By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – JUNE 14, 2010… The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will return to Bakersfield Speedway this Saturday night, June 19th, for their eleventh round of competition. The “Monster Energy Night At The Races” card will also showcase Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Mini Dwarf Cars, and Dirt Go Karts. The Front Gates will open at 4:30pm with Racing at 6:00pm.
It will be the third of four events at “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval.” On March 27th, Kerman’s Davey Pombo won the 30-lap feature and on May 29th, Fresno’s Craig Stidham scored the Southwest Contractors 360 Clash victory. When the series last raced on June 5th, Justyne Hamblin won in front of her hometown fans at Hanford’s Giant Chevrolet Speedway. In the process, Hamblin made history by becoming the second female driver to win a USAC dirt sprint car main event.
Point leader Craig Stidham leads the series in main event and heat race victories. With four features and six heat race wins to his credit, Stidham will look to extend his point lead at Bakersfield. Driving the Brad Johnson Trucking / KRC Safety #3S Maxim, Stidham also has one fast time award and nine top-10 finishes on the season. Heading into the Bakersfield event, the former Rebel Cup champion has a forty-six point advantage over Davey Pombo.
Pombo will be looking for another Bakersfield victory to cut into Stidham’s point lead on Saturday. The pilot of Junior Bowman’s Buster & Ziggy #3 Bullet has one feature win, nine top-10 finishes, one fast time, one heat race win, and one hard charger award on the season. The former Bandit champion had a fifth place finish at Hanford on June 5th as he makes a championship bid.
Sitting third in the point standings is Clovis’ Peter Murphy. Making his debut in Junior Bowman’s Buster & Ziggy #11X Bullet at Hanford, Murphy drove to a second place finish. The former SCRA 360 champion has rebounded after a tough start to his season and has seven top-10 finishes, one fast time, and four heat race wins.
Fresno’s T.J. Smith is fourth in the point chase. The pilot of Steve LeGras’ UHL Rubber #14 Maxim scored his eighth top-10 performance of the year with a third place finish at Hanford. When the series last visited Bakersfield on May 29th, Smith earned his first Sander Engineering fast time award of the season. The former Plaza Park track champion will be working for his first series win on Saturday.
Justyne Hamblin will be looking for another win aboard the JH Motorsports / Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #8 Speed Tech entry. The defending series champion is fifth in the point standings with eight top-10 finishes and two heat race wins. When the series last raced at Bakersfield on May 29th, Hamblin drove to her second hard charger award with a third place finish after starting eleventh.
Among the other top contenders expected to be in action are Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton, Chris Ennis of Bakersfield, Mariposa’s Andy Ferris, San Martin’s Wes Gutierrez, Hanford’s Geoffrey Strole, Visalia’s Jesse Mack, and Ricky Kirkbride of Bakersfield.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension, Cory Kruseman’s Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Port City Racing, Saferacer.com, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.
Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield. Adult tickets are $15, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. The Pit Gate will open at 2:00pm. For event information, please visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call (661) 393-3373.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, please visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR 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; 11. Andy Ferris 322; 12. Jonathan Logan 259; 13. Wes Gutierrez 234; 14. Danny Sheridan 222; 15. Geoffrey Strole 216; 16. Jesse Mack 210; 17. Ricky Kirkbride 193; 18. Albert Pombo 191; 19. Jimmy Thompson 187; 20. Dean Alexander 166.