MAY 21, 2018… As track conditions were changing, Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) slipped by “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. on the tenth lap and sailed to victory at Saturday’s “5th Annual Peter Murphy Classic.” Vander Weerd earned the $4,000 USAC West Coast Sprint Car triumph at Tulare ahead of hard charger Ryan Bernal, Tristan Guardino, point leader Austin Liggett, and Jace Vander Weerd.
Starting fourth, Richard Vander Weerd took the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim to the twenty-first win of his career. After taking control of the main event, Vander Weerd used the outside line to his advantage and held the lead by a full straightaway. His progress was halted by a city power outage, but once racing resumed, he was not to be denied.
With twenty racers in the pit area, Saturday’s 10-lap heat races were claimed by Danny Faria Jr. (Extreme Mufflers), Colby Copeland (Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply), and Troy Rutherford (Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply). Copeland bested Faria in the special pole shuffle dash and elected to start eleventh for a chance at the $5,000 Four CCCC’s Construction bonus. Unfortunately for Copeland, a flip on the eighteenth lap ended his night.
Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) earned Saturday night’s Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a second place run from seventeenth. The pilot of Keith Ford’s #73 Edgewater Construction / Sun Valley AG Transport Triple X also took home an additional $500 from the “Peter Murphy Classic.”
On the previous night, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, California) started on the outside of the front row and led all 30-laps to earn his first $1,500 win of the season. The two-time champion found the bottom groove to his liking and finished ahead of hard charger Colby Copeland, fast qualifier Ryan Bernal, point leader Austin Liggett, and Richard Vander Weerd.
Driving his #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / DeBoer & Sons Trucking Spike, Faria qualified third out of sixteen racers, placed second in the trophy dash, and scored third in his heat race. The Friday main event victory marked the eleventh series win of his career.
Bernal began Friday’s action by claiming the 17th Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of his career. The 2011 Rookie of the Year followed that drive by winning the 4-lap Trophy Dash and the first 10-lap heat race sponsored by Extreme Mufflers. Tristan Guardino raced to victory in the Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply Heat Race #2.
Racing his #24 Good Guys Rod & Custom / Black Dog Drilling Maxim, Colby Copeland (Roseville, California) earned Friday night’s Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a second place run from eighth.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday, June 2nd, at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” will also feature the King of the West – NARC Sprint Cars and the Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars. Located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds in Tulare, California at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets, more information can be found at www.tularethunderbowl.com or by calling 559.688.0909.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 18, 2018 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – “5th Annual Peter Murphy Classic”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-16.836; 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.863; 3. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-16.923; 4. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.247; 5. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.270; 6. Colby Copeland, 24, Copeland-17.286; 7. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-17.458; 8. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-17.587; 9. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-17.790; 10. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-17.802; 11. Ryan Stolz, 72, Ford-17.854; 12. Shannon McQueen, 7, Van Meter-18.042; 13. Britton Bock, 67, Bock-18.119; 14. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-18.179; 15. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.487; 16. Cody Smothermon, 81, Watt-18.555.
BUTLERBUILT PROFESSIONAL SEAT SYSTEMS TROPHY DASH: (4 laps) 1. Bernal, 2. Faria, 3. Liggett, 4. R.Vander Weerd. NT
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bernal, 2. J.Vander Weerd, 3. Faria, 4. Timmons, 5. Hix, 6. Bock, 7. Stolz, 8. Ervine. NT
KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Guardino, 2. R. Vander Weerd, 3. Liggett, 4. Copeland, 5. Rutherford, 6. McQueen, 7. Shaw, 8. Smothermon. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. Danny Faria Jr. (2nd), 2. Colby Copeland (8th), 3. Ryan Bernal (6th), 4. Austin Liggett (1st), 5. Richard Vander Weerd (3rd), 6. Steve Hix (9th), 7. Shannon McQueen (12th), 8. Ryan Stolz (13th), 9. Tristan Guardino (5th), 10. Ryan Timmons (7th), 11. Cody Smothermon (16th), 12. Koen Shaw (14th), 13. Austin Ervine (15th), 14. Britton Bock (11th), 15. Jace Vander Weerd (4th), 16. Troy Rutherford (10th). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Faria.
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Colby Copeland (8th to 2nd)
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 19, 2018 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – “5th Annual Peter Murphy Classic”
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Danny Faria Jr. (#17V Faria), 2. Austin Liggett, (#83 Liggett), 3. Ryan Timmons (#29T Timmons), 4. Britton Bock (#67 Bock), 5. Shannon McQueen (#7 Van Meter), 6. Brent Owens (#71 Martin), 7. Kaleb Montgomery (#3T Montgomery). NT
KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Colby Copeland (#24 Copeland), 2. Richard Vander Weerd (#10 Vander Weerd), 3. Jace Vander Weerd (#88 Vander Weerd), 4. Brody Roa (#56 Phulps), 5. Koen Shaw (#88K Shaw), 6. Ryan Stolz (#72 Ford), 7. Brandon Wiley (#33B Team 33). NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED / ROD END SUPPLY THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Troy Rutherford (#11 Rutherford), 2. Tristan Guardino (#15T Guardino), 3. Max Adams (#42X Bates), 4. Steve Hix (#57 Hix), 5. Austin Ervine (#51 AJ), 6. Ryan Bernal (#73 Ford). NT
BUTLERBUILT PROFESSIONAL SEAT SYSTEMS POLE SHUFFLE: 1. Copeland, 2. Faria, 3. Rutherford, 4. Liggett, 5. R.Vander Weerd, 6. Guardino. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions) 1. Richard Vander Weerd (4th), 2. Ryan Bernal (17th), 3. Tristan Guardino (5th), 4. Austin Liggett (3rd), 5. Jace Vander Weerd (7th), 6. Max Adams (8th), 7. Danny Faria Jr. (1st), 8. Ryan Timmons (6th), 9. Troy Rutherford (2nd), 10. Shannon McQueen (13th), 11. Steve Hix (12th), 12. Koen Shaw (14th), 13. Brandon Wiley (19th), 14. Brody Roa (10th), 15. Colby Copeland (11th), 16. Britton Bock (9th), 17. Ryan Stolz (16th), 18. Kaleb Montgomery (18th), 19. Austin Ervine (15th). NT.
**Owens flipped on lap 3 of the first heat. Ervine flipped on lap 1 of the feature. Copeland flipped on lap 18 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-9 Faria, Laps 10-30 R.Vander Weerd
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Ryan Bernal (17th to 2nd)
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Austin Liggett-417, 2. Richard Vander Weerd-385, 3. Tristan Guardino-380, 4. Steve Hix-343, 5. Jace Vander Weerd-322, 6. Koen Shaw-311, 7. Shannon McQueen-305, .. Ryan Timmons-305, 9. Danny Faria Jr.-293, 10. Ryan Bernal-279, 11. Britton Bock-251, 12. Ryan Stolz-236, 13. Austin Ervine-226, 14. Brandon Wiley-179, 15. Troy Rutherford-171, 16. Brody Roa-117, 17. Colby Copeland-114, 18. Trent Carter-107, 19. Hobie Conway-87, 20. Brent Owens-85.
2018 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
June 2: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial)
June 9: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Ron Otto Memorial)
June 30: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle at the Beach Race #1)
July 14: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle at the Beach Race #2)
July 28: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
August 11: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
August 25: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle at the Beach Race #3)
October 6: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Championship Night)
November 21: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
November 22: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Battle at the Beach Race #4 / Non-Points)
This schedule is subject to change.
Tulare Podium – Ryan Bernal (2nd), Richard Vander Weerd (1st), Tristan Guardino (3rd). Photo by MMRacingPhotos.com.