By Dick Jordan
USAC’s West Coast and Western Classic Sprint cars combine for this weekend’s back-to-back races at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. and Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
Friday’s race at Hanford is the second of six slated this year at the 3/8-mile dirt track which hosted the West Coast Sprints in March. The race is the “Verne Brasel Classic.”
Jace Vander Weerd, currently second in the West Coast series standings, 12 behind Markus Niemela, won the March 29 Hanford race. Niemela was fourth.
Saturday’s race at Tulare is the second of five at the one-third dirt oval. Dennis Howell, ninth in the latest West Coast series standings, won at Tulare in March.
Geoff Ensign currently sits atop the 2014 USAC Western Classic series, five points ahead of defending series champion Ryan Bernal. Ensign recorded a pair of second-place finishes at Calistoga, Calif. last month, while Bernal scored a victory and added a third-place.
2014 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Standings: 1-Markus Niemela-227, 2-Jace Vander Weerd-215, 3-Troy Rutherford-212, 4-Nic Faas-193, 5-Matt Mitchell-190, 6-Danny Faria Jr.-185, 7-Richard Vander Weerd-168, 8-Landon Hurst-157, 9-Dennis Howell-148, 10-Austin Liggett-130.
2014 USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Standings: 1-Geoff Ensign-130, 2-Ryan Bernal-125, 3-Richard Vander Weerd-115, 4-Nic Faas-113, 5-Trevor Schmid-102, 6-Matt Mitchell-92, 7-Marty Hawkins-92, 8-Landon Hurst-89, 9-Jace Vander Weerd-84, 10-Terry Schank Jr.-84.