PETERSEN MEDIA- Closing out his 2015 season in Tucson, AZ during the Western World Championships, Richard Vander Weerd went toe-to-toe with the USAC National Sprint Car Series and closed his season out with a strong fifth place finish.
“When it came down to the final night we were just one spot out of locking into the feature event again, but we were able to win the heat and move into the finale,” Vander Weerd said.”
Taking to the USA Raceway for one final weekend of racing action in 2015, Vander Weerd kicked off his Western World Championships on Thursday night by timing the Vander Weerd Construction/Stonegate Development/Battery Worx No. 10 machine in ninth fastest in qualifying time trials.
Battling with Jerry Coons, Jr and Brady Bacon in his heat race, the Visalia, CA driver would finish in the fifth spot, missing the transfer to the feature event, and he was forced into the night’s B.
Working his way into the third spot, Vander Weerd would be good enough to transfer into the feature event where he would grid the field from the ninth starting spot.
A rough and tumble USA Raceway would not faze Vander Weerd as he was able to work his way forward. Getting as high as the sixth spot with just five laps to go, a red flag would fly and would change the outlook of Vander Weerd’s race. Having a tire go low during the stoppage, Vander Weerd would slip back on the restart, though he would close his night with a ninth place finish.
Friday night saw the Visalia, CA driver time in 18th fastest, which would put him on the front row of his heat race. Racing his way to the win, Vander Weerd would transfer to the feature event, though he would have his work cut out for him as he lined up in the ninth row.
Again able to work his way forward, Vander Weerd flexed his muscle and held his own against some of the best in the business as he fought into the Top-10. Late in the race brake issues would hamper him and he would lose a couple of positions and finish 12th.
With points lining up Saturday’s program, Vander Weerd lined up on the front row of his qualifier with the top-three finishers moving on into the feature event. Picking up the win, Vander Weerd would line up in the fifth row for his final feature event of the season.
A very racy USA Raceway saw the six-time feature event winner in 2015 work through the field and race his way into the Top-Five. Battling with the likes of CJ Leary and Darland, Vander Weerd could close in on the fourth spot as the laps clicked down. Pressuring Darland on a few occasions, Vander Weerd simply ran out of time and closed his season with a very strong fifth place effort.
“We were good in the feature event, and I think we could have even got a better finish but we just ran out of laps,” Vander Weerd said. “I have to thank everyone for all of their hard work and support this year, now it is time to get ready for 2016.”
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-53, Wins-6, Top 5’s-21, Top 10’s-34.
ON TAP: Richard’s 2015 season has come to a close.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Vander Weerd Racing by ‘Liking’ them on facebook at www.facebook.com/VanderWeerdRacing.
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