By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – MAY 17, 2011… The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will compete in their seventh round of competition this Saturday, May 21st, at Hanford’s Giant Chevrolet Speedway. Also featured on the action packed card will be the Taco Bravo Ocean Sprints vs. ASCS Southern California Sprints, and IMCA Modifieds. The Pit Gates will open at 1:00pm, Spectator Gates at 5:00pm, Time Trials at 6:00pm, with Racing scheduled for 6:30pm.
After finishing second at Tulare’s Pombo/Sargent Classic, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal sits atop the point standings. Piloting Danny Olmstead’s #11D S&S Automotive / Dorso’s Automotive Maxim, Bernal has one heat race win, four top-10 finishes, and has led forty-one laps of main event competition. This Saturday, the former Wingless Spec Sprint Champion will be looking for his first career series win.
Richard VanderWeerd of Visalia is currently second in the point chase. Driving the family owned #10 VanderWeerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, VanderWeerd claimed third at Tulare and is twenty-seven points behind Bernal. To date, the young driver has one Sander Engineering Fast Time Award, two heat race wins, four top-10 finishes, and has led one main event lap. Richard will have his eyes set on the Hanford feature victory.
Piloting Chuck Tyler’s #72 Trench Shoring / Amsoil Maxim, Gardena’s Greg Alexander is third in the championship points. Last Saturday, the twenty-two year old driver scored a fifth place finish in the Pombo/Sargent Classic and will be looking to add Hanford’s main event to his resume. In the 2011 campaign, Alexander has one heat race win, four top-10 finishes, and six feature laps led to his credit.
“Wide Open” Wes Gutierrez of San Martin is fourth in the point standings. Driving the WG Motorsports’ #007 Competition Suspension Inc. / ButlerBuilt DRC, Gutierrez was thirteenth at Tulare. The hard charging driver has three heat race wins and four top-10 finishes on the season. Look for “Wide Open” Wes to put on a show at the Hanford clay oval.
Visalia’s Jace VanderWeerd is fifth in the point standings. At Tulare, the pilot of the family owned #88 VanderWeerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim scored a seventeenth place finish. To date, the April 9th Santa Maria feature winner has four top-10 finishes and has led fourteen laps of main event competition. Look for Jace to rebound with a strong performance at Hanford.
Among the other top contenders expected to be in action are Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Hanford’s Justyne Hamblin, Dennis Howell of Rancho Palos Verdes, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, Fresno’s T.J. Smith, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton, Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile, Hanford’s Jonathan Logan, Davey Pombo of Kerman, and many more.
Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway is located on the Kings County Fairgrounds at 801 S. 10th Avenue in Hanford, California. Reserved Grandstand tickets are $15. Advance tickets are on sale now and camping is available on the fairgrounds. For more event information, visit giantchevroletspeedway.com or call (559) 584-RACE (7223). In addition, fans can visit Giant Chevrolet in Visalia to enter for a ride in the pace car and VIP access.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, ButlerBuilt, Competition Suspension Inc., 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, Port City Racing, Saferacer.com, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT POINTS:
1. Ryan Bernal 286; 2. Richard VanderWeerd 259; 3. Greg Alexander 253; 4. Wes Gutierrez 249; 5. Jace VanderWeerd 249; 6. Bud Kaeding 219; 7. Justyne Hamblin 209; 8. Dennis Howell 195; 9. Peter Murphy 182; 10. T.J. Smith 178; 11. Danny Faria Jr. 174; 12. Ricky Kirkbride 158; 13. Rusty Carlile 154; 14. Davey Pombo 133; 15. Jonathan Logan 131; 16. Marty Hawkins 112; 17. Nico Russo 101; 18. Cole Peard 76; 19. Matt Day 75; 20. Jeff Miller 69.
NEXT WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE:
May 21 – Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway – Hanford, California