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Posts in 'Thunderbowl Raceway' Track

Kyle Hirst Tops Peter Murphy Classic at Tulare

April 30th, 2017

Slipping past “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. on the sixth lap, Kyle Hirst (Paradise, California) led the rest of the way to win last Saturday’s “4th Annual Peter Murphy Classic.” By claiming the shortened $3,000 USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway, Hirst became the 45th driver to earn a series win. Ryan Bernal, Faria, Jace Vander Weerd, and fast qualifier Austin Liggett rounded out the top-five drivers.

Making his first start of the year, Kyle Hirst qualified seventh out of the twenty-one racers and ran second to Ryan Bernal in his heat race. Driving Dennis Roth’s #51T Roth Enterprises / KW Suspensions KPC, the three-time King of the West Champion ran second in the Competition Suspension Incorporated Pole Shuffle. Starting second and hitting his marks on the changing track surface, Hirst took the 25-lap main event. Now ranked thirty-third in points, Kyle also gave Roth his first USAC West Coast triumph.

Racing from fourth, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) looked to challenge Hirst but had to settle for second. Piloting Mike Phulps’ #56 Metal Works / Keizer Wheels ART, Bernal was fourth quick in time trials, won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and took fourth in the pole shuffle. With his second place finish at Tulare, the 2011 Rookie of the Year has reclaimed the point lead with three feature wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, five top-10 finishes, and 57 feature laps led.

After leading the first five laps, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, California) scored third in the “Peter Murphy Classic.” Racing his #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / SurfnSprint Spike, Faria qualified sixth overall, won the Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3, and claimed the Competition Suspension Incorporated Pole Shuffle. The two-time champion left Tulare ranked sixth in points with two heat race victories, three top-10 finishes, and 39 feature laps led to his credit.

Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) raced from eighth to finish fourth at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace was fifth fast in qualifications and placed third in his heat race. The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year heads to Hanford sitting fourth in the point chase with two heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led on the season.

Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) scored fifth in the “Peter Murphy Classic” and became the 37th series driver to earn a Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental / Lucas Oil entry, the 2012 Rookie of the Year finished third in his heat race. Liggett left the Tulare County Fairgrounds ranked fifth in the standings with one feature win, one heat race victory, four top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led to his credit.

Rookie contender Brandon Wiley (Santa Maria, California) earned his second BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a sixth place run from fourteenth. Driving the Team 33 #33B Sandy’s Registration Service / Kittle Motorsports XXX, Wiley qualified fourteenth overall and took fifth in his heat race. At press time, the young driver has climbed to tenth in the point chase with three top-10 finishes in the campaign.

Cody Majors (Simi Valley, California) raced to victory in the night’s Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. Racing Steve Watt’s #81M Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Majors was eighth fast in time trials and placed sixteenth in the feature after an early flip. As this writing goes to press, Cody has risen to seventh in points with two heat race victories and three top-10 finishes on the year.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action this Saturday, April 29th, at the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford, California. The event will also feature the Winged Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars, Mini Stocks, and Mod Lites. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds at 801 South 10th Avenue, more event information can be found at www.kellerautospeedway.com or calling 559.651.1990.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

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.

Brady Bacon Sweeps Tulare USAC Western Midget Shootout

June 6th, 2015

Making his first start of the season, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon swept last Saturday’s Honda USAC Western Midget show at Tulare. For Bacon, the victory at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway was his first career series win. Richard Vander Weerd, Cody Swanson, Nick Chivello, and “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. followed Brady to the checkered flags.

Polesitter Nick Chivello led the first five circuits until Trey Marcham grabbed the top spot. Marcham’s control was short-lived as Chivello regrouped and regained the lead on the next lap. Looking for his first win of the campaign, Chivello was inching away from the field until a heartbreaking spin in the south corners. Trey inherited the lead, but soon faced the challenge from the sixth starting Bacon. Brady, Marcham’s Josh Ford Motorsports teammate, was able to power to the lead on lap eleven and sailed to victory at Tulare.

Racing Keith Ford’s #73X Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Brady Bacon started his night by earning the Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. Out-qualifying the other thirteen racers in the pit area, the USAC National Sprint Car Champion also won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Brady left the Tulare County Fairgrounds ranked thirteenth in points.

Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia earned the night’s DMI / Ultra Shield Race Products “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a second place run from eleventh. Piloting Mike Sala’s #19S Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Spike, Richard qualified seventh overall and placed sixth in his heat race.

Covina’s Cody Swanson scored third in Tulare’s 30-lap main event. Driving the family owned #71S Marcie Campbell Realtor / Advanced Racing Suspension Spike, Swanson was third quick in time trials and placed fifth in his heat race. Heading to Santa Maria on July 3rd, Cody has taken over the points lead with two top-10 finishes on the year.

After restarting at the back, Nick Chivello of Manteca charged to a fourth place finish. Racing the family owned #27 Rodgers Trucking / America’s Tire Spike, Chivello qualified sixth overall and took third in his heat race. At press time, Nick is seventh in the point chase with one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 8 feature laps led.

Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. scored fifth at Tulare after starting eighth. Piloting Mike Sala’s #19W Sala Construction / Weldway Inc. Spike, Faria was ninth quick in time trials and ran second to Bacon in his heat race. To date, the 2013 USAC West Coast Sprint Champion is eleventh in points with one top-10 finish to his credit.

Scott Pierovich of Alamo raced to victory in the DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Driving the family owned #35 Mid-Coast Trans / Good Guys Spike, Pierovich qualified eighth overall and took sixth in the main event. The veteran racer left Tulare ranked sixth in the standings with one DMI / Ultra Shield Race Products Hard Charger Award and three top-10 finishes on the season.

The Honda USAC Western Midget Series will be back in action on Friday, July 3rd, at Santa Maria Raceway in Nipomo, California. The “Doug Fort Memorial” will also showcase the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, and American Stocks. For more information, visit www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.

The Honda USAC Western Midget Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, K&N Engineering, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Honda USAC Western Midget Facebook and Twitter pages. Loudpedal Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the Honda USAC Western Midgets and for more information, call 805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.

Ryan Bernal Tames the Thuderbowl

June 5th, 2015

TULARE, CA –Leading all 30-laps, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal dominated Saturday’s USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway. For Bernal, the $1,500 victory was his series leading 26th career triumph and sixth of the campaign. Point leader “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Tristan Guardino, Bud Kaeding, and D.J. Johnson rounded out the top-five drivers.

Piloting Mike Phulps’ #56 Metal Works / Tri-L Mandarin Ranch ART, Ryan Bernal qualified sixth out of the fifteen racers in the pit area. After placing third in his heat race, the two-time USAC Western Classic Champion set the pace of the feature from the pole position. At the drop of Willie Williams’ green flag, Ryan sped to the lead ahead of fellow front row starter Tristan Guardino. Primarily choosing to run the outside lane of the speedway, Bernal was sprinting away from the competition.

Guardino, a Rookie of the Year candidate, was running strong in second as Bernal extended his lead. Charging from fourth, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. was able to take over the runner-up spot and began to set sail after Bernal. Midway through the event, the leader moved through the slower cars with ease as Faria had a serious challenge from Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon. For several laps, the veteran drivers drag raced for second until Faria secured the spot and Brady retired from the race. Out front with a near half-track advantage, Bernal was not to be denied on this night and captured his tenth USAC West Coast victory at Tulare.

Currently second in the standings, Ryan Bernal left Thunderbowl Raceway 53-points behind Faria. Heading to Santa Maria on June 20th, Ryan has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two high point driver awards, three heat race victories, two DMI / Ultra Shield Race Products Hard Charger Awards, eight top-10 finishes, and 111 feature laps led to his credit.

“Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton claimed second at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Racing Junior Bowman’s #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprise / SurfnSprint Spike, Faria was third fast in time trials and ran second to D.J. Johnson in his heat race. To date, the point leader has one feature win, one high point driver award, three heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 26 feature laps led on the season.

Fremont’s Tristan Guardino race hard up front and had one of his best finishes of the season. Driving Steve Watt’s Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Guardino qualified fifth overall and claimed fifth in his heat race. Currently eighth in the standings and second in rookie points, Tristan has one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main win, four top-10 finishes, and 9 feature laps led in 2015.

Bud Kaeding of Campbell battled from seventh to claim fourth at the checkered flags. Piloting Junior Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprise / Kaeding Performance Maxim, Kaeding was eighth quick in time trials and ran second to Austin Liggett in his heat race. In limited starts, the 2012 Champion is eleventh in the chase for the crown with one feature win, one DMI / Ultra Shield Race Products Hard Charger Award, three top-10 finishes, and 17 feature laps led.

Stockton’s D.J. Johnson sliced his way to fifth in the 30-lap main event after starting eighth. Racing the family owned #33 Unique Breeds / Proplant Farm Services Eagle, Johnson qualified ninth overall and won the Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. At press time, the former USAC Western Classic Sprint Rookie of the Year sits fourth in points with three heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 18 feature laps led on the season.

Shannon McQueen of Bakersfield earned the night’s DMI / Ultra Shield Race Products “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a tenth place run from fourteenth. Driving Bob & Toni Van Meter’s #87 Twin Arrow Transportation / Simpson Race Products Maxim, McQueen was fourteenth fast in time trials and placed sixth in her heat race. To date, the former USAC Western Midget Champion is fourteenth in the point chase with one top-10 finish on the year.

Bud Kaeding Storms to Tulare Thunderbowl Victory

March 20th, 2015

TULARE, CA – Racing past Danny Faria Jr. on the fourteenth lap, Bud Kaeding of Campbell sailed to his first USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory of the season. For Kaeding, last Friday night’s $1,500 triumph at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway was his eleventh series win and the fourteenth for car owner Junior Bowman. Faria, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, Colby Copeland, and Austin Liggett chased the 2012 champion to the checkered flags.

Driving Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Maxim, Bud Kaeding qualified fifth out of the twenty racers and scored fourth in his heat race. Starting on the outside of the front row, the veteran driver stayed within striking distance of the leaders and began to pressure Faria on the eight circuit. Executing an outside power move, Bud took command of the main event and mastered his way through the slower traffic to take the victory. The three-time USAC Silver Crown Champion also celebrated his brother’s win of the companion World of Outlaw Sprint Car feature.

After grabbing the lead from Landon Hurst on the sixth circuit, Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. had to settle for second at Tulare. Racing Junior Bowman’s #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / SurfNSprint Spike, Faria was fourth quick in the one-lap time trials and ran second to Ryan Bernal in his heat race. Looking for his first win of the campaign, “Hollywood” started third at the green flag and quickly made his way to second. Seizing the top spot, Faria led eight laps before Kaeding made his move. With a second place run, Danny gained valuable points for his championship bid.

“Shifter” Landon Hurst of Riverdale led the opening five laps before scoring third at the finish line. Piloting the family owned #179 Kings River Commodities / Duinkerken Farms Maxim, Hurst qualified eight overall and ran second to Austin Liggett in his heat race. Starting on the pole position, “Shifter” got the jump on Kaeding and ran a strong main event. Looking to move up the ranks, the former Rookie of the Year had one of his best nights with the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series.

Roseville’s Colby Copeland charged from tenth to claim fourth in the 30-lap main event, Driving Ted Williams’ #74 Bandit Racing /Marks Bolts Maxim, Copeland was tenth fast in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. The versatile driver also ran double duty with the World of Outlaws.

Austin Liggett of Tracy had a solid night at Tulare with a fifth place finish. Racing the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Home Connections Inc. ART, Liggett qualified second overall and won the 10-lap DJ Safety Heat Race #2. The former Rookie of the Year will be in the mix in the chase for the championship.

Fresno’s Kevin Barnes earned the night’s Diversified Machine Inc. / Ultra Shield Race Products “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a twelfth place run from nineteenth. Piloting his #36B B&K Towing / Coventry Racing Engines Speed Tech, Barnes officially timed in nineteenth fast after missing the scales and placed sixth in his heat race. The veteran driver intends to run as much of the schedule as his shoestring budget allows.

Despite a late pill draw and one lap on the clock, Ryan Bernal of Hollister earned his first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and set a new track record in the process. After breaking his own October 2011 record, the driver of Mike Phulps’ #56 Mandarin Tri-L Ranch / Core Power ART won the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1 and took fifteenth in the main event after an early exit. The two-time USAC Western Classic Champion has announced plans to race with a wing and compete in West Coast action as his schedule allows.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s Trey Marcham raced to victory in the 10-lap Saldana Racing Products / Keizer Wheels Heat Race. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Marcham qualified ninth overall and scored sixteenth in the main event after an early exit. The USAC Western Midget graduate is one of several drivers looking to earn Rookie of the Year honors.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. 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 Cars and for more information, call 805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.

The USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series would like to thank Sunoco Race Fuels, Hoosier Tire, Hose Advantage Store, and the Racers Advantage Store for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.southwestsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SouthwestSprintCars).

Ryan Bernal Sweeps Cotton Classic at Tulare

October 17th, 2014

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.

Tulare Hosts Honda USAC Western Midgets This Saturday

May 30th, 2014

SANTA MARIA, CA – This Saturday, May 31st, the Honda USAC Western Midget Series will make their only appearance at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. Promoted by Steve Faria, the action packed card will also showcase the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars, winged Racesaver 305 Sprint Cars, and IMCA Modifieds. The front gates will open at 4:30pm and racing is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm.

Saturday’s race will mark the fifth appearance of the Honda USAC Western Midgets at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. P.J. Jones claimed the inaugural victory on September 7, 1988 as Robby Flock, Sleepy Tripp, and Tracy Hines have also claimed feature wins at Tulare. Heading into the event, Bryan Clauson holds the 1-lap qualifying track record of 15.628, set on November 13, 2010.

After scoring his first win at Bakersfield on May 3rd, Trey Marcham of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma sits atop the dirt series and ranks second in the overall points. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products TCR, Marcham has one fast time award, one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led to his credit. Last season’s Rookie of the Year will be looking to extend his point lead with a victory at Thunderbowl Raceway.

Redding’s Alex Schutte ranks second in the dirt points and is the overall series point leader. Racing the Schutte/McElwee #28 Aircraft Electrical Components / Ontario West Spike, Schutte ran seventh in the Bakersfield main event. Heading to Tulare, the 2010 Champion has three top-10 finishes on the year and will have his sights on his third series win.

Ronnie Gardner of Norco has climbed to third in the dirt series and fifth in the overall points. Driving the Six8 Motorsports #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Gardner ran second to Marcham in the Bakersfield feature. Entering Saturday’s race, the defending champion has one fast time award and two top-10 finishes in the campaign. Ronnie will be looking to move up the standings by earning his tenth series victory.

Orange’s Jarid Blondel sits fourth in the dirt points and ranks third in the overall standings. Piloting his #98 G&J Aircraft / Repair Service Edmunds, Blondel scored fourteenth at Bakersfield Speedway. As this writing goes to press, the young driver has two top-10 finishes and will have his sights on his first main event win at Tulare.

Johnathon Henry of Stockton ranks fifth in the dirt series and ninth in the overall point chase. Racing Chad Nichols’ #17 Team 17 Racing Spike, Henry placed third in the Bakersfield main event. In limited starts, the versatile driver has one heat race victory and one top-10 finish on the season. At press time, it is unknown if Johnathon will miss the Tulare show to compete elsewhere.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Sean Dodenhoff, Jake Swanson, Troy Rutherford, Steve Davis, Shannon McQueen, Tyler Dolacki, “The Wild Child” Chris Ennis, Scott Pierovich, Ricky Shelton, Terry Nichols, and more.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: The September 27th race scheduled at Visalia’s Plaza Park Raceway has been cancelled. That date has been replaced with a show at Lemoore Raceway on July 26th. Please update your schedules.

Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Reserved tickets are $15 and General Admission seats are $13. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com.

The Honda USAC Western Midget Series thanks Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, Rugged Radios, and Western Performance Parts for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.usacracing.com or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usacwsmidgets).
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION

Richard Vander Weerd Tames the Thunderbowl

April 17th, 2013

Tulane, CA – Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd continued his recent string of success by claiming his tenth career USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory. The 2011 Champion led all 30-laps at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway for his second win of the campaign. Ryan Bernal, Jace Vander Weerd, Markus Niemela, and Bud Kaeding followed Vander Weerd to the checkered flags.

Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Richard Vander Weerd shook free from twin brother Jace, Niemela, and mid race pressure from Danny Faria Jr. Unfazed after several red and caution flags, Richard
ran strong all night and earned the Tulare victory. Earlier in the program, Vander Weerd scored his ninth career Weld Racing Fast Time Award, ran third in his heat race, and placed second in the dash. To date, Richard has one heat race victory, one semi-main win, eight top-10 finishes, two hard charger awards, and 59 feature laps led. Richard has climbed to third in points as the series returns to Tulare on Saturday.

Ryan Bernal of Hollister earned the BR Motorsports / Racing Optics “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a second place run after starting fifteenth. Racing Keith Ford’s #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike, Bernal flipped in time trials and dominated the Saldana Racing Products / Keizer Wheels Heat Race #3. Starting near the back, the former Rookie of the Year valiantly charged to the front and claimed second in a hard fought main event. Heading to next weekend’s action, Ryan holds a 21 point lead with two feature wins, three heat race victories, one dash win, seven top-10 finishes, and 39 feature laps led.

After winning his first 6-lap Woodland Auto Display Dash, Visalia’s Jace Vander Weerd came home third in the Tulare feature. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, Jace was third fast in time trials and fourth in his heat race. The former USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year battled hard to stay up front and fell back to sixth before making a late surge forward. Vander Weerd is currently fourth in the standings with one heat race victory and four top-10 finishes to his credit.

Markus Niemela of Rauma, Finland scored fourth after running second for the majority of the feature. Piloting Steve Watt’s Steve Watt’s #81 Christian Stover Foundation / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Niemela qualified second, ran fifth in his heat race, and claimed third in the dash. The hard charging driver challenged Vander Weerd for the lead after several restarts before fading back in the closing laps. As this writing goes to press, Markus has moved to sixth in the championship points with one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 10 feature laps led on the year.

Campbell’s Bud Kaeding battled back from ninth to claim fifth at the checkered flags. Racing Junior Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Bullet, Kaeding was fifth quick, second in his heat race, and fifth in the dash. The defending champion was battling for third in the main event before falling back in the closing laps. Currently, Bud is second in the point chase with two heat race victories, one dash win, and six top-10 finishes on the season.

“Hollywood” Danny Faria of Tipton won the program’s 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Driving his #17V DeBoer & Sons Trucking / Johnston Calf Pens Spike, Faria qualified seventh and ran fourth in the dash. “Hollywood” made a three-wide battle for the lead with Niemela and Vander Weerd before a flat left rear tire on lap 16 knocked him out of contention. With fresh rubber, Danny charged from the back to take sixth at the checkered flags. Heading to Saturday, Faria is fifth in the point standings with four top-10 finishes and 1 feature lap led.

San Diego’s “The Wild Child” Chris Ennis claimed his first heat race victory of the
year in the program’s DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Piloting his #86 Spy Optics / Bell Helmets 777 entry, Ennis qualified fourteenth overall and scored sixteenth in the feature after a flip ended his night. Uninjured, the future college graduate has climbed to tenth in points heading to Saturday’s action.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action this Saturday, April 20th, at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The popular IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars will join the night’s showcase. Advance tickets are on
sale and for more information, visit www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rugged Radios, SBI Fuel Systems, Saldana Racing Products, Weld Racing, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series in 2013, email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information on the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook.

West Coast Sprints Return to Tulare Saturday

April 13th, 2013

The 2013 USAC West Coast Sprint Car series continues this Saturday night at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.

Ryan Bernal of Hollister, Calif. will try to maintain his “undefeated” 2013 Tulare status after scoring a pair of March victories at the one-third mile dirt oval.

Bernal’s point lead is 13 points ahead of defending series champion Bud Kaeding entering this Saturday’s race. Kaeding has three third-place finishes in three 2013 starts.

Richard Vander Weerd and Markus Niemela, currently fourth and eighth in the standings, each have a second-place Tulare finish this year.