Richard Vander Weerd came out of the gate swinging to open his 2017 season. Putting his Vander Weerd Racing entry on the pole during Saturday night’s Sokola Shootout at Perris Auto Speedway, the Visalia, CA would go on to lead every lap and pocket the opening night win.
“The track was really fast, and I needed to take advantage of our starting spot,” Richard Vander Weerd said. “We had a good car, and put together 30 strong laps.”
With 22 cars checked into the pit area on Saturday night to kick off USAC/CRA action, Vander Weerd got his season underway by stopping the clocks with the seventh fastest lap of the night during qualifying time trials.
Picking up a second place finish during his heat race, Vander Weerd would sneak into the feature event inversion and ultimately found his Vander Weerd Construction/Stonegate Development backed entry on the front row of the feature event.
When the green flag flew, Vander Weerd was hard on the throttle and beat fellow front row started, Brody Roa, in a drag race into turn one to grab the early lead. Out front, Vander Weerd slowly pulled away from the pack as the action heated up behind him.
As drivers jockeyed for the second spot for much of the race, Vander Weerd was able to gap the field as the laps clicked off. Turning in 30 strong laps, Vander Weerd ended his night by parking the Vander Weerd Racing entry in victory lane.
“It is always great to open your season up with a win,” Richard Vander Weerd added. “I have to thank my guys for all of their efforts, and hopefully this is a sing of what is come this year.”
Richard and his Vander Weerd Racing team would like to thank Vander Weerd Construction, Stonegate Development, Battery Worx, Mid-Valley Pipe, Basic Industries, Factory Kahne Shocks, Steve Watt Enterprises, FK Rod Ends, PXP Racewear and K&N for their support in 2017.