RICHARD VANDER WEERD WINS $5,000 AT SANTA MARIA BILLET CUP
By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA - OCTOBER 1, 2012... Visalia's Richard Vander Weerd had a night to remember last Saturday by winning Santa Maria Speedway's "John Jewett Memorial Billet Cup" presented by Southwest Contractors. Vander Weerd not only took home $2,500 for winning the main event from seventeenth, he claimed the $2,500 high point bonus, won a qualifying heat race, earned the Ringers Gloves / Kaeding Performance Hard Charger Award, and scored his first Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Fast Time Award of the year. Mike Spencer, Ryan Bernal, Bud Kaeding, and "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr. followed last year's USAC West Coast Champion in the special 40-lap feature.
With an eighteen car inversion in the main event, San Diego's Chris Ennis grabbed the early lead in his #86 B&B Transmission / Skarphol & Associates 777 entry. The 2010 Rookie of the Year set a fast pace on the Santa Maria clay with Austin Liggett and 4-time track champion Jimmy Thompson in hot pursuit. With the high point drivers battling their way forward, action was halted for Jace Vander Weerd who suffered front end damage on lap four, ending his night.
On the restart, pole-sitter Jeremy Ellertson reclaimed third from Thompson, but soon had his hands full with Mike Spencer. Spencer, who was on the move from ninth, quickly dropped Ellertson to fourth and gave chase after the leaders. The top three began to run away from the field as an intense ten car "battle royal" followed Ellertson around the speedway. Up front, Liggett pressured Ennis for the top spot as Spencer looked to take second from the young driver.
By lap twelve, "Hollywood" Faria had stormed into fourth from sixteenth and wanted more. Thirteenth starting Ryan Bernal claimed fifth two laps later and looked to power around Faria. With action throughout the field, Spencer slid past Liggett to claim second on lap sixteen. On the next circuit, Liggett bobbled on the high groove and lost four spots, opening the door for Faria, Bernal, and Vander Weerd. With Spencer challenging Ennis for the lead, Faria was making his bid for second with Bernal and Vander Weerd in striking distance.
Using extra momentum from the outside line, Mike Spencer claimed the lead on lap nineteen. As Ennis developed problems and began to fade, Faria dove into second and was quickly followed by Bernal and Vander Weerd. As the three drivers had a furious battle for second, Spencer opened up his advantage. As Bernal's engine began to smoke, Vander Weerd made his way to second and Bud Kaeding dropped Faria to fifth with ten laps to go.
Preferring to run the low line on the Santa Maria clay, Vander Weerd was gaining on the leader. By lap thirty-four, the two drivers were running side by side on the back straightaway and Richard took command. Once out front, Vander Weerd had some breathing room but Spencer was still driving hard. With only a few laps remaining, slower traffic became a factor and the leaders sliced their way past the lappers. Vander Weerd remained in control and claimed his eighth career USAC West Coast feature, putting him in a 3-way tie with Bernal and Peter Murphy for second on the winner's list.
Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Richard Vander Weerd earned his second victory of the campaign and closed out the night as the Billet Cup point leader. Despite a seventh place finish in his heat race after a tangle, Richard earned $5,000 for his efforts and will be looking to win Hanford's Cotton Classic on October 13th.
Making his first start in the Kittle Motorsports' #18K Pace Lighting / PIPE Sherman, Temecula's Mike Spencer came home second in the Billet Cup. Scoring fifth in overall points, the 4-time USAC/CRA Champion pocketed $1,850 after qualifying fifth, placing second in his heat race, and scoring ninth in his qualifier.
Hollister's Ryan Bernal ran third in the 40-lap feature and earned the night's LRB Inc. Race Products Award. Piloting Keith Ford's #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike, the 2-time Santa Maria Champion claimed $1,450 and was fourth overall in Billet Cup points. Earlier in the program, Bernal was eleventh fast in time trials, won the Saldana Racing Products / Keizer Wheels Heat Race #2, and ran third in his qualifying race.
Scoring fourth at the checkered flag was Bud Kaeding of Campbell. Driving Junior Bowman's #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Maxim, the 3-time USAC Silver Crown Champion was the high point driver entering the main event and placed second in the Billet Cup chase. Taking home $1,950, Kaeding was fourth quick in time trials, won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and ran second in his qualifier. Bud will be looking to celebrate his USAC West Coast Championship on October 13th at Kings Speedway.
Tipton's "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr. scored fifth in the main event after running second for several laps. Piloting his #17V Johnston Calf Pens / Buster & Ziggy Enterprises Bullet, Faria finished third overall in Billet Cup points and took home $1,350. Earlier in the night, "Hollywood" qualified third, ran third in his heat race, and placed fourth in his qualifying race. Danny will have his sights on winning the Cotton Classic at Hanford.
"Showtime" Danny Sheridan of Santa Maria won the program's DJ Safety Heat Race #3. Driving Keith Ford's #73X King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike, the former Bandit Sprint Car Champion was sixth in the Billet Cup point chase. Earning $1,000 on the night, Sheridan was ninth quick in time trials, placed third in his qualifier, and scored sixth in the feature after starting fifteenth.
Hanford's D.J. Netto made another rare non-winged start and won the Extreme Mufflers Second Qualifying Heat Race. Piloting the family owned #7N Netto Ag Inc. / Van De Pol Enterprises KB, the 2012 Rebel Cup Champion also earned the program's Weld Racing Award with a tenth place run in the main event. Placing ninth in the Billet Cup standings and earning $625, Netto qualified fourteenth and placed third in his heat race.
Santa Maria's John Jewett Memorial Billet Cup presented by Southwest Contractors is available on DVD for purchase from Mike Truex's Loudpedal Productions. In addition, the company has other videos featuring the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series that can be ordered by calling (805) 407-7229 or visiting www.loudpedalvideo.com.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday, October 13th, at Scott Woodhouse's Kings Speedway in Hanford. The "27th Annual Cotton Classic" will also feature the winged King of the West 410 Sprints and Vintage Racers. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds at 801 South 10th Avenue, more event information can be found at www.kingsspeedway.net or calling (559) 584-RACE (7223).
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, ButlerBuilt, Competition Suspension Inc., Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, LRB Inc. Race Products, ParkerStore of Phoenix, Ringers Gloves, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saferacer.com, Saldana Racing Products, Sander Engineering, and Weld Racing for their support.
For more information on the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series, visit westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/#!/pages/USAC-West-Coast-Sprint-Car-Series/369549755817)
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SPECIAL EVENT RACE RESULTS:
September 29, 2012 – Santa Maria, California – Santa Maria Speedway
“John Jewett Memorial Billet Cup presented by Southwest Contractors”
SANDER ENGINEERING / ROD END SUPPLY TIME TRIALS:
1. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-14.667; 2. Ricky Kirkbride, 87, Van Meter-14.827; 3. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-14.866; 4. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-14.876; 5. Mike Spencer, 18, Kittle-14.914; 6. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-14.930; 7. Jimmy Thompson, 3E, Eames-14.937; 8. Jesse Denome, 6, Denome-14.962; 9. Danny Sheridan, 73X, Ford-15.018; 10. Tom Hendricks, 14K, Kruseman-15.027; 11. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-15.028; 12. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-15.136; 13. Brandon Thomson, 16, Jones-15.153; 14. D.J. Netto, 7N, Netto-15.166; 15. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-15.266; 16. Kevin Barnes, 36B, Barnes-15.371; 17. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-15.391; 18. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-15.471; 19. Ray Knight, 6K, Knight-16.753; 20. Jeff Sibley, 42N, Sibley- NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Bud Kaeding, 2. Brandon Thomson, 3. Kevin Barnes, 4. Tom Hendricks, 5. Ray Knight, 6. Jimmy Thompson, 7. Richard Vander Weerd. NT
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / KEIZER WHEELS HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Mike Spencer, 3. D.J. Netto, 4. Ricky Kirkbride, 5. Jesse Denome, 6. Jeremy Ellertson. NT
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Danny Sheridan, 2. Danny Faria Jr., 3. Jace Vander Weerd, 4. Rusty Carlile, 5. Chris Ennis, 6. Austin Liggett. NT
SBI FUEL SYSTEMS / INTEGRA RACING SHOCKS FIRST QUALIFYING HEAT: (12 laps)
1. Richard Vander Weerd, 2. Brandon Thomson, 3. Danny Sheridan, 4. Danny Faria Jr., 5. Tom Hendricks, 6. Ricky Kirkbride, 7. Jimmy Thompson, 8. Kevin Barnes, 9. Ray Knight. NT
EXTREME MUFFLERS SECOND QUALIFYING HEAT: (12 laps)
1. D.J. Netto, 2. Bud Kaeding, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. Austin Liggett, 5. Jace Vander Weerd, 6. Rusty Carlile, 7. Chris Ennis, 8. Jesse Denome, 9. Mike Spencer. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Richard Vander Weerd (17th), 2. Mike Spencer (9th), 3. Ryan Bernal (13th), 4. Bud Kaeding (18th), 5. Danny Faria Jr. (16th), 6. Danny Sheridan (15th), 7. Rusty Carlile (10th), 8. Austin Liggett (4th), 9. Jimmy Thompson (6th), 10. D.J. Netto (11th), 11. Ricky Kirkbride (14th), 12. Jesse Denome (5th), 13. Kevin Barnes (3rd), 14. Tom Hendricks (8th), 15. Chris Ennis (2nd), 16. Jeremy Ellertson (1st), 17. Jeff Sibley (20th, 18. Jace Vander Weerd (7th), 19. Ray Knight (19th), 20. Brandon Thomson (12th). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Chris Ennis, Laps 19-34 Mike Spencer, Laps 35-40 Richard Vander Weerd
KAEDING PERFORMANCE / RINGERS GLOVES HARD CHARGER: Richard Vander Weerd (17th to 1st)
LRB INC. RACE PRODUCTS AWARD: Ryan Bernal
WELD RACING AWARD: D.J. Netto
FINAL BILLET CUP STANDINGS / TOTAL PAYOUT:
1. Richard Vander Weerd-438 ($5,000); 2. Bud Kaeding-426 ($1,950); 3. Danny Faria Jr.-415 ($1,350); 4. Ryan Bernal- 414 ($1,450); 5. Mike Spencer-411 ($1,850); 6. Danny Sheridan-403 ($1,000); 7. Rusty Carlile-389 ($850); 8. Ricky Kirkbride-377 ($650); 9. D.J. Netto-375 ($625); 10. Jimmy Thompson-370 ($650); 11. Austin Liggett-368 ($650); 12. Jesse Denome-352 ($525); 13. Tom Hendricks-349 ($500); 14. Kevin Barnes-335 ($500); 15. Jace Vander Weerd-327 ($500); 16. Brandon Thomson-326 ($500); 17. Chris Ennis-320 ($500); 18. Jeremy Ellertson-306 ($500); 19. Ray Knight-292 ($500); 20. Jeff Sibley-70 ($500).
2012 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
October 13: Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA (Cotton Classic)