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PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY OPENS 17TH SEASON WITH AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CARS THIS SATURDAY!

(Perris, CA, February 20, 2012) The "Southern California Home of Major League Sprint Car Racing," Perris Auto Speedway, will open it's 17th season this Saturday night, February 25th, with the Sokola Shootout for the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints and the California Lightning Sprint Cars. Saturday's race honors the memories of past CRA president and car owner Gary Sokola and his son Mark who was a sprint car racer. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first race will be at 7:00. 

While The PAS celebrates it's 17th birthday, 2012 will be the ninth year for the USAC/CRA Series and it could be one of its best seasons to date.

"We are very optimistic that 2012 is going to be a very good year," promoter Don Kazarian said. "Several young drivers are jumping into the series and USAC made sure there are no conflicts between the CRA and West Coast 360 Series as there have been in the past. The amount of teams we have seen on the track at practice has been a very pleasant surprise."

Good news for the teams competing at The PAS is the increase in the purse for 2012. The purse will return to what it was a few years ago and the winner will again get $2,500.00 (as opposed to $2,000.00 the past few seasons) and it will pay a minimum of $300.00 to start the main (as opposed to $150.00).

Temecula, California second generation racer Mike Spencer heads the list of entries for the USAC/CRA portion of the show. The affable Cal Poly Pomona Engineering graduate will begin the drive for five straight USAC/CRA championships on Saturday. The 30-year-old led the series with six wins in 2011. (Media, attached to this release is a photo of Mike Spencer. Please feel free to publish the photo and if used, please give photo credit to Doug Allen.)

"Mike Spencer is a promoter's dream," Kazarian said. "In addition to being a great driver, he is good-looking, very well spoken and he is outstanding with the fans. He has to be considered the favorite for the championship heading into the season, but he may face his stiffest challenges yet."

The leading challengers for Spencer's crown are 22-year-old Nick Faas of Huntington Beach, California and Yorba Linda's Matt Mitchell. Faas ended up second in the standings to Spencer in 2011 and won three of the final eight races of the year including night number one of the Budweiser Oval Nationals. Mitchell, 24, won two mains in 2011 and ended up third in points behind champion Spencer and Faas. 

Austin Williams, the 21-year-old middle son of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Rip Williams, ended up fourth in points last year and scored his first USAC/CRA win at Santa Maria. Saturday will be his first race back since suffering a fractured shoulder blade in a violent flip on the final day of the Oval Nationals. The Yorba Linda based racer will be joined by his older brother Cody, who finished sixth in last year's championship chase and his famous father Rip, who was eighth.

One driver who will not be back for 2012 is Visalia's Greg Bragg. For the past few seasons, the racing farmer has been a fixture in the Tom & Laurie Sertich #92 Moose Racing entry and he finished fifth in points last year. However, Bragg is taking time away from the series in 2012. Filling the seat this Saturday will be Mesa, Arizona native Casey Shuman who now calls Indiana home. Shuman placed 7th and 18th in the season openers for the Amsoil USAC National Championship Series in Ocala, Florida two weeks ago.

The PAS Senior Sprint Car Series will open a full season of racing this Saturday. Last year the series only had a handful of races, but in 2012, it has nine dates including their first ever appearance at the Oval Nationals on November 2nd and 3rd. The rules for the Senior Sprints are quite simple. In fact, besides safety rules, the only rules are drivers must be 45-years-old or older and have a cast iron block 360 engine. Bill Badger, a 61-year-old from Saugus, will be back to defend his 2011 title. 

Rounding out Saturday's show will be the California Lightning Sprint Series. 2012 will be the 19th season for the series that has produced such stars as Mike Spencer, Darren Hagen, David Cardey and Greg Bragg. The series had a bounce back season in 2011 and fans can expect to see the largest opening night CLS field in years on Saturday. Wildomar's Tim Brown, who turned 52 last week, won the championship in 2011.

The best deal in racing, money saving 2012 Perris Auto Speedway season tickets, is only available through this Friday, February 24th. To get yours, please call The PAS office at: (951) 940-0134.

The entire 2012 PAS schedule is listed at the end of this release.

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: http://www.facebook.com/home.php - !/pages/Perris-Auto-Speedway/11387679868

You can also keep up with the latest news and receive special offers from The PAS Twitter site: http://twitter.com/perrisautospdwy.

Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank its corporate sponsors for the 2012 season. 1-800LoanMart, Aaron's, Ahern Rentals, All Coast Construction, Amsoil, Ayers Hotel and Spa, Budweiser, Champion Towing, City of Perris, Comfort Inn, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Frazee Paint, Hoosier Tires, K&N Engineering, P.I.P.E., Pepsi-Cola, Pick-A-Part Auto Salvage, Prolong Super Lubricants, Snap-on, Soboba Casino, Square H, Swedish Speed, Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Trench Shoring, US Foods, Valley Auto Salvage and Zanzabuku Sports Lounge.

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

Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (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, exit on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds.

racesatthepas@aol.com is the only authorized Internet address to issue official media news released from The Perris Auto Speedway or Oval Entertainment

2012 PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY SCHEDULE

February 11 - Open Practice - 3:00 PM - Free for Fans in the Grandstands
February 18 - Off Weekend
February 25 - "Sokola Shootout" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars

March 3 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
March 10 - World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and California Lightning Sprint Cars
March 17 - Off Weekend
March 24 - Off Weekend
March 31 - USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars

April 7 - Off Weekend
April 14 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks (Race #1 "1-800LoanMart 2012 PASSCAR Street Stock Challenge), Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
April 21 - Night of Destruction #1: Rollover Contest, Trailer Figure 8 Races, Figure 8's, Auto Roller Derby, Demo Cross
April 28 - USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars

May 5 - PASSCAR Road Course Challenge: Amsoil Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
May 12 - Off Weekend
May 19 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
May 26 - Salute to Indy: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars

June 2 - Off Weekend
June 9 - Night of Destruction #2: Demolition Derby, Trailer Figure 8 Races, Figure 8's, Auto Roller Derby, Demo Cross
June 16 - Off Weekend
June 23 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks (Race #2 "1-800LoanMart 2012 PASSCAR Street Stock Challenge), Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
June 30 - Off Weekend

July 4 - Firecracker 30 & Sky Concert: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars
July 7 - Off Weekend
July 14 - Night of Destruction 3: Trailer Figure 8 Races, Figure 8's, Demo Cross, Auto Roller Derby, Rollover Contest
July 21 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
July 28 - California Racers Hall of Fame Night: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars

August 4 - Off Weekend
August 11 - Off Weekend
August 18 - USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars
August 25 - Off Weekend

September 1 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks (Race #3 "1-800LoanMart 2012 PASSCAR Street Stock Challenge), Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
September 8 - Night of Destruction 4: "Perris Leap" Trophy Truck Long Jump and Engine Meltdown, Trailer Figure 8 Races, Figure 8's, Auto Roller Derby, Demo Cross
September 15 - Glenn Howard Classic: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars
September 22 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks (Race #4 "1-800LoanMart 2012 PASSCAR Street Stock Challenge), Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers
September 29 - Off Weekend

October 6 - Southern California Fair: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 13 - Southern California Fair
October 20 - Off Weekend
October 27 - PASSCAR Super Stocks, Amsoil Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Mods, Super Four Bangers

November 1 - 17th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Practice
November 2 - 17th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals: USAC National Sprint Cars, USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars
November 3 - 17th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals: USAC National Sprint Cars, USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints, California Lightning Sprint Cars
November 22 - Thanksgiving - TBA
November 23 - 1-800LoanMart Street Stock Turkey Bowl
November 24 - 1-800LoanMart Street Stock Turkey Bowl