Faas Triumphs, Clauson Clinches Title
PERRIS, Calif. — Nic Faas made it two Budweiser Oval Nationals preliminary feature victories in three years as he dominated Friday’s 30-lap AMSOIL National and CRA sprint car feature at Perris Auto Speedway.
The Alexander Trucking – Scott Sales Company No. 4 Spike/J&D was virtually unchallenged, winning by 2.044 seconds.
Faas led from outside the front row and appeared dominant on the cushion from the outset. A red flag on lap five for Austin Williams and David Cardey led to another incident on the restart before a long green-flag run ensued. Faas found lapped traffic, where he encountered his only issue of the race.
“I went to slide Ronnie Gardner, and I misjudged it and got into him. I was lucky enough to keep going, but I think I screwed up something in the front end. I was a little worried going into one on the restart,” Faas said. “I knew I just had to stay in the rubber and hit my marks toward the end, though. I got excited to see I was on the front row just like in 2011 when I won the prelim night, but I’d definitely rather win tomorrow. It’s been an up-and-down year; we’ve been strong and then I got sick with a virus, and that pretty much cost us a shot at the championship. We’re getting faster again, and it’s all about getting that eagle (trophy) tomorrow night.”
From there, Faas was comfortably out front as Brady Bacon stalked Chase Stockon for second. Late in the race, a thin line of rubber appeared near the cushion, and although Bacon moved in, Stockon moved down to hold onto the second spot, backing up his win from Saturday in the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply No. 32 DRC/Fisher.
“I knew once he got away a little bit, we didn’t have anything for him,” Stockon said. “We were a little too tight from the beginning and that only got worse as the track changed. Luckily, tonight was a 30-lapper because we didn’t have a whole lot left, just running it hard enough to keep it free. We tried to keep him close in case anything happened, but he was strong. Last year, we had nothing but problems out here, so it’s great to be racing so well out here and try to win the Oval Nationals tomorrow.”
Bacon was strong throughout and occasionally tried the bottom to go by Stockon but had to settle for third in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
“We almost got him once in lapped traffic and again when it took rubber and he took a couple laps to find it,” Bacon said. “They were really close to having a pretty good track tonight, but the bottom just wasn’t quite good enough. It was close, but it just wasn’t quite there for a long haul. That many cars running around the top, the track is gonna do that. Nobody really messed up enough up front to be able to do anything.”
Bryan Clauson raced his way to fourth and in the process clinched his second-straight AMSOIL National Sprint Car championship, this time aboard the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance No. 20 Beast/Kistler.
Behind him, last year’s “Oval Nationals” champ Mike Spencer finished fifth in the Madera Produce – Grubstake Mini Storage No. 50 Maxim/Shaver.
Damion Gardner won the semi and wound up sixth to put the wraps on his USAC-CRA title for this season in the Alexander Trucking – Scott Sales Company No. 4a Spike/J&D.
Along with Faas, Stockon, Bacon, Clauson, and Spencer, Dave Darland locked himself into Saturday’s Feature based on Friday night’s point totals.
Darland finished seventh in the race but won the Billy Wilkerson Memorial “Fast Time Award” earlier in the night worth $600 to accrue more points towards Saturday’s lock-in.