NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT FINALES
UNFOLD AT THE PAS IN 18TH “BUDWEISER OVAL NATIONALS;”
CLAUSON, STOCKON TAKE “HALL OF FAME” WINS AT PEORIA
Saturday night’s 18th “Budweiser Oval Nationals” finale at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway offers the winner a $15,000 payday but it’s likely the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Championship is tantamount for Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. and Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. 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 Peoria, Ariz. 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 on Friday 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, of Elizabethtown, Ind., earned his first National victory of the season 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, of Concord, Calif., enters the Perris finales with a 140-point USAC/CRA point lead over teammate Nic Faas. They recorded Peoria finishes of fifth and eighth (Gardner) and 19th and 14th (Faas).