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JAKE SWANSON SHINES AT TULARE’S THUNDERBOWL
By Lance Jennings

MARCH 21, 2017... Slipping past Ryan Bernal on the fourteenth circuit, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) took last Friday’s checkered flags at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. Before earning the $1,200 USAC West Coast Sprint Car triumph, Swanson also broke Richard Vander Weerd’s qualifying track record. The former USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year was followed by “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, Bernal, Austin Liggett, and Vander Weerd.

Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Jake Swanson started seventh and raced to the second series win of his career. Earning the night’s Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award over the roster of twenty-one drivers, Jake also placed third in his heat race.

“The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign (Sebastopol, California) battled hard and claimed second in the feature after starting fifth. Driving Ted Finkenbinder’s #3 Western Industrial X-Ray Eagle, Ensign qualified eighth overall and won the night’s 8-lap Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2.

Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) took the lead from “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. and led seven laps before scoring third at the finish line. Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Edgewater Construction XXX, Bernal was fourth quick in time trials and ran second to Tristan Guardino in his heat race.

Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) scored fourth at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil entry, Liggett qualified second overall and claimed second to Geoff Ensign in his heat race.

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) raced from eleventh to fifth in the 30-lap main event. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard was fifth fast in qualifications and placed fourth in his heat race.

Rookie contender Steve Hix (Ventura, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with an eleventh place run from twentieth. Racing his #57 No Limit Powder Coating / Davmar Air Compressors XXX, Hix qualified seventeenth overall and scored seventh in his heat race.

Tristan Guardino (Fremont, California) won the night’s 8-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Piloting the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Sales Maxim, Guardino qualified tenth overall and finished tenth in the main event.

Cody Majors (Simi Valley, California) raced to his first heat race win of the campaign in the Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products event. Driving Steve Watt’s #81M Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Majors was ninth fast overall and took sixth in the Tulare feature.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Loudpedal Productions has USAC West Coast Sprint Car DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS:
March 17, 2017 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-14.984 (New Track Record); 2. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-15.224; 3. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-15.312; 4. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-15.326; 5. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-15.363; 6. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-15.557; 7. Gary Nelson Jr., 6N, Nelson-15.673; 8. Geoff Ensign, Finkenbinder-15.702; 9. Cody Majors, 81M, Watt-15.755; 10. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-15.777; 11. Tye Mihocko, 5, Mihocko-15.782; 12. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-15.895; 13. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Wiley-15.902; 14. Shannon McQueen, 7, Van Meter-15.942; 15. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-16.038; 16. Steven Garris, 58, Garris-16.176; 17. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-16.186; 18. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-16.460; 19. Jay Ervine, 51, AJ-16.585; 20. Jim Richardson, 8, Richardson-16.962; 21. Jeff Sibley, 42N, Sibley-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Guardino, 2. Bernal, 3. Swanson, 4. Nelson, 5. Wiley, 6. Garris, 7. Ervine. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ensign, 2. Liggett, 3. Mihocko, 4. R.Vander Weerd, 5. McQueen, 6. Richardson, 7. Hix. NT

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Majors, 2. Faria, 3. J.Vander Weerd, 4. Stolz, 5. Shaw, 6. Timmons, 7. Sibley. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps –With Starting Positions)
1. Jake Swanson (7th), 2. Geoff Ensign (5th), 3. Ryan Bernal (3rd), 4. Austin Liggett (2nd), 5. Richard Vander Weerd (11th), 6. Cody Majors (4th), 7. Jace Vander Weerd (9th), 8. Koen Shaw (15th), 9. Brandon Wiley (13th), 10. Tristan Guardino (6th), 11. Steve Hix (20th), 12. Jay Ervine (19th), 13. Steven Garris (16th), 14. Danny Faria Jr. (1st), 15. Gary Nelson Jr. (10th), 16. Tye Mihocko (8th), 17. Shannon McQueen (14th), 18. Ryan Stolz (12th), 19. Jim Richardson (17th), 20. Jeff Sibley (21st), 21. Ryan Timmons (18th). NT
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**Timmons flipped during the third heat. Nelson flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Faria, Laps 7-13 Bernal, Laps 14-30 Swanson.
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Steve Hix (20th to 11th)