With the early entry deadline just two days away, entries for November’s 25th Annual Heimark Anheuser Busch Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction are starting to arrive at the Perris Auto Speedway Office. The latest group of entries for the prestigious race include some of the top stars from the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series.
Over the past few days, entries have been received from national series point leader Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, series leading rookie Tanner Thorsen of Minden, Nevada, two-time Oval Nationals Champion Kevin Thomas Jr. of Cullman, Alabama, Ion, California’s Justin Grant, who currently ranks third in National points and Anaheim, California native Jake Swanson who is seventh. Other out of town drivers who have already entered this year’s Silver Anniversary Ovals race include Buckeye, Arizona’s Charles Davis Jr., who won the last USAC/CRA race at The PAS on September 25th, and fellow “Copper State” resident Tye “The Bull” Mihocko. Kansas, Illinois star Shane “The Throttle” Cottle has also entered for a rare appearance on the famous Riverside County half mile clay oval.
Heading the Amsoil USAC/CRA contingent of entrants is Damion Gardner of Concord, California. The seven-time series champion is attempting to make Oval Nationals history by becoming the first driver to win the race four-times. He initially captured one of the winner’s famous eagle trophies for the event in 2009. Subsequent victories have come in 2011 and 2016. Heading into this Saturday’s USAC/CRA race at The PAS, Gardner has 101 wins on the original CRA, SCRA and USAC/CRA victory list that dates back 75 seasons to 1946. That only trails Rip Williams who had 104 wins and the late Dean Thompson who had 105.
Included among the other locals who have already entered the Oval Nationals are Chris Gansen of Verdemont Heights, who is fourth in USAC/CRA points and having his finest season to date, Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm of Corona who is sixth, upcoming star Eddie Tafoya Jr. of Chino Hills, and veteran Verne Sweeney of Lomita.
The Oval Nationals will take place on November 4th, 5th, and 6th. Each night will be full points paying races for the USAC National and USAC/CRA Series with qualifying, heats and main events. The top six in points after the first two nights will be seeded directly into Saturday’s 40-lap finale and they will contest the “Super Six Dash” to determine the first three rows for the main event.