RYAN BERNAL CLAIMS ROUND #1 OF VENTURA’S BATTLE OF THE BEACH

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JUNE 6, 2017… Taking advantage of a lap twenty-one restart, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) slipped by Kyle Smith to claim last Saturday’s “ARP Battle of the Beach Race #1” at Ventura Raceway. The $1,500 USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Car triumph was Ryan’s fifth win of the year. Smith, Max Adams, Jace Vander Weerd, and Cody Majors chased Bernal to the checkered flags.

Slated to start on the pole position, Bernal was penalized back to third for stopping on the race track. Smith, the new polesitter, made the best of the opportunity and grabbed the lead as the green flag waved. Michael Faccinto applied heavy pressure early, but Smith began to open his lead. Bernal, who fallen back to fifth, began to slice his way forward battling with Majors and Vander Weerd. Sixth place Max Adams and seventh running Jake Swanson also looked to enter the fray. While setting a fast pace, clicking off the laps, and catching slower traffic, Smith’s powerplant began to smoke. By the midpoint of the race, Faccinto had mounted a charge and managed to slide past the leader. Smith, a former Ventura champion, countered and quickly regained the top spot.

Now racing in tight quarters with back markers at the Ventura bullring, Bernal and Swanson dropped Faccinto to fourth with Adams a close fifth. As the top four challengers were in striking distance, Swanson took over second from Bernal and made a bid for the lead. At that same moment, contact between Smith and a slower car bounced the leader into Swanson’s path. A rebounding Faccinto was soon collected and flipped his machine. All of the drivers were ok, but Swanson and Faccinto were out of the race. Still out front, Smith looked to claim his first USAC victory but Bernal managed to take command and score the 32nd USAC West Coast victory of his career.

Driving Keith Ford’s #73 Edgewater Construction / Sun Valley Ag Transport XXX, Ryan Bernal qualified ninth out of twenty-two racers and ran second to Cody Majors in his heat race. After earning his first Ventura win, the point leader heads to Saturday’s “Ron Otto Memorial” with a 24 point advantage on the strength of one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 68 feature laps led.

After leading the first 21 laps, Kyle Smith (Moorpark, California) settled for second in the “Battle at the Beach.” Racing the family owned #55 Roy’s Towing / State Ready Mix Spike, Smith was tenth fast in time trials and ran second to Kenny Perkins in his heat race. The 2-time VRA Champion is currently nineteenth in West Coast points with one top-10 finish.

Charging from seventh, Max Adams (Loomis, California) took third at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Piloting his #5M ART Speed Equipment / Ken Imler Diesel Performance Maxim, Adams missed time trials with problems and rebounded to place third in his heat race. To date, last season’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year is sixteenth in the standings with three top-10 finishes.

Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) had a solid night with a fourth place finish at Ventura Raceway. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace qualified fifth overall and won the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. The 2010 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has taken over second in points with three heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led to his credit.

Cody Majors (Simi Valley, California) continues to improve and scored fifth in “The Battle of the Beach.” Racing Steve Watt’s #81M Maxwell Industries / State Ready Mix Maxim, Majors was sixth quick in time trials and won the Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. At press time, Cody ranks eighth in the standings with three heat race victories and five top-10 finishes on the year.

Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) earned the night’s BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors with a seventh place run from nineteenth. Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental / Lucas Oil entry, the 2012 Rookie of the Year qualified fourth overall and finished seventh in his heat race. To date, Liggett is fourth in the point chase with one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, seven top-10 finishes, and 7 feature laps led.

Kenny Perkins (Oak Hills, California) earned his first career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and set a new track record. Driving the family owned #0K Sprint Car Driving Experience / Victory Race Cars entry, Perkins was one of three racers under the old standard, claimed the Bakersfield Karting Experience bonus, won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1, and finished sixth in the main event. The second generation driver left Ventura Raceway placed 39th in the point standings.

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. Kenny Perkins, 0K, Perkins-12.085 (New Track Record), 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-12.140; 3. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-12.192; 4. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-12.243; 5. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-12.244; 6. Cody Majors, 81M, Watt- 12.375; 7. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-12.456; 8. Kalib Henry, 81, Watt-12.456; 9. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-12.468; 10. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-12.479; 11. Michael Faccinto, 81X, Watt-12.545; 12. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-12.574; 13. Mike Spencer, 21K, Kruseman-12.707; 14. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-12.752; 15. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-12.783; 16. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-12.863; 17. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-12.920; 18. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Team 33-12.966; 19. Chris Meredith, 66, Clawson-13.163; 20. Hobie Conway, 1K, Kruseman-13.173; 21. Charlie Butcher, 96, Butcher-13.236; 22. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-NT.

 

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps)

  1. Perkins, 2. Smith, 3. Adams, 4. Spencer, 5. Timmons, 6. Hendricks, 7. Liggett, 8. Meredith. NT

 

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps)

  1. J.Vander Weerd, 2. Faccinto, 3. Guardino, 4. Henry, 5. R.Vander Weerd, 6. Hix, 7. Conway. NT

 

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps)

  1. Majors, 2. Bernal, 3. Swanson, 4. Wiley, 5. Stolz, 6. Butcher. NT

 

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)

  1. Ryan Bernal (1st), 2. Kyle Smith (3rd), 3. Max Adams (7th), 4. Jace Vander Weerd (5th), 5. Cody Majors (4th), 6. Kenny Perkins (6th), 7. Austin Liggett (19th), 8. Tristan Guardino (8th), 9. Kalib Henry (11th), 10. Ryan Timmons (13th), 11. Richard Vander Weerd (14th), 12. Steve Hix (17th), 13. Tom Hendricks (16th), 14. Jake Swanson (9th), 15. Hobie Conway (20th), 16. Charlie Butcher (18th), 17. Brandon Wiley (12th), 18. Ryan Stolz (15th), 19. Michael Faccinto (2nd), 20. Mike Spencer (10th), 21. Kyle Edwards (21st). NT

**Meredith flipped during the first heat. Faccinto flipped on lap 21 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Smith, Laps 22-30 Bernal.

BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Austin Liggett (19th to 7th)