USAC WEST COAST SPRINTS RUMBLE AT
By Lance Jennings
CA – JUNE 17, 2014... This Saturday, June 21st, the USAC West
Coast Sprint Cars will invade Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet
Thunderbowl Raceway for the final time in 2014. Promoted by
Steve Faria, the ninth point race will also feature the IMCA
Modifieds and RaceSaver Wing Sprint Cars. The spectator gates
will open at 4:30pm, time trials at 6:30pm, with racing to
follow at 7:00pm.
2010, twenty USAC West Coast Sprint Car races have been held
at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Ryan Bernal of Hollister
leads all drivers with six Tulare wins and holds the 1-lap
qualifying track record of 15.158, set on October 8, 2011.
This season, Rancho Palos Verdes’ Dennis Howell claimed his
first series win on March 14th and rain washed out the April
26th date. Bernal has won the last four main events, including
the May 17th “Faria Memorial” and the May 31st point race at
Markus Niemela of Rauma, Finland
sits atop the point standings and has a thirty-four point
advantage over the competition. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73
Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Niemela raced to
sixth from eleventh at Hanford’s Kings Speedway on June 7th.
To date, last season’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has two
Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory,
eight top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led to his credit.
Markus will be looking to extend his point lead and score his
first series win at Thunderbowl Raceway.
last Saturday’s USAC/CRA win at Perris, Yorba Linda’s Matt
Mitchell is second in the point standings. Driving his #37 MPD
Racing / ART Enterprises Maxim, Mitchell took fourth in the
June 7th main event at Hanford. Currently, the former USAC
Western Midget Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories,
one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main
win, two Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Awards,
seven top-10 finishes, and two feature laps led in 2014. This
Saturday, Matt will have his sights on his first USAC West
Coast Sprint Car victory.
Rutherford of Ojai has climbed to third in the West Coast
point chase. Racing Steve Watt’s #81 JD Machine Tech / AAA
Propane Maxim, Rutherford placed tenth in the Hanford main
event. At press time, the 2010 VRA Champion has one feature
win, one heat race victory, seven top-10 finishes, and 14
feature laps led on the season. At Thunderbowl Raceway, Troy
will be looking to earn the $1,500 payday and claim his third
series main event win.
Jace Vander Weerd ranks fourth in the championship point
standings. Piloting the family owned #88 Vander Weerd
Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd scored
twenty-third at Hanford after an early flip ended his night.
Currently, the 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has one
feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two
heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 20 feature
laps led. Jace will have his sights on his fifth series win
and adding Tulare’s first place trophy to his collection.
finishing second to Ryan Bernal at Hanford, Richard Vander
Weerd of Visalia has climbed to fifth in the point standings.
Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction /
Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd has one feature win, six heat
race victories, one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger
Award, seven top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led. The
2011 Champion will be looking for his sixteenth career USAC
West Coast win on Saturday.
seventeenth in points, Springville’s Garrett Long leads the
chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Terra Bella’s Trent
Carter, Robert Nuckles of Hanford, and Hanford’s Connor Kassik
are also in contention.
other drivers expected to be in action are defending champion
“Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Nic Faas, Dennis Howell, Austin
Liggett, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, Ryan Bernal, Marty Hawkins,
Kevin Barnes, “The Wild Child” Chris Ennis, Jeff Sibley, Matt
Day, Davey Pombo, Austin Stone, T.J. Smith, and more.
Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the
Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K
Streets. Reserved tickets are $15 and General Admission seats
are $13. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by
calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event
information, visit the track’s website at
West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire,
Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Inc., Deist
Safety, Engler Machine & Tool, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star
Grafix, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics,
Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, Saldana Racing Products,
SouthWest Contractors, VanLare Steering Repair, Weld Racing,
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 [email protected].
information, visit westcoastsprintcars.com,
www.usacracing.com, follow the series on Facebook
or Twitter (www.twitter.com/USACwc360).
TULARE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT WINS:
6-Ryan Bernal, 4-Bud Kaeding,
3-Richard Vander Weerd, 2-Kyle Larson, 2-Craig Stidham, 1-Dean
Alexander, 1-Dennis Howell, 1-Peter Murphy.
COAST SPRINT POINT STANDINGS:
1. Markus Niemela-452, 2. Matt
Mitchell-418, 3. Troy Rutherford-388, 4. Jace Vander
Weerd-379, 5. Richard Vander Weerd-361, 6. Danny Faria
Jr.-360, 7. Nic Faas-342, 8. Dennis Howell-339, 9. Austin
Liggett-322, 10. Landon Hurst-297, 11. Ryan Bernal-283, 12.
Marty Hawkins-207, 13. Kevin Barnes-180, Bud Kaeding-180, 15.
Chris Ennis-154, 16. Jeff Sibley-133, 17. Garrett Long-121,
18. D.J. Johnson-98, 19. Matt Day-92, 20. Trent Carter-90,
---. Davey Pombo-90.
WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
June 21: Thunderbowl Raceway -
July 19: Kings Speedway - Hanford,
August 2: #Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA (Billet Cup /
August 8: #Ocean Speedway -
August 9: #Chowchilla Speedway -
September 27: *Canyon Speedway Park
- Peoria, AZ (Brawl For It All / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series
October 11: Kings Speedway -
Hanford, CA (Cotton Classic / Non-Points)
November 6: *Perris Auto Speedway -
Perris, CA (Oval Nationals / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series)
November 20: *Canyon Speedway Park -
Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / Non-Points)
November 21: *Canyon Speedway Park -
Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / Non-Points)
November 22: *Canyon Speedway Park -
Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / $7,500-to-Win /
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC
Western Classic Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.