FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINTS AT BAKERSFIELD SATURDAY
By Lance Jennings
BAKERSFIELD, CA – MARCH 22, 2010…Round three for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be held this Saturday night, March 27th, at the Bakersfield Speedway. It will be the first of four events at the “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval” as the series will return on May 29th, June 19th, and August 7th. The May 29th event is also part of the Southwest Contractors 360 Clash, a four-race mini-series that has a $5,000 point fund.
Tipton’s “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. won the 30-lap feature at Hanford’s Giant Chevrolet Speedway on March 13th after starting in the sixteenth spot. The pilot of the Louie DeGroot & Sons Dairy #17V Maxim earned “Best Passing Job” honors and now sits atop the series standings with a nine-point advantage over Visalia’s Jace VanderWeerd and Craig Stidham from Fresno.
VanderWeerd has shown that consistency can pay off in the family’s VanderWeerd Construction # 88 Maxim. At both Tulare and Hanford, Jace came from the ninth spot to battle his way up to a fourth place finish. Last year, VanderWeerd had 5 top-5 finishes, 3 fast times, and won the inaugural series event at Hanford on March 14th.
Stidham battled Davey Pombo for the early lead at Hanford in his Brad D. Johnson Trucking #3S TCR before finishing sixth. At the Tulare opener on March 6th, the former Trophy Cup champion charged from twelfth to finish in the runner-up spot. Last season, Stidham had 5 top-5 finishes, 1 fast time, and scored back-to-back wins at Hanford on June 20th and June 26th.
“The Central Valley Samurai” Garrett Ishii from Caruthers is fourth in the point standings. The pilot of the MK1 Designs #71G Don Ott powered Maxim has two top-10 finishes and could be a factor in the point chase. The Rebel Cup feature winner is 20 points behind Faria and will be looking for the Bakersfield win.
Sitting fifth in the point standings is Fresno’s T.J. Smith. The young driver of Steve Legraw’s UHL Rubber #14 Maxim had a second place finish at Hanford and battled to eleventh after starting twenty-second at Tulare. Last season, Smith was fifth in the series standings with 2 top-five finishes and one fast time.
Among the other top contenders expected to be in action this week are 4-time Santa Maria track champion “Junkyard” Jimmy Thompson of Arroyo Grande, multi-series and multi-track champion Peter Murphy of Clovis, 2006 SCRA 360 champion Jonathan Logan of Hanford, defending series champion Justyne Hamblin of Hanford, 2004 Bandit and Santa Maria champion Davey Pombo of Kerman, and hometown favorite Rusty Carlile, who finished second in series points. Last season, Pombo won two out of three features on the Bakersfield clay, while Peter Murphy scored the other victory.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Port City Racing, and Saferacer.com for their support.
Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Also on the “Free Pepsi Night” card are the California Lightning Sprints, NMRA TQ Midgets, and Hobby Stocks. The Front Gates will open at 4:30pm with Racing at 6:00pm. Adult tickets are $15, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. The Pit Gate will open at 1:00pm.
For event information, please visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call (661) 393-3373.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car series, visit www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, and www.usacracing.com.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS:
1. Danny Faria Jr., 17V- 125
2. Jace VanderWeerd, 88- 116
3. Craig Stidham, 3S- 116
4. Garrett Ishii, 71G- 100
5. T.J. Smith, 14- 98
6. Chris Ennis, 86- 92
7. Jimmy Thompson, 71R- 78
8. Peter Murphy, 21- 78
9. Jonathan Logan, 32- 77
10. Justyne Hamblin, 8- 71
11. Richard VanderWeerd, 10- 70
12. Dean Alexander, 11- 68
13. Davey Pombo, 3- 66
14. Andy Ferris, 4J- 62
15. Rusty Carlile, 51- 56
16. Dave Knott, 28- 51
17. Matt Day, 97- 48
18. Steve Osborne, 9J- 47
19. Wes Gutierrez, 007- 42
20. Koen Shaw, 88K- 32