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Ryan Bernal Sweeps Cotton Classic at Tulare

TULARE, CA – Continuing his winning ways, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal swept the “Cotton Classic” at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway. For Bernal, Saturday’s non-point $1,500 victory was his sixth USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory of the campaign. “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Jake Swanson, and Richard Vander Weerd chased the recently crowned USAC Western Classic Champion to the checkered flags.

Driving Mike Phulps’ #56 Mandarin Tri-L Ranch / Core Power ART, Ryan Bernal tied Bryan Clauson, Peter Murphy, and Richard Vander Weerd’s series record of six wins in a season. Earlier in the program, Ryan claimed his fifth Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, won the night’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and earned his series leading twentieth feature victory. Currently ranked fifth in points, Bernal also has four heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 117 feature laps led.

Making his first West Coast start of the season, “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign of Sebastopol challenged Bernal for the top spot before finishing second. Piloting Ted Finkenbinder’s #3F Western Industrial X-Ray Eagle, Ensign qualified fourth out of the eighteen racers in the pit area and took third in his heat race.

Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. also pressured Bernal for a few laps before scoring third in the “Cotton Classic” Racing Junior Bowman’s #2 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / DeBoer & Sons Trucking Spike, Faria was fifth quick in time trials and ran second in his heat race to Jace Vander Weerd. Last year’s champion is currently sixth in points with two heat race victories, two Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Awards, and eight top-10 finishes.

Jake Swanson of Anaheim placed fourth at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Ram-Bull Racing Victory, Swanson qualified third overall and took second to Trey Marcham in his heat race. After two starts, the former USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year sits twenty-ninth in points with one feature win and six feature laps led to his credit.

Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd claimed fifth in the 30-lap main event. Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Richard was second fast in time trials and ran third in his heat race. The 2011 Champion ranks third in points with one feature win, seven heat race victories, one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, eleven top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led.

Making a rare non-wing start, Kyler Shaw of Fresno earned the night’s Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a ninth place run from eighteenth. Driving the family owned #92K PMS Investments / Shaw Structures Unlimited KPC, Shaw qualified eighteenth overall and placed fourth in his heat race. To date, Kyler is forty-sixth in the point chase.

Jace Vander Weerd of Visalia drove to victory in the program’s Deist Safety Heat Race #2. Racing the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Jace was eighth quick in time trials and took sixth in the main event. The former USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year is currently fourth in the standings with one feature win, three heat race victories, twelve top-10 finishes, and 20 feature laps led.

Trey Marcham of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma won the 10-lap Saldana Racing Products / Weld Racing Heat Race #3 in his first sprint car start. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Marcham qualified ninth overall and rebounded to score eighth in the main event after an early tangle.

On Thursday, November 6th, the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will close out their 2014 campaign at Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway. The $2,500-to-win, $300-to-start, “2nd Annual 360 Oval Nationals” is the final round of the “Grudge Series” with the USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars. Early racer entry fees are $50 and the entry forms can be downloaded at http://www.westcoastsprintcars.com/images/fppics14/ovalnationals.jpg. Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds in Perris, California, more event information can be found at www.perrisautospeedway.com or calling (951) 940-0134.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Inc., Deist Safety, Engler Machine & Tool, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, Saldana Racing Products, SouthWest Contractors, VanLare Steering Repair, Weld Racing, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/#!/pages/USAC-West-Coast-Sprint-Car-Series/369549755817), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/USACwc360). Mike Truex’s Loudpedal Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series. For more information, call 805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.

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