By Steven Blakesley from Blakesley Sports Media
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (October 5, 2011) – The hotly contested USAC Western Classic and USAC Western Sprint Car Series points battles will continue on to Rick Faeth’s Shasta Raceway Park on Saturday night with the “Jimmy Sills Classic”.
The races will honor Northern California racing icon Jimmy Sills for his contributions for the sport. Sills is a North State legend who has won over 400 races around the world and more than 17 major race, track, or series championships. Sills’ USAC accomplishments include the Perris Oval Nationals and three USAC Silver Crown championships.
21 year-old Geoff Ensign of Sebastopol leads the USAC Western Classic points aboard Ted Finkenbinder’s #3F over six-time USAC champion Tony Hunt. After a close race at Madera in the “Harvest Classic”, Hunt finished the third ahead of Ensign in fourth allowing Hunt to close within nine points in the standings.
Alamo’s Scott Pierovich leapt to third in the USAC Western Classic standings after winning the “Harvest Classic”. Pierovich and Hunt put on one of the best pavement races of the year in the “Gerhardt Classic” in April before Pierovich dropped out with mechanical problems. The win at the Harvest was a redemption race of sorts for the #14 Ken Pierson-owned mount.
Hunt is not only chasing down Ensign but in the midst of one of the West Coast’s toughest points battles as he tries to win the USAC Western Sprint Car Series for pavement sprint cars. Hunt leads popular female racer Audra Sasselli by five points. 17 year-old rookie sensation Cody Gerhardt stumbled at Madera and fell to 36 points back from Hunt.
The fast Shasta Raceway Park three-eights mile will come to life with a strong field of sprints expected. Clovis’ Luis Ramos is expected to return to action after missing Madera. Idaho standout Johnny Geisler will make his much anticipated return to California and is also expected to compete at Irwindale on October 15.
Ensign’s teammate Tim Barber of San Francisco will be back in the #3T car and Gerhardt’s teammate Tim Skoglund is also expected. Pavement regulars Gordon Rodgers, Don Emery, Marvin Mitchell, and John C. Anderson are planning to race this weekend.
Teams will participate in a Friday practice session from 4 – 8 p.m. before getting underway with racing activities on Saturday. Pit gates open at 1 p.m. with practice starting at 2 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults ages 18-62, seniors 62+, juniors 13-17, and the military are $10, children 5-12 $8 while children under 5 are free. The family pass for two adults and four children is $30.
The Shasta Raceway Park is located at the fairgrounds in Anderson and online at www.shastaracewaypark.net.
More information on the USAC Western Classic Racing Series is available on Facebook at keywords “USAC Western Classic Racing Series”. The United States Auto Club is online at www.usacracing.com.
Our thanks to Steve LaMothe of Steve’s Racing Photos for the use of his photos.