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AUSTIN LIGGETT’S LATE SURGE NETS HANFORD VICTORY
By Lance Jennings

MARCH 27, 2017... Powering past “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) led the last two laps to earn Saturday’s win at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds. For Liggett, the $1,500 victory was the third USAC West Coast Sprint Car triumph of his career. Faria, “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, Cody Majors, and fast qualifier Jake Swanson followed Liggett to the checkered flags.

After rains battered the facility overnight, the track’s staff worked hard to get the pit area and racing surface ready for action. Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil entry, Austin Liggett started ninth and favored the outside groove to make his charge. With the laps counting down, Swanson and Ensign pressured Faria for the top spot as Liggett inched closer in fourth. Contact between the top three cars resulted in front end damage for Swanson and the fast qualifier’s crew was able to make repairs. With Faria setting the pace, Liggett soon dispatched Ensign and gave chase after Faria. Suffering damage himself, Faria could not hold off the challenger and Austin took the victory.

Earlier in the program, Liggett qualified third out of twenty-one racers and placed third in his heat race. The 2012 Rookie of the Year left the Kings County Fairgrounds ranked sixth in the point chase with one heat race victory and three top-10 finishes to his credit.

After leading twenty-eight laps, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, California) ran second in the Hanford feature. Racing his #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / DeBoer & Sons Trucking Spike, Faria was eighth quick in time trials and won the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. The two-time champion heads to Tulare’s “Peter Murphy Classic” tied with Tristan Guardino for seventh in points on the strength of two top-10 finishes and 34 feature laps led.

The “Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign (Sebastopol, California) had another strong night with his third place finish. Driving Ted Finkenbinder’s #3 Western Industrial X-Ray Eagle, Ensign qualified tenth overall and won the night’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. The 2011 USAC Western Classic Champion sits fifth in the standings with two heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Incorporated / ButlerBuilt Seats Semi-Main win, and three top-10 finishes on the season.

Cody Majors (Simi Valley, California) had one of his best nights in USAC West Coast action with a fourth place finish from tenth. Piloting Steve Watt’s #81M Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Majors was fourth fast in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. As this writing goes to press, the young driver is ninth in points with one heat race victory and three top-10 finishes in the campaign.

After restarting at the back with a few laps left, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) charged forward and claimed fifth at the Hanford clay oval. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson earned his second Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the year and ran second to Ensign in his heat race. The 2012 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year, left Hanford as the new point leader with one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, five top-10 finishes, and 17 feature laps led to his credit.

Rookie contender Brandon Wiley (Santa Maria, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a sixth place run from sixteenth. Driving the Team 33 #33B Sandy’s Registration Service / Kittle Motorsports XXX, Wiley qualified sixteenth overall and placed sixth in his heat race. At press time, the young driver is fourteenth in the point chase with two top-10 finishes on the year.

Jeff Sibley (Oakdale, California) was impressive in his 10-lap Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3 victory. Piloting his #42N Western Plumbing / Valley Pacific Maxim, Sibley was twelfth fast in time trials and scored fifteenth in the main event after a flip ended his night. The veteran driver ranks thirteenth in the point standings with one Competition Suspension Incorporated / ButlerBuilt Seats Semi-Main win in the campaign.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday, April 22nd, at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The “4th Annual Peter Murphy Classic” will also feature the King of the West – NARC Sprint Cars and the Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars. Located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds in Tulare, California at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets, more information can be found at www.tularethunderbowl.com or by calling 559.688.0909.

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 25, 2017 – Hanford, California – Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-15.385; 2. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-15.459; 3. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-15.506; 4. Cody Majors, 81M, Watt-15,705; 5. Tristan Guardino,15T, Guardino-15.762; 6. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-15.767; 7. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-15.799; 8. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-15.816; 9. Shannon McQueen, 7, Van Meter-15.843; 10. Geoff Ensign, 3, Finkenbinder-15.858; 11. Dalton Hill, 81D, DD-15.908; 12. Jeff Sibley, 42N, Sibley-15.984; 13. Steven Garris, 58, Garris-16.019; 14. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-16.328; 15. Billy Butler, 2K, Keller-16.479; 16. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Team 33-16.583; 17. Danny Parish, 1K, Kruseman-17.111; 18. Jay Ervine, 51, AJ-17.158; 19. Hobie Conway, 2KK, Kruseman-17.804; 20. Trenton Sparks, 3K, Kruseman-18.080; 21. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Ensign, 2. Swanson, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. Majors, 5. Garris, 6. Wiley, 7. Conway. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Faria, 2. J.Vander Weerd, 3. Guardino, 4. Hill, 5. Parish, 6. Hix, 7. Sparks. NT

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Sibley, 2. McQueen, 3. Liggett, 4. Timmons, 5. Butler, 6. Ervine. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Austin Liggett (9th), 2. Danny Faria Jr. (2nd), 3. Geoff Ensign (1st), 4. Cody Majors (10th), 5. Jake Swanson (4th), 6. Brandon Wiley (16th), 7. Shannon McQueen (6th), 8. Ryan Timmons (12th), 9. Billy Butler (15th), 10. Richard Vander Weerd (7th), 11. Dalton Hill (11th), 12. Trenton Sparks (20th), 13. Danny Parish (14th), 14. Tristan Guardino (8th), 15. Jeff Sibley (3rd), 16. Jace Vander Weerd (5th), 17. Steve Hix (17th), 18. Steven Garris (13th), 19. Hobie Conway (19th), 20. Jay Ervine (18th). NT
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**Stolz flipped during qualifications. Sibley flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-28 Faria, Laps 29-30 Liggett.
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Brandon Wiley (16th to 6th)

USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Jake Swanson-343, 2. Ryan Bernal-317, 3. Richard Vander Weerd-290, 4. Jace Vander Weerd-259, 5. Geoff Ensign-244, 6. Austin Liggett-218, 7. Tristan Guardino-207, .. Danny Faria Jr.-207, 9. Cody Majors-206, 10. Tye Mihocko-158, 11. Ryan Timmons-150, 12. Brady Bacon-148, 13. Jeff Sibley-144, 14. Brandon Wiley-136, 15. Stevie Sussex-132, 16. Steve Hix-127, 17. Shannon McQueen-126, 18. Jay Ervine-123, … Brody Roa-123, 20. Steven Garris-121.

2017 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
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.