usac United States Auto Club 2012 logo


By Dick Jordan

usac United States Auto Club 2012 logo

Markus Niemela and Geoff Ensign will try to protect respective USAC Sprint  Car point leads this weekend when the West Coast and Western Classic series combine for back-to-back races in California.


Ocean Speedway in Watsonville hosts Friday’s race while the Saturday venue is Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.


Niemela, the driver from Finland, has a 12-point lead over Jace Vander Weerd in the West Coast standings after four top-10s in four starts so far this year. His best outing produced a third at Bakersfield Speedway.


Ensign sits five points ahead of defending Western Classic king Ryan Bernal after a pair of second-place finishes at Calistoga Speedway.


Dennis Howell, ninth in the West Coast points, won at Tulare in March, while Marty Hawkins is the most recent Ocean Speedway winner, last year.



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.