From Lance Jennings
(July 26, 2017) – Starting this Friday, July 28th, the cars and stars of the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series are ready to clash for two nights of championship racing. The traditional 360s will open the special doubleheader at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway and will make their first appearance at Petaluma Speedway. With valuable points up for grabs, both events could prove pivotal in the championship chase.
Since May 16, 2014, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds has held three USAC West Coast Sprint Car races and three different drivers have claimed victory. Last August, Jace Vander Weerd took the checkered flags and Ryan Bernal set the track record of 12.832 on August 8, 2014. The pit gate will open at 2:00pm, the front gates open at 4:30pm, and time trials will start at 6:00pm. A complete series win list at Watsonville is at the bottom of this release.
While Saturday’s event marks the debut of the USAC West Coast Sprints at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, the defunct USAC Western Classic 360s raced at Petaluma on October 4, 2014. On that night, Ryan Bernal took the checkered flags and Max Adams topped all qualifiers with a 12.832 lap. The pit gate will open at 12:00pm, the front gates open at 4:00pm, and time trials will start at 6:00pm.
Entering the thirteenth point race, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) has a 70-point lead over the competition. Racing Matt Dale’s #12 Gage Huntley Design / West Evans Motorsports Maxim, Swanson earned his second win of the year at Ventura Raceway on July 8th. At press time, the 2012 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, nine top-10 finishes, and 48 feature laps led. Jake is tied with Dave Darland, Josh Hodges, Cory Kruseman, Brody Roa, and Danny Sheridan for thirteenth on the series win list and will be looking to sweep the doubleheader.
After charging from seventeenth to second at Ventura, Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) is second in the point chase. Driving the family owned #83 Excel Environmental / Lucas Oil Maxim, Liggett has two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and 34 feature laps led to his credit. To date, the 2012 Rookie of the Year is tied with Davey Pombo, Troy Rutherford, and T.J. Smith for ninth on the series win list and will have his sights on the Watsonville and Petaluma victories.
Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) ranks third in the championship standings. The pilot of the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim went on vacation and skipped the Ventura Fairgrounds event. At press time, the 2011 Champion has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, and eight top-10 finishes on the year. Vander Weerd ranks second with nineteen main event wins and will be looking for his first victory of 2017.
After missing the Ventura “Battle of the Beach,” Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) has slipped to fourth in the point standings. Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Edgewater Construction Triple X and Mike Phulps’ #56 Metal Works ART, Bernal has six feature wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, two BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Awards, eight top-10 finishes, and 69 feature laps led to his credit. Ryan leads all drivers with thirty-three wins and it is unknown if he will be in action.
Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) sits fifth in the chase for the championship. The pilot of the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim also went on vacation and missed Ventura’s “Battle of the Beach.” As this writing goes to press, the 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has three heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led on the season. Vander Weerd is tied with Peter Murphy for sixth on the series win list and will have his sights on a Watsonville and Petaluma victory.
Currently eleventh in points, Brandon Wiley (Santa Maria, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Steven Garris (Escalon, California) and Steve Hix (Ventura, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Tristan Guardino, Cody Majors, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Ryan Timmons, Max Adams, Shannon McQueen, Ryan Stolz, “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, “The G-Man” Geoffrey Strole, Jay Ervine, and more.
Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California at 2601 E. Lake Avenue. The action packed card will also feature IMCA Sport Mods, American Stocks, 4 Bangers, and Police-n-Pursuit. Adult Tickets are $17, Senior Tickets are $16, Junior Tickets (12-15) are $12, Kids Tickets (6-11) are $6, and Children (5 and under) are FREE. For more information, visit www.racepmg.com or call 831.662.9466 (WINN).
Petaluma Speedway is located on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California at 100 Fairgrounds Drive. The event will also showcase Super Stocks, Dwarf Cars, and Mini Stocks. Adult Tickets are $16, Senior Tickets (65+) are $12, Junior Tickets (6-11) are $12, and Children (5 and under) are FREE. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223 (RACE).
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, 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 email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 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.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
-Friday’s Watsonville race and Saturday’s Petaluma event 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.
– USAC MEMBERSHIPS ARE MANDATORY AT THE FIRST RACE and can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2017-usac-sprint-midget-sc.
-The Ocean and Petaluma Speedways have a strict sound rule and the Flowmaster “Suitcase” (Part 53545-USAC) is the ONLY TRACK LEGAL MUFFLER. If the sound levels are broken, the racer will be disqualified and not allowed to compete.