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California's Newest Dirt Oval Opens to SRO

Southern California has long been a hot bed of auto racing but due to escalating land values all of the race tracks...large and small have shuttered. The last to go was the paved quarter-mile in Saugus north of L.A. Before that Ascot, Speedway 605, Orange County Raceway, Ontario Motor Speedway, Riverside, etc, etc, became shopping centers or bedroom communities.

However Southern California race fans need for speed was spades with the grand opening of the Perris Auto Speedway 90 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and 10 minutes from the old Riverside International Raceway. The half-mile dirt oval was bumpier than all get out and the overflow crowd saw some close hub-to-hub SCRA Sprint car racing as J.J. Yelley, Phoenix, Ariz won the 30 lap feature followed by Jerey Sherman, Mike Kirby,Steve Ostling, Dick Griffin, Rod Argo and Ron Shuman. Billy Boat led three laps but ended up 14th in the 20 car field.

Perris Speedway has the most and cleanest restrooms ever seen at a race track. The concession stands are numerous and clean and inviting. There are nice new grandstand seats for 8000 people. Do Southern California's dig their auto racing or what ? The announced crowd was 10,000,but we estimated was more like 12,000 with 4000 being turned away because there was no more room. All seats were taken before 5pm hot lapping commenced. Perris is the first clay oval to be constructed in this area in twenty-five years. Parnelli Jones drove the pace car as 40 ,750 hp Sprint cars were entered. Perris was completely constructed and outfitted in 43 days and the venue has over 40 racing dates scheduled for this season.

Oh it the year of the youngster in motorsports...Gregg Moore, Villenueve et al. J.J.Yelly is 20 years of age.