By Lance Jennings
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 17, 2022… Starting third, Brody Fuson (Bakersfield, California) took command from Sterling Cling on the fourteenth lap and raced to last Saturday’s “George Snider Classic” victory at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park. Piloting Bob and Toni Van Meter’s #51 W.E. / Taylor Backhoe Spike, Fuson claimed his second $1,500 USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory of the season. Fast qualifier Troy Rutherford, Cling, Jake Andreotti, and Trent Carter, the 2022 Champion followed Brody to the checkered flag. Former champion Brody Roa had crossed the finish line in fourth, but failed to go to post race scales.
At the drop of starter Jason Vance’s green flag, Sterling Cling bested Trent Carter to grab the early lead. Making his first start at the Kern County oval, Cling began to inch away from the field. Brody Fuson found the outside line to his liking and caught the leader within a couple of laps. Brody competed the pass for the lead on the fourth circuit, but a bobble in the second corner cost the top spot. Once he regained the lead, Cling looked to increase his advantage, but Fuson stayed within striking distance. The lead duo caught slower traffic and Fuson made the most of the opportunity. Brody retook the lead on lap 14 and was not to be denied at the fast 1/3-mile oval.
Before earning the second win of his career, Brody Fuson qualified fourth overall and finished third in his heat race. Running double duty, the young driver ran third in the companion USAC Western States debut at Kern County. In limited starts, Fuson finished his season ranked twelfth in the West Coast point chase.
Troy Rutherford (Ojai, California) opened the night by posting his fourth Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the campaign with a time of 15.297 seconds over the 19-car roster. Driving his #11 Westco International Consulting / Shine Supply Spike with Ford power, the veteran driver earned “Top Qualifier” honors, claimed second in his heat race, and ran second to Fuson in the main event. Troy finished his season ranked second in championship points.
Trent Carter (Terra Bella, California) raced to victory in the night’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers First Heat Race. Driving the family owned #13 Porterville Lock & Safe / Porterville Collision Center Maxim, Carter was seventh fast in time trials and scored fifth in the main event. After taking the “Championship Night” checkered flag, Trent clinched the 2022 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Championship. The 2014 Co-Rookie of the Year became the second driver in series history to earn both rookie and champion honors.
Making his first start of the season, Sterling Cling (Tempe, Arizona) won the night’s 10-lap Competition Suspension Incorporated / Vahlco Wheels Second Heat Race. Racing the family owned #34 Sterling Cling Racing / Jeff’s Jam It In Storage DRC, Cling qualified fifth overall and finished third in the main event after leading twelve laps. Sterling left KCRP tied with Matt Day for twenty-ninth in the point standings.
Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, California) returned to USAC West Coast action and won the 10-lap Rod End Supply / Saldana Racing Products Third Heat Race. Piloting the family owned #29T Timmons Auto & Track Repair / Evergood Fine Foods Maxim, Timmons had early mechanical problems in time trials and retired on lap 25 of the feature, resulting in a thirteenth place finish in the “George Snider Classic.” The 2016 Rookie of the Year claimed the night’s Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award” and wrapped up his 2022 season ranked twenty-second in points.
Tanner Boul (Auberry, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award with a sixth place run from thirteenth. Driving the family owned #99T King Racing Products / BR Motorsports Triple X, Boul was twelfth fast in time trials and ran second to Timmons in his heat race. The June 11 Ventura USAC/CRA winner closed out his season ranked fourth in the point chase.
Tyler Hatzikian (Murrieta, California) earned the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors after a hard fought battle with Joey Bishop and Brent Yarnal. Driving his #27 Original Roadhouse Bar & Grill / ZARP Incorporated Triple X, Hatzikian was sixth quick in qualifying, ran sixth in his heat race, and placed eighth in the “George Snider Classic.” Tyler finished fifth in the chase for the championship.
By virtue of her twelfth place finish at “Championship Night” after starting seventeenth, Camie Bell (Bakersfield, California) topped the season’s “Passing Masters” point chase. Racing the family owned #29C American Fabrication / Hydraulic Controls TCR, Bell qualified sixteenth and ran sixth in her heat race. Camie finished her rookie season ranked tenth in championship points
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing.com, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tire, Rod End Supply, ROW Signs and Graphics, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 15, 2022 – The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, California – “Championship Night & George Snider Classic”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-15.297; 2. Brent Yarnal, 29, Yarnal-15.747; 3. Jake Andreotti, 7P, Andreotti-15.843; 4. Brody Fuson, 51, Van Meter-16.206; 5. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-16.207; 6. Tyler Hatzikian, 27, Hatzikian-16.290; 7. Trent Carter, 13, Carter-16.337; 8. Brody Roa, 8M, May-16.338; 9. Ricky Lewis, 41, Lewis-16.510; 10. Joey Bishop, 45, Bishop-16.604; 11. Hannah Mayhew, 43, Mayhew-16.619; 12. Tanner Boul, 99T, Boul-16.653; 13. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-17.058; 14. Todd Pratt, 17, Pratt-17.331; 15. Elexa Herrera, 16J, Herrera-17.586; 16. Camie Bell, 29C, Bell-17.956; 17. Kyle Edwards, 39, Edwards-NT; 18. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-NT; 19. Steve Hix, 57 Hix-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Carter, 2. Rutherford, 3. Fuson, 4. Bishop, 5. Ennis, 6. Bell. NT.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED / VAHLCO WHEELS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cling, 2. Yarnal, 3. Mayhew, 4. Roa, 5. Pratt. NT.
ROD END SUPPLY / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Timmons, 2. Boul, 3. Lewis, 4. Andreotti, 5. Herrera, 6. Hatzikian. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Brody Fuson (3), 2. Troy Rutherford (6), 3. Sterling Cling (2), 4. Jake Andreotti (4), 5. Trent Carter (1), 6. Tanner Boul (13), 7. Hannah Mayhew (12), 8. Tyler Hatzikian (8), 9. Elexa Herrera (16), 10. Joey Bishop (11), 11. Todd Pratt (15), 12. Camie Bell (17), 13. Ryan Timmons (7), 14. Kyle Edwards (18), 15. Ricky Lewis (10), 16. Brent Yarnal (5), 17. Brody Roa (9). NT.
**Ennis did not start feature. Roa did not report to post-race scales.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Cling, Lap 4 Fuson, Laps 5-13 Cling, Laps 14-30 Fuson.
BR MOTORSPORTS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Tanner Boul (13th to 6th)
WILWOOD DISC BRAKES LUCKY 13 AWARD: Ryan Timmons
FINAL USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Trent Carter-531, 2-Troy Rutherford-504, 3-Kyle Edwards-485, 4-Tanner Boul-423, 5-Tyler Hatzikian-390, 6-Joey Bishop-386; 7-Brent Yarnal-350, 8-Hannah Mayhew-348, 9-Ricky Lewis-329, 10-Camie Bell-325.
FINAL TOP QUALIFIER POINTS: 1-Troy Rutherford-31, 2-Ricky Lewis-19, 3-Trent Carter-16, 4-Chase Johnson-14, 5-Kyle Edwards-12, –Brody Fuson-12, 7-Jake Andreotti-10, 8-Steve Hix-9, 9-Tanner Boul-7, –Brody Roa-7.
FINAL PASSING MASTERS POINTS: 1-Camie Bell-41, 2-Joey Bishop-39, 3-Hannah Mayhew-29, 4-Tyler Hatzikian-22, 5-Travis Buckley-18, –Troy Rutherford-18, 7-Brent Yarnal-15, 8-Nathan Byrd-13, –Brody Fuson-13, –Elexa Herrera-13.
NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SPECIAL EVENTS: November 25 & 26 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – “81st Turkey Night Grand Prix”