USAC West Coast Wingless Sprinters set for Thunderbowl appearance Friday night


By Lance Jennings

JUNE 3, 2019… After a hard fought battle at Ventura, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will invade Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway this Friday, June 7th. Promoted by Steve Faria, the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” was moved after rains washed out the final night of the “Peter Murphy Classic” on May 18th. The second and final appearance of the non-winged 360s at the Tulare County Fairgrounds will also showcase the Kings of Thunder Sprints, Western RaceSaver Sprints, and IMCA Stock Cars. The Front Gates will open at 3:00PM, Time Trials are scheduled for 5:30PM, and Racing will start at 6:00PM. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call 559.688.0909.

– 2019 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: EXTREME: 6014-3535, 3615-3535, SCHOENFELD: 14272535, 14272735-78, FLOWMASTER: 53545-10, 13516100, 13516101, COAST FABRICATION: 350x625x17-2S, B&B: FRAC-0375S, SPINTECH: 1545P SUPER STOCK. *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier. 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 and USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at

The “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” is one of the most prestigious dates on the USAC West Coast schedule. This year’s event marks the twenty-sixth running of the race and Peter Murphy won the first non-winged 360 memorial in 2009. Last year, Tristan Guardino added his name to the winner’s list, which is at the bottom of this release.

Since March 6, 2010, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted 42 USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with fourteen victories and Jake Swanson set the 1-lap track record of 14.984 on March 17, 2017. Austin Liggett topped the “Peter Murphy Classic” on May 17th and the Tulare series win list is at the bottom of this release.

Entering the eighth point race, there have been six different winners. Defending series champion Austin Liggett has two victories, while Brody Roa, Swanson, Chase Johnson, Guardino, and Troy Rutherford have one win in the campaign. Rain washed out the May 18th event at Petaluma.

Heading to Tulare, Tristan Guardino (Fremont, CA) has a stout 101-point lead over the competition. Driving the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Stores Maxim, Guardino scored nineteenth last Saturday night after an early exit. At press time, the point leader has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 31 feature laps led to his credit. Tristan is tied with Brody Roa, Troy Rutherford, and Craig Stidham for ninth on the series win list and will be looking for his second “Faria Memorial” triumph.

Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, CA) ranks second in the championship point chase. Piloting the family owned #29T Timmons Auto & Truck Repair / Evergood Fine Foods Maxim, Timmons set fast time and placed thirteenth at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. To date, the 2016 Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award, and four top-10 finishes on the season. At Tulare, Ryan will have his sights on his third career feature win.

Koen Shaw (Fresno, CA) sits third in the USAC West Coast point standings. Racing the family owned #88 Shaw Structures Unlimited / PMS Investments KPC, Shaw charged from thirteenth to fifth at last Saturday night. At press time, the versatile driver has one heat race victory and two top-10 finishes on the year. This Friday night, Koen will be looking for his first career USAC win at Thunderbowl Raceway.

Slater Helt (Harrisonville, MO) has climbed to fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving Steve Watt’s #81M Maxwell Industries / Steve Watt Enterprises Maxim, Helt scored twenty-second at Ventura after having mechanical issues ended his night. To date, the leading rookie contender has posted one Wilwood Brakes Lucky 13 Award and one top-10 finish in the campaign. The Missouri driver will have his sights on his first USAC West Coast victory this Friday night.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, CA) ranks fifth in the point standings. The pilot of Keith Ford’s #73T Edgewater Construction / Sun Valley AG Transport Triple X skipped Ventura to compete in Arizona. At press time, the 2017 Champion has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award, three top-10 finishes, and 8 feature laps led to his credit. Currently tied with Davey Pombo and T.J. Smith for thirteenth in wins, Jake might skip Tulare as he travels to Canyon Speedway Park.

While Helt leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors, Hannah Mayhew (Acton, CA), J.J. Ringo (Morgan Hill, CA), and Brent Owens (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Austin Ervine, Austin Liggett, “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. Steve Hix, Cody Majors, Michael Faccinto, “The Rickster” Ricky Kirkbride, T.J. Smith, Tanner Boul, D.J. Johnson, Jace Vander Weerd, Richard Vander Weerd, and more.

Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. Adult Grandstand Tickets are $18 and Bleacher Seats are $15. Senior Grandstand Tickets are $16 and Bleacher Seats are $13. Kids (6-12) Grandstand Tickets are $9 and Bleacher Seats are $8. 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

The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes, 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

For more information on the series, visit and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content at and the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
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, 2018-Austin Liggett.

CHRIS & BRIAN FARIA MEMORIAL NON-WING WINNERS: 2009-Peter Murphy, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Bud Kaeding, 2012-Kyle Larson, 2013-Not Held, 2014-Ryan Bernal, 2015-Danny Faria Jr., 2016-Austin Liggett, 2017-Ryan Bernal, 2018-Tristan Guardino.

2019 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: 2-Austin Liggett, 1-Tristan Guardino, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-Brody Roa, 1- Troy Rutherford, 1-Jake Swanson.

TULARE USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes Non-Point Races) 14-Ryan Bernal, 5-Bud Kaeding, 4-Richard Vander Weerd, 2-Danny Faria Jr., 2-D.J. Johnson, 2-Kyle Larson, 2-Austin Liggett, 2-Craig Stidham, 1-Dean Alexander, 1-Tristan Guardino, 1-Kyle Hirst, 1-Dennis Howell, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Peter Murphy, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Jake Swanson, 1-Jace Vander Weerd.

2019 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Tristan Guardino-436, 2. Ryan Timmons-335, 3. Koen Shaw-323, 4. Slater Helt-241, 5. Jake Swanson-238, 6. Austin Ervine-237, 7. Hannah Mayhew-228, 8. Austin Liggett-227, 9. Danny Faria Jr.-221, –. Steve Hix-221, –. Troy Rutherford-221, 12. Cody Majors-203, 13. J.J. Ringo-197, 14. Kyle Edwards-178, 15. Michael Faccinto-167, –. Ricky Kirkbride-167, 17. Brody Roa-154, 18. T.J. Smith-150, 19. Charles Davis Jr.-147, 20. Stevie Sussex-145.

Photos courtesy of Paul Trevino and Lance Jennings