FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series
#88 Jace Vander Weerd - 4th in USAC West Coast Sprint Car Points. Photo by Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINTS BATTLE AT WATSONVILLE & CHOWCHILLA
By Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – AUGUST 5, 2014... The cars and stars of the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series are set to battle the USAC Western Classic Sprints for two nights of action. This Friday, August 8th, the traditional sprints will invade John Prentice’s Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. The following night, both groups will make their debut at Jack Stanford’s Chowchilla Raceway.
NOTICE TO RACERS: Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway has a strict 90db at 100 feet state mandated sound rule and the Flowmaster “Suitcase” (Part 53545-USAC) is the track legal muffler. If the sound levels are broken, the racer will be disqualified and not allowed to compete. Per USAC West Coast and Western Classic rules, all fuel-injected 360s must run the Hoosier 105/16 Medium Right Rear Tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. Carbureted spec sprints (with starter) are welcome to compete and use their track legal Hoosier tires. Cockpit adjustable shocks are NOT allowed and engine restrictor rules are 1-7/8” with open heads and 2-3/16” with ASCS Spec legal cylinder heads. The weight rule is 1,475 lbs. with driver and one-way radios are mandatory. There is a $35 entry fee to all competitors. The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com.
The special Friday show for the USAC West Coast and Western Classic Sprints will be the second race of the year at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. On May 16th, Ryan Bernal began his winning streak of five consecutive victories and Markus Niemela set a new qualifying track record of 12.979. Friday’s “Night at the races with the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation” will also showcase American Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, and IMCA Sport Mods. The Pit Gates will open at 1:00pm, Spectator Gates will open at 4:30pm, Drivers Meeting at 4:30pm, with Racing scheduled for 6:00pm.
Saturday’s debut at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds will mark the twelfth point race of the campaign. While new to both groups, the semi-banked 3/8-mile oval has hosted sprint cars in the past. Chowchilla Raceway has featured Bandits, SCRA 360s, Wingless Spec Sprints, winged 360s, winged 410s, and open competition shows. On Saturday, the popular Hobby Stocks will share the spotlight as Gates will open at 2:00pm with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm.
Heading to the doubleheader, Markus Niemela of Rauma, Finland has a twenty point advantage over the competition. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Berry Pack / King Racing Products Spike, Niemela placed seventh on July 19th at Ventura Raceway. To date, the point leader has two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, ten top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led to his credit. Last season’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year will be looking for first USAC West Coast victories at Watsonville and Chowchilla.
Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell is second in the USAC West Coast point standings. Racing his #37 MPD Racing / ART Enterprises Maxim, Mitchell led the first sixteen laps at Ventura before taking ninth at the checkered flags. Entering the Watsonville-Chowchilla doubleheader, the USAC/CRA standout has three heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main win, two Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Awards and nine top-10 finishes on the year. Matt will have his sights on gaining valuable points on Niemela with Watsonville and Chowchilla victories.
Troy Rutherford of Ojai sits third in the chase for the championship. Switching to his #11 AAA Propane Service / Trench Shoring Spike, Rutherford charged to fourth at Ventura after starting ninth. Currently, the former VRA Champion has one feature win, one heat race victory, nine top-10 finishes, and 14 feature laps led in the campaign. At press time, Troy may skip the Watsonville-Chowchilla doubleheader due to family obligations.
Visalia’s Jace Vander Weerd ranks fourth in the West Coast point chase. The driver of the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim skipped the Ventura event to compete in USAC’s “Indiana Sprint Week.” The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and 20 feature laps led. Jace will be looking to add his name to the winner’s list at Watsonville and Chowchilla.
Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia is currently fifth the point standings. Like his twin brother Jace, the pilot of the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim missed Ventura to race in the Midwest for “Indiana Sprint Week.” To date, the 2011 Champion has one feature win, six heat race victories, one Keizer Wheels / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award, eight top-10 finishes, and 16 feature laps led. Richard will have his sights on adding both winning trophies to his collection.
Currently sixteenth in the standings, Springville’s Garrett Long leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Terra Bella’s Trent Carter, Robert Nuckles of Hanford, and Hanford’s Connor Kassik are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Ryan Bernal, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Austin Liggett, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, Kevin Barnes, Marty Hawkins, “The Wild Child” Chris Ennis, Jeff Sibley, Matt Day, Austin Stone, T.J. Smith, Jonathan Logan, and more.
Currently sixth in West Coast points, Ryan Bernal of Hollister leads the USAC Western Classic point standings. Matt Mitchell, Nic Faas, Jace Vander Weerd, Richard Vander Weerd, D.J. Johnson, Marty Hawkins, “Shifter” Landon Hurst, “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign, and Markus Niemela round out the top-10 drivers. Other WCRS drivers expected to compete are Trevor Schmid, Scott Hall, Terry Schank Jr., Jim Richardson, “Wild” Billy Aton, and more.
Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California at 2601 E. Lake Avenue. Adult Tickets are $20, Senior Tickets (over 65) are $19, Kids Tickets (12-6) are $13, Children (5 and under) are FREE. For more information, visit the track's website at www.oceanspeedway.com or call 831.662.9466 (WINN).
Chowchilla Raceway is located at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds in Chowchilla, California at 1000 South 3rd Street. For more event information, visit the track’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChowchillaRaceway.
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.
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).
WATSONVILLE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS:
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT POINT STANDINGS:
1-Markus Niemela-548, 2-Matt Mitchell-528, 3-Troy Rutherford-500, 4-Jace Vander Weerd-436, 5-Richard Vander Weerd-423, 6-Ryan Bernal-421, 7-Danny Faria Jr.-412, 8-Austin Liggett-408, 9-Dennis Howell-399, 10-Nic Faas-342, 11-Landon Hurst-325, 12-Kevin Barnes-231, 13-Marty Hawkins-207, 14-Bud Kaeding-180, 15-Chris Ennis-154, 16-Garrett Long-153, 17-Michael Pickens-150, 18-Jeff Sibley-133, 19-Trent Carter-121, 20-Matt Day-115.
USAC WESTERN CLASSIC SPRINT POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ryan Bernal-268, 2. Matt Mitchell-202, 3. Nic Faas-201, 4. Jace Vander Weerd-186, 5. Richard Vander Weerd-180, 6. D.J. Johnson-173, 7. Marty Hawkins-165, 8. Landon Hurst-147, 9. Geoff Ensign-130, 10. Markus Niemela-128, 11. Trevor Schmid-118, 12. Scott Hall-116, 13. Austin Liggett-107, 14. Danny Faria Jr.-98, 15. Terry Schank Jr.-84, 16. Dennis Howell-82, 17. Troy Rutherford-77, 18. Bud Kaeding-58, 19. Jeff Sibley-51, 20. Austin Stone-43.
2014 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
August 8: #Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA
August 9: #Chowchilla Raceway - Chowchilla, CA
September 27: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Brawl For It All / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series / Non-Points)
October 11: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Cotton Classic / Non-Points)
November 6: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Oval Nationals / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series)
November 20: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / Non-Points)
November 21: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / Non-Points)
November 22: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships / $7,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC Southwest Sprints.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC Western Classic Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.