SHERIDAN SPRINTS TO SANTA MARIA VICTORY
By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – APRIL 19, 2010… Taking advantage of an off night with the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints, "Showtime" Danny Sheridan scored the victory at Chris Kearns' Santa Maria Speedway. The popular win in front of his hometown fans made Sheridan the fifth different winner in six events with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series.
Driving the Kittle Motorsports / Pace Lighting #18 Stinger, Sheridan started on the pole position of the 30-lap main event alongside Bakersfield's Rusty Carlile. As the twenty two car field took the green flag, "Showtime" grabbed the lead, but fourth starting Peter Murphy from Clovis took control before the first lap was completed. As the laps were counting down, Murphy steadily began to increase his lead in front of Sheridan, Carlile, Visalia's Richard VanderWeerd, Fresno's T.J. Smith and Andy Ferris of Mariposa.
Red flags were brought out on lap eight and nine for flips by "Junkyard" Jimmy Thompson from Arroyo Grande and Tipton's Danny Faria Jr. Both drivers were uninjured and Faria was able to rejoin the race. With the field now bunched together and Murphy's lead erased, Sheridan's crew made several adjustments. After a spin on lap fifteen by Easton's Albert Pombo, "Showtime" took advantage on the restart. Sheridan motored by Murphy and found a groove to his liking to lead the rest of the way in front of a huge crowd. "The track got pretty sticky for us and we were a little too tight," remarked Sheridan. "Those reds helped us. We were able to work on the car and get enough on Murphy to get around him."
T.J. Smith scored his second top-5 finish of the season in Steve LeGras' UHL Rubber #14 Maxim. Starting fifth in the feature, Smith found a higher line on the racetrack that served him well to make his way to the front. The former Plaza Park track champion made a late race pass on Murphy to secure the runner-up spot and tie his best finish since March 13th at Hanford. "The track was awesome," said Smith. "We were trying to win, but Sheridan and Murphy were fast." T.J. now sits fourth in the point standings.
Peter Murphy had a strong early run in the feature by leading the first fifteen laps. Tom Tarlton's Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #21 KPC entry had several leads erased by red and yellow flags, but Murphy fought off the challenges. Last year's Santa Maria track champion lost the lead to Sheridan on lap sixteen and fell to third after a late charge by T.J. Smith. "We got a little tight after that last stoppage," remarked Murphy. "I tried my darnedest there and hats off to Danny and T.J." Peter is currently third in the point chase.
Defending series champion Justyne Hamblin of Hanford earned her best finish of the season. Driving the JH Motorsports / Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #8 Speed Tech entry, Justyne started sixth and battled hard with Andy Ferris, Richard VanderWeerd, and Rusty Carlile to cross the finish line in fourth. "We were trying but not doing very well at the beginning," said Hamblin. "After that last yellow flag we were moving forward." With that run, Hamblin now sits fifth in the point standings.
Richard VanderWeerd returned to action after competing last week at the Perris Auto Speedway with the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints. VanderWeerd celebrated his nineteenth birthday by taking the family's Mid Valley Pipe & Supply #10 Maxim to a fifth place finish after starting seventh. That was Richard's best finish on the season and after missing two races, he is currently twelfth in the point chase.
Kerman's Davey Pombo earned his first Sander Engineering fast time award on the season. The pilot of Junior Bowman's Buster & Ziggy #3 Bullet clicked off the only fourteen second lap in time trials on the Santa Maria clay. After losing the final transfer spot in his heat race to Peter Murphy on the last lap, Pombo would start sixteenth in the feature. The former Bandit series champion made some early moves forward, but was caught in a lap nine tangle with Danny Faria Jr. Both drivers were able to restart, as Pombo's crew repaired the front end damage to his machine. From there, Davey battled on to a seventh place finish and is now 59 points behind point leader Craig Stidham of Fresno.
Bakersfield's Chris Ennis won his first heat race of the season at Santa Maria. Ennis drove the family's West Olive Welding #86 777 entry to score the victory over a stacked field in the first heat race. For his efforts, Chris received $150 in certificates from Extreme Mufflers and Keizer Wheels. In the feature, Ennis was credited with a fourteenth place finish and is tenth in the point standings.
"Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr. took his Louie DeGroot & Sons Dairy #17V Maxim to victory in the second heat race from the sixth starting sport. That drive earned Danny $75 in certificates from BR Motorsports and Keizer Wheels. After starting eighth in the main event, Faria flipped on lap nine and his crew made repairs to rejoin the field. "Hollywood" scored an eleventh place finish and is currently eighth in the point chase.
Albert Pombo returned to action after a bad flip destroyed his car at Hanford on March 13th. With a former Roth Motorsports #83 JEI World of Outlaws car, Pombo drove to his first heat race win of the season. The victory in the third heat race earned him a $50 certificate from Keizer Wheels. In the 30-lap feature, Albert had a thirteenth place finish and now sits twenty fourth in the point standings after two starts.
In time trials, Visalia's Jace VanderWeerd flipped the family's Basic Industries #88 Maxim. Jace walked away uninjured and with the help from other drivers and crews, he was able to return to action. VanderWeerd celebrated his nineteenth birthday with twin brother Richard by earning "Hard Charger / Best Passing Job" honors the night with an eighth place finish after starting twenty second. After missing last weekend's action to compete at Perris with USAC/CRA, VanderWeerd is currently eleventh in the point standings.
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, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Port City Racing, Saferacer.com, and Sander Engineering for their support.
Round 7 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be Saturday, May 8th, at the Santa Maria Speedway. Also on the card will be the MMI Hobby Stocks, Powder Puff Mini Stocks, and Okie Bowl Hardtops. The Front Gates will open at 3:00pm, Time Trials will start at 5:00pm, with Racing at 6:00pm. Adult tickets are $16, Senior, Military, and Student tickets are $14, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For event information, please visit www.racesantamariaspeedway.com,
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car series, visit www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on facebook.com.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
Santa Maria Speedway - Santa Maria, CA
April 17, 2010
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS:
1. Davey Pombo, 3, Bowman-14.930; 2. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-15.015; 3. Jimmy Thompson, 71R, Eames-15.135; 4. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-15.288; 5. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-15.368; 6. T.J. Smith, 14, LeGras-15.444; 7. Peter Murphy, 21, Tarlton-15.460; 8. Bill Jones, 16J, Jones-15.500; 9. Andy Ferris, 4J, Ferris-15.573; 10. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-15.598; 11. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-15.645; 12. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-15.680; 13. Joey Layman, 11X, Layman-15.692; 14. Jonathan Logan, 32, Evett/Logan-15.710; 15. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-15.730; 16. Craig Stidham, 3S, Stidham-15.760; 17. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-15.783; 18. Jesse Mack, 8M, May-15.828; 19. Albert Pombo, 83, Pombo-15.873; 20. Marty Hawkins, 3M, Hawkins-16.260; 21. Tyler Schmidt, 49, Schmidt-19.376; 22. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (8 laps)
1. Chris Ennis, 2. Jonathan Logan, 3. Richard VanderWeerd, 4. Danny Sheridan, 5. Peter Murphy, 6. Davey Pombo, 7. Jace VanderWeerd, 8.
Marty Hawkins. NT.
BR MOTORSPORTS HEAT RACE 2: (8 laps)
1. Danny Faria Jr., 2. Geoffrey Strole, 3. Andy Ferris, 4. Justyne Hamblin, 5. Koen Shaw, 6. Bill Jones, 7. Jesse Mack. NT.
KEIZER WHEELS HEAT RACE 3: (8 laps)
1. Albert Pombo, 2. Craig Stidham, 3. T.J. Smith, 4. Joey Layman, 5. Rusty Carlile, 6. Jimmy Thompson, 7. Tyler Schmidt. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Danny Sheridan (1st), 2. T.J. Smith (5th), 3. Peter Murphy (4th), 4. Justyne Hamblin (6th), 5. Richard VanderWeerd (7th), 6. Craig Stidham (13th), 7. Davey Pombo (16th), 8. Jace VanderWeerd (22nd), 9. Jonathan Logan (11th), 10. Andy Ferris (3rd), 11. Danny Faria Jr. (8th), 12. Jesse Mack (18th), 13. Albert Pombo (15th), 14. Bill Jones (20th), 15. Marty Hawkins (19th), 16. Chris Ennis (14th), 17. Geoffrey Strole (12th), 18. Rusty Carlile (2nd), 19. Joey Layman (10th), 20. Jimmy Thompson (17th), 21. Koen Shaw (9th), 22. Tyler Schmidt (21st). NT.
**Jace VanderWeerd flipped during Time Trials.
**Jimmy Thompson and Danny Faria Jr. flipped during the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-15 Peter Murphy, Laps 16-30 Danny Sheridan.
NEW USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT POINTS:
1. Craig Stidham, 3S- 370
2. Davey Pombo, 3- 311
3. Peter Murphy, 21- 306
4. T.J. Smith, 14- 272
5. Justyne Hamblin, 8- 269
6. Jonathan Logan, 32- 259
7. Rusty Carlile, 51- 255
8. Danny Faria Jr., 17V- 250
9. Andy Ferris, 4J- 232
10. Chris Ennis, 86- 221
11. Jace VanderWeerd, 88- 208
12. Richard VanderWeerd, 10- 170
13. Jimmy Thompson, 71R- 157
14. Jesse Mack, 8M- 155
15. Danny Sheridan, 18- 152
16. Garrett Ishii, 71G- 146
17. Dave Knott, 28- 117
18. Kevin Barnes, 36B- 114
--- Geoffrey Strole, 09S- 114
20. Wes Gutierrez, 007- 109
21. Dean Alexander, 11- 103
22. Matt Day, 97- 74
23. Jared Little, 25- 71
24. Albert Pombo, 35/83- 53
25. Koen Shaw, 88K- 49
26. Steve Osborne, 9J- 47
27. Ronnie Case, 8X- 44
28. Ray Knight, 99K- 40
29. Matt Streeter, 14JR- 37
30. Scott Kinney, 25K- 36
31. Bill Jones, 16J- 28
32. Adam Frith-Smith, 62- 26
33. Marty Hawkins, 3M- 23
34. Ricky Kirkbride, 87- 21
35. Joey Layman, 11X- 20
36. Tyler Schmidt, 49- 13
37. Aaron Altaffer, 21A- 1
NEXT USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE:
May 8 – Santa Maria (CA) Speedway