DARLAND TAKES “WINTER CHALLENGE” TITLE;
FINAL 3 WINS TO COPELAND, DARLAND & VANDER WEERD
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. emerged as the champion of the six-race “Winter Challenge” series, posting three victories and a second on his way to a five-point margin over runner-up Josh Pelkey. The USAC West Coast/Southwest Sprint Car events were all held at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
Darland’s third win came in Friday night’s 30-lapper as he piloted Casey Minks’ Mesilla Valley Transportation/Shark Racing Engines Eagle to victory over Josh Hodges, Nic Faas, Mike Martin and Pelkey. Darland led the first 10 and last 13 laps, while Hodges led seven laps during mid-race.
Colby Copeland of Roseville, Calif. won Thursday’s 30-lapper, leading wire-to-wire in his Ted Williams Bandit Racing/Marks Bolts Maxim. Charles Davis Jr. was second ahead of Richard Vander Weerd, Shon Deskins and Casey Shuman.
Saturday’s finale found Vander Weerd, of Visalia, Calif., passing Darland on lap 15 and leading to the checkered flag in his Vander Weerd Construction/Battery Worx Maxim. Darland led the first 14 laps and finished second ahead of Pelkey, Davis and Hodges.
The USAC West Coast and Southwest Sprint cars resume action in West Coast points and Southwest non-points event March 6 in the “Sin City Showdown” at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
The 2014 USAC racing calendar now focuses on the February 20-22 Bubba Army “Winter Nationals” AMSOIL National Sprint Car events at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.