Two-time and defending Oval Nationals winner Kevin Thomas, Jr. picked up right where he left off last year by recording the fastest overall lap during Wednesday night’s practice session at California’s Perris Auto Speedway.
Thomas, the 2017-18 Oval Nationals winner, circled the ½-mile southern California clay with a lap of 16.214 seconds. The second quickest driver was 2010 Oval Nationals winner Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) at 16.330. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) followed with a time of 16.373, then came USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) at 16.384 and Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) rounded out the top-five at 16.417.
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Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led the CRA contingent in sixth with a lap of 16.467. Two-time 2018 prelim night winner Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was eighth while three-time Oval Nationals winners Damion Gardner (Concord, Calif.) and Bud Kaeding (Campbell, Calif.) were 10th and 15th, respectively, out of the 31 cars that were in attendance Wednesday night.
More than 40 cars are entered for this year’s Oval Nationals with three complete nights of racing action at Perris. Cars hit the track at 5:30pm Pacific.