usac united states auto club western classic racing series
usac united states auto club western classic racing series

Steven Blakesley

WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA (April 18, 2012) – The 2012 season opener for the USAC Western Classic Racing Series is this Friday night at John Prentice’s Ocean Speedway Watsonville with a strong cast of drivers expected to be on hand for the $2000 to win top prize.

The USAC Western Classic Racing Series combines non-wing 410 and 360 Sprint Cars under an equivalency formula that includes the 410 cubic inch cars running intake restrictors.

Last June, the formula at Ocean Speedway’s quarter-mile produced great results as Hollister’s Ryan Bernal briefly led the feature event with a 360 power plant underneath him. Bernal will return to his home Ocean Speedway this Friday night to give it another try at a USAC victory.

Bernal currently leads the USAC West Coast 360 points standings and is a former two-time Wingless champion at the track. He also ranked third in the recent California Sprint & Midget Power Poll on

The USAC West Coast 360 event on Saturday night at Santa Maria has been rained out drawing the attention of fellow 360 regular Matt Mitchell. The Yorba Linda driver is fifth in the 360 standings and third in the USAC/CRA standings as well.

Veteran Brent Kaeding will add some spice to the show as he takes a rare opportunity to shed the wing on Friday night. Kaeding has recovered nicely from a serious qualifying crash at the 51st Johnny Key Classic last August and will likely be a contender for the victory.

Also expected to compete against the USAC regulars is Fremont’s Shane Golobic. The San Jose State engineering student finished fourth in the Ocean Sprints season opener and also runs regularly in the King of the West winged 410s.

2011 USAC Western Classic Racing Series champion Geoff Ensign finished second when the series visited Ocean last year and will try to improve on that performance to get the win in the Ted Finkenbinder #3F.

The USAC Western Classic Racing Series regular contingent includes 2011 series runner-up Tony Hunt of Lincoln, Santa Rosa’s Marty Hawkins, and Fair Oaks’ Shauna Hogg. New to the series in 2012 is Chico’s Taylor Simas who is an accomplished Spec Sprint racer making the move up to injected cars this year.

Friday’s racing activities featuring the USAC Western Classic Sprints will also include Ford Focus, Ford Focus Young Guns, 4-Bangers, BAD Dwarf Cars, and Sport Mods. Adult tickets are $20 with seniors 65+ $18 and kids ages 6-12 are $15. Qualifying will get underway at approximately 6 p.m. with fan gates opening at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the Ocean Sprint Cars presented by Taco Bravo log onto and for more on the Ocean Speedway visit