Bryan Clauson. - Lance Jennings Photo
Bryan Clauson. – Lance Jennings Photo

From Dick Jordan

USAC’s West Coast and Southwest Sprint Car Series compete this weekend as the Western Sprint landscape bursts into action at dirt ovals in California and Arizona.

The West Coast Sprint cars officially open their 2013 calendar at Tulare, Calif.’s Thunderbowl Raceway Friday and Saturday while the Southwest Sprints open their 2013 point campaign Saturday at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.

Last Thursday night was the first race of the 2013 “Grudge Series,” a special “non-points” race for both the West Coast and Southwest competitors, but USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. walked off with the “Sin City Showdown” feature hardware at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway dirt track.

Clauson wheeled the Mike Martin Ultimate Offroad/Naquin Precision Earth Moving Maxim to the victory, grabbing the lead after Ryan Bernal’s spin on lap 23. Clauson led the final three laps to beat R.J. Johnson, Richard Vander Weerd, Rusty Carlile and Shon Deskins. Carlile led the first 13 laps and Bernal the next 10 before Clauson took over.

Last year’s two West Coast Sprint features at Tulare were won by Kyle Larson.