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United States Auto Club (USAC) dirt track Sprint Car racing returns to the West Coast on a regular basis in 2004 with today’s announcement of a 30-race USAC/CRA series encompassing five tracks in Southern California and Arizona. As the title implies, the California Racing Association acronym is back! The new series debuts March 6 at Perris Auto Speedway (Calif.) and includes races at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz., Ventura Raceway (Calif.), Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. and Bakersfield Speedway (Calif.).

"We are pleased to be the home track for the newly formed USAC/CRA 410 Sprint Car Series in California and Arizona, said Don Kazarian, race organizer at Perris Auto Speedway, which will host half of the already-scheduled 30 races. “To be associated with one of the largest and oldest sanctioning bodies in the United States can only propel 410 Sprint Car racing to new levels nationwide. I truly believe this program is good for the racer, race fan and gives stability to the organizers of the events. Currently, USAC is developing and producing the Superstars of today and tomorrow.”

"I am pleased to see King's Speedway in Hanford and the Bakersfield Speedway once again promoting 410 Sprint Car racing in the central valley,” continued Kazarian. “They are two historical speedways that have a tremendous fan base to help the series grow. Hopefully the series can be expanded into Northern California in the future. In addition, the ninth running of the Budweiser Oval Nationals at the PAS on October 28-30, will be presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply and will award points towards the USAC’s Valvoline National Sprint Car Championship.”

USAC has proposed a standardized purse structure to all the racetracks. The pay out structure for the events will be very similar to what has been paid in the past. “In the past, promoters were not charged the same total purse for what was primarily the exact same show”, continued Kazarian. “I know a lot of speculation has been made that this decision was solely made based on economics.” “However, this was not the case.” “USAC brings a lot more to the table for the long term growth and stability for all the racetracks, race teams and race fans than the past sanctioning body.”

“USAC has a very strong “Brand Name” that will support additional sponsorship for the series, race teams and the racetracks.”

“I am proud to announce that our USAC/CRA Sprint Car events this year will once again be presented by Temecula Valley Pipe and Supply and Vista Paint. Both of these Sponsors are very supportive of our decision to unify our Sanctioning Body for our open wheel program.”

Additionally, it is our shared goal with USAC to continue to work towards standardizing the rules so Sprint Car teams nationwide can race under one set of rules. However, there will be little or no changes in 2004 so we can minimize the expense for the race teams. Discussions are continuing to present a “USAC Signature Series” in 2005 that could include two multi day events as National point’s races along with scheduling a Silver Crown event hosted by Perris Auto Speedway. It is also important to point out that USAC with their integrated open wheel classes that launched the careers of Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and others can open the door for the young racer starting with the Ford Focus Midget, traditional Midget, 360 Sprint Cars and now a 410 Sprint Car series on the West coast. Utilizing non-winged 410 cubic-inch Sprint Cars, the new series will include some of America’s most traditional Sprint Car classics, namely the “Sokola Classic” in Phoenix March 20-21, the “Oval Nationals” at Perris October 28-30 and the “Western World Open” November 4-6 in Phoenix.

In between competition will be keen for points leading toward the inaugural series title, with the champion to be among those saluted at USAC’s Champions Night in Indianapolis, Ind. in December.

In 2003 USAC’s Southwest Sprint Cars visited Imperial Raceway in El Centro, Calif., while Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. last hosted the Southwest Sprint Cars in 2002. Kings Speedway hosted USAC Sprint racing on a “regional” basis in 1998, while Ventura and Perris are new to the USAC Sprint Car scene, although both played host to USAC’s prestigious “Turkey Night Grand Prix” Midget race during the 1990s.

In addition to hosting 15 USAC/CRA events this season plus the Oval Nationals, Perris will host six USAC Ford Focus Midget events along with four USAC Western States Midget events. Discussions are continuing on the possibility of hosting a National Midget event towards the end of the season.

Although the 30 races listed below are firm, additional dates are also being negotiated by USAC and will be released as they are finalized, as well as specific information regarding the point funds to be distributed at season’s end. Race teams will notice a scheduling gap permitting them to compete in the popular Valvoline “Indiana Sprint Week” events in the Midwest in the month of July or simply just take some time off.

The 2004 USAC/CRA 410 Sprint Car schedule in California and Arizona is as follows:

Date Track

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