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RYAN BERNAL EARNS 30TH CAREER USAC WEST COAST VICTORY AT TULARE
By Lance Jennings

MARCH 21, 2017... After finishing third the previous night, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) claimed last Saturday’s main event win at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. Racing past Jace Vander Weerd on the third lap, the USAC West Coast Sprint Car point leader led the rest of the way to earn the $1,500 triumph. Vander Weerd, hard charger Jake Swanson, “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, and Richard Vander Weerd rounded out the top-five drivers.

Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Edgewater Construction XXX, Ryan Bernal scored the thirtieth series win of his career after starting fourth. The two-time USAC Western Classic Champion earned the night’s Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award over the twenty-one driver roster and ran second to Tristan Guardino in his heat race. The point leader left Tulare with three feature wins, one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, four top-10 finishes, and 57 feature laps led on the year.

After leading the first two laps, Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) ran second at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace qualified ninth overall and won the night’s Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year heads to Hanford ranked fourth in points with two heat race victories, and three top-10 finishes in the campaign.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a third place run from eighth. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson was fifth quick in time trials and placed third in his heat race. The 2012 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year, left Tulare sitting second in the point chase with one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, four top-10 finishes, and 17 feature laps led.

The “Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign (Sebastopol, California) had a solid night at Tulare with a fourth place finish from seventh. Racing Ted Finkenbinder’s #3 Western Industrial X-Ray Eagle, Ensign qualified fourth overall and claimed third in his heat race. The 2011 USAC Western Classic Champion sits fifth in the point standings with one heat race victory, one Competition Suspension Incorporated / ButlerBuilt Seats Semi-Main win, and two top-10 finishes on the year.

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) scored fifth at the checkered flags. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard was third fast in time trials and ran second to his twin brother in his heat race. Entering Saturday’s race at Hanford, the 2011 Champion is third in the point chase with three top-10 finishes on the season.

For the second night in a row, 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 seventh overall and finished twelfth in the feature. At press time, Tristan is sixth in point chase with two top-10 finishes to his credit.

Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) won the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. Racing the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil entry, Liggett was second fast in time trials and finished seventh in the main event. The 2012 Rookie of the Year is currently ninth in the point standings with two top-10 finishes in the campaign.

This Saturday, March 25th, the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will head to the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford, California. The event will also feature the Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars, and Mini Stocks. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds at 801 South 10th Avenue, more event information can be found at www.kellerautospeedway.com or calling 559.651.1990.

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 18, 2017 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-16.576; 2. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-16.631; 3. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.677; 4. Geoff Ensign, Finkenbinder-16.712; 5. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.748; 6. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-16.911; 7. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-16.966; 8. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-17.087; 9. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.130; 10. Cody Majors, 81M, Watt-17.209; 11. Tye Mihocko, 5, Mihocko-17.337; 12. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-17.499; 13. Steven Garris, 58, Garris-17.587; 14. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Wiley-17.633; 15. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-17.636; 16. Shannon McQueen, 7, Van Meter-17.706; 17. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-17.730; 18. Jeff Sibley, 42N, Sibley-17.740; 19. Jim Richardson, 8, Richardson-18.048; 20. Jay Ervine, 51, AJ-18.336; 21. Garrett Long, 38, Long-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Guardino, 2. Bernal, 3. Ensign, 4. Majors, 5. Garris, 6. McQueen, 7. Richardson. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Liggett, 2. Mihocko, 3. Swanson, 4. Wiley, 5. Stolz, 6. Ervine, 7. Hix. NT

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

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

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 J.Vander Weerd, Laps 3-30 Bernal.
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jake Swanson (8th to 3rd)

2017 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
March 25: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA
April 22: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Peter Murphy Classic)
April 29: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA
May 20: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial)
June 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
June 10: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Ron Otto Memorial)
June 17: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA
July 8: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
July 28: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA
July 29: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma, CA
August 12: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
October 7: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Championship Night)
November 22: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
November 23: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
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* = Co-Sanctioned Event with Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.