The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, PAS Senior Sprints and the California Lightning Sprint Cars will make their second appearance of 2012 at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night, March 31st, when the track hosts the first night of "The Power of Purple" Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first race will be at 7:00.
Race fans are still abuzz at the February 25th season opening Sokola Shootout performance of Nic Faas. The Cal State Fullerton finance student shattered Damion Gardner's track record with a sizzling lap of 15.833, won his heat race and the 30-lap main event. Going back to the end of the 2011 campaign, the handsome 22-year-old from Huntington Beach has won four of the last six races at the famous Riverside County clay oval including the first night of last November's Budweiser Oval Nationals.
Many insiders are hinting that Faas has a good chance to end the four year run of Temecula's Mike Spencer as USAC/CRA champion. The last time any other driver besides Spencer won the crown was 2007 when Tony Jones, who was driving for Faas' current car owner Mark Alexander, beat Spencer by 60-points for the crown.
Heading into Saturday's race, Faas leads Yorba Linda's Matt Mitchell by just eight points in the championship point standings. Hollister high school student Ryan Bernal, who led the first 22-laps of the Sokola Shootout main, is third in the standings followed by Spencer and Ventura's Cory Kruseman.
Brian Williams of Newport Beach and sensational Lomita 18-year-old Kevin Michnowicz will be back on Saturday to try and repeat their opening night wins in the PAS Senior Sprints (drivers 45 and older) and the California Lightning Sprint Cars.
Saturday night's "Power of Purple" benefit will be the first night in The PAS longtime fight against cancer. Every year, through the generosity of the fans, drivers, teams, sponsors and promoter Don Kazarian, the track raises $10,000.00 for the Relay for Life. On Saturday, there will be special raffles to raise money and the drivers will pass through the grandstands collecting money in their helmets. Other nights for the benefit are April 28th, May 26th and July 4th.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life began in Tacoma, Washington in the mid-1980s when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.
In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.
While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn – now known as the “Mother of Relay” – 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.
Media, attached to this release is a photo of 4-time defending USAC/CRA champion Mike Spencer (red #50) and current point leader Nic Faas (silver #4). Please feel free to publish the photo and please give photo credit to Doug Allen.
The entire 2012 PAS schedule is listed at the end of this release.
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