled with an iron fist, but who was respected by everyone. His main focus was driver safety, and he was well known for telling teams to get their car safe or load it up and take it home. After his tenure with CRA, he moved on to work for USAC before eventually relocating to Kansas to oversee the construction and run the Dodge City Raceway Park. He was still working for the track when he passed away in 2000. Twelve years later he received sprint car racing’s highest honor when he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.
“The Sokola Shootout was the first sprint car race scheduled for 2020, and needless to say, we were forced to cancel it,” Kazarian said. “It will be great to see it happen again. Gary Sokola was a no-nonsense guy at the track, but he was in it for the good of the sport. He took the original CRA to a new level that benefited not only its members, but to sprint car drivers and fans around the nation. It will be an honor to be able to host his race again this Saturday.”
Adult tickets are $30.00. Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00. Kids 6-12 are $5.00 and children 5 and under are free. The fairgrounds charges $10.00 for parking. Camping on the fairgrounds is available for $25.00 per night beginning at noon on Friday.
Online tickets for 2021 Perris Auto Speedway races are on sale at tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7.
Fans can stay up to date on track and driver news on The PAS social media efforts at the links below.
Twitter: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter.
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 the following corporate partners. Ahern Equipment Rentals, All Coast Construction, Battery Systems, 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, Living Water’s Hospice, LKQ Pick Your Part, Luke’s Transmission, Moose Racing, Pepsi-Cola, Pole Position, PrintItNow.com, Rainbow Bolt & Supply, Rugged Radios, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunoco Race Fuels, Trench Shoring, Upland Rock, Varner Construction and Vista Paint.
Video and DVD productions of all racing sprint cars events at Perris Auto Speedway are available from Loudpedal Productions. For more information on these productions you can contact them by calling (805) 844-3854, E-mailing mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit the website LoudPedal Productions.
DVDs of all the PASSCAR/IMCA racing and Nights of Destruction at The PAS are available from Fourvideos. For more information call (714) 225-9500.
mailto:email@example.com is the only authorized Internet address to issue official media news released from The Perris Auto Speedway or Oval Entertainment.