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RYAN BERNAL WINS TULARE’S CHRIS & BRIAN FARIA MEMORIAL

By Lance Jennings

MAY 23, 2017... Starting ninth, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) grabbed the lead from Kyle Hirst at the white flag and won last Saturday’s “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial.” The $1,500 USAC West Coast Sprint Car triumph at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway was Bernal’s fourth victory of the campaign. Hirst, fast qualifier Austin Liggett, Richard Vander Weerd, and “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers.

Polesitter Tristan Guardino led the opening four laps before “The Milkman” Joe Stornetta Jr. grabbed the top spot. Looking for his first series win, Stornetta dominated the event until suffering heartbreak and front end damage on lap twenty-six. Hirst, who won the April 22nd Peter Murphy Classic, inherited the lead but slower cars became a factor. Bernal got the better of the traffic and thrilled the crowd to earn the popular win.

Racing Keith Ford’s #73 Edgewater Construction / Sun Valley Ag Transport XXX, Ryan Bernal captured his series leading 31st main event. After qualifying tenth out of twenty-two racers, the Hollister driver won the 10-lap Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1 and earned his second BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger / “Best Passing Job” honors. At press time, the two-time USAC Western Classic Champion has reclaimed the point lead with one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 59 feature laps led to his credit.

After leading two laps late in the race, Kyle Hirst (Paradise, California) settled for second after winning the companion King of the West / NARC feature. Driving Dennis Roth’s #51T Roth Enterprises / KW Suspensions KPC, Hirst was second quick in time trials and ran third in his heat race. In limited starts, the three-time King of the West Champion is nineteenth in points with one feature win, two top-10 finishes, and 22 feature laps led on the year.

Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) ran third in the Faria Memorial after starting sixth. Piloting the family owned #83 Excel Environmental / Lucas Oil entry, the 2012 Rookie of the Year earned his second career Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and ran second to Ryan Bernal in his heat race. To date, the 2012 Rookie of the Year is tied with Jake Swanson for fourth in points with one feature win, one, two heat race victories, six top-10 finishes, and 7 feature laps led on the season.

Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) finished fourth at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. Racing the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard qualified third overall and ran second to Danny Faria Jr. in his heat race. At press time, the 2011 champion ranks second in points with one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, and six top-10 finishes.

“Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, California) scored fifth in the 30-lap main event. Driving his #17V Buster & Ziggy Enterprises / SurfnSprint Spike, Faria was ninth quick in time trials and won the 10-lap Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. The two-time champion is sixth in points with one feature win, four heat race victories, one pole shuffle win, five top-10 finishes, and 50 feature laps led to his credit.

Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, California) raced to victory in the 10-lap Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. Piloting the Bob & Toni Van Meter owned #7 Simpson Race Products / Lucas Oil Spike, McQueen qualified eighth overall and scored tenth in the “Faria Memorial.” As this writing goes to press, the 2012 USAC Western States Midget Champion ranks sixteenth in points with two top-10 finishes on the year.

On Saturday, June 3rd, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will invade Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway in Ventura, California. The “Battle of the Beach Race #1” is co-sanctioned with the VRA Sprints and will also showcase IMCA Modifieds, California Lightning Sprints, and USAC 600 Micro Sprints. Located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd., more event and ticket information can be found at www.venturaraceway.com or calling 805.648.RACE.

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information, visit www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC West Coast Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Loudpedal Productions has USAC West Coast Sprint Car DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS:
May 20, 2017 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-16.083; 2. Kyle Hirst, 51T, Roth-16.181; 3. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.294; 4. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.308; 5. Joe Stornetta Jr., 3F, Finkenbinder-16.483; 6. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-16.607; 7. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-16.659; 8. Shannon McQueen, 7, Van Meter-16.679; 9. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-16.686; 10. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-16.845; 11. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-16.901; 12. Scotty Farmer, 81, Watt-16.976; 13. Steven Garris, 58, Garris-17.190; 14. Jeff Sibley, 42N, Sibley-17.315; 15. Ryan Stolz, 63, Stolz-17.376; 16. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-17.479; 17. Gary Nelson Jr., 6N, Nelson-17.498; 18. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-17.522; 19. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Team 33-17.790; 20. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-18.031; 21. Benjamin Catron, 4, Catron-20.027; 22. Cody Majors, 81M, Watt-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Bernal, 2. Liggett, 3. J.Vander Weerd, 4. Swanson, 5. Timmons, 6. Wiley, 7. Garris. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps)
1. McQueen, 2. Stornetta, 3. Hirst, 4. Adams, 5. Sibley, 6. Nelson, 7. Strole. NT

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps)
1. Faria, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Guardino, 4. Hix, 5. Stolz, 6. Catron, 7. Farmer. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positons)
1. Ryan Bernal (9th), 2. Kyle Hirst (2nd), 3. Austin Liggett (6th), 4. Richard Vander Weerd (4th), 5. Danny Faria Jr. (7th), 6. Jake Swanson (10th), 7. Max Adams (11th), 8. Tristan Guardino (1st), 9. Jace Vander Weerd (3rd), 10. Shannon McQueen (8th), 11. Ryan Timmons (13th), 12. Steven Garris (19th), 13. Brandon Wiley (16th), 14. Steve Hix (12th), 15. Jeff Sibley (14th), 16. Ryan Stolz (15th), 17. Joe Stornetta Jr. (5th), 18. Gary Nelson Jr. (17th), 19. Geoffrey Strole (20th), 20. Benjamin Catron (18th), 21. Scotty Farmer (21st). NT
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**Majors flipped during qualifications. Farmer flipped on lap 1 of the third heat race. Farmer flipped on lap 5 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Guardino, Laps 5-26 Stornetta, Laps 27-28 Hirst, Laps 29-30 Bernal.
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Ryan Bernal (8th to 1st)

USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ryan Bernal-473, 2. Richard Vander Weerd-470, 3. Jace Vander Weerd-455, 4. Jake Swanson-440, .. Austin Liggett-440, 6. Danny Faria Jr.-424, 7. Tristan Guardino-357, 8. Cody Majors-320, 9. Ryan Timmons-294, 10. Brandon Wiley-280, 11. Jeff Sibley-270, 12. Joe Stornetta Jr.-260, 13. Steven Garris-258, 14. Steve Hix-253, 15. Geoff Ensign-244, 16. Shannon McQueen-207, 17. Ryan Stolz-178, 18. Tye Mihocko-158, 19. Kyle Hirst-155, 20. Max Adams-154.

2017 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
June 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Battle of the Beach Race #1)
June 10: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Ron Otto Memorial)
June 17: Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - Hanford, CA
July 8: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Battle of the Beach Race #2)
July 28: Ocean Speedway - Watsonville, CA
July 29: Petaluma Speedway - Petaluma, CA
August 12: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)
October 7: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA (Championship Night)
November 22: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
November 23: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / Non-Points)
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This schedule is subject to change.