By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – AUGUST 25, 2010… Round #17 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be held this Saturday night, August 28th, at Chris Kearns’ Santa Maria Speedway. The “Ron Otto Memorial” is the third race of the Southwest Contractors 360 Clash Mini-Series and will also showcase the Powder Puff Mini Stocks, NMRA TQ Midgets, and Outlaw Karts on the mini-oval. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm, Time Trials will start at 6:00pm, with Racing at 7:00pm at “The West Coast’s Best Short Track.”
In addition to the August 28th race at Santa Maria, the final 360 Clash event will be at Hanford on September 11th. The Southwest Contractors 360 Clash will carry it’s own $5000 point fund, with $2500 to the series winner, $1500 for second, and $1000 for third. The 360 Clash main events will pay $1200 to win and $200 to start, with competitors eligible for the regular series contingencies. As a bonus, Kirkey Racing Fabrication will award a $100 certificate to the driver that earns “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors in the 30-lap feature.
The Santa Maria 1/3-mile clay oval has hosted four other races in the 2010 campaign. “Showtime” Danny Sheridan won in front of his hometown fans on April 17th. On May 8th, point leader Craig Stidham won his third feature of the season. Jace VanderWeerd claimed the 30-lap main event win on June 26th and on July 24th, T.J. Smith won the Bud Stanfield Memorial. To date, ten different drivers have scored victories in the sixteen events.
Fresno’s Craig Stidham has led the point standings since March 27th at Bakersfield. The pilot of the #3S Brad Johnson Trucking / KRC Safety Maxim has four main event victories on the season and is looking for his first series title. Last Saturday at Hanford, the former California Rebel Cup Sprint Car champion was second quick in time trials, second in his heat race, and third in the feature. As this writing goes to press, Stidham has a forty-nine point advantage over Davey Pombo.
Kerman’s Davey Pombo has two feature wins on the season. Driving Junior Bowman’s #3 Buster & Ziggy Enterprise Bullet, Pombo is second in the point chase. Last Saturday, the former Bandit Sprint Car champion earned his third Sander Engineering Fast Time Award, finished second in his heat race, and was fifth in the feature. Davey will be working to cut into Stidham’s point lead this Saturday night with a main event triumph.
Last Saturday night at Hanford, Fresno’s T.J. Smith scored his second main event win of the season. Piloting Steve LeGras’ #14 UHL Rubber Maxim, Smith is third in the point standings. The Bud Stanfield Memorial winner was sixth quick in time trials and won the Competition Suspension Incorporated Heat Race #3. The former Plaza Park track champion has won two of the last three features and will be one of the favorites on Saturday.
Hanford’s Justyne Hamblin has one feature win in the 2010 campaign. Driving the #8 JH Motorsports / Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino Speed Tech, Hamblin is fourth in the point chase. At Hanford, the defending series champion was seventh quick in time trials, won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and was fourth in the main event. Justyne has had strong performances on the Santa Maria clay and will be a factor in Saturday night’s main event.
Clovis’ Peter Murphy is looking for his first main event victory of the year. The pilot of Junior Bowman’s #11 Buster & Ziggy Enterprise Bullet is fifth in the point standings. Last Saturday, the former SCRA 360 Sprint Car champion was ninth quick in time trials, second in his heat race, and recorded a twenty-first place finish. The versatile driver is scheduled to race with the Winged 360 Sprints at Watsonville’s Johnny Key Classic on Saturday.
Among the other top contenders expected to be in action are “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton, Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile, Visalia’s Richard and Jace VanderWeerd, Chris Ennis of Bakersfield, Bakersfield’s Ricky Kirkbride, San Martin’s Wes Gutierrez, 2006 SCRA 360 champion Jonathan Logan of Hanford, Visalia’s Jesse Mack, and 4-time Santa Maria champion “Junkyard” Jimmy Thompson of Arroyo Grande.
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.
Santa Maria Speedway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $16, Senior, Military, and Student tickets (13-17) are $14, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.racesantamariaspeedway.com or call (805) 922-2232.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, please visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Craig Stidham 961; 2. Davey Pombo 912; 3. T.J. Smith 816; 4. Justyne Hamblin 737; 5. Peter Murphy 685; 6. Danny Faria Jr. 671; 7. Rusty Carlile 646; 8. Richard VanderWeerd 585; 9. Jace VanderWeerd 562; 10. Chris Ennis 491; 11. Ricky Kirkbride 442; 12. Andy Ferris 406; 13. Wes Gutierrez 394; 14. Geoffrey Strole 368; 15. Jonathan Logan 355; 16. Jesse Mack 340; 17. Koen Shaw 297; 18. Jared Little 271; 19. Jimmy Thompson 269; 20. Danny Sheridan 226.
SOUTHWEST CONTRACTORS 360 CLASH POINT STANDINGS:
1. Craig Stidham 140; 2. Davey Pombo 119; 3. Justyne Hamblin 106; 4. Rusty Carlile 93; 5. Jesse Mack 89; 6. Wes Gutierrez 87; 7. T.J. Smith 76; 8. Chris Ennis 76; 9. Danny Faria Jr. 72; 10. Peter Murphy 69; 11. Geoffrey Strole 67; 12. Ricky Kirkbride 62; 13. Albert Pombo 59; 14. Jonathan Logan 54; 15. Andy Ferris 44; Ronnie Case 44; 17. Jared Little 37; 18. Adam Frith-Smith 35; 19. Dave Knott 34; 20. Jimmy Thompson 27.