From Lance Jennings
BAKERSFIELD, CA (February 26, 2022) – Taking control from Brody Fuson on the fourth circuit, Chase Johnson (Penngrove, CA) led the rest of the way to claim the $1,500 season opening victory at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park. Piloting the May Motorsports’ #8M Fastenal / Coopers Propane entry, Johnson’s sixth career USAC West Coast Sprint Car win came ahead of Trent Carter, Ricky Lewis, fast qualifier Kyle Edwards, and Fuson.
Looking for his first win, pole sitter Fuson shook free from Lewis to lead the opening laps, but could not fend off Johnson. Starting fifth, Johnson soon took command as the young driver held strong. A bobble cost Brody several positions as Carter settled into the runner-up spot. Chase had separated himself from the field, but Trent closed the gap. A few caution flags halted the action, including a lap nine flip by Jacob Tuttle. Tuttle walked away, but had been reported to be a little sore.
Back out front, Johnson looked to regain his advantage with Carter in tow. The laps counted down at a torrid pace and the leaders were left with a green-white-checkered finish. Chase got a great restart and streaked to the checkered flags. Third running Lewis surged off the last corner and almost took second from Carter at the finish line.
After earning the 30-lap triumph, Johnson left Kern County as the new point leader after qualifying second overall and running second in his heat race to Ricky Lewis.
Kyle Edwards (Fountain Valley, CA) got things started early by shattering the track record with a time of 14.394 over the 19-car roster. Former track record holder Chase Johnson and Ryan Timmons had also qualified under the old standard. Driving the family owned #39 Safehouse Security / Van Dyne Engineering Triple X, Edwards earned the first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of his career. Later, Kyle ran second to Cody Majors in his heat race and powered to fourth in the main event after starting sixth. Kyle heads to Bakersfield tied for second in the point chase with Ricky Lewis.
Cody Majors (Simi Valley, CA) returned to USAC West Coast action and won the night’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Racing the family owned #54 Next Auto Body Spike, Majors was thirteenth quick in time trials and scored nineteenth in the feature after an early exit. Looking for sponsors, Cody left KCRP tied with Jacob Tuttle, Matt Day, and Camie Bell for sixteenth in the point standings.
Ricky Lewis (Oxnard, CA) claimed victory in the night’s 10-lap Competition Suspension Incorporated Heat Race #2. Piloting his #41 Physical Medical Consultant / Stensland Racing DRC, Lewis qualified fifth overall and scored third in the main event. Splitting his racing between California and Indiana, Ricky is currently tied for second with Kyle Edwards in the chase for the championship.
Brody Fuson (Bakersfield, CA) took the checkered flags in the 10-lap Rod End Supply Heat Race #3. Driving Bob and Toni Van Meter’s #51 W.E. / Taylor Backhoe Spike, Fuson was sixth fast in qualifying and placed fifth in the feature after leading the first three laps. As this writing goes to press, Brody sits fifth in the USAC West Coast Sprint Car point chase.
Travis Buckley (Auckland, NZ) earned Kern County’s BR Motorsports Hard Charger Award with an eighth place run from eighteenth. Piloting the Kruseman Motorsports owned #7K Lucas Oil / Cory Kruseman Sprint Car and Midget Driving School machine, Buckley qualified eighteenth overall and finished second to Brody Fuson in his heat race. Sitting eighth in championship standings, Travis leads the Passing Master points heading to Bakersfield Speedway on March 12th.
By virtue of his thirteenth place finish, James Herrera (New Cuyama, CA) claimed the night’s Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award.” Piloting his #5J Cuyama Buckhorn / The Buck Stop Coffee Shop Maxim, Herrera was tenth fast in qualifying and took sixth in his heat race. At press time, James is ranked thirteenth in West Coast point standings.
The second point race for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars will be held on Saturday, March 12th at Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, CA). “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval” will also host Stock Cars, Mod Lites, and Mini Stocks.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, BR Motorsports, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Hoosier Racing Tires, Rod End Supply, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: February 26, 2022 – The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, California
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATONS: 1. Kyle Edwards, 39, Edwards-14.394 (New Track Record); 2. Chase Johnson, 8M, May-14.456; 3. Ryan Timmons, 3F, Finkenbinder-14.594; 4. Trent Carter, 13, Carter-14.607; 5. Ricky Lewis, 41, Lewis-14.648; 6. Brody Fuson, 51, Van Meter-14.649; 7. Tanner Boul, 99T, Boul-14.782; 8. Jarrett Soares, 12, Soares-15.012; 9. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-15.080; 10. James Herrera, 5J, Herrera-15.082; 11. Jacob Tuttle, 87P, Tuttle-15.123; 12. Hannah Mayhew, 43, Mayhew- 15.275; 13. Cody Majors, 54, Majors-15.383; 14. Matt Day, 97, Day-15.547; 15. Brent Yarnal, 29, Yarnal-15.562; 16. Tyler Hatzikian, 27, Hatzikian-15.631; 17. Joey Bishop, 45, Bishop-15.829; 18. Travis Buckley, 7K, Kruseman-16.050; 19. Camie Bell, 29C, Bell-18.151.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Majors, 2. Edwards, 3. Boul, 4. Carter, 5. Hatzikian, 6. Herrera, 7. Bell. NT.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Lewis, 2. Johnson, 3. Tuttle, 4. Soares, 5. Day, 6. Bishop. NT.
ROD END SUPPLY THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Fuson, 2. Buckley, 3. Hix, 4. Timmons, 5. Mayhew, 6. Yarnal. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Chase Johnson (5), 2. Trent Carter (3), 3. Ricky Lewis (2), 4. Kyle Edwards (6), 5. Brody Fuson (1), 6. Ryan Timmons (4), 7. Tanner Boul (8), 8. Travis Buckley (18), 9. Hannah Mayhew (13), 10. Steve Hix (10), 11. Jarrett Soares (9), 12. Brent Yarnal (15), 13. James Herrera (11), 14. Joey Bishop (17), 15. Tyler Hatzikian (16), 16. Camie Bell (19), 17. Matt Day (14), 18. Jacob Tuttle (12), 19. Cody Majors (7). NT.
**Tuttle flipped on lap nine of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Fuson, Laps 4-30 Johnson.
BR MOTORSPORTS HARD CHARGER: Travis Buckley (18th to 8th)
WILWOOD DISC BRAKES LUCKY 13 AWARD: James Herrera
NEW USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Chase Johnson-82, 2-Kyle Edwards-74, -Ricky Lewis-74, 4-Trent Carter-72, 5-Brody Fuson-67, 6-Ryan Timmons-64, 7-Tanner Boul-61, 8-Travis Buckley-56, 9-Hannah Mayhew-50, 10-Steve Hix-49.
NEW PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Travis Buckley-10, 2-Chase Johnson-4, -Hannah Mayhew-4, 4-Camie Bell-3, -Brent Yarnal-3, -Joey Bishop-3, 7-Kyle Edwards-2, 8-Tanner Boul-1, 9-Trent Carter-1.
NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE: March 12 – Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, California