TULARE, California — Making his first start with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson swept the opening night of the Faria Memorial at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway. Not only did the Eldora 4-Crown winner set fast time, win his heat race, and claim the 30-lap feature, Larson also triumphed in the companion winged King of the West 410 main event.
Piloting Keith Ford’s #72 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Ellis, Larson bested the other twenty-seven cars in Sander Engineering / Rod End Supply Time Trials and won the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Starting fourth in the main event, Kyle used some daring moves to slip past Richard Vander Weerd for the lead on the twenty-third circuit. After a yellow flag bunched the field one lap later, Larson had an excellent restart and drove away from the field to earn the $1,500 victory. Bud Kaeding, Vander Weerd, Matt Mitchell, and Brent Kaeding rounded out the top five at Tulare.
Bud Kaeding of Campbell drove Junior Bowman’s #29 Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Bullet to second after starting fifth. The defending wingless Faria Memorial winner qualified fifth and finished second to Larson in his heat race. With over two-thirds of the feature completed, Bud had made his way to third when second place Ryan Bernal spun bringing out a yellow flag. The 3-time USAC Silver Crown Champion looked to overtake Kyle on the restart, but it was not to be on this night. Kaeding now leads the standings with a 13 point advantage over the competition.
Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd led the majority of the feature before falling to Larson. The defending series champion scored third in the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Battery Worx Maxim, earning the night’s LRB Inc. Race Products Award for his efforts. Earlier in the program, Vander Weerd was fourth quick in time trials and placed third in his heat race. As this writing goes to press, Richard is sixth in the hunt for the championship.
Matt Mitchell of Yorba Linda claimed fourth in the 30-lap main event at Tulare. Piloting Steve Watt’s #18 Christian Stover Foundation / SWE Maxim, Mitchell was second fast on the night and placed fourth in his heat race. The USAC/CRA standout is currently fifth in points heading to the Saturday finale of the Faria Memorial.
Campbell’s Brent Kaeding powered Junior Bowman’s #29K Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / Kaeding Performance Bullet to a fifth place finish after starting ninth. The 13-time Golden State Challenge Champion qualified tenth quick on the night and won the Saldana Racing Products / Keizer Wheels Heat Race #2. Making a rare wingless start, the Northern California legend sits twenty-first in series points.
Kevin Barnes of Fresno earned the night’s Kaeding Performance / Ringers Gloves “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with an eleventh place run after starting twentieth. Driving his #36B B&K Towing / Coventry Race Engines Eagle, the veteran driver was eighteenth fast on the night, sixth in his heat race, and fourth in the semi-main. Barnes is currently eleventh in the standings heading to tonight’s Faria Memorial finale.
Hollister’s Ryan Bernal won the night’s 10-lap DJ Safety Heat Race #3 behind the wheel of Keith Ford’s #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike. The 2011 Rookie of the Year was third quick in time trials and scored fifteenth in the feature after a spin ended his hopes for victory. Bernal fell to second in points and may miss tonight’s finale of the Faria Memorial to attend his high school prom.
“Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton raced to victory in the SBI Fuel Systems / Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #4. Driving his #17V Johnston Calf Pens / Buster & Ziggy Enterprises Bullet, Faria was sixteenth fast on the night and claimed sixth in the main event after starting fourteenth. The hard charger has moved to third in points as he looks to win the race that honors his family.
Hanford’s Justyne Hamblin won the night’s 12-lap Competition Suspension Inc. / Diversified Machine Inc. Semi-Main. Piloting the JH Motorsports’ #8 Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino / Kings River Commodities Speed Tech, the 2009 Champion qualified twenty-first, finished fifth in her heat race, and scored tenth in the feature after starting eighteenth. Hamblin is tenth in points and will be looking for the Tulare victory.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will return to action tonight, May 12th, at Steve Faria's Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway for the finale of the "Chris & Brian Faria Memorial Weekend." Joining the showcase will be the Cancen Oil King of the West Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds. Located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, the Front Gates will open at 5:00pm, with time Trials at 6:00pm, and Racing at 7:00pm. Reserved Grandstand Tickets are $20 and Bleacher Tickets are $17. 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 USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, ButlerBuilt, Competition Suspension Inc., Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Hilborn Fuel Injection, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, LRB Inc. Race Products, ParkerStore of Phoenix, Ringers Gloves, Rod End Supply, SBI Fuel Systems, Saferacer.com, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, please visit westcoastsprintcars.com, usacracing.com, racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
May 11, 2012 – Tulare, California – Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway – “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial”
SANDER ENGINEERING / ROD END SUPPLY TIME TRIALS:
1. Kyle Larson, 72, Ford-15.992; 2. Matt Mitchell, 18, Watt-16.014; 3. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-16.120; 4. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.125; 5. Bud Kaeding, 29, Bowman-16.184; 6. Danny Sheridan, 18K, Kittle-16.234; 7. Markus Niemela, 81, Watt-16.379; 8. Marty Hawkins, 3M, Hawkins-16.514; 9. A.J. Bender, 12, Bender-16.601; 10. Brent Kaeding, 29K, Bowman-16.625; 11. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-16.661; 12. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-16.689; 13. Steve Conrad, 56, Swaim-16.705; 14. Peter Murphy, 11, Iturriria-16.726; 15. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-16.746; 16. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-16.813; 17. Austin Smith, 14, Springstead-16.941; 18. Kevin Barnes, 36B, Barnes-17.103; 19. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.119; 20. Ricky Kirkbride, 87, Van Meter-17.317; 21. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-17.323; 22. Austin DeBlauw, 65, DeBlauw-17.359; 23. Tyler Dolacki, 18X, Dolacki-17.893; 24. Ray Knight, 6K, Knight-18.839; 25. Don Gansen, 7G, Gansen-NT; 26. D.J. Netto, 7N, Netto-NT; 27. Dylan Black, 84, Evans-NT; 28. Jared Little, 25, Little-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Kyle Larson, 2. Bud Kaeding, 3. Austin Smith, 4. Steve Conrad, 5. Justyne Hamblin, 6. Don Gansen, 7. A.J. Bender. NT
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / KEIZER WHEELS HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Brent Kaeding, 2. Peter Murphy, 3. Danny Sheridan, 4. Matt Mitchell, 5. D.J. Netto, 6. Kevin Barnes, 7. Austin DeBlauw. NT
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Jace Vander Weerd, 3. Markus Niemela, 4. Chris Gansen, 5. Austin Liggett, 6. Tyler Dolacki, 7. Dylan Black. NT
SBI FUEL SYSTEMS / INTEGRA RACING SHOCKS HEAT RACE 4: (10 laps)
1. Danny Faria Jr., 2. Rusty Carlile, 3. Richard Vander Weerd, 4. Ricky Kirkbride, 5. Marty Hawkins, 6. Jared Little, 7. Ray Knight. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / DIVERSIFIED MACHINE INC. SEMI-MAIN: (12 laps)
1. Justyne Hamblin, 2. Marty Hawkins, 3. D.J. Netto, 4. Kevin Barnes, 5. Jared Little, 6. A.J. Bender, 7. Tyler Dolacki, 8. Don Gansen, 9. Ray Knight, 10. Austin Liggett, 11. Dylan Black, 12. Austin DeBlauw. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Kyle Larson (4th), 2. Bud Kaeding (5th), 3. Richard Vander Weerd (1st), 4. Matt Mitchell (3rd), 5. Brent Kaeding (9th), 6. Danny Faria Jr. (14th), 7. Danny Sheridan (6th), 8. Markus Niemela (7th), 9. Steve Conrad (11th), 10. Justyne Hamblin (18th), 11. Kevin Barnes (20th), 12. Jace Vander Weerd (13th), 13. Ricky Kirkbride (17th), 14. Rusty Carlile (10th), 15. Ryan Bernal (2nd), 16. D.J. Netto (19th), 17. Marty Hawkins (8th), 18. Chris Gansen (16th), 19. A.J. Bender (22nd), 20. Peter Murphy (12th), 21. Austin Smith (15th), 22. Jared Little (21st). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-22 Richard Vander Weerd, Laps 23-30 Kyle Larson.
RINGERS GLOVES HARD CHARGER: Kevin Barnes (20th to 11th)
LRB INC. RACE PRODUCTS AWARD: Richard Vander Weerd
NEW USAC WEST COAST SPRINT STANDINGS:
1. Bud Kaeding-247; 2. Ryan Bernal-234; 3. Danny Faria Jr.-228; 4. Markus Niemela-223; 5. Matt Mitchell-207; 6. Richard Vander Weerd-159; 7. Steve Conrad-142; 8. Danny Sheridan-137; 9. Rusty Carlile-129; 10. Justyne Hamblin-129; 11. Kevin Barnes-127; 12. Ricky Kirkbride-119; 13. Chris Ennis-118; 14. Chris Gansen-99; 15. Jace Vander Weerd-82; 16. Kyle Larson-74; 17. Austin Ligget-72; 18. Peter Murphy-72; 19. Don Gansen-70; 20. Marty Hawkins-61.
2012 USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
May 12: Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial)
June 9: Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA
June 23: Santa Maria Speedway - Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
July 7: *Santa Maria Speedway - Santa Maria, CA (War At The Shore / Doug Fort Memorial)
July 14: Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (John Anthony Sharp Memorial)
August 4: Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA (Jim Evett Memorial)
September 8: Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA (Jim Turner Memorial)
September 22: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Brawl For It All / Non-Points)
September 29: Santa Maria Speedway - Santa Maria, CA (Billet Cup / John Jewett Memorial / Non-Points)
October 13: Kings Speedway - Hanford, CA (Cotton Classic)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event With ASCS Canyon Region Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.