PETERSEN MEDIA- Visalia, CA driver, Richard Vander Weerd had a very consistent Oval Nationals over the weekend, and when the three-day event came to a close Vander Weerd took the final checkered flag with a 12th place finish.
“Overall I thought it was a good Oval Nationals for our team,” Vander Weerd said. “We were really competitive every night, and were able to take care of business in our heat races and move directly into each feature event.”
Kicking things off Thursday night, Vander Weerd got off to a great start as he timed his Vander Weerd Construction/Stonegate Development/Battery Worx No. 10 machine in sixth fastest, putting him in the third row of his heat race.
A strong heat race saw Vander Weerd work his way up into the second spot, where he would finish, putting him directly into the opening night feature event where he would line up on the pole.
With a stout field of cars chasing after him, Vander Weerd got off to a nice start as he set the pace during the early goings of the feature. A slight bobble on lap six would see Vander Weerd lose the lead to Dave Darland, as he then found himself in a torrid battle with the likes of Brady Bacon, Chase Stockon, and Bryan Clauson amongst others.
Representing the USAC/CRA Series well on Thursday night against the stars and cars of the USAC National Series, Vander Weerd would take the checkered flag with a seventh place finish.
Back in action on Friday night, Vander Weerd would go out late in time trials, and end up 16th fastest on the speed chart before finishing fourth in his heat race.
Gridding the field from the eighth row, Vander Weerd was able to work his way forward as he gained valuable Oval Nationals points with every position he gained. Getting up to the 11th spot, Vander Weerd battled hard to crack the Top-10, but could not get by Austin Williams and finished in the 11th spot.
Just narrowly missing out on being one of the six lock in drivers, the Visalia, CA driver would compete in the full program on Saturday night where he kicked things off by timing in sixth fastest.
Finishing second in heat race action, Vander Weered successfully locked into the 40-lap Oval Nationals Feature Event, where he took the green flag in the fifth row.
Battling in a tight back of cars for the duration of the feature event, Vander Weerd would hang around the Top-10 as he looked for breathing room. Racing with Justin Grant, Chris Windom, and Chase Stockon, Vander Weerd would close his Oval Nationals out with a 12th place finish.
“We essentially averaged a Top-10 finish every night, which is nothing to hang our heads about,” Vander Weerd said. “We were in a really good position on Thursday night, but we were just a little off, and the competition was able to capitalize. I really have to thank everyone for all of their hard work all weekend, and hopefully we can continue to run well at Western World’s.”
Richard and his Vander Weerd Racing team would like to thank Vander Weerd Construction, Stonegate Development, Battery Worx, Mid-Valley Pipe, Basic Industries, Factory Kahne Shocks, Steve Watt Enterprises, FK Rod Ends, PXP Racewear and K&N for their support in 2015.
2015 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-50, Wins-6, Top 5’s-20, Top 10’s-32.
ON TAP: Richard and the Vander Weerd Racing team will head to Tucson, AZ for the final race weekend of 2015 as they take part in the Western World Championships at the USA Raceway Park this Thursday-Saturday.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Vander Weerd Racing by ‘Liking’ them on facebook at www.facebook.com/VanderWeerdRacing.
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