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Phone: 951-956-2120

Perris Auto Speedway Named "Small Business of the Year"

Perris Auto Speedway promoter Don Kazarian (right) accepts the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award from President Grant BennettPerris Auto Speedway promoter Don Kazarian (right) accepts the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award from President Grant Bennett.

Perris Auto Speedway has hosted some of the best sprint and midget racers in the world since the half-mile dirt track opened in 1996.

But for all the success the track has gained in the racing world, promoter Donnie Kazarian says the thing he's most proud of in his 17 years in Perris has nothing to do with fast cars or photo finishes.
It's the partnership the business has forged with the City of Perris and the American Cancer Society to raise funds to fight the deadly disease. Since partnering with City six years ago, the Perris Auto Speedway has raised $72,000 to battle cancer.

The Perris Auto Speedway was named the City's "Small Business of the Year" last week at the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and Installation Dinner. In making the announcement, chamber officials noted that the Perris Auto Speedway has attracted many of the biggest names in racing—Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Sammy Swindell, Billy Boat and Steve Kinser—along with hundreds of thousands of fans.

The City has for years sponsored the annual July 4th "Fireworks and Sky Concert" at the racetrack, an event that last year drew more than 1,500 Perris residents who got in free with proof of their residence.

Chamber officials wrote in the official program that "when it was built in 1996, Perris Auto Speedway raised the bar in dirt track racing for comfort, quality racing and clean family entertainment and continues to do so today."

In accepting the award, Kazarian confined his remarks to the pride he feels in working with Perris and the Cancer Society. He said most of the contributions resulted from "drivers who walked through the grandstands with their helmets in hand to collect 50-cent, $1 and $2 donations."

"It's thing I'm most proud of," he said. "We've had a great response and I am pleased that our fund-raising efforts have been successful."

The speedway was honored during the 2011 Relay for Life at Foss Field Park in Perris.

At the time, Kazarian said cancer strikes indiscriminately and expressed his support for the City's commitment to the Relay for Life.

"Who among us has not been touched by cancer or has not had a friend or family member affected?" Kazarian said. "It is a disease that strikes the rich and poor, the old and young. No one is immune from its devastating effects. I am proud to be part of this event, because it is for such an important cause."

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough has been a longtime racer, sponsor and car owner at the track. His 3-year-old granddaughter is battling cancer. Yarbrough said Perris Auto Speedway employees have done "more than their fair share" in the fight against cancer.

"This is something they do not have to do, yet they choose to do," Yarbrough said. "It tells a lot about their character."