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MOTOR RACING

Sprint Car Race Switches Gears

September 12, 2003|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

In response to the U.S. Auto Club's adding a national midget event the same weekend at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., Perris Auto Speedway President Don Kazarian has changed the date of the eighth annual Budweiser Oval Nationals sprint car races.

The Oval Nationals will be run one week later, Nov. 13-15. With a $30,000 first prize and a $100,000 purse, Kazarian is also doing a favor to some of the top drivers in the nation who would have had to drive in the midget race, among them J.J. Yeley, Tracy Hines and Dave Darland.

"The fans expect to see the top sprint car drivers in the country at the Oval Nationals," Kazarian said. "We do not want to disappoint them. By moving the race back one week, we will get all the top drivers who want to run for first-place money, and the fans will get a better lineup."

Kazarian's event will also no longer compete against the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway, or the 39th NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona Raceway.

The PASSCAR Champions Night has been switched from Nov. 15 to Nov. 8 at Perris.

Tickets purchased for the original race weekends will be honored on the new dates.

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Rip Michels is likely to clinch the Jani-King super late models title Saturday at Irwindale Speedway over Tony Bruncatti. Also on the card are late models, mini-stocks, supermoto TT motorcycles, and an Extreme Racing League exhibition.

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Steve Paden of Lakewood holds a 27-point lead over Yeley in the USAC Western Midget Car series, which races at Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday. Fourth-place Josh Wise is 75 points behind but has some momentum. He was the fastest qualifier at both previous races at Bakersfield, and won there in April. He also won the prestigious Belleville Midget Nationals last month in Kansas.

Danny Stratton of Fontana won his first race in the California Ford Focus Midget series last week at Ventura. The series continues Saturday at Bakersfield Speedway.

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With three points races remaining, Scott Brant of Riverside has clinched the Costa Mesa Speedway series championship. Brant leads Reno's Mike Faria by 150 points entering Saturday's "Harley Night" event.

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The SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300 will be run this weekend with two drivers attempting doubles. Mike Voyles of Temecula will compete in Classes 1 and 10, and Texan Mark Kyle will drive in SCORE lite and then protruck.

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Shav Glick is on vacation.

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