USAC West Coast 360's
by Lance Jennings
 USAC West Coast 360's
SANTA MARIA, CA – JUNE 18, 2013… This Saturday, June 22nd, the powerful USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will make their first appearance of 2013 at Santa Maria Speedway. The “28th Annual Bud Stanfield Memorial” will also feature the VP Racing Fuels Late Models, C&D Bonding Hobby Stocks, and Toste Construction Mini Stocks. The front gates will open at 4:30pm, time trials will start at 5:00pm, and racing at “The West Coast’s Best Short Track” will begin at 6:00pm.
Saturday’s event honors Bud Stanfield, a former driver, race car builder, and crew chief at Santa Maria Speedway. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Bud built Stock Cars in the late 1950s and wrenched for Al Smith’s Super Modified. When the Santa Maria track opened in 1964, Stanfield served as crew chief for several teams and later drove in the Limited Stock Car division. In 1978, Bud started a family owned Modified and Sprint Car team for his sons Ed and Allen. The low budget team built their own cars for several years and enjoyed moderate success. Unable to find the sponsorship needed to rebuild the team’s equipment, Stanfield became the crew chief for Mike Knopf. Driving the Larabee Brothers Coors Racing Sprint Car, Knopf had immediate results with several fast times and strong finishes. Unfortunately, on July 14, 1984, Bud was struck by an out of control sprinter that came off the track. After having brain surgery and spending a month in a coma, Stanfield would later succumb to his injuries. Since then, Santa Maria Speedway continues to honor the memory of a racer’s racer- Bud Stanfield.
Since May 2009, Santa Maria Speedway has showcased 23 West Coast Sprint Car races. Current point leader and two-time track champion Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with four main event wins. Peter Murphy, “Showtime” Danny Sheridan, and Richard Vander Weerd have three victories each. Other Santa Maria winners are T.J. Smith (2), Jace Vander Weerd (2), Greg Alexander (1), “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., (1), Wes Gutierrez (1), Cory Kruseman (1), Davey Pombo, (1), and Craig Stidham (1).
Entering Saturday’s race, Ryan Bernal of Hollister holds a twenty-five point advantage over the competition. Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Bernal ran second at Hanford’s Kings Speedway on June 8th. To date, the 2011 Rookie of the Year has five main event wins, four heat race victories, one Woodland Auto Display Dash win, one BR Motorsports / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, eleven top-10 finishes, and 85 feature laps led. Ryan and Crew Chief Jimmy May will have their sights on tying Peter Murphy’s 2009 record of six wins in a season.
Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd is second in the championship points. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Richard claimed his third win of the year at Hanford. Currently, the 2011 Champion has two Weld Racing Fast Time Awards, four heat race victories, two Woodland Auto Display Dash wins, one semi-main win, two BR Motorsports / Racing Optics Hard Charger Awards, eleven top-10 finishes, and 71feature laps led. On Saturday, Vander Weerd will be looking to win the $1,500 feature and gain valuable points.
“Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton sits third in the point standings. Piloting his #17V Johnston Calf Pens / DeBoer & Sons Trucking Spike, Faria placed third at Hanford after leading the first eighteen laps. This year’s Billet Cup point champion has one Weld Racing Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, one Woodland Auto Display Dash win, one BR Motorsports / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, eight top-10 finishes, and 22 feature laps led. Danny and Crew Chief Vinnie Lattner will have their sights on their first win of the season at Santa Maria Speedway.
Campbell’s Bud Kaeding has climbed to fourth in the USAC West Coast point chase. Racing Junior Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Bullet, Kaeding scored tenth at Kings Speedway after a last lap miscue cost him a shot at the win. The defending champion has two heat race victories, one Woodland Auto Display Dash win, nine top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led to his credit. On Saturday, the 3-time USAC Silver Crown Champion will be looking for his first series win at Santa Maria Speedway.
Jace Vander Weerd of Visalia is fifth in the standings. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Jace chose to race with the Rebel Cup winged sprints at Hanford. The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has two heat race victories, one Woodland Auto Display Dash win, and five top-10 finishes on the season. Vander Weerd will be looking to score his first USAC West Coast Sprint victory of 2013 at Santa Maria.
Currently eleventh in points, Riverdale’s Landon Hurst leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Jeff Sibley of Oakdale, Terra Bella’s Trent Carter, Garrett Long of Springville, and Springville’s Seth Hancock are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Flying Finn” Markus Niemela, “The Bakersfield Bullet” Rusty Carlile, “The Rickster” Ricky Kirkbride, Austin Liggett, Dennis Howell, Marty Hawkins, Kevin Barnes, Andy Ferris, Kolby Araki, Don Gansen, Chris Gansen, and more.
Santa Maria Speedway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $18, Senior, Military, and Student tickets (13-17) are $16, 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 www.racesantamariaspeedway.com or call (805) 315-2023.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, Weld Racing, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.
For more information on the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/#!/pages/USAC-West-Coast-Sprint-Car-Series/369549755817).
2004-Danny Sheridan; 2005-Peter Murphy; 2006-Davey Pombo; 2007-Greg Porte; 2008-Danny Faria Jr.; 2009-Peter Murphy; 2010-T.J. Smith; 2011-Danny Sheridan; 2012-Ryan Bernal.
1-Ryan Bernal-521; 2-Richard Vander Weerd 496; 3-Danny Faria Jr. 439; 4-Bud Kaeding 399; 5-Jace Vander Weerd-356; 6-Markus Niemela-344; 7-Rusty Carlile-314; 8-Ricky Kirkbride-276; 9-Austin Liggett-266; 10-Dennis Howell-250; 11-Landon Hurst-245; 12-Marty Hawkins-236; 13-Kevin Barnes-227; 14-Chris Ennis-215; 15-Matt Day-197; 16-Jeff Sibley-181; 17-Andy Ferris-165; 18-Brody Roa-146;
19-Jonathan Logan-136; 20-Kolby Araki-112.