Oval Nationals Grand Marshal's Tom and Lauri Sertich. (Doug Allen Photo)
Oval Nationals Grand Marshal's Tom and Lauri Sertich. (Doug Allen Photo)

Oval Nationals Grand Marshals Confirmed

PERRIS, Calif. – Tom and Lauri Sertich, the owners of the Moose Racing No. 92 sprint car, will be the Grand Marshals for the 24th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway.

The race will feature the AMSOIL USAC/CRA, AMSOIL USAC National and Sands Chevrolet USAC Southwest Sprint Cars on Nov. 7-9.

Promoter Don Kazarian said the selection of the Sertich’s was an easy and unanimous one.

“Tom and Lauri have been dedicated to this sport for decades and we are happy to have them as Grand Marshals for the 2019 Oval Nationals,” Kazarian said. “Every year at a staff meeting, we sit around and discuss who we think the Grand Marshal should be. We usually go back and forth with several names. This year was different. As soon as the Sertich’s were mentioned, everybody agreed it should be them. It was a unanimous choice.”

This year marks the 25th year for the Sertich’s to field a car in the west coast sprint car wars. In those 25 years, their familiar white car trimmed in bright turquoise and purple and tagged with the moniker the “Moose Mobile,” has become one of the most recognizable and popular sprint cars west of the Mississippi.

“It’s been an amazing year for Moose Racing and to say we are honored to be named Oval National’s Grand Marshals is an understatement,” Laurie Sertich said. “Actually, shocked is a pretty good description, too. We can’t thank Donnie and the staff at Perris Auto Speedway enough for this honor. Grand Marshals and an Oval Nationals victory would sure be the way to close out the 2019 USAC/CRA season.”

Some on the inside knew that Moose Racing was planning to call it a career after 25 years as car owners. However, things changed. Over the winter they brought in veteran driver Austin Williams to drive the No. 92 and the results have been fantastic. Going into the Oval Nationals, Williams is currently ranked second in the championship standings and is only 55 points behind seven-time champion Damion Gardner with five races to go. The team has scored wins at the Calistoga Speedway on Aug. 31 and at the last race at Perris on Sept. 28.

“Many knew that we set 25 years as our last to be car owners,” Sertich said. “Thus, this 2019 season was to be it. But after long conversations with Austin and the crew, Moose Racing decided to up its game and will be back in 2020 with Austin at the wheel. The support we received from the Moose Crew, the people and companies that support us and the fans keeps us doing this year in and year out.”

The thought of sprint car racing without the Moose Racing No. 92 in Southern California is almost unthinkable for so many in the pits and the grandstands.

“Everyone is happy that Moose Racing has decided to return for 2020 with Austin Williams in the driver seat,” Kazarian said. “The Sertich and Williams families are so key to sprint car racing in Southern California. They have been doing it a long time and have been incredibly dedicated to the sport. I just cannot imagine it without them. They are part of the fiber that holds the sport together on the west coast.”

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