By Lance Jennings
JUNE 14, 2023… Noted as one of the most anticipated dates on the schedule, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will return to Ventura Raceway this Saturday, June 17th. Promoted by Jim Naylor, the “Wagsdash Reunion in Honor of Mrs. Wags” will also feature the California Lightning vs. Southwest Lightning Sprints, WMR Midgets, and VRA Dwarf Cars. Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California, the Pit Gates will open an hour earlier at 11:00am, the Wagsdash Reunion events will start at noon, the Front Gates open at 3:00pm, with Racing scheduled for 5:30pm at “The Best Little Dirt Track in America.” For more event information, visit the track’s website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– MEMBERSHIPS / TEMPORARY PERMITS: All USAC racers MUST PURCHASE their USAC license / membership or temporary permit online PRIOR TO THE EVENT at usaclicense.com or usacracing.com. The VRA memberships will be honored at this event.
– ENTRY FEE: There is an entry fee due at registration / pill pick.
– TRANSPONDERS: Transponders ARE MANDATORY and will be available to rent.
– APPROVED/LEGAL TIRES: Due to current shortages, ANY Hoosier Right Rear Tire is legal for competition until further notice. All four corners must be Hoosier.
– APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535, SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78, FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101, COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S, B&B: FRAC-0375S, SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK, P1 AUSTRALIA: SSM5C. *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– ONE WAY RADIOS / RACECEIVERS: One way radios ARE MANDATORY.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS: Front axle tether systems (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS: Full containment seats ARE MANDATORY.
– COCKPIT ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS: Cockpit adjustable shocks ARE ALLOWED.
– RULE BOOK: The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series Rule Book can be found online at usacracing.com.
In addition to championship points, each night will award points for the season-long Woodland Auto Display Top Qualifier Standings, Sammy Bahr & Ray Stansberry Feature Points, and Passing Master Standings. The top drivers in Woodland TQ points will take home $500-for-1st, $300-for-2nd, and $200-for-3rd. The winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet following the “George Snider Classic / Championship Night” on October 7th at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park.
Since April 4, 2009, the Ventura County Fairgrounds has held twenty-five West Coast 360 events and seventeen different drivers have claimed victory. The non-winged 360s last visited the seaside oval on May 13th and rookie contender David Gasper took the checkered flags in just the second start of his career. Former VRA Champion, Troy Rutherford established the 1-lap track record of 11.941 on June 4, 2022 and the complete Ventura winner’s list is at the end of the release.
Led by Ken Wagner, the event will honor his late wife Terry and their dedication to Sprint Car Racing. In the late 1980s with the original California Racing Association at Ascot Park, the Wagners started a fan newsletter with the goal of helping the lower budget teams. After Ken, Terry, and the “Wagtimers” raised money for the hard luck drivers at each race, they were able to expand their efforts to have a special main event for those selected teams. In addition to the special feature, pre-race activities were added to raise extra prize money for a day of fun at the races. In 1991, the “Wagsdash” was born and Ron DiDonato raced to the $2,000 victory at Bakersfield Speedway. While the venue and the associations have changed over the years, the event was open to drivers that won a maximum of one main event with CRA, SCRA, and USAC/CRA. In the early 2000s, the winner and hard charger of the previous week’s VRA 360 show were added to the field. In total, the Wagners and the “Wagtimers” have raised over $625,000 in “Wagsbucks” to help the racers and the “Wagsdash” winners are at the bottom of the release.
Racers and fans are encouraged to get to Ventura Raceway early as the “Wagtimers” will have special events. Starting at noon, the Silent Auction (with collectibles, diecasts, photos, dvds, books, and trophies from “The Tempe Tornado” Lealand McSpadden collection) and the FREE “Mrs. Wags Chili Feed,” with hotdogs, hamburgers, and chili (donations are welcome) will open the event. While fans are gathering for a meal, there will be a Pit Crew Contest for the California and Southwest Lightning Sprints, a Pit Crew Contest for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprints, and a Sexy Driver Contest with drivers from all of the divisions racing that night. Every dollar collected from the pre-race events will be added to night’s purse and special bonuses. To get involved or donate to the “Wagsdash Reunion in honor of Mrs. Wags,” call Ken Wagner at 949-981-5497 or visit his website at wagtimes.com.
After the 30-lap, $2,000-to-win “Sammy Bahr & Ray Stansberry Feature,” the top-six finishers will compete in a special 12-lap “Wagsdash” paying $2,500-to-win, $600-for second, $500-for third, $400-for third, $300-for fifth, and $200-for sixth with a fully inverted lineup. The “Wagsdash” winner will get a custom trophy from “Trophy Dave,” the man behind the Trophy Cup. The posted payoffs are minimum amounts and can increase depending on the extra money raised on raceday. The “Wagtimers” also plan to have a bonus for the driver that finished seventh in the main event.
After claiming his second win of the season at Bakersfield on June 3rd, Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, California) has extended his point lead to 34 markers over the competition. Driving the family owned #29T Red Line Oil / Evergood Fine Foods Maxim, Timmons has also posted one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 14 feature laps led on the season. The 2016 Rookie of the Year is tied with Chase Johnson for twelfth on the win list and will be looking for his eighth career victory at Ventura.
Ron LaPlant (Oroville, California) has climbed to second in the USAC West Coast point standings. Racing his #69 RJL Truck & Tractor Painting / Feather Falls Casino Eagle, LaPlant led eighteen laps at Bakersfield before finishing second to Timmons at the checkered flags. To date, the new leading rookie contender has one BR Motorsports / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award and three top-ten finishes on the season. Ron will have his sights on the first victory of his career this Saturday night.
After finishing fifth at Bakersfield, Kyle Edwards (Fountain Valley, California) has jumped to third in the chase for the championship. Piloting the family owned #39 Safehouse Security / Van Dyne Engineering Triple X, Edwards has posted two heat race victories, two top-10 finishes, and 6 feature laps led in the campaign. The third generation driver will be looking for his first series win at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
Tyler Hatzikian (Murrieta, California) has climbed to fourth in the championship standings. The owner / driver of the #27 Tyler Surfboards / Original Roadhouse Bar & Grill Triple X raced from eleventh to sixth at Bakersfield. At press time, the 2022 Rookie of the Year has three top-10 finishes and will have his sights on his first USAC win at “The Wagsdash Reunion in Honor of Mrs. Wags.”
David Gasper (Goleta, California) ranks fifth in the West Coast point chase. Piloting the Gasper Racing / Kittle Motorsports’ #18 AR Air Repair / Valley Precision Products Triple X, Gasper scored fifteenth in the June 3rd main event at Bakersfield. To date, the rookie contender has one feature win, one top-10 finish and 24 feature laps led on the season. The two-time California Lightning Sprint Champion will have his sights on returning to victory circle at Ventura Raceway.
While Ron LaPlant leads the chase for rookie of the year honors, David Gasper (Goleta, California), Jon DeWees (Lemoore, California), Adam Christian (Santa Clara, California), Heath Holdsclaw (Loomis, California), Tom Dunkel (Menifee, California), Bryan Whitley (Oak View, California), and “The Gunslinger” Austin Grabowski (Riverside, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Brody Fuson, Cody Majors, Tom Hendricks, Chris Ennis, Hannah Mayhew, Trent Carter, Elexa Herrera, Camie Bell, James Herrera, Steve Hix, Troy Rutherford, Joey Bishop, Verne Sweeney, Rick Hendrix, Chris Wakim, Cole Wakim, Kaleb Montgomery, Grant Sexton, Malyssa Perkins, and more.
Ventura Raceway is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California. General Admission Adult tickets are $22, General Admission Senior (60 and older), Active Military (ID Required), and Student tickets (with ID) are $18. Kids tickets (12 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tires, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Wagtimers, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email Stephanie Odom at Odom.Stephanie@me.com or Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the series, visit usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content at the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
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., 2016-Brody Roa, 2017-Jake Swanson, 2018-Austin Liggett, 2019-Tristan Guardino, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-D.J. Johnson, 2022-Trent Carter.
WAGSDASH WINNERS: 1991-Ron DiDonato, 1992-Steve Ostling, 1993-Bobby Michnowicz, 1994-Rodney Argo, 1995-Troy Newsome, 1996-Mike English, 1997-Jimmy Voitel, 1998-Marc Hart, 1999-J Hicks, 2000-Marc Hart, 2001-Jarrett Chaney, 2002-Danny Sheridan, 2003-Alan Ballard, 2004-Ronnie Case, 2005-Blake Miller, 2006-Alan Ballard, 2007-Blake Miller, 2008-Austin Mero, 2009-NO RACE, 2010-Brody Roa, 2011-Brody Roa.
VENTURA USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR TRACK RECORD: Troy Rutherford – 11.941 (06/04/22)
VENTURA USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes Non-Point Races) 3-Tristan Guardino, 3-Troy Rutherford, 3-Jake Swanson, 2-Ryan Bernal, 2-Chase Johnson, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-A.J. Bender, 1-Tyler Courtney, 1-Geoff Ensign, 1-David Gasper, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Carson Macedo, 1-Brody Roa, 1-Ryan Timmons, 1-Ryan Timms, 1-Daniel Whitley.
2023 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: 2-Ryan Timmons, 1-David Gasper.
2023 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Ryan Timmons-233, 2. Ron LaPlant ®-199, 3. Kyle Edwards-178, 4. Tyler Hatzikian-175, 5. David Gasper ®-169, 6. Brody Fuson-163, 7. Cody Majors-145, 8. Tom Hendricks-145, 9. Jon DeWees ®-143, 10. Chris Ennis-135, 11. Hannah Mayhew-123, 12. Adam Christian ®-114, 13. Trent Carter-110, 14. Elexa Herrera-109, 15. Camie Bell-102, 16. James Herrera-93, 17. Steve Hix-90, 18. Matt Day-76, 19. Tanner Boul-72, 20. D.J. Johnson-61, 21. Heath Holdsclaw ®-55, 22. Tom Dunkel ®-49, 23. Bryan Whitley ®-49, 24. Troy Rutherford-44, 25. Charlie Butcher-41, 26. Joey Bishop-37, 27. Austin Grabowski ®-33, 28. Eathon Lanfri ®-28.
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY TOP QUALIFIER POINTS: 1. Ryan Timmons-14, 2. David Gasper ®-12, 3. Cody Majors-9, -. Kyle Edwards-9, 5. Brody Fuson-8, 6. Troy Rutherford-6, 7. Ron LaPlant ®-3, 8. Tyler Hatzikian-1, -. Chris Ennis-1
SAMMY BAHR & RAY STANSBERRY FEATURE POINTS: 1. Ryan Timmons-198, 2. Ron LaPlant ®-180, 3. Tyler Hatzikian-159, 4. Kyle Edwards-148, 5. David Gasper ®-138, 6. Jon DeWees ®-134, 7. Brody Fuson-132, 8. Tom Hendricks-132, 9. Chris Ennis-122, 10. Cody Majors-119, 11. Hannah Mayhew-111, 12. Adam Christian ®-107, 13. Trent Carter-102, 14. Elexa Herrera-99, 15. Camie Bell-91, 16. James Herrera-87, 17. Steve Hix-75, 18. Matt Day-68, 19. Tanner Boul-64, 20. D.J. Johnson-55, 21. Heath Holdsclaw ®-49, 22. Bryan Whitley-43, 23. Tom Dunkel-41, 24. Joey Bishop-34, 25. Charlie Butcher-33, 26. Troy Rutherford-31, 27. Austin Grabowski ®-27, 28. Eathon Lanfri ®-25.
PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1. Jon DeWees ®-18, 2. Ron LaPlant ®-12, -. Tom Hendricks-12, -. Adam Christian ®-12, 5. Elexa Herrera-11, 6. Hannah Mayhew-10, 7. Heath Holdsclaw ®-8, -. Ryan Timmons-8, 9. Brody Fuson-7, 10. Chris Ennis-6, –. Trent Carter-6, 12. D.J. Johnson-5, –. James Herrera-5, –. Matt Day-5, –. Camie Bell-5, –. Tyler Hatzikian-5, 17. Tanner Boul-4, 18. David Gasper ®-2, –. Bryan Whitley-2, –. Joey Bishop-2, 21. Eathon Lanfri ®-1, –. Cody Majors-1.