PERRIS, Calif. – Saturday night’s 18th Budweiser Oval Nationals finale at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway offers the winner a $15,000 payday.
While the payday will certainly have the attention of most of the competitors, it’s likely the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Championship is tantamount for Bryan Clauson and Dave Darland as they prepare for the series finales. Clauson has a 59-point lead over Darland after last weekend’s Hose Advantage “Hall of Fame” races at Arizona’s Canyon Speedway Park, where Clauson was the Friday night winner.
Darland entered the weekend at Canyon Speedway Park just 13 points in arrears but slipped after Friday’s sixth-place finish. A pair of skirmishes during Saturday’s feature relegated him to a 20th-place finish.
Darland was leading Friday’s race until Clauson took over on lap 23. The National point leader paced the final eight circuits for his 19th USAC feature victory of the year (including regional wins). Trailing Clauson’s Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Chevy Performance/Curb Records Beast/Kistler were Tracy Hines, Mike Spencer, Kevin Thomas Jr. and AMSOIL USAC/CRA point leader Damion Gardner.
Chase Stockon earned his first National victory of the season last Saturday, leading the final 18 laps in his Superior Tank & Trailer/Crescent Electric Supply DRC/Fisher. He passed Hines on lap two and led the last 29 laps to beat Hines, Justin Grant, USAC Southwest Sprint leader R.J. Johnson and Robert Ballou.
Brady Bacon led the first 20 laps of Friday’s race but finished 13th at the checkered flag.
The Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris presented by All Coast Construction opens with Thursday night’s USAC West Coast/Southwest Sprint Car “Grudge Series” event. The AMSOIL National and CRA Sprints take over Friday and Saturday, concluding the 2013 campaign for both series.
Gardner enters the Perris finales with a 140-point USAC/CRA point lead over teammate Nic Faas.