By Dick Jordan
Jace VanderWeerd, Ryan Bernal and Wes Gutierrez will battle for the 2011 USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car point lead Saturday as the series returns to the Gropetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
Entering the “Pombo-Sargent Classic,” VanderWeerd sits just five points ahead of Bernal, with Gutierrez only eight back.
In three previous Tulare events this season, won by Bud Kaeding (twice) and Peter Murphy, the three point leaders have had varying degrees of success. Bernal has a couple of second places, while VanderWeerd has a third and a fifth. Gutierrez will be seeking his first top-five finish at Tulare after two sixths and a seventh.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1-Jace VanderWeerd-224; 2-Ryan Bernal-219; 3-Wes Gutierrez-216; 4-Greg Alexander-198; 5-Richard VanderWeerd-197; 6-Justyne Hamblin-173; 7-Dennis Howell-151; 8-T.J. Smith-149; 9-Bud Kaeding-148; 10-Danny Faria Jr.-138.