OCTOBER 10, 2017… Tristan Guardino (Fremont, California) led all 30-laps to claim last Saturday’s “Championship Night” at Santa Maria Raceway. Co-sanctioned with the local SM 360 Sprints, Guardino’s $1,500 triumph was his first USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory of the season. Fast qualifier Max Adams, Austin Liggett, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., and Grant Anderson rounded out the top-five finishers.
Getting the jump on champion Jake Swanson, Guardino grabbed the lead from the pole position. Setting a blistering pace on the Santa Maria clay, the leaders reached slower traffic within a few laps. Slicing though packs of lapped cars, Adams and Faria chased down Guardino. Faria slipped by Adams for second and began to challenge the leader. Guardino managed to shake free from Faria and sailed to his third career USAC West Coast victory.
Piloting the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Sales Maxim, Tristan Guardino qualified sixth out of twenty-two racers and won the night’s Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. The young driver closed out the point season ranked third in the standings with one feature win, four heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and feature laps led to his credit.
Max Adams (Loomis, California) ran second at Santa Maria’s “Championship Night” after starting fourth. Racing his #5M ART Speed Equipment / Ken Imler Diesel Performance Maxim, Adams was the night’s Woodland Auto Display Fast Qualifier and ran second to Danny Faria Jr. in his heat race. The “Bud Stanfield Memorial” winner ran fifth in West Coast points with one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, one Competition Suspension Incorporated Semi-Main win, ten top-10 finishes, and 26 feature laps led on the year.
Starting twelfth, Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) charged to third in the Santa Maria feature. Driving the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil Maxim, Liggett was third quick in time trials and placed fourth in his heat race. The 2012 Rookie of the Year finished second in points on the strength of three feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, two BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Awards, twelve top-10 finishes, and 64 feature laps led in the campaign.
After battling for the lead, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, California) had mechanical issues and took fourth at the checkered flags. Piloting his #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / DeBoer & Sons Trucking Spike, Faria qualified seventh overall and won the Extreme Muffler’s Heat Race #1. The two-time champion closed out 2017 ranked fourth in the point chase with one feature win, one pole shuffle win, eight heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and 62 feature laps led.
Making his first non-winged start, Grant Anderson (Albury, NSW, Australia) scored fifth at Santa Maria Raceway. Racing Steve Watt’s #81X Maxwell Industries / SWE Maxim, Anderson was sixteenth fast in time trials and placed third in his heat race. The Australian winged sprint car veteran placed fifty-fifth in the point standings.
Dalton Hill (Madera, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a tenth place run from twentieth. Driving the Double D Motorsports’ #81D Montage for Ag / West Hills Farm Services KPC, Hill qualified seventeenth overall and scored seventh in his heat race. In limited appearances, the 2018 rookie contender finished twenty-ninth in points with two top-10 finishes on the season.
Debuting a new Matt Dale #12 Gage Huntley Design / West Evans Motorsports Maxim, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) won the Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. In addition, Swanson was eighth fast in time trials and scored eighteenth in the main event after an early exit. Also racing the Sertich #92 Triple X and the Henry/Jones #41 DRC, the newly crowned champion had two feature wins, three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, five heat race victories, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, eleven top-10 finishes, and 48 feature laps led in 2017.
On Wednesday, November 22nd, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will return for two nights of action at Ventura Raceway. The non-point “77th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix” will also feature the USAC Western and National Midget Series for practice on Wednesday and racing on Thursday. More event and ticket information can be found at www.venturaraceway.com or calling 805.648.RACE.
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-13.688; 2. Jimmy Thompson, 71, Thompson-13.773; 3. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-13.963; 4. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-13.973; 5. Trent Carter, 13, Carter-14.049; 6. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-14.054; 7. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-14.055; 8. Jake Swanson, 12, Dale-14.134; 9. Jordan Linson-14.221; 10. Garrett Long, 38, Long-14.236; 11. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-14.292; 12. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Team 33-14.298; 13. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-14.373; 14. Gary Nelson Jr., 2K, Keller-14.451; 15. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-14.465; 16. Grant Anderson, 81X, Watt-14.477; 17. Dalton Hill, 81D, Double D-14.505; 18. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-14.634; 19. James Herrera, 5J, Herrera-15.010; 20. Bill Jones, 16J, Herrera-15.509; 21. Austin Ervine, 51, Ervine-NT; 22. Benjamin Catron, 4, Catron-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Faria, 2. Adams, 3. Anderson, 4. Long, 5. Hix, 6. Herrera, 7. Timmons, 8. Catron. NT
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Swanson, 2. Smith, 3. Carter, 4. Nelson, 5. Steve Demott (#16J Herrera), 6. Thompson, 7. Hill. NT
KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Guardino, 2. Linson, 3. Wiley, 4. Liggett, 5. Hendricks, 6. Stolz, 7. Ervine. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. Tristan Guardino (1st), 2. Max Adams (4th), 3. Austin Liggett (12th), 4. Danny Faria Jr. (3rd), 5. Grant Anderson (7th), 6. Kyle Smith (5th), 7. Brandon Wiley (9th), 8. Tom Hendricks (15th), 9. Steve Hix (13th), 10. Dalton Hill (20th), 11. Ryan Timmons (19th), 12. Gary Nelson Jr. (11th), 13. Garrett Long (10th), 14. Jordan Linson (6th), 15. James Herrera (16th), 16. Trent Carter (8th), 17. Austin Ervine (21st), 18. Jake Swanson (2nd), 19. Steve Demott (14th), 20. Benjamin Catron (22nd), 21. Ryan Stolz (18th). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Guardino.
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Dalton Hill (20th to 10th)
FINAL USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Jake Swanson-939, 2. Austin Liggett-871, 3. Tristan Guardino-847, 4. Danny Faria, Jr.-772, 5. Max Adams-718, 6. Ryan Bernal-699, 7. Richard Vander Weerd-648, 8. Ryan Timmons-629, 9. Brandon Wiley-625, 10. Jace Vander Weerd-618, 11. Steve Hix-582, 12. Cody Majors-549, 13. Shannon McQueen-413, 14. Ryan Stolz-412, 15. Geoff Ensign-401, 16. Kyle Smith-386, 17. Joe Stornetta, Jr.-336, 18. Steven Garris-327, 19. Jeff Sibley-280, 20. Cory Elliott-217.