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$4,000-TO-WIN “3RD ANNUAL PETER MURPHY CLASSIC” STARTS FRIDAY AT TULARE
By Lance Jennings

JULY 20, 2016... The USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are back in action this Friday and Saturday (July 22nd & 23rd) at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. Noted as one of the richest dates on the schedule, the “3rd Annual Peter Murphy Classic” will be capped off by Saturday’s $4,000-to-win and $400-to-start main event. Promoted by Steve Faria, the action packed card will also feature the winged King of the West 410 Sprints and the Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars. The front gates will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 6:00pm, with racing scheduled for 7:00pm. A Friday post-race party with live music and food and drinks will be held on the fairgrounds. The cover charge is a donation to the NARC Benevolent Fund which has aided many drivers, including Peter Murphy after injury. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

NOTICE TO RACERS: The “Peter Murphy Classic” 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 and the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. USAC Memberships ARE MANDATORY and can be purchased online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2016-usac-licensing. Membership forms will also be available on raceday.

A special thanks goes to Peter Murphy and his family for gathering sponsorship and raising extra prize money for the event. The fast qualifier will earn $400 ($300 plus $100 Woodland Auto Display Award), the hard charger will take home $500, $500 will be awarded to the racer with the longest tow, and $350 will go to the hard luck driver. There will also be a special 4-lap, 4-car “Dash for Cash” with the fastest four qualifiers paying $500 to first, $400 for second, $300 to third, and $200 to fourth. While Friday’s race will pay a regular purse ($1,500-to-win and $225-to-start), Saturday’s winner will earn $4,000, second will pocket $2,000, third will get $1,200, fourth will take home $1,000, and the remaining purse is at the end of this release. In addition, series contingencies (totaling $2,000) will be awarded over both nights.

FORMAT: Friday’s race WILL HAVE the normal format with Woodland Auto Display time trials and the finish will determine Saturday’s lineup. Saturday WILL NOT have time trials and the top-five cars from the Friday main event are locked into an 8-car pole shuffle dash. The finish from the pole shuffle dash will set up the four rows of Saturday’s feature. Championship points on Saturday will only be awarded for the main event. The format for the “3rd Annual Peter Murphy Classic” is posted at https://westcoastsprintcars.com/images/fpposter16/16murphy2.jpg.

Noted as one of the most popular drivers in the Central Valley, Peter Murphy established himself in both the winged and non-wing sprint car ranks. Driving the potent Tarlton & Son #21, the Australia native won non-winged championships with the SCRA 360s, Bandits, Kings Bandits, VRA/Bandit Grand Slam Mini-Series, and the Santa Maria Sprint Cars. In West Coast action, Murphy won six races during the inaugural season and currently ranks sixth on the series win list. In addition, he posted one fast time award and still holds the track record at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds. Returning to the winged 410s, Murphy was very competitive until injuries sustained in a July 2013 crash forced his retirement as a driver. Still a great ambassador for sprint car racing, he has worked behind the scenes to make the “Peter Murphy Classic” a successful event to rave reviews and higher purses. Last year, Matt Mitchell won the USAC West Coast feature and Aaron Reutzel scored the King of the West triumph.

Since March 6, 2010, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted thirty-one USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with ten victories and Richard Vander Weerd set a new 1-lap track record of 15.014 on April 23rd. Bernal won the inaugural Peter Murphy Classic in 2014 and Matt Mitchell won last year’s feature. This season, D.J. Johnson has won two Tulare shows and Austin Liggett won the May 14th Chris & Brian Faria Memorial. A complete series win list at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is at the end of this release.

Entering the ninth point race, Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) has a 52-point advantage over the competition. Racing the BR Performance owned #91R HD Industries / Lee & Norma Leonard Maxim, Roa is the hottest driver on the circuit after winning the last two main events. In addition, the defending Western World 360 Champion has three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, seven top-10 finishes, and 39 feature laps led. Brody will be looking to continue his championship bid by adding the “Peter Murphy Classic” to his win list.

D.J. Johnson (Stockton, California) ranks second in the chase for the championship. Piloting the family owned #33 Proplant Farm Services / J. Milano Company Eagle, Johnson scored eighteenth at Hanford on June 25th. To date, the 2013 USAC Western Classic Rookie of the Year has two feature wins, one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, seven top-10 finishes, and 51 feature laps led to his credit. D.J. will have his sights on gaining valuable points on Roa by sweeping both nights of the “Peter Murphy Classic.”

After finishing second at Hanford, Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) had climbed to third in the point chase. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one Keizer Wheels Aluminum Wheels / Competition Suspension Inc. Semi-Main win, five top-10 finishes, and 50 feature laps led on the year. The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year is tied with Craig Stidham for seventh on the series win list and will have his sights on the $4,000 payday.

Trey Marcham (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) sits fourth in the USAC West Coast point standings. Racing Steve Watt’s #81 Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Marcham was nineteenth in the Hanford main event. At press time, last season’s Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, and six top-10 finishes on the season. Trey will be looking for his first main event triumph at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) is fifth in the championship standings. Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard scored fourth at Hanford after starting tenth. To date, the 2011 Champion has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, five top-10 finishes, and 3 feature laps to his credit. Vander Weerd is second on the series win list with 18 victories and will have his sights on adding the “Peter Murphy Classic” to his resume.

Currently tenth in points, Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Colton Slack (Brentwood, California), “Chainsaw” Johnny White (Bakersfield, California), and Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Austin Liggett, Tristan Guardino, Max Adams, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Jeff Sibley, Cody Majors, Kyle Smith, Shannon McQueen, Troy Rutherford, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, Arizona’s Stevie Sussex, and more.

Tulare, California’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Reserved Grandstand Tickets are $20 and General Admission Seats are $18. 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 www.tularethunderbowl.com.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Stand 21 Racer Goes Safer Foundation, Ultra Shield Race Products, 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, and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook and Twitter pages.

Loudpedal Productions has USAC West Coast Sprint Car DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS:
2009-Justyne Hamblin, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Richard Vander Weerd, 2012-Bud Kaeding, 2013-Danny Faria Jr., 2014-Matt Mitchell, 2015-Danny Faria Jr.

PETER MURPHY CLASSIC NON-WING WINNERS:
2014-Ryan Bernal, 2015-Matt Mitchell.

SATURDAY PETER MURPHY CLASSIC PURSE:
1. $4,000; 2. $2,000; 3. $1,200; 4. $1,000; 5. $900; 6. $800, 7. $700, 8. $600, 9. $550; 10. $500; 11. $400; 12. $400; 13. $400; 14. $400; 15. $400; 16. $400; 17. $400; 18. $400; 19. $400; 20. $400; 21. $400; 22. $400.

2016 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS:
4-Bryan Clauson, 2-Josh Hodges, 2-D.J. Johnson, 2-Brody Roa, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.

TULARE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT WINS:
10-Ryan Bernal, 5-Bud Kaeding, 3-Richard Vander Weerd, 2-D.J. Johnson, 2-Kyle Larson, 2-Craig Stidham, 1-Dean Alexander, 1-Danny Faria Jr., 1-Dennis Howell, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Peter Murphy, 1-Jace Vander Weerd.

USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Brody Roa-560, 2. D.J. Johnson-508, 3. Jace Vander Weerd-475, 4. Trey Marcham-457, 5. Richard Vander Weerd-423, 6. Austin Liggett-415, 7. Tristan Guardino-391, 8. Max Adams-381, 9. Danny Faria Jr.-362, 10. Ryan Timmons-354, 11. Jeff Sibley-281, 12. Cody Majors-270, 13. Kyle Smith-252, 14. Kevin Barnes-249, 15. Shannon McQueen-236, 16. Troy Rutherford-216, 17. Landon Hurst-192, 18. Ricky Kirkbride-162, 19. Bryan Clauson-137, 20. Brady Bacon-119.

2016 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
DATE-TRACK-LOCATION
July 22: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Peter Murphy Classic)
July 23: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Peter Murphy Classic)
August 6: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
August 12: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA
August 13: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA
November 23: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
November 24: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
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This schedule is subject to change.