FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series
USAC WEST COAST SPRINTS EYE TULARE’S “5TH ANNUAL PETER MURPHY CLASSIC”
By Lance Jennings
MAY 15, 2018... After battling at Hanford, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are back for two nights of action at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The “5th Annual Peter Murphy Classic” opens this Friday, May 18th, and will also feature the winged 360 Sprint Car Challenge Tour and Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars. The Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars return on Saturday’s card and will also showcase the King of the West–NARC Sprint Cars. On both nights, the front gates will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 6:00pm, with racing scheduled for 7:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.
NOTICE TO RACERS: The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. Cockpit adjustable shocks are NOT allowed and engine restrictor rules are 1-7/8” with open heads and 2-3/16” with ASCS cylinder heads. The weight rule is 1,475 lbs. with driver and the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at www.westcoastsprintcars.com and www.usacracing.com. USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2018-usac-sprint-midget-sc.
2018 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS:
EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535
SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78
FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101
COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S
SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
Since its inception, the “Peter Murphy Classic” is one of the best paying dates on the schedule. A special thanks goes to Peter and his family for gathering sponsorship and raising extra prize money. As this writing goes to press, Murphy is working to increase the purse and create extra bonuses right up until raceday. This year’s “Peter Murphy Classic” is two separate shows and Friday’s main event will pay $1,500-to win. On Saturday, the feature will pay an impressive $4,000-to-win and there will be a special bonus available to the winner of the Pole Shuffle.
Noted as one of the most popular drivers in the Central Valley, Peter Murphy established himself in both the winged and non-wing sprint car ranks. Driving the potent Tarlton & Son #21 entry, the Australia native won championships with the SCRA 360s, Bandits, Kings Bandits, VRA/Bandit Grand Slam Mini-Series, and the Santa Maria Sprint Cars. In West Coast series action, Murphy won six races in the inaugural 2009 season and is currently tied for sixth on the win list with eight victories. In addition, he posted one fast time award and still holds the track record at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds. Returning to the winged 410s, Murphy was very competitive until injuries sustained in a July 2013 crash forced his retirement as a driver. Still a great ambassador for sprint car racing, he has worked behind the scenes to make the “Peter Murphy Classic” a successful event to rave reviews and higher purses. Ryan Bernal won the inaugural 2014 non-sanctioned event and following races were claimed by Matt Mitchell, Troy Rutherford, and Kyle Hirst.
Since March 6, 2010, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted thirty-eight USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with fourteen victories and topped the last visit on March 9th. Jake Swanson set the 1-lap qualifying record of 14.984 on March 17, 2017 and the series win list at Thunderbowl Raceway is at the bottom of this release.
Entering the fifth point race, Austin Liggett (Tracy, California) sits atop the standings with a 24-point lead over the competition. Racing the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Lucas Oil Maxim, Liggett ran fourth at Hanford last Saturday night. To date, the 2012 Rookie of the Year has one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 28 feature laps led to his credit. Austin has five career wins and will be looking to add the “Peter Murphy Classic” to his resume.
After finishing third at Hanford, Tristan Guardino (Fremont, California) has climbed to second in the point chase. Piloting the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Sales Maxim, Guardino has two heat race victories, three top-10 finishes, and 12 feature laps led on the season. With three career wins, Tristan will have his sights on the $4,000 triumph.
Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) won last Saturday night at Hanford and rose to third in the championship standings. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard has one feature win, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, two heat race victories, three top-10 finishes, and 23 feature laps led on the year. The 2011 Champion has twenty series wins and will be looking for the “Peter Murphy Classic” victory.
Steve Hix (Ventura, California) is tied for third in the chase for the championship. Racing his #57 No Limit Powder Coating / Delano Roofing Triple X, Hix scored a seventh place finish at the Kings County Fairgrounds. At press time, Steve has one heat race victory, four top-10 finishes, and 3 feature laps led in the campaign. At Tulare, Hix will have his sights on his first USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature win.
Koen Shaw (Fresno, California) ranks fifth in championship point chase. Piloting the family owned #88K PMS Investments / Shaw Structures Unlimited KPC, Shaw claimed sixth last Saturday night at Hanford. To date, the Micro Sprint standout has one Saldana Racing Products / Racing Optics Hard Charger Award and four top-10 finishes on the season. Koen will be looking to earn his first series win at the “Peter Murphy Classic.”
Currently ninth in points, Britton Bock (Calistoga, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Austin Ervine (Bakersfield, California), Brent Owens (Covina, California), and Hannah Mayhew (Acton, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Jace Vander Weerd, Shannon McQueen, Ryan Timmons, Ryan Stolz, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr., Brandon Wiley, Ryan Bernal, Matt Mitchell, and more.
Tulare, California’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Each night, Adult Grandstand Tickets are $25 and Bleacher Seats are $20. Senior Grandstand Tickets are $23 and Bleacher Seats are $18. Kids (6-12) Grandstand Tickets are $13 and Bleacher Seats are $10. Kids (5 & Under) are FREE. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, BR Motorsports, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Racing Optics, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2009-Justyne Hamblin, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Richard Vander Weerd, 2012-Bud Kaeding, 2013-Danny Faria Jr., 2014-Matt Mitchell, 2015-Danny Faria Jr., 2016-Brody Roa, 2017-Jake Swanson.
PETER MURPHY CLASSIC NON-WING WINNERS: 2014-Ryan Bernal, 2015-Matt Mitchell, 2016-Troy Rutherford, 2017-Kyle Hirst.
2018 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: 2- Brody Roa, 1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Dennis Gile, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Richard Vander Weerd.
TULARE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes Non-Point Races) 14-Ryan Bernal, 5-Bud Kaeding, 3-Richard Vander Weerd, 2-D.J. Johnson, 2-Kyle Larson, 2-Craig Stidham, 1-Dean Alexander, 1-Danny Faria Jr., 1-Kyle Hirst, 1-Dennis Howell, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Peter Murphy, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Jake Swanson, 1-Jace Vander Weerd.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Austin Liggett-279, 2. Tristan Guardino-255, 3. Richard Vander Weerd-238, -. Steve Hix-238, 5. Koen Shaw-227, 6. Jace Vander Weerd-216, 7. Shannon McQueen-203, 8. Ryan Timmons-202, 9. Britton Bock-177, 10. Austin Ervine-159, 11. Ryan Stolz-153, --. Danny Faria Jr.-153, 13. Brandon Wiley-140, 14. Ryan Bernal-131, 15. Trent Carter-107, 16. Hobie Conway-87, 17. Troy Rutherford-82, 18. Brody Roa-77, --. Kevin Barnes-77, 20. Jake Swanson-74.
2018 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
May 18: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Peter Murphy Classic)
May 19: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA (Peter Murphy Classic)
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)
July 14: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Battle at the Beach)
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)
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 / Non-Points)
This schedule is subject to change.