LEVENTIS WINS SECOND STRAIGHT PASSCAR
STREET STOCK CHAMPIONSHIP
By Scott Daloisio
(Perris, CA, November 9, 2023)
For the second year in a row, Rancho Palos
Verdes, California racer Chris Leventis
won the PASSCAR Street Stock championship
at Perris Auto Speedway. For the veteran
driver, it was his fourth title after a
couple of decades out of racing. That is
right, a couple of decades of not racing.
Two-time PASSCAR Street Stock Champion
Chris Leventis. Kenny Lonngren photo.
Leventis's career began at
legendary Ascot Park in Gardena,
California. He is one of a dwindling
number of racers still in competition who
raced at the track located at 190th and
Vermont. However, he took time out to
raise his sons. Once they were old enough,
he returned to the dirt tracks and won a
couple of championships driving Super
Stocks at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway
six or seven years ago. He has been a
fixture near the front of the pack in the
PASSCAR Street Stocks for several years
and now races with his son, George. Let’s
sit back and listen to what he has to say
about his racing career.
and where did your racing career start?
Leventis: I started out at Ascot years
and years ago. I had an old Chevelle I ran
out there. My wife got pregnant and the
two boys were coming. That was the end of
the racing. I had to raise the two boys
and then I could come back to racing. I
came back about 10 years ago. The kids
turned 18 and I was like, let's go racing
PAS: Along the way in your
comeback, you raced at the Mohave Valley
Raceway and actually won a couple of Super
Stock championships there. You have had a
lot of success at Perris in the Street
Stocks. Will you ever return to Super
Leventis: No, I have been
there and done that. I like the street
stocks. You know, it is hard racing
against these youngsters. You get out of
the car after 20 laps and you are winded.
These young kids are tough. I like to see
the kids win. We are going to help the guy
(Casey Bierfeldt) in the Camaro. We are
going to give him a tranny, some tires,
and some other stuff. We want to get these
kids going. Us old men cannot do it
PAS: Now, you said you do
not want to race super stocks. However,
you own one and it won the PAS
championship two years ago and is still
considered by many to be the fastest Super
Stock at the track.
Billy Griffin runs with us in the #2. That
is a very fast car, but we have had a
problem with it kicking the belts off. It
is from Affordable Chassis and it is a
real good car. You cannot beat it. I have
two of those cars. I have the white one he
drives and a red one. I could not put him
in the red one because the halo is too
low. It was too close to his helmet. The
white one has a higher halo so we are able
to run him in that one. We are going to
run that car at Mohave this weekend. Billy
is a good man. George is always grilling
him. Billy has a lot of experience and he
has a lot of wins.
PAS: You are
headed to Mohave to race the Jerry Dodd
Memorial this week. Two weeks ago we had
Jerry Dodd Champion’s Night at Perris.
Everybody loved Jerry, didn’t they?
Leventis: Jerry was always there (at
the track) smiling. He talked to me at
every race I ever went to at Perris. He
was always there. That is a good thing you
guys did for Jerry and a good thing they
are doing for him this week at Mohave. We
are going to go up there with the #2 car
(Billy Griffin) and hopefully, we win it.
PAS: Your consistency has been
amazing the last two years at The PAS. In
17 races dating back to the start of the
2022 season, you have not finished worse
than fourth. You have two wins, seven
second-place finishes, and you have been
third and fourth four times each. It seems
like consistency is your first priority.
Leventis: You know I like to
win the main events, but I also like to
take my car home in one piece. So, I will
step on the brakes rather than wreck my
car. If I win every race, it is no fun.
Other people have to win, too. When I get
my moments, I get my moments. There is
some pretty good competition out there. I
am going to run next year and go for the
championship. If I get it, I get it.
PAS: It must be a blast racing against
your son, George. How important is it to
be out there racing with him?
Leventis: I want to see George out there.
He is very competitive. He does not cut
the old man any slack. He will go around
me in a second which I like. It is very
competitive and we are having fun.
PAS: Does he have what it takes to win a
championship like his dad?
Leventis: George is going to be fast. He
is 26 and he is a natural. He can drive
anything. He is still a little bit green.
Next year I would not count him out. Every
time I turn my back, he is into all of my
motors. I have quite a few motors and he
is always putting the one he wants in
(into his car). He has a good one in there
now. It is capable of winning. As you
know, if he can go out there and run third
with it in the Super Stocks, that is no
joke. The top three cars (street stocks)
out there I am sure could run with the
PAS: You have now won
back-to-back PASSCAR Street Stock
championships. Was the first one or the
second one harder to win?
It was harder to win the championship the
PAS: What made the
first one harder to win?
Figuring out the setup on the car was
harder because, you know, we had to stay
within the rules. When they changed the
rules, that opened up the car for me to
get it to work properly. So, with that
said after they changed the rules the car
became real competitive. It has always
been a top three, top five car. I could
not get it right until the last couple
years. Now that I have it (right), it is
actually easy (to drive).
Only two other drivers have won
consecutive PASSCAR Street Stock titles.
Curtis Dietzch in 2007 and 2008 and Luke
Dodd in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Are you
planning to try to equal Luke’s record of
three in a row next season?
Leventis: Absolutely! I’d like to see Luke
come back and race. You know, it took me a
while to get my car working right. Now, I
would like to have the chance to beat him.
PAS: It seems like you are always
having fun at the races.
Me and Stefan (Davies), and Sean (Estes),
and all those guys. We all BS all the
time. It is fun.
PAS: Final question.
Who helps you with the car?
Leventis: Me and George, Frank Perry,
Rusty Stewart, and Billy Griffin. We do
all the work ourselves. Also Bryce Mulvey.
He builds all of the motors and he has the
motor package handled. I am always needing
motors. In order to win a championship you
have to have motors sitting on the shelf.
We also have help from, Transmissions West
and Chris’ Hauling.
To see Chris
Leventis launch his attempt for a
three-peat, be at The PAS for the 2024
season opener on February 24th.
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently
located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds
(home of the Southern California Fair),
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. For directions online, the
address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris
Drive and the zip code is 92571.
USAC/CRA races from Perris Auto Speedway
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SPEEDWAY 2023 SCHEDULE
Heimark Distributors/Anheuser Busch
Presents the AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CARS
(30 LAPS), PAS Senior/Young Guns Sprint
Cars And Southwest Lightning Sprint Cars
THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.