Last Saturday night, Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, California) earned his first career USAC West Coast Sprint Car triumph at Bakersfield Speedway. Piloting the family owned #29T Timmons Auto Repair / Evergood Fine Foods Maxim, Timmons claimed the eleventh point race over fast qualifier Tristan Guardino, point leader Austin Liggett, “The Rickster” Ricky Kirkbride, and Koen Shaw.
After daytime temperatures reached triple digits during the day and a full moon on display in the night sky, officials reworked the track surface prior to the main event. This gave the drivers two grooves of racing that was met with praise after the checkered flags.
Going for this third win of the season, Austin Liggett started on the pole position and set a torrid pace on the outside lane. While some racers were struggling with the Bakersfield clay, Ryan Timmons closed within striking distance for the top spot. A Timmons bobble gave Liggett some breathing room, but Ryan quickly regrouped and began to apply pressure. Liggett led the first twenty-two laps until Timmons executed a successful “slide job” in the third turn to grab the top spot.
Looking for his first series win, Timmons was able to shake free from his challengers, but slower traffic would become a factor. As the leader’s progress slowed, Liggett and fast qualifier Tristan Guardino were gaining ground. Guardino slipped by Liggett for second and briefly raced three wide with Timmons and a slower car. Timmons managed to hold onto the lead and sailed to his first main event victory.
Before starting on the outside of the front row of the feature, Ryan Timmons qualified fourth out of a season low twelve cars and won the Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply second heat race. While scoring several podium finishes in the last few races, Timmons put it all together at Bakersfield to become the 49th different driver to claim a USAC West Coast win. To date, the 2016 Rookie of the Year is third in points with two heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 27 feature laps led.
Tristan Guardino (Fremont, California) earned Bakersfield’s Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a second place run from ninth. In the night of firsts, Guardino raced the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Stores Maxim to his career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and scored fifth in his heat race. At press time, Tristan ranks second in points with one feature win, five heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps led on the year.
After leading the first twenty-two laps, Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) had to settle for third at Bakersfield. Driving the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil Maxim, Liggett was third quick in time trials and won the 8-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. The point leader heads to Santa Maria with a 106-point advantage on the strength of two feature wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and 82 feature laps led to his credit.
Making his first start in three years, “The Rickster” Ricky Kirkbride (Bakersfield, California) placed fourth at his hometown track. Piloting Bob and Toni Van Meter’s #87 American Fabrication / Fred Cummings Motorsports Spike, Kirkbride qualified ninth overall and ran second to Liggett in his heat race.
Koen Shaw (Fresno, California) raced from eighth to fifth in the Bakersfield return. Racing the family owned #88K Shaw Structures Unlimited / PMS Investments KPC, Shaw was second fast in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. To date, Koen has taken over fourth in the point chase with two Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger Awards and seven top-10 finishes in the campaign.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are back in action on Saturday, August 11th, at Santa Maria Raceway. Co-sanctioned with the Santa Maria 360 Sprints, the “Bud Stanfield Memorial” will also feature the Light Up The World USAC Western States Midget Series presented by CBD Living Water, Mini Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, and Santa Maria Dwarf Cars. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Advance tickets are on sale and visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232 for more information.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
August 11: #Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
August 25: **Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (ARP Battle at the Beach Race #3)
October 6: #Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Championship Night)
November 21: **Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
November 22: **Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / ARP Battle at the Beach Race #4 / Non-Points)