MADERA’S “GERHARDT CLASSIC” SATURDAY;
VANDER WEERD A SURPRISE SANTA MARIA MIDGET WINNER
The “Gerhardt Classic” unfolds this Saturday at Madera (Calif.) Speedway, co-sanctioned by USAC and BCRA, and drivers Chad Nichols and Jarid Blondel will be out to protect point leads in the respective Honda USAC Western Midget standings.
Nichols leads the pavement points while Blondel sits atop the overall Western Midget standings. Nichols’ lead is 17 points over Darin Snider, while Blondel has a 13-point lead over Trey Marcham in the overall tally.
Sprint car veteran Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia, Calif. raced to victory in Saturday night’s 30-lap Honda USAC Western Midget race at Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway. He passed Terry Nichols on lap 11 of the Party at the Beach/”Doug Fort Memorial” and led the final 20 laps in the Sala Racing Vander Weerd Construction/Battery Worx Spike/Chevy. Ronnie Gardner finished second ahead of Shannon McQueen, Heath Duinkerken, and Randi Pankratz.
Snider and Cody Gerhardt have accounted for the two USAC victories so far this year at Madera Speedway. There have been 60 total USAC Midget races at the one-third-mile paved oval, dating back to Sleepy Tripp’s victory in 1976.