By Lance Jennings
HANFORD, CA – AUGUST 9, 2010… On a hot August night, Kerman’s Davey Pombo roared from his seventh starting position to score the feature win at Hanford’s Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway. Taking control of the main event from early leader Wes Gutierrez, Pombo captured his first win with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series since March 27th at Bakersfield.
Point leader Craig Stidham started on the pole position of the 30-lap feature with Visalia’s Jace VanderWeerd to his outside. Stidham, who was looking for his fifth main event win of the year, was in command until Wes Gutierrez executed a strong power move at the north turns to lead the first lap.
Action was halted on several occasions, including a red flag for Rusty Carlile who flipped his mount. Carlile walked away uninjured, but his machine was done for the night. When racing resumed, Gutierrez continued to set the pace as there was an all out battle for second between Stidham and Danny Faria Jr. While the veteran drivers diced back and forth, Gutierrez preferred the low line of the Hanford oval to increase his advantage.
Davey Pombo used the high line to charge forward and managed to slip past Stidham and Faria to claim second. Continuing to gain momentum on the outside, Pombo reeled in Gutierrez and took the lead on lap twelve. From there, the former Bandit champion was not to be denied on this night and cruised to victory. Following Pombo across the finish line were Danny Faria Jr., T.J. Smith, Peter Murphy, and Wes Gutierrez.
With the victory, Davey Pombo cut Craig Stidham’s point lead to forty-four points heading into the August 21st race at Hanford. Driving the Junior Bowman #3 Buster & Ziggy sponsored Bullet, Pombo was second quick in time trials and finished third in his heat race. To date, the former Bandit Sprint Car champion has two feature wins, two fast times, four heat race wins, fourteen top-10 finishes, and one hard charger award on the season.
Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. is currently sixth in the point standings after his second place finish. Piloting the #17V Louie DeGroot & Sons Dairy Maxim, Faria was fourth quick in time trials and won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Starting fifth in the main event, Danny charged forward and pressured Wes Gutierrez for the top spot. Briefly taking the lead after a restart, Faria’s effort was called back after a caution flag. The veteran driver fought hard to stay up towards the front and recorded his sixth top-10 finish of the year. In addition, Faria has one feature victory, five fast time awards, six heat race wins, and one hard charger award.
T.J. Smith of Fresno finished third in Steve LeGras’ UHL Rubber #14 Maxim. Earlier in the evening, Smith recorded his third Sander Engineering Fast Time Award of the year and finished second to Danny Faria Jr. in his heat race. Starting eighth in the feature, the former Plaza Park champion was battling for sixth until a flat tire sent him to the pits under yellow flag conditions. His crew made repairs and T.J. rejoined the field at the back. With an inspired drive, Smith sliced through the field to finish third, recording his twelfth top-10 performance of the season. Currently third in the point chase, Smith has one feature victory and two heat race wins.
Clovis’ Peter Murphy earned his second King Racing Products Hard Charger Award with his fourth place run after starting thirteenth. Driving Junior Bowman’s #11 Buster & Ziggy sponsored Bullet, Murphy was eleventh quick in time trials and finished fifth in his heat race. The Santa Maria track champion used his veteran experience at Hanford to charge forward to the third position, until a late race charge by T.J. Smith took the spot away. Sitting fifth in the point chase, Murphy has one fast time award, four heat race wins, and ten top-10 finishes on the season.
“Wide Open” Wes Gutierrez from San Martin secured his best run of the year with a fifth place finish. Driving the #007 WG Motorsports / California Graphics DRC, Gutierrez was sixth quick in time trials and fourth in his heat race. Starting third in the main event, Wes executed a brilliant power move to take the lead on the first lap. The hard charger held off a veteran field of drivers before falling to Davey Pombo on lap twelve. Gutierrez continued to battle and crossed the finish line in fifth. Wes is thirteenth in the point standings and has two top-10 finishes on the year.
After qualifying eighth in time trials, Fresno’s Craig Stidham drove the #3S Brad Johnson Trucking / KRC Safety TCR to victory in the BR Motorsports / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #2. That win was Stidham’s series leading eighth heat race triumph of the year. The point leader finished sixth in the main event and leads all drivers with four feature wins. The former Trophy Cup champion also has one fast time award, fourteen top-10 finishes, and one hard charger award in the 2010 campaign.
Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile won his third heat race of the year by winning the Competition Suspension Incorporated Heat Race #3. Timing in fifteenth during qualifications, Carlile scored an eighteenth place finish in the main event after flipping the #51 Southwest Contractors / N.T.S. Incorporated Maxim. Last season’s Cotton Classic winner was uninjured in the incident and walked away. Currently seventh in the point chase, Carlile has one fast time award, ten top-10 finishes, and one hard charger award on the season.
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.
Round 16 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be Saturday, August 21st, at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, California. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds, the event will also showcase the Kings Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Central California Modifieds, and Bud Light Mini-Stocks. The Front Gates will open at 5:30pm, Qualifying is scheduled for 6:30pm, with Racing to follow. For event information, please visit www.giantchevroletspeedway.com or call (559) 584-RACE (7223).
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 Kings Speedway – Hanford, California
August 7, 2010 – Race #15
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS:
1. T.J. Smith, 14, LeGras-15.722; 2. Davey Pombo, 3, Bowman-15.864; 3. Jonathan Logan, 32, Evett/Logan-15.910; 4. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-15.986; 5. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-16.023; 6. Wes Gutierrez, 007, WG-16.025; 7. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-16.126; 8. Craig Stidham, 3S, Stidham-16.151; 9. Ricky Kirkbride, 87, Van Meter-16.190; 10. Andy Ferris, 4J, Ferris-16.255; 11. Peter Murphy, 11, Bowman-16.383; 12. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.504; 13. Jared Little, 25, Little-16.532; 14. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-16.707; 15. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-16.748; 16. Adam Frith-Smith, 62, Frith-Smith- 16.899; 17. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-17.240; 18. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-17.251.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Danny Faria Jr., 2. T.J. Smith, 3. Andy Ferris, 4. Jace VanderWeerd, 5. Jared Little. NT.
BR MOTORSPORTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Craig Stidham, 2. Justyne Hamblin, 3. Davey Pombo, 4. Richard VanderWeerd, 5. Peter Murphy, 6. Geoffrey Strole. NT.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Rusty Carlile, 2. Jonathan Logan, 3. Ricky Kirkbride, 4. Wes Gutierrez, 5. Koen Shaw, 6. Brody Roa. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Davey Pombo (7th), 2. Danny Faria Jr. (5th), 3. T.J. Smith (8th), 4. Peter Murphy (13th), 5. Wes Gutierrez (3rd), 6. Craig Stidham (1st), 7. Jace VanderWeerd (2nd), 8. Ricky Kirkbride (9th), 9. Jared Little (15th), 10. Brody Roa (14th), 11. Justyne Hamblin (11th), 12. Geoffrey Strole (17th), 13. Koen Shaw (18th), 14. Adam Frith-Smith (16th), 15. Richard VanderWeerd (4th), 16. Andy Ferris (10th), 17. Jonathan Logan (6th), 18. Rusty Carlile (12th). NT.
**Rusty Carlile flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-11 Wes Gutierrez, Laps 12-30 Davey Pombo.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT POINT STANDINGS:
1. Craig Stidham 895; 2. Davey Pombo 851; 3. T.J. Smith 747; 4. Justyne Hamblin 678; 5. Peter Murphy 665; 6. Danny Faria Jr. 607; 7. Rusty Carlile 593; 8. Jace VanderWeerd 562; 9. Richard VanderWeerd 534; 10. Chris Ennis 446; 11. Ricky Kirkbride 404; 12. Andy Ferris 381; 13. Wes Gutierrez 352; 14. Geoffrey Strole 341; 15. Jonathan Logan 335; 16. Jesse Mack 303; 17. Jared Little 271; 18. Jimmy Thompson 269; 19. Koen Shaw 265; 20. Danny Sheridan 226.
NEXT USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE:
August 21 – Hanford, CA – Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway