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USAC West Coast Sprints Invade Tulare for Friday-Saturday Doubleheader

Ryan Bernal. (Steve Lafond Photo)

From Lance Jennings

TULARE, Ca. (MARCH 14, 2017) – After two successful nights at Las Vegas, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are back in action this Friday (March 17) and Saturday (March 18) at Tulare, California’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The non-wing sprints will tackle the lightning fast 1/3-mile clay oval with the famed World of Outlaw Sprint Cars. The Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars will join the Friday card and the IMCA Sport Mods will join Saturday’s showcase. The front gates will open at 4:00pm on both nights, time trials at 6:00pm, with racing scheduled for 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

NOTICE TO RACERS: 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 www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. USAC MEMBERSHIPS ARE MANDATORY AT THE FIRST RACE and can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2017-usac-sprint-midget-sc.

Heading into Friday’s event, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted thirty-three USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with eleven victories and Richard Vander Weerd holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 15.014, set on April 23, 2016. Last season, D.J. Johnson (twice), Austin Liggett, Bernal, and Troy Rutherford celebrated wins at the Tulare oval. The series win list at Thunderbowl Raceway is at the bottom of this release.

After winning both nights at Las Vegas, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) sits atop the point standings. Racing Mike Phulps’ #56 Metal Works / Keizer Wheels ART, Bernal jumped into a backup car and won the Friday show from twenty-second. To date, the two-time USAC Western Classic Champion has also posted one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, and 22 feature laps led. Ryan leads all drivers with 29 West Coast triumphs and is always a threat win.

Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) is second in the West Coast standings. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Edgewater Construction XXX, Bacon ran third and second at Las Vegas. The USAC National Sprint Car Champion also recorded one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, and 12 feature laps led. Brady has two series win to his credit and it is unknown if he will be in action at Tulare.

Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) ranks third in the championship point chase. Driving Mike Burkhart’s #21AZ Pacific Supply / Team AZ RSS, Sussex placed fourth and fifth at Las Vegas. The USAC SouthWest series regular has one West Coast victory and is expected to compete in San Tan Valley, Arizona this weekend.

Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Racing Steve Watt’s #81X Maxwell Industries / Baldozier Racing CS9, Roa ran ninth and third at Las Vegas. The defending series champion has also earned one heat race victory on the young season. Brody has three West Coast victories and it is unknown if he will be in action at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) is fifth in the West Coast point standings. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass and Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson placed eighth and sixth at Las Vegas. The USAC/CRA regular has also posted one heat race victory on the season. Jake has one career West Coast victory and it is unknown if he will compete at Tulare.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Richard Vander Weerd, Trey Marcham, Troy Rutherford, Jace Vander Weerd, Ryan Timmons, Tristan Guardino, Jeff Sibley, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Cody Majors, Ryan Stolz, Steve Hix, Jay Ervine, 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. Friday Grandstand Tickets are $45, Bleacher Seats are $40, and all seats are RESERVED. Saturday Grandstand Tickets are $50 and, Bleacher Seats are $45. 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, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 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.