OCEAN, CHOWCHILLA HOST WEST COAST SPRINTS
Markus Niemela and Ryan Bernal will try to protect point leads in two USAC series which will combine for races this weekend at Watsonville and Chowchilla, Calif.
Niemela, the driver from Finland, has a 20-point lead over Matt Mitchell in the USAC West Coast Sprint cars entering the two races, while Bernal, of Hollister, Calif., is 66 points ahead of Mitchell in the USAC Western Classic Sprint tally.
Friday night’s race is at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, while Saturday’s is at Chowchilla Raceway. Bernal has been virtually unstoppable in both series this year, He swept five straight West Coast victories before Jake Swanson snapped his streak July 19 at Ventura, Calif. and he has also won the last three Classic features.
Saturday’s race will mark the first USAC appearance at Chowchilla in 21 years. Rick Atkins was the last winner, in a 1993 TQ Midget feature.