VANDER WEERD WINS DRAMATIC $5,000 ALL COAST CHALLENGE AT VENTURA
By Lance Jennings
VENTURA, CA – MAY 11, 2015... In one of the closest finishes in Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car history, Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia, California emerged victorious at Ventura Raceway. Besting Matt Mitchell in a photo finish, Vander Weerd’s 40-lap, $5,000 “All Coast Challenge” triumph was his third win of the campaign. Mitchell, Austin Williams, Brody Roa, and Ronnie Gardner chased Richard to the checkered flags.
After a near three year layoff, “Showtime” Danny Sheridan led the first 35-laps before contact with another car ended his night. Mitchell took command and while most competitors were content to run the low line, Vander Weerd made his charge from sixth on the outside groove. Vander Weerd was able to pressure the leader and with the checkered flag waving, Mitchell switched to the top. Vander Weerd crossed over to the bottom in the last corner and it was a drag race to the finish line. Vander Weerd surged past Mitchell by the narrowest of margins to claim the victory in front of the large crowd.
Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Vander Weerd began his night by earning the special $500 Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. After out-qualifying the other 49 racers in the pit area, the former USAC West Coast Champion scored fourth in his 10-lap heat race. Leaving Ventura with his fourth career USAC/CRA win, Vander Weerd has climbed to fourth in points with two heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 71 feature laps led to his credit.
Yorba Linda, California’s Matt Mitchell had to settle for second in the All Coast Challenge. Driving his #37 Campbell Bros. Storage / Pit Boss Jacks Maxim, Mitchell was fifth quick in time trials, ran third in his heat race, and led four laps of the main event. Heading to the May 23rd Salute to Indy at Perris, the defending USAC West Coast Champion is third in points with two heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main win, six top-10 finishes, and 11 feature laps led.
Austin Williams of Yorba Linda, California placed third in the 40-lap main event. Piloting Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams qualified twelfth overall and scored third in his heat race. The former rookie of the year left the Ventura County Fairgrounds ranked fifth in the point standings with four top-10 finishes on the season.
Garden Grove, California’s Brody Roa had a solid night and claimed fourth in the All Coast Challenge. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa was second fast in time trials and took third in his heat race. The former Wagsdash Champion is seventh in championship points with four top-10 finishes in the campaign.
Ronnie Gardner of Norco, California charged from ninth to finish fifth at Ventura Raceway. Racing his #93 Esslinger Engineering / Six8 Motorsports Sled, Gardner qualified seventh overall, placed seventh in his heat race, and was third in the semi-main. The 2-time defending USAC Western Midget Champion is currently twelfth in USAC/CRA points with two top-10 finishes on the year.
After using a provisional, Anaheim, California’s Jake Swanson earned Jimbo McCoskey’s $500 DMI / Keizer Wheels “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with an eighth place run from twenty-fourth. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Ram-Bull Racing Victory, Swanson was twentieth quick in time trials and placed eighth in his heat race. The former rookie of the year is sixth in points with two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards and five top-10 finishes.
Mike Spencer of Temecula, California won the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Driving Ron Chaffin’s #50 Grubstake Mini Storage / Madera Produce Maxim, Spencer qualified twenty-first overall and charged to seventh in the main event from seventeenth. The five-time champion has reclaimed the point lead with two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 17 feature laps led.
Torrance, California’s “Super” Rickie Gaunt drove to victory in the 10-lap DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Racing David Miller’s #66 Tom Roberts Designs / Barnes Systems Eagle, Gaunt was fourteenth fast in time trials and scored twenty-first in the main event after an early exit. In limited action, the former SCRA Champion is currently seventeenth in points with one top-10 finish.
Making his first USAC/CRA start of 2015, Jimmy Crawford of Ventura, California won the Saldana Racing Products / Circle Track Performance Heat Race #3. Piloting his #51 Twister X / Steve Gresham Racing Engines Triple X, Crawford qualified twenty-third overall and placed twenty-fourth in the main event.
Simi Valley, California’s Tom Hendricks claimed victory in the 10-lap Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Pyrotect Racing Cells Heat Race #4. Driving his #14 Snap-On Tools / Cory Kruseman Sprint Car & Midget Driving School Viper, Hendricks was twenty-fourth quick in time trials and took sixteenth in the feature. In limited appearances, Tom is twenty-ninth on the point standings.
Trent Williams of Victorville, California made his first USAC/CRA start of the year and won the 8-lap Ultra Shield Race Products C-Main. Racing Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92M Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Ram-Bull Racing Buckley with 360 power, Williams qualified thirty-eighth overall and took nineteenth in the semi-main.
Ventura, California’s Greg Taylor grabbed the 12-lap Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main victory. Racing his 360 powered #7T Westco International Consulting / Clark Engineering Maxim, Taylor was fourth quick in time trials, ran sixth in his heat race, and placed sixth in the feature.
On Saturday, May 23rd, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway for the 40-lap “Salute to Indy.” Located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, more event information can be found at www.perrisautospeedway.com or calling 951.940.0134.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Inc., Extreme Mufflers, Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at email@example.com.
For more information on the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit www.usacracing.com or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/USAC-CRA-Sprint-Car-Series/167535183297971) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/USAC_CRA). Mike Truex's Loudpedal Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. For more information, call 805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
May 9, 2015 – Ventura, California – Ventura Raceway – “All Coast Challenge”
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY TIME TRIALS:
1. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-12.351; 2. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-12.439; 3. Nic Faas, 73X, Ford-12.451; 4. Greg Taylor, 7T, Taylor-12.580; 5. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-12.632; 6. Cory Kruseman, 7, Priestley-12.652; 7. Ronnie Gardner, 93, Gardner-12.663; 8. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-12.715; 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 73, Ford-12.743; 10. Danny Sheridan, 9. McDonald-12.758; 11. Chris Wakim, 81M, Watt-12.813; 12. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-12.824; 13. Mike Colegrove, 17, Colegrove-12.902; 14. Rickie Gaunt, 66, Miller-12.936; 15. Johnathon Henry, 47, Gansen-12.947; 16. Ryan Bernal, 56, Phulps-12.980; 17. Luke Boles, 56A, Boles-13.012; 18. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-13.026; 19. Tristan Guardino, 81, Watt-13.039; 20. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-13.064; 21. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.074; 22. Bruce Douglass, 13, Davis-13.079; 23. Jimmy Crawford, 51, Crawford-13.110; 24. Tom Hendricks, 14, Hendricks-13.189; 25. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-13.213; 26. Guy Woodward, 24, Woodward-13.228; 27. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-13.242; 28. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-13.251; 29. Shon Deskins, 20, Deskins-13.359; 30. Kyle Smith, 55X, Smith-13.461; 31. David Taylor, 74, Taylor-13.482; 32. Hobie Conway, 2K, Kruseman-13.492; 33. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-13.529; 34. Josh Pelkey, 12, Allen-13.547; 35. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-13.569; 36. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Bowman-13.594; 37. R.J. Johnson, 91, Ferro-13.599; 38. Trent Williams, 92M, Sertich-13.639; 39. Ron Bach, 49, Bach-13.649; 40. Logan Williams, 5, Jory-13.721; 41. Tony Everhart, 55, Everhart-13.807; 42. Rick Hendrix, 15, Hendrix-13.831; 43. Tobey Sampson, 12B, Blair-13.852; 44. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-13.898; 45. Cody Majors, 54, Majors-14.050; 46. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-14.057; 47. Luis Espinoza, 09, Espinoza-14.086; 48. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-14.271; 49. Cal Smith, 39, Cal Sun-14.490; 50. Mike Trottochau, 16, Trottochau-16.206.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE #1: (10 laps)
1. Spencer, 2. Rutherford, 3. Mitchell, 4. R.Vander Weerd, 5. Colegrove, 6. Johnson, 7. Deskins, 8. Schuerenberg, 9. Bezio, 10. Boles. NT
DJ SAFETY HEAT RACE #2: (10 laps)
1. Gaunt, 2. Sheridan, 3. Roa, 4. Pelkey, 5. T.Williams, 6. Douglass, 7. K.Smith, 8. Woodward, 9. Gansen, 10. Kruseman. NT
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #3: (10 laps)
1. Crawford, 2. Guardino, 3. Henry, 4. Faas, 5. D.Gardner, 6. D.Taylor, 7. Wakim, 8. Bach, 9. R.Gardner, 10. C.Williams. NT
HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR / PYROTECT RACING CELLS HEAT RACE #4: (10 laps)
1. Hendricks, 2. Bernal, 3. A.Williams, 4. Faria, 5. Colston, 6. G.Taylor, 7. J.VanderWeerd. 8. Swanson, 9. Conway, 10. L.Williams. NT
ULTRA SHIELD RACE PRODUCTS C-MAIN: (8 laps)
1. T.Williams, 2. Johnson, 3. Conway, 4. D.Taylor, 5. Majors, 6. Bender, 7. Sampson, 8. Bach, 9. Bezio, 10. Trottachau, 11. L.Williams, 12. Everhart, 13. Edwards, 14. C.Smith, 15. Ellertson. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. / ROD END SUPPLY SEMI: (12 laps)
1. G.Taylor, 2. Kruseman, 3. R.Gardner, 4. Colegrove, 5. Schuerenberg, 6. J.Vander Weerd, 7. Wakim, 8. Boles, 9. Woodward, 10. Douglass, 11. C.Williams, 12. K.Smith, 13. Johnson, 14. Gansen, 15. Deskins, 16. D.Taylor, 17. Conway, 18. Colston, 19. T.Williams. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Richard Vander Weerd (6th), 2. Matt Mitchell (3rd), 3. Austin Williams (1st), 4. Brody Roa (5th), 5. Ronnie Gardner (9th), 6. Greg Taylor (7th), 7. Mike Spencer (17th), 8. Jake Swanson (24th), 9. Troy Rutherford (20th), 10. Damion Gardner (23rd), 11. Cory Kruseman (8th), 12. Jace Vander Weerd (10th), 13. Tristan Guardino (16th), 14. Mike Colegrove (12th), 15. Johnathon Henry (14th), 16. Tom Hendricks (19th), 17. Danny Sheridan (2nd), 18. Josh Pelkey (21st), 19. Ryan Bernal (15th), 20. Hunter Schuerenberg (11th), 21. Rickie Gaunt (13th), 22. Danny Faria Jr. (22nd), 23. Nic Faas (4th), 24. Jimmy Crawford (18th). NT
**Gansen flipped during the second heat. C.Williams flipped during the third heat. Everhart flipped during the C-Main. Faas and Bernal flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-35 Sheridan, Laps 36-39 Mitchell, Lap 40 R.Vander Weerd,
DMI / KEIZER WHEELS HARD CHARGER: Jake Swanson (24th to 8th)
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Mike Spencer-371, 2. Damion Gardner-365, 3. Matt Mitchell-335, 4. Richard Vander Weerd-297, 5. Austin Williams-293, 6. Jake Swanson-272, 7. Brody Roa-208, 8. Cody Williams-179, 9. Logan Williams-148, 10. Jace Vander Weerd-138, 11. Brady Bacon-136, 12. R.J. Johnson-115, ---. Parker Colston-115, --.David Bezio-115, 16. Dave Darland-110, 17. Rickie Gaunt-93, 18. Mike Martin-92, 19. Charles Davis Jr.-88, 20. Josh Hodges-83.