By Dick Jordan
Brothers Richard and Jace VanderWeerd of Visalia, Calif. could be heading for a historic 1-2 finish in the 2011 USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Championship. The series competes this Saturday night at Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway.
Only twice before have brothers finished 1-2 in a USAC seasonal point standing. In 1970 Al and Bobby Unser were 1-2 in the National Driving Championship and the following year Danny and Jimmy Caruthers ranked 1-2 in the USAC National Midget Series.
It’s been 40 years since brothers have dominated a USAC racing series but the VanderWeerds have been very successful so far, posting a half-dozen podium finishes and eight other “top-10s.” Both have victories in 2011, Jace at Santa Maria Speedway in April and Richard at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford earlier this month.
Richard holds a 54-point lead over Jace heading into this Saturday’s race. With Bud Kaeding 20 points behind Jace in third.
Other 2011 USAC West Coast 360 feature winners so far include Kaeding (4), Peter Murphy and Danny Faria Jr.
USAC’s Western Ford Focus and Focus Young Guns series also are in action at Santa Maria Saturday.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1-Richard VanderWeerd-450; 2-Jace VanderWeerd-396; 3-Bud Kaeding-376; 4-Wes Gutierrez-371; 5-Ryan Bernal-368; 6-Danny Faria Jr.-368; 7-Greg Alexander-332; 8-Dennis Howell-294; 9-T.J. Smith-283; 10-Justyne Hamblin-282.