RYAN BERNAL GOES 5-FOR-5 AT TULARE’S
By Lance Jennings
TULARE, CA –
JUNE 23, 2014... Taking the lead from polesitter Matt Mitchell
on lap 12, Ryan Bernal of Hollister powered to his fifth
consecutive USAC West Coast Sprint Car win. For Bernal, the
$1,500 triumph at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl
Raceway was series leading nineteenth victory. Mitchell,
Richard Vander Weerd, Dennis Howell, and Troy Rutherford
followed Ryan to the checkered flags.
his first West Coast win, Matt Mitchell took command at the
drop of starter Willie Williams’ green flag. Howell and point
leader Markus Niemela gave chase, but the USAC/CRA standout
extended his advantage. As most of the competitors chose
Tulare’s bottom groove, the sixth starting Bernal favored the
high line and gained extra momentum off the cushion. Ryan soon
made his way to the front and pressured Mitchell for the top
spot on the ninth circuit. Continuing the attack the cushion,
Bernal took the lead on lap twelve and raced away from the
competition. Slicing through slower traffic at will and
getting an excellent restart after a caution, Bernal earned
his seventh Tulare win.
Mike Phulps owned #56 Core Power / Metal Works ART, Ryan
Bernal claimed his third Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award
of the campaign. After besting the 18 racers in the pit area,
the defending USAC Western Classic Champion ran third in his
heat race and qualified for the six-car inversion in the main
event. Ryan left Thunderbowl Raceway ranked ninth in points
with five main event wins, two heat race victories, eight
top-10 finishes and 100 feature laps to his credit.
leading the first eleven laps, Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell ran
a strong second at Tulare. Piloting his #37 MPD Racing / ART
Enterprises Maxim, Mitchell qualified seventh overall and won
the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. The 2-time USAC/CRA
“Salute to Indy” winner is second in the point chase and has
sliced into Markus Niemela’s advantage. To date, Matt has
three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. /
Rod End Supply Semi-main win, two Keizer Wheels / Racing
Optics Hard Charger Awards, eight top-10 finishes, and 13
feature laps led.
Vander Weerd of Visalia had a late charge from seventh to
score third at Thunderbowl Raceway. Driving the family owned
#10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander
Weerd was third quick in time trials, placed fifth in his heat
race, and missed the feature inversion. The 2011 Champion sits
fifth in the championship points with one feature win, six
heat race victories, one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard
Charger Award, eight top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led
on the year.
Verdes’ Dennis Howell raced hard to claim fifth in the 30-lap
feature. Piloting the family owned #62 San Pedro Auto Body /
Howell-Meyer Racing Maxim, Howell qualified sixth overall and
won the Deist Safety Heat Race #2. Climbing to sixth in the
point standings, Dennis has one feature win, three heat race
victories, six top-10 finishes, and 30 feature laps led in
Troy Rutherford of Ojai battled to
claim fifth in the Tulare main event. Racing Steve Watt’s #81
JD Machine Tech / AAA Propane Maxim, Rutherford was fourth
fast in time trials and placed fourth in his heat race. The
2010 VRA Champion sits third in the standings with one heat
race victory, eight top-10 finishes, and 14 feature laps led
in the campaign.
“Shifter” Landon Hurst, Laton’s Heath Duinkerken earned his
first Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics “Hard Charger / Best
Passing Job” honors with an eleventh place run from
seventeenth. Driving John Hurst’s #179 Kings River Commodities
/ Duinkerken Farms Maxim, Heath qualified twelfth overall and
scored eight in his heat race. Making his first West Coast
start, the winged 360 racer is forty-fourth in the point
Hanford’s Kings Speedway closing, USAC’s Chris Kearns is
looking for other venues to host the “Jim Evett Memorial” and
“3rd Annual Billet Cup.” Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway will
host a USAC Western Classic co-sanctioned event on August 8th
and both groups will battle the following night at Chowchilla.
Watsonville has a strict 90db at 100 feet state mandated sound
rule and the Flowmaster “Suitcase” (Part 53545-USAC) is the
track legal muffler.
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). Mike Truex's Loudpedal
Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the
USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series. For more information, call
805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE
June 21, 2014 – Tulare, California –
AUTO DISPLAY TIME TRIALS:
1. Ryan Bernal, 56, Phulps-15.344;
2. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-15.415; 3. Richard
Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-15.479; 4. Troy Rutherford, 81,
Watt-15.592; 5. Markus Niemela, 73, Ford-15.676; 6. Dennis
Howell, 62, Howell-15.736; 7. Matt Mitchell, 37,
Mitchell-15.802; 8. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-15.970; 9.
Austin Stone, 29X, Coffman-16.048; 10. Kevin Barnes, 36B,
Barnes-16.229; 11. T.J. Smith, 87, Van Meter-16.273; 12. Heath
Duinkerken, 179, Hurst-16.325; 13. Garrett Long, 38,
Long-16.394; 14. Trent Carter, 13, Carter-16.477; 15. Johnny
White, 51, Carlile-16.775; 16. Jonathan Logan, 32,
Evett/Logan-16.958; 17. Matt Day, 97, Day-17.339; 18. Terry
Nichols, 33, Nichols-NT.
MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
Mitchell, 2. Markus Niemela, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. T.J. Smith, 5.
Richard Vander Weerd, 6. Austin Stone, 7. Garrett Long, 8.
Johnny White, 9. Matt Day. NT
HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Dennis Howell, 2. Jace Vander
Weerd, 3. Austin Liggett, 4. Troy Rutherford, 5. Jonathan
Logan, 6. Trent Carter, 7. Kevin Barnes, 8. Heath Duinkerken.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting
1. Ryan Bernal (6th), 2. Matt
Mitchell (1st), 3. Richard Vander Weerd (7th), 4. Dennis
Howell (2nd), 5. Troy Rutherford (4th), 6. Jace Vander Weerd
(5th), 7. Austin Liggett (8th), 8. Markus Niemela (3rd), 9.
Austin Stone (9th), 10. T.J. Smith (11th), 11. Heath
Duinkerken (17th), 12. Garrett Long (12th), 13. Trent Carter
(13th), 14. Kevin Barnes (10th), 15. Matt Day (16th), 16.
Johnny White (14th), 17. Jonathan Logan (15th). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Matt
Mitchell, Laps 12-30 Ryan Bernal.
KEIZER WHEELS / RACING OPTICS HARD
CHARGER: Heath Duinkerken (17th to 11th)
COAST SPRINT POINT STANDINGS:
1. Markus Niemela-500, 2. Matt
Mitchell-483, 3. Troy Rutherford-444, 4. Jace Vander
Weerd-436, 5. Richard Vander Weerd-423, 6. Dennis Howell-399,
7. Austin Liggett-370, 8. Danny Faria Jr.-360, 9. Ryan
Bernal-355, 10. Nic Faas-342, 11. Landon Hurst-297, 12. Kevin
Barnes-207, ---. Marty Hawkins-207, 14. Bud Kaeding-180, 15.
Chris Ennis-154, 16. Garrett Long-152, 17. Jeff Sibley-133,
18. Trent Carter-120, 19. Matt Day-115, 20. Austin Stone-112.
WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
July 19: TBA (Jim Evett Memorial)
August 2: #TBA (Billet Cup / $2,500-to-Win)
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: TBA (Cotton Classic /
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.