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Motorsports: Arizona sprint car drivers bring the heat to Perris

By in Press Enterprise on July 20, 2017

By Louis Brewster

Think it’s hot here in Southern California? Obviously the answer is yes, but not as warm as it is in Arizona. As a consequence, it’ll be a lot hotter again Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.

Most tracks in Arizona shut down in June to escape the heat. On June 23, five sprint car teams made the journey to the Riverside County half-mile dirt track to compete in the USAC/CRA Series. Multiple USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series champion R.J. Johnson of Laveen, Ariz., scored his second PAS main event win while Norco’s Ronnie Gardner drove an Arizona entry to third, behind Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd.

The rivalry will resume this weekend. The card will also include PAS Senior & Young Gun Sprint Cars.

“Arizona has always been a great state for sprint car racing,” PAS promoter Don Kazarian said. “You go back 40, 50 years and some of the top drivers and race cars in the country came out of Arizona. Back in the day, the battles between the California and Arizona drivers over here at Ascot and in Arizona at Manzanita Speedway were epic and still talked about today.

“Over the past decade, 410 sprint car racing in Arizona has pretty much died (been replaced by 360 sprint cars). But, the guys came over last month and kicked some rear end on a lot of our regulars. I am anxious to see them again on Saturday.”

A strong contingent of cars from Arizona — as well as Chad Boespflug, a top driver from Indiana — will arrive at PAS to take on the locals. Johnson returns in an effort to make it two in a row and Gardner, who won his first wing sprint car race Saturday at Petaluma, will also return. Also in the field are Stevie Sussex and radio personality/sprint car driver […]    

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