This Saturday, June 10th, Heimark Distributors Anheuser Busch will present the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars in the 2nd annual 40-lap Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial at Perris Auto Speedway. In addition to the 410 sprint cars, The PAS Senior and Young Gun Sprints will also be racing on the all-open wheel program. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM and the first race will take Steve Russell’s green flag at 7:00.
Saturday’s race honors Jones, a National Sprint Car Hall of Famer, and his longtime CRA crew chief Scheetz. Jones moved to Southern California to drive the Kazarian family sprint car in 1980. Teaming up with Scheetz, they won 64 CRA main events together between 1980 and 85. In addition, they won CRA titles in 1983 and 84. All told, Jones won 81 features in the original CRA. That puts him fifth on the all-time combined CRA, SCRA, and USAC/CRA list dating back to 1946.
“We are going to celebrate the memory of Bubby Jones and Ray Sheets this Saturday night with the 40 lap 2nd Annual Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial,” Perris promoter Don Kazarian said. “This memorial not only celebrates them for their on-track achievements but also what they did for Perris Auto Speedway. Bubby and Ray worked for our family business for years. In 1996 they were instrumental in the design and construction of Perris Auto Speedway. When we opened, Bubby was the initial racing director and Ray prepped the track.”
“Despite being perennial winners, they were both popular guys in their days when they competed together,” Kazarian continued. “Even with the other drivers and teams they were beating on a regular basis. They remained just as popular afterward when they worked at the track. Everyone who knew them misses them.”
Before venturing to settle in the west, Jones, a native of Danville, Illinois was one of the “Original Outlaws” and raced around the country searching for the highest-paying sprint car races. He won from coast to coast. While he was well-known in the sprint car ranks, he could also get the job done in dirt champ cars (now known as Silver Crown) and midgets. In 1976, he won the nation’s two most prestigious midget races, the “Hut Hundred” at Terre Haute, Indiana and the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Ascot Park in Gardena, California.
As well as his prowess in sprint cars, dirt champ cars, and midgets, Jones raced in the 1977 Indianapolis 500. It took a last-second effort on bump day to break into the field, but he did so in a car owned by Texan Bobby Hillin with a speed of 184.938 mph. That put him 33rd on the starting grid with the slowest qualifying speed to make the race. However, once the race began, “Ol’ Bub” began flying towards the front. He made it all the way from 33rd up to ninth before his engine expired on the 78th lap.
In addition to working with Jones, Scheetz was well known as a top mechanic and crew chief in all forms of open-wheel racing. At the conclusion of World War II, his dad began preparing a track roadster for competition and young Ray began wrenching it. His work eventually caught the attention of John Pouelsen. In 1963 Pouelsen brought Scheetz to Indianapolis to be part of the Agajanian #98 crew that won the race with Parnelli Jones at the wheel. From 1964 through 1966, he worked on the Bowes-Seal Fast car driven by A.J. Foyt on the USAC Champ Car circuit.
Scheetz returned to Southern California in 1968 and began a sterling career wrenching west coast cars. In addition to working on the Kazarian’s car, he worked on the famous Tamale Wagon and several other well-known cars amassing 155 wins and 10 series championships. In addition to Jones, he helped mold the careers of such stars as Ron Shuman, Billy Wilkerson, Rick Goudy, Nick Valenta, Howard Gardner, Bob Hogle, Colby Scroggins, Chuck Hulse, Ray Douglas, and others.
Today, Jones’ children still have ties to racing. Son Tony, a past Ovals and USAC/CRA champion, is the race director for the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. Son Davey is one of the top sprint car crew chiefs in the country. His sister Ashely is married to racing star Justin Grant.
Adult tickets for Saturday’s race are $30.00. Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00 For kids 6 to 12, it is just $5.00 and children 5 and under are admitted free. The fairgrounds charge $10 for parking. Advanced tickets for Saturday’s race and every race at The PAS are available until noon on race day at https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7 or by calling 1-800-595-4849. For fans who do not wish to buy advance tickets, there will be plenty available for everyone at the ticket window each race night.
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of the Southern California Fair), one-hour east of Los Angeles and one-hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit on the Ramona Expressway, and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions online, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.
Fans can stay up to date on track and driver news on The PAS social media efforts at the links below.
Twitter: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank the following corporate partners. Ahern Equipment Rentals, Anderson Chevrolet, Battery Systems, Bud’s Tire, Tire Choice Auto Service, Chris’ Hauling, City of Perris, Communication Innovations, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Ed Moore Bullet Proof Driveshaft, Flowdynamics, HD Industries, Heimark/Anheuser Busch, Hoosier Tires, Inland Rigging, Living Water’s Hospice, LKQ Pick Your Part, Luke’s Transmission, Moose Racing, Pepsi-Cola, Performance Online, Pole Position Raceway, PrintItNow.com, Rainbow Bolt & Supply, Rene’s Bar & Grill, Rugged Radios, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunoco Race Fuels, Trench Shoring, Upland Rock, Varner Construction and Vista Paint.
DVDs of all the PASSCAR/IMCA racing and Nights of Destruction at The PAS are available from Fourvideos. For more information call (714) 225-9500.