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72nd Turkey Night Grand Prix USAC auto race set for Perris track

November 19, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Kyle Larson will take part in the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Perris Auto Speedway on Thursday.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Kyle Larson will take part in the… (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images…)

The 72nd running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix race for U.S. Auto Club midget cars, a Thanksgiving-night tradition in Southern California, is scheduled Thursday at Perris Auto Speedway in Riverside County.

The midget cars are powerful, stripped-down, open-wheel race cars and their appearance at the half-mile Perris track marks the first time they'll hold this race race on a dirt track since 1998. The race had been held at the paved Irwindale Speedway in recent years.

Many notable drivers from other series have driven in the holiday race during its long history, including A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and NASCAR's Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.

Drivers scheduled to race this year include two-time Turkey Night winner Bryan Clauson and newly crowned Mopar USAC National Midget champion Darren Hagen of Riverside.

Also entered is Kyle Larson, this year's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion who also races in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck series.

Spectators can watch Turkey Night practice free on Wednesday night (practice starts at 5 p.m.). On Thanksgiving night, qualifying starts at 6 p.m. with the main event scheduled at 8:45 p.m.

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