By Lance Jennings
MAY 11, 2016… The USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will return to action this Saturday, May 14th, at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. Promoted by Steve Faria, the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” will be the third of five appearances at the lightning fast 1/3-mile oval. The winged King of the West 410 Sprints, winged Western RaceSaver 305 Sprints, and IMCA All-Star Modifieds will join the action packed card. The front gates will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 6:00pm, with racing scheduled for 7:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.
NOTICE TO RACERS: Saturday’s race at Tulare will be run under the USAC West Coast Rule Book and a $35 entry fee will be collected. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. Cockpit adjustable shocks are NOT allowed and engine restrictor rules are 1-7/8″ with open heads and 2-3/16″ with ASCS cylinder heads. The weight rule is 1,475 lbs. with driver and the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com.
The “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” is one of the most prestigious dates on the USAC West Coast schedule. While this year’s event marks the twenty-third running of the race, Peter Murphy won the inaugural 360 non-winged memorial in 2009. Since then, Craig Stidham, Bud Kaeding, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Bernal have joined Murphy on the winner’s list. Last season, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. raced past Bernal on the sixteenth lap and claimed one of the most emotional victories in track history. After years of trying, “Hollywood” won the race that honors his fallen brothers.
Entering the sixth point race, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted thirty USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with ten victories and Richard Vander Weerd set a brand new 1-lap track record of 15.014 on April 23rd. D.J. Johnson has won the last two events at Tulare and will be looking to add the “Faria Memorial” to his resume.
Heading to Tulare, D.J. Johnson (Stockton, California) has a twenty point lead over the competition. Piloting the family owned #33 Proplant Farm Services / J. Milano Company Eagle, Johnson has two feature wins, one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, five top-10 finishes, and 51 feature laps led to his credit. The former USAC Western Classic Rookie of the Year is tied for sixteenth in series wins and will have his sights on another $1,500 payday.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) is second in the championship point chase. Racing the BR Performance owned #91R HD Industries / Lee & Norma Leonard Maxim, Roa scored eighth at Tulare on April 23rd. To date, last year’s 360 Western World Champion has two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, four top-10 finishes, and 3 feature laps led on the season. Brody is tied for twenty-fourth on the series win list and will be looking to earn his first victory at Tulare.
Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) sits third in the USAC West Coast point chase. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace ran ninth in the April 23rd feature. At press time, the 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Keizer Wheels / Competition Suspension Inc. Semi-Main win, four top-10 finishes, and 28 feature laps led to his credit. Vander Weerd has six career USAC West Coast wins and will have his sights on adding the “Faria Memorial” trophy to his collection.
After running second to Johnson on April 23rd, Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) has climbed to fourth in the point standings. Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three top-10 finishes, and three feature laps led in the campaign. The 2011 Champion ranks second in series wins and will be looking to claim his nineteenth main event on Saturday.
Trey Marcham (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is fifth in the chase for the championship. Racing Steve Watt’s #81 Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Marcham scored seventh in the Tulare feature. To date, the 2015 Rookie of the Year has posted four top-10 finishes on the season. Trey will have his sights on his first USAC West Coast triumph at the “Faria Memorial.”
Currently eleventh in points, Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Colton Slack (Brentwood, California), “Chainsaw” Johnny White (Bakersfield, California), and Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Max Adams, Austin Liggett, Tristan Guardino, Troy Rutherford, Jeff Sibley, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Kevin Barnes, Kyle Smith, Cody Majors, “The Rickster” Ricky Kirkbride, Shannon McQueen, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, and more.
Tulare, California’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Reserved Grandstand Tickets are $20 and General Admission Seats are $18. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Stand 21 Racer Goes Safer Foundation, Ultra Shield Race Products, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook and Twitter pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC West Coast Sprint Car DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS:
2009-Justyne Hamblin, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Richard Vander Weerd, 2012-Bud Kaeding, 2013-Danny Faria Jr., 2014-Matt Mitchell, 2015-Danny Faria Jr.
CHRIS & BRIAN FARIA MEMORIAL NON-WING 360 WINNERS:
2009-Peter Murphy, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Bud Kaeding, 2012-Kyle Larson, 2013-Not Held, 2014-Ryan Bernal, 2015-Danny Faria Jr.
2016 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS:
4-Bryan Clauson, 2-Josh Hodges, 2-D.J. Johnson, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.
TULARE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT WINS:
10-Ryan Bernal, 5-Bud Kaeding, 3-Richard Vander Weerd, 2-D.J. Johnson, 2-Kyle Larson, 2-Craig Stidham, 1-Dean Alexander, 1-Danny Faria Jr., 1-Dennis Howell, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Peter Murphy, 1-Jace Vander Weerd.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
- D.J. Johnson-341, 2. Brody Roa-321, 3. Jace Vander Weerd-314, 4. Richard Vander Weerd-282, 5. Trey Marcham-279, 6. Max Adams-247, 7. Austin Liggett-238, 8. Tristan Guardino-222, 9. Troy Rutherford-216, 10. Jeff Sibley-195, 11. Ryan Timmons-181, 12. Danny Faria Jr.-177, 13. Kevin Barnes-145, 14. Bryan Clauson-137, 15. Kyle Smith-128, —. Cody Majors-128, 17. Brady Bacon-119, 18. Ricky Kirkbride-115, —. Shannon McQueen-115, 20. Landon Hurst-102