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360s “OFF” THIS WEEK, RETURN JUNE 19 at BAKERSFIELD

By Dick Jordan

The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car series takes a week off while preparing for a June 19 appearance at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. Craig Stidham continues to lead the standings, 46 points ahead of Davey Pombo after Pombo finished second and Stidham sixth in last Saturday night’s 30-lapper at Giant Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

Justyne Hamblin of Hanford became the first USAC female feature winner since last August with her 30-lap USAC West Coast 360 Sprint win Saturday night at Giant Speedway in her hometown. Justyne led the first three laps but yielded the top spot to Peter Murphy on lap four. On lap 25 she regained it in her JH Motorsports/Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino/Speedtech Chassis Chevy and she led the final six laps to beat Murphy, T.J. Smith, Danny Faria Jr. and Davey Pombo.

Hamblin is only the second female to win a USAC Sprint race on a dirt track. Kaylene Verville was the first when she won a New Mexico/Arizona Sprint race at Thunder Raceway in Show Low, Ariz. in May of 2002. Hamblin’s victory solidified her fifth-place ranking in the current series points.

The only other females to win USAC Sprint races were Shauna Hogg and Destiney Hays who posted USAC Western Sprint wins on pavement tracks at Madera, Calif. in 2003 (Hogg) and Las Vegas, Nev. In 2004 (Hays).

USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT SERIES POINT STANDINGS

1-Craig Stidham-582, 2-Davey Pombo-536, 3-Peter Murphy-503, 4-T.J. Smith-474, 5-Justyne Hamblin-463, 6-Rusty Carlile-433, 7-Danny Faria Jr.-401, 8-Jace VanderWeerd-382, 9-Chris Ennis-338, 10-Richard VanderWeerd-329.