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By Lance Jennings

SANTA MARIA, CA – JULY 14, 2014... This Saturday, July 19th, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will travel to Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway. Co-sanctioned with the VRA Sprint Cars, the $1,500-to-win and $225-to-start event will also showcase the VRA Senior Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, Sport Compacts, Mod Lites, Focus Midgets, and Go-Karts. The Pit Gates will open at Noon, the Front Gates will open at 3:00pm, Drivers Meeting at 3:00pm, with Racing scheduled for 5:30pm at “The Best Little Dirt Track in America.”

NOTICE TO RACERS: Saturday’s race at Ventura will be run under the USAC West Coast Rule Book and a $35 entry fee will be collected. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. Cockpit adjustable shocks are NOT allowed and engine restrictor rules are 1-7/8” with open heads and 2-3/16’ with ASCS cylinder heads. The weight rule is 1,475 lbs. with driver. Ventura Raceway has a strict 95db at 100 feet state mandated sound rule and track legal mufflers are Extreme Mufflers (Part #6014-3535 180 Degree, Part #3615-3535), Coast Fabrication (350x625x17-2sVRA), Spintech (180 Degree, 1545P Super Stock Series), B&B Performance (FRAC-0375-S, 180 Degree, with side outlet), Flowmaster (Hushpower, Suitcase- Part 53545-USAC.) The Flowmaster “Suitcase” is also the legal muffler for Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway, Petaluma Speedway, and Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com.

Originally scheduled for Kings Speedway in Hanford, the July 19th date was cancelled after the Kings County Fairgrounds closed the facility. Shortly after that announcement, USAC Western Region Director Chris Kearns and Naylor reached an agreement to move the race to the popular 1/5-mile clay oval. Showcasing both series, the point race will use the non-qualifying format and marks the second appearance of the West Coast Sprints at Ventura. On April 4, 2009, Stockton’s Johnathon Henry claimed the 30-lap “Grand Slam” main event triumph.

Heading to Ventura, Markus Niemela of Rauma, Finland sits atop the standings and has a seventeen point advantage over the competition. Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Niemela scored eighth at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway on June 21st. To date, last season’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, nine top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led to his credit. Markus will be looking to extend his point lead and claim his first series win at Ventura Raceway.

Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell is second in the championship point standings. Piloting his #37 MPD Racing / ART Enterprises Maxim, Mitchell ran second to Ryan Bernal at Tulare. The 2-time USAC/CRA “Salute to Indy” winner 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 on the season. On July 19th, Matt will have his sights on gaining valuable points with his first series win at Ventura.

Troy Rutherford of Ojai is third in the USAC West Coast point chase. Driving Steve Watt’s #81 JD Machine Tech / AAA Propane Maxim, Rutherford took fifth in the Tulare main event. Currently, the 2010 VRA Champion has one feature win, one heat race victory, eight top-10 finishes, and 14 feature laps led on the year. Troy will be looking to claim his third series main event win and earn the $1,500 payday.

Visalia’s Jace Vander Weerd ranks fourth in the championship points. Racing the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd ran sixth at Thunderbowl Raceway. To date, the 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and 20 feature laps led. Jace will be competing in USAC’s “Indiana Sprint Week” and will miss the series return to Ventura Raceway.

Jace’s twin brother, Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia sits fifth in the USAC West Coast points. Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Vander Weerd raced to third at Tulare after starting seventh. Currently, the 2011 Champion has one feature win, six heat race victories, one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, eight top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led in 2014. Richard is also competing in “Indiana Sprint Week” and will miss the action at Ventura.

Currently sixteenth 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.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Dennis Howell, Austin Liggett, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Nic Faas, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, Kevin Barnes, “The Wild Child” Chris Ennis, Jeff Sibley, Matt Day, Austin Stone, Davey Pombo, T.J. Smith, and more.

Moorpark’s Kyle Smith leads the VRA Sprint Car point standings. Austin DeBlauw, Tom Hendricks, Rick Hendrix, Brian Camarillo, Luke Boles, Cody Majors, George Morris, Guy Woodward, and Richard McCormick round out the top-10 drivers. Other VRA drivers expected to compete are Brandon Thomson, David Taylor Jr., Ron Bach, Greg Taylor, Bruce Douglass, and more.

Ventura Raceway is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California. Adult tickets are $15, Senior tickets (60 and older) are $11, Active Military tickets (ID Required) are $11, Student tickets (with ID) are $11, Kids tickets (7-12) are $11, and Children’s tickets (6 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.

The USAC 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].

For more information, visit westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/#!/pages/USAC-West-Coast-Sprint-Car-Series/369549755817), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/USACwc360).
1-Johnathon Henry.

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.

July 19: **Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
August 8: #Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA
August 9: #Chowchilla Speedway - Chowchilla, CA
September 27: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Brawl For It All / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series / Non-Points)
October 11: Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, 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 / Non-Points)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC Southwest Sprints.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC Western Classic Sprints.
** = Co-Sanctioned Event with VRA Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.