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"It was a nice run", understated Torrence's Kirby. "The Crossno's have a car with the best of everything. Great engines, a great crew, and we are looking forward to a full season."

Before the feature started, Jimmy Crawford, the pole sitter bowed out with mechanical woes, moving Chico driver Jason York to the coveted inside front row starting position. York outgunned fellow visiting Northern California star, Andy Forsberg to lead the opening two circuits. Kirby was right on York's rear nerf, and drove hard enough to make contact with the wall exiting turn two on lap two. Kirby then took the lead in spectacular fashion on lap three with a hair raising 'needle thread' move on the back chute, splitting the 'No-Cals'.

As Kirby ran away, Rip Williams was making moves in the John Jory #3. On lap eight, Williams took over third from Forsberg on the backstraightaway. One lap later, Cory Kruseman also moved by Forsberg to place the Alexander Racing #4 into the top four. By lap 12, Kirby was in deep traffic as the battle for the runner-up spot intensified. Williams pressured York, and made his runner-up pass in turn two. Meanwhile, quick qualifier, Troy Rutherford ventured into the top five from his ninth starting spot.

Kruseman started to get hooked up by mid race, leading to some of the most entertaining dicing of the night. On lap 18 and 19, Williams and Kruseman swapped the second spot twice to the delight of the large and enthusiastic crowd. The only caution flag of the race appeared on lap 22 when Greg Bragg in the Pratt #12, suffered a flat tire in turn four.

Kirby controlled the final laps to win convincingly over Kruseman, Williams, Rutherford, and Damion Gardner. Sixth through tenth were, York, Tony Jones, Rick Ziehl, Forsberg, and Jordan Hermansader.

Kruseman, driving a scattered 2004 schedule, told infield announcer Chris Holt, "It's exciting to go to the racetrack with these people (Alexander's). It is great to know that when my schedule permits, I will have a fast car to race here."

Heat race winners included Gardner, Bragg, and Josh Ford. Gardner's Heat One win was the most exciting race of the night. He and Ziehl dueled side by side, and passed and repassed each other before a photo finish gave the nod to Gadner in his first race as driver of the Ron Chaffin #50. The car was vacated by Richard Griffin who retired.

The Last Chance race was snared by Rutherford. 27 cars timed-in for the first race of the newly formed USAC-CRA series. The night was flip-free, and efficiently executed. The feature event was over by 9:15 PM. Past Indy 500 winner, Parnelli Jones took in the action on a cool night in Southern California.

The series has next weekend off but returns to action March 19th in Phoenix, AZ. The internationally famous Manzanita Speedway will host the "Sokola Classic".

VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: March 6, 2004 Perris, California Perris Auto Speedway "Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply Showdown"

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Troy Rutherford, 7, Priestley-17.115; 2. Cory Kruseman, 4, Alexander-17.216; 3. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-17.283; 4. Damion Gardner, 50, Chaffin-17.370; 5. Mike Kirby, 38, Crossno-17.425; 6. Tony Jones, 2, Vermeer/Ferreria-17.454; 7. Dwayne Marcum, 25, Ruth-17.478; 8. Jordan Hermansader, 91, Ferro-17.495; 9. Jason York, 25N, York-17.495; 10. Andy Forsberg, 92, Forsberg-17.497; 11. Greg Taylor, 19, Sala-17.514; 12. Tony Elliott, 42, Cheney-17.625; 13. Jimmy Crawford, 18, Crawford-17.657; 14. Levi Jones, 38J, Crossno-17.673; 15. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-17.725; 16. Jon Stanbrough, 0, Shoemaker-17.748; 17. Adam Mitchell, 14, Lancaster-17.760; 18. David Cardey, 59, Giardina-17.785; 19. Brian Venard, 47, Venard-17.795; 20. Greg Bragg, 12, Pratt-17.828; 21. Ron DiDonato, 77, Acosta-17.862; 22. Mark Heidenreich, 22, Heidenreich-18.193; 23. Alan Ballard, 97, Ballard-18.382; 24. Ronnie Case, 33, Blair-18.470; 25. Rick Ziehl, 7s, Scott-18.632; 26. Duane Feduska, 23, Bellegante-18.847; 27. Matthew Rossi, 16, Rossi-18.942.

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Ziehl, 3. Stanbrough, 4. Forsberg, 5. Crawford, 6. Heidenreich, 7. Marcum, 8. Venard, 9. Rutherford. NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bragg, 2. Mitchell, 3. Kirby, 4. L. Jones, 5. Kruseman, 6. Ballard, 7. Hermansader, 8. Feduska, 9. Taylor. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ford, 2. T.Jones, 3. York, 4. Case, 5. Williams, 6. DiDonato, 7. Rossi, 8. Cardey, 9. Elliott. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Rutherford, 2. Hermansader, 3. Marcum, 4. Cardey, 5. Taylor, 6. Ballard, 7. Elliott, 8. DiDonato, 9. Feduska. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Mike Kirby, 2. Cory Kruseman, 3. Rip Williams, 4. Troy Rutherford, 5. Damion Gardner, 6. Jason York, 7. Tony Jones, 8. Rick Ziehl, 9. Andy Forsberg, 10. Jordan Hermansader, 11. Greg Taylor, 12. Jon Stanbrough, 13. Greg Bragg, 14. Dwayne Marcum, 15. Josh Ford, 16. David Cardey, 17. Adam Mitchell, 18. Ronnie Case, 19. Levi Jones, 20. Jimmy Crawford. NT -----------------------

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 York, Laps 3-30 Kirby.

NEW USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Kirby-68; 2-Kruseman-66; 3-Williams-62; 4-Rutherford-61; 5-Gardner-59; 6-York-51; 7-T.Jones-50; 8-Ziehl-46; 9-Forsberg-41; 10-Hermansader-36.

NEXT USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: March 19 Phoenix, AZ Manzanita Speedway "Sokola Classic"

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