USAC West Coast 360's

By Lance Jennings

SANTA MARIA, CA – JUNE 2, 2011… Round #8 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be held this Saturday, June 4th, at Chris Kearns’ Santa Maria Speedway. The “Ron Otto Memorial” will also showcase the Toste Construction Mini Stocks, NMRA TQ Midgets, CDCRA Dwarf Cars, and the Raging Inferno Jet Powered Fire Truck. The Front Gates will open at 4:00pm, Time Trials will start at 5:00pm, with Racing at “The West Coast’s Best Short Track” to begin at 6:00pm.

On the strength of five top-5 performances, Ryan Bernal of Hollister leads the championship point chase. Piloting Danny Olmstead’s #11D S&S Automotive / Dorso’s Automotive Maxim, Bernal finished second to Bud Kaeding at Hanford on May 21st. To date, the former Wingless Spec Sprint Champion has two heat race wins and has led fifty-one laps of main event competition. The young driver will be looking for his first series victory on Saturday.

Visalia’s Richard VanderWeerd is thirty-one points behind Bernal in the point standings. Driving the family owned #10 VanderWeerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, VanderWeerd placed fourth at Hanford on May 21st. The young driver has one Sander Engineering Fast Time Award, three heat race wins, five top-10 finishes, and has led one main event lap. Richard will be in the mix for a Santa Maria victory.

Richard’s twin brother Jace currently sits third in the standings. At Hanford, the pilot of the family owned #88 VanderWeerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim scored eighth to record his fifth top-10 finish of the year. VanderWeerd won the Santa Maria opener on April 9th and has led fourteen main event laps in the 2011 campaign. Jace will be looking to add another Santa Maria win to his resume on Saturday.

Bud Kaeding of Campbell is the hottest driver on the circuit. Driving Junior Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises Maxim, the 3-time USAC Silver Crown Champion claimed his fourth series win of the year at Hanford. Now fourth in points, Kaeding also has one Sander Engineering Fast Time Award, two heat race wins, and has led seventy-seven laps of feature competition. Bud will be one of the favorites at Santa Maria.

“Wide Open” Wes Gutierrez of San Martin is fifth in the point standings. Driving the WG Motorsports’ #007 Competition Suspension Inc. / ButlerBuilt DRC, Gutierrez was twelfth at Hanford on May 21st. To date, the hard charging driver has three heat race wins and four top-10 finishes to his credit. Wes will be looking for another Santa Maria victory on Saturday.

Among the other top contenders expected to be in action are Gardena’s Greg Alexander, Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Justyne Hamblin of Hanford, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, Dennis Howell of Rancho Palos Verdes, and Fresno’s T.J. Smith. In addition, Bakersfield’s Rusty Carlile, Hanford’s Jonathan Logan, Kerman’s Davey Pombo, and “Showtime” Danny Sheridan of Santa Maria should be on hand to battle for the victory.

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 $6, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call (805) 922-2232.

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, Rod End Supply,, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.

For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, visit,,, or follow the series on facebook.

1. Ryan Bernal 354; 2. Richard VanderWeerd 323; 3. Jace VanderWeerd 293; 4. Bud Kaeding 290; 5. Wes Gutierrez 285; 6. Greg Alexander 272; 7. Danny Faria Jr. 242; 8. Justyne Hamblin 231; 9. Peter Murphy 230; 10. Dennis Howell 213; 11. T.J. Smith 203; 12. Rusty Carlile 185; –. Jonathon Logan 185; 14. Davey Pombo 172; 15. Ricky Kirkbride 158; 16. Marty Hawkins 141; 17. Nico Russo 102; 18. Cole Peard 90; 19. Danny Sheridan 81; 20. Matt Day 76.

June 4 – Santa Maria (CA) Speedway