West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series

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By Lance Jennings

HANFORD, CA – MARCH 15, 2010… Round #2 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series saw “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. from Tipton pick up his first win of the season. The wild 30-lap feature at “Bubby” Morse & Don Chambers’ Giant Chevrolet Speedway had numerous lead changes and the emergence of a new series point leader. 

Driving his Louie DeGroot & Sons Dairy #17V Maxim, “Hollywood” started sixteenth and battled his way to the win. That charge also earned Faria “Best Passing Job” honors on the night and was his first Hanford win since 2005 with the Golden State Challenge. “This car was a dream to drive tonight,” says Faria. “The track was really fast and I’d like to thank the promoters for getting this track going again.” 

Pacing the field to the green were Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile and Fresno’s Craig Stidham. As the sprinters roared through the turns, it was fourth starting Davey Pombo from Kerman that took command on the first lap. Wheeling the Junior Bowman / Buster & Ziggy #3 Bullet, Pombo was now engaged in a furious battle with the hard charging Stidham. Davey was soon able to break away from the former Trophy Cup Champion, but now had to fight off the challenge from “Wide Open” Wes Gutierrez from San Martin. Pombo battled hard to stay up front while overcoming brake problems.

On the ninth circuit, it was Gutierrez in the WG Motorsports #007 Borello-powered DRC that took the lead away from Pombo. Gutierrez had found a fast line and soon began to put some distance between himself and the field. Meanwhile, eighth starting Peter Murphy had worked his way to the runner-up spot in the Tom Tarlton / Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #21 KPC. Murphy began to hunt down Gutierrez as the pair sliced through the slower traffic.

A yellow flag was brought out on lap 15 for Steve Osborne after hard contact with the front stretch wall coming out of turn four. At the same time, the two leaders entered turn one and Gutierrez suffered front-end damage. With nowhere to go, Murphy was collected in the incident. Now, the two leaders were out of the race and this gave the lead back to Davey Pombo. Seventh starting T.J. Smith from Fresno was second and “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. had worked his way up to third.

On the restart, Pombo was in control as Faria pressured Smith for second. Faria soon worked past Smith and began to apply pressure the leader. On lap 20, “Hollywood” took command and led the rest of the way to earn the victory. Smith, Pombo, Visalia’s Jace VanderWeerd, and Rusty Carlile followed Faria across the line. With the win, Faria is the new series point leader and has a nine-point advantage over VanderWeerd.

Clovis’ Peter Murphy set fast time in qualifying over the 22-car field. Visalia’s Richard VanderWeerd won Heat Race #1, sponsored by Extreme Mufflers, and Craig Stidham won the BR Motorsports Heat Race #2. In the Third Heat Race, Easton’s Albert Pombo had several wild flips down the back straight of the 3/8-mile track. While the car suffered heavy damage, Albert walked away uninjured. Defending Series Champion Justyne Hamblin from Hanford picked up the win.

The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Kaeding Performance, and Saferacer.com for their support.

Round 3 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be Saturday, March 27th at Bakersfield Speedway. Known as “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval,” please visit the track’s website at www.bakersfieldspeedway.com for event information.

For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, visit www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, and www.usacracing.com. 

Giant Chevrolet Speedway - Hanford, California
March 13, 2010

1. Peter Murphy, 21, Tarlton-15.290; 2. T.J. Smith, 14, Legraw-15.402; 3. Wes Gutierrez, 007, WG-15.480; 4. Garrett Ishii, 71G, Ishii-15.501; 5. Davey Pombo, 3, Bowman-15.532; 6. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-15.572; 7. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-15.573; 8. Craig Stidham, 3S, Stidham-15.642; 9. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-15.691; 10. Andy Ferris, 4J, Ferris-15.746; 11. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-15.788; 12. Albert Pombo, 35, Pombo-15.833; 13. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-15.968; 14. Jimmy Thompson, 71R, Eames-15.990; 15. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-16.057; 16. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-16.152; 17. Matt Day, 97, Day-16.173; 18. Steve Osborne, 9J, Osborne-16.233; 19. Dave Knott, 28, Knott-16.380; 20. Kevin Barnes, 36B, Barnes-16.456; 21. Jonathan Logan, 32, Evett/Logan-16.965; 22. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-17.042.

1. Richard VanderWeerd, 2. Peter Murphy, 3. Chris Ennis, 4. Garrett Ishii, 5. Dave Knott, 6. Andy Ferris, 7. Geoffrey Strole, 8. Koen Shaw. NT.

1. Craig Stidham, 2. Jace VanderWeerd, 3. Jimmy Thompson, 4. Davey Pombo, 5. T.J. Smith, 6. Matt Day, 7. Kevin Barnes. NT.

HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps) 
1. Justyne Hamblin, 2. Rusty Carlile, 3. Jonathan Logan, 4. Steve Osborne, 5. Wes Gutierrez, 6. Danny Faria Jr., 7. Albert Pombo. NT.

FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions) 
1. Danny Faria Jr. (16th), 2. T.J. Smith (7th), 3. Davey Pombo (4th), 4. Jace VanderWeerd (9th), 5. Rusty Carlile (1st), 6. Craig Stidham (2nd), 7. Chris Ennis (10th), 8. Garrett Ishii (5th), 9. Jonathan Logan (15th), 10. Justyne Hamblin (12th), 11. Koen Shaw (19th), 12. Jimmy Thompson (11th), 13. Dave Knott (14th), 14. Kevin Barnes (21st), 15. Geoffrey Strole (22nd), 16. Andy Ferris (17th), 17. Matt Day (20th), 18. Wes Gutierrez (6th), 19. Peter Murphy (8th), 20. Steve Osborne (13th), 21. Richard VanderWeerd (3rd), 22. Albert Pombo (DNS-18th). NT.
**Albert Pombo flipped during the third heat.

Laps 1-9 Davey Pombo, Laps 10-16 Wes Gutierrez, Laps 17-19 Davey Pombo, Laps 20-30 Danny Faria Jr.

1- Danny Faria Jr.-125; 2-Jace VanderWeerd-116; 3- Craig Stidham-116; 4- Garrett Ishii-100; 5-T.J. Smith-98; 6- Chris Ennis-92; 7- Jimmy Thompson-78; 8- Peter Murphy-78; 9- Jonathan Logan-77; 10- Justyne Hamblin-71.

March 27 – Bakersfield, California – Bakersfield Speedway