By Lance Jennings
HANFORD, CA – JUNE 7, 2010… Hanford’s Justyne Hamblin made USAC history in front of her hometown fans last Saturday night. By virtue of winning the 30-lap feature at Giant Chevrolet Speedway, Hamblin is only the second female driver in USAC history to win a sprint car main event on dirt. In May 2002, Kaylene Verville on a USAC New Mexico/Arizona Sprint Car feature in Show Low, Arizona. “The track was awesome tonight,” remarked Hamblin. “I’d like to thank all of my sponsors for their help and my crew for setting up a great racecar.”
Piloting the JH Motorsports / Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #8 Speed Tech entry, Hamblin was eighth quick in time trials and fourth in her heat race. Starting on the pole position of the feature, the defending series champion led the first three laps before falling to Peter Murphy. Murphy led the next twenty circuits until Hamblin took advantage of a Murphy miscue to grab the bottom of turn two and take the lead. From there, Justyne led the rest of the way to score her first main event win of the season. “Once I moved up the racetrack, I was gaining on him (Murphy) every lap,” said Hamblin. “Peter did a great job and I was able to get by him on the bottom and pull away.” With the victory, Justyne has eight top-10 finishes, two heat race wins, two hard charger awards, and is fifth in the point standings.
Clovis’ Peter Murphy made his debut in Junior Bowman’s Buster & Ziggy sponsored #11X Bullet. Murphy was sixth quick in time trials and finished third in his heat race. The Santa Maria track champion started third in the main event and took the lead from Justyne Hamblin on lap four. Murphy led the next twenty laps before Hamblin retook the lead on the twenty-fifth lap. “Justyne is the West Coast 360 champion and there is no disgrace running second to her,” said Murphy. “I made one mistake and she capitalized on it. It’s good for her team and family effort.” With his second place finish, Murphy has seven top-10 finishes, one fast time award, four heat race wins, and is currently third in the point chase.
T.J. Smith of Fresno scored a third place finish in the feature after starting fifth. Driving Steve LeGras’ UHL Rubber #14 Maxim, Smith was fourth quick in time trials and fourth in his heat race. With the podium finish, the former Plaza Park track champion is fourth in the point standings and has one fast time award and eight top-10 finishes on the season. “I was doing my best to get a hold of the racetrack,” said Smith. “It got a little hairy on the top of turn four.”
Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. battled hard for his fourth place finish in the main event. Driving the May Motorsports / Don Berry Construction #8M Maxim, Faria was seventh fast in qualifications and earned $150 in certificates from Extreme Mufflers and Keizer Wheels for winning the first heat race. Starting second in the feature, the veteran driver fell back as far as seventh. Dedicated to the outside line of the Hanford oval, Danny fought back to fourth place at the checkered flags. Sitting seventh in the point chase, Faria has one victory and leads the series with three fast time awards on the season. In addition, he has four top-10 finishes, three heat race wins, and one hard charger award.
Kerman’s Davey Pombo scored his ninth top-10 finish with a fifth place run after starting seventh. The pilot of Junior Bowman’s Buster & Ziggy #3 Bullet was second fast in time trials and second in his heat race to Craig Stidham. The 360 Grand Slam Series Champion had a tough dice with T.J. Smith and Danny Faria Jr. for the third and fourth spots before settling into fifth. Pombo has one feature victory, one fast time award, one heat race win, and one hard charger award on the year. For his efforts, Pombo is currently second in the point standings behind Stidham.
Visalia’s Richard VanderWeerd drove to his first Sander Engineering fast time award of the season over the twenty car field. Piloting the family’s Mid Valley Pipe & Supply #10 Maxim, VanderWeerd was second in his heat race behind Danny Faria Jr. Starting eighth in the main event, VanderWeerd was involved in a tangle on the second lap. Restarting at the back, Richard rebounded to score his sixth top-10 finish of the year with an eighth place finish. Sitting tenth on the point chase, VanderWeerd has two heat race wins, one semi-main victory, and one hard charger award.
Point leader Craig Stidham of Fresno was fifth quick in time trials and won his series leading sixth heat race of the season. For the victory, Stidham earned $125 in certificates from BR Motorsports, Saldana Racing Products, and Keizer Wheels. Starting fourth in the main event, the driver of the Brad Johnson Trucking / KRC Safety #3S Maxim worked hard for his sixth place finish. Craig held the third spot for a few laps and through the course of the main event, he fell off the tricky Hanford banking on two occasions. The former Rebel Cup champion recovered to claim his ninth top-10 finish of the season. With a forty-six point advantage over Davey Pombo, Stidham has four feature wins, and one fast time award.
Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile won his first 10-lap heat race of the year and earned $100 in certificates from Competition Suspension Inc. and Keizer Wheels. Driving the Southwest Contractors / N.T.S. Incorporated #51 Bullet, Carlile was ninth quick in time trials and ninth in the 30-lap main event. Rusty is sixth in the point standings and has one fast time award, eight top 10-finishes, and one hard charger award on the season.
Fresno’s Koen Shaw earned his first King Racing Products Hard Charger award with an eleventh place run after starting eighteenth. The driver of the PMS Investments / Shaw Structures Unlimited #88K Maxim has four starts on the year and is twenty-seventh in the point chase.
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.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will return to action on June 19th at the Bakersfield Speedway.
Also on the “Monster Energy Night At The Races” card will be Hobby Stocks, Mini Dwarf Cars, and Dirt Go Karts. The Front Gates will open at 4:30pm with Racing at 6:00pm. 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 westcoastsprintcars.com, usacracing.com, racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
Giant Chevrolet Speedway – Hanford, California
June 5, 2010
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS:
1. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-15.844; 2. Davey Pombo, 3, Bowman-15.853; 3. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-15.892; 4. T.J. Smith, 14, LeGras-15.921; 5. Craig Stidham, 3S, Stidham-15.945; 6. Peter Murphy, 11X, Bowman-16.104; 7. Danny Faria Jr., 8M, May-16.226; 8. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-16.230; 9. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-16.352; 10. Wes Gutierrez, 007, WG-16.504; 11. Dean Alexander, 11, McCowan-16.518; 12. Andy Ferris, 4J, Ferris-16.594; 13. Jared Little, 25, Little-16.675; 14. Albert Pombo, 83, Pombo-16.695; 15. Ricky Kirkbride, 87, Van Meter-16.776; 16. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-16.953; 17. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-16.962; 18. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-17.054; 19. Adam Frith-Smith, 62, Frith-Smith-17.508; 20. Bud Kaeding, 2, Bowman-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Danny Faria Jr., 2. Richard VanderWeerd, 3. Chris Ennis, 4. T.J. Smith, 5. Wes Gutierrez, 6. Jared Little, 7. Adam Frith-Smith. NT.
BR MOTORSPORTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Craig Stidham, 2. Davey Pombo, 3. Dean Alexander, 4. Justyne Hamblin, 5. Albert Pombo, 6. Geoffrey Strole. NT.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / KEIZER WHEELS HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Rusty Carlile, 2. Ricky Kirkbride, 3. Peter Murphy, 4. Jace VanderWeerd, 5. Andy Ferris, 6. Koen Shaw. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Justyne Hamblin (1st), 2. Peter Murphy (3rd), 3. T.J. Smith (5th), 4. Danny Faria Jr. (2nd), 5. Davey Pombo (7th), 6. Craig Stidham (4th), 7. Jace VanderWeerd (6th), 8. Richard VanderWeerd (8th), 9. Rusty Carlile (9th), 10. Ricky Kirkbride (11th), 11. Koen Shaw (18th), 12. Geoffrey Strole (17th), 13. Wes Gutierrez (13th), 14. Jared Little (15th), 15. Dean Alexander (10th), 16. Andy Ferris (14th), 17. Chris Ennis (12th), 18. Albert Pombo (16th), 19. Adam Frith-Smith (19th). NT.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-3 Justyne Hamblin, Laps 4-24 Peter Murphy, Laps 25-30 Justyne Hamblin.
NEXT USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE:
June 19 – Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield Speedway
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.